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Showing posts from April, 2010

Events ~ RISD Alumni Spring Art Sale, Providence

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RISD Alumni Spring Art Sale
Benefit St.
Providence, Rhode Island
10 am - 4 pm (rain or shine)



From RISD's calendar:
"RISD Alumni Art Sales feature thousands of items designed and created by alumni from all over the country and the world. Items for sale include fine art, home accessories, greeting cards, jewelry, paintings, furniture, rugs, clothing, photographs, glass and ceramics."

Bear and I really want to make this one. We both love art in all its forms, and would love to "window shop" the great selections.

One piece that caught my eye on the Art Sale slideshow is this one by Heidi Caswell Zander.






The Art Sale also has a set on Flickr.

Dining ~ L'Elizabeth, Providence

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L'Elizabeth
285 S. Main St.
Providence, Rhode Island

By sheer coincidence (we were hungry and happened to be driving by), we discovered L'Elizabeth. We were fortunate to get parking on S. Main, right near the front door. A sandwich board outside informed us "L'Elizabeth ~ pastries and martinis," although the posted menu listed lunch items as well.

After passing the outdoor seating, the first thing we saw was the beautiful stained glass window in the front door.





We were charmed by the decor. It's very eclectic, with couches and armchairs and small decorative tables scattered around. There's an old-fashioned bar in the back where they mix up martinis and other drinks, and eclectic wall art throughout.



It kind of had the look of an antique furniture shop.


Ruth, our waitress, was very nice. She was pleasant, attentive and helpful. It appeared that she was the only person working in the restaurant, but then, we were the only customers.

I ordered the Beef &…

Rhody artists ~ eco-woolies

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Eco-woolies
Providence, Rhode Island

One of the crafters we met at Craftopia was Joanne Sargent of eco-woolies. Joanne takes used sweaters and makes them into something new. Clothes, blankets, hats, scarves, all so beautiful.






I fell in love with the blanket behind her, a quilt of various black, white and gray sweaters, backed by a metallic silver material that was so soft! I just wanted to snuggle up under it then and there.

Bear fell in love with the hats. I think she wants one of each kind! This one from her Web site is crazy-cute:


We both loved the Christmas stockings, in so many great colors and designs.








Joanne takes custom orders as well, and she is so friendly and enthusiastic about her work! It was a pleasure to talk with her.

Events ~ Corn Planting Ceremony, Portsmouth

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Aquidneck Island Intertribal Indian Council
Portsmouth, Rhode Island


Bear and I were invited to attend the Aquidneck Island Intertribal Indian Council's Corn Planting ceremony over the weekend. C was out for the weekend, and she joined us as well. The weather was perfect, warm and sunny with enough breeze to avoid being too hot.

The full moon in April is the Corn Planting Moon, and this particular ceremony was derived from the Cherokee ritual. According to my grandmother, we have some Cherokee ancestry, so it was especially interesting.

We didn't photograph the ceremony itself, but we were able to take shots of the rehearsal.

It begins with the Corn Maiden (that's Anastasia) being brought into the Sacred Circle by the Warrior Guard (Chief Blue Eagle). They approach the Sacred Fire. The Corn Maiden carries a basket of corn kernels.









Seven women of the tribe approach the Corn Maiden one by one. They each take a handful of corn and back away from the sacred fire, walking around…

Dining ~ Best Eastern Chinese & Japanese Restaurant, North Providence

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Best Eastern Chinese & Japanese Restaurant
1820 Mineral Spring Ave.
North Providence, Rhode Island


image:besteasternri.com
Bear loves sushi. Loves it. I am not a fan. So it was nice to find a restaurant that serves both Chinese and Japanese food. Bear got her sushi: a Maki combo of tuna roll, shrimp roll and California roll. She liked it quite a lot, though she wasn't a fan of the tuna. But then, she's not a big fan of tuna generally.She wants to try the Rainbow Maki next time.

I got the pupu platter, which we shared. It's a huge amount of food, served on what looks like a wooden crudite tray. Between us we didn't finish half of it, but it made a nice evening snack, too. And there's still enough for lunch tomorrow. Bear and I both agreed that the crab rangoons are quite good, as are the boneless ribs and egg roll. I didn't love the beef teriyaki, but the chicken teriyaki was quite good. Go figure.

The restaurant is very clean, and looks to have been in busin…

Rhody themed ~ CatStudio RI glasses

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image: CatStudio
CatStudio has these cute Rhode Island-themed glasses, pillows, dish towels and more. You can also get them in themes from other states, cities and even culinary...but why would you want to?

You have a chance to win the theme of your choice at Lisa Cooking. There are lots of things you can do to earn an entry. Stop on by and have a look!

Rhody artists~ Stella Marie Soaps

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Stella Marie Soap
Kim Gonzaga, Owner


A great variety of soaps, lotions, balms and butters in fun and funky fragrances. Kim Gonzaga hand-crafts her soaps with no animal products or by-products, so they're vegan-friendly.

I bought a collection of her products for my oldest daughter as a Christmas gift. She really enjoyed them, and wants more. I love the Rockaway Beach coconut cream soap. It smells wonderful!

Stella Marie Soap is available in select stores in Rhode Island, Mass and New Hampshire. She's also at the Wintertime Farmer's Market in Pawtucket, and took part in Craftopia earlier this month:





Sights ~ Swan Point Cemetery, Providence

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Swan Point Cemetery
585 Blackstone Blvd.
Providence, Rhode Island

photo: Swan Point Cemetery
Swan Point Cemetery is a beautiful "garden cemetery," founded in 1846, that now sits on about 200 acres along the Seekonk River in Providence. It has excellent examples of burial monuments dating from the 1700s in a beautifully landscaped setting. All the trees we saw had identifying plaques, there were well-maintained drives, and stunning overlooks of the river.

Bear and I like to go there in the autumn to enjoy the fall colors. This was our first time visiting in the spring, and the blossoms were spectacular. Everything is in bloom, from cherry trees and magnolias to forsythia and tulips.





Photographing the monuments isn't allowed, but a very friendly guard happily led us to a couple of the more well-known monuments.

H.P. Lovecraft is buried here.

photo: Quahog.org
As it was in the photo above, Lovecraft's marker was lined with stones and what may have been magnets. We didn…

Sights ~ Bank of America Building, Providence

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Bank of America Building
111 Westminster St.
Providence, Rhode Island




I've been charmed by this building since the first time I saw it. I'm told it's called the "Superman Building" by the locals, though I've never heard anyone call it that. This is because it resembles the Daily Planet building from the 1950s Superman tv series and comics.

With its Art Deco architecture and appointments (like its limestone carvings of Rhode Island history) and its tall lantern at the top, it dominates the Providence Skyline.



According to Emporis site, it was constructed as the Industrial Trust Building in 1927 and since then it's been called the Industrial National Bank Building, Fleet Bank Building, and now the Bank of America Building. It's the tallest building in Rhode Island, and the oldest building to hold "tallest building in the state" status in the U.S., according to Wikipedia. The architects, Walker & Gillette, were a New York firm that handled b…

Dining ~ Cindy's Diner, North Scituate

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Cindy's Diner
46 Hartford Ave.
North Scituate, Rhode Island

It's been awhile since Bear and I stopped by Cindy's on our way home from our trip to Foster.

It had just gone dark, and there was Cindy's bright neon sign, looking like something out of Happy Days.


The interior stayed faithful to the sign's promise. Lots of aluminum, checkerboard flooring, bright red and white decor, in a Coca-Cola® theme.


(note, there are much better pictures on the RI Film and TV Office Web site)
The seats look like they came out of the back of my great-grandma's 53 Chrysler. In a good way.

The service was friendly, and when the waitress learned that they were out of what I'd ordered, she came back to apologize and ask what I would like instead. It was tough to make up my mind, but in the spirit of thinking/shopping local, I opted for the New England potroast. To the waitress' credit, she warned me it would be bland.

I should have listened. Even with the gravy, it was blah. T…

Rhody Artists ~ Unusual Threads, Pawtucket

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Unusual Threads
Pawtucket, Rhode Island


Unusual Threads' Etsy shop has these adorable picnic placemats. A sectioned pocket holds bamboo utensils, and the whole thing rolls up for easy transport/storage. Such a clever idea. They really put me in the picnic mood!

Dining ~ The Wickford Diner, Wickford

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The Wickford Diner
64 Brown St.
Wickford, Rhode Island

We arrived at Wickford's Daffodil Days around lunchtime, and since we both like a good diner, decided to check out Wickford Diner, located right on Brown street, the main shopping area.


It's a pretty place, lots of wood, a nautical theme that fits right in with Wickford's harbor town ambience.


The main diner has an additional room with booth seating. The booths were pretty full, but there wasn't much activity in the bar area. Bear and I grabbed seats at the head of the bar, next to the cash register.

It took awhile before we were acknowledged by the wait staff, even though one of the two women used the register right in front of us. Despite being less than two feet away, she never even glanced our way.

I should take a moment here to say that Bear and I make a point to interact pleasantly with people. I've worked in retail, as a cook and as a waitress. There are few people as obnoxious as hungry people in a res…

Events ~ Daffodil Days, Wickford

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Daffodil Days
Wickford, Rhode Island

Daffodil Days in Wickford is this weekend, so Bear and I went to check it out. We'd attended last year's and enjoyed it enough to go back this year.



The village daffodils lining Brown and Main Streets, and since daffodils are my favorite flower, it was especially nice to see.



Today there was a fashion show (that we missed). Tomorrow will be more festivities. We did get to see the bagpiper, a lone woman marching slowly along the sidewalks as she played. She was very good.



We stopped by the Wickford Diner - a disappointment (more on that in another post). Other than that, though, we had a good time seeing the sights. There are a lot of historic buildings in Wickford, and we saw many of them.

The First Baptist Church


St. Paul's Church


Old Narragansett Church

(we'll go back this summer to get a tour of the inside).

Wickford House

Affectionately known as "Old Yellow"

Narragansett House


I don't know if this building has a n…

Sights ~ More of Roger Williams Park, Providence

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Roger Williams Park
1000 Elmwood Ave.
Providence, Rhode Island

Right near the Japanese Garden is Hasbro's Boundless Playground. The playground opened in 2001, sponsored by Rhode Island-headquartered Hasbro, and has been very well maintained. Nothing looked broken, rusty or out of service.

It was very busy when we were there, with easily 50-100 children and parents enjoying the spring weather and fun, brightly-colored fixtures. Even though the park was crowded, it had the sense of being active without being overwhelming.




The park was designed for children with all types of abilities, and so incorporates a wide range of sensory activities.


Pat enjoyed driving the big yellow "bus."
Bear liked the whole environment and loved the swings. A definite must-do for anyone with kids.

Sights ~ Roger Williams Park, Providence

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Roger Williams Park
1000 Elmwood Ave.
Providence, Rhode Island

Roger Williams Park is 427 acres, situated in the south side of Providence. Land for the park was donated by Betsey Williams, a descendant of Roger Williams, founder of Providence and Rhode Island. The park is much too large and has too much to offer to fit into one post, so in honor of Hana Matsuri, the Japanese Flower Festival, we'll focus on the Japanese Gardens.



Yesterday, Bear and I decided to take advantage of the unusually warm spring weather, and enjoy the park.

There should be an annual cherry blossom festival, like they have in DC. All the (presumably) cherry trees were in bloom, with white and pink blossom-covered branches extending along the paths and draping gracefully toward the water.



The Japanese Garden is set on a couple of small islands in the middle of one of the park's ponds, connected by a series of arched wooden bridges. There are granite slab benches and paved paths that make great photo ops…