It took me over four hours to drive to Providence last night! I had forgotten to factor in the holiday weekend traffic. So by the time I finally got here to the Hotel Providence, I was fried. I seem to have picked up a cold too, driving thru Massachusetts... I decide to hide out in my luxurious hotel room, order steak frites, and watch "Bridesmaids". Oh, and I had creme brûlée for dessert too! So there. Totally decadent.
Except for feeling sick, this morning, I felt much better about being here than I did last night. So I finally ventured out into the sunshine. Providence has changed... A lot... Since I lived here... Twenty years ago. Besides the little changes, like new buildings on the skyline, and the highway being replaced by a waterway (they removed the highway and exposed the covered up river- who knew there were gondolas and everything under there!?), and the dangerous downtown now looks like the left bank of Paris... Besides all THAT, the RISD museum has been rebuilt. What used to be a dingy lot and a skinny alleyway staircase between creepy buildings in the hillside, is now a super modern, absolutely gorgeous art museum with some amazing pieces. I, of course, headed to the Egyptian rooms. Those other pretty paintings are nice to soak in as I pass by (OH, is that chandelier a Chihuly? Cool!) But my true love is the really-really old junk. And it kind of IS junk, if you think about it. Some old dead guy's broken spoon handle, his mom's cracked costume jewelry, and a dead bird wrapped in fabric. Yep, junk. Boy do I love it though. I wonder what archaeologists will make of my mom's house, thousands of years from now. She has a basket made from an armadillo's shell. Weird stuff we collect. (And let's not forget the big jar labeled "sliced brains"!)
There is a great new store there too called RISD Works. They'd never heard of Zentangle. And I want to see my books there, since I am an alum and all that.
So I talked with the store manager. Then, having used up all my confidence, I ventured up to Thayer Street to visit the bookstores, eat sushi (while sitting on the green at Brown University), and drank something called "bubble tea" which had tapioca pearls in it.
I have to admit that I am kind of relieved to see so much new stuff here. I have too many old memories tied to this town (met my ex here when were both at Brown). I was 17 years old when I moved to Providence. I changed too much after I got married (while living here). And it was such a strange feeling to sit on the grass watching the kids walk by, expecting to see myself and my friends. Like watching a movie and knowing the ending. You think about what you would tell yourself, warnings and such, encouragement? I guess I wouldn't really change it, because so many good things would never have happened. But I would tell myself to speak up. To stick up for myself.
And now, I'm off to dinner to meet the next batch of CZTs! I am SO excited and nervous!