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Rhode Islanders are well accustomed to pizza, from New York and Chicago-style to wood fired and coal fired, thin crust to thick crust and of course, the Ocean State’s signature pizza strips.

However, one style locals may be less familiar with is Detroit-style pizza, which is a rectangular shaped thick crust pie baked in well-seasoned rectangular steel pans, making for a crust that is chewy on the inside and crispy and caramelized on the outside. The increasingly popular style has been absent from the local market until earlier this year, when Pizza Envy, the brainchild of Chef Ryan Miller and Tilly’s Cheesesteaks owner Jonathan Beres, opened its doors for takeout and delivery orders.

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In “Consider the Lobster,” author David Foster Wallace said, “Lobster is posh, a delicacy, only a step or two down from caviar.”

He offered that well-known sentiment in the August 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine.

It wasn’t always that way for these unsightly “cockroaches of the sea” that today have the revered reputation of being food of the well-off and bringing a chic sense of living when ordering it.

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At Breakheart Brook in the Arcadia Management Area in Exeter, Ellie Madigan bushwhacks along the edge of the stream carrying a hand-held antenna and receiver to listen for an electronic beep that indicates a brook trout is nearby. During a half-mile of walking, she hears only the sounds of the gurgling brook, a few songbirds, and the buzzing of insects. So she heads in the opposite direction.

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The rarest wildflower in all of New England, sandplain gerardia, is found in just a handful of places in the world, including in a historic cemetery in Richmond. How it got there and why it has survived when it disappeared almost everywhere else is anyone’s guess – though there are plenty of theories. But biologists throughout the region are working to ensure that it can continue to thrive in the Ocean State.

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There’s nothing quite like cracking open a can of cold beer on a hot day, especially when said beer is pleasantly fruity and refreshingly crisp, with flavors of passion fruit that taste like the best of summer.

This is the effect of Oslove, a passion fruit blonde ale and the flagship beer of ŌSLŌ Brewing Co., which recently started selling its beers in Rhode Island — its first location in the United States. Why the Ocean State of all places? Because Dimitri Yogaratnam, one of the company’s founders and current CEO, grew up in South Kingstown and lived here for a while before moving to Norway, and has long wanted to bring his brews to this area.

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At the convergence of luxury and celebration is the time-honored tradition of savoring a cigar. An indulgence completely different than cigarette smoking, pipe tobacco or vaping, cigars bridge every socioeconomic gap between partakers. At Regency Cigar Emporium in East Greenwhich, appreciators of fine cigars from all walks of life can come and celebrate life together.

Michael Correia has been the sole proprietor of Regency Cigar Emporium since 2002, but his passion for fine cigars began 25 years ago. What started as a young man’s hobby quickly grew into a man’s passion, lifestyle and career. And because of this, Correia boasts that he never works a day, he simply does what he loves.

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Looking out into the Atlantic Ocean recently at Narragansett Town Beach, Allen Santucci, 27, a surfing instructor, reached back into time.

Surfers bobbed up and down on their boards in the waters ahead, waiting for the right wave to glide them — or carry  them standing up, if lucky — at least a few yards.

“About 10 years ago, I had this fellow who was 97,” he started to explain. “He wanted to stand up on a surfboard. It was on his bucket list, one of the last things he wanted to do.“

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While small in stature, the Narragansett Town Beach has been a beloved vacation destination since the 1800s.

An excerpt from Harper’s Weekly, circa July 7, 1906, by Brander Matthews, reads, “It is the beach, which is the center of life at Narragansett, its reason for existence, its title to supremacy — the splendid beach, a mile long, with its firm sand, with its freedom from seaweed, its gentle shelving slope, and with its surf, rolling in superbly from the ocean… It is the beach, first of all, which has given Narragansett its fame throughout the United States…” The sentiment of South County’s premiere beach and its impact on generations cannot be more aptly described than by these words written by a prolific author and educator who spent his summers in Narragansett.  

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The last year of isolation left many people feeling cooped up and longing for a breath of fresh air. One local couple used that isolation to take an activity they already loved a step further. Steven Pinch and his wife Karen have always been physically active, but they decided to use the past year as an opportunity to really embrace hiking on many of South County’s trails. To them the benefits were obvious, hiking trails not only have much better scenery than a neighborhood walk, but you also do not have cars to contend with and the chance of encountering another person is typically lower.

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While nearby beaches offer sun and waterfront fun, another local attraction gives to some a welcome change from oceanside lounging to exploring wooded forests, biking, hiking and sightseeing off-the-beaten path.

Although not so secluded, tourists and residents alike — regardless of weather — find enjoyment on the William C. O’Neill Bike Path. Sometimes called the South County Bike Path or to locals just “the bike path.”

However, it’s far more than just a cycling route.

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Summer is a time of celebration. It marks the end of another school year, brings with it long-awaited vacations and the sunny weather brightens people’s spirits. This summer also marks the end of more than a year of isolation, uncertainty and hardship. If there was ever a time worthy of celebration, summer 2021 is it.

Rhode Island is rich with the spirit of summertime — South County truly comes alive as people from all over the country are called back to the shores of the Ocean State to savor time in the sun with their loved ones. Now more than ever, “there is excitement to get together with friends and family and resume activities that were missed,” said Kristin Urbach, Executive Director of the North Kingstown Chamber of Commerce.

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If you are looking for a local outing that takes in some sun while relaxing along bayside cliffs with winds off the Atlantic Ocean — and offering a small mix of history in a museum tour — Beavertail Lighthouse ranks at the top of the list.

It is an iconic lighthouse — one of the 21 still found in Rhode Island. The quaint old structure has a claim to fame as the third oldest in the United States. Remnants can even be found of the original 1749 light that guided mariners as they approached the Beavertail peninsula in on Jamestown.

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On a cold morning in late April, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Maureen Durkin watches as a team of four co-workers test their skills at rapidly building a wire mesh “exclosure” on Moonstone Beach in South Kingstown. The six-foot, circular structure is designed to be put around a piping plover nest to allow the sand-colored birds access to their eggs while keeping predators away.

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Steve Burke of Wakefield has been keeping bees for 30 years and serves on the board of directors and is the secretary for the Rhode Island Beekeepers Association (RIBA). Along with his own hives, he also devotes his time to relocating honeybees from places like homes and playgrounds to save them from extermination.

Partners Sara Michaud and Sherri Matheu of Charlestown are in their seventh season of beekeeping. They value seeing their colonies grow and thrive as well as the constant opportunities to learn from the small creatures.