Posted by: norstarnewengland | December 10, 2009

Place: Providence – Or – In Search of an Art-O-Mat

After seeing the Art-O-Mat in Portland, ME, I set my goal to find and waymark one of my own. I did find that there was one in Wakefield, RI, but the day I was going to attempt it, it rained BUCKETS and BUCKETS. I also found one in Providence, which is a bit more convenient.

The Art-O-Mat was in the Oop! store. So, on an unseasonably warm evening, we set out. The site said that the store closed at 5:00 pm, so we were pushing it a little. Polaris was willing to go, but said, ‘You’re driving through Providence.’ Providence, like parts of Boston, have narrow streets in the downtown section, with many of them one way. So, as I found, we went around three blocks to finally go on the road in the right direction to pass the store. The store was easy to find at a corner. Parking, like Boston, was the real challenge. After passing the store – twice – we finally parked in front of the old church. The bells were ringing as we exited the car (another waymark possibility that I will have to hold that idea for the next time during the daylight).

We made it to the store, and we were concerned that they were about to close anytime, but it appeared that there was some kind of special street sale event, so places were staying open longer. We talked with the clerk about waymarking and Aut-O-Mats. I took pictures as I was selecting an item from the machine, then I took some pictures outside, then went our way.

During my research, I encountered a previous waymark, now archived that was of an Art-O-Mat for the same store but different location. The old store location was close to Brown University about 5 miles away. That plus the fact that this Art-O-Mat is differently decorated compared to the older waymark’s machine, made it OK in to post this new site.

They are a really quirky but fun to track down. I’ll pursue the Wakefield one at another time.

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