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Editors' Pick
Best People Watching for Fifty Cents

Americana Expo Center

Where else can you get a giant stuffed animal, VHS porn, and used kids’ clothes on consignment, all in one place? The AMERICANA EXPO CENTER is a wild scene, a melting pot of insane proportions and well worth the 50-cent admission, if not just for the people watching. It’s a multicultural affair that begins in the enormous parking lot, as a giant sinkhole (no kidding, potholes in Rhode Island) welcomes shoppers at the sole entrance (note the ’82 Corolla hatchback parked alongside the ’08 Denali on 22s). Within the old Almacs façade awaits a bevy of deals, beginning with a haphazard pile of household goods, to the random makeshift porn room, and cramped rows of CDs and kicks, cell phone accessories, and plenty of “for tobacco use only” paraphernalia. The most intriguing scene is closing time, when the merchants/families wrap up their booths in giant colored tarps. The Saturday and Sunday business was so brisk that the Expo is now open on Fridays from 12 til 5 pm. | 740 Plainfield Street, Providence | 401.490.4000
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