Rhode Island is an utterly unique state with a culture distinct from its New England neighbors. While some people treat “The Ocean State” as “that place you need to drive through to get from New York to Boston,” those who grew up there know that it is a hidden gem filled with special businesses, places, and memories that they wouldn’t trade for anything else in the world.
So for us Rhode Islanders from East Providence, Cranston, Pawtucket, and all other nearby spots, here are some of the top things we Swamp Yankees share in common that separate us from everyone else:
Other City Names Seem Ridiculously Easy to Spell and Pronounce
To Rhode Islanders, city names like Chepiwanoxet, Misquamicut, Scituate, and Quonochontaug roll off the tongue, but those who live outside our boundaries may have a bit more trouble sounding them out. The good news is that you can spell some of them multiple ways and still get it right!
You Wonder “Where Are All the Good Beaches At?”
Most states, like North Carolina and Texas, have so much coastline that locals have two or three nearby beaches to choose from. Rhode Islanders are a bit more spoiled. Our tiny state may be only 37 miles long, but its 400 plus miles of coastline give us more beachside spots to check out than there are free days in a year.
We’re also spoiled by relatively untouched beaches like Block Island and Goosewing, making other beaches sometimes kind of a bore.
You Tell Everyone “Real Chowder Is Clear” While You Gobble Down the Creamy Stuff
Creamy clam chowder is nectar of the gods, but you won’t catch many Rhode Islanders admitting it. Our version of chowder is just as hearty, but its clear broth is not quite as addicting as the kind made famous by those up in Massachusetts.
You Start Roasting When the Thermometer Tops 70
If you want to spot a Rhode Islander in Texas, look for the melted puddle on the floor. Rhode Island summers offer the perfect mix of sunny warmth with chilly ocean winds to temper it.
You Can Draw the Blueprints for The Breakers from Memory
Every school year had at least one field trip there on the calendar. Out-of-towners would also want to go when visiting your parents, meaning you got dragged there all the time. At least it was pretty!
You Know the Best Milkshakes Are Just Awful
Awful Awful may have a weird name, but anyone who has tried their shakes knows that they are a national treasure.
You Think Dunkin’ Donuts Is Really a Place to Hang Out and Get Coffee
Not that many of us actually get donuts from Dunkin’s these days, but we do obsess over getting iced coffee, and remember hanging out in the parking lot after school. When we can’t get our Dunkin’s fix, we can always turn to coffee milk or coffee syrup, too!
Your First Big Concert Was at Great Woods or Foxborough Stadium
And you probably saw Dave Matthews there. Admit it!
You Will Still Defend the Late Buddy Cianci’s Character
He may have been corrupt and a convicted felon, but he was the heart and soul of Providence for over ten years—the heart and soul.
You Would Spend an Hour in the Iggy’s Line Just to Taste One Doughboy Again
“Stupid good” doesn’t even begin to describe the fried hush puppies, overflowing lobster rolls, and giant clam cakes at Iggy’s, but we all know the real goal was to get to the meal end and sink your teeth into those melt-in-your-mouth fried doughboys.