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Fox Point neighborhood icon honored with street name

If you live in Fox Point, chances are you know of Manuel Pedroso, owner of the Friends Market specialty shop on Sheldon Street and pillar of the Portuguese-American community. In late 2020, when Pedroso celebrated his 101st birthday, neighbors celebrated with a festive car parade. This year, as he nears 103, the city has awarded him an honorary street name, Pedroso Way, located on Sheldon Street at Brook Street, adjacent to the market.

On a sunny Saturday in late September, City Councilor John Goncalves hosted the unveiling, a street party with more than 200 people in attendance. “It was an honor to join the Pedroso family and well-wishers to unveil Pedroso Way,” Goncalves says. “Manuel Pedroso and his wife Maria have owned Friends Market for 70 years and have been a staple in our community. We are deeply grateful for their unmatched contributions to the Fox Point neighborhood.” 

Pedroso’s granddaughter, Diana Afonso, reflected on the role her grandparents have played in the neighborhood, which in decades past, functioned as “the mecca,” she explains, for the Portuguese-American community. “It was so much more than a store. It was about family, community, and a sense of home.” FPNA is delighted to see the Pedrosos honored in this way.

Big things are happening in the Jewelry District

Jennifer Freitas, owner of The District, the popular restaurant at the corner of Richmond and South Streets, was named a 2022 Honoree by the Rhode Island Black Business Association (RIBBA). Since 2016, The District has been a hit and racked up awards for its food and welcoming hospitality. Freitas’ latest honor was presented at the RIBBA 2022 Annual Awards Gala at the Omni Hotel on October 28. 

On Wednesday, November 2, a ribbon cutting officially marked the opening of Emblem 125, a 249-unit residential complex between Clifford and Friendship streets that has been busy welcoming residents since mid-September, effectively doubling the number of residents in the Jewelry District. Late October also saw the groundbreaking for the State Health Lab, a major research facility, along Richmond Street on the I-195 parcel adjacent to the Wexford building. 

Meanwhile, Brown University has been making headlines with three important announcements that will significantly increase its footprint in the Jewelry District. The university leased 20,000 square feet for a wet lab on the sixth floor in the Wexford building at 225 Dyer Street, and they’re developing plans for a 300,000-square-foot life sciences building near the Warren Alpert Medical School. Brown also announced a $5 million investment toward a new labor and delivery center at Women & Infants Hospital, where students and residents will train. The Jewelry District Association (JDA) is delighted to share that Christina Paxson, President of Brown University, has agreed to be the keynote speaker at the upcoming JDA monthly meeting. Neighbors will have the chance to hear details and ask questions about Brown’s exciting plans for the district. 

Mile of History Association’s holiday and history strolls

Mile of History Association's (MoHA) annual Benefit Street Stroll will take place on Sunday, December 3. The weekend prior, the always engaged members of MoHA, as well as other community participants, crafted the wreaths adorning the streetlights. All neighbors are encouraged to decorate their doors in the spirit of the season to enhance the stroll!

Did you know that South and North Main Street was once called Town Street? The name changed to Main Street when Benefit Street was laid out in the 1750s. This was just one of the fun facts Sophie Higgerson presented on MoHA’s Benefit Street Walk & Talk event at the end of October. Along the walk, Higgerson recounted the stories behind several Mile of History institutions and buildings, such as the Old Colony House and RISD Museum. MoHA looks forward to presenting more walk-and-talk events in the future.

Community events and volunteering in Summit neighborhood

The Summit Neighborhood Association resumed its annual Fall Cook-Off on Thursday, October 27 at Three Sisters on Hope Street. The theme of their 10th Fall Cook-Off was apples, and featured a variety of delicious dessert entries and costumed trick-or-treaters to enjoy them. Stock Culinary Goods, Olive Del Mondo, Rhody Craft, Kreatelier, and Forge to Table Knives donated prizes for cook-off winners.

Neighborhood volunteers continue to assist both the Mount Hope Community Center and the Camp Street Community Ministries with their work distributing groceries on Fridays from the food pantry to residents in need. Contact snaprov@gmail.com to join the volunteer email list, which includes additional volunteer opportunities as they arise. The Mount Hope Community Center is also collecting the following items for food deliveries: cereal, peanut butter, jelly, and small bags of rice. Contact Helen Dukes at helenedukes@gmail.com or 401-521-8830 to contribute.

Jewelry District Association: December 13

Fox Point Neighborhood Association: December 12

Summit Neighborhood: December 19

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