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Independent businesses liven up Hope Street

Features Editor
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
This article is part of the series On the Rhode

You can think of Hope Street as Thayer’s little sister – a quieter, more wholesome sibling with her own special spark. The  northern end of Hope Street, about a mile and a half from campus, has long been known for its small family-owned businesses and flurry of community activities.

 The heart of Hope, where most of its merchants are located, is sandwiched between residential neighborhoods. In the space of about four blocks, you’ll find food from Italy, Cambodia, France and India, as well as a variety of goods, from gourmet olive oils to Balinese silver jewelry. Providence bicyclists brush shoulders with Festival Ballet ballerinas as they walk past the several blink-and-you’ll-miss-them entrances along the street. It is a happy mismatch of jazz and local folk music, and blue brick cottages with old-fashioned countryside awnings sit next to modern, glass-walled buildings.

Last week, it was also the site of the annual Miriam Hospital Fall Festival, featuring food trucks, live music and a “Call Me Maybe” flash mob workshop. The Hope Street Merchants Association holds three such events each year, to “bring the community out and show them what Hope Street is all about,” said Dixie Carroll, vice president of the Association and owner of J. Marcel Shoes. She cited Hope’s independent ownership and neighborhood-oriented culture as its trademarks. It’s the kind of area where “50 percent of the time, you’ll have the owner helping you with your purchase,” she added.

In this spread and in time for the long weekend, we explore some of the best of what Hope Street has to offer, from its food and shopping to hobbies and recreation.



Bread and burger lovers feed off Hope

Merchants offer trinkets from Peru to Providence

Ballet, bikes foster sense of community


See BlogDailyHerald for more photos!

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