Archive for the ‘Children’ Category

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Chicken, Collard Greens, Black-eyed Peas, Biscuits and Souther Fried Shrimp.

The chicken was the star of the show. There was nothing left of this meal but a small amount of whipped, honey-flavored butter.

Bucktown Chicken & Fish
471 W Fountain St
Providence, RI 02903
(917) 861-0644
http://www.bucktownpvd.com/

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Johnny cakes with strawberries.

Johnny cakes with strawberries.

To give you that Revolutionary War feel, you might be greeted at the door.

To give you that Revolutionary War feel, you might be greeted at the door.

Since moving to Rhode Island, Geoff has wanted to attend a May Breakfast, an annual tradition since 1867 in celebration of Rhode Island’s Independence Day—May 4, 1776, the day Rhode Island declared itself independent of the British crown.

Currently, the May Breakfast usually takes place at a local church between late April and early May throughout the state, and it often doubles as a fundraiser for the hosting organization. We finally made it to one today at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church. The girls definitely took advantage of the all-you-can-eat menu of fresh cut fruit, johnny cakes, pancakes, french toast, custom omelettes, bacon, sausage, and an array of baked goods—including strawberry-rhubarb pie.

A traditional breakfast.

A traditional breakfast choice.

Volunteers from the community bake goods, cook food, serve coffee, and bus tables, so it truly feels like a community event.

Perhaps it makes us officially Rhode Islanders now that this has become our annual tradition as well.

To find the May Breakfast near you, you might want to check your local churches or do a search for May Breakfast with your town name, since there doesn’t seem to be a comprehensive list of them across the state. Or here are a few other resources:

Strawberry-rhubarb pie.

Strawberry-rhubarb pie.

Warwick Beacon/Cranston Herald
Quahog.org
Providence Journal

 

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Watching the game, changing seats, and picking their favorite players.

Watching the game, changing seats, and picking their favorite players.

We’re not big sports fans in our house. So the first day my older daughter played Little League, I realized that it might help her to know the rules by actually watching a few games (we then discovered the Paw Sox). Now with our younger daughter playing ice hockey, a friend suggested that we join them for one of the Brown women’s hockey games.

Waiting to give high-fives to the players as they re-enter the rink.

Waiting to give high-fives to the players as they re-enter the rink.

This weekend, we attended our first game. The women’s hockey games at Brown are thinly attended, despite being free to the public. When my older daughter asked if we had bought the seats we were in, our friend joked that we had bought the whole section. But the low attendance makes it easy to change your vantage point, mid-game. And when the team lined up to re-enter the rink, our girls would run to greet them and lean over to give each player a high-five as she entered.

We found the game packed with plenty of action, and the fans in attendance enthusiastic. There’s also a well-stocked snack bar, which came in handy since my younger daughter was hungry even though we had just eaten dinner. The girls even chose their favorite player — Conway because she was ‘so fast’ — although she was briefly displaced by Najjar when she scored.

And as if that wasn’t exciting enough, they even ‘caught’ an errant puck to bring home as a souvenir.

Our own little hockey player.

Our own little hockey player.

Meehan Auditorium
235 Hope Street
Providence, RI
www.brownbears.com/sports/w-hockey (find the remaining home games in the 2016 schedule)

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ShelfDig aims to support buying local by making it easier to browse and search Providence stores online.

ShelfDig aims to support buying local by making it easier to browse and search Providence stores online.

I didn’t want to start another company.

But then it occurred to me. Why is it so easy for me to find things like balloons or coffee mugs or journals online, but I am often clueless where I’d find these items nearby? Wouldn’t it be great if a website could help me shop in my own neighborhood?

You might say I spend too much in front of my computer, and not enough time in person at the stores near me. Apparently, I’m not the only one. Hence, ShelfDig was born.

A group of us came together to create the website at www.shelfdig.com, and we launched it just this month to the public. We currently have partnerships with over 60 stores in Providence from Stock Culinary Goods to Army/Navy to Creatoyvity to Cluck! to Homestyle.

You can do a search on the site, or if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, we created gift guides for children’s, babies and pet items, as well as gift guides for cooks & foodies, geeks & techiessports & recreation, and the ultimate ‘buy local’ guide with locally-made items. You can even browse by neighborhood.

If you’re curious, come stop by our table at the Pawtucket Wintertime Farmers’ Market. Our team members (Geoff, Allan, Frieda, and I) will be there to meet-and-greet, offer demos of the site, answer questions, and hand out swag to all passersby (kids are welcome to pick up stickers too!). We’ll be in the market entrance to the South Hallway from 9 am to 1 pm on Saturdays November 21, December 12, January 9 and February 6.

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A still from the film Imagine Kolle 37, shot in Providence, RI and Berlin.

A still from the film Imagine Kolle 37, shot in Providence, RI and Berlin.

I always thought Providence had pretty cool playgrounds. But then we spent four months in Berlin, where we lived across the street from an “adventure playground” called Kolle 37. And then I realized, Providence could be a lot cooler.

For those who are unfamiliar, adventure playgrounds are areas for children to play with fire, hammers, saws, and other tools. Parents are not permitted. Rather, play workers monitor the area to maintain safety, while allowing children the freedom to enjoy what some call ‘risky play.’

Fortunately, there is already a movement in Providence to try to bring an adventure playground to the city.

This Thursday October 22 at 6:30 pm at the Providence Children’s Museum, there will be a screening of the short documentary The Land as well as a screening of the trailer of my film Imagine Kolle 37, followed by a conversation with The Land filmmaker Erin Davis, Providence PlayCorps Director Janice O’Donnell, and myself. I hope you’ll join us

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We have no shortage of great orchards for apple picking in Rhode Island, and over the years, we’ve visited Jaswell’s, Knight Farm, Sweet Berry Farm and Hill Orchard. This year, we all had our requirements — Geoff wanted cider doughnuts, I wanted it to be in ‘apple valley’ (near Smithfield), and the girls wanted some kind of ride.

So we agreed on Sunset Orchards, where there was a small train ride and tractor ride through the orchards, as well as fresh cider doughnuts, unpasteurized cider, and plenty of apple varieties to pick from (including macintosh and empire apples, my two favorites).

We were a bit surprised how bustling it was there (clearly, we hadn’t ‘discovered’ this place), but once you got out into the orchard, it felt more lowkey. Despite the 18 pounds of apples we bought, not one apple went to waste. And the resulting pie Geoff made, well, I guess that had at least something to do with the apples.

Sunset Orchard Farms
44 Gleaner Chapel Road
North Scituate, RI
www.sunsetorchards.freeservers.com

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After living in Providence nearly six years, we finally made the day trip to Block Island. I’m not sure what took us so long exactly, but now I know what we’ve been missing.

Not surprisingly, the first thing we sought to do was eat – although the smell of bacon and long line at Ernie’s suggested it would be worth the wait, we decided to go somewhere we could eat outside without a wait, which turned out to be the Surf Hotel. Breakfast turned out to be perfectly fine (egg sandwiches on brioche, and reasonable kids’ meals).

We decided to rent a car so we could more easily explore. With six of us in our party, we opted for the circa 1980s minivan on the lot, which was offered to us for an absurd fee — oh but don’t worry, it hasn’t been cleaned, it’s on ‘E’ and it may not start. I’m not kidding – the agent actually had trouble starting the car.

With our cool ride, we drove across the entire island (it didn’t take long). We drove past rolling hills with cows and horses and impressive ocean views around nearly every corner. We parked by Settler’s Rock and walked the rocky beach over to the lighthouse.

I’d say the highlight was Mohegan Bluffs, where you climb down a winding staircase of over 100 stairs down to the water. As if that’s not enough of a barrier, the stairway ends abruptly at a treacherous cliff with a sketchy rope to ‘help’ you make your final leg down to the beach. It is quite beautiful once you make it down – with the ocean up against an enormous cliff, and it’s impressive how many people of all ages actually seemed to be able to make it down and back up without harm (including our four-year-old, although I’ll admit to not being very ‘relaxed’ about the whole experience at the time).

After we returned the car, we walked over to Ballard’s Beach, where we sat on the beach, got a snack, and enjoyed our last ocean swim of the season.

I can’t wait to go back (and I definitely can’t wait for it to be summer again). The only thing that’s missing seems to be great ice cream (and no, Turkey Hill ice cream at the Ice Cream Palace does not count, in my opinion), so next time, I’ll plan to stop at the Sweet Spot in Narragansett when I get off the ferry.

Ernie’s
212 Water Street
New Shoreham, Block Island, RI

Surf Hotel
32 Dodge Street
New Shoreham, RI
www.thesurfhotelbi.com

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