of light

The First Baptist Church in America.

Lovecraft, who had decided to quit the church by age five and had become an atheist by age eight, “Hated this church, but… loved this building.” [source]

Not surprisingly, it was there that the 2015 NecronomiCon Providence, the celebration of the work of H.P. Lovecraft, kicked off its convention.

November 24th, 2018



Walking in Providence

Following H.P. Lovecraft’s stepsThe majestic Union Trust Company Building, once home to the homonym Providence-based bank, now in the National Register of Historic Places, still a commercial building, but the upper floors have been converted to residences. 

The massive Art Deco ”Superman” Building, aka Industrial National Bank Building standing empty since 2013! 

The ”John Carter House”, in 21 Meeting Street, aka ”Shakespeare’s Head” since colonial times when the building was used as a print shop and post office by John Carter, who had trained with Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia. The enterprises were advertised by a sign featuring the head of Shakespeare on a pole outside the building. This is where the city’s first newspaper, The Providence Gazette, was printed until 1793.  

A lovely dedication to the firefighters who lost their lives on duty – 9/11/2001

What Cheer Garage is now a studio for RISD. ”What Cheer” refers to the Narragansett Indians’ greeting to Roger Williams on his landing at Providence (a contraction of “What cheer with you?,” the seventeenth-century equivalent of “How are you?”). Many Rhode Island businesses perpetuate the historic greeting. [source]

The Old Brick School House, 1769 (PPS Office & Meeting Hall)

Climbing Meeting Street

H.P. Lovecraft’s last home – still standing. Originally located at 66 College Street, it was moved to 65 Prospect Street to make space for an expansion of Brown University.

Brown University. Lovecraft walked among it’s buildings most of his life. 

The John Hay Library at Brown University, home to the largest collection of H. P. Lovecraft materials in the world.

Providence, RI

November 24th, 2018

Good Taste || Bad Taste

Good Taste – In the Arcade 

Built in 1828, it is the oldest indoor mall in the United States, home to an array of lovely small shops with a vintage feel, a cafe, a couple of eateries and – most importantly – The Lovecraft Arts & Sciences Council. Checking in obligatory, satisfying weirdness guaranteed.

Three Heroes – Queens of Doughnuts 

The Associated Press clip reads:

NEW YORK, Oct. 25. – Three American Y.M.C.A. women have worked under fire in the open frying 10,000 doughnuts a day for the victorious American troops thruout this week, a cable to the United War Work Campaign Headquarters, made public here today, announced.
The women are Mary Bray, Pawtucket, R.I.; Mary Holliday, Indianapolis, Ind., and Mrs. Edith Knowles, Phoenix, Ariz.
The work was done over an open bonfire, and when regular supplies ran short skillful substitutions were made.

The article refers to Mary Bray, obviously meaning her daughter, Gertrude Cottrell Bray (1888-1975).

Gertrude Bray posing below in her daily work outfit.

Bad Taste – The other side of the Arcade

Bad Wolf

For the Doctor Who fans among us (don’t blink)

Providence, RI

November 24th, 2018

Time and Space Divide

A flight of steps with iron rail,
 A belfry looming tall,
A slender steeple, carv’d and pale,
 A moss-grown garden wall.

Thy twinkling lights each night I see,
 Tho’ time and space divide;
For thou art of the soul of me,
 And always at my side!

From the poem ”Providence”, by H. P. Lovecraft

Providence, RI

November 23rd, 2018

My Providence!

My Providence! What airy hosts
 Turn still thy gilded vanes;
What winds of elf that with grey ghosts
 People thine ancient lanes!

– from ”Providence”, a poem by H.P. Lovecraft

A fanlight’s gleam, a knocker’s blow,
     A glimpse of Georgian brick—
The sights and sounds of long ago
     Where fancies cluster thick.

From the ”Superman” Building to the Fleur-de-Lys that Lovecraft despised – and made sure to tell the world, when he wrote in ”The Call of Cthulu:

”Wilcox still lived alone in the Fleur-de-Lys Building in Thomas Street, a hideous Victorian imitation of seventeenth century Breton Architecture which flaunts its stuccoed front amidst the lovely colonial houses on the ancient hill, and under the very shadow of the finest Georgian steeple in America, I found him at work in his rooms, and at once conceded from the specimens scattered about that his genius is indeed profound and authentic.”

The spirit of H.P. Lovecraft is alive, in Providence.

November 23rd, 2018