Looking for something a little different? This is your town — its history and culture are so full of interestingly unique and quirky elements that what might be considered off the beaten track elsewhere is par for the course here.
Cable Car Cinema & Cafe
204 South Main St., 401-272-3970
Sit in a couch and drink a beer while watching a great movie at this small, intimate art-house theater specializing in foreign and indie films. Dine in the cafe first and make a night of it. Its concessions include healthier options and fresh locally-made pastries, along with the movie theater usuals and all-you-can-eat popcorn. Monday nights are discount night.
The Edna Lawrence Nature Lab
13 Waterman Street, 401-454-6451, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Rhode Island School of Design’s natural history collection, founded in 1937, is a virtual wunderkammer of taxidermy, shells, skeletons, and even some live animals. Its mission as a teaching resource is to provide RISD students with “the opportunity to examine and explore the patterns, structures and interactions of design in nature.” Note that the visitor policy states that “the general public is welcome to visit, with permission of a curator,” so be sure to call or e-mail ahead.
Annmary Brown Memorial
21 Brown Street, 401-863-2942
Note that the building hours are Mon. – Fri. 1:00 to 5:00pm
Rush Hawkins, a wealthy and eccentric collector of art and incunabula, built this large mausoleum for his beloved wife, Annmary Brown, following her death in 1903 from pneumonia. Three of the four rooms feature selections from his collection of art and other items (the rare books that were originally included have subsequently been moved to the John Hay Library), while the fourth room provides the final resting place for both Annmary and Rush. Now owned by Brown University, visitors will find the door open weekday afternoons. Hawkins’ endowment stipulates that every year on March 9, Annmary’s birthday, flowers are to be laid on her grave and left there until the following year.