Friday, September 30, 2005

Crime again? Yeah, once again.

Fenced in (Federal Hill - Providence, RI)
Originally uploaded by NetParrot.

Two people were shot during a craps game at Lockwood Plaza on Prairie Avenue, the heart of Providence's ghetto. For one of the victims, 32 year old Noel Osborne, this latest bullet marked the 11th time he's been shot.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Apple season!

Sunset Orchards (Scituate, RI)
Originally uploaded by NetParrot.

Nothing says fall like picking apples, and I've put a set of photos from Sunset Orchards in Scituate up on Flickr. Now, to find a way to get all of these apples into pie ...

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

There's no need to fear!

Exit 1 (Route 195 East: Providence, RI)
Originally uploaded by NetParrot.

Underdog is here! Or almost here, at least. The Providence Journal (registration required) reports that Rhode Island is the "overwhelming favorite" for Disney to film their new live action Underdog movie, a "megabudget" film set to release in 2007, in Rhode Island.

Hollywood on the Woonasquatucket, eh?

Photo of The Man

Providence Police (Almy St. - Providence, RI)
Originally uploaded by NetParrot.

This is a quintessentially Providence scene: notice the police officer listening to someone talking to him, all the while with a poker face and a Dunkin' Donuts iced coffee (click on "original size" to really make out the coffee - but be warned, the file is rather big).

When I walked by and snapped the photo, he turned abruptly and hollered, "is everything alright there, buddy?" to which I replied, "I'm fine, sir!". I guess saying, "I'm just photoblogging Rhode Island" wouldn't make any sense to The Man, now would it? Hell naw!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

The Canadian Embassy (Warwick, RI)

The Canadian Embassy (Warwick, RI)
Originally uploaded by NetParrot.

Ever since Bess Eaton went away, little slices of Canada have replaced them all over Rhode Island. I dig Tim Horton's, but damn, Bess Eaton was a pretty unique chain. A Bible verse on every doughnut? What was that all about? I put pictures of our trip to Tim Horton's on route 2 in Warwick up on Flickr. Nora's folks love it when she brings a dozen doughnuts from the exotic wilds of Rhode Island back to Quincy on Sundays, and who could blame them? Everyone loves a good sour cream doughnut from time to time.

Incidentally, I don't know if anyone else calls Tim Horton's "the Canadian embassy", but it just fits. I hope this doesn't mean there will be a string of hippies piling into them trying to seek asylum.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Quack arrested in Exeter

duck #1453
Originally uploaded by krissie p.

The Providence Journal (registration required) details the arrest of John E. Curran at his home in Exeter. Curran is charged with selling snake oil to genuinely sick people, and practicing medicine without a license.

I await a spirited rebuttal from alternative medicine advocates.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Happy Birthday, Dear Bristol ...

Blithewolde mansion
Photo by ladysalana.

Bristol celebrates its 325th anniversary of existence this Sunday. Although Bristol started out as a part of Massachusetts, it's almost impossible to imagine Rhode Island without it now. Could you imagine Rhode Island whout Colt state park? Or the Mt. Hope bridge? What about Roger Williams University? And last, but by no means least, the nations's oldest Fourth of July celebration? It's unthinkable! Bristol is one of the finest towns in all of southern New England. Happy birthday, Bristol!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Alert the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence!

bereta 9mm
Photo by carbalzac.

A 16 year old girl was shot in the right buttock in Wanskuck last night. Apparently, there has been a communal failure to properly study, much less practice, nonviolence, and we, the community, demand answers!

Actually we don't, but it would be nice to see the police arrest the culprit.

Monday, September 12, 2005

The Independent Man

The Indepedent Man (at the Warwick Mall)
Taken by NetParrot.

Oh sure, the original on top of the state house is awe inspiring, but let's give some love to the replica ruling over the food court at the Warwick Mall, shall we? Clearly, no one shall every challenge the sovereignity or dignity of this food court's Burger King or Panda Express, which is how Roger Williams would want it.

"Bad luck and a flying ember"

The Providence Journal reports that the North Scituate fire station (pictured above) caught on fire while firefighters tackled a brush fire. A brush fire, they set themselves. Ouch. Obviously, some very bad luck indeed. It's gratifying to hear there were no inuries, and that the station is still habitable.

High school riot revisited.

Police headquarters (Providence, RI)
By NetParrot.

The brawling at Kennedy Plaza has continued, and the police have dutifully arrested eight students (five from Mount Pleasant, and three from Central) and charged them with criminal trespassing. As I spectulated earlier, the origins of the fracas, which turned into two afternoons of rioting, was sparked by geography: the East side dissing the South side. A classic! The Providence Journal (registration required) has more.

In a very Rhode Islandesque twist, Providence police on scene to keep the peace on Friday were joined by "Institute for the Study & Practice of Nonviolence". We'll see how this works out, to be sure. Their website claims to have "reduced arrests in the Kennedy Plaza bus interchange by 95%", but oddly, makes no claim to have helped reduce crime in Kennedy Plaza by any corresponding amount (the ProJo police log, infrequently run as it is, suggests that no corresponding drop in crime accompanies this reduction in arrests).

They also claim to have:

I cannot see how anyone could make, much less accept, the first claim with a straight face. How could the Institute possibly quantify the number of acts of retaliatory violence prevented by their saintly presence? Is this information offered by potential criminals themselves ("I was about to shoot that motherfucker, but then the The Institute for the Study and Practice of Non-Violence showed me the way to peace!")? How did they quantify the first claim? Exit interviews? Anonymous tips? There's no way to determine their impact on preventing "retaliatory violence" in raw numbers or as a percentage of retaliatory violence in the city. And to be sure, there have been some recent high profile revenge killings in the city of late. Similarly, when revenge killings occur, are we to hold the Institute culpable for failures? Taking responsibility for "success" would also infer culpability for "failure", but realistically, they can take neither credit nor blame for something beyond their direct control.

The second claim is more straightforward, yet is not as impressive as it perhaps sounds. Providence does not have the generic community tensions that, for example, Crown Heights has. Recently, there were fears of tensions simmering between the city's (relatively small) Cambodian and black communities after a recent murder, but these fears appeared to be more smoke than fire. What impact the institute has had on reducing or eliminating these nascent tensions is unknown.

And lastly, not to sound like a Republican (which I am), but how much are they costing us? They mention a $99,200 grant from the Department of Health and Human services secured by our RINO Senator Lincoln Chaffee, but they do not mention what the state of Rhode Island or the city of Providence have donated. Fine words and work, to be sure, but is it worth the money?

Friday, September 09, 2005

I hope "the children" aren't really "the future".

Kennedy Plaza
Originally uploaded by dpriddy.

The Providence Journal (registration required) reports that a massive brawl erupted in downtown Providence on Thursday, when a startingly large number of high school students clashed in Kennedy Plaza. A mob of what police estimated to be as many as 300 high school students, some armed with rocks and bottles, were making their way up to College Hill before being dispersed by the police. 8 of the students were arrested, and the rest apparently scattered after the police arrived. What the hell could possibly have sparked this riot? Geographic rivalry? Insane. I'm amazed that the state police didn't show up en masse in riot gear to quell this disturbance, especially since Kennedy Plaza is in the heart of the business district.

Hope high school is, hands down, the worst high school in the state, and it is currently administered by a triumvirate instead of a single principal. I suppose someone thought it would be an even better idea to get two more people involved instead of finding one extremely competent administrator. That's just how city governments in Rhode Island work. Doubtlessly, there will be a million police downtown tomorrow when school gets out. It's also a safe bet to predict that, in an effort to avoid antagonizing "community leaders", the Providence police department will let this violent fracas slide and opt for "further dialogue" with Hope students and whatever authority figures around that are passing for their parents instead of sending the little thugs through the judicial system. Call me a cynic, but that's the approach we seem to always take here in the bluest city in the bluest little state in the union.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


Providence police have busted "the good looking bandit" (registration required). This guy was responsible for a crime spree on the East Side, often robbing store owners of relatively miniscule amounts of money. In what is becoming de rigeur during Chief Dean Esserman's tenure, there was a medium-high profile press conference to show the public that the police are doing their jobs. The Providence Journal is attentive to the dog and pony shows, which is no surprise since they've been generally supportive of city government during Mayor Cicilline's administration.

The Providence police do not put on such high profile media events when they bust everyday crack dealers, car theives, burglars, or muggers, and if they did, I'm not sure the Providence Journal would attend the press conferences. They've even stopped publishing their (once highly detailed) police reports, preferring now to publish it on a very irregular basis. Frankly, the crime in Federal Hill, Olneyville, Valley, Wankskuck and Manton, much of it violent, hurts the city moree than a middle aged robber targeting chic businesses on the East Side, but I suppose that's neither here nor there.

What becomes of the dear departed?

Abandoned! (Providence, RI)

A photo of the former Engle Tire and Providence Auto Ignition Service on the corner of Broadway and the service road parallel to route 95.

There is a fair amount of pressure to convert this property into a Dunkin' Donuts, while others want an upscale supermarket for urban hipsters (think Trader Joe's ), while others hope a pharmacy will fill the void. Since DePasquale's pharmacy on Broadway went out of business, this is a suggestion that actually might make sense, but only time will tell. Art In Ruins has more on this newly abandoned property on the fringe of Federal Hill. The future development of this property will almost certainly be a harbinger of the future of Federal Hill.

I only hope it's not another hip little cafe: Broadway's got a few too many of those already.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Rhode Island Red

Little Compton is a beautiful town, one of the last old fashioned New England towns in the state. This tiny town is, however, justifiably famous in Rhode Island for being the birthplace of the Rhode Island Red chicken in 1854. The Rhode Island Red is a champion egg layer, and is well known locally for its brown, delicious eggs. has a fine article on the Rhode Island Red, and a picture of the memorial in Little Compton (the village of Adamsville) devoted to our state bird, the biggest little chicken in America.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

A day in the east bay

Fresh photos from Tiverton and Little Compton over on Flickr. Nora and I bought some sweet corn, took some pictures, and had a good time all around.