A travel journal
to Pawtucket by Wildcat Dianne
Quote: I grew up in Rhode Island, and one of my fondest childhood and early adulthood memories was going to Pawtucket Red Sox games at McCoy Stadium with my friends and family. It is a less-expensive way to see our nation's past-time and Major League Baseball's future stars.
I remember going to the ball park with my parents, grandparents, and younger sister many times and bringing my baseball glove just in case a foul ball was hit near our seats. I returned to Rhode Island this summer for my Nana''s memorial service, and I was hoping to catch a PawSox game, but to my disappointment, when I went on line to check out the PawSox schedule, they were going to be out of town the week I was planning to be there. But my trip wasn''t lost, when I went to the souvenir shop to get things for my family, I was able to go upstairs and see the field and re-live many happy memories.
I loved watching the game and its players. I also got to see Mo Vaughn and Ellis Burks play at McCoy and can say now if they are on TV, "I remember seeing him in Pawtucket!"
During the game, there is a baseball trivia question that you can answer by writing the answer on a piece of paper and handing to a security guard. During the 7th Inning Stretch, the answer is announced and a name is randomly drawn. The lucky winner gets PawSox tickets and a six-pack of Coca Cola. I never won the drawing, but I did get the right answer several times.
Ben Mondor owns the PawSox, and at every home game, he is walking in the stands shaking hands with people and talking to them. He is very down to earth and friendly.
PawSox games are one of the only things I miss about Rhode Island since moving to Idaho in 1992.
When you order beer at McCoy, bring your I.D. because the people at the beerstand I.D. everyone. My mom was 42 and was I.D.''''d once and she had to run back to our seats to get her purse. The counter guy said she looked good for her age.
You cannot bring your own food into McCoy. If you do, it will be confiscated by security.
On the way into McCoy, enjoy the mural all around the entrance of past PawSox greats such as Carlton Fisk, Fred Lynn, Jim Rice, etc. It''''s a work of art.
One of the best times to attend a PawSox game is on the 3rd of July if the team is at home. The game starts at 6pm so that it ends by dusk. After dusk, there is a spectacular fireworks display that will leave you breathless and feeling very patriotic.
Parking can be bad during the final home game and 4th of July if the PawSox are at home, so get to the park early if you don''''t want to park in the boonies and walk. If you don''''t have a car, there are taxi and public buses available to get you to McCoy. So play ball!!
Restaurant | "Rickshaw Inn"
In 1996, my sister Erika went back to Rhode Island to attend a friend's wedding. She went to the Rickshaw Inn to get her Chinese food fix and bought me an order of their egg rolls. She froze them and brought them on the plane back home to Idaho. Erika gave them to me when I picked her up along with a dozen Dunkin Donuts. Later, I ate my eggrolls and savored every bite and ate very slowly.
The Rickshaw Inn is a popular Chinese Restaurant with great service, take-out, and food is to die for. I used to go in to the Rickshaw or take out an order. I always got the Shrimp with Lobster Sauce, Egg Rolls, Chicken Wings, or ribs. The egg rolls are huge stuffed with veggies and pork. They are best dipped in duck or hot mustard sauces. Watch out for the hot mustard, it cleans your nose out!
The shrimp and lobster sauce is a dark sauce with tons of lobster chunks and big pieces of shrimp. I have not found anything close to Rickshaw's shrimp and lobster sauce anywhere else.
Meals in the restaurant are served with a heavenly won ton soup and hot tea, and the service is always courteous and quick. So if anyone is going to Rhode Island, please pick me up an order from Rickshaw Inn to go!
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 4, 2002
Rickshaw Inn Restaurant
181 Willett Avenue
Pawtucket, Rhode Island 02915
Restaurant | "The Farnsworth Cafe (formerly Aegean Pizza)"
To my sadness when I arrived at the restaurant, Aegean Pizza was no longer there, but it had been replaced by the Farnsworth Cafe. The sign said that there was pizza, seafood, and Greek food and thought that a family member just took over. So, I decided to give the Farnsworth Cafe a try for old times sake.
Upon arriving, the waitress had me sit down at a small table near the counter and gave me a menu. The menu had barely changed since the Aegean Pizza days, and in fact, some of the recipes such as the tuna salad (Helen''s recipe) were still being used by the Farnsworths. Helen was the former owner of Aegean and a very nice Greek woman who always knew what you wanted when you came in for lunch or dinner. The menu is huge and the cafe serves pizzas, sandwiches or subs, seafood, and American fare.
I wanted fish and chips since Aegean had great fish and chips ($7.95), and I ordered that and a small Greek salad ($2.95). When the waitress arrived with my salad, I asked her how long they had been there and if it was the same ownership. The girl said that they had been there almost two years and that they were the new owners. I told her that I grew up in Riverside and used to go to Aegean all the time and that we used to rotate every Friday between Aegean, Riverside Kitchen, and the River Street Pub (no longer in business) for great fish and chips.
The salad was great with lots of feta cheese and a lite olive oil and vinegar dressing. My fish and chips were served by one of the cooks with a smile as I was just finishing my salad. The fish and chips came with tartar sauce (wish I had more of it), cole slaw, and fries. The fish and chips were hot and freshly cooked and delicious. I knew what I had been missing all these years living in Idaho.
Farnsworth Cafe is family run and there are a lot of regulars from the neighborhood who eat there giving the cafe an intimate and cozy feeling. I really enjoyed eating there, and the service is courteous and very quick. Prices are reasonable, and they do a bang-up business, especially on Friday nights and weekend nights. So if you decide to go to eat at the Farnsworth Cafe, go early or order from their take-out menu. They also have free delivery. They are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 22, 2003
302 Willett Avenue
Pawtucket, Rhode Island 02915
Restaurant | "The Riverside Kitchen"
After visiting my Nana's grave at the nearby cemetery and the funeral home to make sure that arrangements for her memorial service were in place, I was craving some hot wienies, which are grilled hot dogs with mustard, celery salt, onions, and a special meat sauce on top that you can't get anywhere else past New York and New England.
Upon arriving at The Riverside Kitchen, I was pleased to see that the senior Mr. Mihalos was still running the place and making food. A waitress took my order and in less than five minutes, my three hot wienies were on the counter in front of me with a bottle of water. I wolfed down the wienies like a starving dog and they were great. The TV had the news on, and there was a story about an Idaho woman who alledgedly drowned her baby granddaughter. I said that it was in eastern Idaho, and I had been living in Idaho for 11 years and was here for Nana's memorial service. The waitress was nice and funny when she asked me "I don't mean to be nosy, but what did they do with her body for a month?" I told her that Nana's body was shipped for burial three days after she passed away (she died on May 2).
The hot wienies at Riverside Kitchen are great and the price is cheap ($1.25 each), but be warned, you might be tasting the wienies and onions long after eating them (Rhode Island humor). I was waiting for me to be tasting the wienies after eating them, but to my surprise, I remained burpless all day! I must be immune to them now, even four years after eating them last.
The Riverside Kitchen is a little greasy spoon that serves breakfast and lunch and is only open from 6am to 2pm every day. Service is great and quick. So, make sure that you get there early for lunch or a great breakfast.
Riverside Kitchen New York System
467 Willett Avenue
Pawtucket, Rhode Island 02915
But my family wanted some souvenirs from the PawSox Souvenir Shop, like T-shirts for Mom and Dad and a Boston Red Sox hat for my sister Erika, who wanted a hat ever since she saw Mom''s and my hats in our house in Idaho.
The PawSox Souvenir Shop is located inside McCoy Stadium on the left front entrance. There are signs directing you to the right place in the parking lot. It is a small shop, but there is a great selection of PawSox T-shirts, hats, memorabilia, stuffed replicas of the PawSox mascot -- a polar bear, etc. There are also books and small selection of Boston Red Sox memorabilia. Prices for T-shirts range from $10 for clearance table shirts to $16.50 for many PawSox T-shirts. The Boston Red Sox t-shirts memorabilia is a little more expensive than the PawSox stuff, but worth looking at. You can order more Boston souvenirs on their website.
When I entered the PawSox Souvenir Shop, there was a life-size cardboard cutout of New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter at the door. I offered to dispose of it with a match since the Yankees are the Red Sox''s most hated rival. The cashier laughed. I don''t know why there wasn''t a cutout of Nomar Garciaparra to greet me at the door instead of Derek Jeter.
I bought 3 T-shirts for me and my family, along with a Boston Red Sox Cap for my sister ($18). I even bought a book about baseball''s longest game, a 33-inning marathon between the PawSox and the Rochester Red Wings in April 1981. I spent a good chunk of change on my family in the shop, but it was worth it because we can''t get many Red Sox souvenirs here in Idaho.
The Paw Sox Souvenir Shop is open Monday-Friday from 9-5 and on Saturdays from 10-4. You can also order merchandise on line on the PawSox website.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 20, 2003
The PawSox Souvenir Shop
Inside McCoy Stadium
Pawtucket, Rhode Island
There is a Rhode Island cartoonist named Don Bosquet who has published several books on Rhode Island life and humor. If you visit Rhode Island, you must purchase or read one of his books, but ask a native Rhode Islander if you can''t understand any of the humor.
It is a national joke how Rhode Islanders speak. My father''s friend, Keith, said that he can never understand us when we talk, but he has been going deaf for a long time, and that might be a reason for not understanding us. Keith once said we sound Scottish. Ok!
My sister Erika used to be a restaurant manager and every time she said "Order" when putting food up to be served, her boss would try to imitate her "Ohder!" and would fail miserably. It is a distinct dialect and accent. We have been compared to the Kennedys when we talk, but the Kennedys are from Boston and have a Boston Brahmin accent, but Rhode Island has Patrick Kennedy, Ted''s son, as a Representative in Congress.
It really rubs Mom and I the wrong way when we are watching a rare Boston Red Sox game on TV and the announcers try to pronounce the minor league team, the Pawtucket Red Sox. They say "Pawww-tucket," and we scream at the TV, "It''s not Pawww-tucket, it''s Puh-tucket."
One of my history professors at the University of Idaho had a heck of a time pronouncing a Rhode Island delicacy called the quahog and I would have to pronounce it whenever he was talking about wampum, Native American currency. It is pronounced "qwa-hog" or "co-hog."
So if you are in Rhode Island or meet one in your travels, don''t think we have a speech impediment or bad English teachers. It''s just the way we talk!
My mom makes the best clam chowder (chowda as we say in Rhode Islandese) and her clam cakes are to die for. Clam cakes are made with a special mix only found in Rhode Island or from a family recipe, and have clam bits in them. The mix is made into a thick batter and dropped into hot oil in small balls and deep fried.
Lately, I have had a craving for Stuffed quahogs. Quahogs are a close relative of the clam, except they are bigger in size. Stuffed quahogs are made by taking the quahog meat out of the shell, mixing with a spicy bread stuffing, and baking it in its shell. My nana used to buy them for me almost every week as a reward for taking her to the market. It is sheer heaven and not found anywhere else in the USA except for southern Massachusetts.
The Friday night staple for many Rhode Islanders is Fish ''n Chips, clam chowder, and clam cakes at the River Street Pub in Riverside, Rhode Island. If you are thirsty, you can wash your meal down with Narragansett beer or coffee milk.
Coffee Milk is milk with sweet coffee syrup that is made by the company Autocrat. Everytime someone we know visits Rhode Island, they bring home a gallon of the stuff and it goes a long way. I still have a couple of bottles in my refrigerator from 1999 -- it doesn''t go bad.
Coffee ice cream is very popular in Rhode Island on a cone or in a milk shake. Milk shakes are known as cabinets, and you can go to Newport Creamery and get a cabinet or an Awful Awful, which is a decadent shake made out of your favorite ice cream.
When I was working at Bryan''s Burger Den in McCall, Idaho about 10 years ago, a lady came to the counter and asked if we had coffee milk shakes. I asked her, "Are you from Rhode Island?" She said, "Yes, I''m from Warwick!" Small world!
I was ten years old and in 5th grade when the Blizzard of '78 hit Rhode Island. It was a pretty mild winter until the blizzard hit. When it started to snow the morning of February 6, 1978, it looked like a mild snow storm that would go away quickly, but by 1 p.m., the snow was getting pretty deep and a lot of people were getting worried.
About the same time, our school principal, Mr. Kelleher, came over the loudspeaker and announced that school was being dismissed at 2:30 p.m., 15 minutes early, but at 1:30, worried parents were coming in and taking their children home. My mom came in at 2:00 to pick up my sister, who was in second grade, and I. We only lived about two blocks from Oldham Elementary School and were able to walk home without a problem. My Dad got home at about 3:30, just in time because by 4:30 - 5:00, the snow was deep and non-stop, and the highways were being shut down by the Rhode Island State Police.
Later that night, as my family and I were snug in our house waiting out the blizzard, our neighbor Mary Olson called saying that another of our next door neighbors, Hank and Pat Petcavage, were stuck at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, where Pat worked as an operating room nurse. Hank had gone to pick Pat up and got stuck there. Hank and Pat had a black labrador retriever puppy named Rover who was kept in the garage during the day because he chewed up the house. Poor Rover was in the garage that night, and Mr. and Mrs. Olson were concerned about the dog not being fed and looked after. So Dad and Mr. Olson broke into the Petcavage's garage and rescued Rover. His waterbowl was frozen solid. Dad took Rover to our house, and Erika and I were happy to have another dog playmate to go with our two dogs - Klaus, a chocolate Lab mix, and Heidi, our beagle mix. Heidi, who weighed about 30 pounds, beat up on 70-pound Rover whenever he got too fresh with her.
The Blizzard of '78 meant one other thing: NO SCHOOL!!! Erika and I and all of the neighborhood kids were happy that we did not have to go to school, and we had a ball sledding down the traffic-free streets and exploring the other side of Bullocks Point Avenue without getting hit by a car. We also built snow forts and had snowball fights. The snow was about five feet deep in places. What was a blast for us kids was a curse for the parents who had to spend all day shoveling the stuff from their sidewalks and cars.
Three days later, Hank and Pat got out of the hospital and came and picked up Rover and thanked us profusely for taking care of him. We kids missed a total of nine days of school and had to make it up at the end of the school year. The snow melted that spring, but our memories have not. Twenty-five years later, we still talk about our experiences during the Blizzard of '78.
OK, I know many people don't know baseball like I do, but I will give you a quick run of the ground rules before I write this latest journal.
A baseball game usually lasts 9 innings, but if the score is tied after 9 innings, the game goes into extra innings until the tie is broken. On Easter Weekend 1981 (April 18-19) and on June 23, 1981 in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, the longest game in baseball history was played between the Pawtucket Red Sox and Rochester Red Wings and became a part of Pawtucket Red Sox and became a part of baseball history and folklore. I personally did not see this game. The game began at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 18 and 32 innings later at 4 a.m. on April 19, it was still tied by the score of 2-2.
I was almost 14 at in 1981 and woke up Easter morning to see the front page of the Providence Journal Bulletin was dominated by this marathon baseball game. The game had to be called at 4am after the commissioner of the AAA League was finally contacted and he called the game due to the cold and length of the game. The commissioner was the only one to call the game, but since he couldn't be reached all night, the game was allowed to continue.
We had Easter dinner with our family and the talk at the table was mostly about the Longest Game in Baseball History. I had seen many 10 or 12-inning games on TV or in person at McCoy Stadium, but 32 innings was something new and historic to me.
The Longest Game was to be completed on June 23 before the regularly scheduled game between the Red Wings and PawSox. The Red Wings were retired in order in the top of the 33rd inning. Then, the PawSox loaded the bases before Dave Koza hit the game winning single that allowed Marty Barrett to score from third, and the Longest Game was in the books: PawSox 3, Red Wings 2.
There is a display at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York and when you go to a PawSox ballgame at McCoy Stadium, you can drink your soda or beer from a commemorative Longest Game cup with the line score all around the cup. My family and I had a huge collection of these cups from many years of attending PawSox games. We are proud to drink from them even today. From the PawSox Souvenir Shop or from www.pawsox.com, you can purchase the book "The Longest Game" by Steven Krasner for $5. It is full of illustrations and more of a children's book, but for die-hard baseball fans like me, it is a souvenir worth having in your collection.
My friend Leslie saw my copy of "The Longest Game" and thought it was only 16 innings long. I said, "Try 33 innings." She didn't turn the book over and see the rest of the line score that decorates the cover.