(Guest log by Chief Officer Newhart)
Many people write-off diminutive Rhode Island, and, after a raucous stay in Boston, we were ready to do the same. The drive to Providence was only sixty minutes, but after a long day on our feet, the whole crew was visibly fatigued. A Yale crony of Matt’s provided our Ocean State accommodation, but she and her roommate were both out of town, so we had the flat to ourselves. The location suited our purposes well, being only a few blocks from both the Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) campuses.
As soon as we finished unloading the car, I went off to forage for gruel meat. The surrounding neighborhood was unique in that it was comprised almost exclusively of colonial homes. Affixed to the front of each building was an unassuming plaque denoting the builder and the year the house was erected. The only downside of staying in such a quaint and historic district was that I was hard pressed to find a legitimate grocer. After a half hour of searching, my labor brought me to Eagle Market. The store sat on a dilapidated corner and the unwashed windows made it difficult to ascertain whether the store was open. Normally, I would have moved on, but desperation makes all men bold. So, I marched up to the door and gave it a tug. To my surprise, the door gave way and I entered the empty corner store. A soccer match, announced in what I imagine was Portuguese, played in the corner and a lean, weathered man swept the beige linoleum floor. He asked what I was looking for and I told him I needed some sort of ground meat. He thought about it for a second then told me to follow him over to the meat counter, which was suspiciously empty. The aged grocer shuffled into a room behind the counter and I soon heard the clanging of containers. Already suspect of what goes into ground meat, I walked around the counter and peered into the back. I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw the man holding fresh strips of beef, which he then brought to the counter and ground for me on the spot. Content with my scavenging abilities, I returned to the apartment and promptly succumbed to a heavy slumber.
I woke an hour later to the aroma of hot gruel wafting through the apartment. After dinner the topic of frozen treats emerged, which invariably led to our trek through the neighborhood to the local ice cream parlor. Being connoisseurs of cooled desserts, each spoon full was followed by a critique or comment importing the speaker’s knowledge of flavored milk fat. The remainder of the evening was spent paying tribute to the late Robin Williams. Having just visited Boston, we decided to watch Good Will Hunting.
The following morning we ventured into downtown Providence and ate at The Classic Café. Next on our agenda was the RISD Museum. Despite its small size, it houses a broad range of artifacts and artwork from across the world. I highly recommend it. It is worth mentioning, however, that the RISD Museum considers camera tripods weapons, so you will be asked to check them before proceeding on to the exhibits. After the museum, we interviewed millennials at RISD and Brown.
Both Phil and I had a desire to explore the downtown, so we all piled into Homer and drove to the Rhode Island State House, whose impressive exterior seemed to be the state’s vain attempt to be taken seriously by the rest of the Union. By now it was the midday, which meant that coffee must be consumed. The usual deliberation took place, as all parties put forth arguments as to why the coffee shop they preferred should be chosen over the others. Eventually, a consensus was reached and we went to Small Point Café. There was a moment of tension as each member raised his americano to his lips and took the inaugural sip. Silence ensued as each drinker contemplated his beverage. Then, in near perfect unison, they exchanged that smug, indulgent smile, which is the hallmark of all men who are content with their good judgment. After coffee the crew meandered to Symposium Books, where we thumbed through the racks and cultivated our minds with book backs.
That evening we began watching interviews from the Midwest. We made it through Madison, Chicago, and Peoria before calling it a night. The next morning we headed south to the seaside town of Newport. Since I woke everyone up before 0900, our first stop in Newport was coffee. Once the crew was properly caffeinated, we walked along the wharf. Newport is, without hesitation, a tourist city. The waterfront was packed with all manner of nautical themed restaurants and shops. Once we had our fill of seaside charm, we piled back into Homer and headed to the nearest liquor store. Our next stop was New Haven, and we knew better than to enter a college town without an offering for the natives.