Tag: Providence

Atwells Ave in Providence is becoming a Nightclub zone

This is too funny. I’ve been saying it for some time because I too have noticed the changes on Providence’s center of Federal Hill, Atwells Avenue.

If you read the article the true problem is in about the fifth paragraph. I’ll parse it out just so you can see:

Traditionalists on the Hill complain that some nightspots offering entertainment are doing a rough trade that bothers their customers and nearby apartment- and condo-dwellers and that challenges law enforcement. There has been minor violence, too-loud music and a tendency to put out too many tables and chairs, clogging the sidewalks.

Note I bolded the term ‘condo-dwellers’. Yes, they have been working diligently to turn all the apartments that were once on Atwells Ave. into condos. And when people pay a fairly high price to live in the center of it all, they don’t want to contend with any bullshit.

I’ve seen the same thing happen on Fountain St. in Providence. They took a disused office building and turned it all into condos. On the ground flour a pub/deli opened up. And across the street in one direction is The Roxy/Lupo’s, and entertainment venue.

And of course the condo owners complained to no effect. Both businesses are still going strong.

And you know what, the cops will probably crack down on the late night scene on Atwells. The one I hope they really clamp is the tables and chairs on the sidewalks. You can do that in wide open plazas, but not on city sidewalks. It’s to the point if you want to walk down that section of Atwells you have to dodge patrons and chairs. And not for anything, DePasqaule Plaza used to be a nice little plaza with a fountain. Now it’s all gated off with tables and chairs inside the fences. The fountain is still there but the plaza has lost its charm.

It’s going to be interesting to see what happens. Another part of the article mentions that Providence is no longer majority Italian-American and that Latino and Southeast Asians are now a large contingent. They did miss one group, a fair number of those nightclubs on Atwells are owned by Lebanese and Moroccans.

And I can completely understand why you’d want to open a nightclub on Atwells Ave. The rents are fairly inexpensive, and running a club/bar is one of the lower overhead enterprises. If all you sell are booze and snacks, you’re looking at a markup percentage in the 200% to 300% range.

And eight years ago the City Council voted to rescind the cap on liquor licenses. How’d that work out?

But there does have to be some compromise to restore at least part of the character of the district. I’m glad to see that the entertainment licensees are being forced to pay for the police detail. It’s going to get to the point where it will become so expensive to open a nightclub on Atwells that it’ll fade. You can see it coming.

It’s Gay Pride Season 2010

Ooops – the date I had for NY (6/19/10) was the startup rally. The actual is on the 27th.

So Boston is the 12th. I’ve never been to Boston Pride.

Providence is on the 19th.

I suppose it’s too much to ask that the Providence Illuminated Parade actually be illuminated. What happened to gay people, we used to know how to put together a float with nothing but some 2×4’s, some chicken wire, tissue and spray paint. Now they think loading a flatbed with skinny dancing twinks and shining a couple little 13.8V lights on them is enough. It isn’t.

What happened to wanting to be in the spotlight? Hello out there – shine it brightly!

Damn it I’m doing it again. I’m sounding like a cantankerous bastard. But come on, you have to agree, do it with a little pizazz, a little flair, a little style. Don’t make it lowest common denominator or just plain common.

Health Care Stories

This evening I attended a Spaghetti Dinner sponsored by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

Met up with a couple of people on Sheldon’s staff that I had worked with when we were all at the RI Secretary of State’s office. Overall all about 130 people showed up for the event.

The event was MC’d by Providence Mayor David Ciciline:

Mayor Ciciline MCs Health Care Dinner
Mayor Ciciline MC's Health Care Dinner

And then Sheldon got up to say a few words before handing microphones out to the crowd:

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

It was a bit of a political who’s who, what with city councilmen John Lombardi (Ward, 13) , Nick Narducci (Ward 4), Peter Mancini (Ward 14), Terry Hasset (Ward 12), and Michael Solomon (Ward 5) and Rep. Grace Diaz. Also in attendance was Providence Police Chief Dean Esserman. One commonality among the politicians that attended, they all represent areas with a large number of elderly and economically disadvantaged.

There were some compelling stories. I didn’t tell mine but I’ve gone without treatment for this inner ear condition because I don’t even have coverage at this point. And the nerve sectioning in the inner ear won’t be cheap I’m sure. Other people were talking about the $15,000 for this, $7,000 for that, etc. The time and money wasted because we don’t have a viable public health care solution yet.

Sheldon did talk about a public insurance program. And he alluded to something that I should have asked but didn’t. He says that the public system will cause the private system to shape up. I suspect the public system would drain off the more expensive cases from the private insurers. In order to balance the system strong regulation would need to be put in place. Perhaps a fair system for those with expensive chronic conditions would be to create a pool of insurers including the public and assign people to those insurers by random lottery. This way all plans would share in the care for chronic conditions.

Sheldon did touch on efficiencies in health care delivery which is encouraging. But the idea of a for-profit insurer or a for-profit health provider runs counter to my beliefs. I don’t mean doctors and nurses should be taking a lower rate of pay, but that hospitals and insurers need to change the focus form providing for the shareholders to providing for the insured.

A new Providence restaurant experience

I have probably been by the place a zillion times. It’s in a place where one wouldn’t expect a French restaurant and it’s right across the street from my favorite electronics distribute, A&J Distributors.

The restaurant in question is Loie Fuller’s on 1455 Westminster St in Providence, RI. Apparently the only thing you’ll see on the doors are the initials “LF”. ProJo did a nice write up on the restaurant too.

We started off with La Chouffe for Nick and I, and Champagne Cocktails for Beth and Keyron. Then we moved on to a bottle of Cataldi-Madonna Trebbiana Abruzzo red wine. Very smooth, wine.

I’m surprised I can actually blog right now because I’ve got enough alcohol in my system to knock a horse out.

I had the green onion and pistachio ravioli, Nick had the Wild Boar, while Beth had the duck and Keyron the seafood platter. All was excellent. I particularly likes the ravioli, very rich and creamy filling in those.

For desert I had the pumpkin bread with cranberry and cream cheese. Oh that was delicious.

Highly recommend this place. It’s at 1455 Westminster Street, Providence, 273-4375. Get there at 5PM sharp, they don’t take reservations and it’ll be packed by 6:30PM. This is a place I can imagine us to return.

God damned taggers

They’ve been repainting the building. The whole front of the building is done and I guess this only presented too much of an opportunity for the taggers.

Here’s some evidence:

First Tags

I’ve been trying to decipher who NSB is to no avail. But then something changed today:

B3ba Tag

This one yielded more results. I did a google search on B3ba +Providence and came up with this.

This paragraph pretty much sealed it:

Hey I’m b3ba , 21 y-old… I hav3 two b3autiful kidz nam3d Amariliz and Cristian. I also hav3 a wond3rful boyfri3nd named St3v3n, whos th3 lov3 of my lif3.. h3 also has 3 kids of his own, which mak3 th3m my st3pkids, so you can pictur3 how big th3 family is!!! LOL!! Lik3 my own th3yre good kids… I also hav3 a b3st fri3nd nam3d Michy, who lives with m3, and h3lps m3 out alot. I lov3 h3r so much, w3 3v3n fight lik3 sist3rs!! W3ll 3nough about my fam, I hop3 you guys lik3 da pag3, and w3ather you know me or not, know you can always hit me up!! W3ather I know you or not, cuz I’m also h3r3 to mak3 n3w fri3nds!! LAT3RRZZ!!

I can tell B3ba (Beba) that she isn’t going to make many friends when her name shows up as a tag. More to the point, stop L33t’izing your text. It isn’t cute and should only be done by skilled I.T. professionals. L8r Luser.

Of course I have to friend her on MySpace to email her but it’ll be worth it because someone is going to clean that up and it isn’t going to be me.

I’ve also noted that most of the tagging occurs between Thursday evening and Monday evening. So next weekend weather permitting someone is going to get a little surprise. I’ll be there with the shotgun and the nylon ties. Once I’ve tied the perp up I’ll walk to a payphone, call the police and tell them to come pick up the garbage.

In reality I’ll more than likely video them in the act. That should be enough for the police to charge them.

It’s funny, even the Rhode Island State Police are worried about the graffiti and tagging in the capitol city, yet they can’t keep a lid on it. The biggest problem is that the taggers use magic markers which are easy to conceal, and easy to explain. It’s a little harder explaining a spray can.

The police can’t be everywhere. So it’s time for a little citizen vigilantism.

Snow Removal

If there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s cops who don’t do their duty. For example, I was passed by several Providence Police officers in their cruisers while I was WALKING in DePasquale street today. Why was I walking in the street? Because the sidewalks are impassable.

I wanted to flag one down and tell him about the ordinance that governs snow removal in the city. But then when I was about to cross Atwells Ave. I watched a Providence Police cruiser go through the yellow light, and a guy in a Lexus behind him just went right through the red light. An alert cop would have done something. This particular officer did nothing.

But then, it’s been PPD that’s blown past me in crosswalks so why should I expect anything different? To Chief Esserman, a professional police force goes beyond ending the corruption in the ranks, it goes to extended courtesy to the citizens as well as protecting us.