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May 7th, 2007

providence

An unexpected third week in a row of travel brought me to Providence, Rhode Island. Last night I flew in via Philadelphia. I was pleased when everything was nearly on time. I barely finished my Clifford Simak science fiction novel, and my mp3 player only cycled its 47 songs once. I even skipped the 53 minute album, so I could have gone longer. Ambient pieces can run a bit long-ish.

After my work ended today, I walked in the early evening around downtown Providence. There are roughly 50 sights to see in downtown Providence, of which I saw one, or three, if you count the Amtrak station and the river bridge. I hope my picture of the state capitol came out all right.

The last time I was in Rhode Island, I was 15 years old. Then I just drove through on the way from one place to another. In that same week, I saw my first urban homeless, sleeping on a DC street, I saw the Grand Ole Opry for the first time, I had my first anchovies during dinner at Mama Leone's in Manhattan, I saw a Macy's parade, and I visited Natural Bridge, Virginia. I even had a man grouse at me over nothing at a Howard Johnson's near Times Square, which gave me a negative impression of the entire city which lasted for years.

I should be writing about a sumptuous seafood meal I ate tonight, but in fact, I was in a mall called Providence Place, having hit the bookstore, when a woman at Le Petit Bistro enticed me with a sample of chicken on a stick. I am every bit as Parisienne as mall food. I read downbeat magazine and tried to ensure no dressing was on the portions of salad I ate. The no-sugar-added, no fat mountain blackberry yogurt actually worked out well. A comic taunt greeted me as I strode the mall. I was intrigued that even at 47, a 12 year old kid stopped me to poke fun at me in exactly the same way such a kid might have done when I was 12, although at 47 it ceases to bother me. I suppose some of us just have an intrinsic eccentricity that others of us fail to fully understand and enjoy.

I got a great night's sleep last night, and I'll get a great one again tonight.