Flashback: Rhode Island Monthly Through the Aughts

Oh, the “aughts.” Those years marked by technological lows (Y2K scares) and highs (hello iPhones!), the rise of reality TV with shows like “Survivor” (remember Richard Hatch?) and “American Idol,” and heartbreaking moments forever seared into our collective consciousness, like Sept. 11 and the Station Fire tragedy. And through it all, a constant: Buddy Cianci, making headlines for his role in Operation Plunder Dome, his conviction on one count of racketeering conspiracy and a five-year prison sentence, which ended in May 2007, and his return to talk radio, this time on WPRO-AM. In between the Buddy-palooza, we saw dozens of giant Mr. Potato Heads welcome visitors to the Ocean State, the demolition of the old Jamestown Bridge (finally!) in 2006, the legalization of medical marijuana and Sunday auto sales and the white-hot roller derby revival, led by the lady trailblazers at Providence Roller Derby.


11 00 Pkennedy Clambake

November 2000: About Town

It was a political who’s-who at Patrick Kennedy’s birthday clambake, where he invited a few guests — 700 — to mix and mingle with all sorts of movers and shakers, including President Clinton, former U.S. Senator Claiborne Pell and Patrick’s father, Senator Ted Kennedy.


Aug 2001 2

August 2001: 

PawSox owner Ben Mondor reflected on his twenty-five years at McCoy Stadium.


Sept 2002

September 2002:
Pawtucket resident Ryan Nassaney lost his brother Shawn on Sept. 11, 2001. We talked with him and several Rhode Islanders whose lives were forever transformed by the terrorist attacks. 


Aug 2005

August 2005:
We got in a bit of hot water for this racy Best of Rhode Island cover, featuring a stunning dress from ZuZu’s Petals. 


5 07 Sexy Xo Ad

May 2007:
Speaking of hot water, XO Steakhouses’s steamy ads raised eyebrows in the aughts.


10 07 Buddy Profile

October 2007: “Free Buddy”

Buddy Cianci, fresh off his stint in jail, shared what life in prison was like and his plans for the future.


12 09 2010 Gov Race

December 2009: “See How They Run”

Our six potential candidates for the 2010 governor’s race included Lincoln Chafee, Frank Caprio, Patrick Lynch, Rory Smith, Steve Laffey and Arlene Violet. Chafee, running as an independent, won in the end, beating Republican John Robitaille and Democrat Frank Caprio.


Foldercov Rimmar.indd

March 2010:
Reporter Mark Arsenault’s breaking story on Kennedy’s decision to leave Congress.


Whatever Happened to Patrick Kennedy?

Patrick Kennedy graced the pages of Rhode Island Monthly more than once during his twenty years in public office, including a photo spread of his thirty-third birthday party whose guest list featured then-President Bill Clinton (below right). But no story garnered more talk than a March 2010 profile by reporter Mark Arsenault, in which Kennedy revealed his plans not to run again for Congress in the wake of his father’s death. “I went through something that caused me a great deal of soul searching and self-reflection. Right now, a personal life is of greater value,” Kennedy said at the time. Since then, he’s pursued that life, getting married and starting a family in New Jersey. Still, he hasn’t forgotten his Rhode Island roots, or the issues that were central to his time in office. “Serving Rhode Island in both the General Assembly and the U.S. Congress has been the greatest honor of my life,” he told Rhode Island Monthly in January. “When I left Congress and moved to New Jersey to marry my wife Amy, I started the Kennedy Forum to advocate for the implementation of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act as well as build a policy guide to address the mental health and addiction crisis. Ensuring Americans have equal coverage for their mental health and addiction care, expanding access to that care and treating mental health as essential health remains my primary focus.” —Lauren Clem



Rhode Island Monthly Through the 80s

Rhode Island Monthly Through the 90s

Rhode Island Monthly Through the 2010s

Rhode Island Monthly Through the 2020s (So Far)