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

Miami Vice

There’s no escape for first timers in Miami: a millionaire’s row sightseeing cruise is a must. Boats sail around Star, Palm and Hibiscus Islands, offering great views of the city and port, glimpses of some of the most luxurious mansions imaginable and serious name-dropping: Gloria Estefan, Julio Iglesias, Elisabeth Taylor, Will Smith, Shaquille O’Neal… hard to remember them all.

In reality, not everyone resides or has ever owned property on the island, but who can blame the tour guides for wanting to give tourists a blown up version of the story? One look at these mega-mansions and I was ready to believe every word.

Take, for example, Phillip Frost: the pharmaceutical billionaire, who owns one of the largest properties on Star Island, was matter-of-factly credited by our guide with the invention of Viagra. On another note, we also learned that the palm trees lining the grounds of his property at the waterfront were imported from South Africa at a cost of $10.000 each (there were more than 30 of them). A quick post-tour search showed one of these facts was false – guess which one.

Oh well, not all is lost, however, because … yes, Don Johnson also stayed here during the Miami Vice years. Now, what about Crockett’s Theme by Jan Hammer, in my opinion, one of the best soundtracks for a TV series, ever?

January 31st, 2018

Baltimore – A long walk around the Inner Harbor

So what if it’s touristy – Baltimore’s Inner Harbor offers endless car-free walks with wonderful views of the harbour, away from the hectic rhythm of the city. 

Above, views from the Baltimore Public Works Museum. Below, walking up the steps to the Federal Hill Park and what looks like an upscale neighbourhood with neat townhouses and lovely little gardens. 

Back at the Inner Harbor and that very interesting building housing Barnes & Noble; we’ll have to have a look inside before leaving.

But first, Little Italy by night for some delicious pasta washed down with copious amounts of chianti and a splendid grappa for desert.

And, finally, back to our very old-world, very ambient B&B for a good night’s sleep. 

April 26th, 2017

Bold Curves @ The Mall

Walking up and down the Mall offers gorgeous architectural sights, such as the limestone-clad National Museum of the American Indian, designed to evoke the natural shape of rock formations ~  or the steps leading in -and around- the National Gallery of Art ~
I said it before and I’ll say it again: one may well spend an entire trip to D.C., just walking up and down the Mall.

April 25th, 2017