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Sean Carlson

Coffee When Quarantined: Stimulating support for Rhode Island’s roasteries

As cafes across the country closed or adjusted their operations to confront public health and financial concerns during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the National Coffee Association’s annual survey found 70% of American adults reported drinking coffee at least once per week. If you count yourself in that tally, whether you prefer to down a quick […]

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Reading Together While Apart: Continuing to connect PVD’s literary community

After coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns caused What Cheer Writers Club ( to close its co-working space and podcasting studio in downtown PVD and to cancel in-person events beginning on Monday, March 16, program manager Jodie Noel Vinson contacted members to encourage the community of writers to support each other and continue to share their work through […]

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From In-Line to Online with Twenty Stories: PVD bookseller drives into an escalating pandemic

After converting a 30-year-old Chevy G20 van into the Twenty Stories bookmobile in 2017, Alexa Trembly and Emory Harkins drove around Los Angeles sweltering through summer highs, some days struggling to sell as many as three books. While relocating in 2018 to Rhode Island, where Harkins grew up, their van broke down in the desert […]

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Reminiscences on Winning a Pub in Ireland: A conversation with Trevor O’Driscoll

While we greet St. Patrick’s Day in Rhode Island this year with parades cancelled, restaurants and pubs closed, and gatherings discouraged on account of the coronavirus pandemic, we’re looking back to the time a Providence resident won a pub in Ireland. In 1997, Trevor O’Driscoll graduated from Brown University with a bachelor’s degree in history. […]

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Closed Libraries, Open Resources: Films, e-books, and audiobooks within reach for free during social distancing

During October 1918, the Providence Public Library closed for three weeks on account of the influenza pandemic, known as the Spanish flu. That year, the outbreak claimed the lives of 941 Providence residents, and another 1,365 people across Rhode Island. In The Providence Journal, the city’s health superintendent suggested: “Keep at arm’s length from everybody,” […]

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Bolt in Place: Fastening a coffee fixture in Providence

Almost a decade before founding The Dallas Morning News, in 1876 A.H. Belo installed the first commercial telephone in Texas, registering the line to a local coffee merchant whose sons worked for his Galveston newspaper. More than a century later, when A.H. Belo Corporation purchased The Providence Journal in 1996 for $1.54 billion, the Dallas-based […]

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Rising with Elizabeth Rush: Celebrating Rhode Island’s one-state, one-book selection

Since growing up in Beverly, Massachusetts, Elizabeth Rush’s journeys have carried her far and wide — college in Oregon, a solo cycling trek to Alaska, a book project in Myanmar, an art gallery in Vietnam, a teaching fellowship in Maine, a research expedition to Antarctica and uncounted environmental reporting trips in between. Now a resident […]

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The Other Side of Lonesome: Lucero’s current tour brings them to The Met

Brian Venable grew up on the self-proclaimed hillbilly country music of Dwight Yoakam and the Dust Bowl sorrows of Buck Owens and the Buckaroos. On a walk home one afternoon in Memphis, Tennessee, he found a stack of vinyl abandoned on a street corner. Hauling the lot home, he listened transfixed as the new-wave whirls […]

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Elizabeth Rush’s Rising: When the storm is on top of us

When Elizabeth Rush arrived in Yangon, Myanmar, in 2008, she dwelled on the former capital’s colonial buildings. For nearly a century, the British Empire claimed and governed the city as Rangoon and its greater territory as British Burma. The independent union, federating more than 100 distinct ethnic groups and languages into seven states, fell with […]

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They Might Be The Mundanes: A conversation with Marsha Armitage-Bristow and John Andrews

Compared to Blondie, inspired by Elvis Costello and opening for the Ramones at Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel, The Mundanes roused Providence in the late ’70s and early ’80s. After they left for New York, their keyboardist John Linnell went on to form They Might Be Giants with John Flansburgh. As the Giants return to Providence, Sean […]

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