My alma mater, Rhode Island School of Design, otherwise known as RISD (pronounced riz-dee) is a unique art school situated atop College Hill in Providence, RI along with Brown University. The quaint cobblestone streets in this part of the city are lined with historical homes that boast placards stating the name of the home and build date, many in the 1800's. I love the various muted color combinations, which reference old milk-paint colors from another era, that make each home unique.
For this weekend away Mr. RaeChild and I tried our first shared apartment experience via Airbnb and were happy we did. For one, we graduated with two of the three Airbnb founders and appreciate the business they have developed, and also the host was a fellow RISD Architecture Student whose apartment is blocks from my favorite college-years coffee shop: Coffee Exchange. This shop is a community hub for academics and locals and is always abuzz with interesting chatter. My favorite part is the extensive selection of pay-per-pound beans, roasted on site! I was thrilled when "Ben The Roaster" gave me an impromptu coffee lesson as he roasted a unique heirloom bean - I had no idea how much science is involved in my daily brew.
If you are considering visiting Providence, RI for a weekend I would suggest stopping by the RISD Museum. I am definitely biased, but this museum has one of everything. The breadth and range of work they show surprises me every time. This visit I discovered a room of custom sized, openable drawers filled with vintage textiles, gowns, purses, shoes and tortuous corsets. The Pendleton House wing is like stepping back in time with period furnished rooms complete with historical wallpaper. There is plenty to see and appreciate throughout the museum but I can't deny how excited I get to see the impressionist wing, and in particular this classic Monet painting. No matter how overly commercialized his work has become (think fridge magnets + thank you notes) it brings me back to discovering fine art in my adolescence.
As I hoped this post might help generate ideas of places to visit while in Providence, I might mention to schedule your visit during a Water Fire weekend. Stationary baskets of wood are lit in the middle of the canal, appearing to float while dramatic symphonic music plays. There are many tempting food vendors.
Speaking of food! Here's a list of some of my favorite college digs (the ones that still exist):
- Geoff's Superlative Sandwiches - Sandwiches such as the "Godzilla" can and should be ordered with extra "Dragon's Breath" Also, there are free pickles, you can go in just for pickles if you want.
- Eastside Pockets - Best falafel. Just go and try and you'll be really happy you did.
- Cablecar Cafe - Highly caloric ham and cheese on croissants, perhaps more appreciated in my younger years. Doubles as a cinema so catch a film while you're there!