QWe really don’t mind if you think we’re quirky. We eat a lot of quahogs, built the first Quonset huts, and were settled by Quakers. We’re known as the Ocean State, which sounds vast and impressive.  But measuring just 48 miles by 37 miles, we’re smaller than the Bay State and the Great Lake State, even at low tide.

A recent Gallup poll found that of all 50 states, Rhode Island was the least appreciated by its own residents. Despite the complaints, many of those interviewed said they liked living here and would never move. We’re quirk with a capital Q.

Last week was the “Best of RI” party downtown at the Providence Performing Arts Center. There was unlimited food and Narragansett Beer with its familiar “Hi Neighbor!” slogan. The East Cranston Marching Band kicked things off and RI Monthly magazine got down to business. Hundreds of us were there to recognize Rhode Island’s absolute “bests.”

RI Monthly had winnowed the categories down to a precious few and then whittled those down even further to a stingy 349 categories.  There was the best Secretive Nightspot, best Cantina, best Male Grooming Blog, best Beer, best Beer Food, best Affordable Shoes in Hard to Find Sizes.

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We saw Andy Cutler of Smaller Cities Unite nab the award for best Pinterest. WPRI watchdog Ted Nesi had the Best Twitter Feed. Groovy Girls nailed the Best Confidence Builder award and our favorite food trucks were aptly recognized.

Rhode Island BestsAs you can imagine, we were nervous when the category of Best Rain Capes in Rhode Island was announced. It was a good omen to see our favorite meteorologist Kelly Bates win but we never take weather-related matters for granted. The room fell silent as the emcee fumbled with the envelope. We closed our eyes, the tension was unbearable.

“The best rain capes in Rhode Island award goes to….CLEVERHOOD!” The crowd went wild, probably. We were too stunned to notice. Never in our wildest dreams…thanks for being you little Rhodey.

Rhode Island's Best Rain Capes