NYT returns to Providence for another ’36 Hours in …’ featureJuly 11th, 2012 at 6:19 pm by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
Providence is getting some much-needed good publicity this weekend as the subject of the New York Times travel section’s “36 Hours in …” feature. Here’s how NYT freelancer Freda Moon begins the story:
PROVIDENCE’S grit and obscurity make it easy to underestimate. On the verge of bankruptcy, with a former mayor who served four years in federal prison for racketeering conspiracy, the capital of the country’s smallest state has something of an image problem. But like Portland, Ore., or Austin, Tex., it’s also a town many times more creative and cosmopolitan than its modest population and municipal troubles suggest.
With “grit and obscurity” going for us, I predict a hipster convention in Providence before the year is out. Keep reading, because this next part will make you blush (emphasis mine):
Home to an Ivy League college, one of the best design schools in the country and a major culinary institute, Providence, unsurprisingly, has exceptional food, compelling art and architecture, a thriving gay scene and an inordinate number of very smart people. Yet the city remains unpretentious and affordable, a place where even the best restaurants rarely demand reservations.
Moon suggests you spend your 36 hours visiting the RISD Museum, Big Nazo Lab, the Dorrance, the Avery, E&O Tap, Classic Café, Savoring Rhode Island, Wharf, Queen of Hearts, Craftland, AS220, Eno Fine Wines, Flan y Ajo, Chez Pascal, Cook & Brown, the Salon, Cable Car Cinema, Julien’s, Blackstone Boulevard, Abyssinia and India Point Park. There’s even a slideshow by talented local photog Ryan T. Conaty.
Much has happened since the last “36 Hours in Providence” feature The Times ran back in August 2008, notably the city’s 15-month flirtation with bankruptcy. Back then, the introduction included this: “Drivers still request their initials on license plates, sandwich shops let regulars run a tab and Mayor David N. Cicilline greets residents by name and lists his home number in the phone book.”
There isn’t much overlap between the 2008 travelogue and this year’s – in fact, at least four of the attractions The Times spotlighted back then have disappeared since the recession: the Providence Black Repertory Company, Elsa Arms, Oop! and DownCity Restaurant.
(h/t: Matt Yglesias)