Some Kind of Funny Porto Rican?
May 5, 2008 12:26 PM   Subscribe

Some Kind of Funny Porto Rican? is a documentary produced by Claire Andrade-Watkins about the gentrification of Providence's once-thriving Cape Verdean community of Fox Point.
posted by lunit (7 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My grandparents lived there. I grew up on the east side of Providence.
posted by jfrancis at 1:16 PM on May 5, 2008

I guess I was part of the gentrification process, I lived over there from 1999 til 2006. I'd say we honkeys were pretty entrenched by then. Now I'm trying to Abercrombie and Fitch up the West Side.
posted by hugecranium at 1:26 PM on May 5, 2008

The events in the documentary actually chronicle the late 60s to 70s. It's more about how deliberate urban renewal strategies used by the city, state, and federal governments and Brown, to some extent, had a displacing and fragmenting effect on the community.

I saw her speak and present this documentary a few days ago, and she mentioned that one of reasons she made it was because it's a local story that has reverberations for communities all around the world. It was also framed as historical context for some of the gentrification currently happening in Providence, in communities like Olneyville, the Southside, and the West Side.
posted by lunit at 1:34 PM on May 5, 2008


I went to college (RISD, not Brown) in Providence starting in 1985 and we were advised *not* to move into the Fox Point neighborhoods so as not to disrupt the communities there any more than they already had been. By 1985 it was already pretty gentrified, especially the Wickendon Street area. In the mid eighties I used to love stumbling home from parties in that section of the city because the bakeries would be cranking at full steam and they'd hand the drunk students warm rolls straight from the oven out the screened back doors for a nickel each.

I worked at an organic restaurant for a few years on Wickendon and Hope in the early 1990s (a sure sign of gentrification if there ever was one) and put up some publicly funded street art on the telephone poles in the late 1990s. The bakeries no longer existed by then. A neighborhood's original charm and unique ethnic character is often its own worst enemy.
posted by stagewhisper at 5:10 PM on May 5, 2008

When I was a kid Fox Point was known as a bit of a 'tough neighborhood.' My family on my father's side is from the Azores, and we didn't think of it particularly as a Cape Verdean neighborhood - more as just a general Portuguese neighborhood.

My wife went to RISD. We met while working at Penguin's on Thayer St.
posted by jfrancis at 12:19 AM on May 6, 2008

"She came from Providence, the one in Rhode Island ... You call some place Paradise, kiss it goodbye ..." (Thanks, Don and Glenn).
posted by aldus_manutius at 6:13 AM on May 6, 2008

yogurt and granola at Penguins with the neighborhood punks when I was a freshman was a ritual. I was sad to see the place go.

I found the short clip about the Cape Verdean population in Fox Point interesting because I also thought of Fox Point as generally Portuguese (my ex husband was half Azorean as well) rather than Cape Verdean per se. I guess by the time I arrived, according to the documentary, that enclave had already been disrupted.
posted by stagewhisper at 6:34 AM on May 6, 2008

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