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A journalism 'giant' sits for an exit interview

As the ' ProJo ' Turns
Robert Whitcomb set a ground rule before our interview about his retirement as longtime ' Providence Journal ' vice president and editorial page editor. He would talk about industry trends, he wrote in an email, but he would "NOT" talk about the paper's internal operations.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  June 05, 2013


'Street Sights' sends up a distress flare

A vital voice
It's Saturday afternoon at the George Hunt H.E.L.P. Center in downtown Providence, and  the staff of ' Street Sights ' is sitting around a conference table, brainstorming ways for the paper to survive.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  June 05, 2013


A professor maps out a smuggler nation

In the epilogue of his recently published book, ' Smuggler Nation: How Illicit Trade Made America ,' Peter Andreas describes an informal poll he took with his "Politics of the Illicit Global Economy" students at Brown University.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  May 29, 2013


The real Rhode Island

A new wave of grassroots documentaries captures Ocean State life, from Haven Bros. to the Ladd School to Fanny the Elephant
There are no red carpets, flashing cameras, stilettos, or sparkling dresses tonight. Instead, at the Woonsocket Public Library on an overcast Wednesday evening, a small group hovers around a metal A/V cart, trying to figure out the right combination of wires to make the digital projector spark to life.  
By: PHILIP EIL  |  May 22, 2013


What to watch

 Ten films, ten compelling stories
From 'Hope City' to "WaterFire: Art & Soul of a City'
By: PHILIP EIL  |  May 22, 2013


An open casting call (with background checks) in Providence

Crime Notes
"You gonna apply?" Providence Police Chief Hugh T. Clements Jr. says. We're in his office at the Providence Public Safety Complex and he's talking about the department's current recruiting drive — its first since 2010.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  May 22, 2013


Young Dems and dance dads

Conventions Bureau
"Hypothetically, in an alternate universe, if you were governor," a college-age guy with tousled hair is asking Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, "if you were sent a bill that would regulate and tax marijuana, would you be willing to sign that bill?"
By: PHILIP EIL  |  May 22, 2013


Equal, at last

Six same-sex couples share their newly-legal love
On May 2, Gov. Lincoln Chafee made Rhode Island the tenth state in the United States of America to legalize same-sex marriage. The law doesn't officially go into effect until August 1, which gives us a chance to check in with some of the people whose lives changed that day at the State House.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  May 14, 2013


Digital alchemy on Power Street

Welcome To the Machine
The Ming Mecca has been described as a "reality synthesizer" capable of diving into old-school Mario or Zelda-esque game worlds and molding them like clay.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  May 14, 2013


Trading pomp and circumstance for mallet and chisel in Newport

Cap and Gown Dept.
"Basically, you start carving, and at the end of the day you stop carving. And that's the way it goes. That's your life."
By: PHILIP EIL  |  May 14, 2013


What to do with the Superman building?

Some feasible — and fanciful — visions for Rhode Island's architectural icon
Some feasible — and fanciful — visions for Rhode Island's architectural icon
By: PHILIP EIL  |  May 13, 2013


Peering into a 40-acre crystal ball at URI's 'Urbanscape'

The vacant spaces in downtown Providence — the Industrial Trust Building and Davol Square's "Dynamo House," among others — are like ink blots. Some see them as stages for the city's next crooked, cash-dissolving deal. Others see them as slingshots to launch Providence into a Renaissance 2.0.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  May 08, 2013


Searching for legal walls in the 'Creative Capital'

In a corner of the spray-painted mural on Westminster Street's Route 6/10 overpass in Providence there are two mysterious words: "AVENUE CONCEPT." What do they mean?
By: PHILIP EIL  |  May 09, 2013


Slavery unchained

Brown's Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice confronts the university's — and America's — shame
Brown isn't the first university to establish a center examining forms of slavery. But few schools have had a more personal or public tussle with their history than Brown, an Ivy League institution named for a family whose fortune came partially from the traffic and trade of human beings.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  May 01, 2013


Giving Jack Kirby his due in 'Comic Book Creator'

"Am I a comic book weirdo?" Jon B. Cooke yells. "No," the owner of the Time Capsule — Cranston's beehive for comic-book lovers — calls from behind the counter.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  May 01, 2013


Local heroes 2013

People helping people
In this 16th annual edition of the Providence Phoenix 's Best issue, we highlight people and organizations who are doing exceptionally good work — local heroes who often labor behind the scenes to change their communities for the better.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  April 25, 2013


In Boston, Chris Faraone reports from Heartbreak Hell

Chris Faraone was a block and a half from the finish line of the Boston Marathon, en route to a bar called Forum on Boylston Street, when the bombs went off. The day's shift from carnival to chaos is preserved impeccably on his Twitter feed.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  April 24, 2013


The guru of advanced hindsight

A talk with Dan Ariely
A talk with Dan Ariely
By: PHILIP EIL  |  April 24, 2013


For Cluck!'s sake

Urban Agriculture Dept.
A turf battle on Providence's West Side
By: PHILIP EIL  |  April 17, 2013


Crate diggers

Record Store Day
On Saturday, April 20, indie music merchants in Providence — and Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles and other cities — will celebrate the sixth annual Record Store Day, a way for artists, fans, and record shop owners to bask in their mutual love through sales and in-store events.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  April 17, 2013


At Yellow Peril Gallery, foreclosed dreams

When Providence-based photographer David H. Wells set out to document the American foreclosure crisis, he started by snapping photos of workers as they cleaned repossessed houses in California's central valley in 2009.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  April 10, 2013

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