Providence is a city, but it’s not a big city. Sometimes the desire for the city to grow and incorporate new and exciting features is at odds with its efforts to maintain the small-town feel. If you want to go to a club one night, a museum the next day, a hip-hop show, and eat a few meals, you can cram it all into a weekend. Some Brown students never really explore the city, let alone the places less than an hour’s drive in any direction from College Hill. There are beaches, state parks, ski areas, and vineyards close enough to make day trips to, all surrounded by quaint New England towns. Students complain about the lack of drive-in theaters or an all-night diner, without realizing that there are several of both about 10 minutes away. There are more hip-hop, 80s, and live rock clubs and bars within walking distance of the University than Brown students can handle. And, of course, there is New York City and Boston, both easily accessible by bus and train for weekends when you need to get away.
Providence is a crowd pleaser. People from small towns may be a little intimidated at first, but except on goth night at Club Hell, the locals don’t bite. Students from megalopolises such as New York, DC, or LA may scoff at the downtown area, which can be traversed in about 20 minutes, but no Brown student who puts in a little effort can honestly complain that there’s nothing to do in Providence. The city simply has too much history, too many quirks, and too much to offer for the intrepid Brown student to find it boring.