My husband and I moved to Providence a year and a half ago after living in New York City for 15 years. We had considered moving to Providence as early as 2008, and even drove around College Hill and Wayland with a real estate agent, checking out houses for sale. At the time, we were thinking we could sell our 2 BR/2 BA in Brooklyn and buy a mansion in Providence, with plenty left over to add to our nest egg. This was at the height of the market, and we quickly saw that our fantasy was just that. We ruled Providence out for a long while after that, even though I spent several early years growing up here (in Bristol and Cranston) and my Dad still lives in Chepachet.
After 3 years of explorations that turned up either lovely towns with astronomical property taxes or affordable places that didn’t make our hearts sing, we agreed to let my Dad give us a tour of some of the other Providence neighborhoods. He drove us up Rochambeau and over on Hope. We saw Dads pushing strollers, tasted the pastries at Seven Stars, and saw an adorable house for sale on Bayard that was way more in line with what we thought houses in Providence would sell for. We were both sold on Summit from the very first moment we spent in it.
Heartened by our real estate prospects here, my husband and I also both loved the thriving artist community and ample studio spaces (my husband is a woodworker), the quality and diversity of the food, the cultural influence of the universities, and the walkable lifestyle we’d gotten so accustomed to in Brooklyn. We made the move here in 2011, when our kids were 3 and 1. We moved into a huge apartment near Moses Brown and started looking for houses in Summit. With the help of CC and Chris, we bought a house on Top Street in Summit in the summer of 2012, and after several months of renovations, look forward to moving in April 1.
Our renovation has been a bigger project than we anticipated, but it’s given us the chance to really create a home that suits our wants and needs (I wrote a blog post about it here).
Since we’ve arrived, my Mom and grandmother and my husband’s business partner have also moved to Providence. I joke with my far-flung friends that if they don’t want to move they shouldn’t talk to me, as we seem to be emitting some sort of Providence tractor beam. (My best friend who lives in the Southwest I hope will also be moving here as her boyfriend is applying for a job at RISD.) Digging out from blizzards aside, we all love the proximity to beaches, hiking, farms, cultural attractions, Boston and New York; but we also love that we get the vast majority of our needs are met right here in PVD. Talk to me next year, after our daughter has entered the public school system, but for now, we couldn’t be happier with this small, quirky, historical, diverse, and quirky city.
As a small business owner, I’ve also found Providence to be very supportive. I’m a coach and a yoga teacher, and I help busy people slow down, breathe deep, and trust their gut, so they can stop worry about things that don’t matter and do more of the things that do. I’ve found a fabulous yoga studio in the woods of Rehoboth to host retreats, have led chocolate eating meditations at the University Heights Whole Foods, and have appeared on the Rhode Show to teach people how to take full advantage of national Let It Go day. If you’re sick of constantly feeling stressed and are finally ready to make some changes to your lifestyle and your mindset, I’m happy to offer a free Serenity Strategy Session to anyone on this list who thoughtfully fills out a brief application. We’ll take a good look at what’s keeping you stuck and discuss your options for moving forward. To apply, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.