Monday, March 30, 2009

Orchard Church

Three blocks from our house is Orchard Street (a very short and very wide street) the home of the stone Gothic-Revival (just the architectural style, not the theology) Saint Martin's Episcopal Church, designed by Wallis Howe in 1917. To the right is a limestone rectangle of a theological neighbor, the modernist building that is Temple Beth El, which I believe Superman's mom attended.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hope Artiste Village & The Blackstone

The Winter Farmer's Market in the Hope Artiste Village was jammed due to an article in the paper the day before (that we didn't know about till we got there). A bit too tight. Hope Artiste Village is filled with artists (or artistes) in a form loft complex that began life as Hope Webbing, the largest mill of its type. There is a melange uses in its 350,000 SF, including duck pin bowling.

Then on to beer 'n burger at The Blackstone - a nice bar, restaurant, music club in Pawtucker that we stumbled over to from the Farmer's Market. On a cold day, it was warm enough to sit outside in the sun on their deck. For the food we went inside, and was enveloped in a cozy combination of black, copper and neon.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pizza Cop

Outside of Fellini's Pizza on Wickenden is a rather disturbing statue that slows down car traffic and hopefully waves them in for a slice. It holds the daily menu as well. Pizza Cop is only about five feet tall with exaggerated features - appropriately Fellini-esque.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

View from My Throne

Having studied these views extensively, I decided to do some quick sketches of my Royal Realm. Our 1860's farmhouse certainly had no indoor facilities originally, and the chamber we inherited had not been updated for 70 years. Ripping out the leaky guts required all new floors, wall, tiles - the only thing that stayed was the old Crane sink with the snazzy chrome legs. The floor was recovered with new fir, which looked good, but make all of the other scruffy floors look dubious, so we painted it a yellow (creamier than my rendition) in homage to the various colored paint that we painstakingly vaporized from all of the other floors.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Goin' Down

On Sunday we went down to Corliss Landing. The building on the left is the former Corliss Steam Engine Building and then the New England Butt Company (brass fixtures and recipient of jokes) and is now - suprise! - condos (but some of the first done in the 70's). The exploding snake of stone, steel, concrete and dirt is the ongoing demolition of I-195, which is being moved to the south so that several neighborhoods can be reunited with Downcity in the distance. We Managed to score some nice cut granite stones that were in the discard pile to make stepping stones for our garden. A rather pedestrian use for a former super highway.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Observing the Bright Ladd

Brown University's Ladd Observatory (named for a governor) was built in 1890 on what was one of the highest points in Providence called Tin-top Hill (named for hanging tin cans in a tree for use by surveyors). Besides the telescope, they also followed transits (instruments that allowed measurements of the heavens) and furnished time signals to fire stations (much like the six beeps that signal the exact hour on BBC Radio) only stopping in the 1970's when they observed that no one was receiving them any longer. It is open to the public on Tuesday nights.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

NIght at the Theatah

Went to see "A Raisin in the Sun" at the Trinity Rep Theater. Beautiful gleaming exterior of white terra cotta, built in 1917 as the Emery Majestic. In the 70's the interior was torn out and several blackish box spaces put in. Today it supports a thriving repertory company and injects nightlife into Downcity. Before and after the show, we imbibed and irrigated ourselves at Tini, a 20 seat tiny martini and small plates. The Tini Weenie was particularly good and an appropriate homage to both the size and provenance of the space, having been the longtime kennel for a New York Weiner System joint called the New Yorker (a peculiar Providence tradition of a small coney with chili).

Monday, March 9, 2009

Oogling at Olga's

Looking out onto the chilled, inert patio of Olga's, favored breakfast place of the arterati. This part of Providence's Jewelry District (former factories for the 19th century jewelry biz) is awash in lofts, small restaurants and clubs, but not much in the way of boutiqueyness, except for the small 10' x 10' building in the middle distance.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

House / Boat

Moored at the tip of a pizza-slice block that is bounded by Rhode Island Ave and Nisbet St, this late 19th century house pushes its prow of a porch into the street-sea of asphalt.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Open the Floodgates!

The '38 hurricane and Carol in '54 drowned Downcity Providence in eight feet of water and brought about this massive barrier in Fox Point to hold back the tide. The other structures are the new bridge to the left (the highway is being moved out of downtown) and the power generators to the right, built in 1995.

The 19th Century has no lock on brawny infrastructure!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What Cheer!

"What Cheer, netop!" is the greeting the Narragansett Indians gave Roger Williams (founder of Rhode Island) at a cove not far from Wayland Square, where What Cheer Antiques and Vintage makes its stand. Mr. Williams could have found a tuxedo here for $30, as did I.

Above What Cheer is a fine used bookstore, Myopic Books. Next door is the UPS store, so the big brown van is often momentarily in view. This section of Providence's Wayland square is chockablock with boutiquey furniture stores, salons, baby cloths and Minerva's Pizza.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Water, Water, Everywhere...(except where it isn't)

Streets of water, water for streets. Turquoise, Venetian Red (of course), Ochre, and a kaleidoscope of deep colors floating on the limpid liquid. My first visit to Serrenissma in 2006.

One of the Medici's first out-of-town spreads, this fortified villa was based on earlier castellos. These buttresses shown support a protected walkway on the top floor (great for boiled oil). This was the site of Cosimo Medici's Platonic Academy with one member, Michelozzo being the esteemed architect.