I like to take a walk at lunchtime. It started as a way to get some air and exercise into the day but now I look forward to it because there is always something new to see. Providence is pretty, historic and visually stimulating. Now, I walk for the pleasure of finding new things in the city, like a small cafe tucked on a corner I’ve never passed by or a crooked, narrow little street running between wooden, clapboard homes from a different century.
I usually start walking along the river, which is close to my building.
My building is in this picture. Can you see it? This is the river where the popular WaterFire installation is set up on scheduled nights. If you haven’t heard of it, it is just what it sounds like…fire on the water. Picture a summer night, with pyres burning down the middle of the river, with gondolas moving up and down and men dressed in striped shirts stoking the fires and adding more wood. Imagine the smell of wood smoke filling the air and strains of heady music rising all around you. It is worth planning a trip around. (Hint hint)
Continuing down the river walk, I pretend I don’t know where I’m going, that I’m wandering, but that’s not necessarily true. I usually end up walking up hill, past the Rhode Island School of Design and towards Brown University.
Typically, that involves passing the First Baptist Church of America which, literally, was the First Baptist Church in America, founded in 1638 by Roger Williams. She doesn’t look that old, does she?
Here’s an interesting statue I passed on the RISD campus.
And this is a little hidden gem of a garden I passed one day, on my way up the hill. It’s called “Shakespeare’s Head”. I never knew it was there. I can’t wait to see it in the spring.
This is the view looking back down the street from near the top of the hill. Can you see the top of the steeple of the Baptist Church?
And this is usually where I end up.
This is the monument to Roger Williams, our founder. He was a believer in religious freedom, an ideology that lured him south of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. I like to think of him up there keeping an eye on all of us and all that he began. I wonder what he would think of it?
It’s usually about this time, after I’ve caught my breath from the climb and admired the view, that I look at my watch and realize I’ve lost track of time. Again! So I begin speed walking down the hill, seeing how fast I can make it back to my office. Today I did it in about 11 minutes. I’m sure I’ll beat that time one day soon.
Thanks for going on my walk today. If you are ever in my city, look me up. Now you know where to find me!