Archive for the ‘Barrington’ Category

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We’ve now lived in Providence for over four years, and it would be hard to fit in one blog post all my thoughts about that. So instead, I thought I’d describe an eventful, but fairly typical Saturday, which as it turns out, might be a perfect way to highlight our life in Providence.

8:28 am – We woke up “late” for us, which meant we had to rush to get the girls ready for gymnastics and ballet at Aim High Academy, where dozens of gymnasts were already hard at work.

10:00 am – We head to Allie’s Donuts–an institution for good reason. A donut cake (exactly what it sounds like) has been ordered for one of our daughter’s birthday this month.

11:15 am – We make our way to the Pawtucket Wintertime Farmers’ Market opening day. This year’s market has more than doubled, and it is every bit better. We all sit in the courtyard and have Tallulah’s Tacos for lunch. The girls make a basket at ACKpack Basket Studio. Michele buys a giant stalk of brussels sprouts, freshly dug potatoes, onions, and parsnips from the market, along with apples from Barden Family Orchard. Our daughter insists we buy more pickles from Harmony Hill Farm. We get dessert–an almond croissant and an apricot financier–from the French Tarte. On our way out, we discover a new store, Sassy Mama Cuisine, that has rows upon rows of hot sauces. I’m looking for one made with Bhut jolokia, and pick from more than a dozen.

2:00 pm – I nap.

3:30 pm – I take my six-year-old daughter to Cirque Éloize, one of the first shows in this year’s FirstWorks Festival at the Providence Performing Arts Center, while Michele takes our two-year old to the Providence Children’s Museum.

6:00 pm – At home,  I make the kids a pizza with dough from Olga’s and cheese from Narragansett Creamery.

7:30 pm – Michele and I walk downtown to the Brown University/Trinity Repertory Theatre, to see a production of Twelfth Night, or What You Will. Since we didn’t buy tickets in advance, we wait standby and luckily get seats from a few no-shows. Even after four years of shows, it’s my first time in the Pell Chafee Performance Center.

9:30 pm – We get drinks and appetizers at Gracie’s, which turned out to be a meal that would rival the best in recent memory: a sherry-roasted beet salad with Cloumage cheese, pistachio nougatine, wild rice crispies, sour apple, and Aquidneck honey; Hudson Valley foie gras with fennel dusted brioche donuts, roasted peach, pistachio, raspberry gelee; russet potato gnocchi with house cured ham, broccoli, cauliflower, cheddar, buttery herb crumb; and crispy veal sweetbreads with sunny side quail’s egg, parmesan spinach, potato fondue, pickled ramps (this one was a standout).

10:30 pm – Our babysitter needs to leave early tonight, so Michele grabs a cab home. I stay on, for a show at AS220.

12:00 am – The band Melt Banana plays in AS220’s tiny venue, where you can get up close and mingle with the bands.

1:00 am – I take an UberX ride home! Just 2 minutes after calling…

I’ve always thought that a perfect city is one that you can “use” to its fullest regularly. And with that as my definition, I’m in the right place for now…

For more information:

Aim High Academy
3355 S County Trail
East Greenwich, RI
http://www.aimhighacademy.com/

Allie’s Donuts
3661 Quaker Lane
North Kingstown, RI
https://www.facebook.com/AlliesDonuts

Pawtucket Wintertime Farmers’ Market (Saturdays 9 am-1pm and Wednesdays 4-7pm through May 17, 2014)
at Hope Artiste Village
1005 Main St.
Pawtucket, RI
http://www.farmfresh.org/winter

Tallulah on Thames
464 Thames Street
Newport, RI
http://www.tallulahonthames.com/

Sassy Mama Cuisine
at Hope Artiste Village
1005 Main St.
Pawtucket, RI

The French Tarte
at Hope Artiste Village
1005 Main St.
Pawtucket, RI
http://www.frenchtarte.com/

ACKpack Basket Studio
at Hope Artiste Village
1005 Main St.
Pawtucket, RI
https://www.facebook.com/pages/ACKpack-Basket-Studio/467747816608744

Barden Family Orchard
56 Elmdale Rd
North Scituate, RI
http://www.bardenfamilyorchard.com/

Harmony Hill Farm
Barrington, RI
http://harmonyhill-farm.com/

Providence Performing Arts Center
220 Weybosset Street
Providence, RI
http://www.ppacri.org/

FirstWorks
http://first-works.org/

Providence Children’s Museum
100 South Street
Providence, RI
www.childrenmuseum.org

Olga’s Cup & Saucer
103 Point Street
Providence, RI
www.olgascupandsaucer.com

Narragansett Creamery
www.richeeses.com

Brown University/Trinity Repertory Theatre
www.browntrinity.com

Gracie’s
194 Washington Street
Providence, RI
graciesprovidence.com

AS220
115 Empire Street
Providence, RI
www.as220.org

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Getting ready for a ride on the trailer bike.

As you may have guessed from the ratio of blog posts on restaurants versus sports and recreation, we are not the most athletic of families. But inspired by a recent “bike to school” day, we decided to purchase a trailer bike, which enables our 5-year-old to feel like she’s riding a regular bike (and can even help peddle) but leaves the steering and the braking to the adult rider.

Early Sunday morning, we loaded the bikes on the car rack, ate some oatmeal while wearing our helmets (I’m not kidding, although our 18-month-old Lucy refused to wear hers), and then drove to Warren to park the car and get on our bikes. Of course, you can bike fairly easily to the path from Providence, but we wanted to make our first family ride low-stress by starting directly on the path itself.

There was just one small problem, and her name was Lucy. She screamed, kicked and swung her arms as Geoff attempted to get her into the baby seat on the back of his bike. I didn’t have any more luck than he when I tried, although as it turned out I had less sympathy. Determined to at least attempt a ride on the path, I wrestled her into the seat, got on Geoff’s bike, and rode around the parking lot — and incredibly, she quieted down. So we decided we would switch bikes for this ride — I’d ride Geoff’s and he’d ride mine. More screaming as we strapped on her helmet and locked down her feet,  but again once we started riding, there was complete silence.

After our ride on the East Bay Bike Path.

We kept our first attempt short, but it was nonetheless a peaceful and scenic ride along the water — we started in Warren and rode into Bristol and then headed back. It wasn’t until I was writing this that I learned that the East Bay Bike Path is just one of the paths in the East Coast Greenway’s plan to “create a contiguous bike path from Maine to Florida”. Well, we’re not quite ready for that yet, but you never know…

Greenways Alliance of RI
www.rigreenways.org

East Coast Greenway, RI
www.greenway.org/ri.aspx

East Bay Greenway map in RI
http://www.greenway.org/pdf/RI.pdf

East Providence Bicycle
414 Warren Ave.
East Providence, RI
http://eastprovidencecycle.com/

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Not a bad consolation prize: the all-Oreo ice cream sandwich from Newport Creamery.

Not a bad consolation prize: the all-Oreo ice cream sandwich from Newport Creamery.

I’ve had some darn good ice cream in Rhode Island which is why I’ve been eager to check out the serial Best of Rhode Island winner Gray’s Ice Cream. Deciding it wasn’t wise to promise a two-year old ice cream, get in the car for a half hour and then not actually get it, I opted to call first. Apparently, there’s no phone in their new Bristol shop, but the Tiverton staff member I spoke with assured me they would be open until 9 pm today in Bristol. After our scenic drive, we hopped out of our car and headed to Gray’s Ice Cream’s picture-perfect dockside building. Imagine our horror to find that same building dark and locked.

Don't believe everything you read.

Don't believe everything you read: Gray's Ice Cream's posted hours.

Immediately, I called the Tivertown branch to inform them (much to their surprise) that there was, in fact, no one working at the Bristol store but there wasn’t much they could do. Since we had come all that way, we took a walk through the charming waterfront town of Bristol and stopped in at Organically Good and Quito’s (opposite ends of the culinary spectrum). We learned that since it had been raining all day, no one had really come to Bristol — for all we know, we were the only ones peering into the dark windows of Gray’s Ice Cream. A few blocks away was The Daily Scoop, but it too was closed, this time more officially for the season. I then tried calling the next closest place, Frostee’s Ice Cream and Desserts in Warren, RI, but there was no answer. So we resigned ourselves to an old standby: Newport Creamery. We had passed one on the way down in Barrington and were so confident they’d be open we didn’t even call first.

I’ve eaten at Newport Creamery dozens of times over the past several years and I have a lukewarm feeling about their food (although fond memories of their Earth & Turf Superburgers). Summers in Newport, I never went there, opting instead for Frosty Freez in Middletown or Cold Fusion in downtown Newport. But it was open, and apparently in October, that’s the main criteria.

An undiscovered treat on the menu caught my eye: the Cow’wich, an ice cream sandwich made with your choice of ice cream smashed between two giant Oreo® cookie wafers. I decided to go all-Oreo choosing cookies & cream ice cream for the middle. It was a good choice. The Oreo® wafers made the perfect crisp counterpart to the rich ice cream. Even just seeing it made Madeline’s sundae look like a meager substitute. And what kid doesn’t like a giant cookie? Needless to say, I had to share.

Sad Update 10/24/2009:  After one of the worst meatball sandwiches at Fellini Pizza, I decided to go for another Cow’wich consolation prize.  But sadly, the Newport Creamery in Warwick, RI has started refrigerating their cookies making them wet and mushy.  I’m not sure yet if this is a company-wide decision, but I’m in mourning nonetheless.

Newport Creamery
296 County Road
Barrington, RI
www.newportcreamery.com

Organically Good
267 Thames St
Bristol, RI
www.organicallygoodri.com

Quito’s
411 Thames Street
Bristol, RI
www.quitosrestaurant.com

Gray’s Ice Cream

Bristol, RI and Tiverton, RI
www.graysicecream.com

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Friend or foe?  Without a leash, I never know...

Friend or foe? Without a leash, I never know…

Sometimes I think it is my personal mission to inform dog owners of the local leash law.

The other day, I even called the local police to report a golden lab who wandered aimlessly in King Park in Newport, RI. After a few minutes, I did see a police car drive down Wellington Ave — impressive. But about a half hour later and block away, I passed two women attempting to leash that same dog — not as impressive.

“Is that your dog?” I asked the two women.

“No,” one of them said. “But he has a collar and we’re going to phone the owner.”

“Oh, I said, “I called the police earlier but I guess they didn’t find him,” I answered.

“Thank you so much,” she said.

When I was a young child, my dad was bit by an unleashed dog, and I’ve never forgotten the memory of his bloody hand in the car afterwards. I guess that’s why I’m a bit afraid of unleashed dogs (especially when they’re chasing my toddler at a children’s park). So, I’m all for the law that requires that you keep your dog on a leash. Is it really so much to ask? I don’t care how nice he or she is, how gentle, how old. If your dog needs to run around, then run alongside your leashed dog. If you can’t manage that, then take the poor creature to a dog park — I’ve listed them all below to help you out. If you can’t even manage that, are you sure you want a dog?

And if you don’t heed my advice, just remember I have the number of Animal Control, and I’m not afraid to use it (or post it, see below).

Rhode Island Off-Leash Dog Parks

Haines Park Dog Park
On the west side of Haines Memorial State Park
Rt 103
Barrington, Rhode Island
http://www.riparks.com/haines.htm

Bristol Paw Park (coming soon)
Bristol, Rhode Island
http://www.bristolpawpark.org (not yet live)

Newport Dog Park
At the base of the Pell Bridge, across the street from the Newport Playhouse.
Connell Highway
Newport, Rhode Island

Gano Street Dog Park
Gano Street and Power Street (adjacent to basketball courts)
Providence, Rhode Island
http://www.providencedogparkassociation.org/gano_street.htm

Warwick Dog Park
In Warwick City Park down the road, past parking on the right.
Asylum Road
Warwick, Rhode Island

To Report an Un-Leashed Dog

Call the (non-emergency) number for your local police station or one of the animal control offices listed.

Animal Control
Providence, Rhode Island
(401) 243-6040‎
www.providenceri.com/animal/

Barrington Police Animal Control‎
Barrington, Rhode Island
(401) 437-3936‎

Bristol Dog Pound
Bristol, Rhode Island
(401) 253-4834‎

Central Falls Animal Control‎
Central Falls, Rhode I‎sland
(401) 727-7411 x3106‎

Charlestown Animal Control Shelter
Charlestown, Rhode I‎sland
(401) 364-1211‎

Coventry Police Department: Animal Control & Rescue
Coventry, Rhode Island
(401) 822-9106‎

Hopkinton Animal Control
Hopkinton, Rhode Island
(401) 377-7785‎

Lincoln Town Animal Control
Lincoln, Rhode Island
(401) 333-0950‎

North Kingstown-Exeter Animal Rescue League‎
North Kingstown, Rhode Island
(401) 294-1115‎

Pawtucket: Animal Control Officer
Pawtucket, Rhode Island
(401) 722-4243‎

Portsmouth Animal Control
Portsmouth, Rhode Island
(401) 643-0136‎

Smithfield Animal Control‎
(401) 233-1055‎

Animal Rescue League‎
Wakefield, Rhode Island
(401) 792-2233‎

Tiverton Animal Control
Tiverton, Rhode Island
(401) 624-6624‎

Warwick Police: Animal Control Officer
Warwick, Rhode Island
(401) 468-4377‎

West Greenwich Animal Control‎
West Greenwich, RI
(401) 397-8999‎

Animal Rescue League Westerly‎
Westerly, Rhode I‎sland
(401) 596-2090‎

Richmond Animal Control‎
Wyoming, Rhode I‎sland
(401) 766-6571‎

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