Providence Coffee Shop Round-Up

Fall break is almost upon us. For those of us staying in Providence for the long weekend, this downtime is ideal for exploring new places in the area. While Blue State will always be near and dear to our hearts, it’s time to get off the Hill and see where else you can get a coffee buzz. See below for some of the best places in Providence to enjoy some down time and get your caffeine fix.

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White Electric Coffee

White Electric Coffee is a bagel-eating and coffee-drinking hipster’s haven. Located on Westminster street, White Electric’s menu includes a variety of breakfast and lunch items, including an impressive list of alternative bagel toppings that range from Laughing Cow cheese, to Tofutti cream cheese, to Nutella. The coffee is claimed to be “some of the best in Providence,” oh, and they make their own coffee stout.

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A cool thing you shouldn’t miss: Tonight We Improvise

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Rebecca Maxfield ’13 graduated Brown with a bachelor’s in theatre arts and performance studies. While at Brown, Maxfield found time to study Italian and translation; for a final project, she translated Questa sera si recita a soggetto (translation: Tonight We Improvise).  Although she had long been contemplating translating and directing it, she saw the final project as an opportunity to make a first pass at it in a workshop environment. Since then she’s continued to work on the script. Additionally, Maxfield produced The Tempest for her capstone project. Since graduating has directed Gianni SchicchiThe Light in the Piazza, and other Shakespeare, as well as assistant directing various classic and modern plays in New York and in Providence, including The Grapes of Wrath at Trinity Repertory.

This weekend, Maxfield is producing Tonight We Improvise at 95 Empire, formerly Perishable Theatre and now part of AS220. Tonight We Improvise is “a rarely performed play from one of the great theatrical thinkers of the early twentieth century, Luigi Pirandello. Known for Six Characters in Search of an Author, the playwright uses this play to tackle, in a way that is on-point and often hilarious, what it means to act.” The cast and crew includes two current undergrads, Pu-Ning Chiang and Marissa Grier, and an MFA acting student, Billy Finn.

The play will run tonight at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Not down with the cover charge for whatever party you were planning on attending? Tickets are free for Brown and RISD students!  Escape the chaos that will be the 250th Opening Celebration and head off the Hill to see a really cool performance and support an alumna.

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Get off the Hill: Cinco de Mayo Block Party

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The ever joyous and festive Cinco de Mayo tends to fall during a not-so-festive reading period for Brown students. Sure, this timing may be less than ideal, but engaging in the Cinco de Mayo festivities is a welcome break from the tedium of studying. Need a study break? Here are six reasons why you should check out the 3rd Annual Cinco de Mayo Block Party, taking place today from 12-6 p.m. on Westminster between Eddy and Clemence.

  1. Face painting. Everyone needs to regress a bit, especially during finals.
  2. Mariachi de Brown. Bet you didn’t know we had a mariachi band.
  3. Curious as to where all your favorite food trucks are? They may or may not be on dishing out on Westminster. Go say hello to Like No Udder, Sprout, Mijos, and PVD Pudding Pops, among others.
  4. Writer’s block? You can write Happy Cinco de Mayo messages on a Mini Cooper courtesy of ZipCar.  Get those creative juices flowing.
  5. Stressed? Smash a Pinata…or two.
  6. If you’re of age, get your tequila fix at the Block Party’s outdoor bar. It’s a beautiful day, and margaritas are calling your name.

See you there!

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The Weekly Dive: Aruba Steve’s

Aruba Steve's

Brent Grossman-McKee ’13 and Leslie Clark ’14 both contributed to this post. I love hitting up random dive bars on my own, of course, but friends make the trip exponentially more fun. 

In short:

Hours: 11 a.m.–2 a.m.
Attire: Swimsuit
Accepts credit cards: I guess
Ambience: Ocean-themed
Price range: $
Good for groups: If they can fit inside
Good for kids: Perfect replacement for the beach!
Takes reservations: No need
Outdoor seating: No way
Good for: Meeting drifters
Alcohol: Full bar, Fish-based drinks
Noise level: Loud-ish. Depends how drunk the singer is.

The long version: 

After a typical week of light working and heavy drinking, Leslie, Brent, and I decided to relax by going out. After some light drinking, we moseyed our way downtown with every intention of going to a typical bar, but on our way we got a little lost, on account of the drinking. Purely by chance, we found ourselves outside of Aruba Steve’s.
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Check out the Hope Street farmers market!

Quick! Today may be your last chance of the semester to check out the outdoor Hope Street farmer’s market — a huge collection of local meat, seafood, produce and various other vendors such as Seven Stars Bakery. The market runs every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the grassy area between Rochambeau and Blackstone Boulevard, until it moves to its indoor location in Pawtucket for the cold winter months.

With or without parents here this weekend, the Hope Street market is a great place to visit and is easily accessible via the 42 RIPTA bus. It’s more than a larger version of the Wriston farmer’s market Wednesdays — the market is filled with Providence locals, cute children, and animals that remind us that people outside of the age of 18-23 exist (a phenomenon known as the “College Hill Bubble”).

In case you aren’t convinced that this market is our jam, we have a few thousand words to share…

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Get off the Hill: Truck-a-palooza Edition

Lunchtime on Thayer between Waterman & George is a beautiful thing. Where else can you get a side of tacos for your bulgogi rice set? Well, tomorrow you can feast on your favorite meal on wheels and do some good for our community. Four food trucks— Thayer Street favorites Rocket and Providence Coffee Roasters, as well as Roxy Lobster and Jack’s Ice cream—are hosting a food truck extravaganza dubbed Truck-a-Palooza. From 1-4 p.m., these trucks will park at Roger Williams National Memorial and serve delicious nomz for charity. Ten percent of their profits will go to the City Meal Site food bank. Good food, good cause, and a good reason to leave the Hill.

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