Erica Christoffer is a multimedia journalist and contributing editor with REALTOR® Magazine. Connect with her via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joy Riley shows her street cred by creating videos that highlight her close-knit community.
January 7, 2014
What’s special about your community?
Providence, R.I., is a destination for the person who seeks phenomenal food and attractions, a diverse mix of cultural stimulation, and a sense of community like no other. I have centered my business activity here in Providence because of my love for the city’s rich history, amazing architecture, and unique lifestyle.
With the city’s high concentration of industrial and multiunit properties, I became inspired by the adaptive reuse of these properties and spaces into residences, artists’ live/work spaces, and small business uses. I have loved being a part of preserving our unique landscape while restoring and adapting the space to meet the needs of our growing community.
What is Street Cred? Learn how REALTORS® are working as community ambassadors.
As I’m an individual who embraces the arts, Providence has served as the perfect backdrop to express my passion and love for the city I call home. With many great examples of Providence’s adaptive reuse of space, we felt it necessary to showcase a couple of those spaces in our community video series. In this video, we explore how the Providence G demonstrates the draw of our downtown luxury living. And this video shows urban loft-style living in downtown Providence.
How long have you lived in Providence?
I was born and raised in Rhode Island and have called Providence my home for almost 30 years now.
What is your absolute favorite thing about your community?
We have a strong neighborhood association that organizes neighbors and businesses to preserve our community as a safe and sustainable place to live. When someone moves to the area, whether to live or to work, they are embraced with open arms. We work together to keep our community presentable and thriving and welcome newcomers to join us and experience what a true sense of community feels like here on the West Side of Providence.
Tell us about your West Side of Providence video. Why did you create it? Where are you sharing it? What has the reaction been from viewers?
The West Side video is a quick and engaging glimpse of our unique community. Our objective was to capture the energy, vibrancy, and strong sense of community. We also wanted to showcase local business, share community sentiment, and highlight the stunning architecture that defines the area. And we wanted to tell the story in less than 60 seconds!
We posted the video on our YouTube channel and shared it throughout our social media via Google Plus, Facebook, Pinterest, Blogger, and LinkedIn. Since so many of our clients are engaged in these forums, the reaction was fantastic, especially from the local business community and residents.
If you were meeting up with a client, where might you go?
When meeting up with a client, I like to bring them to some of my favorite attractions. Historic Providence’s well-known eateries, from eclectic coffee shops to fine dining, are always a great option.
Quite recently, the nation’s oldest indoor shopping mall, The Arcade, has been beautifully updated and renovated. Conveniently located in the heart of Downcity Providence, The Arcade offers everything from a quiet meal in a bakery to a great tour of amazing artwork. The Arcade’s reopening has been a fantastic example of how Providence continues to modernize and expand on the historic space we have here. Check out this video from our Downcity Providence series that showcases the restoration.
Where would you go in Providence if you wanted a night out but didn’t want to spend any money?
If you’re ever in Providence and looking to experience something amazing without spending any money, you must make your way to the Waterplace Park to see it in full blaze. WaterFire is an award-winning art installation by Barnaby Evans presented on the three rivers of downtown Providence. On WaterFire nights, the city is transformed by one hundred bonfires burning just above the surface of the rivers that pass thru the middle of downtown Providence. WaterFire is termed the “art and soul” of Providence for a reason, and this engaging show truly ignites inspiration and excitement to all who experience it.
What do you see when you look out your office window?
There are only four historic streets in Providence, and Westcott Properties is located on Broadway, the only historic street on the West Side of Providence. Located directly across the street from our office is the beautiful Church of Saint Mary, constructed between 1864 and 1869. The church is truly indicative of the architecture of the period. The array of architectural designs you’ll find on Broadway epitomizes the style and history that Providence encapsulates.
What’s a perfect day in Providence to you? What would you do?
I’d start on the West Side of Providence with a fresh pastry and steaming cup of cappuccino at Seven Stars Bakery on Broadway. Then I would make my way to downtown Providence to experience the lunch truck line-up at Kennedy Plaza. I wouldn’t be able to resist treating myself to multiple snacks at each truck with so many to choose from and so many amazing flavors to enjoy. Later, I would make my way to the Downcity Art District for shopping at the many shops on Westminster. On my way to the East Side of Providence for dinner, I would select a bottle of wine at my favorite wine shop, Eno Fine Wines. Lastly, I would settle in at Pizzico on Hope Street. Known for its amazing ambience and award-winning Italian fusion cuisine, you truly feel as if you are lifted away to Tuscany with each bite.