Although I have at least one more post coming about our trip to Turkey in October, I wanted to switch gears a little and talk a little about Providence, Rhode Island. It is a tidy, interesting, livable, historical city that has retained its texture and character.
Evren visited with us for three weeks about 20 years ago. Through family connections, we learned that he was in Providence to give a few seminars at Brown. After a couple of email exchanges, we connected with Evren last Thursday and had a nice lunch at Iggy’s Boardwalk. We reminisced about the old days, caught up with his work, wife, and two children. He got his Ph.D. in applied mathematics and now works for Schlumberger in their Cambridge, UK office.
We set up a brunch date on Saturday at the Cozy Grill, where else! On the way back, we stopped at Toys R Us to look for a couple of gifts for his daughter and his son. While looking around and waiting for a floor help to return, he took my camera, talking about the advantages of having long arms, and took a picture of us! We had to go to WalMart around the corner since one of the toys he wanted was not available at Toys R Us. He picked up the special toy for his son and I dropped him off at where he was staying.
On Saturday, I was having my morning coffee around 9:30 AM, Evren called and said he would walk to our house instead of my picking him up at 11 AM from where he was staying at the corner of Brook and Waterman streets. That is over 8 miles from our house, about 15 kilometers! He showed up at the door ten minutes before 11, about an hour and 45 minutes! After our brunch and much conversation, we came home to chew the fat a bit more. Around 2:30 PM I drove him to his institute where he has an office. Since he reminded me that the view from there was quite good, I grabbed my camera and he was right! I took a few photographs from different sides and made plans for me to visit him on Sunday, which turned out to be in the afternoon because of the rain.
After a rainy evening on Saturday and morning on Sunday, the afternoon turned out to be quite pleasant. I took more photographs of the financial center with tall buildings on the left, the Memorial Park with the World War I Memorial, the Superior Court complex on the right connecting to the Old Stone Bank building. A little further left was the neat cupola of the Attorney General Civil Division building, beyond that, the College Hill with many Brown U buildings, the First Unitarian Church, and so on.
After a while, I was ready to leave when Evren mentioned an interesting store he saw with many strange creatures inside during one of his walks. We drove to Weybosset St. and at one point he hollered “this is it!” I parked the car and after a brief look at the mural on Clemence St. we arrived at the store: Big Nazo, with indeed strange characters and costumes inside. Noticing a person inside, I pulled the door and as if we were in a Star Wars movie set, even Jabba the Hut was perched on top of a cabinet. As we talked with the guy a little, Anita Crackinstuff (!) emerged from behind a divider. She was in character and ready to join her cohorts at a street concert.
We walked around the corner on to Mathewson St. and at the end was a small stage and two characters, Intergalactic Creature Band members, were walking toward us. We chatted with them briefly, listened to the loud music, and watched Anita’s antics and returned back to the car.
Here are the photographs from our few days with Evren. Thank you, Evren for looking us up!