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‘Uncle Jimmy’ and Miss USA do Cranston

"We've had a few people pass out. We've had a few people jump off the front of the stage because the lights are so bright . . . We've had a few wardrobe malfunctions," Jim Donovan says.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  September 13, 2012


RISD carves up history’s silent witnesses

Wood Shop
Dale Broholm was touring the Civil War battlefields at Gettysburg a few years ago when his friend, a former historian with the National Parks Service, described a landscape project that involved clearing trees.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  September 05, 2012


Patrick Conley’s fiery turn as historian laureate

Man About Town
Patrick Conley stands in a hallway lined with framed New York Times and Providence Journal articles about his campaign to lure high-end businesses to Providence's industrial waterfront.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  August 29, 2012


StumpChair takes to the streets

Arts and Crafts
StumpChair — the street-art superhero who whimsically glues the tops of wooden chairs to tree stumps — won't tell me his real name.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  August 22, 2012


The local cagefighting scene takes off

"You cannot eye poke. You cannot gouge. You cannot strike to the groin. You cannot knee to the head of a downed opponent."
By: PHILIP EIL  |  August 08, 2012


Images of a highway departed

Picture Show.
There's a lot of talk these days about the 40-acre footprint in the center of Providence left by the old Route 195.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  August 01, 2012


Fiction for the digital age

Matthew Derby and Max Winter will have some explaining to do before their reading at the Dirt Palace August 9.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  August 01, 2012


Summer Sizzle comes to Foster

"They come wearing "My Barn, My Rules" T-shirts and cowboy boots.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  July 25, 2012


At Providence Provision, lentil soup and clever ideas

"How many of you like plants?" Kate Venturini shouts. "Fruits and berries?"
By: PHILIP EIL  |  July 18, 2012


With soda under siege, Yacht Club

If soda were a person, it would need a publicist. Those sweet, sugary bubbles — once the image of wholesome Americana — have lately been blamed for rotting teeth, obesity, even teenage aggression.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  June 20, 2012


Mothers News tackles cheesecake and Left-Handers Day

This Just In
"No offense, but you guys are no competition," Jacob Berendes tells me.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  June 06, 2012


In DeSilva’s mystery Cliff Walk, fact and fiction blur

True Crime
There is a moment in Bruce DeSilva's new book, Cliff Walk , when the novel's hero — a wisecracking, coffee-swilling investigative reporter named Liam Mulligan — flops on his mattress to read a book by former Tampa Tribune reporter Ace Atkins. "Crime novels were his parachute out of the newspaper business," Mulligan says. "If only I had that kind of talent."
By: PHILIP EIL  |  May 30, 2012


A spoon-bending mentalist takes on the Gaspee affair

History Dept.
Plaques and parades are nice, but the real story of the HMS Gaspee — the British customs schooner looted and burned off the coast of Rhode Island in the run-up to the Revolutionary War — is not rated "G."
By: PHILIP EIL  |  May 23, 2012



Film Dept.
A black Lincoln Town Car drives through the darkened streets of Providence.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  May 16, 2012


When the hipster label hurts

Religious Studies
Don't call it a "cool church," pastor Andrew Mook says.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  May 09, 2012


The launch of PVD Pudding Pops

Valeria Khislavsky woke up in the middle of the night last summer with an idea: she was going to sell pudding. It was a mysterious vision, she says. She didn't have any particular attachment to pudding as a child; she isn't obsessed with pudding pop pitchman Bill Cosby. But it was, in a way, perfectly logical.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  May 15, 2012


Are Rhode Islanders finally ready to recognize Providence-born H.P. Lovecraft's legacy as a horror writing hero?

Loving embrace?
Brett Rutherford was walking down College Street on an overcast day in the late 1990s when a car with Oregon license plates pulled up next to him.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  April 25, 2012


Concert tickets: how the public got scalped

As the founder of, the author of The Phishing Manual: Compendium to the Music of Phish (1996), and an editor of Relix magazine, Dean Budnick knows how live music works.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  April 18, 2012


Coffee with Brown University’s Puzzlemaster

In September of 2010, the New York Times published a week's worth of crossword puzzles created by Brown University students
By: PHILIP EIL  |  April 11, 2012


ULTRA takes in the Pauly D Project

It was just after 10:30 at the ULTRA nightclub in Providence last Thursday night and general manager Garry Williams was sitting in the office, watching one of the club's former bouncers, "Big Jerry" Gialanella, on television say, "You got the fog goin'. You got the music bumpin'. The lights are strobin'."
By: PHILIP EIL  |  April 04, 2012


Meditations on 'My Friend Dahmer'

Comics Dept.
It's possible that you already know how the cartoonist, Derf Backderf's, latest graphic novel ends.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  March 21, 2012

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