Thursday, March 20, 2008

Growing Up in Pawtuxet Village

My family moved to Cranston, Rhode Island when I was in the second grade. We originally lived in Edgewood which in it's own right is a wonderful place to live. But the real magic of growing up was when we moved just down the road to Pawtuxet Village.

It's really a community within a community. It's located at the mouth of the Pawtuxet River which empties out into Pawtuxet Cove and then Narragansett Bay. So you can imagine the picturesque beauty of a warm summer morning with boats galore and grand ocean front homes. When I say it's a community within a community I mean it's self sustaining. Any type of business that can be found in any city is in place in the Village. Gas stations, banks, restaurants, sidewalk cafes, book stores and ice cream shops are just some of what you can expect when you visit.

It's full of historic colonial era homes that give the community a unique personal feel. Pawtuxet Village spans two cities - Cranston and Warwick. I lived on the Cranston side where most of the businesses are located. I have fond memories of my life there. My first job at a small family run restaurant called oddly enough "The Family Restaurant" next to Cameron's Drug. At the time I made $2.65 per hour . I felt like I was a millionaire.

As I got older and became more known around the Village, I was lucky enough to get a job at Lindsay's Market. This place is an institution to the locals. I loved working there - although I still wasn't making $5 an hour! Minimum wage was only $4.65, it was a giant leap from my last job. The Lindsay family started the business back in the mid-twentieth century. The market is housed in the old Odd Fellows Mount Vernon Lodge No.50 at 2180 Broad St. I would highly recommend a visit to the market if you ever find yourself nearby. For a detailed history of the Village and it's past please check out

As a mischievous (but harmless!) teen, my friends and I were always on the lookout for an adventure. We would constantly explore areas such as Fay Field down by Rhodes on the Pawtuxet. Or set out to traverse the sea wall from the RI Yacht Club down to the tip of Pawtuxet Cove. The trick to this adventure was to not get wet or get caught trespassing even though we never intentionally went on to anyone's property. In our minds the sea wall was fair game. I really loved doing that. On warm summer nights we would sleep on the docks in the Cove. Truthfully we would usually end up sleeping on the back of someone's boat because they had nice padding to rest on. Again, in our minds it wasn't a bad thing because we never vandalized anything and all we wanted to do was enjoy the water and the adventure of it all. Unfortunately I can't say the same for the kids of today who appear to want to "tag" on everything. Wow, I can't believe I've gotten to the point in my life where I would be saying "the kids of today". I guess I'm officially getting old.

I can remember sitting on the Bridge for countless hours with my friends just enjoying the lifestyle and taking in the sights and sounds of life there. When recently went back to take some photos with my girlfriend Melissa, I started to get a little emotional as we walked up to the Bridge and I heard the rush of the water, which was raging because of a recent storm. I was instantly taken back the second I smelled and heard the violent water which is normally much slower. My friends and I would sit on the Dear Hearts side of the Bridge. Dear Hearts is a quant ice cream shop that opened back in the '80s and was an instant success. It was my introduction to the "Waffle Cone". Walking into Dear Hearts you were overcome by the delicious smell of warm waffle cones being made. I guess I'm a very sense driven person because anytime I smell that I'm immediately brought back to my days in the Village.

I would strongly urge you to make it a point to take a trip to this hidden gem on a summers weekend to experience what I hold so dear.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hey, you never told me you slept on people's boats :):):)!!!! i guess its all part of growing up, love you mom xoxoxox