A city of the first order in the United States, Providence grew rapidly during the Industrial Revolution, but the city began to drift towards service industries as the population declined. Today, Providence is home to eight hospitals, seven institutions of higher learning, and many businesses. Among the largest employers, the second largest is Brown University, which has invested more than $35 million with local and national contractors to improve the city’s infrastructure. The university has also created 270 new full-time construction jobs. In addition to redevelopment, Brown University has engaged the community through numerous after-school programs and partnerships with local elementary schools.
A night out in Providence includes a variety of clubs and bars. From hip college bars to downtown martini bars, from techno clubs to beer brewhouses, Providence has it all. The state’s liquor laws prohibit happy-hour drink specials, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy the city’s booming nightlife scene. And while you’re in Providence, don’t forget to treat yourself to a delicious cocktail.
Providence’s population is diverse. African Americans make up 16.1% of the city’s population and are concentrated in the Mount Hope neighborhood and Lower South Providence neighborhoods. Haitians and Liberians also live in Providence. These countries make up a small minority of the population, but they form a substantial proportion of the city’s ethnicity. And Asian Americans make up 5.6% of the population. Other ethnic groups include Cambodians, Indian Americans, Laotians, and American Indians.
During the 1920s, the city had a thriving jewelry industry. However, the Great Depression hit the city hard and lowered the population. However, in the 1950s and 1980s, organized crime came to the forefront in Providence. A particularly notorious crime organization was in the Federal Hill neighborhood. A mafia boss named Raymond L.S. Patriarca reigned in Providence. However, the city’s political climate was not all bad.
The city offers many ways to get around. A good way to explore the city without driving is by taking the Providence LINK Trolley, which uses natural gas and covers most of the historic center. e-riptiks are available on-board and you can also purchase ride passes in local stores. A free self-guided tour map of Providence will give you an overview of the city’s landmarks, Waterplace Park, and the Riverwalk.
For art lovers, Providence hosts the Rhode Island School of Design, which is home to the nation’s first college to accept students irrespective of religion. Its diversity makes the city an appealing destination for art lovers and history buffs. During spring and summer, Waterfire illuminates nearly two-thirds of a mile of downtown Providence. Afterwards, residents and visitors gather along the riverfront for a stroll through the neighborhoods. The event is free and takes place on selected evenings from April to October.
While the city is still largely a car-centric city, the RI Public Transit Authority runs several bus routes throughout the city, making it possible for most travelers to reach their destination on foot. There is also the Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport, which is serviced by a variety of airlines. Boston Logan International Airport is about an hour away. This state’s public transportation system makes it easy to get around Providence. You can find the most convenient means of transportation to travel to nearby cities by following I-95 north or south.