An Ode to Providence

Illustration by the author.

Like many young people, I came to Rhode Island for college.


Sure, I liked Providence, but I was far too focused on doing well in classes, making friends, and trying out for various teams and clubs to worry about what was going on around me. I knew there was something special about this place, hence why I came here for school, but I never bothered to find out what. It wasn’t until I was mid-way through my freshman year of college that I knew Providence was for me. There was something about being forced to move back in with my parents (love you mom & dad) because of COVID that really put things in perspective — I’d been taking this great city for granted.

There is no other city I’ve been to that compares to the history, culture, atmosphere, and community I’ve experienced since residing here. I know what you’re thinking — and I can see the eye rolling from here — but yes, I REALLY DO think Providence is full of enough incomparable charm and subtle beauty that it’s easy to look past all the crappy roads and potholes, the terrible drainage systems and fl ooded highways, and less than optimal weather. I’ve found that many people in my life have similar feelings towards Providence, so I picked their brains and asked them why they chose to call Providence their home.

Dora Waite (DW): What is something that PVD/RI has that you can’t fi nd anywhere else?

Elvis Herrera (EH): PVD has one of the best food industries I’ve ever seen. You can make so many connections throughout the city and everyone knows you from one spot to the next. I’ve found that the people working in the food industry are so friendly and kind, it feels like you’re family.

DW: Out of all the restaurants and bars, what are the ones you just can’t stay away from?

EH: I love Lucky Enough, it’s a smaller dive bar with really good and reasonably priced drinks, and has one of the best bartenders in the area. The food is great there, too. Some of the others are Harry’s Bar & Burgers, Ogie’s Trailer Park, and Providence Oyster Bar, but you just can’t beat Lucky’s!

DW: What’s something you consider important when looking to call a place a home?

Kylie Vigliotti (KV): A place is a home when you’re in a comfortable environment surrounded by good people. The culture in Rhode Island is so unique; it’s much different than where I’m from. There’s also a super strong sense of community here, which makes me feel good about calling Rhode Island my home.

DW: What stands out to you about Rhode Island that’s different from your home state?

KV: For starters, there’s a lot more opportunity here than my hometown, so that’s been nice. It’s also so close to the shore and that’s not something many other places can say. It’s so nice to have the ocean right there.

DW: Is there anything about PVD/RI that you think will influence the next place you live?

Emily Decking (ED): Providence is so walkable and easy to navigate. I definitely think that’s something I’ll look for in the next place I live. A walkable city is also a great way to fi nd community. There’s always people out and about, and it’s so easy to find events that make you want to get out of the house.

DW: What is the most unique thing about PVD/RI?

Carly Scott (CS): I moved here from California and I had never been to New England before. There’s something so strange but really exciting about how classic Rhode Island felt while still feeling super familiar and approachable.

DW: Is there something in particular that caught your attention when you moved here?

CS: The food scene is awesome. As someone who works in the food industry, I’ve found a lot of community through it. Everybody knows someone who works in a different restaurant so it’s a really great way to make friends and fi nd a diverse spread of new places to try.

DW: Do you have any spots in Rhode Island where you go to get away from it all and relax?

Megan Sullivan (MS): Yeah! I love Beavertail State Park. It’s my favorite place to just be alone with nature for a little while. The view is great and it’s so peaceful to listen to the waves. There’s some trails and stuff too for some walks or hikes, just an overall great place.

DW: I’ve heard really great things about that park, I’ve gotta get down there. What about when you want to be social, is there anything you like to do or anywhere you like to go?

MS: Waterfire, it’s a really cool event to go to and something that is super unique to Rhode Island. I like poking around all the different vendor tents and seeing all the people out and about is nice, you can tell it’s a cherished tradition here.

DW: As someone who is a college student in Rhode Island, do you have a favorite place to hang out and study?

Ayden Mudd (AM): Nitro Bar on Broadway is definitely my go to spot for that. It’s a great place to hang out and study and do homework, and the coffee and other drinks there are so good. I’ve been to a bunch of different coffee shops around that are good, but Nitro’s the best in my opinion.

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