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What Cheer / What Jeer 2012

It is that time of year for us to take a look back and What Cheer the good and What Jeer the bad.

whatcheer

Work commences on the Washington Bridge Linear Park

It has been in the works for years, but finally RIDOT has started work on the Washington Bridge Linear Park.

Through a $22 million contract, RIDOT will rebuild the remaining section of the original Washington Bridge that carries the existing bikeway and a section of the original highway bridge. In the same footprint will be a much wider bikeway and linear park. It will feature a separate bikeway and walking path, scenic overlooks, park benches, flag poles, decorative lighting and landscaped planters. The project also calls for restoration of the historic, multi-arch granite façade of the Washington Bridge and two operator’s houses from which an original drawbridge was controlled.

When opened, the new linear park will be named the George Redman Linear Park, after the East Providence resident who was instrumental in making the East Bay Bike Path a reality 25 years ago. Redman continues to advocate for bike path development across the state.


whatcheer

Wind Turbines at Fields Point

While they were installed in January, the whole City was speculating when the would finally start spinning. Turns out they wouldn’t start up until October. But now they are finally spinning and adding some environmental goodness to the Providence skyline. Hope we’ll some more.


whatcheer

Overnight parking expansion

While it has been studied endlessly for years (even as the rest of the world seemed to be able to embrace it and not devolve into chaos), in April, overnight parking has finally started spreading throughout the City.


Continue Reading →

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Rhode Island totally sucks open thread, Vis-a-vis 38 Studios

flickr-london-curtis-cronn

Photo (cc) Curtis Cronn

So I can often be wicked negative. And honestly, our site’s stats go up the more negative I am in my posts (and I get a few more fractions of cents from Google ads the higher our stats go, so,”¦), but often, I’m all like, “yeah, things are bad, but, blah, blah, blah.”

However this 38 Studios stuff I just can’t. This is a whole bunch of holy shit, this state sucks-ness.

I have this idea about Rhode Island that I put out there when I have a gin and tonic or two which I kind of think is funny ha ha, but also I think, I don’t really need the gin and tonics to promote.

In 1663 King Charles II of England gave us a charter for our colony. So, my gin soaked theory is that the current Queen of England could maybe just revoke that charter.

Make us a subject of the crown. It might be nice, we’d get double decker buses and those cool red phone booths. Maybe Pippa Middleton or Ricky Gervais would be appointed as our Governor-General, and the crown would protect us from ourselves giving blood-soaked soxed baseball people loads of cash with no concept that they had any idea what to do with it. Our Economic Development Corporation would be based at Canary Wharf. Sure we’d have a crazy tea tax, but we’d also get BBC shows as they aired, not a season later on BBC America.

So, go ahead. Let’s all have our catharsis and talk about how totally fucked up this whole situation is. But, then let us also realize, the Queen is not revoking our charter. And maybe we all want to up and leave, but how do we take this set back and continue on our path of making Rhode Island great?

Let’s be negative and and get me a few more fractions of cents from my Google ads, but let us also try to figure out how we can persevere and get through this.

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Rain on top of snow equals gross

Atwells Avenue bridge over Route 95

At midnight last night I almost went out to do some honest to goodness snowblogging, it was really coming down. But come morning, it had changed to rain and most of the snow was gone. The amount of snow we got before the changeover, and the amount of rain that fell on top of it, and the temperature still hovering in the mid 30s meant that the sidewalk were a mess.

Worst kind of weather conditions for sidewalks, a thin layer of slush frozen, often indistinguishable from what is simply wet makes for a slow shuffle with arms out to help stop from falling. When I got to the Atwells Bridge, I moved into the street.

Some building owners were out salting, Dominica Manor as usual was putting a lot of salt down on their sidewalks. The Hilton, again as usual. The Public Library was just getting started on salting as I shuffled by. The newest member of the neighborhood, 38 Studios also had salt down on their sidewalks at One Empire and also salted the sidewalks past the pocket park to the Westminster Walk. I’m liking 38 Studios now!

The forecast I saw this morning had some snow showers on it for Thursday night, Friday, and next Monday, maybe we’ll finally get some honest to goodness real New England snow!

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Providence Geeks, December 14

Providence Geeks Dinner

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011, 5:30 – 8pm
AS220, 115 Empire Street, Providence, RI
FREE (buy your own food and drink – it’s cheap)
RSVP at Facebook

The last Geek Dinner of 2011 is going to be a doozy.

Providence-based 38 Studios will be giving an early look at their first game—the highly anticipated RPG Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. There will even be the opportunity to get hands-on. Yes, you read that right – get hand-ons with Reckoning two months prior to its February release date.

What else do you need to know? See you there! (You might want to come on the early side”¦)

Please RSVP at Facebook

Providence Geeks

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Downcity Design Review Committee Meeting, June 13

DOWNCITY DESIGN REVIEW COMMITTEE
NOTICE OF REGULAR MEETING
Monday, June 13, 2011 – 4:45pm
Department of Planning and Development
4th Floor Conference Room
400 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903

AGENDA

OPENING SESSION

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of Meeting Minutes of April 11, 2011

NEW BUSINESS

   
1. DRC Application No. 11.05: 108 Weybosset Street/88 Dorrance Street (Teste Block)
Continued review of the proposal to remove an existing CMU stairwell on the north and east elevations of the building, and to construct a 2″story glass atrium.

2. DRC Application No. 11.08: 98 Dorrance Street (Narragansett Hotel Garage)
Proposal to create new window openings on the south elevation of the garage building.  

3. DRC Application No. 11.09: 198 Dyer Street (Kaiser”Frazer Showroom, now City of Providence Department of Inspection and Standards)
Proposal to create an expanded entryway and to install a new entry canopy on the west elevation, install new windows, replace existing glass block with new storefront system, reconfigure opening at loading area, and conduct site improvements.    

4. DRC Application No. 11.10: One Empire Plaza (Office Building)
Proposal to replace the existing entry canopy with a new canopy, and to complete plaza site
improvements.  

ADJOURNMENT

Agenda [.pdf]


Full disclosure, my employer is involved with items 3 and 4.

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Providence Geeks, “Geeks for Good” Food Drive, 38 Studios, Dec. 15

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010, 5:30 – 8:30pm
AS220, 115 Empire Street, Providence, RI
FREE (buy your own food and drink – it’s cheap)

Providence Geeks is closing out 2010, with a bang. Our December Geek Dinner features the first public presentation by soon-to-be-Providence-based interactive entertainment company – 38 Studios. Also, with BatchBlue’s leadership, we’ll be having our 3rd annual “Geeks for Good” Food Drive (i.e. bring food! details here).

In one of the most talked-about local events of the year, the company founded by world-champion baseball player Curt Schilling, closed a $75 million bond offering and announced its relocation to Rhode Island. Join CEO Jen MacLean and Studio General Manager Gavian Whishaw as they discuss the company’s games and strategy, approach to complex project development, and plans for how the new studio can support the knowledge economy in Rhode Island.

Note: Baseball fans, Curt will only be present in spirit, not body.

Please RSVP at Facebook – and while you’re there please join our Facebook group. And if you want to join our very-low-volume email announcement send an email to Jack Templin with your name and affiliation.

Link

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38 Studios to settle at One Empire Plaza


Image from Google StreetView

PBN reports that Curt Schilling’s controversial 38 Studios company will be calling One Empire Plaza home. One Empire is located at the corner of Empire and Washington across from AS220 in one of the buildings formerly occupied by Blue Cross Blue Shield.

In a press release announcing the move, 38 Studios said it hopes to create a Rhode Island video game cluster and:

“The staff at 38 Studios is incredibly excited about our relocation to Providence and we expect to be the first of many relocating knowledge-economy companies that will take advantage of the opportunities Rhode Island provides,” said Jen MacLean, Chief Executive Officer of 38 Studios. “Providence has some of the best students in the nation, a vibrant arts community, and a dynamic urban environment with easy access to public transportation. We look forward to working closely with the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation and local businesses in the months ahead to plan how our company’s growth can also benefit the state of Rhode Island.”

AS220′s Bert Crenca was quoted in the release saying:

Said Umberto Crenca, Artistic Director, AS220, “I am very excited about the commitment of 38 Studios to locate in downtown Providence. The clustering of creative and digital industries so close to internationally recognized schools such as RISD, Brown, JWU, and URI can be the trigger that propels Providence into its future. The city’s diversity, historic architecture and strong arts and culture have helped it to create a high quality of life that is attractive to creative types. Richard Florida’s predictions are coming to pass: Creative people are drawn to interesting, dynamic and diverse communities; creative industries are drawn to talent and a new economic model is born.”

For more on the politics and economics of the 38 Studios deal, look through Ted Nesi’s blog at WPRI for some great reporting on the topic.

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