living in providence

Brown University and Hasbro Children’s Hospital are located in Providence, the capital of the state of Rhode Island. Although the smallest state in the US, Rhode Island has 400 miles of coastline and is often referred to as the Ocean State. Rhode Island is situated in the heart of New England allowing easy access to neighboring states. As such, people come from all over to visit the state. Providence is a “minority majority” city because of its diverse population. The state also serves as an active refugee resettlement site bringing in people from all over the world. As a result, the state celebrates a rich cultural history with festivals and a variety of restaurants to choose from. Combined with all the outdoor activities you could imagine, Rhode Island is a fun place to be!

outdoor activities

Given the beautiful landscapes and access to the beach, Rhode Islanders spend a lot of time outside. For those who are interested in sailing, you can take lessons on the weekend. Or you can head out to Newport and hop on a boat for a ride around the harbor. The East Bay Bike Path winds around the Narragansett Bay offering bikers a beautiful view of the state. Those interested in fishing can fish along the rivers in the state or take a boat out into the ocean. Travel further south and you will see people surfing along the beaches or scuba diving. Interested in kayaking? Grab a paddle and push off from Providence and make your way down the coast. Further north, you can participate in strawberry picking in early summer and apple picking in the fall.

providence vibes

Art life permeates every aspect of the community. The state has one of the country’s premier art programs, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Of note, the RISD museum is one of the most revered art collections in New England and people come from all over the world to visit. The country’s greatest chefs train here as well at the culinary institute of Johnson and Wales University. Persimmon Restaurant, a local favorite, is a James Beard nominated restaurant. Oberlin was selected by Bon Appetit Magazine as the country’s 7th best restaurant. Because of the rich cultural diversity, you can try food from all over the world from Vietnam to Korea to Haiti to Italy. On weekends, you can take a trip down to Newport to marvel at the beautiful architecture of the mansions or visit Thames Glass for your chance at glassblowing. Every year, traveling Broadway comes through Providence performing at the Providence Performing Arts Theater featuring such musical favorites as Wicked, Evita, Phantom of the Opera, the Book of Mormon, and Hamilton. So on your time off, you will have plenty of activities to engage in!

Waterfire

WaterFire centers around a series of nearly 100 bonfires that blaze just above the surface of the three rivers that pass through the middle of downtown Providence. The string of fires illuminates nearly two-thirds of a mile of urban public spaces and parks, as residents and visitors gather to stroll along the river, listening to music and watching performances. Boats pass quietly before the flames, as black-clad performers tend the fires from sunset to midnight. WaterFire is held May through November, typically on Saturday evenings about twice a month. The event is free and the public is encouraged to attend.

good night lights

Good Night Lights is a local tradition that began with a simple gesture: Long-time hospital “resident cartoonist” Steve Brosnihan wanted to wish the children of Hasbro Children’s Hospital a good night as he rode home on his bicycle after an evening at the hospital.

From a spot near India Point Park, Steve paused to illuminate the headlight of his bicycle toward the hospital’s awaiting patients. 

After realizing that the gesture was a much-appreciated way of letting hospital patients know that someone is thinking about them, Steve began recruiting local businesses to participate.

Since then, restaurants, hotels, Brown University, police departments and an assisted-living community have joined in at 8:30 p.m. each night, making “Good Night Lights” one of area’s fastest-growing traditions.

Since Good Night Lights began, hospital patients have embraced the tradition, and still gather by the windows of Hasbro Children’s Hospital to flash lights back at Providence and neighboring East Providence. 

Everyone is invited to participate in this special tradition!