Providence, RI

Providence is the largest city in Rhode Island.
Added on 07/16/2005
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9 Reviews

minkey
04/07/2019

Providence, RI 4

I was going to give ole Providence a 3 but I'm so in awe of the doozy of a review by missthesouth that I added a star. Honestly she lost me at the "no one here watches or cares about college sports" because that is a flat-out misnomer. My brother in law is the biggest college hoops fan I know and he has just renewed his Friars season tickets through the 2021 season. You know, Providence is a pretty nice small city. They have this river running through the middle of downtown and in the summer they have waterfire, which is a pretty cool event that has people flocking to downtown in the evenings. Like a lot of northern cities, people love to be outside when the weather is good, and a summer night in Providence is as good as any city. There is some terrific Italian food up on the west hill, which is Federal Hill, and across downtown on the other hill you have Brown University. In between is the Mayor's office where Buddy Cianti ran the show for so long and if you have heard of him you are probably aware of his colored past which blended politics with organized crime which spanned decades and included a prison sentence for assault, money laundering and racketeering...in the middle!

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missthesouth
08/14/2009

Providence, RI 1

I've lived here for a little over a year now. I moved here for a job, and boy do I regret it. Providence (and the rest of Rhode Island) sucks. Unlike the vast majority of the sad, horribly unfashionable, rude, macho, nasty people here, I've actually lived other places besides New England and I can tell you Rhode Island is by far my least favorite place. There's nothing to do ever. No festivals, no summer concert series, nothing. And, no one here cares about any sports teams except the Patriots, the Red Sox, and the Celtics. It's a little creepy, really. I've lived in major cities before that have home sports teams, but in the surrounding community there's always been a pleasant mix of teams people root for. Here, there is NO variation.

Here's a list of why it's so unpleasant here:
no one here watches or cares about college sports
--everyone here is uneducated and blue collar (goes along with macho attitude mentioned above)
--store and business hours-no one is open on weekends or past 5pm, not even car dealerships
--"family-owned" businesses-I don't care if your business is family-owned. To me that means it is less trustworthy and less accountable and more expensive. Stop advertisiing everything as "family-owned" as though that's a valid argument for why I should use your company/service/product. And by the way, when I shop at Home Depot I am also supporting local jobs.
--everything is old and what's worse, everything smells old
--no one here is open to change and everyone's mentality is "that's the way we've always done it"
--the people are unfriendly and not even polite. If you have to walk in front of me or push past me, I believe the phrase you are looking for is "Excuse Me." Practice it in front of the mirror at home.
--the people are unfriendly and not even polite. This is especially surprising/annoying at work; I always felt that if you are an employee in a company then you should be warm and friendly to the other employees because hey, you're all on the same team and working towards the same goal, right? Is it that tough to make eye contact and smile as you walk past somoeone in the hall?
--potholes
--poor signage. I know I came from Orlando which is designed for lost tourists, but here at most intersections they don't even have the names of the streets posted.
--short merge lanes for highway on-ramps. No one should have to come to a complete stop when they're trying to merge onto I-95!
--high, high taxes. Especially annoying when combined with the potholes and poor signage.
--the accent. Okay, it's more those Boston people bringing their accents down here, but still. My name is "Jessica" not "Jessicer." You have a drink at a "bar" not at a "baaaahh."
--houses built on busy roads. why???
--no subdivisions. Subdivisions are wonderful things. Similar quality and style houses all together in an organized way with sidewalks and street lights and landscaping and community stuff like pools and playgrounds, and all of this NOT on a busy road. What does New England have against all of those things?
--everyone has a pool. Idiots. You get to use it 3 months out of the year IF YOU'RE LUCKY. And, they are the big blue hideous above-ground pools!
--complete lack of diversity. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I want to join NCAAP. But I like living somewhere there is diversity because I think it makes the local culture more interesting and exciting and because being exposed to it makes you more aware of the rest of the world around you and it makes you more open and accepting of different people and ideas. And, I would never want to raise my kids anywhere they wouldn't be exposed to diversity because I wouldn't want to raise close-minded kids in a bubble.
--The dead months. I get that I'm in the Northeast and winters are tough here. I'm okay with the cold weather and snow. But what's with March and April and even May? These months should be spring, but instead they are these dead months where winter is over, but nothing is blooming or turning green or becoming spring-like. These are the worst months.
--Oil heat. What? Join the 21st century! No one in the rest of the country has huge tanks of oil sitting in their basements because better things have come along and so the rest of the U.S. has moved on. Wake up!
--People complaining about the humidity. You know what I think I about the humidity here? I think the humidity in any state across the whole country that is south of VA is MORE humid, so leave the pity party and get over it.
--People are born in a town, never leave the town, raise their kids in the town, and then die in the town. There's a whole big world out there. Go experience it. And by the way, this is why there are people who say things like, "Oh, I guess they don't just have Subway in Rhode Island." Or who try to explain to me what Friendly's is because they don't know Friendly's is not just in Mass and RI.
--People complaining about the traffic. Hahahahahahahahahahahaha. What traffic?
--No good pizza--how can there be so many Italian people in one place, and yet absolutely NO good pizza places? How??
--No good restaurants--every single place I go to eat that someone recommended is sad and disgusting. Refer to my 5th item above-everything is old and smells old.
--People's fashion--I know it is rude to stare, but I can't help myself when these women at work still think it is 1983 and they literally have the huge, hairsprayed, teased up '80s hair, big plastic '80s eyeglasses, tons of '80s makeup... you see where this is going. Also, everyone here's pants are too short for them. Everyone.

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SubUrbane
07/27/2009

Providence, RI 4

Since it's my current home, I'm obviously a little biased. That being said, Providence has pros and cons like any place. The local economy is in a really unfortunate state right now, and the struggle to figure out how to fix it is agonizing. While it's politically no more fucked up than anywhere else, the small size of the place makes the problem much more visible here than elsewhere, which is stressful. Providence is also sandwiched between two very wealthy, very bossy neighbors (Boston and New York), and sort of lacks the size and glamor that they have. Yes the winters are long and miserable, but summer in the South and West is just as long and miserable, so pick your poison I suppose.

On the upside, Providence is amazingly diverse given its size. Italian, Irish, Portuguese, Cape Verdean, Dominican, Puerto Rican, Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Armenian communities (among others that I'm probably forgetting) are all represented in a city less than 4 miles across. It's very dense and walkable, has tons of gorgeously preserved architecture from the early 18th century to the present, as well as plenty of urban grit, and a hilly, leafy topography that's unusual for the east coast. Of course Brown University is here, as well as RISD, the world's preeminent art and design school. People watching here is great - whether it be gnarled up, leathery townies or college fashion slaves. The art scene is very good for a city its size, and the restaurants are absolutely second to none, although it helps if you know one of the locals to direct you to the best ones.

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lma3113
06/24/2009

Providence, RI 5

I chose Providence over Boston any day of the week. It's a quaint city and its downtown makes wonderful use of their old buildings and facades. I recently was in Providence and strolled along the river and also on Brown's campus, which is beautiful. It's a wonderful place!

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oscargamblesfr o
12/28/2007

Providence, RI 4

It does seem a little gloomy- even on a 90 degree day in July it kind of always seems dark like The Munsters' house, and you can almost sort of see why the early horror writer H.P Lovecraft came from there... The traffic can be rather bad at times because the roads lead to quite a few tourist attractions like Cape Cod as well as large cities like Boston, NYC, Hartford, etc...However, there are quite a few good restaurants and some artsy spots with some good colleges thrown in. Providence is not a great city, and while it is large by New England standards, it's quite small in comparison to what most people would think of as a major city.The place seems like Athens in the fifth century BC compared to some cities, believe me. There is corruption in Providence I'm sure, and it was indeed the headquarters of the N.E. Mafia. Providence, which has a large Portuguese and Cape Verdean population, along with blacks, Irish, etc.,is still one of the cities with a very high percentage of Italians, and while anti- Italian prejudice isn't nearly what it was say 70 years ago, it still exists-&I get the feeling that lingering prejudice against Italian- Americans is really what is behind a great deal of the criticism of the city.

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NTXR6
05/20/2006

Providence, RI 2

Boston Jr.

What a dump.

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jimorama
03/18/2006

Providence, RI 2

See Websters definitions of mafia and corrupt.

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kingguiness
12/29/2005

Providence, RI 4

Im generally not too big on New England cities above NY. But Providence is a nice artsy town. Better to visit in the Spring or Summer.

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caphillsea77
07/16/2005

Providence, RI 4

Providence is an up and coming city. It has quite a bit of charm from the colonial neighborhood on Benifet St to the ivy league atmosphere at Brown University. It even has a it's own little Italy on Federal Hill which has number of great Italian restaurants and pastry shops. You can take a gondola ride on the river with flaming lamps rising above the water. Providence is a great little city with character and is enjoying a renesaince and it keeps getting better.

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