Boogie nights in Providence

A guy named Buck's food truck. (Photo by David Brussat)

A guy named Buck’s food truck. (Photo by David Brussat)

Saturday night saw the culmination of the first annual Providence International Arts Festival, and your roving correspondent was there. With son Billy and superbuddy Maria Ruggieri, we parked and set off down wild Washington Street on our way to WaterFire. I miss Sound Session, which closed Westminster Street for years, and look forward to the Foo Festival of AS220, which still closes Empire toward the end of summer. But a closed Washington Street offered a visual delight. As did the parking lot behind the Great Façade on Weybosset Street, next to the Providence Arcade. It was transformed into an intimate concert space – a perfect use for the site.

So did Kennedy Plaza, where RIPTA’s inartful replacement of Art Nouveau bus waiting kiosks with sterile glass and steel sheds was “covered up” by delightful demonstrations in the realm of public art. “Creative Capital,” my eye! But, hey – we’ve got music and light and color and joy! Can’t we just fuggeddabout public policy for a sec?

Downtown was magical from one end to the other, but my camera dejuiced after I took the video below just east of Washington’s intersection with Empire. Pulsation may not be my ambience of choice, but Washington certainly was lively and animated. Shot this video – Hi, Maria! – and then stopped at a lively food truck for Totally (yummy!) Buck Naked Fries – and then on (cameraless) down Washington, on through KP, over to WaterFire, and finally back to the car via a Sol Chariots pedicab and on home without liberating comatose camera from the Ruggierian purse.

But as the new adage has it, and contrary to the old adage, reportage delayed is not reportage denied! Viva downtown Providence!

About David Brussat

This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. History Press asked me to write and in August 2017 published my first book, "Lost Providence." I am now writing my second book. My freelance writing on architecture and other topics addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to employ my writing and editing to improve your work, please email me at my consultancy,, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
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