Fire Water

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 As I move further east in my journey and close in on the roots of America, the cities are older, the cornerstones earlier, and the historical placards more plentiful. Brick roads edged in granite twist in and around and through the narrow streets. Potholes formed through innumerable  horse hoofs, wagon wheels, tires and footsteps have carved deep character into these places. Mature trees line the buckled sidewalks. Rows of buildings rise above the city floor, crafted ages ago of brick. The broad porches of the Mid-West have given way to stately white columns and wrought iron. This is New England. This is Providence.

A shallow canal runs through Providence. Ten evenings each summer, fire pits welded to its floor are lit by volunteers in boats heaped with wood. Fire Water nights are wonderful. Classical music fills the air, people crowd the banks, the fire pits crackle and wafts of camp smoke drift through the warm air. It’s truly magical.

Providence has so many historical markers that a large plaque should just be erected at the edge of town that reads: Historical Place. It has outgrown a stent of corruption (the Italian Mob started here, a Mayor ripped off the city, and local police were in bed with both). Providence has laundered its sheets, and  has emerged as a great travel destination. What did I find by exploring Providence? Plenty! Here’s just a splash: The Duck & Bunny Snuggery and Coffee Exchange on Wickenden Street, Roger Williams Park, AS220 community art space, The Arcade, Prospect Park, Trinity Brewhouse, Seven Stars Bakery, Spectrum-India (everything you don’t need in one location), the Rare Books Room at John Hay Library on the Brown University campus (there are a couple books there bound in human skin…really!), Big Nazo Lab. and, of course, Newport, Rhode Island, just minutes from Providence.

Thanks Kat! You are sooo awesome!


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