This is actually the finale. 🙂 I can’t stress how much of a good time I had.
May 30, 2009
This morning I actually woke up at a decent hour. I decided it was time to try The Creperie. I ordered a banana chocolate chip crepe and it was good but I thought I would be sick from all the chocolate. After that I walked around Brown University, bought some items at the bookstore and found myself walking until I reached Benefit Street. I absolutely loved the architecture and snapped photos. The further I walked, the more I realized that I was close to downtown. The thing is, when you’re unfamiliar with a city it looks big to you even if it’s not. Walking to downtown from Thayer Street made me realize that the area is not as big as I was thinking it was.
I spent a good hour and half chillin’ by Waterplace snapping photos and enjoying the weather. It was absolutely beautiful today! I watched couples strolling along the water front and I thought to myself, I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to be here. Allah is truly merciful.
After that, I went back to Providence Place Mall, snapped photos of the capital building and people watched. That was a lot of fun because the people here are very different from the people in the Twin Cities. There’s quite a mixture in terms of ethnicity. They’re personable and will speak to you in a genuine and hospitable manner but they won’t get too close. I was content to listen to people’s conversation and hear their Rhode Island/New England accent. I feel like I could actually live here and enjoy it even though it’s small. (And that’s saying a lot considering that I love major cities).
People looked at me with a raised eyebrow since there weren’t many hijabis around. (Apart from the masjid, I saw a total of three.) The good thing is that their curious glances weren’t threatening in any way. People usually gave me a quick look and then they were on their way. I think my first impression of Rhode Islanders was wrong. People were livelier and definitely friendlier today. (I wonder if the weather had something to do with it.)
Finally, instead of relying on the shuttle to come get me and take me back to the hotel, I decided to walk back to Thayer Street up the enormous hills. LAWD! I didn’t think I was going to make it but I did. I came back to the hotel and rested until Mahgrib. I eventually went back out again to meet my myspace friend for tea. We walked up and down Thayer Street talking until I couldn’t stand the mosquitoes gnawing at my flesh any longer.
Oh what a day. Can I say it? I LOVE PROVIDENCE! I still haven’t figured out why I’m so drawn to it but I know that I’m enjoying myself.
May 31, 2009
I woke up early to head out to Horton’s Seafood Restaurant which everyone recommended. I called a taxi and we were on our way. Or so I thought…wouldn’t you know he couldn’t find the place? Is it just my luck or do the taxi drivers in Providence really not know their city? Furthermore, how can you be a taxi driver and not know where you’re going? LOL. It’s not like Providence is that big. Eventually we found the restaurant but it was closed. 😦 I thought to myself, what now? I decided to head back downtown to get something to eat. I was able to try Rhode Island’s famous fried clam strips. YUMMY! I have never tasted clams so good in my life! My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
After walking around the mall for a while, I met up with my myspace friend who offered to take me to Newport, Rhode Island (the tourist spot). Of course I accepted and we hopped a bus and spent 40 minutes on it before we actually reached there. When I was doing research on Rhode Island some people suggested Newport was a better place to stay. I weighed my options and eventually decided on Providence because most people said it was “less of a tourist spot.” Aside from that, whatever it was that was pulling me to Rhode Island suggested that I go to Providence- not Newport. I say all of this because once I actually set sights on Newport I knew I made the right decision. Newport was clearly catered towards an older population (most of the shops were closed by the time we got there). However, it was nice to walk around and look at the shops and the neighborhood. Of course I enjoyed the waterfront view.
I wanted to try Rhode Island’s famous “chowda” so we ducked into a place to eat. DELICIOUS! I can never go back to eating chowder out of a can again. I also tried the crab cakes and I wasn’t disappointed. After we ate it was back to Providence and the long, excruciating bus ride. By the time we reached Providence it was 10 and I was ready to go back to the hotel. I said goodbye to my friend and I went back to the room to pack up my stuff. I didn’t get a chance to see Prospect Terrace Park but insha’allah Providence has not seen the last of me.
June 1, 2009
So, here I am all packed up and getting ready to check out of the room. (BTW, the sleep number bed was not all I thought it would be). I’m actually quite sad to be leaving. I’m still not all the way clear as to why I was so drawn to Rhode Island but I do know that I leave with a heavy heart. I liked the people (cordial but not overly friendly- if there is such a thing), the accents (people telling me about the ‘pahk/park’ or the ‘cah’/car), the scenery, and the overall vibe. The Muslim community leaves a little to be desired but who knows? Rhode Island might be my home one day…
For pics from my trip click here. Enjoy!