My name is Ashley Symons (pronounced SY-menz) and I’ll be running things here at InDowncity! Since you’ll be seeing and hearing a lot more from me, I thought I should introduce myself a bit. Here we go…
Kalamazoo, Michigan. Like most Michiganders, I feel a lot of pride about my home state. I mean, it’s shaped like a mitten and is surrounded by enormous lakes! I love being near bodies of water—and the fresh seafood that comes with it—so New England has been a natural second home. I lived in the Boston area for about 10 years before making the move to Pawtucket in July. I’ve enjoyed exploring all that Rhode Island has to offer, from beautiful beaches and state parks to clam shacks and Del’s trucks.
Describe Yourself in Five Words:
Creative. Thoughtful. Silly. Versatile. Efficient.
I bring a mix of content creation, blogging, social media management, and event planning experience with me to InDowncity. After a decade in the coffee and chocolate industries, I know a lot about those two things in particular. Part of my previous job was being on the chocolate tasting panel, and yes, that’s a real thing!
I’m a big fan of all four seasons, but… summer. There’s nothing quite like sitting outside with a cold drink on a balmy evening while the city buzzes around you.
I’m going to have to go with oysters. Please tell me all the places offering one buck shucks! Cheese in any form would be a close second.
I love dirty vodka martinis, red wine, and New England-style IPAs equally. Don’t make me choose!
Favorite Social Media Platform:
Instagram, hands down. I love being able to engage with brands on a deeper level, and also the opportunities it provides for connecting with other users around common interests. There’s a really strong sense of support and collaboration, particularly among women creatives in Providence, and it’s fun and inspiring to see the various ways that unfolds. (You can find me at @akays.)
Playing on Your Headphones: I’ve been on a true crime podcast kick and I’m running out of shows!! (Any fellow Murderinos out there?) When I’m not scaring myself with true crime, I’m probably streaming music on Spotify. I like a variety of genres, but especially electronic/indie rock. I try to see as many live shows as I can; coming up this spring I’ve got Miguel, Betty Who, Sylvan Esso, and Brandi Carlile.
In Your Downtime:
I like to cook, especially on Sundays. I practice yoga when I can. I enjoy making arrangements with fresh flowers from the farmers’ market. In the winter I knit a lot of chunky scarves (someday I will branch out to other items … maybe). Mostly I spend a lot of time watching my two cats do adorable things. And watching way too much bad-but-good reality TV.
Favorite Thing About Providence:
THE. FOOD. There are so many outstanding options to choose from and many are right here in Downcity!
I also appreciate the immense creativity and talent in Providence, and the community events celebrating arts and culture, like Waterfire, Movies on the Block, Providence Flea, farmers’ markets, PVDFest.
There’s a real sense of community in Providence; people actually know one another and you can feel that anytime you’re out and about. I look forward to getting to know more of you all, and to helping connect you to what’s happening around Downcity.
Now, I want to hear what you love about Providence! What are your favorite spots and things to do? Share in the comments!