Shopping in Providence: West Side

Providence has lots of unique stores and boutiques to suit every shopper’s tastes. The options downtown are within easy walking distance of the Biltmore, while Federal Hill is a quick cab ride or a more vigorous walk to the west.

The colorful array of shops and boutiques that have appeared in downtown Providence recent years bear witness to the revitalization of Downcity. A sampling:

Heir, 65 Eddy St., 401-331-5680. “Antiques, art, and covetable goods.” An eclectic offering of folk art, industrial objects, and vintage pieces mixed with new items such as high-end bags, candles, and art books.

Noon, 75 Weybosset St., 401-455-1222. “Unique local handmade jewelry, letterpress cards and goods.”

WHARF Clothing & Wares, 212 Westminster St., 401-272-1231. High quality men’s clothing in classic styles.

Craftland, 235 Westminster St., 401-272-4285. “Downtown shop and gallery specializing in unique, handmade objects and the people who make them.”

Symposium Books, 240 Westminster St., 401-273-7900. An independent bookstore. “We are proud to have excellent Art, Architecture, Design, and Photography sections, as well as academic books (huge Philosophy section!), Literature/Fiction, Children’s/Young Adult, Film, Poetry, Lit Crit, GLBT, Travel Writing, and more. Our Graphic Novel section is the best in town!”

Providence Place Mall, One Providence Place, 401-270-1000. Need to find the big department stores and shops in the area? This is a huge mall with all of the mainstream staples, located just across the river to the northeast of the Biltmore.

Federal Hill

Ada Books, 717 Westminster St., 401-432-6222. A cozy, inviting bookstore that includes used books; literary and cultural magazines like Adbusters, McSweeney’s, and The Believer; and a good selection of zines, comics, and graphic novels.

Analog Underground, 504 Broadway, 401-274-4123. Mostly a vinyl shop (the per capita music stores offering vinyl selections tells you something about the sensibilities of the Providence music scene); also offers a small selection of CDs and even cassettes. Knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff makes this a great place to browse for the unexpected.

Armageddon Shop, 436 Broadway, 401-521-6667. Specializing in underground metal, punk, hardcore, and grindcore, with a selection of other genres and styles. Includes vinyl, CDs, and more.

Diva’s Palace, 299 Atwells Ave., 401-831-0148. From the Best of Rhode Island 2009 Editors’ Picks: “There seems to be a real reverence for glamour at Diva’s Palace, where the two Michaels are designing one-of-a-kind pieces for the bold and beautiful. Try on one of their Valentino-inspired bustier tops, a brocade coat, or any of their eighties-inspired dresses, and let them fuss over how it flatters you. Chances are, with their interesting use of draping and detail, it does.”

Rocket To Mars, 144 Broadway, 401-274-0905. The creative window displays are just a start. Step inside for a great selection of quality vintage housewares, furniture, clothing, and other random items. Who knows, maybe you’ll find that orange wall-mount rotary telephone you’ve been seeking, or a roll of Smurf wallpaper.

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