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‘City Girls’ get metro-spective

The Metro Section’s year in review

The metro section writers and editors share their favorite spots and Providence and community stories from this year and their time at The Herald.

Jack Tajmajer ’24, Metro Section Editor

Favorite story:  Malian artists reflect on decades-long music careers, discuss Providence’s support of African artists 

Favorite spot: South Water Street/Pedestrian Bridge grass area


Stella Chen ’25, Senior Staff Writer

Favorite story:  How Brown’s campus and property holdings have changed, from 1770 to today 

Favorite spot: The Coffee Exchange 

Jacob Smollen ’25, Metro Section Editor, Podcast Editor

Favorite story: At a weekly breakfast, a taste of RIPTA’s free transport program 

Favorite spot: The parking lot with the opposing murals on Mathewson Street downtown

Yael Sarig ’24, Senior Staff Writer

Favorite story: The Evolution of Thayer Street — I’ve referred so many friends to this story! Even in my short tenure at Brown I’ve seen Thayer Street transform countless times, and I think looking back at the street’s turnover throughout history is fascinating.

Favorite spot: Bolt Coffee in downtown Providence!

Avani Ghosh ’26, Senior Staff Writer


Favorite story: Student activists criticize proposed voluntary payment agreements at public hearing

Favorite spot: India Point Park <3

Rhea Rasquinha ’25, Metro Section Editor

Favorite story: Gentrification and displacement in Providence: Urban renewal, economic markets, historic preservation

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Favorite spot: Gano Street dock (to sit and watch the ducks!)

Katy Pickens ’24, Managing Editor & Vice President

Fav story + link: I’m going to list way too many as I am wrapping up my third (!!) year with the metro section. I loved reporting on the opening of Al-Shami (because they’re just so lovely) and covering Ceremony’s new location (thank you to 131 for allowing me to publish the most ridiculous paragraph I’ve ever written).

The Brown property footprint story and the series of articles on gentrification in College Hill and Fox Point will always be special to me as well. The story on the historic district zoning overlay — I know it sounds SO boring, but it’s what really got me into Metro (sorry Will for stealing your story but also not that sorry). And so many more — I’m grateful for the many great stories I’ve read, edited or written and the incredible people I have met and worked with because of this job :,)

Fav spot: Coffee Exchange (for good coffee and even better people-watching opportunities)

Abby Donovan ’26, Senior Staff Writer

Fav spot: Sarah Doyle Center <3

Tom Li ’26, Senior Staff Writer

Favorite story: Rhode Island releases draft report on the presence of ‘forever chemicals’ in state — It was so fun to write this story! I was very intimidated by something so science-driven but it was amazing to get a well-rounded understanding of the issue. It’s a great intersection of a lot of different topics.

Favorite spot: The gardens around Rochambeau House!

Ciara Meyer ’27, Staff Writer

Favorite story: Explore two decades of data on Brown’s payments in lieu of taxes – I love how this story is so data-driven and comprehensive. The impact Brown has on the city as a tax-exempt institution is so important to understand, but also one that is very complex and nuanced. Voluntary payments are such a central part of The University’s relationship with Providence, and Rhea did an amazing job unpacking and explaining the program’s history.

Favorite spot: Fleet Library at RISD 

Mikayla Kennedy ’26, SSW 

Favorite story: ‘Out of the box’ thinking to address R.I.’s housing crisis: Adaptive reuse

Favorite spot: One of the places to sit by the Providence River 

Sanai Rashid ’27, Staff Writer

Favorite story: 2023 Housing Fact Book, Rhode Island Zoning Atlas detail various housing trends

Favorite spot: The Hay or Amy’s Place <3

Maya Kelly ’27, Staff Writer

Favorite story: The magic behind the magic bars: A sweet peek inside the Brown Bakeshop 

Favorite spot: Caspian Breakfast and Lunch

Julia Vaz ’25, Section Editor, Diversity & Inclusion Chair

Favorite story: ‘You can’t put a price tag in that’: Little Compton addresses lack of affordable housing 

Favorite spot: Books on the Square. I first went to the bookstore with one of my best friends only a few weeks ago during a cold, lazy Sunday. It made us both feel like kids again — we watched the sunset surrounded by books, laughing about fantasy worlds.

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