Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Tour of Providence

Like I've said in a previous post, despite living in Rhode Island for six years I've never really taken the time to explore Providence. Yesterday I slipped my camera around my neck and took a bus into the city, and walked around snapping pictures. I browsed in shops, I looked up at the buildings, I smiled at people walking around and pretended to be a tourist.

Apparently I looked like a tourist, with a backpack strapped to my back and the camera slung around my neck. People struck up conversation with me on street corners as I was waiting to cross, "Where are you from?" When I told people that I lived locally and just felt like puttering around the city they lost interest in me. Then I began to lie and tell people I was from Indianapolis and they began to give me advice on interesting things I needed to see and take pictures of.

I walked around for almost three hours, until my feet ached and the camera ran out of battery power. Here are my favorite shots.

Westminster Street

Water Place Park. This is a great place to spend a summer evening as the city floats huge torches on the water. You can walk along the river, look at the fires, see some outdoor art exhibits done by students at RI School of Design, listen to music, etc.

This is the Wall of Hope, located under a bridge just off of Water Place Park. The wall is made up of hundreds of tiles painted by school kids just after the September 11th attacks. It is a very moving exhibit, every time I see it I discover another favorite tile.

A view of the State House and the city from Benefit Street at dusk.

A very cool tree in a park just off Kennedy Plaza.
And now the most notable Providence landmark, the State House. I've never been inside the building, I think that will be on my next Providence site seeing tour.

Until yesterday I didn't even know Providence had mounted police officers. Here they are in Kennedy Plaza.

This is a map of Providence back when it belonged to farmers. The map is located near the Wall of Hope. Each farmer owned a narrow strip of land, and now some of these farms have become street names, for example Thomas Angell's farm became Angell Street, Thomas Olney's farm became Olney Street, William Wickenden's farm now has it's own exit off of I-195, well, Wickenden Street does. Mr. Wickenden would never have believed that his name would be on an exit sign if you told him about it back then.

This is the ice skating rink that gets set up every winter. I've never skated on this one, but it looks like fun.

Fountain in a park near Kennedy Plaza.

A doorway on Washington Street, I think.

Del's frozen lemonade is an institution in Rhode Island. In the summer you can see Del's trucks at all the parks and beaches. Del's is fabulous with a shot of Citron as well, or so I've read.

The Providence Biltmore sign has been a fixture on the Providence skyline for I don't even know how long. Just to the right is the hotel's glass elevator, the view from which is amazing.

This is the clock tower on the Providence Amtrak station. If you are ever catching a train in Providence, please be sure to wear a watch. As you can see, the clocks on the tower appear to be quite unreliable.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been in my current city for almost six years, and I definitely need to do something similar. I should be ashamed of myself for being so unfamiliar with my own town.

January 30, 2008 at 4:22 PM  

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