March 2017 In the Know

What to know about the East Side of Providence


The Patriots Were Just the Icing on the Cake
As we continue to relive the Patriot’s incredible Super Bowl heroics, it should be pointed out that this entire year in sports has been one replete with non-stop Hollywood endings. In fact, for an ardent sports lover, there’s never been a year close to this one. It started with last year’s March Madness (actually April 4 if you’re keeping score) when Villanova’s last shot allowed a little Big East school to knock off mighty North Carolina with a buzzer beater to win. Then in June it was LeBron James who led the Cleveland Cavaliers from a 3-1 deficit to upset the supposedly unbeatable Golden State Warriors and bring the city its first world championship in more than fifty years. In October it was the beloved Cubbies’ turn as they won their first World Series in 108 years with a tenth inning rally. This January, Clemson defeated Alabama, the number one rated college football team in the country, with one second to go on the clock. And it concluded, of course, with our Patriots erasing an incredible 28-3 deficit in the final quarter and a half of the game to pull out still another miraculous victory. Sports fans: lock this all up in your collective memories and throw away the key. We’ll never have a year like this for the rest of our lives.

The Foodies are Coming! The Foodies are Coming!
If dining is relatively high on your list of life’s pleasures, you might be excited about what seems to be happening on Thayer Street. While interesting, cutting edge new restaurants continue to pop up all around Broadway, Wayland Square and Hope Street, Thayer Street dining seemed more content to cater to the nearby student crowd: burgers, pizza and beer, fast food. Yet over the next few months the street will be coming alive with exciting new entrants; the newly opened Durk’s B-B-Q and the soon to open DenDen Korean Fried Chicken, even a possible new vegetarian restaurant, just to name a few who will be joining some of the traditional long time favorites like Andreas, Kabob and Curry and Paragon. We confess we still miss the wonderful dinners at the old Adesso so let’s see what happens.

Black History Month, Take Two
Though Black History Month ended in February, the good folks at the Rochambeau Library are putting on a terrific program on March 23 that will be worth the wait. Drawing on his extensive knowledge of both Rhode Island and African-American history, the East Side’s own Ray Rickman will be offering a definitive program on slavery in Rhode Island with the comprehensive detailing only he can provide. Entitled “How to Talk About Slavery” the lecture will run from 7-8:30pm and is free and open to the public.

On Being an Upstander or a Bystander
In the wake of the election of Donald Trump, many of us on the East Side are having trouble dealing with our fears, frustrations, you name it. How best to deal with it? One local couple came up with a positive first action step that seems to have proven useful to those in attendance. They called together about two dozen of their friends who shared their political leanings and organized a Friday evening retreat to brainstorm possible next steps. In a session led by former Common Cause Executive Director Phil West, the group first dealt with the emotions the Trump victory produced in them, the implications of his election based on “real facts” as they now exist and finally some suggestions on how to deal with the new “New” effectively. While nothing concrete has been implemented yet, the mood of the participants became dramatically more positive and focused. A possible new mantra for all of us concerned about the recent changes in Washington was perhaps best articulated by Boston financier Seth Klarman in a recent New York Times interview. One of the nation’s largest fund managers, Klarman worries that exuberant investors may be at risk by ignoring the unforeseen downside, as he sees it, from Trump’s misguided immigration and protectionist policies. A registered independent, he wrote in his most recent letter to his clients that despite his preference to stay out of the media, he has adopted the new philosophy that “each of us can be bystanders or upstanders. I choose upstander.”