The Quirkiest Things in a Quirky State
Monday, May 03, 2010
Has any state got more quirks per capita than Rhode Island? Not likely. Minnesota native and Brown student Chris Taylor weighs in on his adopted state.
GoLocalProv meteorologist John Ghiorse must be an alien, robot, or alien robot. Accurately forecasting weather in this state is near impossible, but somehow he pulls it off. No state has perfectly consistent weather, but Rhode Island takes unpredictability to another level. Where else might a 90 degree, dazzlingly sunny day be followed by a cold, sleet-marred day? The answer: Nowhere.
Speaking of nowhere, that is exactly where you will end up if you cross the lone crosswalk in Foster. The crosswalk spanning Cucumber Hill Road connects a ditch on one side to a hedge on the other. Congratulations pedestrians. While Foster’s crosswalk may not be very functional, it does add character to this fine state.
To the outsider, the unique accents and terms overheard in this state might be a stumbling block. To non-Rhode Islanders, wicked is evil (or depending on one’s circle, a Tony Award-winning musical), a cabinet has drawers or shelves, and a bubbler is… um, nothing. Here the terms can be used for something cool, a milkshake and a drinking fountain. What is the RI term for “weird?”
The Hollywood Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street in Los Angeles is world-renowned. The Hollywood Walk of Fame in Pawtucket is not. The original (the one actually located in Hollywood) has more than 2,000 stars, immortalizing greats including Jack Nicholson, Sidney Poitier, and Marlon Brando. Pawtucket’s offering boasts the stars and director of American Buffalo, and no one else. I like that Pawtucket decided to get in on the party, but at the end of the day it makes Rhode Island a little bit quirkier.
Unusual Local Sports
Rhode Island has basketball. Rhode Island has football. Many other places do too. Rhode Island is distinguished on the sporting scene by quahogging and duck pin bowling, two sports which are likely to evoke blank stares if mentioned elsewhere. Like everything else on this list, there is nothing wrong with quahogging or duck pin bowling. Still, like everything else on this list, they are a little bit quirky.