Trader Joe’s Excitement… In Warwick…

In Retailby Bret Ancowitz6 Comments

While furniture shopping, my wife and I drove by the new Trader Joe’s on Route 2 in Warwick and, if we hadn’t decided to cut our time losses and leave, we otherwise might still be in the checkout line two days later… As my wife put it, “I’ve never seen anyplace this crazy…” It was indeed jam packed. Warwick police …

“Then/Now:” Cool NYTimes Series

In Mediaby Bret AncowitzLeave a Comment

Speaking of the NYTimes, they have a great series looking at streetscape “befores” and “afters” called “Then/Now.” It’s a series of photos from 1978 compared with photos taken currently from an identical location. This is, of course, an old idea, but the Times has a slick interface that allows you to drag a “slider” across the image to overlay the …

Will Eco-Green Kill Skyline Lighting?

In Environmentby Bret AncowitzLeave a Comment

Those of us urban enthusiasts whose hearts melt at the sight of a resplendently lit skyline have long harbored the fear that the “green” movement would become an excuse by anti-urbanists to kill the illumination of skyscrapers and other city buildings. That, one day in the not too distant future, people might find a lit RI Capitol dome or an …

PBN on Preservation and Development

In Buildingsby Bret AncowitzLeave a Comment

The Providence Business News has a great editorial calling for cooler heads and common sense when balancing historic preservation and economic development. They also call for the reinstatement of a meaningful historic tax credit, which is critical right now to continuing neighborhood revitalization and job growth. The issues surrounding the fight over the parking lot at the proposed 19 Harrison …

Curves Closes on Hope (and closes, and closes)

In Retail, Retail Updatesby Bret AncowitzLeave a Comment

The “Curves for Women” exercise storefront on Hope Street near Lippett Park is now for rent. I’m not sure how long that’s been the case, but it got me to thinking about the types of retail we all would like and not like to see in our neighborhoods. First, about “Curves,” they initially seem to be a good fit for …

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Cruising for parking

In Parkingby Bret AncowitzLeave a Comment

From The New York Times comes an absolutely essential opinion piece that beautifully describes the link between downtown traffic and parking, arguing that, essentially, our curbside parking is too inexpensive. Here is one of many memorable quotes: “Underpriced curb spaces are like rent-controlled apartments: hard to find and, once you do, crazy to give up. This increases the time costs …

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Thanks for joining us at the GC: Exchange Launch!

In Eventsby Bret AncowitzLeave a Comment

Photo by Bret Ancowitz A big thank you to everyone who came to The GCP’s February 27th Launch meeting and helped make it a smashing success. We enjoyed meeting everyone and had a fantastic turnout, packing Jewel’s space. Each person who attended commented afterwards on the energy and enthusiasm they felt in the room as everyone discussed their favorite aspects …

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Providence Needs Straphangers…

In Transportationby Bret Ancowitz1 Comment

One thing that was obvious to almost everyone at the Providence Tomorrow charrettes was that few of the participants there for the transit forum were familiar with Providence’s (and RI’s) RIPTA public bus system, and that was a shame considering there were an estimated 72,000 bus rides per day on RIPTA in 2005 (an increase of 25% over the year …

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HOPE!

In Governmentby Bret AncowitzLeave a Comment

As one Greater City Providence member pointed out to me, my initial posts about Providence Tomorrow had something of a negative tone, and he wished to reassure me that things are actually looking quite hopeful. And you know what? He’s right! My skepticism is almost exclusively directed at some of the the anti-growth, anti-development, and anti-people (yes, anti-people, more on …

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First impressions; ‘Providence Tomorrow’ Tuesday sessions

In Governmentby Bret AncowitzLeave a Comment

Wow. Huh. Hum… Those are the first words that pop into my head after participating in the first day of Providence Tomorrow planning charrettes. Not since medical school have I ever participated in an activity that left me so exhilarated, angry, hopeful, and depressed, all in one sitting. I’ll start “Part I” by reviewing my general impressions of the process. …