Culture – Feature

Plenty of Room

A British woman’s first Thanksgiving feast, enjoyed amongst international students, turns out to be more traditional than she thought.

At first, my husband, Charlie, calls the undertaking a “nice lunch” for “a couple of students.” It doesn’t seem like a huge deal. I fancy trying my hand at roasting a whole turkey, something that is usually set aside for the Christmas feast back in England and, until now, solely the job of my mum. You see, I’m a British…

Keeping Up With Kent Stetson

The rise of a Rhode Island handbag designer.

If a single snapshot could mark a man’s arrival, Kent Stetson’s might be time-stamped January 29, 2013. It’d capture the bespectacled designer, near breathless from the thrill of it all, leading a group of latex monster/models — a fly-eyed fashionista, a hulking beast with three teeth — toting his latest line of luxury handbags down the StyleWeek Northeast runway. Behind…

He's Got Game

For thirty years, ProJo columnist Bill Reynolds has followed his own path, discovering small gems in sports stories that celebrate the underdog.

If you’re at a Rhode Island sporting event and you want to find Bill Reynolds, look for the gravedigger. “Jimmy Breslin was a young columnist and got sent to the JFK funeral, and on the train down was trying to figure out what to do that would be different from what everyone else was going to do,” says Reynolds, a…

The Flap Over the Proposed Visitor Center at the Breakers

When Newport mansions officials decided to spruce up the visitors center (light refreshments! no more porta-potties!) almost everyone thought it was a great idea. Except, that is, a few vocal neighbors.

Illustration by Carlo Stanga In retrospect, says Jim Moore, something wasn’t quite right even as early as 2006. But, then, what did he know? Though he’d been living in Newport fulltime since 1999 — and had been back and forth from Manhattan since 1991, before he’d retired for good from his post as senior vice president of financial services at…

Who is Rhode Island House Speaker Nick Mattiello?

After Gordon Fox’s sudden resignation, Nick Mattiello, a little-known public figure, hustled his way to the top job. But who is the new House speaker, and why is he called the most powerful man in Rhode Island?

Nick Mattiello has the munchies. It’s past two o’clock in the morning and the speaker of the Rhode Island House — a.k.a. “The Most Powerful Man in Rhode Island’’ — is kicking back in his State House office with a few dozen representatives, aides and supporters after a steamy marathon session in June ended past midnight with a signature triumph:…

Q&A with actor Richard Jenkins

How did you end up in Rhode Island? I grew up in DeKalb, Illinois. It’s a farming community about sixty miles west of Chicago. We used to go to the movies every Friday and Saturday night. It didn’t matter what was playing. The curtain would open — it was an event to go to the movies back then — and I’d watch the actors…

Cresting the Dunes

The summer that I thought I knew everything, I worked as a cocktail waitress at the Dunes Club in Narragansett. This was 1977, the summer between my junior and senior year at the University of Rhode Island. The most unlikely sorority girl, I had pledged that year to escape pot-infused dorm life, meet boys and have fun. From my fourth-floor…

Salty Dames

It’s been some rough sailing for the commercial fishing industry, but these Rhode Island women are up for the challenge.

Google “women” and “fishing” and up will pop lots of calendar images of smiling ladies in bikinis, cradling impressive marine specimens they probably didn’t catch. But women have long been part of the seafood industry around the world: mending nets, landing fish, stocking aquaculture ponds, harvesting shellfish, working in markets and processing plants, running seafood companies. Mostly part of small-scale…

Green Acres

Rhode Island is fringed with lush forests, farms and open spaces, but how willing are we to protect them? And how much are we ready to spend?

Above: Clay Head Trail, Block Island, with South County on the horizon. “Teakettle teakettle teakettle tea!” A tiny Carolina wren calls from a treetop in a Block Island field as Scott Comings, a bird expert by training and a land steward by profession, shows me one of his many favorite spots. It’s a chilly March day, with a pure-blue sky…