Providence, Rhode Island

Providence, Rhode Island

Providence is the capital and the biggest city of the Rhode Island.

Founded: 1636

Founder: Roger Williams

Size: 53 km2

Population: 180 000

Winter activity: Ice-rink Alex and Ani City Center

If you want to ice skate and you don´t want to pay 45 EUR for New York´s Rink at Rockefeller Square I recommend you a cheaper alternative in Providence 

I am pretty sure that it is a completely different experience than if you were in NYC but for an ordinary person who can just stand on the ice and barely walk on it this is a perfect alternative. In February me and Nikola came here and since none of us is an ice skating master, after three rounds we gave up and went on a romantic River walk.

WaterFire and River walk.

WaterFire is an annual event happening between May and November, once or twice a month on Saturdays. Providence´s downtown is full of street food, artists and music. From Waterplace Park you can see burning logs floating on the local rivers and every time you will find here around 40 000 people in the streets! Burning logs float by River walk. River walk is a beautiful place perfect for summer romantic walks (or as we did it – during the winter).

Some other interesting things that Providence offers:

Federal Hill – this neighborhood is also known as “The Little Italy”. A lot of Italian immigrants live here and you can enjoy an authentic Italian cuisine here. It is like an “Italian Chinatown”. I came here on the electric bicycle (I understood why it is called Federal HILL… I almost died) and I have noticed that at the beginning of the Atwells avenue (a place where you can find the famous pineapple gate) you will find Italian influence. But that´s it. Other than here you will find in this neighborhood a lot of Mexican´s, Guatemala´s and other South American´s restaurants and you won´t find anything Italian. Also, in the past this was a place where New England´s mafia was based (mafia of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut) – a family Patriarca. There is an interesting documentary podcast about this place of crime that you can listen here.

Electric bikes and scooters – essential part of Providence. They are really funny, affordable and the only thing you need is to download an app JUMP (for bikes) or Lime/Bird for scooters. I fell in love with the electric bikes and for any particular reason every time when I was driving them I always felt like a movie star. One day as I was driving around, about five people stopped me and were asking me one the very same question – where and how can they get these bikes because they look really cool!

Providence Anthenaeum – fourth biggest library in the US. But what is more interesting about this library is the fact that E.A. Poe and Howard Phillips Lovecraft used to come here!  

RISD Museum – an art museum, I highly recommend. It is divided into six floors. You will find here a student gallery, modern and temporary art, ancient Greece and Roma, Asia, design, reconstruction of The Pendleton House… And every Sunday it is open for free!   

Prospect Terrace Park – with a nickname “The Jewel of the City” thanks its beautiful panoramic skyline on Providence. In the middle of the park there is a huge statue of the city founder – Roger Williams who watches over his city.

Arcade Providence Mall – the oldest indoor shopping mall in the US, built in 1828. It is really big but you won´t find here a shop where you can buy postcards! I got them at Providence Station – a train station. And there they told me that this is the only place in the whole Providence where you can get postcards!

Brown University – correct, Providence is a place with one of the best US universities!   

Annmary Bown Memorial – museum of art, library and mausoleum at Brown University

Rhode Island State House – A.K.A. “A White House” as me and Nikola called it

The Colosseum – far and near Boston the only club where you can go party if you are 18+ (if I don´t count LGBT club Machine in Boston)

Bonus for the end – because what kind of blog this would be without a story?

In this story we will have to go back in time to June, 8th. After about a month of texting with one boy we agreed on a Tinder date. After an hour spent by getting ready and looking for a perfect outfit, I hopped into my car and within an another hour I came to a beautiful Providence. I came to the bar earlier than my date and since as I was stressed out, I was sweating as hell. So I spent time waiting for my date by trying to get rid of those gross wet flakes from under my armpits (I succeeded!). A date was great, we were talking a lot (or was it just me talking all the time?!?) and when I left to the bathrooms before leaving the bar, my date was gone. I told myself that I probably screwed up the date. But I didn´t. Since I didn´t see him anywhere I told myself that I will go home. And suddenly he appeared. It turned out that he just went to the bathroom as well. Okay, we went on the street and I showed him where was I parking asking him if I can park there or not because I was lost in the parking rules over there. He offered me that he can move my minivan a little bit so I should be good. Incredulously I gave him the car key. He claimed that he was a good driver. I laughed when he hit the curb. So, first (and the last) faux pas was over and we went to the downtown to hang out with his friends to the PVDFest. PVDFest is a four days long art festival. There are musicians in the streets, block parties, street food and art. It is really a great event. And as we were walking around Providence streets suddenly we saw a hundreds of people coming towards us. We were like: we have no idea where are they coming from but let´s check it out! And so we, a group of five people walked straight against a crowd of people when a police officer stopped us saying: “You can´t go there, there was a shooting!” Very funny was the reaction of my new friends – they were like whatever… And I was terrified telling myself that I was happy that we were on the other street during the shooting. Finally I felt like in America we just hear about in Slovakia. In America where shooting in such a common thing that they don´t talk about it in world news. In my dreamed America.

And do you wonder how did my date go? Well, we played pool, ping-pong, we had another date… From another one there was another one and at the end he dumped me. But I have to tell you one more dating story. His brother has a car with a manual clutch (yeah, it´s rare in the US). One evening when we went on a date, he took this car. And since I´ve been in the US I was driving manual only once, I really wanted to do it again and so I asked him if he lets me drive this car. He gave me a suspicious look and after a while of hesitating he said yes. And let me tell you I was so surprised how good I was in driving a manual! And at the end he told me that I was the first girl he has ever seen driving a manual. Well, what can I say we Europeans are awesome, haha!

Goodnight, Providence.