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 spot: South Water Street/Pedestrian Bridge grass area
Stella Chen ’25, Senior Staff Writer
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 spot: India Point Park <3
Rhea Rasquinha ’25, Metro Section Editor
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 spot: One of the places to sit by the Providence River
Sanai Rashid ’27, Staff Writer
Favorite spot: The Hay or Amy’s Place <3
Maya Kelly ’27, Staff Writer
Favorite spot: Caspian Breakfast and Lunch
Julia Vaz ’25, Section Editor, Diversity & Inclusion Chair
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.