Introducing: The Dean Hotel

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After much anticipation, The Dean Hotel officially opened in downtown Providence on April 3rd with one of the hipper after-parties Fountain Street has ever seen (there was a large, yellow snake involved). In the past few months, The Dean has caught the attention of The New York Times and T Magazine, but now the time has come for the student body to reap the benefits of this local commodity. Why should you check out The Dean Hotel? How is it going to reshape the way you experience Providence as a college town? The Dean has everything the young collegian’s heart could possibly desire. We love The Dean. Let us count the ways.

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1. The Dean is a hotel that is inspired by, well, us. The hotel has been carefully curated to exude an eggheaded vibe and the interior design achieves the perfect blend of Ivy League traditionalism and RISD-esque crafty eccentricity. The art, furniture, and objects that adorn the Dean warrant their own Art School(ed) post. The hotel’s website encourages Providence visitors to “come sleep with The Dean.” (How did they know about our crush on KBerge?!?) In reality, few of us will ever leave the twin XLs in our dorm rooms for The Dean’s bunkbeds, but the new hotel provides a viable option for visiting parents, and it outshines all of the other temporary lodging options in the city. The Dean follows in the footsteps of experiential New York hotels like the Ace Hotel and the Standard and brings a taste of that concrete jungle to the streets of downtown Providence, with its own New England twist.

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A Cool Thing You Probably Missed: Many, many flash mobs

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Today is not only the first day of spring, but also International Day of Happiness. What a lovely holiday. Does this involve people giving each other hugs, back rubs, and chocolates on the Main Green? Nah, too muddy for that. International Day of Happiness is actually a UN-sponsored initiative arguing that “‘progress’ should be about increasing human happiness and wellbeing, not just growing the economy.” And, as with seemingly everything these days, Pharrell is in on the act. He has lent his hit song “Happy” to the campaign (no word on his Arby’s hat).

In Providence, a group of dancers went around the city to perform a series of flash mobs to Pharrell’s song. There was even one outside Wilson at 1 p.m. and by the Starbucks on Thayer half an hour later! Check for a list of every place the group went today after the jump, via the ProJo:

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Useless Rankings: Providence has the second best downtown ever

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…And by ever, I mean in the United States in 2014 according to Livability.com. Yep, PVD beat out urban luminaries such as Indianapolis, Eugene, and Provo. (You couldn’t find 10 downtowns better than Provo?) Only Fort Worth, Texas beat out Providence. Livability didn’t just make this up; they had some impressive statistics on their side:

  • The public library was recently redone.
  • Half the office space in Rhode Island is in downtown Providence.
  • The city’s median age is 28.
  • The city’s workers only have to commute an average of 16 minutes to work.
  • We have WaterFire.

Also, the above picture is clearly a fabrication. It seems to imply that the trees will at some point sprout leaves and that it at some point will be warm enough to walk around in short sleeves. Lies.

Image via.


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Rhode Island once again has a Christmas tree

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‘Tis the season for overly dramatic and arboreal scuffles.

In response to last year’s flak regarding renaming the 17-foot evergreen in the State House a “Holiday Tree,” Rhode Island’s Governor Chafee ’75 P’14 P’17 has restored the Christmas tree title in a statement issued on Monday.

Rhode Island of all places is a peculiar site for a debate over public religious tokens, considering the Rhode Island Charter of 1663 was the first legal document in the world that completely decoupled church and state in favor of toleration, according to historian J. Stanley Lemons.

However, unsurprisingly, much of the hubbub last year surrounding the name “Holiday Tree” came from none other than Papa Bear Bill O’Reilly. In classic Factor fashion, he sent Jesse Watters up to Providence to ask Brown students for their take on the issue. Watters aired a segment portraying Brown students as the only population in the state that preferred the holiday tree over a Christmas tree, saying that all people he spoke to in Providence preferred the traditional name “except if you go to Brown University.” Continue Reading


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SPONSORED: Startup Weekend Providence

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Are you interested in business? Do you yearn to follow dozens of other college students in their quests to create startups? If so, be sure to check out Startup Weekend Providence. Startup Weekend Providence is excited to invite students of Brown University to join us for a fun, inspiring, entrepreneurial weekend beginning Friday, October 18.

Startup Weekend is a 54-hour event where designers, marketers, product managers, developers, and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and launch businesses. Come join us to validate your idea, perfect your business model, practice your pitch, and collaborate with smart, talented people. The weekend culminates with team presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders for feedback and prizes. Special deals are offered to Brown University students.

Startup Weekend has had over 400 different events in 100 countries since its founding in 2011. Tickets for students are only $50 for the whole weekend. You’ll get access to young professionals, leading business owners, and other like-minded and driven individuals. Get in on the action this weekend by registering here.

For more information, be sure to check out Startup Weekend Providence’s website.


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Art School(ed): Spotlight on Zio Ziegler

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Art School(ed) is a column about all things arty (e.g., exhibits, printmakers, gouache, the Rhode Island School of Design, zines, Van Gogh, that Circle Dance sculpture made out of impenetrable tinfoil, contemporary photography, Woody Allen, etc.) penned by a real, live RISD student.

Ever wonder what the story is behind Brickway on Wickenden’s kaleidoscopic walls? It all started at the behest of one guy with an alliterative name and a soft spot for breakfast food. Zio Ziegler, who studied at both RISD and Brown, dined at Brickway multiple mornings per week before class, and could not quite jibe with the primary colored walls of the restaurant. He arranged a trade with the Brickway staff: he would paint the restaurants’ walls in his signature style in exchange for free pancakes. The Brickway we know today is the product of one month of Zio Ziegler’s junior year, when he painted those psychedelic walls every evening after class until the wee hours of the morning.

 Zio Ziegler, a Mill Valley, California native, majored in Painting at RISD and graduated in 2010. Ziegler is the crazy hybrid of Picasso and Keith Haring with Haring’s itch for spray paint and Picasso’s penchant for murals. This dude’s free-spirited public art knows no bounds: it can be spotted on temporary walls, on Porsches, on the skate ramps of this past summer’s Vans US Open of Surfing, and on the walls of Facebook’s Headquarters. The guy paints any found object he can get his hands on. He painted a mural in one day in Vegas, in preparation for upcoming “Life is Beautiful” music festival, and you can peep his process. Hella cool. Continue Reading