For those who have felt that the entertainment value of Our Little Towne’s mayoral elections has been in serious decline since the Bud-I’s extended stay in New Jersey, look no further than the RIFuture blog that features essays, rants, and your basic back-and-forth between political savants of the progressive persuasion. The pissing contest of the past couple of months is between RIFuture founder Matt Jerzyk and Charlie “Art Beatini” Drago.
Both Charlie and Matt are friends, people we know and like, who have found themselves on different sides of the mayoral race. Charlie has been working with longtime City Councilman John Lombardi, while Matt is aligned with Angel Taveras. Both seem engaged in rather ridiculous smears of the other’s candidate (the laughometer over at Casa Diablo says that Drago wins, hands down, for both higher quality laughs and nastiness).
If this sort of monkey business continues, it may create a bigger opportunity for the candidate (well, he keeps saying that he’s running, but as of today, he’s still only a “presumed” candidate) who is looking like the “grown up” in the contest, former Mayor Joe Paolino (disclosure: Jorge once worked for Paolino). People we’ve spoken to who are privy to some of the ongoing polling in this race say that experience and reliability are among the qualities prized by potential voters. A Paolino candidacy could definitely exploit this type of finding.
While Casa Diablo still believes that, at this point, Taveras is the candidate to beat, it goes without saying that anything could happen in what is shaping up to be one of the most volatile election years we’ve seen in a long time.
As you know, P+J never do any actual “reporting,” we just repeat what we hear from other people. And, if more than two people claim the same thing, well, that proves it!
All right, we do have some standards (that are, admittedly, low), but this is a really, really good rumor that we have good reason to believe is true. Seems that there may be life again in the spot most recently occupied by the Blackstone. As P+J reported a couple of weeks back, John LaFrancois, Blackstone head ramrod has left the Hope Artiste Village space on Main Street in Pawtucket and is planning on relocating to a new spot in a matter of months.
Meanwhile, a couple of guys who know a little something about running a music establishment are planning on reviving the legendary Met Café at the Main Street location. Those guys would be Rich Lupo of Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel and Jack Reich. And if you’re not familiar with Jack, let’s just say that he is one of the sharpest music bookers you’ll find anywhere. Management guru to such unclassifiable musical geniuses as the Sun Ra Solar Arkestra and NRBQ, Jack’s ears and passion for music are certifiable — as is Jack in general.
There’s also some buzz that a couple of other sharp characters, Mesdames Lupo and Reich (Sara and Kathy), are creatively involved in the project, which is all for the better. Our informants further tell us that applications for liquor, food, and entertainment licenses from the city of Pawtucket are in the works. And, one more tantalizing detail: we hear there will be a very definite “Nawlins” flavor to the resurrected Met with New Orleans music and cuisine being a key feature of the club.