Where in Rhode Island…

Checking in from a Seminar

By Justin Katz | October 3, 2011 |

So, at my employer’s insistence, I’m attending the GetMotivated seminar in Providence. Colin Powell is speaking, and he opened by thanking Providence for its involvement in his charity. When he specifically thanked former Mayor David Cicilline, the audience roundly booed… and were softly chastised by the speaker for bringing politics into it. I have to…

The Customer Has to Want It

By Justin Katz | September 8, 2010 |

I’ve recently changed construction companies, for my day job, and my new boss is very interested in continuing education. Not surprisingly, given that information, he comes from a business executive background, rather than having progressed along a sort of tradesman-up route to management. I offer that information by way of explaining why I’m sitting in…

The Living and the Dead

By Justin Katz | August 23, 2010 |

One of the peculiarities that native Rhode Islanders perhaps do not even notice about their state — at least in the East Bay — is the proliferation of historical cemeteries, tucked into suburban and urban corners alike, here and there, such as this unkempt one on Water St., in Portsmouth: George Carlin used to have…

A Change of View

By Justin Katz | August 2, 2010 |

From my boyhood perch at the top of a New Jersey tree, to which I would climb with comic books in hand, I could see over the two-story apartments to New York City, beyond — the skyline punctuated by the twin towers of the World Trade Center. What awe I felt, before turning to my…

Those with Time to Wait

By Justin Katz | July 26, 2010 |

Money’s somehow ever a factor in Rhode Island. Perhaps the tourist-attracting conspicuity of Newport mansions emphasizes the distinction between those with and those without (and the various gradations between). Perhaps the geography and historical, unplanned New England layout of the roads uniquely places working-class neighborhoods so near to the vistas that draw wealth. Perhaps the…

The Ground on Which We Stand

By Justin Katz | July 20, 2010 |

Built on the belly of an exit ramp, as West Main Rd. transitions into Rt. 24, in Portsmouth, its parking area looking like a racetrack pit stop for daily commuters, Patriots Park is likely most often treated with a high speed curiosity about its import and forgotten. Only those headed toward Bristol will find curiosity…

Friday Night Follies

By Justin Katz | February 26, 2010 |

Slightly different atmosphere at the Newspaper Guild Follies, this year — at least for me. I can’t walk through this crowd quite so anonymously as last year: I just had a very pleasant conversation with National Education Association Executive Director Bob Walsh, who told me that he really doesn’t have a problem with open negotiations.…

A Rhode Island Frame of Mind

By Justin Katz | January 28, 2010 |

Was on my way to dinner in North Attleboro, MA, when that burst of winter weather hit, this evening. I took the wrong Rt. 1 exit off of 95 north and ended up in Pawtucket. I have never been timid about driving in any weather whatsoever, but I have never driven on roads so poorly…

The Sweet Irony of Bumper Stickers

By Justin Katz | October 19, 2009 |

Driving into Providence for a photo shoot in the rain, yesterday, I parked next to the statehouse. Through the streaks in my windshield, when I climbed back into the van, I spotted this antiquated bumper sticker: The anti-Bush and anti-Republican stickers that also scarred the vehicle confirmed which regime the driver intended, but for a…

An Hour in a Different World

By Justin Katz | October 8, 2009 |

I’ve arrived very early for a taping of WRNI’s Political Roundtable with Ian Donnis and Scott MacKay that will air tomorrow at 5:40 a.m. and 7:40 a.m. on 102.7FM and 1290AM (and then appear online). On the way into Providence, I drove past Lincoln Chafee walking toward the office building next to Hemenway’s. The ACLU’s…

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