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Old 04-02-2008, 09:01 PM
 
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Hello, my wife and I are considering moving to Rhode Island and more specifically Providence and we could really use some advice. We are both European and do not really know anyone in that part of the US but we have heard so much good about it that we hope that it will suit us. We love older cities with charming (and affordable!) houses, walking to restaurants (good restaurants are important) and shops but yet relatively close to nature.

We are looking for a place to settle down and have kids and make friends. We both work from home so we are a bit scared about being isolated. My questions are: do you think we can fit in and get to know people? Which parts of Providence do you recommend? We want to buy an older house with lots of charm, a small backyard and maybe a porch or deck or two. We have lived in DC and SF before and found both cities very nice but very expensive. We are in a way looking for an affordable and smaller version of DC. Do you think Providence is a fit or will it feel small?

Thanks in advance for any advice!
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Old 04-02-2008, 09:59 PM
 
Location: Beautiful New England
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I think Providence would be perfect for you. I would recommend looking for a home on the east side of Providence (not to be confused with the city of East Providence). The Wayland Square area is especially nice, but there are plenty of other places on the east side you would likely find appealing.
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Old 04-03-2008, 07:24 AM
 
Location: Cranston
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Providence is way nice than DC. Much lower crime rate too.
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Old 04-03-2008, 08:29 AM
 
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The East Side is full of charming single family and multi-unit houses with yards, so is the Armory district in the West End (actually a safe little neighborhood, a few blocks away is a different story). Both are very walkable areas (the whole city is very walkable) with basic services close by. I'd say Providence is quite easily a smaller scale version of DC or San Francisco, plus Boston is just a commuter train ride away so the area can feel much larger. If you're going to have kids keep in mind the Providence school system at the middle school level is kind of dismal. The elementary schools are decent and at the high school level kids can attend Classicial High School (have to take a test, but it's still public), one of the best in the state.
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Old 04-03-2008, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Cranston
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Providence is more like a mini-Boston than a DC or San Fran.
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Old 04-03-2008, 03:25 PM
 
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Thank you for all the input. I understand that the East Side seems the place to be. Which other areas are nice? Armory? Pleased to hear any and all comments you might have.
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Old 04-03-2008, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Beautiful New England
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Originally Posted by pasden View Post
Thank you for all the input. I understand that the East Side seems the place to be. Which other areas are nice? Armory? Pleased to hear any and all comments you might have.
If you're looking to stay in Providence (rather than a nearby city or suburb), I would only recommend the east side. I find the Armory area to be too dodgy for my tastes.
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Old 04-05-2008, 05:21 PM
 
Location: SC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProvGuy View Post
The East Side is full of charming single family and multi-unit houses with yards, so is the Armory district in the West End (actually a safe little neighborhood, a few blocks away is a different story). Both are very walkable areas (the whole city is very walkable) with basic services close by. I'd say Providence is quite easily a smaller scale version of DC or San Francisco, plus Boston is just a commuter train ride away so the area can feel much larger. If you're going to have kids keep in mind the Providence school system at the middle school level is kind of dismal. The elementary schools are decent and at the high school level kids can attend Classicial High School (have to take a test, but it's still public), one of the best in the state.
Providence is MUCH MUCH MUCH smaller version of those cities. The city has a population of less than 180,000 people.
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Old 04-12-2008, 08:22 PM
 
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I personally wouldn't move to Providence, especially if you have children. The school system is horrible most of the neighborhoods aren't too good. The East Side is the place to live if you really have the urge to live in the city but Elmhurst is a nice middle class neighborhood to live and raise a family. There are two extremes in Providence..upper class and poverty. Middle class is shrinking by the day. I would suggest moving to a suburb. Just my opinion.
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Old 03-30-2009, 08:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pts617 View Post
I personally wouldn't move to Providence, especially if you have children. The school system is horrible most of the neighborhoods aren't too good. The East Side is the place to live if you really have the urge to live in the city but Elmhurst is a nice middle class neighborhood to live and raise a family. There are two extremes in Providence..upper class and poverty. Middle class is shrinking by the day. I would suggest moving to a suburb. Just my opinion.
AS one who has raised all my kids in Providence, I say to you that Providence is a great place to raise kids. For housing, you can find wonderful large family houses with big yards at attractive prices (Armory District, Elmwood, Elmhurst, Pawtuxet Village, Mt. Hope) or at high prices (East Side) plus all the benefits of being in the City close to its amazing cultural and sports life. Strong neighborhoods, safe streets, lots of activities and opportunities for kids.
Schools are varied -- Providence has some great schools (Classical High School is one of the best high schools in the state, maybe in New England) and some terrible schools, so one has to be selective and investigative. Our kids went all the way throught the Prov school system -- K-12th -- and got a wonderful education. to my mind, there is nothing to compare to the diversity and energy in a city classroom.
Providence has a thriving arts community (more artists per capita than any city in the US, or something like that) and a thiriving middle class -- as well as a large share of the state's working lower classes and immigrants -- the true melting pot.
And its a small town -- essentially a college town with five major universities and colleges in the City. Easy to get to know people.
Ask Mayor Cicilline -- he'd be happy to talk to you personally about the beneifits of living and raising kids in Providence.
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