The 46th Newport Music Festival

July 11th, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

The Newport Music Festival has been around since 1969 and has produced over 2,100 concerts in a variety of venues throughout Newport, including the Preservation Society’s Historic Mansions.  They have brought over 1,000 artists to the stage, including over 100 who made their American debut.  While the first Music Festival took place in 1953, the festival as we know it today didn’t start until 1969, three years after the non-for profit, the Rhode Island Arts Foundation at Newport, Inc. was incorporated.

The early years of the Newport Music Festival were an important part of romantic revival and included many members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.  They partnered with the Preservation Society of Newport County, which brought the music back to venues that it was created to play in.  Dr. Mark P. Malkovich III became the Festival’s General Director in 1975 and remained in the position until 2008 when his son, Mark Malkovich IV assumed the role.  Dr. Malkovich became well known for introducing young international artists and showcasing emerging American artists.stacks_image_3382[1]

The Newport Music Festival showcases music from the Romantic era (1820-1910), but has also expanded and includes a wide variety from Bach to Bernstein. This years festival will be held from July 11th through the 27th and will include 68 concerts, about 3-5 per day.  Morning concerts will be held at 11am, afternoon at 4pm, and nighttime performances will be held at 8pm or 9pm, depending on the location.  Concerts will include chamber music, ragtime and tango and several concerts will occur as tribute to the 150th anniversary of the German composer, Richard Strauss.  Around 80 musicians from 18 countries will be performing, 30 of which will be making their Newport debuts.  The festival will open on July 11th with the Hungarian pianist, Gergely Bogányi, and will end with a two piano, two percussion ensemble “extravaganza.”

Concerts will be held at a variety of locations including: Aldrich Mansion, Blithewold Mansion, the Newport Grand Events Center, Rosecliff, the Breakers, the Elms, Casino Theater, Redwood Library, CCRI, St. George’s School Chapel, Saint John the Evangelist, Edward King House, Touro Synagogue and the Newport Art Museum.

 

Top Five Newport Views

July 4th, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

There are many reasons to visit Newport, one of which is taking in the various views around town.  The scenery is one of my favorite parts about living here so I’ve put together a list of my favorite Newport views to make your visit even more enjoyable.

5. Sachuest Point Wildlife Refuge: Technically located in Middletown, the Sachuest Point Wildlife Refuge offers two different walking trails, with varying views and lookout points.  From one side you get a great view of Second Beach, while the other takes you down towards Third Beach.  You can watch the waves crash and the boats setting sail. Since it’s a nature preserve, you’re also able to enjoy the wildlife and birds that are protected within the sanctuary.  You may even run into some bunnies or a deer or two.

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4. Brenton Point:  Located along Ocean Drive, this offers a great view of the bay turning into the ocean as well as Jamestown across the way.  This is an incredible place to sit and enjoy the sunset.  You can also catch the light of the Beavertail Lighthouse in Jamestown lighting up the sky just past dusk.brenton point sunset

3. Cliffwalk: Not only does Cliffwalk afford you great views of the ocean, but on the other side you can enjoy all the historic mansions along the way.  Since the walk is 3.5 miles, the scenery changes and you can enjoy the view of the cliffs, first beach, waves crashing over rocks and a seemingly endless number of grand houses.cliffwalk

2. Goat Island:  Various views range from the harbor downtown, to the beautiful Pell Bridge, the Goat Island Lighthouse and over to Jamestown.  Right as the sun sets, head over to the Hyatt where the lighthouse is located and take in both the lighthouse and bridge.  Pineapples on the Bay is an outdoor bar located at the Hyatt and you can enjoy the sunset and a nice cocktail, the best of both worlds.goat island

1. Fort Adams State Park: Fort Adams is my favorite place in Newport, so there may be some bias in me selecting it as the best view in town.  Not only is there the historic fort to lay your eyes on, but Baywalk, a two mile walk around the park, offers a variety of scenic views.  You can catch a beautiful view of the downtown harbor area, a perfect view of the Newport Pell Bridge, and views all along the bay and over into Jamestown.

fort adams

When it comes down to it, there are dozens of spots to see incredible views in Newport.  Almost anywhere you go you’ll be able to see something beautiful, but this list will give you a starting point for your scenic exploration.

Photo Credit: Lauren Finnessey

Farmers Markets of Newport County

June 27th, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

One of the great things about the summer season in Newport is the great local products that can be found at various farmers markets throughout the area.  You can find farmers markets to go to on almost every day of the week and choose from a selection of locally grown products.  The biggest farmers markets are the ones put on by the Aquidneck Growers Market, but there are a few other markets that go on throughout the summer season.

Aquidneck Growers Market (Wednesdays (2pm-6pm, June-October) Memorial Boulevard /Saturday (9am-1pm, June-October) Newport Vineyards).  The Aquidneck Grower’s Market offers fresh, locally grown food as well as flowers and plants.  All of their products are grown or made by them and nothing is brought in from other regions.  They have been operating summer farmers markets in at Newport Vineyards in Middletown (Saturdays) since 1995 and one on Memorial Boulevard in Newport (Tuesdays) since 2000.  Their goal is to provide access to seasonal, locally grown products to the community and increase awareness of the benefits of buying and eating local.  Their markets have over 25 vendors and create a fun atmosphere for people to shop, snack and listen to live music.  Some products you might find at one of the Aquidneck Growers Market are fresh vegetables, flowers, herbs, plants, eggs, bread and baked goods, meats, seafood, cheeses, prepared food and more.

Some other markets in the Newport area are: Island Farmers Market: Thursdays 2-6pm, 499 East Main Road, June to October, and Newport/Long Wharf Farmers Market: Friday 2-6pm (July 25th-October 31st) Long Wharf at Washington Street.

 

Broadway Restaurants

June 20th, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

When visiting Newport, most people tend to head down towards Thames Street and the Wharf area to grab a bite to eat and it can get pretty busy.  If you’re looking for something a little different head to Broadway, which is less than a half a mile from the Marshall Slocum Inn.  There are a bunch of different restaurants that will feed whatever you’re craving that day.  Here is a list of just a few of the great Broadway Restaurants:

The Fifth Element: The Fifth Element is a “casual-hip hangout” where bar meets grill.  The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, with eath tones, water walls and a combination of rustic and industrial decor.  You can enjoy live music here or just the company of those around you.  Dinner options include Fresh Tagliatelle and House Made Beer Braut. 111 Broadway.

Salvation Cafe: Salvation Cafe is an eclectic restaurant servings creative dishes.  They have a very unique and fun atmosphere.  Dishes include Oxtail Bolognese, Buttermilk Brick Chicken and Vegan Risotto. 140 Broadway.

Norey’s: The goal of Norey’s Chef, Tyler Cullen, was to create a memorable night out by introducing Newport to the very best craft beers, the finest wines and a dynamic Modern-American menu.  They have a huge craft beer selection and dishes such as Lobster Mac and Cheese and Thai Curry Stir Fry. 156 Broadway.

Pour Judgement: Pour Judgement is a popular bar where you can have “a night out without spending a days pay,” and is popular with the Newport Locals.  They have a great beer selection, delicious food and a great atmosphere. 32 Broadway.

The SVF Foundation’s Annual Visitors Day

June 13th, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

On Saturday, June 14th, the SVF Foundation will be opening its doors to the public for their annual visitors day celebration.  The event will take place on their 35-acre property near Fort Adams State Park from 9am to 3pm.  Visitors will be able to take self guided tours through the historic Swiss Village, view the state of the art SVF facilities and meet the laboratory, veterinary and animal care staff, attend cryogenics and sheep sheering demonstrations, visit Chip, a Tennessee myotonic goat born from a frozen embryo, learn about endangered breeds of livestock and shop farm products and heritage breed meat.

The SVF Foundation’s goal is to preserve rare and endangered breeds of livestock.  They focus on genetic preservation of cattle, sheep, and goats.  They store semen, embryos, cells and blood in liquid nitrogen until those genetics are needed for agricultural use. This program was a 20 year project focused on preserving endangered breeds.  On average, 1 breed goes extinct per month, and the SVF Foundation is working to eliminate that.  There is no other program like this one. They improve the environment around the animals and keep the genetics ready for when they are needed.

Newport Art Museum

June 6th, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

The Newport Art Museum, accredited fully by the American Association of Museums, holds collections and exhibitions that reflect Rhode Island’s cultural heritage and contemporary art scene.  They have been a cultural gathering place for over 100 years and have a reputation for high quality exhibitions and programs.  They are the only museum that focuses on the art and artists of Rhode Island.  They also have an art school, the Minnie and Jimmy Coleman Center for Creative Studies (founded in 1913) that encourages people of all ages to attend art classes, camps and workshops in order to explore their creativity.

The Newport Art Museum has a permanent collection of over 2,300 works of American art.  This art focuses on artistic activity from the late 19th century to the present day, as well as works that emphasize the role Newport and New England artists had in the development of American art.newport-art-museum-1[1]

Some of the artists displayed in the Newport Art Museum are:  19th and 20th century artists William Trost Richards, John Frederick Kensett and George Bellows, impressionists, Howard Gardiner Cushing and Helena Sturtevant, and contemporary artists such as Dale Chihuly, Italo Scanga, Aaron Siskind and Toots Zynsky, among many others.

Special Exhibitions are taken from the permanent collections as well as other museums and private collections.  They display a variety of themes and are accompanied by special programs.  Three current exhibitions are: Elizabeth Congdon: Heaven and Earth (May 10th-August 12th), Mary Chatowski Jameson: Marine Botanicals (May 17th-Spetember 1st), Corrine Colarusso: Magic Gold, Full Sun (May 17th-Septemeber 7th), and “Very Simple Charm,” the Early Life and Work of Richard Morris Hunt in Newport (May 31st-September 14th).

The Newport Art Museum hosts a variety of events throughout the year including gallery nights and talks, Murder at the Museum nights, lectures, lunch with artists, a variety of workshops and more.

Newport Restoration Foundation

May 30th, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

The non-profit organization – Newport Restoration Foundation – was founded by Doris Duke in 1968 with the purpose of preserving, interpreting, and maintaining landscape and objects reflecting architectural culture of the 18th and 19th century on Aquidneck Island.  It maintains this mission by being a leader in historic preservation in Newport Country, preserving a collection of the arts of cabinetmaking and art and artifacts from Doris Duke and using these collections for educational purposes.  Since its start, the Newport Restoration Foundation has preserved or restored 83 buildings, and owns 78 historic buildings, most of which are rented as private residences.  This is one of the largest collections of period architecture in the country owned by a single organization.

Besides their commitment to maintaining the historic architecture of the area, the Newport Restoration Foundation also owns and operates three properties that are open to the public as museums.  These include Rough Point – the mansion owned by Doris Duke, the Whitehorne House - which houses a collection of 18th Century Newport furniture, and Prescott Farm – an example of early American architecture and landscape.

The Newport Restoration Foundation also runs a variety of history tours that help visitors learn about different aspects of Newport’s magnificent history. “Discover Colonial Newport,” is a tour that involves revolution and ruin and the struggles for religious liberty in Newport.  “From Golden to Gilded” takes visitors through the transformation of Newport from a colonial age to a gilded summer colony. “Rum and Revolution” discusses the booming rum trade and its activity throughout the Prohibition era.  “Souls & Stones” takes guests to the Common Burying Ground and explores the art of gravestone carving and discusses the diverse group of people buried there.  These are just a few of the great historic tours offered.  All tours leave from the Museum and Shop at the Brick Market Place on Thames Street and last about 75 minutes.

The Great Chowder Cook-Off and Oyster Festival

May 23rd, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

For the past 32 years, The Great Chowder Cook-Off helps kick off summer in the beginning of June.  This year, the 33rd Annual Polar Seltzer Great Chowder Cook-Off will take place on Saturday, June 7th, from noon to 6pm, at the Newport Yachting Center.  As an added bonus, the Newport Oyster Festival will coincide with the Chowder Cook-Off and your ticket to the cook-off will get you in the festival as well.  The Oyster Festival will last until 8pm.

The Polar Seltzer Great Chowder Cook-off has been featured on both the Food Network and the Travel Channel and is the longest running chowder championship.  It draws its competitors from across the countrchowder picturey such as California, Washington, New Jersey, North Carolina, Florida, as well as New England favorites.  Those in attendance get to taste endless samples of traditional chowders as well as “exotic” variations.  Voting will take place for three categories: clam, seafood and creative.  The great restaurants who win end up with prizes and bragging rights for the next year.  Among the chowder tastings, many other things will be happening.  There will be a “Clamcake Chow Down” where participants race to consume a half-dozen clam cakes.  Live music will be performing on various stages, and Stop & Shop will be sponsoring culinary demonstrations throughout the day.

When you’re all chowdered out, or the cook-off is over, your ticchowder cook-offket gets you into the Newport Oyster Festival.  Local shellfish and seafood will be available, farmers market style.  Some highlights of the Festival include: raw bars and other seafood favorites, full bar, live acoustic music, bistro-style seating, educational presentations and contests.  You can compete in oyster and beer shucking or oyster slurping competitions.

For more information or to see who will be competing this year, check out the Polar Seltzer Great Chowder Cook-Off website here.

 

Green Animals Topiary Garden is Open for the Season

May 16th, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

The Green Animals Topiary Garden opened for the season last week.  As part of the Preservation Society of Newport County, this mansion, located in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, gives visitors the chance to visit the oldest and most northern Topiary Garden in the United States.

This seven acre estate was purchased in 1872 by Thomas E. Brayton as a summer home.  His gardener, Joseph Carreiro, and son-in-law, George Mendonca, were responsible for creating the topiaries.  The gardens, which include more than 80 pieces of topiary, almost completely outshine the house.  The estate includes sculptured trees and shrubs in the shapes of various animals like camels and giraffes, flower beds, and fruit and vegetable gardens.  The white wood frame house contains family furnishings and has become a small toy museum.green-animals-topiary-garden-main[1]

Brayton’s daughter, Alice, gave the estate it’s name, the Green Animals Topiary Garden, and became a permanent residence there in 1939.  At the age of 94, Alice passed away and left her estate to the Preservation Society of Newport County and is still considered one of the finest Topiary Gardens in the United States.

The Atlantic Cup is Back in Newport

May 9th, 2014 by Marshall Slocum Inn

The Atlantic Cup is a three-leg event held in Charleston, New York and Newport, that showcases some of the top Class 40 Sailors in the U.S. and world.  Presented by 11th Hour Racing, this is the only racing event dedicated to Class 40 sailing, as well as one of the most environmentally sustainable races in the U.S.  The 2012 race was the first carbon neutral race and this years race will aim for the same thing.  Participating teams will be required to have an alternative energy source, such as fuel cells or solar panels.

There are three legs of the Atlantic Cup, which begin in Charleston, South Carolina on May 10th.  This leg is a long offshore race that will be raced double handed.  The second leg starts on May 17th in New York and is a shorter, double-handed, offshore sprint.  Finally, the race ends in Newport and takes things inshore.  The last leg starts on May 24th and takes place in Narragansett Bay, with a maximum crew of six.  The race incorporates both offshore and inshore racing so that the competitors are skilled in two different sailing disciplines: ocean and buoy racing.  This makes the event competitive and guarantees the winner is a “complete sailor.”  The two types of racing also levels the playing field against different yacht designs and makes the competition extremely close.

The combined overall winner of the three legs becomes the Atlantic Cup Champion.  Last years winner was Bodacious Dream, who held the first place seat the entire duration of the race.  They had previously came in 2nd in the 2012 America’s Cup race.

The third leg in Newport spans two day, which are filled with sailing and events for everyone.  Racing takes place on May 24th and 25th from 11am to 4pm.  Other activities associated with the event will start as early as the 22nd.logo[1]

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