Theme Week New England – Rhode Island

Thursday, 23 February 2017 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General

Newport © MVASCO - Michael Kagdis/cc-by-sa-3.0

Newport © MVASCO – Michael Kagdis/cc-by-sa-3.0

Rhode Island, officially the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. Rhode Island is the smallest in area, the eighth least populous, and the second most densely populated of the 50 U.S. states, following New Jersey. Its official name is also the longest of any state in the Union. Rhode Island is bordered by Connecticut to the west, Massachusetts to the north and east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south via Rhode Island Sound and Block Island Sound. The state also shares a short maritime border with New York. On May 4, 1776, Rhode Island became the first of the Thirteen Colonies to renounce its allegiance to the British Crown, and was the fourth among the newly sovereign states to ratify the Articles of Confederation on February 9, 1778. It boycotted the 1787 convention that drew up the United States Constitution and initially refused to ratify it. On May 29, 1790, Rhode Island became the 13th and last state to ratify the Constitution.

Despite its name, most of Rhode Island is located on the mainland of the United States. Rhode Island colony was founded on what is now commonly called Aquidneck Island, the largest of several islands in Narragansett Bay, and included the settlements of Newport and Portsmouth. Providence Plantation was the name of the colony founded by Roger Williams in the area now known as the state’s capital city of Providence. Other big cities are Warwick, Cranston, Pawtucket, East Providence, Woonsocket, Newport, North Kingstown, West Warwick, South Kingstown, North Providence, Coventry, Cumberland and Central Falls. Rhode Island’s official nickname is “The Ocean State”, a reference to the fact that the state has several large bays and inlets that amount to about 14% of its total area.

Rhode Island - Providence © Loodog International Tennis Hall of Fame - Newport Casino, Newport, Rhode Island © Daniel Case/cc-by-sa-3.0 Rhode Island - Bristol Harbor © Angusdavis Rhode Island State House © chensiyuan/cc-by-sa-4.0 Bristol welcome sign © Kenneth C. Zirkel/cc-by-sa-4.0 Coventry - Anthony Village Historic District © Magicpiano/cc-by-sa-3.0 Crescent Park Looff Carousel, a National Historic Landmark in East Providence © Daniel Case/cc-by-2.5 Cumberland Town Hall © Marc N Belanger Downtown Woonsocket Historic District © Marc N Belanger East Providence - Squantum Association © Harmony824/cc-by-sa-3.0 Newport © MVASCO - Michael Kagdis/cc-by-sa-3.0 Pawtucket Armory Center for the Arts with The Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre © Kenneth C. Zirkel/cc-by-sa-3.0 Providence City Hall © Anatoli Lvov/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Pawtucket Armory Center for the Arts with The Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre © Kenneth C. Zirkel/cc-by-sa-3.0
The Rhode Island economy had a colonial base in fishing. The Blackstone River Valley was a major contributor to the American Industrial Revolution. It was in Pawtucket that Samuel Slater set up Slater Mill in 1793, using the waterpower of the Blackstone River to power his cotton mill. For a while, Rhode Island was one of the leaders in textiles. However, with the Great Depression, most textile factories relocated to southern US states. The textile industry still constitutes a part of the Rhode Island economy but does not have the same power that it once had. Other important industries in Rhode Island’s past included toolmaking, costume jewelry, and silverware. An interesting by-product of Rhode Island’s industrial history is the number of abandoned factories, many of them now being used for condominiums, museums, offices, and low-income and elderly housing. Today, health services are Rhode Island’s largest industry. Second is tourism. The third-largest industry is manufacturing. Its industrial outputs are submarine construction, shipbuilding, costume jewelry, fabricated metal products, electrical equipment, machinery, and boatbuilding. Rhode Island’s agricultural outputs are nursery stock, vegetables, dairy products, and eggs.

Several foods and dishes are unique to Rhode Island and some are hard to find outside of the state. Hot wieners are sometimes called gaggers, weinies, or New York System wieners, and they are smaller than a standard hot dog, served covered in a meat sauce, chopped onions, mustard, and celery salt. Famous to Rhode Island is Snail Salad, which is served at numerous restaurants throughout the state. The dish is normally prepared “family style” with over five pounds of snails mixed in with other ingredients commonly found in seafood dishes. Grinders are submarine sandwiches, with a popular version being the Italian grinder, which is made with cold cuts (usually ham, prosciutto, capicola, salami, and Provolone cheese). Linguiça or chouriço (a spicy Portuguese sausage) and peppers is also popular among the state’s large Portuguese community, eaten with hearty bread (though this is also popular in other areas of New England). As in colonial times, johnnycakes are made with corn meal and water, then pan-fried much like pancakes. During fairs and carnivals, Rhode Islanders enjoy dough boys, plate-sized disks of fried dough sprinkled with powdered sugar (or pizza sauce). Zeppoles are Italian doughnut-like pastries traditionally eaten on Saint Joseph’s Day, often made with exposed centers of vanilla pudding, cream filling, or ricotta cream, and sometimes topped with a cherry. As in many coastal states, seafood is readily available. Shellfish is extremely popular, with clams being used in multiple ways. The quahog is a large local clam usually used in a chowder. It is also ground and mixed with stuffing (and sometimes spicy minced sausage) and then baked in its shell to form a stuffie. Steamed clams are also a very popular dish. Calamari is sliced into rings and fried and is served as an appetizer in most Italian restaurants, typically Sicilian-style (i.e., tossed with sliced banana peppers and with marinara sauce on the side). Rhode Island, like the rest of New England, has a tradition of clam chowder. Both the white New England variety and the red Manhattan variety are popular, but there is also a unique clear-broth chowder known as Rhode Island Clam Chowder available in many restaurants. According to Good Eats, the addition of tomatoes in place of milk was initially the work of Portuguese immigrants in Rhode Island, as tomato-based stews were already a traditional part of Portuguese cuisine, and milk was costlier than tomatoes. Scornful New Englanders called this modified version “Manhattan-style” clam chowder because, in their view, calling someone a New Yorker was an insult. A culinary tradition in Rhode Island is the clam cake (also known as a clam fritter outside of Rhode Island), a deep fried ball of buttery dough with chopped bits of clam inside. They are sold by the half-dozen or dozen in most seafood restaurants around the state. The quintessential summer meal in Rhode Island is chowder and clam cakes. Clams Casino originated in Rhode Island after being invented by Julius Keller, the maitre of the original Casino next to the seaside Towers in Narragansett. Clams Casino resemble the beloved stuffed quahog but are generally made with the smaller littleneck or cherrystone clam and are unique in their use of bacon as a topping. The official state drink of Rhode Island is coffee milk, a beverage created by mixing milk with coffee syrup. This unique syrup was invented in the state and is sold in almost all Rhode Island supermarkets, as well as border states. Coffee milk contains some caffeine, yet it is sold in school cafeterias throughout the state. Strawberry milk is also as popular as chocolate milk.

The Rhode Island State Housestate capitol building is made of white Georgian marble. On top is the world’s fourth largest self-supported marble dome. It houses the Rhode Island Charter granted by King Charles II in 1663, the Brown University charter, and other state treasures. The first fully automated post office in the country is located in Providence. There are many historic mansions in the seaside city of Newport, including The Breakers, Marble House, and Belcourt Castle. The Newport Casino is a National Historic Landmark building complex that presently houses the International Tennis Hall of Fame and features an active grass-court tennis club. Scenic Route 1A (known locally as Ocean Road) is in Narragansett. The Towers is also located in Narragansett featuring a large stone arch. It was once the entrance to a famous Narragansett casino that burned down in 1900. The Towers now serve as an event venue and host the local Chamber of Commerce, which operates a tourist information center. Rhode Island also has three of the nation’s tallest bridges. The Newport Tower has been hypothesized to be of Viking origin, although most experts believe that it was a Colonial-era windmill.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on Rhode Island, Visit Rhode Island, Wikivoyage Rhode Island and Wikipedia Rhode Island. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






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