November might just be my favorite month of the year. Sandwiched between the sadness of summer’s end and the craze of December’s bustle, November invites a welcome change of pace and a conscious appreciation of earth’s seasonal rhythm. Bulky sweaters are out yet coats and gloves remain unrequired, hokey Halloween has passed but pumpkins (and the plethora of baked goods they inspire) are still considered seasonally acceptable, and the pages of my calendar are buzzing with the sweet approach of the real holiday season. What I’m referring to, of course, is the last Thursday of the month. Thanksgiving. Those who know me well know that I find Thanksgiving paramount to all other holidays- in my eyes no other celebratory event compares. And it’s only 10 days away. But who’s counting, right?
After the opening of Up Close On Hope, M and I had the most peaceful of Sundays, complete with noodles at DENDEN, a visit to the Providence Athenaeum (my first), and a stroll around the RISD Museum to finish the final few rooms we’d missed on our first go round. We discussed the difference between Udon and Buckwheat, delighted in the heady drunk of a slow walk down Benefit Street, and let our eyes fall wide over the ancient artwork wrapping the walls of PVD’s most prestigious gallery. We whispered with friends, surrounded by books, quintessential colonial New England architecture, and even a little FBP press. I dove into George Sand’s Intimate Journal and fell in love with one too many passages. Later we mused on the intention of baroque artists, the devastating failure of a blurry squirrel mirror and the absurd nonchalance with which we were able to experience all of these wonderments. Providence, you are so good.
Yes, I admit to loving Thanksgiving for its emphasis on family, food, and stretchy pants. But my penchant for a holiday based on giving thanks is rooted in just that: a heightened awareness of everything for which to be grateful in my life. I am so very thankful for the resilience of the magical city of lights in the wake of such tragedy, the physical and mental health of the people I love, and the culture-drenched city I come home to each night. At the conclusion of every weekend in November, I like to take inventory of the smaller things in life which garner my gratitude. Right now, those things include fuzzy turtlenecks, shared cinnamon buns, and curry-peppered popcorn pushed promptly passed my lips by the very best hands.
If you recently read my, um, lengthy 24-hour guide to Providence, then you already know I’m a huge fan of all things Rhode Island. I know, I know, it’s a major nerd alert. But there is just so much to explore in our coastal little corner of America, it’s hard to resist the occasional ocean-state-flavored mush fest. Judging by the number of vehicles I’ve seen sporting this sticker, safe to say I’m not alone there.
The only thing better than Rhody’s multitude of beautiful destinations (none further than a mere 30 minute drive, mind you) are its exceptionally talented and welcoming inhabitants. The sweet spirit of RI runs especially deep in the bunch I’ve recently befriended, a pack of hungry creatives that seem to contain an undraining supply of warmth and love. In a manifestation of this unique energy, I’m incredibly proud to represent RI’s newest lifestyle brand, Local Cavalry, a line of American-made apparel focused on adventure and experience.
What I love about this brand (besides the softness of their inaugural tee) is their mission to share in the journey of each wanderer. It’s a wearable realization of Rhode Island’s penchant for creating a community of individual explorers, and we firmly believe everyone deserves a spot in the cavalry. So whether you’re surfing the North Shore or treading the concrete jungle, scoop up your LC gear and get out there. Bring them to your favorite spot or head out into the great unknown, snap a photo and tag local cavalry to share your adventure. Play on.
I’ve grown to love my remarkably terrible sense of direction.
It leads me off the beaten path, through the scenic route and onto adventures I wouldn’t have otherwise found. This extended summer has provided ample time for such misguided endeavors, whether that means sipping iced tea to the sounds of the Grey Album…
Or driving an hour sans copilot in pursuit of a solo beach trip, only to realize I’ve forgotten my wallet in Providence and will have no way to pay for parking. Luckily for me, a small portion of Westport, MA agrees that our beaches should be free for all to enjoy, and my absentmindedness led to the discovery of this little slice of nirvana- free of charge:
To those of you possessing the inner compass that will forever allude me, I suggest you “pull a Keeks” (as my friends so lovingly refer to it). Get lost. Forget the map, miss the exit, take the wrong turn. Follow the road until you hit water, flowers, lights, buildings, trees, the edge…
Leave no breadcrumbs, no stone unturned. You may just find something worth finding.