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May 23, 2005

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Franklin

No shit - Jean Blackburn was one of my teachers at RISD (IL '90). Jean, if you read this, Franklin says hi.

JL

Oh, how cool! I need to go back and take another look (and some notes, so I can describe them better.) It was good stuff.

Let's see, 1990 . . . I was living across town, on Smith Hill, near the State House. And going to the RISD Museum a lot, for the first time in my life. I liked that time in Providence very much. The Museum had a number of good exhibits around that time, too.

Franklin

Strictly speaking, I was in la Prov from '86 to '89, after which I did RISD's European Honors Program in Rome. I would have had Jean either '87 or '88. I lived in what was hands-down the crappiest apartment building on Main, right over Geoff's Sandwiches and Mutt's Pizza, shared with a girl who dated skinheads until we decided that we needed our own respective living arrangments. Junior year I shared an apartment with a friend of mine somewhere near Gano. I miss it up there.

JL

hands-down the crappiest apartment building on Main, right over Geoff's Sandwiches and Mutt's Pizza

Oh my god. I know that building well - it must have been awful (though unless Main is some RISD slang I don't know, I believe it's on Benefit.) Mutt's is long gone - another pizza place is there now, not much change - but Geoff's lives on, awful service and all.

Gano Street: where Portugal begins. And I'm not compaining, mind you. And named for a distant ancestor of the Violent Femmes Gordon Gano.

Franklin

Of course you're right, it's Benefit. Yeah, the ceiling fell down over the bathtub and the landlord never fixed it; when I left, he withheld $60 of my security deposit to haul away a couch that was in there when I took the apartment. If there was a hell, it would have a cubicle waiting for that guy.

I worked at Geoff's one of those summers, and we had explicit instructions to be rude to the customers. I hit someone's arm with a wet crash towel because he was chatting up his friend and didn't pay attention when I asked him if he wanted mustard, mayo, or Russian on his sandwich. (What qualified a mixture of mustard, mayo, and ketchup as "Russian dressing" escaped me. He laughed, by the way; people kind of came in there for the abuse.) The food was great, though, especially to a college student with easily satisfied tastes. If I remember right, Geoff's now has a second location that really is up the hill on Main. Providence is supposed to be a whole new place now - all that renovation downtown, around the former circle of doom between RISD and the office district, happened the year after I graduated.

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