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Old Posted Apr 5, 2017, 4:09 PM
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"My trust is in the mercy and wisdom of a kind PROVIDENCE (Rhode Island)."

Welcome to Providence, Rhode Island. I visited last summer, on a blisteringly hot day. Here are some pictures.

It's a nice, dense, intact little city. Downtown is a solid mix of offices and interesting shops. The neighborhoods, at least those I visited in the direction of Brown University, are walkable and full.

Downtown

Of course the key thing in Providence everyone knows about is the riverfront. It's really excellently scaled; the river is about the same width as the Seine, and unlike most US cities they've lined it with sidewalks and buildings rather than grass. It needs more shops, but the scale is great.












Off the riverwalk, the center of downtown is a public square that serves double duty as plaza and the main bus hub.








On the left, a normal city bus. On the right, a limited-stop bus. It's not really BRT, but it's BRT-lite, like the LA Metro Rapid. Special branding, faster route.




The surrounding downtown streets are dense and heavy, like a good industrial revolution-era city should be. Twisty streets give off a Boston vibe (not unexpectedly).














This trip was my first time using a new camera. The focus works a little differently than my previous camera, so there are some blur issues as I learned to use the new one.



There's a little park or two.




Old Union Station.




New Union Station (sorry for blur).




State House.




College Hill neighborhood

Cross the river heading east and you're in the College Hill neighborhood.






To climb the hill towards Brown University, buses use a brief subway. It was built in 1914, originally for trolleys, and doesn't have any stations inside the tunnel. You enter here, on the downtown end...




... and emerge here, atop the hill, near Brown.




At the top, you're in the heart of the College Hill student ghetto neighborhood. It's a lot like University Way in Seattle, or University Hill in Boulder. Smaller than Cambridge.




A few blocks down, Brown University. Say hello to the Ivy League. It was summer so classes weren't in session.












Why?




The last thing I learned before leaving Providence was that Friendship is, apparently, a one-way street after all.

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Last edited by Cirrus; Apr 5, 2017 at 7:04 PM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2017, 6:27 PM
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Wonderful tour! I've always had a fondness for Providence, and smallish college towns in general. It really is a lovely city.
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Old Posted Apr 5, 2017, 8:30 PM
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Excellent I say.
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Old Posted Apr 5, 2017, 10:11 PM
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Really enjoyed this tour. Great shots, and I'm so old now I don't notice any blur. I was quite impressed with Providence when I visited the city over a decade ago. Love both the dense industrial age and college town atmospheres there. Thanks for the pics.

btw, this (and comment) is a gem:

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Old Posted Apr 5, 2017, 10:44 PM
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Awesome! Wonderful compositions, and I really enjoyed seeing a side of Providence I've never seen before.

That tunnel the buses use is cool!
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Old Posted Apr 6, 2017, 12:53 AM
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Nice looking city.
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Old Posted Apr 6, 2017, 2:07 AM
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Nice pictures! I really liked your riverfront pictures. It puts our Riverfront here to shame. But we can't do a Waterfire here, since our river is still functioning.

Providence is a pretty underrated city. I stopped by Downcity (what they call Downtown, apparently) on a Saturday night, and the crowds were good and spread out across the neighborhood. Providence has the built environment in the CBD that I'd like to see Wilmington get to. I don't think we're too far off, but there's very good density, like you mentioned, and more height there than here.
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Old Posted Apr 6, 2017, 2:43 AM
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Neat tour. Providence has a little bit of a European vibe to it.
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Old Posted Apr 6, 2017, 6:56 AM
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It's been almost 20 years right but skyline still looks the same as back in Dumb and Dumber era.
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Old Posted Apr 7, 2017, 12:35 AM
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Prettiest city I've ever been to.
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  #11  
Old Posted Apr 7, 2017, 12:41 AM
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What are those things in the water?
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Old Posted Apr 7, 2017, 4:15 AM
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What are those things in the water?
Fire pits. That's the WaterFire installation that brings people to the riverfront at night on the weekends or whenever they have it.
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Old Posted Apr 7, 2017, 4:34 PM
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Really lovely. Looks like a nice place to live.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old Posted Apr 7, 2017, 8:21 PM
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Great pics! It's a long ride from there to Aspen
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Old Posted Apr 7, 2017, 8:43 PM
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If only more American cities were as pretty as Providence. Awesome pics, Cirrus!
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Old Posted Apr 8, 2017, 2:01 AM
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I visited Providence three weeks ago and loved it. Great looking place! Thanks for the pix
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Old Posted Apr 10, 2017, 1:33 AM
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Great pics, Downcity is looking sharp these days.

Providence is a gem, it packs a lot of urban punch for such a small footprint. I recently found out that the New England mafia is actually based out of Federal Hill, not Boston's North End. Which might explain why I feel Federal Hill is a bit more authentically Italian than the North End is at this point.
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Old Posted Apr 16, 2017, 7:44 PM
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It's a great city.
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Old Posted Apr 19, 2017, 12:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Shawn View Post
Great pics, Downcity is looking sharp these days.

Providence is a gem, it packs a lot of urban punch for such a small footprint. I recently found out that the New England mafia is actually based out of Federal Hill, not Boston's North End. Which might explain why I feel Federal Hill is a bit more authentically Italian than the North End is at this point.
I have to disagree Shawn. Federal Hill , while i love it, isn't now and never was as authentically Italian as the North End, in my opinion. I know the North End is different now (sadly) but so isn't Federal Hill. A lot of my dad's family was from the North End so i've been going in since the '60's
( conversely, my mom's family was East Boston, very different Italian area) . I used to watch the feasts from my aunt's bedroom window, she lived across the street from Old North Church, 282 Salem i believe. I was a lucky guy to have been able to experience it back then. Both fantastic in their own right. I think the North End is the best "Little Italy" (dont like that moniker for the North End) in the country, i dont think it's even close. Arthur Ave in the Bronx is cool, Manhattan's is pathetic and SF's North Beach is nice but not close. Philly? love Philly, but that area not the nicest. Lots of good food places though! San Diego, surprisingly has a nice one.....I digress
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Old Posted Apr 19, 2017, 2:23 AM
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Originally Posted by sterlippo1 View Post
I have to disagree Shawn. Federal Hill , while i love it, isn't now and never was as authentically Italian as the North End, in my opinion. I know the North End is different now (sadly) but so isn't Federal Hill. A lot of my dad's family was from the North End so i've been going in since the '60's
( conversely, my mom's family was East Boston, very different Italian area) . I used to watch the feasts from my aunt's bedroom window, she lived across the street from Old North Church, 282 Salem i believe. I was a lucky guy to have been able to experience it back then. Both fantastic in their own right. I think the North End is the best "Little Italy" (dont like that moniker for the North End) in the country, i dont think it's even close. Arthur Ave in the Bronx is cool, Manhattan's is pathetic and SF's North Beach is nice but not close. Philly? love Philly, but that area not the nicest. Lots of good food places though! San Diego, surprisingly has a nice one.....I digress
No judgment on Boston, but I wouldn't discount the authenticity of Providence's Little Italy. While you're more likely to find Italians in Johnston or North Providence these days, just about everyone of Italian descent in the state -- and this is the most heavily Italian state in America -- traces their roots to Federal Hill. None other than Mario Batali has called Federal Hill the most authentic Little Italy in America.

As for the Mafia, the New England family was based in Providence for a long time, I believe at least in part to avoid competition from the Irish mob in Boston.
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