• April 1, 2021 |

    spring is sprung

    a musical guide of brown’s campus

    article by , illustrated by

    Ah, yes, spring in Providence. The air is cold, the ground is always oddly moist, and the pollen-laden air makes you feel like the environment itself is trying to bring about your demise. But there are some bright spots—most notably, the fact that the Providence winter is now over, so there are finally literal bright spots around campus. While we can’t do everything we used to do, there are still fabulous places to hang out on Brown’s campus. Because this is an arts magazine, I matched some of the locations with songs that match (each of) could go here their vibes. I’ll run through a few of them, from the One Direction equivalents to the midwestern garage band that no one has heard of because they’re still literally in their parents’ garage. 


    “Dear Prudence” by the Beatles


    The Main Green – It’s no joke that the moment the weather in Providence turns, the Main Green fills up. It’s a classic study spot, and a great place to vibe with friends and pretend, even if just for a little while, that this could be a standard college experience. Plus, who knows, maybe you’ll get to be in Brown’s promotional material. 


    Wriston Quad – If you want to have an easy spot to hang with friends while enjoying a decent approximation of good food in a spot near the middle of campus, it’s hard to beat the Ratty’s front lawn. Just make sure you watch out for spikeball players. 


    “Look On Down From the Bridge” by Mazzy Star


    The Quiet Green – For people of culture, the Quiet Green is the best mainstream option. With a convenient location near the Rock and the Hay, as well as better tree cover, the Quiet Green is a great option for just vibing. Plus, you can dream about one day walking through the Van Wickle gates, and its location is super close to the shuttle stops.


    The Secret Garden – If you play Pokemon Go, you probably know about the Secret Garden. If you don’t, it is completely possible to not know it exists, even as a senior. It’s in the shadow of Kassar House, and with a couple of nice benches and a beautiful patch of grass, it’s pretty idyllic. 


    “Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls

    alternative pick, “Nobody Home” (Metric or Pink Floyd versions are both great)


    Ruth Simmons Quad – While there are some decent hammocking opportunities on Ruth Simmons Quad, the real appeal was how close it was to our fallen star, Blueno. Gigs on the Grass used to take place here, and there’s a nice mixture of tree cover and sunny space. Plus, people will walk their dogs through here sometimes. 


    “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver


    The Pembroke Path – From Ruth Simmons, there’s a pleasant little walk up to Pembroke that takes you by some statues and the Granoff and under-construction PAC. It’s a great way to avoid the hustle and bustle of Thayer, and there are some nice chairs set up, as well as that…interesting artwork of the people dancing in a circle. The green space here is lovely, and its closeness to Thayer means you can grab a snack and then eat it here to be off the beaten path (but still near a path).


    “The Lengths” by the Black Keys


    Lawn in Front of the OMAC and the Athletic Fields – Normally only frequented by athletes, the new testing facility in the OMAC has made these green spaces more on the minds of others. The large green space in front is nice (even if there is no tree cover), but there are also some very nice fields out back if you want to throw a ball or frisbee around and enjoy the spring vibes with your friends. 


    “Place to Be” by Nick Drake


    MacMillan Lawn – The grassy spot next to MacMillan has a nice farmer’s market during better times, but right now, you can go there and enjoy the nice tree cover and some small boulders. 


    List Garden – There’s also a nice grassy area near the Brutalist monstrosity that is the List Art building. There are some boulders, and a decent amount of open space, but there is limited tree cover. 


    “A Calf Born in Winter” by Khruangbin


    Pembroke Green – There’s something ethereal about the Pembroke Green. Maybe it’s the perfect mixture of sun and shade, or the lovely architecture and table arrangements that abound. While it’s a little out of the way, for people on North Campus, it’s a great place to exist. 


    Engineering Lawn – While not as explicitly nice as the Pembroke Green, the Engineering lawn is perfectly passable as a study space, and if you’ve been in Barus & Holley for a decent chunk of time, getting some fresh air can be a nice reprieve from the painful interior of that building. Plus the Möbius sundial is pretty cool. 


    “One Sunday Morning (Song for Jane Smiley’s Boyfriend)” by Wilco


    Trees between EmWool and MoChamp – This subset of the Pembroke Campus gets a special shoutout for its bountiful hammock opportunities, but also its peace. It’s nice and close to the V-Dub and MoChamp lounge, but it’s remarkably quiet and peaceful for if you need to work (or take a nap in the outdoors).


    “Vissel” by Jose Gonzalez


    Fulton Lawn – The Fulton Lawn has without a doubt the most comfortable grass on campus. While it’s tucked away a little bit, the nice tree cover and luxurious grass is a truly beautiful space. You can smell the pines nearby, and I’ve fallen asleep trying to work on the grass before. The only downside is that the ground can be damp sometimes.


    Orwig Lawn – While not as comfortable as the Fulton Lawn, the grass square in front of Orwig is definitely classier. Plus, during better times, there’s a nice printer available on the inside. Because it gets more direct sunlight, my experience has been that it is a little less damp than Fulton, but it’s still pretty comfortable.