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Doris Duke Gives Another Gift to Newport

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Doris Duke Gives Another Gift to Newport

June 11th, 2011 by billfarrell

The Doris Duke Monument Foundation is a new non-profit under the umbrella of the Newport Restoration Foundation has recently announced plans for improvements to park at Queen Anne Square. The planned improvements are a gift to the City of Newport from the Foundation with most of the money being raised from private donations. and includes money for long term maintenance and upkeep. Queen Anne Square sits in front of Trinity Church, one of Newport’s most notable landmarks.

Pending approval from the City Council, the planned improvements to the park include additional seating and amenities, improve the overall beauty of the park with new landscape architecture, more lighting and other improvements. The architect for this project is Maya Lin, an internationally acclaimed architect most noted for her design of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Also involved with the project is Nick Benson, a local stonemason whose business has been in Newport for several hundred years.

“The trustees of the NRF have been considering a project to pay tribute to Doris Duke and historic preservation in Newport for several years. Both Miss Duke and the efforts of countless private homeowners have had a transformative effect on the city. We feel that Queen Anne Square is a most appropriate site, as the creation of the original park was also a gift from Doris Duke to the City of Newport,” commented Pieter N. Roos, Executive Director of the Newport Restoration Foundation.

The project, scheduled for completion in 2012 with groundbreaking in the fall of 2011 only serves to continue the work that Doris Duke started so many years ago.

Founded by Doris Duke in 1968, NRF was created to rescue Newport’s dilapidated homes, many of which were at risk of being demolished. Today, NRF owns 82 historic structures of which 70 are lived in by individual tenant-stewards. NRF was honored with a Stewardship Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2010. NRF operates three museum sites: Rough Point, the former home of Doris Duke; Whitehorne House, displaying a collection of early American furniture; and Prescott Farm in Middletown, featuring historic buildings on a preserved rural landscape. A non-profit institution, the foundation continues to be actively engaged in historic preservation, educational programming, and scholarly research. Visit Newport Restoration Foundation at www.NewportRestoration.org.

Tea Room at The Spring Seasons Inn – Best of Newport County Awards

May 7th, 2011 by billfarrell

Bets of Newport County AwardsAt an awards banquet this past Thursday evening at Newport’s Rosecliff Mansion, The Tea Room at The Spring Seasons Inn received one of Newport Life Magazine’s “Newport County’s Best Kept Secret” awards.The award honors local business that represent all that you love about your community, you just didn’t know about it yet! Newport Life Magazine’s readers nominate the businesses for the awards and owner Susan Farrell was pleasantly surprised when she heard that she was nominated.

The Tea Room at The Spring Seasons Inn is the only Tea Room located in an Inn that is open to the public. Please see the website for additional information regarding Tea Room.

Newport Waterfront Festivals 2011 Sunset Music Series

April 5th, 2011 by billfarrell

Newport Waterfront has announced their Sunset Music Series lineup for 2011. Reserve your rooms at the Spring Seasons Inn before we sell out.

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Greenvale Vineyards 12th Annual Summer Jazz Series

March 30th, 2011 by billfarrell

Portsmouth, RI – Greenvale Vineyards will continue with its 12th Annual Summer Jazz Series.  The Jazz Series was organized by Matthew Quinn and is held in his honor.

The Jazz Series concerts are held in the Tasting Room from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. every Saturday from May 7th through the last Saturday in November. We will be offering wine tastings as well as wine by the glass and bottle all day and welcome our guests to come with picnics.

Greenvale Vineyards is located at 582 Wapping Road in Portsmouth, just 6 miles from downtown Newport, along the Sakonnet River. This historic property produces approximately 3,500 cases of wine each year from over twenty acres of vines, which include Chardonnay, Vidal Blanc, Cayuga, Pinot Gris, Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc grapes.  All of the wines are made from 100% estate grown grapes.  The Tasting Room is open 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, with tours daily at 2:00 p.m. or by appointment. For further information, call (401) 847-3777 or visit online at www.greenvale.com

Abbey Road to Perform at Greenvale Vineyards

March 30th, 2011 by billfarrell

Portsmouth, RI, — From 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, April 29, 2011 Abbey Rhode, a local 1960s-influenced band will perform at Greenvale Vineyards.  The group has been playing at clubs around Rhode Island for years, and have gained popularity for their authentic sounds of the 1960s.  Their favorite musicians include Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 7:00 p.m.)  in Greenvale Vineyards’ historic Stable/Tasting Room.  Tickets are $22.00 in advance or $25.00 the day of the show.   For more information or to purchase advance tickets, please call (401) 847-3777.

Greenvale Vineyards is located at 582 Wapping Road in Portsmouth, along the Sakonnet River. Approximately 3,500 cases of wine are produced each year from twenty acres of vines, which include Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Vidal Blanc, Cayuga, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec grapes.  All of the wines are made from estate grown fruit.  The Tasting Room is open 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, with vineyard tours daily at 2:00 p.m. or by appointment. For further information, call (401) 847-3777, email at information@greenvale.com or visit online at www.greenvale.com.

Bird Watching at Norman Bird Sanctuary

March 21st, 2011 by billfarrell

11:01 AM EDT on Monday, March 21, 2011 By Jennifer D. Jordan
Providence Journal Staff Writer

MIDDLETOWN, RI

A sure sign of spring arrived Sunday at the Norman Bird Sanctuary, a day that marked the official end of winter and the arrival of the vernal equinox.

It wasn’t so much a glimpse of swooping redwing blackbirds or the echo of a downy woodpecker drumming a hollow tree that heralded the change in seasons.

It was the arrival at 8 a.m. of Charlotte and Mike Perry of Swansea. The couple joined a dozen fellow birders at the 325-acre refuge Sunday for a free bird walk offered year-round, every other week.

Bird watchers, from left, Rick Oriel of Newport, Mike Marcetti of Portsmouth, Bob Weaver of Newport, Jana Hesser of Providence and Mark Anderson of Newport.

The Providence Journal / Kris Craig

“The first sign of migration is the Perrys come back,” joked guide Jay Manning as the group assembled in the morning chill.

“I won’t come out here with six feet of snow on the ground,” said Mike Perry. He and his wife still go out birding in the deep winter, he said, but closer to home.

Like the tree swallows that fly north and nest near the bird sanctuary’s meadows, though, the Perrys always come back.

“It’s amazing what you hear,” Perry said, “when you start paying attention to it.”

Manning, an engineer with the state Department of Environmental Management and a sanctuary board member, has led the walks since 1993.

“We’re getting to that time of year when birding is as audio as it is visual,” said Manning. “The resident birds are getting ready for spring, calling to each other and getting their territories set up.”

In a few weeks, herons will start to arrive from the south, followed by many others. May is prime season for Rhode Island birders.

Manning motioned for the group to pause and listen to three birdcalls: a song sparrow cooing “please, please put on the teakettle;” a Carolina wren also chirping “teakettle” but much quicker and louder than the sparrow; and the whistle of a cardinal that sounded like “birdy, birdy, birdy” the faster it whirred.

“That one’s saying, ‘Welcome spring. Now get out of my area,’ ” Manning said.

He imitated the song of the chickadee. “Spring’s here, spring’s here.”

“Just being out in nature, you never know what you are going to see,” said Mike Marchetti of Portsmouth, a Navy retiree who has been accompanying Manning on bird walks for more than a decade.

“You see some beautiful things out here. You get some exercise out of it. And all it takes is a pair of binoculars.”

Years ago, Marchetti met Barry Murphy, a retired Marine, on the Sunday excursions. The peaceful pilgrimage through meadows, woods and marsh has become their shared ritual.

“This is church,” Murphy said.

Robert Weaver has visited the bird sanctuary for most of its six-decade history, starting as a Boy Scout more than 50 years ago.

Unlike the Perrys, Weaver, a retired cook, participates in the Sunday walks year round, even in rain, sleet and snow. Four years ago, he discovered a pair of rare pink-footed geese that attracted birders from as far away as California.

Weaver and Manning, like most birders, keep “life lists” of the birds they have seen. Weaver says his contains more than 500 kinds; Manning reckons he has “about 480” from North America.

Most in the group can rattle off species with ease, verifying their finds by referring to well-thumbed reference-books tucked in their pockets.

“There’s a tufted titmouse!”

They watched a white-breasted nuthatch dart down the trunk of a tree head first, its long, thin beak leading the charge.

The yellow-rumped warbler can switch from eating insects to berries to survive, Manning explained, as they pause to watch one jump through brambles.

Except Manning doesn’t call the bird by its proper name. “They’re lovingly called butter-butt,” he said.

Not everyone is an expert. Kerry Novack and her husband, Chris Vales, have lived in Newport for four years. Sunday was their first visit to the sanctuary.

“We took a trip to New Zealand and went camping and saw so many beautiful birds,” Novack said. “And I realized, I don’t know what’s out in my own backyard. So, it’s just been great to come out here this morning.”

For more information, go to www.normanbirdsanctuary.org and click on “calendar” or call (401) 846-2577. The next free walk is 8 a.m. on April 3.

J-Class Regatta Announced for Newport, Rhode Island

March 17th, 2011 by billfarrell

JANUARY 27, 2011, Newport, RI – David Pitman, secretary of the J-Class Association, announced that the first event in the J-Class Global calendar will be staged in Newport, Rhode Island. Racing in the fabled waters of the America’s Cup, the J-Class will use this regatta to kick off a four-regatta series culminating in a race around the Isle of Wight in July of 2012 for the finale regatta, which will be for the newly-minted Hundred Guinea Cup.
In 1930, Newport was the venue for the start of the remarkable J-Class era. Between 1930 and 1937 there were just 10 of these stunning yachts constructed for the purpose of winning the America’s Cup. Two of the originals (Shamrock V and Velsheda) will participate in Newport, together with Ranger, a true replica of the original. Negotiations continue with two other new J-yachts to have them join the regatta.
Lars Loftus, Captain of Velsheda, said, “Our team looks forward to racing in Newport. Brad Read of Sail Newport has given us an exciting course inside the bay, and we look forward to showing our friends on Shamrock and Ranger how a big yacht performs!”
In response, Dan Jackson, Captain of Ranger, said, “The pleasure will be ours to show Lars and his team the proper way to get the most out of a J-Class yacht.”

Sail Newport and the J-Class Association are responsible for the on-water race management of the regatta. The yachts and their teams will be based at the Newport Shipyard with crews staying at the Newport Harbor Hotel & Marina.
The regatta series of five races will be run from June 15 to 19, 2011, with starts and finishes off of Fort Adams. Viewing stands will be set up on the northwestern corner of Fort Adams, and other excellent viewing options will be at Castle Hill Inn and various spots in Jamestown. Working with the U.S. Coast Guard, Sail Newport will establish safe water viewing areas along the entire course. Mr. Pitman closed the announcement by saying, “This will be the first competitive J-Class regatta in the U.S.A. since the America’s Cup event of 1937 between the defender Ranger and the challenger Endeavour II.
“We hope to provide the most exciting racing seen in Newport since then, and with the continued support of the state and the city of Newport, we look forward to confirming arrangements for a major regatta in Newport during 2014, featuring up to ten J-Class yachts.”

While participating or watching these fascinating races, make The Spring Seasons Inn in Newport your home away from home.

French Film Festival Coming to Newport

March 13th, 2011 by billfarrell

Saturday, March 12, 2011

GoLocalProv Lifestyle Team

Salve Regina University in Newport opens their annual French Film Festival on Sunday, March 27, a two-week event that attracted an audience of more than 2,000 last year.

The opening reception and film will feature a wine and cheese tasting provided by Newport Wine Cellar, French café music performed by Salve Regina students, and student ushers from the university’s theatre department dressed in can-can. The feature film on opening night, Heartbreaker/L’Arnacœur, is an action-packed romantic comedy that was a blockbuster in France.

C’est Magnifique!

Films range from dramas and thrillers and romantic comedies. A complete line-up can be found here: www.salve.edu/frenchfilm. The festival runs at two locations in Newport through April 7. Tickets are $15 for the opening night film and reception. All other films during the festival will cost $5 at the door and will be screened at Salve Regina University’s O’Hare Academic Center, Ochre Point Avenue. A festival pass to all films and events is available for $20. Salve Regina students are admitted free with valid university identification.
Tickets and passes may be purchased at www.tinyurl.com/salvecasino or by calling (866) 811-4111. Tickets may also be purchased at the Casino Theatre during box office hours.

Doris Duke’s Sporty Side in Newport Exhibit

March 6th, 2011 by billfarrell

Saturday, March 05, 2011

GoLocalProv Lifestyle Team


From the beach to the bowling alley, from surfing to skiing, Doris Duke was a woman who loved to play.

A new exhibit at her Newport mansion Rough Point reveals the sporting side of the noted heiress and historic preservationist’s personality. Visitors can admire Doris Duke’s stylish sportswear alongside items of her personal sports equipment in Dressed to Play: The Sporty Style of Doris Duke. The exhibit illustrates her athletic lifestyle, which included surfing in Hawaii and daily swims in Newport. Fun, playful fashions from the 1940s-1970s will make visitors nostalgic for the classic styles of their mothers and grandmothers era. A collection of her personal sports equipment, including a surfboard, tennis racquet, golf clubs, scuba gear, riding habit and bowling ball, is displayed along with never before seen images of Doris Duke in action. The exhibit opens on April 14, 2011.

The active heiress

Doris Duke lived an active life filled with sports well into her later years. She swam off the rocks of Rough Point, surfed at her home in Hawaii, and bowled and rode horses at Duke Farms in New Jersey. She studied dance with choreographers around the world and was a member of Martha Graham’s Dance Company in New York. She had tennis courts at each of her homes – a passion that began as a child playing tennis with her friend Alletta Morris on the courts at the Newport Casino. Daily swims were an important part of Doris Duke’s regimen of healthy living. For many years, she swam off the rocks behind Rough Point. Later, she had a salt-water swimming pool installed in the house’s basement.

Exhibit highlights sporting gear

Two of the exhibit’s highlights are equipment related to Doris Duke’s love of water sports. The first is a Velzy Surfboard, ca. 1960, made of foam polyurethane and fiberglass. Created by Dale Velzy, who is believed to have opened the first conventional surf shop in California in 1949, the surfboard was used by Doris Duke at Shangri La, her home in Hawaii. It is notable as one of the first boards Velzy created using the new foam polyurethane material; boards were previously made of balsa wood. The second item is a pair of wooden water skis, circa 1935, which measure nearly nine feet in length. The large size of the skis helped to maintain stability on rougher ocean water. Both pieces are on loan from the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art which runs Shangri La.

Soon after settling at Shangri La in 1938, Doris Duke became involved with surfing. She quickly became friends with the Kahanamoku family. Duke Kahanamoku, an Olympic diver and celebrated champion surfer, and his brother, Sam, taught her to surf. Her aptitude for the sport is evidenced by a gold and sapphire powder compact included in the exhibit, inscribed January 22, 1939, recognizing Mrs. James H. R. Cromwell (as Doris Duke was then known) and Mr. Sam A. Kahanamoku for winning first prize in a Waikiki tandem surfboard paddling contest. This piece is also on loan from the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

Dressing for play

Doris Duke’s active lifestyle required a wardrobe that included comfortable, practical clothing to participate in a number of sporting activities. Sportswear, which began in the 1920s as specialized clothing for activities like tennis and hunting, became part of mainstream fashion during the 20th century. Social norms about public sports and activities for women expanded during this time, allowing sweaters, pants, skirts, blazers, and casual dresses to become regular items in a woman’s wardrobe. Exhibit curator Kristen Costa Francoeur explains, “These clothes may seem like everyday items to us now, but Doris Duke was on the cutting edge of fashion – she was wearing sportswear as it was being created and her busy lifestyle is shaping her wardrobe.”

Doris Duke’s wardrobe included a wide range of casual and active apparel made by American and European designers such as Jantzen, Valentino, and Giorgio Sant’Angelo.
One of the clothing highlights of the exhibit is a 1958 sundress by Tina Leser, one of the earliest American sportswear designers. During the 1930s-1950s, the United States was producing some of the best sportswear in the world. This sportswear was designed by women and it was the first time female designers had their name in the limelight.

“Dressed to Play: The Sporty Style of Doris Duke” will be on exhibit in the galleries at Rough Point through early November 2011. Guided house tours, which last approximately 75 minutes and include the exhibit, cost $25. Children 12 and younger are admitted for free. Tours are offered 10-2, Thursday-Saturday, April 14 – May 14. From May 17 to November 5, tours are offered 9:45-3:45, Tuesday-Saturday. For those wishing to see only the exhibit, gallery hours are offered on Saturdays from 1-4 for $5. In addition, the galleries are open during a series of special evening events offered as part of Newport Gallery Night, held on the second Thursday of each month. For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.NewportRestoration.org or call (401) 847-8344. The Spring Seasons Inn is close to Rough Point and offers room packages that include admission to Rough Point

Newport Tower Museum

January 5th, 2011 by billfarrell

There are many theories about who built the Newport Tower including the Viking theory, the Benedict Arnold Windmill theory, the Portuguese theory, the Templar theory, and the alien theory. As of yet, none of the theories have been proven but each one has its own merits and until proven otherwise, it is up to each of us to decide which theory we believe. If you really want to learn more about the Tower and some of the theories around it, there is no better place to learn about it the the Newport Tower Museum which is located directly across the street form the tower at 152 Mill Street, Newport. Jim Egan runs the museum and is an expert on the tower and has his own ideas about it. I am not sure of the hours of the Tower Museum but Jim can be reached at 401.447.6757. His web site is www.newporttowermuseum.com

While walking through Touro Park and discovering the tower and museum, other nearby attractions include the Newport Art Museum and The Redwood Library, the oldest lending library in the United States. The Spring Seasons Inn is only a five minute walk from the Tower Museum.

Newport Tower

86 Spring Street, Newport, RI 02840  |  401-849-0004  |  887-294-0004  |  innkeeper@springseasonsinn.com
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