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Monday, December 1, 2008

Visiting Quaint Wayland Square in Providence, RI


Article and Photo by Eric H.

Rodney Dangerfield -- God Bless your soul -- take notice: Wayland Square, a pleasant section in Providence, RI, gets no respect.

While the busy, funky, eclectic and sometimes cloying, precious College Hill caters to Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design college students, Wayland Square resides, almost silently, a few blocks down. And while Providence Place, Federal Hill and Waterplace Park bring in the tourists and local crowds, Wayland Square quite modestly avoids the limelight of Providence's lively renaissance. This avoidance happens with good reason: it's hard to have a Renaissance when your traditional-oriented neighborhood has maintained itself well through the years.

Largely a wealthy residential area on the "East Side," Wayland Square looks more like a quaint village than part of a bustling city. Tree-lined and quiet, Wayland Square has a few restaurants (including the excellent Rufful's for breakfast and lunch, and the Red Stripe for upscale but casual New American dining), book stores, a toy shop, antiques shops, boutiques, and art and interior design stores. Combined with elegant apartments and grand 18th and 19th century Colonial homes, Wayland Square is a true hidden travel gem. If you're in the Providence area, make sure to give Wayland Square the respect it deserves by visiting this classic old New England neighborhood with some very modern, yet understated leanings.
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