I'll have more to report after this evening (heading to Boston/Cambridge at the moment), but after getting in last night and spending the day in Providence, I can offer the following information:
1) Providence is a nice place; nice folks, not too big, not too small;
2) Apparently Dunkin' Donuts is the New England version of 7-11, as they are everywhere up here, including kiosks inside Starbucks stores;
3) I got in very late (like, 3:00 this morning), and the hotel desk woman was deep in conversation with a newer hire in the back room and didn't see me. What follows is a recreation:
Hotel Desk Woman: See this? He always leaves it sitting here, and then you get coffee rings everywhere. What a dickhead.
Insert Clever Name: [Clears throat—partly to get attention, partly because I had to clear my throat.]
HDW: You've got to keep on him, because that asshole doesn't pay attention.
ICN: [Clears throat]
HDW: I'm gonna go outside and grab a smo— [Sees ICN] Oh, hi, hon. How can I help you?
4) I've known several New Englanders, and I can imagine just about all of them saying the exact same things;
5) If you decide to visit the northeast, prepare to see a number of things. Historical buildings. Beautiful foliage in the fall. Great seafood places, or so I have read. But mostly you'll see the sides of tollbooths. Loads of tollboths. Enough tollbooths that it will cost you $45 to get from Maryland to Connecticut;
6) When faced with this many tollbooths, you will find yourself asking many questions;
7) Actually, just one question, and I quote: "Who the fuck is the goddamn asshole bastard who thought this bullshit would be a good idea, and that son of bitch is in hell now, right?";*
8) But you will ask it a lot, so it counts as many questions;
9) Speaking of people who aren't in heaven, we can add whoever laid out the streets in New England's downtowns;
10) Having grown up with southerners (and having lived in the south for some years now), who love the letter r as much as their children and who will add it to words where it doesn't belong (feller, holler, etc.), it's weird to be in a place where it seems to have vanished from the language entirely.
*-This is the "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" of profanity. And yes, they are all necessary.
ETA: Boston Updates:
11) Speaking of even more people who aren't in heaven, the guy in Massachusetts who decided that instead of putting the left-turn arrow up on the poles with all of the other lights (where it is in most ((read: correct)) states), it would be a great idea to put it on the ground, away from all the other lights.
11a) I've never had a nickname that stuck, for some reason, although apparently, thanks to Boston-area drivers, from this day forth I shall be known as "Go Already, Asshole!"
12) Boston-area drivers have little room to talk, however, as driving or walking around the area for more than three minutes reveals that these people clearly make up their own traffic laws as they go. Red light means go? Sure, why not? Another car in the lane you want to be in? Why not lean on your horn for twenty seconds, then just switch lanes? He has to stop—it's the law, apparently. Only three marked lanes on the road? That's just a suggestion—you can get five cars abreast, easy, so long as you all honk your horns and scream that everyone else can go get fucked.
13) If you were inclined to make an Archer "phrasing" reference at the end of that last one, then you just provided a useful segue to this—apparently there are now several of us who have eaten at the same bar in Boston, and at least a couple of us wouldn't say no to one of the waiters if he threw it out as a suggestion.