So last night we got the news that our youngest cat, at 14 no less, has a malignancy in her gut. So we’re keeping her comfy but know the day will come soon when yet again we’ll have to euthanize another cat.
Anyhow, we walked downtown to visit a friend of Keyron’s. She’s working in a salon on Weybossett Street, 211 to be exact. This used to be the location of the place where I’d get my hair cut, except then it was called Salon 211. Actually Salon 211 still exists, except it is now on Chestnut Street.
As we were walking around the city a few things occurred to me. First, downtown Providence isn’t any fun anymore. It is now populated with safe, sane things like 7-11’s, etc. Oh, and Johnson & Wales University campus is eating up a pretty good chunk of downtown too.
But what happened to the comic books stores, the nut house that had fresh roasted peanuts and was right next to a titty bar. Or being able to purchase a live hamster or better yet a mom terrifying gerbil from the Woolworth’s store on Westminster St. You might even run into an unsavory character or two. Even the feeling of independence for a ten year old allowed to take a bus downtown with your friend.
And then I remember about fifteen years ago taking our friend from the burbs on jaunts through various parts of the city. One night we’re at a Newport Creamery on Smith St when a guy come up to us. First words out of my mouth are typical of a jaded city boy. “What do you want?” This completely floored our friend. Afterward he looked at me and said “I can’t believe you said that.” Of course later this and other friends determined I’d either be a hitman or a cleaner – were they ever wrong.
On another occasion the three of us were dressed in suits, overcoats, etc. and it was about 10PM, we were hungry and we stopped at Haven Brothers, the trailer near city hall. There we saw a woman ask a guy for money to which his reply was “I’ll give you two dollars if you blow me.” You just can’t get that kind of quality entertainment in the burbs. It’s been a long time since I hit Haven Brothers, much preferring the gaggers at the New York System on Smith Street.
This leads me to tell you that Providence is the playground of New England, except for more prurient reasons than you’d think.
First, we’re host to not one but two gay bathhouses, as well as a heterosexual bathhouse. There are also numerous strip joints and adult stores as well.
Now mix in the little fact that prostitution within four walls is curiously not mentioned in statute and you can see why it’s such a popular little city. That our esteemed legislators won’t close that little loophole is interesting. So the city cracks down on unlicensed masseuses etc. But think about this for a moment, suppose you wanted to open a house of ill repute. You could license everyone as masseuses, masseurs etc. and then make sure your business is licensed, you pay taxes, a fair wage to the workers/performers and who could stop you? Nobody. Hmm, business opportunity!
So with that in mind the condo construction boom astounds me to some degree. Or maybe we’re about to see an influx of the kinky. Who knows.