Culture

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…

Learn to Garden in a Day

It may be the sixth day of spring, but I’m here to tell you – and I know this firsthand — that staring at those little green shoots poking up in your flower beds won’t make them grow any faster, no matter how hard you look at them. What will cure that early-spring-garden lust, however, is URI's GreenShare Garden School Day…

Growing a Green Thumb

I don’t have a green thumb. At least that’s what I’ve always assumed. But the truth is I’ve never really tried. No A for effort here. All the house plants I’ve killed can be pretty much chalked up to deprivation of a most basic need: water. And then there was the once-leafy-green casualty my college roommates and I actually nourished…

Recession Vino

 As part of my lifelong search for decent cheap wine (hey, we all need a reason to live), I’ve recently got into boxed wines.I know what you’re thinking. But I’m not knocking back toxic grape alcohol under a highway overpass (at least, not yet). The 5-liter boxes of Franzia and Almaden that sit around in restaurant kitchens waiting to make…

Here’s the point

Let’s give a shout out to Burrillville’s assistant town solicitor for dropping the charges against Naomi Roberts. Roberts, you may remember, is the elementary school teacher who was accused of simple assault after she poked a 10-year-old student because he was disrupting the class. According to Assistant Solicitor William L. Bernstein, “Anyone charged with a crime has the right to…

People love Providence. Here’s proof

So sometime back when it was dark all the time – February 10, to be exact – there was this weird event at which I actually drank beer inside Providence’s City Hall (and not out of a paper bag). It was I Heart Providence, an event arranged by Connect Providence, which is a great little organization that aims to help…

In the March issue

Anyone who’s bought a house will tell you a) it’s exciting, and b) can turn into a bottomless hole into which you throw every penny you have (cue the movie “The Money Pit”). Clint and Kelly Clemens rode that rollercoaster when they bought a historic Newport firehouse. Find out how they survived the nightmare of tearing down their potential dream…

cool and unusual art classes

 If you’re among the state’s legions of un- or under-employed, or simply feel the need to flex your creative muscles, you can learn new skills and even produce some useful things at the Steel Yard, which opened registration for its spring and summer course offerings in February.This totally neat non-profit, which occupies an old factory building near Federal Hill, gives…

Rhode Island Monthly joins the 21st century!

Hello. Are you there? No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. Rhode Island Monthly has finally discovered blogging and we promise it was worth the wait. Our daily blog is called (ready?) RI Daily and we’ll be writing about what we know best: food and dining, shopping, arts and entertainment, travel, people in the news, what’s new in the current issue,…

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…