Squam in the CITY!

::   take a peek at what's on offer in the video above   ::

"WHY PROVIDENCE IS THE COUNTRY'S BEST SMALL CITY: Amazing architecture, great food,
wall-to-wall culture -- Rhode Island's capital has it in spades

"PROVIDENCE is a new destination 
for food-obsessed travelers as it is "home
to one of the nation's top cooking schools 
and a thriving restaurant scene."
New York Magazine



  "PROVIDENCE, unsurprisingly, has exceptional
food, compelling art and architecture,
a thriving gay scene and an inordinate
number of very smart people. Yet
the city remains unpretentious and affordable." New York Times



                                                                                                    photo courtesy of The Dean Hotel 

Sometimes it takes getting away and exploring new streets, new vistas to get a fresh perspective on ourselves so that when we return home we can sink more deeply into the beauty of our neighborhood and our lives - or at least it has always felt that way to me.

For that reason, we have created our first ever URBAN gathering. Yes! We are bringing it to the street!*  
PROVIDENCE was founded in 1636 by Roger Williams, one of the original American rebels, and built on seven hills (just like Rome - ha!). It has a wealth of cultural offerings -- far too much for us to cover in just one weekend, but let's give it the old college try, shall we?

Something I get asked all the time:  what makes Providence so good? As with any great city culture, I'm guessing it might have something to do with paradox and contrast.

  • 400 year-old cobblestone streets AND savvy tech entrepreneurs
  • bookish AND blue collar, equally passionate about locally sourced food
  • urban grit, 19th century architecture AND sandy beaches just a drive away . . 

YES!  Did you forget that Rhode Island is the OCEAN STATE?

In addition to gorgeous farm-to-table cuisine, be prepared for fresh oysters, mussels, scallops, squid and fish. Rest assured, the vegans and vegetarians among us eat equally well! The challenge will be which place to choose as The Grange, Wildflour, and my neighborhood fave - the Garden Grille - are just three of many establishments that elevate vegan and vegetarian cuisine to new heights. (And you will be sure to see the world's first all-vegan soft serve ice cream truck!)

I could try to tell you why I am so in love with this city -- I even started a blog where I thought I might be able to capture all the ways in which Providence continues to surprise and delight me, but there's no wrapping it up in a simple paragraph.

The NEW YORK TIMES got it so right when they wrote that
PROVIDENCE "like Portland OR and Austin TX is also
a town many times more creative and cosmopolitan
than its modest population suggest

So that's the setting for this weekend -- of course, as always, we are blessed to be joined by FABULOUS teachers. Take a peek here to see the workshops they have put together for you.

The core focus will be on experiencing the city through the lens of your camera, but you will also have the chance to make your own perfume, receive a personal tour through some of the most beautiful historic buildings and -- as with any Squam gathering -- there will most definitely be full days of mixed-media on offer!

Even though we are in the 'hood, Squam's essential purpose to nurture and provide spirit restoration will still be in effect, so please know we will have YOGA available to you daily as well as early morning strolls along the river and down Blackstone Boulevard should that appeal to your heart.  YOU get to carve out what will best support you.

And, we have made sure there is time for a number of optional excursions including the farmer's market (my favorite weekly outing), the beach, films at the Cable Car and Avon cinemas for anyone who wants still more.

Yes, there is one scheduled for Saturday night so you can stroll right down to that for a bit of fire magic!

Wait!  Have I totally forgotten to tell you about the digs available to you?! Sheesh-- I can't keep up with all that is here for you. We have partnered with THE DEAN HOTEL to make this weekend beyond the pale.

For the best glimpse into what the Dean is all about, read what CoolHunting has to say,

" . . you forget you're in a hotel room,
and when you wake, it feels a bit like a studio
apartment in NYC - with way bigger windows.

I can't possibly sum up how wildly fun the Dean is so you will have to go HERE to read all the press that has come in on this hot spot that was once both a religious refuge and a brothel-- not at the same time, obvs.

Today, the Dean is one of the coolest spots in town.

Upstairs the rooms are simply perfect.  If you don't believe me, read what Lonny has to say, "There's a local focus in many of the interiors, which feature photography by homegrown artists and furniture handcrafted by area artisans; beds are dressed in luxurious, Massachusetts-based Matouk linens and blankets from Maine's Brahms Mount." 

Of course, you can stay wherever you like (I've put a list of other options here) .  We are leaving it up to you to choose as I know many of you have friends you'd want to stay with -- or perhaps you'd rather find your own accomodations.  We've simply got some wonderful rooms set aside for you at the Dean should you want to experience it. 



bisous, e

*Seeing as SQUAM HQ is based in Providence, you had to know it would only be a matter of time before we had to bring the party here!  :)

A shout out to GO PROVIDENCE for allowing us to share their Waterfire footage in the video above.