My Providence! What airy hosts
Turn still thy gilded vanes;
What winds of elf that with grey ghosts
People thine ancient lanes!
Overlooking the RISD Beach. Can you spot the State House?
Knowing the risks, I drank from the mythical fountain.* The legend says: anyone who drinks from it will always return to Providence. Seems more like a self-fulfilling prophecy to me: if you like Providence enough to drink from a magical fountain, you’ll probably keep coming back.
The fountain sits in front of the Providence Athenæum, around the corner from College Street, home to both the Rhode Island School of Design and author H.P. Lovecraft. The deep affection he felt for the city is unmistakable. I remember walking down that same street for the first time, rounding the corner of the quad, and the state house—“a delirious marble dome,” as Lovecraft wrote—loomed into view, towering over the city.