In 1636 a notorious band of troublemakers, lead by one Roger Williams founded the 13th colony after being banished from all of the others, imagining it to be a haven for religious freedom . Providence is a small place teetering on the line between town and city, acting as the capital of Rhode Island.

For the last decade Providence has been noted as being a "city on the rise", struggling to balance a strong artistic presence with an economic boom, causing much of the artistic community to migrate to nearby Pawtucket. The situation was brought to an apex in the Summer of 2001 when the city tried (successfully) to condemn a loft/club in Olneyville called Fort Thunder and put up a strip mall. The local music scene was fundamentally altered.

The city is notable for being the birth place of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, who set many of his stories on Benefit Street, as well as a healthy punk scene, the Rhode Island School of Design and a high profile scandal involving Mayor Vincent "Buddy" Cianci who was consequently indicted for Racketeering in the summer of 2002. His charges included embezzling profits from sales of his marinara sauce (Cianci’s Own) reserved for an education fund

There have been persistent rumors that Cianci is actually the inspiration for The Simpsons’ Mayor Quimby. Also few people realize that Providence is the origin of the “Andre The Giant Has A Posse” phenomenon started by Shepard Fairey.

If you find yourself in the area I recommend Louis Restaurant on Brook Street, a Providence institution (one of the Kennedy’s used to eat there, maybe Robert) known for greasy food at the lowest price this side of 1954. Tell ‘em RustyJames sent you.

Just the facts, for you kids doing your reports.

The city was founded in 1836. A College Town (Brown, RISD, Rhode Island College etc.) with a large textile industry. It runs about three miles across, has a population of 150,890 as of 12/02/02,and yet still qualifies as the third largest city in New England. After the Cianci scandal the good mayor was replaced by someone named John J. Lombardi who I'm sure is doing a bang up job.

Also the Arcade downtown is considered the oldest mall in the world and Rhode Island is also one of the few states that never voted for Ronald Reagan, that's right they voted for Walter Mondale. here's some more facts:

Latitude: 41.82552

Longitude: -71.4114

Elevation: 11 ft

Main Streets: Hope; Atwells; Smith

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