Despite having been a Brown student for nearly four years, there are still a few things I don’t understand about this puritanical city we call home. Providence, the 401, Browntown, USA, call it what you want, but there’s no denying this place is both strangely magical and magically strange sometimes. Though the list of Providence curiosities is extensive, I’ve taken the liberty of picking some winners that I find to be particularly perplexing.
1. The lack of public trashcans on College Hill: Leave the immediate vicinity of main campus and you’re more likely to find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow than you are to find a damn trashcan. As it is, the existing trashcans here on campus are confusing enough to require an AMCV class to decipher how to use them properly. Mixed containers? Solar-powered big bellies? My brain hurts. All I wanted was to be a responsible citizen, but now I have to put the remnants of my burrito in my backpack until I can Googlemaps a trash receptacle. #Capitalcityfail.
2. Underage Stripping: Did you know, up until 2009, it was actually legal for high school students to work as strippers here in the great state of Rhode Island? True story. We may be the smallest state in the union but our strippers
have had big (underage) dreams! What was the catch, you ask? Girls had to be at least 16 and home by 11:30 pm on school nights. Things may have changed, but there’s no denying it’s laws like these that fall into the oh-so-grey area between “Are they for real?” and “WTF?”
Hey, can we cut my tutoring session a little short this afternoon? I have to be on the pole at Cheaters by 7…
3. Liquor Store “Blue Laws”: Considering most of us no longer wear tri-pointed hats and our war of independence from England is long over, I can’t be the only drunken soul who thinks the whole “puritanical liquor law” thing is more than a little outdated. You mean to tell me that girl with braces from my AP chem class is allowed to gyrate in a G-string for money, but I can’t get a bottle of booze past 6 pm on a Sunday? Any chance you’d be willing to bend the rules a bit, or do those breeches and waistcoat mean that’s a no?
4. Coffeemilk: Don’t really get it. Don’t think I ever will. Next.
5. Crossing the Street: I know, I know, you’re probably asking yourself, how can this idiot not know how to cross the street? Fair enough, I’ll give you that one. At the age of 21, I should probably know how to put one foot in front of the other, make like a chicken, and cross the road, but it never seems to be that simple. Instead, I always find myself in an awkward standoff with oncoming drivers involving a number of incomprehensible hand signals, uncomfortable eye contact and the possibility they still might hit me. Now, if you’re crossing George and Brown, none of this will help, so in the meantime look both ways, look again and MAKE A RUN FOR IT.