there’s no place like home

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Man, is it good to be back. M said something this week that really resonated with me:

“You know you’re living in the right place when you travel all over and you keep looking back over your shoulder.”

How beautiful is that? Walking the steps up to my apartment in Providence for the first time in a month was just the best homecoming; Walking around the Hope Street Farmer’s Market Saturday morning was somehow even sweeter. Maybe because I knew this would be my last chance to stomp Lippit Park on a Saturday morning, with the season starting next week and all…

Speaking of the season, have you guys heard that sentiment going around about how “September is the new January”? I couldn’t agree more. There’s something about the crisp fall air that stirs an urge to refresh and prepare. It’s perfect nesting weather. What better way to commemorate my renewed love of PVD and nestle into fall than with this pretty little map of my city?

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Inspired by her world travels, the artist behind Modern Map Art uses intricate city grids to create detailed urban portraits with a touch of nostalgia. I love the vintage font and graphic vibes in this poster- how cute would it be as a housewarming gift?

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The map arrived just in time, as my wonderful city welcomed me back with fresh fall feels. M and I have just started listening to Crimetown, the Gimlet podcast all about Providence’s mobster past. It’s pretty wild hearing the late Buddy Cianci’s voice (and a beautiful chorus of other Rhode Island accents) on such a well known pod. The perfect compliment to local cherry tomatoes and late-summer figs.

What city do you call home? Does it have quirks that make you feel all fuzzy?

 

Providence map c/o Modern Map Art. Check them out to celebrate your city with a custom print.

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After a few weekends away from Providence, it was such a treat to attend the Lippitt Park Farmer’s Market this morning.  Strolling in the sun surrounded by Providence’s youngest inhabitants, their hip parents, friendly dogs of all shapes and sizes sniffing their hello’s, and local vendors offering up fresh veggies, fruits, flowers, homemade granola, applesauce, locally caught seafood, handcrafted jewelry and art always reminds me how much I love this little community of mine.  The East Side really is a special place.  An added bonus?  Today also turned out to be Providence’s Summit Music Festival, with big white tents housing sit-down service for a pop-up sandwich hut (how adorable are the recycled bottle flower arrangements?), craft tables, and a performance by one of my favorite local bands, The Ricecakes.  Lucky me!

Nice Times, Part II: Le Marche et Le Vieille Ville

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Our second day in Nice began with a visit to the all-organic Farmer’s Market on Le Promenade Des Anglais.  For any of you who have eaten an entire meal’s worth of samples at your local Whole Foods Market (and especially those who pride themselves on it like I do), I highly recommend you take any possible opportunity to visit Nice…if not for its gorgeous views and the salty blue Mediterranean, then simply for the delight that is this sample-happy open air market.  Every vendor we passed offered a bite of bread, a taste of green, black, mixed olive, basil, tomato, garlic tapenades- pick your poison.  Want to try a fig that tastes like a bon-bon?  Please do.  Care for an impossibly sweet prune? Here you go.  Meats and cheeses aplenty, fresh produce spilling out over table tops.  Fruit juices squeezed while you wait, refreshing carbonated citrus drinks offered up with a pastel-colored straw.  Row after row after row of peony and rose petals.  This place has. it. all.  And it’s just begging you to reach out and take a bite.  Please indulge yourself, you can practically hear the market’s unspoken urging as you float from one seller to the next, figs, lemonade, and 100% hemp bag in hand.

After falling under the unavoidable and hypnotic farmer’s market spell, Kevin and I journeyed further down the promenade and through an archway that read Quai Des Etats Unis, quickly realizing we had entered Le Vieille Ville, the old city.  Characterized by its warm colored stucco buildings stamped with bright green or blue shutters, this section of town immediately won my most prestigious of honors: the title of most charming place in Nice.  There, the farmer’s market theme continued, this time enclosed in vibrant striped canopies that seemed to stretch on and on forever.  Bellies half-full on samples, Kevin and I decided to top them off with a stop at a little Brasserie for some brunch.  Is there a word for that in french?…if not, simply see caprese salad below…DSC01768

Incroyable!

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Today was our first real Sunday to explore Paris without a destination, so you know what that means…farmer’s market time!  Our arrondissement is home to the largest open air market in Paris, and with over 200 vendors, it did not disappoint.  We began our shopping adventure at the crêpe stand- who could resist chorizo, cheese and egg rolled up into a deliciously thin buckwheat pancake?  Not us!  After a shared breakfast it was time to set out into the many, many rows of stands.  Fresh vegetables, fruits, cheese, baked goods, fish, nuts, dried fruit, organic salts, herbs, flowers, cashmere scarves…this place has it all!  And with friendly sellers offering us mango slices and cheese cubes around every corner, you could say these sample-lovers quiiite enjoyed ourselves.  With our exciting purchases in hand (including bananas, lettuce, camembert, honey scented soap and an adorable little dress for my niece), we moseyed on home to put our feet up and prepare for the next adventure.  Before I go, I’ll leave you with this photo of a man making balloon animals with a fishbowl on his head:

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…only in Paris!  

providence, spring suits you

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Yesterday was an exciting day!  It was the second annual Hope Street Block Party, the official opening of the Lippitt Park Farmer’s Market, our Beers for the Ballet beer garden, and (the eve of) Tegan’s 21st birthday!  I thoroughly enjoyed waking up late, strolling down to the Farmer’s Market (where the entire adorable young hipster family population of Providence and their dogs also flocked) and picking up some topsy-turvy poppies for the apartment.  After throwing them in some water, it was time to head over to the block party up the street.  You know what, sometimes I think Providence, and my neighborhood on the East Side/Hope Village to be exact, is the cutest little place in the world.  Strange, but cute.  There was a parade of dancing Big Nazo puppets and a slightly misfit marching band that I wish I could remember the name of working the crowd up and down Hope Street at all times.  All of the Hope Street merchants opened their doors to the block partiers with special sales, craft projects, cookie decorating and all that good stuff.  There were sidewalk games outside Seven Stars and a henna artist across the street, which Tegan and I took advantage of before heading over to the beer garden to work the ticket table.  What a strange experience, checking ids, slapping on wristbands and handing out “beer tickets” for $4 a pop.  It was such a nice treat to have local-band-turned-95.5-legends-of-Providence and Rock Hunt winners, The Ricecakes, playing a concert just a few feet away.  They even sang happy birthday to Tegan and gave us discounted band tees!  Score.

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Today, Tegan and I hoofed it to the Hope Street Farmer’s Market (this is becoming a Saturday morning tradition), where we picked up some gigantor tomatoes, an assortment of pretty wild flowers, and some RI fresh applesauce.  We tasted the local artisan cheeses and Providence granola, listen to this week’s musical selection (a blue grass band comprised of cool ex-hippies) and got our fill of people-watching.  Already excited for next weekend!