Saturday, September 21, 2013

Gut Shabbos, Providence

The most visible minority in the neighborhood where we live are Orthodox Jews.  Depending on how much you want to stretch your legs, we are walking distance to at least four Orthodox congregations including a "modern and inclusive Orthodox Synagogue" and an Orthodox Shul that makes no claims to be either modern or inclusive.  There are also a couple Orthodox day schools, and I love to see the Orthodox girls riding their bikes the wrong way down our main drag like bats out of hell with their skirts and braids billowing out behind them.

Orthodox families give a certain rhythm to the neighborhood, mothers and children rushing on Friday afternoon errands, and a steady stream of people walking north on Saturday morning.  Today I was moving against the foot traffic, hurrying to my hair appointment, part of the Saturday morning dog walking, baby strolling, coffee drinking types.  Halfway to my destination there was rugby practice on one side, with knots of Orthodox boys in black suits leaning over the fence to watch.  The other side was the Brown football game (who knew Brown had a football team) complete with girls in short-shorts, tailgaters, and piped in music ("Last Friday Night").  The girls were interspersed with families, one with a fashionable mom in a long dark skirt pushing a baby carriage, accompanied by a stair-step gaggle of daughters in matching, elaborately stitched dresses like something right out of my childhood All of a Kind Family books.

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