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Fitness

Rock Your Body

Get a worldly workout with one of the international-inspired dance classes at The Rhody Center for World Music and Dance. From Belly Dancing, African Dancing and Bollywood Dancing classes, you’ll add some multicultural kick to your exercise routine. 172 Exchange Street, Unit 201, Pawtucket. 475-5955.

If you march to the beat of your own drum, The Movement Exchange’s contemporary classes might be just your style. From live music accompanying their improvisational dancing classes, breakdancing sessions with the Project 401 crew, modern dance that explores the link between movement, memory and meditation and options for all ages and even couples, the classes all celebrate creativity and individual expression. 545 Pawtucket Avenue, Pawtucket. 

What do you get when you add some serious cardio kick to your salsa moves? You’ll be on the stopwatch at Krissy’s Dance and Fitness Studio’s special Zumba classes, mixed with spurts of circuit training. The Latin American inspired dance class will keep your heart rate up and your hips moving while the circuits target and tone key areas. 834 Admiral Street. 369-9092.

Are you a fan of the stage? Tapper, flapper and founder of Providence’s own Chifferobe cabaret, Kristen Minsky’s Theatrical Dance class at AS220 will not only bring out your inner star, it will bring your skinny jeans back out too. Minsky’s Tuesday night classes run the gamut of decades and dance styles, keeping each week fresh and fun. 95 Empire Street. 831-9327.

If you fancy yourself more of a ballerina, but want to reap the benefits of dance-fitness fusion, Barre classes may be your best bet, mixing arm toning moves with ballet inspired legwork and core strengthening. At Momentum Fitness you’ll be in good hands as co-owner, trainer and dancer Michelle Struckholz shows you the steps to a dancer’s physique. 222 South Water Street. 272-8900.   More

Fitness

Want More Sweat?

Method Fitness instructor Brandon Dupont leads a weekly boxing and conditioning class that includes the fundamentals of the “sweet science,” including punching, footwork and body mechanics. The calorie-burning class includes work on the heavy bag, pads and shadow boxing. 755 Westminster Street. 274-6384.

Gold’s Gym offers Group Kick classes inspired by mixed martial arts (MMA), including high-energy routines incorporating boxing, kicking and karate. 550 Pawtucket Avenue, Pawtucket. 722-6600. 

SYNRGY Health & Fitness features interval-training based INSANITY classes plus boot camp and circuit training Revolution sessions. 3 Davol Square. 519-6555. 

The Body Complete Fitness Center for Women offers Booty Barre, Sculpt Barre and a variety of TRX-based training classes designed for women. 1375 Park Avenue, Cranston. 946-0378. 

American Health Fitness Center has plyometric classes utilizing the mini trampoline as well as TRX, kickboxing and boot camp sessions. 555 Quaker Lane, West Warwick. 828-3458.    More

Party

Save the Date: The PPS Winter Bash

Voted RI’s best party, Providence Preservation Society’s Winter Bash is the event of the year. Staged at a new location each year, this fabulously fun event brings attention to new preservation projects and gathers young preservationists from across the city to network and celebrateThis year’s theme is a retro prom. Dress up and party the night away.

When: Saturday, March 29

Where: American Locomotive Works (ALCO), 555 Valley Street, Providence.

For more information: call PPS offices at 831-7440 or visit their website.   More

PPS's Most Endangered Properties

Broad Street Synagogue, 688 Broad Street, South Providence

Cathedral of St. John, 275 North Main Street, College Hill

Westminster Congregational Church, 126 Adelaide Street, South Providence

United Presbyterian Church, 619 Chalkstone Avenue, Smith Hill

St. Teresa of Avila Church, 275 Manton Avenue, Olneyville

Bomes Theater, 1017 Broad Street, South Providence

Ward Baking Company Administration Building, 145 Globe Street, Jewelry District

RIDOT Headquarters and Garage, 30 Arline Street, Valley

Grace Church Cemetery & Cottage, 10 Elmwood Avenue, South Providence

Industrial Trust Tower, 111 Westminster Street, Downtown

Atlantic Mills, 100 Manton Avenue, Olneyville

57 Federal Street, 57 Federal Street, Federal Hill

State House Lawn, 90 Smith Street, Capitol Center

Doyle Avenue Historic District, East Side

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Food News

Empty to Tempt-y on Thayer

There’s good news on Thayer Street. The long vacant Adesso restaurant space is now finally officially occupied. The Flatbread Company, a small chain that has already proven quite popular in college-oriented towns and specializes in delicious wood-fired pizza among other things, just opened for business. As nature abhors a vacuum, the East Side hates an empty store. For this large vacant spot on Thayer Street, is no more.

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Events

RICC Events Have Us Thinking Warm Thoughts

If the ice and snow are doing you in, this month the Providence Convention Center thankfully offers you a glimpse of what’s only a few months away. First it’s boats (February 1-2); then it’s cars (February 6-9); and finally flowers and gardens (February 20-23). Just thinking about these kinds of things will lop ten degrees off the wind chill. Promise.

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Good News and Bad News In Historic Preservation This Week

With the start of a new year and Providence Preservation Society set to unveil its annual "Most Endangered Properties" list on January 23, it's a good time to think about historic preservation. This week brought both good news and bad news on that front.

First, the bad news: The 1871 Alexander F. Adie house on Federal Hill (right by the arch) is being demolished, supposedly clearing the way for a hotel. While the eventual result could be good or bad – that remains to be seen – we can all agree that it's sad to see an iconic structure razed. Both Greater City Providence and ArtInRuins have been documenting the demolition and soliciting reactions.

On the brighter side of things, the good news is that the City has announced a transfer of ownership and redevelopment plan for the George C. Arnold building, known as the "Narrow Building" donwtown. It's an overdue revival of one of PPS's former "Most Endangered Properties." Washington Street has really come alive over the past few years with AS220's revamp of the Dreyfus and the new and improved Biltmore Garage. Allowing this unique structure to remain vacant and blighted was a real impediment to that progress, and we're excited to see the Taveras administration making a move on it.

What do you think of these projects, and other historic preservation (or not) efforts around the city? Tell us below.   More

Malcontent

New Perspectives on Providence

The holidays are always one of my favorite times of year, not so much because I like the holidays (which I do), but because it’s around that time that I’m interviewing the individuals featured in our annual “10 to Watch” story, as featured on page 18. These are always interesting people with fascinating, unexpected stories and fresh, compelling ideas to share, but one of the things I like most is getting to see Providence through their eyes.

I’ve spent my whole life in or around this city, and I have the privilege of making a living highlighting its best parts. So, while I may have a deep and abiding love for it, being that much in the thick of things every day makes it easy to lose perspective. Talking with our 10 to Watch always realigns my perspective.

What’s always shocking (though perhaps it shouldn’t be anymore) about this roster of rising stars is that every year, without fail, it turns out that more than half of them are not native Rhode Islanders. Many of them have traveled extensively or lived in many other places – most have at least lived in another major metropolitan area – yet all of them are in Rhode Island simply because the want to be. That’s a very powerful thing.

We are bombarded on a daily basis with information and opinions telling us what a lousy place Providence is: how our economy is crap, our taxes are too high, our schools are lousy, there are no jobs, it’s unsafe, it’s dirty, it’s corrupt, it’s too small, it’ll never be New York or Boston, there are no opportunities. We’ll shout ourselves hoarse trying to make it known how bad off we are. Yet these people are not getting the message. Despite all the warnings and bad press, smart, cosmopolitan, forward thinking, engaged individuals still find Providence a desirable enough place to be that they will not only come here, they will do the work necessary to build a life here – and then make it a more attractive place for others to do the same.

This …   More

Shopping

Sew Fabulous on Hope

As someone who has always feared the sharp end of a stick but who secretly wishes she could “make it work” with Tim and Heidi on Project Runway, I was excited to visit Kreatelier, the unique craft and gift store tucked away on Hope Street.

Not only does Kreatelier offer a wide range of hand crafted goods, most of which were created in house by the lovely ladies who work there, the shop also offers sewing classes for children, adults, and in my case, for those who have grand dreams of one day debuting at NYC Fashion Week. You know, if I could only thread the sewing machine without suffering some bloody mishap.

Before booking my appointment, I had to figure out what exactly I wanted to make. After perusing Kreatelier’s extensive list of suggested items which I found on their website, I settled on a zip pouch wallet that can fit a phone. Watch out Marc Jacobs, I’m coming for you.

Upon entering the shop I immediately felt a sense of comforting warmth and joy. My instructor Alexis Cormier greeted me with such a bubbly, positive attitude that the nervousness I had was diminished by her enthusiastic passion for craft.

Because of a time crunch factor, Alexis had already pieced out some fabric for my pouch. While looking at the material in my hand, I simply couldn’t imagine how I was going to make them into something even resembling a wallet, but hey, if I want to schmooze with the likes of Donatella and Tyra one day, then I simply had to remember Mr. Tim Gunn’s infamous phrase and make it work.

First we ironed the pieces in the store’s back room, which serves as a workshop for Kreatelier’s employees. Then, the part I feared, the part with the sharp object hammering up and down in close proximity to my delicate hands, arrived.

Making sure my fingers were not in danger of getting sewn human centipede style, I tentatively pressed my toes downwards on the pedal that powers the machine, making it explode with life.

Eee! That was too fast! …   More

Social Media

How to Make Friends and Influence People in 140 Characters

Twitter is great for connecting people to their favorite celebrities, but you might not have realized it’s also useful for connecting people with common interests... in the same town, even. Here are some Twitter-based Providence meetup groups. You might even run into me (and my Twitter BFF Corey Feldman) there.

Girls’ Pint Out @RIGirlsPintOut: A ladies-only beer lover’s group. 

Providence Geeks @ProvidenceGeeks: A tech-minded group that meets for dinner once a month to discuss robot kisses and hardwired dreams. 

Providence Coffee Society @PVDCoffee: A buzzworthy meetup you’ll lose sleep over 

Wordpress Providence Meetup Group @WordpressPVD: Bloggers of the city unite 

Providence UX Meetup @PVDux: A group for the “Providence user-experience and interactive design community” that’s probably too smart for you 

Clambake @ClambakePVD: A meetup group for the design obsessed. Don’t show up if you can’t identify your clothing by Pantone color 

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