In 2006, friends Mike and Courtney—independent researcher for the historical society and ghost tour guide, respectively—drew up a unique business plan to spook Providence locals and tourists alike with fact-based ghost tours. Their combined interests in the paranormal and knack for research led them to pillage the minds of staff members and records at the Providence Historical Society, the public library, and the Rhode Island State Archives for accounts of abnormal and violent events. They dug through old files and microforms of oft-forgotten morbid events—including murders, suicides, and fires—gathering facts to present objective stories about real people. Once they’d crammed their skeptical minds with grim and gloomy facts, the tours were ready to begin. Today, these truthful and skeptical accounts of paranormal activity chill the spines of tourists and terrified library books as guides lead walking tours, lit by lantern, through centuries-old Providence streets. Since its inception, Providence Ghost Tour has been counted among TripAdvisor's top 10 ghost tours in America, and was featured on an overnight paranormal investigation with Syfy's Ghost Hunters frontmen, Brian Harnois and Keith Johnson.
The Big Toast, a Great Gatsby-themed benefit for Big Brothers Big Sisters of The Ocean State, blends the decadence of the roaring 20s with the philanthropic spirit of the modern age. Partygoers are invited to dress in flapper dresses and fedoras (or business casual). They can also sample their fill of fine wines, craft beers, and quality liquors, celebrating just like the Prohibition-Era speakeasy dwellers did.
The evening's entertainment takes place at the Linden Place Museum. Throughout its storied history, the well-maintained mansion has entertained four presidents, generations of socialites, and famous performers such as Ethel Barrymore Colt. Appropriately enough, it even served as a set for the 1974 film adaptation of the The Great Gatsby.
For six days, a celebration of culture takes over Providence. The annual SENE Film, Music & Arts Festival gives a voice to independent creators of cinema, music, and visual art?as well as audience members themselves. Attendees vote for their favorite shorts, documentaries, and feature films in dozens of categories. They can even meet the artists behind the works during director Q&A sessions where they can learn how the film was made and why Smell-O-Vision has never really taken off. The Limelight party allows guests to relax and mingle with other creative types while admiring an art exhibit and enjoying hors d'oeuvres, complimentary beer and wine, and light desserts.
A visit to the Museum of Natural History & Planetarium will take you on a journey to discover the world around you and beyond. Open since 1896, the museum houses natural history and cultural collections, from local sources and from around the world. Aside from the main exhibits and housing the state's only public planetarium, the museum features programs as well as scientific and cultural events aimed at children, adults, families, and scouts, thus living up to its reputation as "The People's University."
Sunlight streams through stained-glass totems inside the spacious studio at Eyes of the World Yoga. In terms of class offerings, students can exhale the exertions of the day away with slow stretching sequences and rhythmic breathing implemented during mellow yoga. Likewise, semi-limber limbs can flow through the basics of posture and alignment during a fundamentals class, which, like a cannon strapped to a rocking horse, is aimed at all levels.
With a variety of foreign and independent talkies, Cable Car Cinema & Cafe entertains all who venture into its newly refurbished interior. Film fanatics can experience Tony Stone's Out Of Our Minds, a 28-minute exploration of mythology, music, and imagery as conceived by musician Melissa Auf der Maur (formerly of Hole and the Smashing Pumpkins). Beijing Taxi is a documentary that explores perceptions of the metamorphic Chinese capital from the points of view of three taxi drivers, and Total Badass portrays Austin's underground scene, counter-culturally interpreted by local deviant Chad Holt.