This Could Be The Most Underrated Area In The Ocean State

Mention Westerly to most people and they will probably come back with either Misquamicut or Watch Hill. 

Downtown Westerly? Insert Crickets.

Too bad so sad for them because breaking news, DW is hopping these days. 

Last week, I was talking to friend of mine who enjoys great food, live music, and the occassional cigar, and he was raving about a recent nightout in said village (Just learned THIS on Wikipedia.) that included dinner, followed by some live music and drinks (quite possibly craft beer) at the Knickerbocker (Not new per se, but let's say revamped with a different name...instead of a cafe, it's being called a Music Center.). He may or may not have stopped off at the cigar lounge not far from the Knick. Not absolutely sure, but there is one in the vicinity if that's your jam. 

The weather was so lovely that week (Dare I say summer-like, without fear of jinxing us all for the rest of May, into June. This has been one weird Spring, that's all I'm saying.), I decided to take a drive to see for myself. Now, don't even think about dismissing DW because it might very well be a 45 minute to an hour drive for you. There's too much going on there, and there's still this fantastic small town vibe (in a goood way) and energy running thru everything: beaucoup galleries, a health food shop/juice and smoothie bar (My bad! The owner's far from a newbie and has been in town for at least three years or more. Tres embarrassing.), two yoga studios, shopping, a bar/pinball arcade called Flip Side (So County's spin on this trend), and lots of fantastic new-ish restaurants (including Amigos Taqueria Y Tequila which I don't remember seeing before).

And, don't forget The Savoy, the bookstore that serves up an impressive selection guaranteed to please even the most persnickety reader in your circle (We all have at least one snob.), along with a cozy coffee bar where you can veg out with a beverage of your choice and a cookie, muffin or bagel. In addition, it's also pretty stunning inside and out. 

So, to paraphrase the grizzled Mickey (Burgess Meredith) in the original, and best, Rocky movie (before Sly took up painting and modelizing) - What the hell are you waiting for?

 

Photo credits: All photos courtesy of PattyJ.com

 

The Place For Coffee & More You're *Probably* Missing Out On

They actually know how to make a macchiato.

That was the text I got last week, that had me driving over to Westminster Street - which happens to be one of the most happening destinations this second in RI - to eyeball the new location of Sin Desserts. My only experience with them had been rushing over to their previous place on Allens Ave to get some PVDonuts, back when those two bakeries were sharing a space. But apparently my brother-in-law's niece got her wedding cake from them and it was outstanding, and that's gotta count for something here in the blogosphere and beyond.

Unfortunately, I didn't get there until ten minutes before they were going to close up shop for the day. Leaving me enough time to grab an iced coffee (I don't usually drink mine on ice, but it was one of those unseasonably hot days in the OS. Which sadly are not on the agenda for us this week. SMH) and snap a few photos for IG & this post. Now, everything in the cases looked scrumptious (sinfully delicious, if you will), but there just wasn't time. I mean, who wants to be that annoying person who waltzs in right before closing and then, sticks around? Not me, and I say this as someone with almost 20 years experience working with the public (not in restaurants or food, but retail...I have a whole other post about that and unlike the coffee at Sin, it is slightly bitter. WINK.). 

To wrap up, the place looks sharp with its signature red accents (Found out later that their hashtag is #eatwicked, and their site is eatwicked.com, both of which are pretty darn brilliant.) and my iced coffee was full bodied and at all not watery (Is there anything worse than THAT?), so I can and will say that it's so worth your time to check out. 

Ciao for Now,

Patty J

 

Photo Credits: Photos courtesy of PattyJ.com

The 2 Spa Treatments To Make You Rethink Those DIY Facials

After trying everything from toothpaste and baking soda (neither of which I can recommend in good conscience) to Accutane (the 2nd go round gave me a bad case of temporary night blindness) and a laser peel 7 years ago that left me looking like a burn victim (Hide in the back at your desk this week. Said someone who worked for, and took pity on, me at the time. Obviously, I looked pretty bad, even after a week of laying low at home.), I finally have skin that most of the time, looks clear and zit free. 

As result of this what-some-might-call-superficial struggle, I've also developed a phobia about anyone hovering over my face, trying to steam, deep clean or (God forbid!) gawk and poke. In other words, the female rite of passage known as the facial. Most of the ones I've submitted to over the last decade or two have left me beet red and pissed off, usually because an aesthetician has sternly rebuked me for one or more skincare related infractions, like not bothering to moisturize. (Would you, if you'd basically spent decades blotting your face every damn hour?) 

Which brings me to this week. When I motored - reluctantly - over to Balencia Medspa in North Prov for a complimentary facial. Not gonna lie. I was nervous. (And my gray roots were coming in. Yikes.) Turns out my current regime, which includes DIY facials, was not cutting it. I already kind of knew this tho because of the tiny bumps (Are they acne? Or something else I can't pronounce?) that have been forming on my nose. So, one of the key points I took away from my spa day was that I can no longer go it alone and expect glowing, Cate Blanchett-like skin. (Conversely, you can't slack on skincare on the reg and then expect that monthly appointment to fix your face.)

But the real story is that beyond my aesthetician Diane being a doll (She truly knows how to put people at ease. Take my word, and that's coming from a neurotic of epic proportions), she both microdermabrased (Not sure if that's a real word or what, but it did sweep away the blackheads. Baaah bye!) and dermaplaned (A small scalpel is used to exfoliate dead skin cells and as an added bonus, remove that 'peach fuzz' that we all have.) my face and I left HAPPY with the result. Keep in mind these are 2 things I swore I'd never ever EVER submit too. Because I feared they'd be a repeat of the whole laser episode that ultimately put me in hiding.

Not the case! Some slight irritation immediately folllowing (Post treatment, makeup free photo above.), but nothing major. As a matter of fact, my face feels and looks smoother than it has in years. And it's only going to get better. (My sister tells me it usually takes a week before you start reaping the full benefits of a well done facial.) Also, jazzed to report that Diane got rid of some nasty blackheads - between my eyes no less - that none of those $85 peels or scrubs from Sephora could touch. (Still love ya Sephora, just need to change things up a little going forward.) Finally, instead of taking me to task for not moisturizing, she gave me some nice samples to try out this week at home. All in all, a complexion changing beauty experience.

Ciao for Now,

Patty J

PS - The older you get (Note grey hair reference above.), the more you want healthy looking skin. Without the layers of makeup, which after a certain age, start to look ridic.

PPS - Thank you to everyone at Balencia Medspa & Welness on 630 Mineral Spring Ave in No Prov for their hospitality.

 

Photo Credits: All photos courtesy of PattyJ.com