Bridges to Father’s Day

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Captain McGinn heads upriver in Proud Mary on Father’s Day. (Photo by Christopher Garrison)

Sunday afternoon my wife Victoria, our son Billy, 7, and I took a delightful tour through downtown Providence on the Proud Mary, the oldest vessel in the fleet of the Providence River Boat Company. Embarking at the Hot Club, we rode upriver to Waterplace Park and back downriver to the Hurricane Barrier, but no farther after Capt. Tom McGinn declared that the water’s roughness argued against taking the last leg of the tour. Peering through the two open gates of the barrier, it certainly looked like the wind was whipping the waves into a sauciness sufficient to induce seasickness if not capsizement.

The new Providence waterfront, designed by the late Bill Warner, loves to mug for the camera, and I did not forget mine. The ones below will help me long remember my boy’s lovely Father’s Day gift. Billy is familiar with the Proud Mary, since we frequently book passage on WaterFire evenings. I’ve been doing this for eons, since the boat service was founded in 1992 – two years before the new waterfront was finished – by Capt. Joe Dempsey, whom I still bump into now and then.

On top I have placed a photograph by Christopher Garrison from the boat company website. The shot, in which Capt. McGinn seems to be pointing to my favorite section of the embankment, gives a fabulous sense of the riverfront on a glorious sunny day.

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About David Brussat

For a living, I edit the writing of some of the nation's leading architects, urbanists and design theorists. 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. My freelance writing and editing on that topic and others addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, and 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 invest your prose with even more style and clarity, please email me at my consultancy, dbrussat@gmail.com, 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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3 Responses to Bridges to Father’s Day

  1. barry says:

    Nice pictures but we need more waterfront cafes, best scenes pictured were at the Hot Club where people were actually enjoying the riverfront, too many scenes where there were no people alongside the river

    Like

  2. Anonymous says:

    Wonderful views of our fabulous city David! Thanks for sharing, we were so happy to see the three of you aboard again! Kristin, Providence River Boat Co.

    Like

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