Monday, August 10, 2009

scenes from providence: day two

Saturday was hot and sunny—an anomaly in the very rainy summer Providence has had. We started off the day by walking just around the corner to the farmer’s market. I bought fresh raspberries, home-made focaccia from Seven Stars Bakery, and the most amazing caramel from Ocean State Chocolates. I wish I would have bought more caramels. They were so fresh that they melted in my mouth-- completely unequalled with anything you can buy in a store.

A very chic Kate and a very cute Peter walking/biking to the farmer's market.

In the afternoon we went to a bunch of really cool independent boutiques on Hope Street and Wayland Square. I got great stuff, including an awesome necklace from a Providence-based designer at a cool shop called Studio Hop, a pretty summer scarf, a handmade hairpin from local Lucky Bird Studio, a funky card holder from 11:11, and my Ellington bag.

We had lunch at Red Stripe—I had a great salad with fried chevre and really amazing double-fried French fries with a garlic-mayo sauce. So unhealthy, but so delicious.

In addition to the great independent shops and restaurants, what I loved about Providence is the public art everywhere. Because of The Sprout Fund, Pittsburgh has great murals. But we don't do as good a job of incorporating art into underutilized spaces, we don't have a good diversity of public art, and we don't work with local art students enough.

Here, a RISD student created barnacles and tilework in a bus shelter. A surprising place for art, the shelter would have been dim and dreary without the installation.

These were tiles created by young students in a tunnel by the river.

This is Providence's three rivers--yes, they too have three rivers! The pits in the middle of the river (there are 100 of them) are an installation for WaterFire. Waterfire is a sculpture by Providence artist Barnaby Evans installed on all three of Providence's rivers. After shopping, we relaxed back at the house. Kate had gotten a babysitter, so she, Billy, and I went to dinner at a noodle restaurant and then headed into town for WaterFire. The pits are lit at dusk, and then boats with crews of volunteers go through the river until midnight filling the pits with more wood and keeping the fires going. It was really cool! They also had a bunch of food vendors set up and stages with music. There were like a million people there—it was packed.