La Arepa Restaurant

The chicken arepa with sliced avocado, black beans and cheese.

The chicken arepa with sliced avocado, black beans and cheese.

After a trip to Rock Spot Climbing, we all seem to work up an appetite (even though only one of us climbs).  Luckily, La Arepa, an unpretentious Venezuelan restaurant, happens to be on our way home.  We’ve now been there a handful of times and have always loved what we ordered.

This time, I chose an arepa (like a tortilla, but thicker) with shredded chicken, sliced avocado, queso cheese, and black beans, along with a side of fried plantains. Our two-year-old wanted only rice (she’s on a strictly all-carbs diet), which she proceeded to eat while sprinkling all over the table, chair and floor so that the waiter asked politely if she needed a bigger plate. Still, even she ate some of the chicken that we ordered for her–it was that good.

La Arepa
574 Smithfield Avenue
Pawtucket, Rhode Island
(401) 335-3711

East Side Music Together

The instrument free-for-all

During each class, there’s an instrument free-for-all where the children can try out different sounds.

Since she was only a few months old, I’ve taken my two-year-old daughter to Music Together — first in East Providence and now on the East Side of Providence. Classes are broken into nine-week intervals with a different theme (and CD to go with it) — Triangle, Bongo, Drum, etc.. The songs include simple sound combinations like Biddy Biddy to favorites like Palo Palo and John the Rabbit, so that children can start singing along as soon as they can make sounds.

Local mom and musician Jen Romanat runs our East Side Music Together class — in our most recent class, Jen led songs on both her guitar and ukulele, and the children sang, dance, spun with the parachute, and tried out a variety of instruments including drums, maracas, and tamborines.

Who wouldn't love parachute play?

Who wouldn’t love parachute play?

The Music Together philosophy suggests that children learn music through adults who model it for them so the class encourages adult participation. And although the children may be quiet during the class, don’t think that they aren’t listening, absorbing and learning. My daughter who sat pensively throughout many of the songs during the last class came home singing them and making the clicking horse noise she learned that day.

Note: Jen Romanat will also be performing at the Hope Street Market on July 3, July 24, August 7, August 21; the Armory Market on July 11, July 18 and August 15; and Gladys Potter Park (Humboldt) throughout the summer.

East Side Music Together

Music Together

Just Pickin’ Flowers (Jen’s Music)