Rhodies Rule!

These New England favorites enliven any landscape and ask little in return.

Come April, after embarrassing months of wearing leaves that look like fat cigars, as writer Eleanor Perenyi once described them, rhododendrons unthaw and launch their show. The knock-out flowers—pink, purple, red, white and yellow—sail aloft for weeks. Sure, there’s a smidgen of labor involved, as in planting, but after that, using our quick-read, make-yourself-an-authority primer, it’s almost a free ride….

World of Extremes

In the state’s smallest, most isolated, and most seasonal of towns, summer and winter are worlds apart. That’s something Block Island residents love–or leave.

The unseasonably warm temperatures on a late fall day are accompanied by a shroud of fog that is hindering Jim Fiorato’s ability to point out the most calendar-perfect scenes from his taxi. I’m on an informal tour of Block Island with him. And I’m finding that the fog, the village shorn of summer tourists, and the narrow roads empty of…

Get Fit

25 outside-the-box alternatives to your tired treadmill-and-weights routine that are guaranteed to get you to ditch the clicker.

We got out the gym clothes and sweat through classes all over the state to compile a list of workout recommendations that will get you out of your lazy winter Netflix-and-leftover-Christmas-cookies rut. Read how we fared—plus tips from a personal trainer and where to go if you’re still an old-school aerobics fanatic or more athletically inclined—and you’ll be off the…

School of Fish

On the Blackstone River, a fisherman leans his lesson from a master angler.

When I was a boy, the Blackstone River was excluded from my fishing itinerary. I’d heard you could catch something in those polluted waters—but it might not be a fish. Years later and from afar, I heard rumors: The river was being cleaned up. Then, prior to moving back to my native Cumberland, I read in Tom Fuller’s excellent book…

The Tastemaker

Guiding the decorating desires of Newport socialites takes the skills of a diplomat as John Piexinho has discovered.

More than a decade later, oatsie charles still remembers the taste of a dessert that John Peixinho baked, a sweet concoction of poached meringue floating on creme anglaise in a burnt sugar sauce. Peixinho hosted a dinner that night for their mutual friend, Betty Blake, and it marked the first time that Mrs. Charles—the doyenne of Newport society—saw the inside…

Hidden Treasures

Settle into a pretty and private garden oasis and leave the noisy demands of city life behind.

The English poet William Blake and his missus took tea in their garden in the buff. Nothing we’d want to try (we’re certain the Blakes’ friends wish they hadn’t), but there is something to be said for a garden where you can sip a coffee in your pajamas or at least raise a glass without alerting the guy next door….

War Games

The center of excellence in undersea technology has the technology. Its mission? To create underwater devices that will defend us here and abroad.

There are reminders of the country’s  wars all around the northwest side of Newport. There is the blue span of Narragansett Bay, finally held by the French during the Revolution; at the Bay’s shore rest two decommissioned aircraft carriers, immense at their moorings. Overlooking this pair of Cold War survivors is the brick-and-glass campus of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center…

Deep Waters

The Coastal Resources Management Council affects everyone who works or plays on the water, but this powerful government agency can’t get its act together.

The lines of the shoreline here are distinctly unnatural. The forty-five acres jut at right angles into the Providence River beneath the bluff of East Providence, just south of Providence’s downtown skyline.Called the South Quay, it was originally going to be a bustling port terminal run by the Providence & Worcester Railroad. More than thirty years ago, the company dumped…

Getaways on a Time

There’s nothing worse than feeling rushed on vacation. But in our 9 to 5 world, sometimes you have to keep your eye on the clock — even when you’re off it. When vacation need is high but hours are few, these five quick escapes are all doable in a couple of days. And to combat the stress factor, we’ve designed…

32 things you must do this summer!

1 Dine outsideHere’s what dining al fresco means in my childhood home of Manhattan: you’re wedged out on a sidewalk with thirty other people, the sun beating mercilessly on your head while the rumbling heat from the subway creeps up around your feet. The section is roped off, not for the sake of containment but to keep meanderers from spitting…