Amuse-Bouche: north

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Tucked away in Luongo Square, you might find yourself standing in front of a tiny restaurant with soft lights shining through the window. Inside, you can make out a backlit bar with rows of obscure liquor bottles and, almost without a doubt, a crowd of hungry hopefuls waiting for a table. On the bottom right of the facade, you can vaguely make out a neon sign that reads “north” in blue script writing. Then you will know you’re in the right place.

north (sic), an Asian Fusion restaurant located in East Providence, has food that makes up in flavor twofold what the restaurant lacks in space. It offers dishes that are both irreverent and delicious; seemingly strange, yet expectation-shattering in the best way possible. The chef, James Mark, attributes the restaurant’s success to the collaborative forces that drive the culinary team. Starchefs.com calls Mark not a head chef, but the leader of “a collective, a group of cooks who are making great culinary and community strides in Providence.” The restaurant website features bios of every staff member from head chef to dishwasher; Mark emphasizes that a successful restaurant is only the product of its driven and talented staff members.

Chef James Mark of North – Providence, RI

The menu is small, but it changes daily based on seasonality. A slushie machine swirls behind the bar, filled with a daily alcoholic frozen concoction of the bartender’s choosing. A group of six diners sit at the bar, slurping down raw oysters served on a bed of crushed ice right in front of them. The five-or-so table restaurant is dimly lit and warm; the servers are dressed in ripped denim and clogs, undoubtedly with a facial piercing or two. Make sure you show up dressed casually – and with an appetite.

Due to the nature and size of the dishes, I have found that north is best experienced by going with a group of two or more. The plates vary in size, though most are closer to tapas-sized than full plates. That being said, the dishes also tend to be very rich, so a little often goes a long way. It is best to go with an adventurous group that also favors family-style-dining.

My most recent trip to north was no less exciting than the first meal I had there over a year ago. My two friends and I scoured the menu and, as usual, were able to identify only about half of the ingredients in each dish. (What exactly is quince jam and why do I want to eat it? Hoz-what?) Unfamiliarity aside, we had no issue choosing four dishes to share among us. In fact, the greatest challenge proved to be resisting the temptation to order everything.

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2014 Rhode Island election results

As Election Day comes to a close, the state’s democrats have some celebrating to do. The party’s candidates saw victories in all major state and federal positions, including the much-publicized race for mayor of Providence. Here are some of the results.

Mayor of Providence 

Jorge Elorza (D)

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Elorza, the 37-year-old judge and law professor, beat out two time mayor and ex-con, Buddy Cianci, winning 53% of the vote.

Governor of Rhode Island

Gina Raimondo (D)

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Raimondo, who beat out Cranston mayor Allen Fung (R) by three points, has been State General Treasurer since 2010. She is also a well-respected venture capitalist and lawyer. As the mother of two, her campaign emphasizes that her platforms aim to put families first. She also plans to create jobs by funding tourism, infrastructure, manufacturing, student internships and small business startups. Raimondo holds degrees from Harvard (B.A.), Yale (J.D.) and Oxford (NBD).

House of Representatives 

RI District 1: David Cicilline (D)

RI District 2: Jim Langevin (D)

Both incumbent House representatives took the win, beating their opponents by around 20% each.

Senate

With 70% of the vote Democratic incumbent, Jack Reed will continue to represent the people of RI in the U.S. Senate.

Images via and via.


Types of people you see in the rain

The rainy season is upon us. Blame whoever did the rain dance but, much like Shakira’s hips, the squish-squash of your steps don’t lie. Next time you go out, or observe people from your window, take a few moments to observe how your fellow Brunonians deal with the weather.

1. The “I’m cool” people

It’s not even that cold, guys. I’m wearing shorts and a t-shirt and am without an umbrella — but I’m still cool. These bumps all over my arms and my legs, they’re not goosebumps. For others they might be referred to as such, but for me, they’re coolbumps.

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A guide to fall running in PVD

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While running can be exhausting, awful, and pretty much the worst thing ever, running in the fall sucks a little bit less. Something about the transforming foliage, sidewalks and trails carpeted with fallen leaves, and cool, crisp weather (at least for now) makes running slightly more bearable. Make the most of your fall run, and stay safe, with these 5 tips:

1. Run where it’s fun

While I normally try not to encourage any sort of escapade into nature (because of dirt, bugs, general discomfort, etc.), the autumnal world is slightly more spectacular. Capitalize on the stunning scenery by running on some of Providence’s beautiful routes. Here are some suggestions:

Prospect Terrace Park and Benefit Street (2.5 miles): Located a couple blocks west from Pembroke, Prospect Park has some stunning views of downtown Providence. For a quick 2.5 mile route, run to the park from campus to stop and stretch, and then go a block down the hill to Benefit St. Lined with trees, historical Benefit St. looks beautiful in the fall, with its colonial houses and churches. Run south down Benefit towards Wickenden St. and then turn around and finish the run along the river. If you’d like, tack on miles by crossing the river and running downtown. Check out a sample route here.

India Point Park (3.10 miles/5k): Work India Point Park into your run to check out how the park’s views of the water look in the fall. For a 5k loop, starting at Faunce, go east on Waterman, turn south on Hope, and run until you hit the park. Run on the trails at the park, and then loop back. Suggested route here.

Blackstone Boulevard (5.5 miles): Part of the Blackstone Parks Conservancy, Blackstone Boulevard is a 1.6 mile, 100-foot wide median between two roads, stretching north towards Lippitt Memorial Park. Flanking the median’s pathway are over 300 trees and shrubs, which look beautiful with their changing colors. For a 5.5 mile out-and-back route, start from the SciLi, run north on Brook towards the Athletic Complex, turn east onto Lloyd, and run until you hit the Boulevard. Run north to Lippitt Memorial Park and back. Sample route here.

For more route ideas, check out mapmyrun.com, walkjogrun.net, and USATF.org.

2. Layer up

Until PVD weather makes its final descent into bitter, bitter cold, the weather can be a bit unpredictable. Adjust for this by wearing light layers that you can peel off or put on if the temperature shifts during your run. As it starts to get colder in November, make sure to throw on some extra layers — long-sleeve shirts, sweatshirts, and running tights — to bundle up. Alternatively, run naked. Embrace the cold. You do you.

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Under the Bridge: What Cheer? Brigade

It wasn’t Bushwick pseudo-grunge or College Hill hipster. There were drums, consistent, heavy, beating, beckoning me in. There was a mosh pit, moving as one monolithic force. There was a bridge, and under it, there was What Cheer? Brigade.

Most Brown students have seen What Cheer?, a staple of Providence’s offbeat culture since 2005, perform before; but most have seen them out of their element, on the Main Green, on Brown’s turf. What Cheer? in their natural habitat—in last night’s case, in a concrete cave below the Fox Point Hurricane Barrier—is a whole other story. A Providence story.

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On the walk to find What Cheer?, we passed The Whiskey Republic, Al Forno and Lola’s, all on South Water street. But that’s College Hill’s Providence–and more specifically, a small subset of College Hill’s Providence. At the end of the street, by the hurricane barrier, that’s Providence, a Providence not even aware of (or that doesn’t care about) the world of Whiskey Wednesdays and swaths of parents shuttling their kids to Al Forno on family weekend.

Last night, What Cheer? closed Pronk, or Providence Honk Festival, an event aimed to “Reclaim the Streets with brass, beats, and feet!” According to their website, Pronk fashions itself as “a heartfelt antidote to mainstream culture…a street intervention like no other, with outfits and misfits from Rhode Island and beyond.” The day began in India Point Park at 2 p.m. and culminated below the bridge with everyone’s favorite 19-piece brass band from Providence.

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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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