Stephen Travels

And he's ready to take you with him.


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Divinity in Providence

First Uniterian Church of ProvidenceI was attending a conference for editors in downtown Providence, and in between sessions I had ample opportunity to explore this historic American city. Settled in 1636 by Roger Williams, who named it in honor of “God’s merciful Providence,” the capital of Rhode Island has not always been under this divine protection. Through nearly four centuries of history, it has seen catastrophic floods, alarming crime rates, slavery, and cholera outbreaks. But it has also been an industrial powerhouse, one of the richest cities in the United States, the jewelry manufacturing capital of the world, an educational leader with such institutions as Brown University, Johnson & Wales University, and the Rhode Island School of Design, and a beacon for religious tolerance, still acknowledged in street names like Benefit, Benevolent, and Hope. That religious tradition can also be seen in its dozens and dozens of churches. Read about the top five churches in Providence >


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Big Flavors in Little Italy in Providence, Rhode Island

My plan for an afternoon in Providence, Rhode Island, was to explore Federal Hill, home of the city’s Little Italy, capping it off with dinner in one of the Italian restaurants there. Along the neighborhood’s main strip, Atwells Avenue, my appetite increased every time I passed by a tempting menu or the opportunity to indulge in some gelato, and inhaled the aromas of pastry or cheese emanating from the grocery stores. Perfectly primed for something extraordinary, I took a seat in Ristorante Il Massimo for a meal at Rhode Island’s best restaurant of 2019. Read more >


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Taking a Break on the World’s Best Benches

Bench in Idaho Falls, IdahoThey’re the perfect spot for people watching, or dog watching, if you prefer. They’re shady respites on hot afternoons. They’re ideal for your lunchtime escape from your office. Benches invite us to relax for a bit, whether it’s to catch up on some reading, admire a renowned piece of art, enjoy a beguiling view, or spend some outdoor time with your significant other. When the benches themselves become the attraction, however, they transcend a simple place to sit. Read more about the world’s top five benches >


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Delicious Dining at Circe in Providence, Rhode Island

On my way to dinner in downtown Providence, Rhode Island, I ducked into The Arcade, the oldest indoor mall in the United States (1828). When I emerged from the opposite end, I spotted my destination only a block away. The inviting Circe is housed in an old bank building from 1856, and, as attractive as that is, it’s not the main reason you’ll be dining here. The menu speaks for itself, in a most eloquent voice. Read more >