Author Archive | Matthew Coolidge

Presumed Parking Lot-ification

House Demolished at Cumberland and Wardlaw Streets

For the past week or so, there has been a string of caution tape between two cones in front of a house on Cumberland St. Next door: a vacant lot, and next to that, a house that has had the same tape and some chain link propped against it for about a year.

A few days ago, I noticed the property behind the cones had its electrical meter and wires disconnected.

Last night, while walking my dog, I happened to catch a Providence College security guard tidying up the caution tape. I asked if he had any news what’s happening with this property. He told me they were being torn down for parking.

“That’s unfortunate,” I said.

He shrugged.

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It’s boating season in Providence


This Saturday Providence Community Boating is hosting a free open house starting at 1pm with skippered sailboat rides and a BBQ.

Additionally, there will be Audubon Birds of Prey presentations at 1:15 pm and 2:45 pm. Anyone who joins either CBC or Audubon Society of Rhode Island as a 2012 member at the event will receive a free bird-watching boat tour narrated by an Audubon naturalist. Bird-watching boat tours will leave at 2:00 pm and 3:30 PM

Celebrate and enjoy free iced tea from our new friends at Granny Squibb‘s.

And don’t forget, CBC is offering kayaking this year too. Opening day will be May 29th.

Lessons are starting next week! Here is a link (PDF) to the membership forms. No experience necessary!

109 India Street, Providence


Friday is Bike to Work Day

bike to work day

You didn’t forget, did you? Pump up those tires and check your brakes cause there’s no better way to end the work week than to show up at the office in your Hawaiian shirt on your bike.

RI Bike has arranged the bike commuters breakfast and coffee, courtesy of Whole Foods Market, RABAR, and New Harvest Coffee Roasters, as well as the following:

In the last week, we’ve had Mayor Tavares agree to ride to and speak at approximately 8AM. We’re hopeful that he’ll be able to share information about an exciting request from local cyclists that he is considering.  We’ll also have Melanie Army from the City Planning Department on hand to talk about development of the next Providence Bike Plan and Rep. Art Handy to present a resolution from the state legislature declaring May 18th 2012 Bike To Work Day in Rhode Island.

  • Onsite bicycle mechanic services are being provided by REI from 6:30 to 9:30.
  • Raffle of donated items to benefit RIBIKE will be held, including a fashionable rainhood from CLEVERHOOD, bike bag and Donkey Boxes from Legend Bicycle, Bontrager floor pump from Caster’s, Bicycle Jewelry from Recycle-A-Bike and more!

Other activities:

  • Product demonstrations from Caster’s Bicycles, Dynamic Bicycles.
  • Get photographed at the ZipCar photobooth with your commuter gear or bike commuter friends.
  • Learn how to combine Bike with Bus with RIPTA Rack and Ride

We are also proud to welcome the following presenting organizations:

  • Caster’s Bicycles
  • Commuter Resource RI/RIPTA
  • Dynamic Bicycles
  • Legend Bicycle
  • Recycle-A-Bike
  • REI
  • US Open Cycling Foundation
  • ZipCar

Location: World War 1 Memorial, Providence (College St and South Main St.).
Time: 6:45AM to 10:30AM.

I hear the East Bay Bike Path is open again, too, and the weather is going to be perfect!

See you there!


Updated: May is bike month

Office Bikes

Update: This post previously had links to last year’s events. Sorry about that! (page updated 5/1/12 @ 4pm)

Congratulations, you made it through one of the most mild winters on record. If you took advantage of the warmer temps and got out on the bike, good on ya! For the rest of you, if you haven’t been out on your bike yet, now is the time.

That’s right, May is National Bike Month! And bike month wouldn’t be complete without a Bike to Work Day event where you can put a name to some those spandex clad bodies faces you’ve seen two-wheeling it around town.

According to the Rhode Island Bicycle Coalition’s website, the Providence B2WD will be on May 18th and, like last year, there will be an opportunity to meet-up downtown for a little morning bike-fuel.

In the meantime, take the lane, turn on your blinkies, don one of Jef’s slick designs (like this cool button), and I’ll see you on the streets.


No more excuses, back on the bike.

Morning CommuteWe may not be past solstice yet, but it sure feels like spring is here. Now that we have a bit more daylight in the evenings, I’m out of excuses; it’s time to get back on the bike.

Yesterday I did my first bike commute of the season. The morning ride to work wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected despite sand on the roads and a relatively new scrap-metal yard on my route.

I live in Providence, but my office is in Warwick on the oh-so-bicycle-friendly Jefferson Boulevard. This last stretch of ride is the only time I find safety in riding on a sidewalk. No, it’s not ideal, but sharing the right-most of 4 lanes with tractor-trailers, pothole craters, and sand is just too scary for this guy. Instead, I trudge through about a mile of sandy sidewalk, weaving around grossly parked cars in adjacent lots, before ducking into the safety of a parking lot and side street that leads to my building.

I felt great on the ride in, such a beautiful morning. In the evening, it was even warmer. When I hopped back on the bike and headed down the street, I quickly realized which muscles had not been maintained over the winter…

I recently got my first GoPro camera, so I look forward to making some videos of my adventures. This video, by my friend Peter, not only got me interested in these cameras, but seriously makes me realize I need more Rule #5 want to get back on the bike every time I watch it.

Six Days to Glover from Peter Gengler on Vimeo.

Today, am I sore, but I am excited to be back at it. I need somebody to make me a shirt to wear while I’m biking that says “I’m blogging this.”


CBC brings kayaks to Providence

Community Boating Boathouse

The Providence Community Boating Center has announced that kayaking will be added to their programming this spring!

The simplicity of kayaking as an entry-level sport for anyone makes it attractive to get outside, get moving, and embrace a healthy lifestyle.

FREE recreational kayaking is now included with adult memberships! Paddle one day as a trial/guest member, or all season, + FREE guest! We want you to paddle with a friend, so you get up to 2 kayaks/ trip.

New to paddling? Join us for some basic instruction and a guided tour. FREE guided “RiverRomp” tours offer youth & families a healthy, active alternative to TV, video, and other indoor, static activities.

CBC will, of course, still be offering recreational sailing and sailing lessons this spring, but now a membership will also offer kayak usage and kayaking lessons!

An adult membership for the entire season costs only $195*, and basically gives you access to boats 7 days a week – with no boat rental fees and no maintenance obligations.

Only in town for a day, or worried about commitment? CBC offers a one-day pass for $75 – a great way to spend an afternoon before checking out a Waterfire.

More details on the CBC website including the 2012 Membership Application (PDF)

*packages and discounts available, too!


Last CBC wine tasting of the season!

Need some ideas as to what to serve this holiday season?

On Thursday, December 1 at 7:30pm, the Providence Community Boating Center is hosting the last of its 2011 wine tasting events at the boat house. This months varietal: Sparkling Whites

If you’ve never been to a CBC tasting event before, this is a great opportunity to try some wines that might be appropriate for the holidays. It goes like this:

  • Your team of up to 3 people bring 3 bottles of the same wine*
  • We serve 2 of them (blindly) and put 1 in the prize pool
  • At the end of the night, vote on your favorite wine
  • If your wine gets voted as most favorite, you win all the 3rd bottles. The more people that come, the bigger the prize pool – Tell your friends!

*We specify the varietal, the rest is up to you. This month the varietal is “Sparkling Whites,” perfect for the holidays. Please bring 3 bottles of the SAME Sparkling White.

For the rest of the details, check out the CBC event page, or find a team mate and RSVP at this facebook event.

We suggest a donation of $10 per person upon arrival.


Beer tasting event at the CBC boathouse Thursday

The deck at the Community Boating Center overlooking Providence Harbor

On Thursday, October 20th at 7:30pm, the Providence Community Boating Center is hosting another of its 2011 tasting events at the boat house. This month, we’re switching things up a bit and having a beer tasting! Our beer varietal will be Brown Ales.

If you’ve never been to a CBC tasting event before, these events are a fun way to get to see the boathouse and meet some people. Unlike your typical tasting, we have a bit of a contest:

  • Your team of up to 3 people bring 2 6-packs of the same beer*
  • We’ll serve them in numbered pitchers and put a portion of unopened bottles in the prize pool
  • At the end of the night, you vote on your favorite beer
  • If your beer gets voted as most favorite, you win all the remaining bottles. The more people that come, the bigger the prize pool – Tell your friends!
  • If your beer gets voted least favorite, you have to bring your bottles home with you

*We specify the varietal, the rest is up to you. This month the varietal is “Brown Ales.” Please bring 2 six-packs of the SAME brown ale.

For the rest of the details and schedule of future tastings and events, check out the CBC event page, or find a team mate and RSVP via facebook.

We suggest a donation of $10 per person upon arrival.

For questions or more info about CBC, email


Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean ROV Submarine Demo at Community Boating Center, July 7

Rozalia Project
Photo from Rozalia Project Facebook Page

Community Boating Center Partners with Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean for ROV Submarine Demo

July 7, 2011 • 6pm-8pm

Providence, RI – The Community Boating Center (CBC) has announced that it will host a public ROV submarine demo program run by the Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean on 7/7/11, 6-8 pm, at CBC in India Point Park, Providence.

The Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean is dedicated to finding and removing trash and marine debris from the ocean and working with waterfront groups, municipalities, non-profits, individuals, sailing centers, yacht clubs and people who want to protect the water to get cleaning and spread the word about marine debris, it’s prevention and how to be part of the solution.

The Rozalia team will be in Providence to spread the word, look for and clean up trash and demonstrate how their equipment works. Join Rozalia and Community Boating Center in Providence on 7/07 from 6-8 pm to learn about marine debris and how it affects the Providence River. This live demo will allow participants to observe the ROV and sonar flying around the river bottom.

John O’Flaherty, Executive Director, Community Boating Center commented “The Rozalia Project is a must-see experience. Similar to viewing a great movie or performance, its over before you are ready for it to be. The Rozalia team has an energy and welcoming presence that when combined with captivating technology like an ROV submersible or side-scan sonar produces a sure-bet winner of a program.”

Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean is a non-profit organization run by Rachael Z. Miller and James Lyne, both sailors who live (when not cleaning the ocean) in Vermont. Rozalia Project’s mothership is American Promise, Dodge Morgan’s famed circumnavigator, past sail training vessel for the US Naval Academy and now an ocean trash hunter. In addition to nets Rozalia uses a combination of ROV and sonar to search the sea floor for trash and debris. They are dedicated to clean oceans everywhere but are operating on the Northeast coast of the US in various public demo projects.

Community Boating Center (CBC) is a non-profit, 501c3 recreational organization offering all members of the community an opportunity to sail. Located in India Point Park, CBC provides outreach, sailing lessons and affordable access to the Providence waterfront. Gifts of cash or property to CBC may be treated as charitable donations for Federal Tax purposes.


4th of July WINDependence Day at Community Boating Center

Find information about the 2012 WINDependence Day celebration on Facebook.

4th of July WINDependance Day at Community Boating Center
Monday, July 4 • 12:30pm-10:00pm
Providence Community Boating Center
109 India Street, Providence

CBC has announced a 4th of July waterfront party featuring skippered sailboat rides, bands, the RI Philharmonic orchestra in India Point Park, and waterfront fireworks view.

Sponsored by: Providence Community Boating Center, Local Mixed Tape, and


  • 5:00-7:00 pm
    • Skippered sailboat rides
    • Bands at CBC
  • 7:30 pm – RI Philharmonic Orchestra Summer Pops in the park.
  • 9:15 pm – Fireworks in front of CBC!

Suggested Donations:
Sailing – $4
Deck seats* for fireworks – $40

*CBC VIP deck seating includes beverages, burgers, a special keepsake, and the best fireworks view in the city! Seating is limited and will be first-come, first-served.

Proceeds benefit our non-profit sailing programs. Reserve your seat today!

More information including band line-up at Facebook.