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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


Charlie Hall drinks and dabbles

The Arts
The Industrial Trust Building in Providence looks like a hairspray can with a condom on top. This is what Charlie Hall — Rhode Island's unofficial comedian laureate — is telling a room full of boisterous guests at Chester's Restaurant in Harmony, Rhode Island.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  April 03, 2013


At Brown, torture in watercolor

Foreign affairs
Stroll down College Street from Brown University during the next few weeks and you'll find Providence's iconic spires and skyscrapers slightly obscured by a banner hanging from a streetlight outside Brown's List Art Building.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  April 03, 2013


The not-so-liberal case for guns

At the Range
"I'm an absolutist," Robert Farago says. "I believe that American citizens should be able to walk into a gun store, show their driving license, purchase a firearm — no background check — purchase some bullets, put the bullets into the firearm, and walk out of the store."
By: PHILIP EIL  |  April 01, 2013


Vaseline and blood: the writings and writhings of Eli V. Manuscript

Eli V. Manuscript says he kept his performance tame at the debut of his "The Empty Room" reading series earlier this month in Providence.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  March 21, 2013


H.P. Lovecraft gets his due

"I'm generally up to my armpits in the creepiest, slimiest, nastiest kind of critters that the ocean produces," Niels Hobbs says.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  March 13, 2013


David Shields on How Literature Saved My Life

In the fourth chapter of his new book How Literature Saved My Life , Brown alumnus David Shields contemplates nothing less than the meaning of life: "Isn't everyone's project, on some level, to offer tentative theses regarding what — if anything — we're doing here?"
By: PHILIP EIL  |  March 06, 2013


On the Providence River: oysters, slaves, and the ‘Moses Plan’

The Waterfront
Robert Geake remembers the smell.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  February 27, 2013


In the woods with the Rhode Island Men’s Gathering

Beat the Drum
In the 1950s, President Dwight Eisenhower occasionally traveled to the backwoods of Rhode Island to hunt and fish on the sprawling property of oil tycoon W. Alton Jones.
By: PHILIP EIL  |  February 20, 2013

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