Community News

In The Know on the East Side

Updates on Wayland Square, The Providence After School Alliance and more


Wayland Square Bounces Back From Burst Pipes
The building that houses Butterfield, Wendy Brown Home, Reliable Gold and The Walking Company has had a horrible September, the result of an unfortunate water pipe break in the ceiling that flooded the four tenants in the building. Apparently the worst damage occurred in Wendy Brown Home and Reliable Gold. The bad news is that the stores will be out of commission for several weeks if not months. The good news is that they all expect to be back in time for the holidays with November 1 as a target date. If you need to contact any of the four, if nothing else to cheer them up, we’re attaching their phone and email addresses: Reliable Gold ( or 861-1414), Wendy Brown Home (, Butterfield ( or the Walking Company (Shawn 340-5425). We eagerly await their return.

The Historic Athenaeum Goes Contemporary

In an attempt to attract younger members and supporters to their wonderful library, the Athenaeum on Benefit Street is launching an exciting new initiative aimed at the under 50 set. Called “The Contemporaries,” the program hopes to create what they describe as “an inspired group of like-minded individuals in their 20s, 30s and 40s who actively seek and revel in intellectual simulation, invigorating conversation and dynamic social experiences.” Pretty heady stuff, say we. Their kick-off soiree will be held at the Dean Hotel on October 16 from 6-8pm. You’ll get a tour of the hip new downtown hotel along with some bites and nibbles. Plans include a reading group, monthly social events, behind the scenes tours of special collections and exhibitions and of course reduced membership rates for the Athenaeum itself. You don’t have to be a member of the Athenaeum to join and everyone is invited to attend the kick-off event. Anything that promotes reading and intellectual discourse works for us. Go and find out more!

A Good Deed Searches for a Good Home

The idea itself seemed pretty harmless. Set up a drop box on the East Side where people could drop off clothes for Goodwill Industries. The more visible and accessible the better. So what better place that the southern tip of Blackstone Boulevard, near Lincoln School and where the people congregate to begin their walks and runs up through the park. Unfortunately the decision produced a counter response that felt strongly that there were better places to put the box. The debate has been raging on Cheryl Simmons’ listserv and has produced quite a bit of heat. As we go to press, we understand that the box has been moved to the driveway behind Nathan Bishop which hopefully will tone down the heated rhetoric. We still like the idea though and would hate to see it abandoned.

In Celebration of Ten Great Years
One of the City’s often-overlooked success stories is the wonderful work PASA (the Providence After School Alliance) has been doing with and for young people in the city of Providence. Our own Nathan Bishop is one of the city’s leaders in offering after school programs to challenge and enrich middle school students after the traditional classes end. Over the past decade, PASA has served over 10,000 middle and high school youth and allowed them to do things like sail the bay, build solar-powered go carts, code websites and win debate tournaments. And to celebrate, PASA will be holding a birthday bash on Thursday, October 23 at the Providence Public Library on Empire Street, downtown. A free community forum will be held in the afternoon with a fund-raising birthday bash to be held at night. To RSVP for the free forum CLICK HERE. To get tickets for the evening gala CLICK HERE. Kudos to a great organization that’s done so much to help our city’s young people.

Addition of Progressive Politics to Cinderella: a Slipper-y Slope?

Cinderella, the successful Broadway revival from last year, will launch its new national tour at PPAC from October 10 through the 18th. It retains all the Rodgers & Hammerstein songs from the late ‘50s in a show that that The New York Times noted wants to be both “reassuringly old-fashioned and refreshingly irreverent, sentimental and snarky, sincere and ironic, all at once.” Instead of whispering sweet nothings in her prince’s ear, for example, our updated Cinderella warns him instead that he needs to keep his eyes open to see what was really happening in his kingdom. (The same Times reviewer drolly suggested perhaps she should be renamed “Che-erella.”) But like other great Broadway classics, the play has garnered good reviews, and happily still boasts wonderful songs, costuming and choreography that remain crowd pleasers almost 50 years since its inception. You can judge for yourself whether you agree with the new politics.

Candidates Agree to Mayoral Debate on October 15
Brown University will host a debate among the three mayoral candidates Dan Harrop (R), Jorge Elorza (D) and Buddy Cianci (Ind) at 7pm at the Salomon Center on the Brown Campus. The good news: it’s free and open to the public. The bad news: you’ll need a ticket to get in though they’re easy to score. CLICK HERE for details on tickets. Brown promises to save significant space for non-students and the auditorium seats 600. It certainly should make for an interesting evening.