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Posts Tagged ‘rhode island’

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Photo: C.J. Chivers
Andrade’s Catch has been buying clams from a rotating group of fisherman to keep revenue flowing to quahoggers.

My friends in Minnesota and Wisconsin have perhaps not been asking themselves, “How are the quahoggers doing these days?” but on the coast, a few journalists are checking in on the folks who provide our seafood.

C. J. Chivers (a New York Times writer who sells clams but has no connection to the shop in this story) reports about a lifeline for clam diggers.

“Lou Frattarelli eased his flatbed truck into the loading zone at Andrade’s Catch, a small seafood shop in [Bristol] on Narragansett Bay. … He had four sacks of quahogs to sell, raked on the still-running tide from the bottom of the bay.

“Davy Andrade, one of the shop owners, met him at the door. Mr. Andrade was buying, one of the few shellfish dealers in the state still employing clammers and bringing a local seafood staple to residents.

“ ‘What do you want me doing tomorrow?’ Mr. Frattarelli asked, hoping for one more day’s pay.

“ ‘Another 500, if you can,’ Mr. Andrade answered.

“Five hundred littlenecks is far fewer clams than an experienced quahogger can rake in a day from the rich waters around Prudence Island, where Mr. Frattarelli had been working. But in the age of the coronavirus, it amounted to a boon.

“Many fishing ports across the United States, long imperiled and struggling under strict regulations and the declines of valuable fish and shellfish stocks, have fallen even quieter in the pandemic. …

“Until two weeks ago, much of the East Coast’s daily harvest of wild clams was channeled through wholesale buyers to restaurants and raw bars, many of them in New York City. When bars and restaurants were closed, wholesalers stopped buying.

“In Rhode Island, where state regulations forbid quahoggers from selling clams directly to consumers, the result is that the fleet has all but stopped working — even though catches were high and people, wary of going into crowded and picked-over grocery stores, are eager for healthy meals. …

“Andrade’s Catch has managed to support quahog sales, at least at a small scale. While the shop does a robust wholesale business, it also runs a retail shop out front. By shifting operations almost entirely to retail, it has kept a few boats on the water.

“ ‘I’ve got about six guys I am buying from,’ Mr. Andrade said, and he rotates their days. ‘We want to keep the guys going.’ …

“Said David Andrade, Davy’s father and a co-founder of the shop with his wife, ‘I’ve been telling the diggers, take it easy, wait for the restaurants to come back, [but in] all reality, you’ve got to make $200 a day to pay for the boat.’ …

“A town resident donated $600 to provide free clams to Andrade’s Catch customers. The donation became the impetus for a retail special: Anyone spending $24 or more on seafood this week received 24 free clams. …

“Mr. Andrade’s fiancée, Victoria Young, [encourages] shoppers to place orders by phone and to collect purchases curbside — reducing traffic in the store and potential dangers to the customers and staff.

“Between customers, Ms. Young sprays and wipes anything they might touch — the counters, the A.T.M. and the frame, glass and handles of the front door. …

“ ‘We were supposed to get married next week,’ she said, looking at Davy. ‘We’ve postponed it.’ ”

Read what some Rhode Island quahoggers are saying about the future, here.

 

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I haven’t shared photos for a while. Some of these are from my last sad visit to New York, others are closer to home.

The first one makes me think of how hopeful I was on September 24th, when I arrived in New York and stayed with my sister’s devoted friend. I learned that my sister was doing better than the day before although she was still in the hospital. She was talking again and saying she wanted to carry on with treatment. We allowed ourselves a flutter of hope.

The bed is a Murphy Bed, made famous in old, silent movies, where someone like Charlie Chaplin might accidentally get closed up in it. This one was comfortable and not at all recalcitrant.

My hosts’ balcony had a glorious view. I sat there and had a cup of tea. I also took an early walk around their neighborhood, which features a statue of the Dutch director-general of the colony of New Netherland (now New York), “Peg Leg” Peter Stuyvesant. I couldn’t help wondering what the descendants of the Lenape natives thought of the statue.

Alas, the next day my sister took a dramatic turn for the worse and died the day after that. Miraculously, our brothers arrived in time from Wisconsin and California.

On days that followed, my sister’s husband, her friend, Suzanne, and I wandered around the city trying to enjoy nature and art and focus on good memories.

Then I took a bus back to Rhode Island, where I had left my car in a hurry. The rooster is in Rhode Island.

The concluding set of photos embraces art and nature back home in Massachusetts, where a long-life sympathy plant from my niece and nephew holds pride of place in the living room.

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The angle of light makes September seem close at hand, so it’s time to round up a few more photos from my Rhode Island summer before the hurricanes start.

As they do every year, both families of grandchildren took a turn at a lemonade stand to raise money either for a big item on a wish list — or a visit to the candy store.

Another every-year thing is the opening of my neighbor’s lotus flowers. No matter how many times I’ve seen it, it always feels like an unexpected miracle. I took the photo of a bud, and Sandra M. Kelly captured a full-blown lotus when I was in New York.

Sandra also took the photo of the jellies. She’s a famous jelly maker locally, making blackberry, beach plum, and strawberry-rhubarb jams and jellies, among others. But this was the first year we picked Queen Anne’s Lace so she could attempt the lemony jelly that Thelma, an island character, used to make out of the flowers. It had a lovely flavor.

On a couple of our early walks, I picked an array of wildflowers, carrying them home in my water bottle to make bouquets.

I also took shots of a lacy fire-escape shadow, a Monarch butterfly caterpillar, and a dew-bejeweled spiderweb.

I made a big mistake about the caterpillar, though, disrupting the course of nature by bringing it home on a milkweed stem thinking the kids would see it make its cocoon, emerge, and fly away safely. But the caterpillar absconded while I was out picking more milkweed.

I’m distressed about that because there is no milkweed growing on the property for the run-away to eat, and I’m worried it won’t ever turn into a butterfly. I will never do that again. If I see a cocoon, I might bring that home on a stem for the kids. At least a cocoon won’t abscond. But I’m more wary of disrupting nature now, especially as Monarchs are much less plentiful than they once were.

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In July I took pictures in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New York and will be sharing them bit by bit. These are from New Shoreham, Rhode Island.

The first one is a view that caught my eye through a bathroom window. You have to grab these shots when you see them.

Next is the endangered wildflower Blazing Star, which is doing very well in the protected Land Trust area. Then we have an offbeat signpost. People seem to get especially creative in summer. There’s a feeling of “Well, why not?”

In the backyard of the tiny Three Sisters restaurant, you see some of the goodies that go into the delicious sandwiches. In the front yard, Queen Anne’s Lace. By the way, today I helped chef extraordinaire and walking partner Sandra pick Queen Anne’s Lace so she could make a jelly that the late taxi maven Thelma used to make. Here is a recipe we found from the Edible Wild Food site. If you make it, be sure you know what you are picking. As my husband reminds me, there are plants that look like Queen Anne’s Lace that are not safe to eat.

At John E’s tughole, I loved the shadows beneath the still water. And at the beach I saw dragons in the driftwood. (Do you see them? I admit, the photo would benefit from sharper contrast between the sleepy dragons and the background.)

As the tide came in, it drenched my favorite Tom’s shoes, given to me by my daughter-in-law some years ago. I may have to get new beach shoes soon.

No New Shoreham post would be complete without a photo of the Painted Rock. This one features a Ninja Turtle. Read how the rock first came to be painted for a Halloween prank in the 1960s, here. (And for some of the better Painted Rock art, check out Tumblr, here.)

The final picture shows the excellent job the state is doing to plant beach grass and protect the island’s west side from erosion. (Can you see the burlap-like covering holding the plants in place as they establish themselves? It’s a tried and true conservation technique at the shore.)

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These photos are mostly mine, taken over the last month in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. But the adorable baby owls were captured by one of my brothers in his Wisconsin backyard. All the bird lovers in my family were envious of his owls.

In Massachusetts, I was especially drawn to flowers against fences, including my own Black-eyed Susans. Success at last! I’ve been trying to grown more native species for some time now.

In Rhode Island, I enjoyed looking at second-hand shops, art galleries, and unexpected decorations like this hydrangea-covered tank.

John got a permit for a fire on the beach so the kids could make s’mores, and Erik broke up logs for it by jumping on them.

The painted rock offered words of wisdom for protecting the environment, including turtles.

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Rhode Island has an outstanding independent, environmental news publication called ecoRI News. Who says local news is dead?

Well, actually, it is very much endangered and requires heroic efforts by those who understand its importance. Reporting at ecoRI News, for example, played a pivotal role in the rejection of an unnecessary new fossil-fuel plant in Burrillville, after a fight that lasted years (producing hostile stickers on utility poles throughout the state). The story may have been partly about quality of life in a small Rhode Island community, but as we now know, every bit of fossil fuel threatens the whole planet.

Local news addresses other issues that have international implications. As Tim Faulkner reported at ecoRI News in April, “Plastic pollution is everywhere, showing up in the air, water, food, and consequently in our bodies.

“To draw attention to this ubiquitous waste problem, plastic-catching traps, called trash skimmers, have been installed around Narragansett Bay to collect plastic debris and other trash in the marine environment.

“The latest skimmer was recently unveiled inside the hurricane barrier on the Providence River. It’s heralded as the first trash skimmer to be installed in a state capital.

“Using a pump to draw in debris, the partially submerged plastic box catches surface trash such as floating bottles and tiny debris called microparticles. Each skimmer costs about $12,000.

“Since 2017, three trash skimmers in Newport and one in Portsmouth have collected 27,000 pounds of trash. Cigarette butts, plastic food wrappers, and foam debris are the most common items collected. The skimmers are emptied daily throughout most of the year by interns and student groups. Each contains between 20 and 200 pounds of daily trash. The skimmers have collected unusual items such as floating plastic disks from a wastewater treatment plant in East Providence.

“The project is run by Clean Ocean Access, the Middletown-based pollution advocacy group directed by David McLaughlin.

“ ‘The skimmer is the last line of defense for our oceans, and each installation allows for open, positive, and forward-thinking conversation of how to solve the local and global problem of litter and marine debris,’ McLaughlin said. …

“Plastic bags are one of the top items collected in the trash skimmers. So far, 10 Rhode Island municipalities — Barrington, Bristol, Jamestown, Middletown, New Shoreham, Newport, North Kingstown, Portsmouth, South Kingstown, and Warren — have enacted bans on plastic retail bags. East Providence, Providence, and Westerly are poised to pass bans. …

“The trash skimmer project is funded by 11th Hour Racing, a Newport-based funder of ocean stewardship initiatives. … Two skimmers are operating in Newport Harbor and a third is in the water off Fort Adams. Another is at New England Boat Works in Portsmouth. A trash skimmer is operating in Gloucester, Mass., and a new trash skimmer is scheduled to be unveiled in New Bedford Harbor during the week of Earth Day. Other skimmers are planned for Stamford, Conn., and possibly Fall River, Mass.”

More here.

Photo: Tim Faulkner/ecoRI News
The Providence trash skimmer, which helps to clear plastic waste from Rhode Island waters, is fixed to a floating dock below the riverfront deck at the Hot Club
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The quirky Frog & Toad shop on Hope Street carries a variety of these funny metal creatures. This lobster on ice is an especially good one for New England.

Most weeks when I am in Providence, I volunteer at Dorcas International Tuesday morning and at the Genesis Center Tuesday afternoon. Last week, because Dorcas was doing its standardized testing, I had the morning off and decided to stop in at the Swedish-themed shop called Café Choklad and then at the nearby Rhode Island School of Design Museum. Here are a few photos of that morning and another day of Providence wandering.

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