Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Design ~ O&G Studio on Apartment Therapy

image: Apartment Therapy: Boston

Congratulations to O&G Studio in Warren, whose design was featured this week on Apartment Therapy: Boston.

From the post: "Warren, Rhode Island-based O&G Studio tap right into the New England design sensibility to create pieces that are a mashup of traditional hand-crafting, rustic industrial forms, and bright modern colors."

O&G is now added to our list of places to see.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Food ~ Grape Nut Pudding

I'd never heard of Grape Nut pudding before I moved to Rhode Island. Apparently, it's a vanilla custard with Grape Nuts cereal cooked in it. Nevertheless, it sounds intriguing and is on my recipes-to-try list for when it's cool enough to run the oven for an hour.

image: Road Foods

I found recipes for it in Yankee magazine and It's Rhode Island cookbook. I'm sure it would turn up in other local recipe books as well.

Ingredients
milk
Grape-Nuts cereal
eggs
sugar
vanilla
salt
butter
nutmeg

Goes together in minutes, cooks in about an hour. I can't find anything specific to Rhode Island in the information, but I do know that it's popular here. According to Road Food, it's not known outside of New England.


Friday, September 24, 2010

From the I {heart} Rhody Flickr Group

Might be enough
"Might be enough" by SteelToad

Block Island Southeast Lighthouse, Rhode Island
"Block Island Southeast Lighthouse, Rhode Island" by nelights

IMG_1646
"IMG_1646" by katie47n

Rose Larisa Memorial Park
"Rose Larisa Memorial Park" by siriusthinking

Osamequin creek sunrise
"Osamequin creek sunrise" by DACphoto

Hot Dog Heaven
"Hot Dog Heaven" by BlueisCoool

Monsters
"Monsters" by mizzbritta

Friday, September 17, 2010

From the I {heart} Rhody Flickr Group

Seagull at Bristol Harbor
"Seagull at Bristol Harbor" by SteelToad

Prudence Island Lighthouse, Rhode Island
"Prudence Island Lighthouse, Rhode Island" by nelights

This looks dangerous.
"This looks dangerous." by siriusthinking

IMG_1044
IMG_1044 by katie47n

branch
"branch" by alamodestuff

Linden Place
"Linden Place" by DACphoto

Monday, September 13, 2010

Event announcement ~ Environmental Clean-Up Celebration, Providence, Sept. 25

The Steelyard
27 Sims Ave.
Providence, Rhode Island
September 25, 2010
12:00 p.m.


Event announcement ~ The Warren Mill Project, Warren, Sept. 16, 2010

The Warren Mill Project
Imago Gallery
36 Market Street
Warren, Rhode Island
September 16, 2010, 5-8 p.m.

A display of photographs, maps and artifacts, and recorded oral histories from Warren’s Mills, a related installation and artwork by Deborah Baronas, and a lecture by Richard Greenwood


Friday, September 10, 2010

From the I {heart} Rhody Flickr Group

Stairway
"Stairway" (Newport, RI) by SteelToad

Point Judith Lighthouse and Coast Guard station, Rhode Island
"Point Judith Lighthouse and Coast Guard station, Rhode Island" by nelights

This looks dangerous.
"This looks dangerous." by siriusthinking

IMG_1044
"IMG_1044" by katie47n

branch
"branch" by alamodestuff

Linden Place
"Linden Place" by DACphoto

Hot Dog Heaven
"Hot Dog Heaven" by BlueisCoool

Post office
"Post office" by mizzbritta

Castle Hill Light, Newport Rhode Island
"Castle Hill Light, Newport Rhode Island" by Brett Cohen

Evening light on the twin steeples of Saint Anns Church
"Evening light on the twin steeples of Saint Anns Church" by mmerc

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Design ~ A house tour in College Hill, Providence

I love design. Bear is just starting to appreciate it, and has big ideas for redecorating her bedroom. We're both fans of Apartment Therapy, of course.

The other day AT: Boston ran a house tour of Rachel and Alfred's place on College Hill. They have such great ideas!

I was particularly fond of the leaf "headboard."
Yes, those are real leaves.


Name: Alfred and Rachel
Location: College Hill — Providence, Rhode Island
Size: 3 bedrooms + mother-in-law in converted attic
Years lived in: 10 — owned

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sights ~ Comfort Station, Providence

Comfort Station
corner of Weybosset  and Mathewson
Providence, Rhode Island

Weybosset Comfort Station

The first time I saw the lighthouse-shaped structure, I was curious. The plaques on either side identify the building as an information center, but the doors were locked, and there were stickers on the windows stating that it was a police substation. Curious.

Weybosset Information Center

The condition of the lighthouse makes it look like it's been around awhile, and it has. It was built in 1913 to mark a public "comfort station" belowground.

"Comfort Station, Providence, R.I." from The American City, Vol. 11
This photo must have been taken shortly after the comfort station was open, since the The American City, Vol. 11 was published in 1914. A comfort station is a public restroom, and the book is very concerned with the effect of the availability of hand towels on handwashing (individual towels = greater likelihood of handwashing). You can see that there is no building at this point, only a set of stairs leading belowground.

At some point after 1913 and before 1980, the building was constructed over the stairs. There is a photo of Weybosset Street dated June 19,1980 by Projo photographer Cliff Schiappa, referenced by David Brussat in 2008 in his article "Evolution on Westminster Mall."

I don't see much information on it again until 1994 (and indeed, how much information can you expect to find on the history of a public restroom?). In 1994, the comfort station was rehabilitated and re-opened as a police station/visitor information center. I'm not sure what it was used for before that, or when it fell into disuse.

Sometime between 1994 and 2006, the building shut down again, because it was re-opened in August 2006 as a police sub-station.

Since 2007 or 2008, there has been discussion in the Downcity Design Review Board to move the comfort station tower, with or without its accompanying building, to make room for an expansion of the street to convert it to a two-way street. Brussat argues that Weybosset is already wide enough, and that it can be converted into a two-way street without expansion. The proposal is on the docket for this month's Board meeting.

The building is an interesting piece of history and bit of sculpture. Optimally, I'd like to see it stay where it is. At the same time, it's strange that the building keeps falling into disuse, and maybe it would see more activity if it were somewhere else.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Dining ~ Aunt Carrie's, Narragansett

Aunt Carrie's
1240 Ocean Rd.
Narragansett, Rhode Island
401-783-7930

A few weeks ago, after a too-late-too-chilly swim at Scarborough Beach and a wrong turn on Ocean Road, we stumbled upon Aunt Carrie's. Of course, we've heard of Aunt Carrie's. They've been in Rhode Island Monthly's Best Of list, and most of the tourist books we've read. The restaurant has been around for more than 85 years. It's an institution.

Aunt Carrie's

Aunt Carrie was a real person named Carrie Cooper who used to visit Point Judith with her husband and children in the first decades of the 20th century. Since there was no food vendor at the Point then, she started making her own lemonade, then her own clam cakes. Eventually this led to a "clam shack" at the Point, and then to a restaurant where the current building is now. The counter and front waiting area are the original part of the building, which has been added to over the years.

Aunt Carrie's

Aunt Carrie's is still family owned and operated, now in its fourth generation. Along with a full menu of seafood, they also have merchandise. Not just postcards, but a full range of Aunt Carrie's swag:
Aunt Carrie's
They're fun mementos of your visit, if you're a tourist. And a great way to show your loyalty if you're a local; after all, Iggy's clam shack is right across the street.

When we arrived, the parking lot was full, and we were in a line nearly out the door. I was surprised at how fast everything moved. From joining the line at the door to holding the steaming bag of clam cakes was less than ten minutes, and probably closer to five.

The clamcakes were good. Fresh, hot and crispy on the outside, slightly sweet batter, a few chunks of minced clam. Definitely worth a return trip.

Of course, next time we have to try Iggy's.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Library ~ Rogers Free Library, Bristol

Rogers Free Library
525 Hope St.
Bristol, Rhode Island
401-253-6948

Bear and I visited the Rogers Free Library a few months ago, on an overcast afternoon.

It's a beautiful building, with the original part built in brownstone, giving it a very solid and sturdy feel.
Bristol Library original section

The brick-faced extension is also quite beautiful. Although the two are of different styles, they're merged together quite nicely by using brownstone details. The archway over the Hope Street entrance also combines brick and brownstone, and softens the connection. It appears that the building may have previously housed a furniture company.

Bristol Library New section
Oblique view of brick extension

Bristol Library entrance
archway over entrance

Inside, you can see where the exterior wall of the original library was.
Bristol Library
I love when designers do this!


The library was named for Robert Rogers (1792-1870), one of the wealthiest citizens of his time  in Bristol. Rogers amassed an extensive collection of books. In 1877, seven years after his death, his wife Maria (nee DeWolf) used 4,000 of them to start the library, which she named for him. She also donated 1,200 books that she and her sister Charlotte had purchased.

Today the library is part of the Ocean State Library group, which links nearly all the public libraries in Rhode Island. Of course, it's been modernized. It's bright and airy, with a brightly-colored children's section.

Bristol Library Stacks
Bristol Library Childrens room

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

History ~ The Hurricane of 1938

As the mid-Atlantic and New England batten down for a possible pounding by Hurricane Earl, many local media outlets are looking back at the unnamed hurricane of 1938 that devastated Rhode Island. Earl isn't expected to be as severe. Its worst-case scenario, according to ABC6 forecaster Fred Campagna, is closer to that of Hurricane Edna in 1954.

The 1938 storm, which came to be known as the "Long Island Express" because of the track it took through Long Island, New York, and the speed with which it moved, would be ranked as a Category 3 hurricane by today's standards. Winds were 120-125 mph. The storm surge in Providence was more than 20 feet.

The Loop, including City Hall and the Biltmore, Providence
image: Providence Journal
From Wikipedia: "Many homes and structures along the coast were destroyed as well as many structures inland along the hurricane's path. Entire beach communities on the coast of Rhode Island were obliterated. Napatree Point, a small cape that housed nearly 40 families between the Atlantic Ocean and Little Narragansett Bay just off of Watch Hill, Rhode Island, was completely swept away...The only structures lying directly on the coast that survived the storm were the immense stone mansions in Newport, mostly because the largest mansions were along the Cliff Walk, high above the waves, though several, including The Breakers and Carey Mansion (known at that time as Seaview Terrace) still bear scars from the high winds of the storm."

Many parts of the state sustained significant damage.
Cranston
image: Rhode Island Historical Society
Rhode Island (unsure of location)
image: Rhode Island Roads
Providence
image: msnbc
Watch Hill
image: SoundBounder
Newport
image: Ancestry.com
Hurricanes are unusual this far north, although they do happen. In August 2009, surfers reaped the benefits of the remnants of Hurricane Bill, and there wasn't a lot of damage.

Remember, Rhode Islanders had their collective cage rattled earlier this year by severe flooding from storm surge. In fact, the Warwick Mall just reopened a couple of weeks ago. Properties that haven't been fully repaired may be more vulnerable to storm damage.

For now, Rhode Island watches and waits for the capricious hurricane to wind its way northward.