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Old 06-17-2016, 11:12 AM
 
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I'm wondering if all of the suburbs down there have a similar feel to other new england burbs. Meaning the quintessential small town feeling with no sidewalks and rather sleepy? I ask because I do love providence but don't love their public school offerings. Wondering if there are any exciting alternatives in RI. Thanks
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Old 06-17-2016, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Somerville, MA
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Not all New England suburbs feel the same (I mean, Everett or Cranston is a hell of a lot different than Barrington or Duxbury). That applies when you shrink it down to Providence too.

I'd also add that Rhode Island is a bit different in that it's not a Puritan settlement (quite the opposite actually), so it doesn't have nearly as many of the cliche New England towns (which church facing a "common" in the town center) as MA or even CT. That being said, Providence has some pretty diverse, and beautiful suburbs (with good schools). So you'll likely find what you're looking for.
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Old 06-17-2016, 05:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surf123 View Post
I'm wondering if all of the suburbs down there have a similar feel to other new england burbs. Meaning the quintessential small town feeling with no sidewalks and rather sleepy? I ask because I do love providence but don't love their public school offerings. Wondering if there are any exciting alternatives in RI. Thanks
If you gave description of what you ARE looking for in addition to what you AREN'T, then you will get more helpful answers.

Providence has all types of suburbs.
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Old 06-17-2016, 05:48 PM
 
Location: College Hill
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Originally Posted by massnative71 View Post
If you gave description of what you ARE looking for in addition to what you AREN'T, then you will get more helpful answers.

Providence has all types of suburbs.
No need to get snippy with a guest. These aren't manners I'd expect or hope from in a Rhode Islander. Oh! That's right! Still, no reason to go all Caribou Clyde.

Quote:
I'm wondering if all of the suburbs down there have a similar feel to other new england burbs. Meaning the quintessential small town feeling with no sidewalks and rather sleepy? I ask because I do love providence but don't love their public school offerings. Wondering if there are any exciting alternatives in RI. Thanks
Don't know, but a clue is trying to find the dividing lines between burbs. I was recently on the top floor of a building in Cranston and the density radiating from downtown headed south seemed to be without any break, any natural barriers or green spaces. lrfox's comment, "Rhode Island is a bit different in that it's not a Puritan settlement (quite the opposite actually), so it doesn't have nearly as many of the cliche New England towns" packs a powerful punch in explaining the lack of that sort of archetypal spaces. Had never occurred to me.
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Old 06-18-2016, 02:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by AlfieBoy View Post
I was recently on the top floor of a building in Cranston
You were in Cranston?!
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Old 06-18-2016, 04:14 AM
 
Location: College Hill
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Originally Posted by boulevardofdef View Post
You were in Cranston?!
Yes. Second floor, a veritable skyscraper!
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Old 06-18-2016, 05:43 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Surf123 View Post
I'm wondering if all of the suburbs down there have a similar feel to other new england burbs. Meaning the quintessential small town feeling with no sidewalks and rather sleepy? I ask because I do love providence but don't love their public school offerings. Wondering if there are any exciting alternatives in RI. Thanks
Not quite sure what you mean by "exciting alternatives" but since virtually all RI towns (except perhaps South County, Newport, & Little Compton) are suburbs of Providence there is a variety. My vote for "charming" goes to Jamestown, Pawtuxet Village and Wickford in that order. And, if public schools are important, Barrington. Exciting with Good Public Schools may be tough to find.
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Old 06-18-2016, 06:58 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Rhode Island
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What surprises many people as they explore RI is that some very old long settled areas of the state are still quite rural. (And I hope it stays that way).

Providence has not annexed surrounding towns as some other cities have. If we do regard surrounding towns/cities as Providence suburbs, then Bristol, Warren, Barrington, East Greenwich, Wickford Village in North Kingstown, Westerly, Chepachet, Newport, Little Compton, Tiverton, (and a couple others I'm sure) have a sense of place- often referred to as walkable town centers.

To me, the distinction is whether we are talking about villages with a town center and a sense of place such as Pawtuxet Village in Warwick, versus a true suburb with no center. To me neither Warwick, Cranston, East Providence, Lincoln, Johnston, North Providence, North Smithfield, Middletown, Portsmouth, etc. have worthwhile town centers which makes them fall more into the suburban category. There are nice areas to live in in all these places however.

Schools are an individual choice. There are some public schools scattered around, like Francis Elementary, in Rumford, in East Providence that are considered desirable. I'm sure they exist in Warwick & Cranston, etc as well. Sort of comes down to whether you want urban or rural- no sidewalks sounds like you're trending toward rural. Schools in Foster (very rural- no town center beyond 2 buildings- are good).
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Old 06-18-2016, 08:20 AM
 
Location: Earth, a nice neighborhood in the Milky Way
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surf123 View Post
I'm wondering if all of the suburbs down there have a similar feel to other new england burbs. Meaning the quintessential small town feeling with no sidewalks and rather sleepy? I ask because I do love providence but don't love their public school offerings. Wondering if there are any exciting alternatives in RI. Thanks
It sounds to me like you are looking "down" from greater Boston. Is this the case?

I also take it by your search term exciting alternatives that you are a city dweller who would choose Providence if not for your perception of the school quality. It sounds like you don't actually care for sleepy suburban spaces, and want something with more life but higher ranked schools. Am I warm?

I suggest looking into East Greenwich. It has good schools, and there is actually life in the town center. East Greenwich was at one time the state capitol. But not all of East Greenwich has sidewalks. That might be as exciting as the "suburbs" get. Another alternative with highly regarded schools is Borington, er, um, Barrington. Damned exciting!
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Old 06-18-2016, 08:40 AM
 
Location: chepachet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollytree View Post
What surprises many people as they explore RI is that some very old long settled areas of the state are still quite rural. (And I hope it stays that way).

Providence has not annexed surrounding towns as some other cities have. If we do regard surrounding towns/cities as Providence suburbs, then Bristol, Warren, Barrington, East Greenwich, Wickford Village in North Kingstown, Westerly, Chepachet, Newport, Little Compton, Tiverton, (and a couple others I'm sure) have a sense of place- often referred to as walkable town centers.

To me, the distinction is whether we are talking about villages with a town center and a sense of place such as Pawtuxet Village in Warwick, versus a true suburb with no center. To me neither Warwick, Cranston, East Providence, Lincoln, Johnston, North Providence, North Smithfield, Middletown, Portsmouth, etc. have worthwhile town centers which makes them fall more into the suburban category. There are nice areas to live in in all these places however.

Schools are an individual choice. There are some public schools scattered around, like Francis Elementary, in Rumford, in East Providence that are considered desirable. I'm sure they exist in Warwick & Cranston, etc as well. Sort of comes down to whether you want urban or rural- no sidewalks sounds like you're trending toward rural. Schools in Foster (very rural- no town center beyond 2 buildings- are good).
no Providence hasn't done the Virginia Beach or Jacksonville thing, but surprisingly much of Providence comes from its neighbors. Public Street south was Cranston until the latter 1800's. The Annex came from Johnston. The west corner of Olneyville use to house the Johnston Town Hall until the early 1900's. To the north the Wanskuck area was North Providence. And still Providence has but 18.5 sq miles of land, unlike the mega sized cities like L.A. , Oklahoma City and the two mentioned above. Even Worcester is huge compared to Providence.
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