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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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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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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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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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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.

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The annual Wickford Art Association’s Small Works: Holiday Sale is taking place from Nov. 20 to Dec. 22 this year, featuring up to 45 member artists selling small works.

“This is an annual event that we have here and basically it’s for the member artists of the organization,” Executive Director Catherine Gagnon said. “They can basically reserve an area of display space within the gallery itself and then it’s their prerogative on how they wish to use the space. They can have as many pieces under 14 inches possible and it is an active show and sale, so as people come in to visit the gallery, they can pay and carry the artwork out with them.”

Artists are able to replenish their space throughout the duration of the show with more pieces that meet the criteria.

In a year where COVID-19 has robbed many artists of the opportunity to sell their works over the course of the spring and summer, many art sales have been canceled or limited with social distancing guidelines.

“It’s generally a very successful sale,” Gagnon said. “Each year, between $10,000 and $14,000 worth of sales occur, so yes, in a year where opportunities have been quite limited for the artists to sell their works at art shows, fairs and in galleries, this year becomes even more critical, so we’re trying to make the sale as accessible as possible.”

In order to do so, the sale will be going on for one extra Tuesday, in addition to the normal Wednesday through Sunday gallery schedule.

“We also added one additional day to the sale on Tuesday, Dec. 22, right before Christmas, so that if people are using this sale as a way to take care of their gift-giving for the holiday season, that is certainly an opportunity,” Gagnon said. “The individual artists who do this for a living, or supplement their income by doing artwork, really do look forward to this particular opportunity each year.”

A virtual gallery featuring one piece from each of the selling member artists will go up in a virtual gallery on the WAA’s website Oct. 31.

The Wickford Art Association gallery is open Wednesdays through Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 3 p.m. For more information, visit their website, wickfordart.org. 

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Recognizing the need in its community and the many families struggling due to the ongoing pandemic, Bank Rhode Island (BankRI) will begin its annual “Holiday Giving Tree” program early in hopes of brightening the season for as many local children as possible. The signature effort, now in its 23rd year, collects gifts for underprivileged kids that are distributed by the bank’s nonprofit partners.

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This season, the need to support local businesses is being more keenly felt than in years past. When you shop local you are encouraging your neighbor’s creative outlet, you are helping to send a local child to camp and you are helping to put food on the table of the person whose passion is the business you visited. This contributes to the overall vitality of your town and makes it the uniquely wonderful place it is. Shopping local has an immediate, tangible effect.

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It’s been a strange summer but some things are still as they should be, like the clam cakes and chowder at Aunt Carrie’s, the local eatery celebrating its 100th anniversary. While a lot has changed in the years since Carrie Cooper opened her lemonade stand near the Point Judith Light, some things have remained the same, a testament to quality food and the strength of family bonds.