A West Side Story

Long ignored by many in favor of the italophile strip just north, the West Side of Providence is considered by many to be the city’s up-and-coming place to live, eat and drink. We’re talking about the stretch of land south of Federal Hill, but everything on and north of Westminster. To the west, it’s carved out by Rt-6, and it’s a very short trip downtown to the east (less than a mile, in fact). Rent is cheap, as in a three-bedroom with four people for $850 a month cheap. That is, assuming you’re cool bunking up with your hubby.

Historically, Broadway was the home of the many wealthy mill owners in the state. Hence all the pretty historical houses, many of which are occupied by private businesses now. Local historian and documentary filmmaker Jon Raben explained to me that after Italian immigrants claimed the Atwells strip, the Irish who migrated to the area around the 1920s were forced south, founding St. Mary’s Church.

The contemporary landscape wasn’t much until Julians arrived smack dab in the geographical center of the area, serving as the cornerstone for a vibrant community that was way hip far before the advent of the hipster. Now? It boasts about a dozen of the best bars and restaurants in the city and countless boutiques, specialized shops and a burgeoning music scene to boot.

Here are just a few of the highlights that make a visit, or even more permanent roots, worth your while.

Read more of our coverage on the West End:

Shopping on Broadway

Urban Agriculture

West Broadway Neighborhood Association

Seven Stars

Ogie’s Trailer Park

Brunch on Broadway

Music on Broadway

The Women of the West

Pub Amble I

Pub Amble II

And check out these videos:

Broadway Profile

John Hope Settlement House

Ring of Peace

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