Let’s face it, winter in Rhode Island can be brutal. And all that ice, snow, salt, and plowing does a number on our roads. And every spring, we can count on one thing: potholes leading to flat tires and dented rims. Most of the spring and summer is spent in traffic as construction crews fill in the potholes and pave the roads again. And by the time they’re finished, its winter again.
2. Corrupt politicians
Every year we complain about the local politicians. From bad budgets to cronyism to national headline scandals, Rhode Island is one of the most corrupt states in the nation. Our politicans spend money on things we don’t need, while roads and schools are falling apart. But maybe we just love complaining, because every election, we end up voting them all back in.
3. The weather
The old saying goes, “if you don’t like the weather in Rhode Island, just wait a minute.” Throughout most of the year it’s anyone’s guess as to what the weather will be like. It can be 70 degrees in November or 25 degrees in March. We’ve had heatwaves at Thanksgiving and blizzards on April Fools’ Day. We’re also prone to everything from hurricanes to tornadoes and nor’easters. It certainly keeps the weatherman on his toes.
4. The traffic
For such a small state, you wouldn’t expect there to be so much traffic. But every day during the rush hours you can absolutely count on sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic on your way to work and on your way home. It might not be Los Angeles or Boston traffic, but it’s our own equivalent of it. If you have to go somewhere that involves driving through the downtown Providence area, you’re better off going around. Or not going at all.
5. The Providence Place Mall parking garage
Whoever designed this garage was on a lot of drugs. It’s a never-ending maze of turns and twists. You go up and up and up, and the numbers for each level don’t seem to change. Then suddenly you’re forced to switch lanes to keep going up. And good luck getting out — if you’re able to remember where you parked your car. Also, I hope you paid for your parking at one of the kiosks inside.
6. Parking anywhere
Forget about street parking on Thayer Street or Federal Hill. Even if you do find a spot, they’ll be a meter there waiting for you. Oh, and if you’re staying the night, you can’t stay parked on the streets in Providence or you’ll get ticket. Heading to the beach? Be prepared to pay $10-$15 to park there, too. Even more if you’re from out of state. PawSox game? Providence Bruins game? A concert at PPAC or The Vets? Out to dinner in Newport? Be prepared to walk a few blocks when you finally find a spot.
If you tried, I bet you could find a car with a license from every state during the summer months in Rhode Island. If you live in Narragansett or Newport, it’s like holiday shopping with long lines and scarce parking every time you go to the supermarket.
8. People who don’t know Rhode Island is a state.
We aren’t part of New York or Massachusetts. And we’re not an island either. We are an actual state. One of the original 13 to be exact. Yes, if you are driving from New York to Boston you might miss us if you blink. But we’re here. And we’re proud.