Tuesday, December 31, 2002

The Peanuts Tarot

It's not Rhode Island based, but it's so fantastic that I had to point to it.

The Peanuts Tarot! A fantastic concept brilliantly executed.

Monday, December 30, 2002

First Night Fall River is Free!

One of the nicest First Night's I've ever performed at was First Night Fall River. One of the reasons why is that it's free! That really puts people in the holiday mood! The other thing is that it's not very large, so you see more of the community come out.

Festivities begin at 6:30 pm with a Mardi Gras parade leaving from Kennedy Park, where free masks, maracas and other party favors will be given to the first 500 to arrive; travels down South Main Street to Government Center, where the first floor will be transformed into a "Candyland" theme. All 17 venues are around Government Center and will be open 7 pm-midnight. Entertainment begins at 7:30 pm, with most performers doing four sets, at 7:30, 8:30, 9:30, 10:30. There will be a huge barbecue pit,a lifesize Candyland Game you can actually play, giant gingerbread house, and woodcarving demonstrations. Free ice skating will be set up next to the Fall River Post Office, and there'll be fireworks displays at 7 pm and midnight.

Sadly, they don't seem to have a website, so give them a call to see who's performing. Looking over their schedule, I noticed the Wright Brothers, the Suspenders, Alex the Jester, Sparky's Puppets, and Roomful of Blues. I can attest that all of those performers are really quite good!

Give them a call at (508) 324-2600 to get the full schedule.

Friday, December 27, 2002

First Night Providence 2003

First Night Providence is almost here!
First Night Providence is Rhode Island’s most dynamic artistic celebration, a spectacular and diverse arts extravaganza mounted in downtown Providence on the eve of each New Year.

Featuring nearly 200 acts in 30 indoor venues within downtown Providence, First Night Providence has grown mightily since its inception in 1985. First Night has drawn as many as 50,000 people to the day-long festivities. Family oriented and alcohol-free, the event offers a wide range of creative, often participatory activities for the enjoyment of audiences of all ages.

Beginning in the early afternoon and culminating with a spectacular fireworks display at midnight, the city becomes a stage with magicians, storytellers, poets, comedians, dancers, mimes, puppeteers, actors and musicians of every stripe.

Supported by the generosity of citizens and business, First Night has become a major player in Providence's cultural landscape.

Buttons to see all the festivities are just $12, and are available at a variety of locations. See the website for details.

You can also plan your evening using the First Night Database !

Thursday, December 26, 2002

"Asco wequassunnu'mmis netop"

  (Good Morning, Friend)

The Narragansett Indians are the descendants of the aboriginal people of the State of Rhode Island. Archaeological evidence and the oral history of the Narragansett People establish their existence in this region more than 30,000 years ago. This history transcends all written documentaries and is present upon the faces of rock formations and through oral history. The first documented contact with the Indians of Rhode Island took place in 1524 when Giovanni de Verrazano visited Narragansett Bay and described a large Indian population, living by agriculture and hunting, and organized under powerful "kings".

The Narragansett website has history, programs, links, employment opportunities, a newsletter, and many other interesting things about the Narragansett tribe. Click above to find out more about the aboriginal residents of Rhode Island.

Wednesday, December 25, 2002

H O L I D A Y S !

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

If you are looking for the perfect stocking stuffer, you might consider a Powerball ticket. Right now the lottery is up to an estimated $280 million ($151 million cash option)

If somebody does win the jackpot, it is going to be a very happy Christmas indeed! (actually, it will be a day late, because the drawing is on Wednesday the 25th!)

Of course, the odds of any one person winning are incredibly low (an estimated 1 in 120,000,000 chance.) That number is literally so close to zero that you have a better chance of getting hit by lightning 3 times in a row during a rainless day. But somebody is eventually going to win it, and YOU can't win it if you don't play.

Money the state earns from the lottery goes into Rhode Island's general fund, so it's possible that you could be helping out the libraries or the schools by playing. (Then again, you could have been buying expensive steaks and lobsters for the Governor of Montana when he was here.)

See the Powerball Home Page


Monday, December 23, 2002

King Tusk, Ringling Elephant, dies at age 57.

King Tusk, once billed as the Largest Living Land Mammal for Ringling Brothers Circus, passed away a few days ago. King Tusk, also known as Tommy, was a real trooper, and performed admirably for most of his life with the circus. He entertained millions, and he will be missed.

Rhode Island has a dead elephant in its history too. On May 24, 1826, a 12 year old Elephant (Little Bett-- only the second elephant to walk the American continent !) and her trainer were crossing the only bridge out of the village of Chepachet after a show, when shots rang out from a nearby grist mill. Little Bett was killed nearly instantly. The next day, her carcass was skinned and the hide sent off to the Boston Museum. Seven men were found guilty of the shooting, and two of them were kicked out of the Masons for their deed. May 25,1976, was declared Elephant Day, and a plaque on the bridge was placed to mark the spot where Little Bett met her maker. To this day, Chepachet continues to celebrate Elephant Day every May 25.

Read more about Little Bett

Even more about Little Bett
(From the Chepachet historian who helped start Elephant Day!)

Read More about King Tusk

Friday, December 20, 2002

A Tribute to Christiana Bannister

A bust of Christiana Bannister, a successful businesswoman, fundraiser, Underground Railroad worker, hairdresser, and supporter of the arts was recently honored at the State House in Providence a couple of days ago. She is the second woman and the first woman of color to be immortalized in the State House.

To read a more full account of Bannister's life, check out this article by Jane Lancaster, a fellow at the John Nicholas Brown Center at Brown University.
[ The article recently appeared in the Providence Journal, so you might need to register or sign in to see it (and it might expire)]

Read the Biographies of some other famous Rhode Island women.

Thursday, December 19, 2002

RI Holocaust Museum Book Club

Every second Wednesday of the month, the RI Holocaust Museum Book Club meets at 7 pm at Borders in Cranston to discuss a pertinent book. This month it's Imperfect Justice by Stuart Eizenstat. It's a very special night, because the author himself will be there to read and will also share from his newly published book on the legal battles that continue to be a legacy of the Holocaust.

The evening is 7 pm, January 8, 2003 at Borders Book Shop in Garden City. AVAILABLE AT AMAZON.COM!


Providence Black Repertory presents its second annual production of playwright/actor Ricardo Pitts-Wiley's holiday piece, which tells the story of Azu, an African "futureseer," through storytelling, music and dance. Part of the Performing Arts Series at Rhode Island College's Roberts Hall, 600 Mount Pleasant Avenue, Providence, Rhode Island (401-621-7122), through December 29. Curtain is at 2 p.m. on Monday, at 8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, at 2 p.m. (December 28 only) and 8 p.m. on Saturday, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $20/ $15 seniors and children 12 and under.

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Organized Crime in Rhode Island

The Providence archway to Federal Hill

Rhode Island has had a bad reputation as a corrupt state, a high crime state, and a state run by organized crime (ie. The Mafia) While no state is 100% corrupt or 100% honest, truth be told, we've had our share of bad occurrences and infamous people. Here's a couple of pages that look at our not so glorious history .

New England Mafia Homepage

Mob War in Beantown (by Allan May)

The Providence Mob (by Allan May)

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

The New England Blizzard of 1978
If you think that the weather the last few days has been bad, you should read about what happened during the Blizzard of '78!

A personal account

Read the Providence Journal's Version

Weather.com's Storms of the Century

Friday, December 13, 2002

Santa Lives in Pawtucket!

Well, at least the Santa To the Stars © does!

Brady White, one of the most sought-after Santas around, lives right here in Pawtucket. He travels around the world throughout the year performing as Santa in films, television, and live appearances. His beard is even insured by Lloyds of London!

By checking his website, you can see how many seconds there are until Christmas, see a host of articles written about him, and even read about the Alzheimer Fund that he's started!

Santa arrives in Woonsocket!

In what's become an annual event, Woonsocket will host a Christmas Tree Lighting today at 4:30 pm. And then at 5 pm, Kris Kringle, the original Santa Claus, will arrive. The event takes place at River Island Park in Woonsocket, and it's absolutely free! (I believe Santa is also at all 3 major malls as well!)
(As far as I know, Brady White is not any of those Santa's. But who really knows!)

Thursday, December 12, 2002

Providence Gains a Partner!

Sloop Providence Salutes the USS Providence

On Tuesday, December 10th, Providence Temporary Mayor John J. Lombardi announced a namesake partnership to establish a bond between the City of Providence and the Los Angeles class nuclear submarine USS Providence - SSN719.

The namesake partnership will support the morale of the ship's crew and their families as they return to sea, which will add a new dimension to the cultural life of our city, and introduce the students and citizens of Providence to the (non-classified) particulars required in being a sailor on a nuclear sub.

Check the website-- by the end of December, they should have an email address that will allow anyone to write to sailors aboard the ship.

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Tom Chandler --Poet Laureate of Rhode Island

Tom Chandler is the poet Laureate of Rhode Island and a professor of creative writing at Bryant College. He is also the editor of the international poetry journal Bryant Literary Review

Read a couple of poems by Tom (Private Alamo, and The Lobsters (from the Adirondack Review)

Read a poem about Water Fire We Are Burning

Listen to a radio interview with Tom (from Focus RI on National Public Radio)

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Sarah Doyle Women's Center at Brown University

The Sarah Doyle Women's Center, founded in 1975, was named in honor of the prominent Rhode Island educator, Sarah Doyle. The SDWC welcomes women and men who have interests in issues of gender and in issues that concern women in particular.
The Center offers a variety of services and programs, as well as meeting space for university and community groups. The center houses an art gallery, a darkroom, an extensive library and resource center, and a student lounge. Workshops are also sponsored at the center.

Find out more about the center

Call the center at: 401.863.2189 or 401.863.1781

Visit the center at : 26 Benevolent Street Providence, RI 02912

Monday, December 09, 2002


In between the flea circus in New York (every weekend through December 29), I've got some Holiday Booksignings coming up in Rhode Island that I thought I'd mention. If you are in or near these areas, stop on by and say Hello!

You'll get a free Rhode Island removable tattoo!

Website about the book

Website about the flea circus

Monday December 9,2002 5:30-9 pm
Herreshoff Marine Museum 401-253-5000
One Burnside Street, Bristol, RI 02809

Wednesday December 11,2002 6-8 pm
Walden Books (Bellevue) (401) 846-5067
181 Bellevue Ave Newport , RI 02840

Thursday December 12 , 2002 6-8 pm
Walden Books (Connell Highway) (401) 846-7160
199 Connell Hwy Newport , RI 02840

Tuesday December 17, 2002 6-8 pm
Walden Books (Wakefield) (401) 783-0554
160 Old Tower Hill Rd Wakefield , RI 02879

Wednesday, December 18, 2002 5-8 pm
Barrington Books (Barrington) 401-245-7925
184 County Road Barrington, RI 02806

Hope to see you at one of these!

Friday, December 06, 2002

Odetta plays tonight!

Odetta, folk and gospel singer extraordinaire, will play at Chan's at 8 pm and 10 pm tonight.

You don't want to miss the chance to see her work the simple magic of her voice.

Tickets for the 8 pm show are $20 and 10 p.m. are $15, ( $25 for both shows)

Check it out at Chan's

267 Main Street, Woonsocket). Call 765-1900 for more info or reservations.

Thursday, December 05, 2002

Chanukah Party!

Saturday, December 7 from 7-11 pm
JCC, Providence

Perspectives, a young adult organization that brings young Jewish adults 20's-30's (married or single) together, is throwing a little Chanukah party.

Join them for latkes, sufganiot, wine, other holiday food & drink, games, prizes, and multimedia chanukah happenings!

Bring a $5-$10 gift for the mystery mendel grab bag!
Contact Andy for menorah making contest rules.

You could be a winner! $6 rsvp by dec 4th, $8 at the door!
Chanukah is over and everything must go!

Check out their website!

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

Give Peace a Chance!

A Benefit concert for the Rhode Island Peace Mission will be held on Sunday December 8 at 4 pm. Admission is $8 adults, $5 kids, $25 family. The concert will be held at the Central Baptist Church at the corner of Lloyd & Wayland in Providence.

The concert will feature Nancy Hood with Rick Keller, Otis Read and Phil Edmonds, Joyce Katzberg, Cheryl Albright with Jim Tull and Nisha Purushotham, Mark Binder, Newman Church One Voice Band, and Bill Harley

The Rhode Island Peace Mission is a coalition of 24 religious and community organizations committed to peaceful approaches to global security. Member organizations include the American Baptist Churches of RI, American Friends Service Committee Southeastern New England Area, Baptist Peacemakers of RI, Central Congregational Church-UCC Mission & Action Committee, Diocese of Providence Secretariat for Social Ministry, Episcopal Diocese of RI, Fellowship of Reconciliation RI Chapter, First Unitarian Church Social Justice Council, The Fund for Community Progress, Green Party of RI, McAuley House, Newman Congregational Church-UCC, Priests for Justice, Providence Friends Meeting, RI Committee for Nonviolence Initiatives, RI Conference United Church of Christ Division of Church in Society, RI Peace Action, RI Peace and Justice Education Fund, The RI State Council of Churches, RI United Methodist Association, Sisters of Mercy Regional Community of Providence, Smithfield Friends Meeting, Southern RI Islamic Society, Inc., and Witness for Peace.

For more information about the concert or the organization, visit their website or give them a call 401-724-7700

If you'd like to find out about other peace-loving events in the area, visit the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) website

Tuesday, December 03, 2002


A couple of weeks ago, the Providence Phoenix featured articles about six individuals who are making a difference in Rhode Island. It's not how much money they've given, but the time and the energy that they've donated to their causes in hopes of making Rhode Island a better, fairer, and more just place to live.

The people they featured are:

1) Frank Shea, executive director of the Olneyville Housing Corporation, trying to bring back the Olneyville neighborhood.

2) Sister Mary Reilly, co-founder of Dorcas Place and director of the Sophia Academy, helping to reach troubled girls ages 10-14.

3) Karina Wood and Cleora O'Connor, co-chairs of the Million Mom March, promoting grassroots democracy.

4) Roger LeBrun, URI entomologist and personal educator "Professor of the Year 2001"

5) Nellie Gorbea, president of the Rhode Island Latino Political Action Committee (RILPAC), bringing political organization and representation to the Latino community.

Click here to read about those 6 people in more detail

Monday, December 02, 2002

The Bert Gallery

Call 401-751-2628

The Bert Gallery was founded in 1985 by Hugo Bert and Catherine Little Bert to showcase and preserve the rich art tradition of Rhode Island. In 1992 it moved from the Biltmore Hotel to its present location along the historic Old Harbor waterfront at 540 South Water Street. (This is the former Accident or Design Bookstore location, where I worked part time for nearly 3 years!)

With the move, Catherine Little Bert became sole proprietor. The gallery is curated by Catherine Little Bert and includes regional contemporary artists along with a series of exhibitions of 19th century Rhode Island artists. Keeping to the mission of researching, showcasing and preserving paintings from the region, Catherine has organized over fifty exhibits dedicated to trends and styles embraced by New England artists.

On the Bert Gallery website, they have a variety of information about artists and several "Attic Collection" paintings and objets d'art available for sale, as well as a calendar of events. Give them a call at 401-751-2628 for more information.