Sunday, August 23, 2009

Providence & Waterfire

Just returned from a quick 24 hour getaway (sans kids) to Providence, Rhode Island. The more time I spend in Providence the more I like it- tons of public art, with a downtown that is less polished than Boston and still a little rough around some of it's edges, yet with plenty of great restaurants and amazing architecture. We stayed at the newly renovated Renaissance Providence Hotel, which was originally a Masonic Temple, cool mix of art deco and modern architecture. Started the afternoon at one of my favorite bars, Cuban Revolution, for drinks and apps. The bartender turned me on to Caipirinhas (recipe below), which is a Brazillian cocktail made with Cachaca rum. This could become my new summer drink of choice. We returned to the hotel and had another drink at the hotel's basement Temple Bar, before heading out to Waterfire. How do you describe Waterfire? This was my first time experiencing this art installation, which is part public sculpture, part performance, and unlike anything I had ever seen before. Thousands of people look on while volunteers light the one hundred floating bonfires along the Woonasquatucket River. Walking through the crowds, and listening to the music that seemed to come from the river itself, you couldn't help but feel part of the experience. Fabulous dinner at Local 121, small plates of grilled striped bass, scallops, and stuffed clams, then back to the river to watch more of the fires. The crowds had died down a bit, but the fires were still burning well after midnight, and the whole scene had transformed into a carnival atmosphere. Very cool. This morning we slept in, which is unheard of at home. Back to the Temple Bar for a lazy brunch before driving home. A much needed respite, and a good way to celebrate the "unofficial" end to summer for me before I have to head back to work next week. Thinking about that makes me want to have another Caipirinha.

Here is what you need to make a Caipirinha:
1 lime
2 ounces Cachaca Rum
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Here is what you do:
Cut lime into 8 pieces. Muddle lime and sugar in the bottom of a glass or cocktail shaker. Add rum. Add about 1 cup ice. Cover and shake vigorously. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Enjoy the last days of summer.

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