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An Hour In the Life of Designer Joe Perez

Who: Joe Perez

What: Designer

When: 9pm, Friday, September 8

Where: His loft, address withheld

Why: He’s got some serious credentials and impeccable taste

Okay, so maybe I’m a little biased: I’ve known Joe for 16 years and he’s a close friend of mine. Still, when he suggests a film/artist/album/whatever, I run to check it out. He hasn’t failed me yet. Someone else who trusts Joe’s judgment? Kanye West. In fact, Joe has been working for “Ye” for the past five years and recently designed his Cruel Summer album cover, set to drop September 18.

After graduating from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California – the RISD of the West Coast – Joe designed and maintained websites, including two popular fashion blogs he created in collaboration with his brother. One day after having moved back East, his phone rang. Kanye was on the other line.

I arrive at Joe’s loft around 9pm. In typical fashion, the lights are dimmed and mellow music casts a chill vibe on the space. He’s dressed in black and white, what I refer to as his uniform, with not a hair out of place. “Can I offer you a drink?” he asks. Joe sets his glass of scotch whisky down and pours me a generous bit of wine. We sit.

It’s been a while; we’ve both been so busy with work. From start to finish, it took Joe an estimated 700 hours to design and execute the album cover and packaging. “My art director, Guido Callarelli, and I worked directly with Kanye on the cover. I’d like to thank Guido and my creative director, Virgil Abloh,” Joe says. “Also, I have to thank my parents for their support.”

The process was a complex one — beginning first with a female from a classic work of art and slowly chipping away at her, carving each cheekbone and every curve, as if she were made of digital stone. “Now she’s the perfect woman,” Joe says with a …   More

Community News

Local Treasure Hunters Debut on The Travel Channel

A pair of local treasure hunters is on the trail of American legends in the new Travel Channel show DigFellas, which premiered this fall.

Bill Ladd, of Warwick, and Howard Hewitt, of East Providence, spend each half hour episode searching for artifacts at sites linked to figures and stories from the annals of American history. In the first episodes, they’ve tracked Blackbeard and Zorro and unearthed an old, rusted pistol on a battlefield of Billy the Kid.

Ladd and Hewitt, who both got hooked on treasure as kids, have been hunting together for about a decade since meeting in a metal detecting club in Taunton. The pair first got noticed for their colorful videos on YouTube, where they whoop and cheer over their best finds around New England.

The antics continue on their reality show, complete with color commentary, their collectors’ motto of “passion over profit” and Ladd’s signature “Yeeeeah!” Amid the excitement of the hunt – and finds – Ladd and Hewitt offer capsule history lessons on the characters they’re chasing and speculate on just how Billy the Kid might have dropped a revolver in the heat of battle. DigFellas airs Wednesday nights at 8pm on the Travel Channel.



Enter to Win a $500 Local Shopping Spree

Another holiday season is upon us and so is the stress of gift shopping. Make this year's experience a positive one by avoiding the lines and the frustration at the big box stores. Little Rhody may be small but we’ve got plenty of independent retailers where you can find unique gifts for everyone on your list while having an enjoyable holiday shopping experience (yes, it's possible).

Want another reason to shop local? We’re giving away a $500 Local Shopping Spree and it’s super easy to enter. All you have to do is sign up here for our email newsletter the Pulse. It's full of events, news, cool stories and giveaways from all around the state. Needless to say, you want to be a subscriber anyways.


Running Event

The Rock and Roll Half Marathon Comes to Providence

Run, run as fast as you can; the Rock and Roll Half Marathon is about to take over the streets of downtown once again. Choose from a half marathon, a two-person relay or a mini marathon (also known as a 5k). Atlas Genius is set to headline the race, taking the stage for a post-race concert. Runners can also cool off with a well-deserved brew at the beer garden. Registration fees range from $40 for the mini to $105 for the half to $125 for the relay. Sept. 29 at 7am. Beginning at Gaspee Street and ending at Francis Street.


Local Trivia

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Block Island

1. The island’s first inhabitants called it Manisses, which means “Island of the Little God.”

2. Sixteen families first settled the island in 1661; their descendants live here still.

3. A passenger ship called The Palatine once caught fire off the island’s coast, killing

all aboard; some say the ghostly ship can still be seen burning on quiet nights.

4. In the winter, fewer than 1,000 people call the island home; the island’s tiny K-12

public school educates about 115 students.

5. The island has had a strong conservation movement since the 1970s, and now,

more than 43% is set aside as public open space. The island’s goal is to get to 50 percent.

6. Tradition has it that the island has 365 ponds, one for each day of the year – although modern geographers say it’s more like 300.

7. Once a premier Victorian vacation destination that drew families complete with steamer trunks and full-skirted “bathing costumes,” the island is full of the ghosts of grand hotels that burned down. One such is the Ocean View, just above the town’s post office, where the US Congress once held a summer session.

8. More than 2,000 pleasure boats crowd the Great Salt Pond on an average during July Fourth weekend.

9. The statue of Rebecca at the Well was erected by the Women’s Christian Temperance Movement, but a close look at the modern day statue (a faithful replica of the original) and her grapes and amphora hint that the late-1800s statue supply company may have mixed up the biblical figure with a more wine-friendly Greek goddess, Hebe.

10. Recently retired island nurse Mary Donnelly helped the sick and injured for 50 years and established a local charity, the Mary D Fund, which has been featured on every major news outlet. (Google it.) August’s annual Mary D Ball is the social event of the season.   More

Cool Event

Steel Yard Pours It On

One of the newer fall traditions in Providence is the annual Halloween Iron Pour at the always-entertaining Steel Yard in Olneyville (27 Sims Avenue). In conjunction with the Iron Guild, the event will be held on Saturday, October 26 and will also feature live entertainment, music and food. Check out their website for more details and specifics about this most photo-worthy event. And it rains, it pours... but not until the 26th.



A Food Truck on a Mission

If you can’t get to the food, than the food will come to you. While this is the mentality of most food trucks, it is the spirit of giving that will separate Food4Good’s food truck apart. The plan is simple really. Besides just providing a delicious array of options like flavored wings to the people of Providence, this food truck will really be a cover for an even cleverer model – a mobile soup kitchen. For every $5 spent from the food truck, Food4Good can provide two meals for those in need. According to Food4Good, “nearly 14% of Rhode Islanders have cut meal sizes, skipped meals or run out of food.” Food4Good food truck can translate one quick bite into a meal for those with a little less change to spare, making it quite a worthy cause. Conducting a fundraiser on the site Food Start, this non-profit organization is open to donations until November 1, and is already gaining momentum. To support this endeavor, visit their website.



Gourmet Ramen: Not an Oxymoron

College students understand the limitless possibilities of store-bought, just-add-water ramen. You can cook it as directed, eat it dry with peanut butter (a personal favorite) or even add veggies to create an illusion of nutritional benefits. But if you’re running out of ideas on how to prepare the noodles, or simply want to eat ramen the way it’s supposed to taste, Ken’s Ramen (51 Washington St, Unit D) welcomes you to enjoy their professionally crafted ramen dishes. Their paitan (whole chicken broth) is “simmered for over 30 hours for maximum richness and savoriness” - something no salt packet could ever recreate – and combined with “customized thin hakata ramen noodles.” Call for hours of operation.



Singing Zombies Come to Cranston

An innocent teen falls for a boy from the wrong side of town. These star-crossed lovers try to be together against the odds — cue drugs, gore and drama. We’ve all heard it before. But this time the boy is a zombie and the girl is the daughter of a famous scientist. Now we’re talking.

Head to Theater 82 this month for an original zombie musical, Menace of the Morgue. Written and directed by Cranston’s John McKenna and presented by the Marley Bridges Theater Company in collaboration with the Artists’ Exchange, Menace of the Morgue is a zombie love story paying homage to 1960’s psychedelic horror films.

Sounds a little too intense for the kids? The theater will also be performing a shorter, family-friendly version, Doctor Menace’s Family Variety Hour of Zombies. You’d have to be (un)dead not to go!

Theater 82. 82 Rolfe Square, Cranston. October 4-26. Friday & Saturday at 8pm. Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 at the door. Visit their website to purchase tickets.



Freedom Theater Comes to Brown University

Freedom Theatre is an independent cultural center in a Palestinian refugee camp, currently touring four US states to perform a powerful play. The theater will present The Island, a play set in a South African prison during Apartheid, at Brown University’s Granoff Center for the Arts. It’s a tale of two prisoners sharing a cell, engaging in hard labor during the day and rehearsing for a performance of Sophocles’ Antigone at night It is based on a true story. Sept. 11 at 7pm. 154 Angell St. 


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