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DCU Travel Guide

by Mathew D. Rhys

Happy Harbor: A Peaceful Place

In the year 1663 Charles II of England signed the royal charter bringing Rhode Island into existence. The following year, Archibald Gleeson and a small group of sailors and sailors' wives founded the city of Happy Harbor along the state's southern coast. Intended as a winter harbor, Happy Harbor became a haven for all manner of people seeking respite, a tradition that continues up through today.

Being a mere three-quarter mile south-east of Shelter Harbor, Happy Harbor is the southernmost of Rhode Island's "Three Harbors", which consists of Safe, Shady, and Happy Harbors. The beautiful scenery, peaceful atmosphere, and pleasant climate of the Three Harbors bring thousands of tourists yearly.

Happy Harbor plays host to the largest shopping district in southern Rhode Island, which sports four malls (the Galleria-2, Shoppingtown, Triphammer and Carousel) and a vast number of smaller shops. The hungry should visit P.T. Lager's Beerateria, a mirco-brewery and grill, and dessert at Colleen's Cookies. Other popular stores include Toys for Tots toy store, New Age bookstore Seven Souls Books & Crystals, Not Quite There Comics (of special interest to many of our readers), and Frith's Hardware, a locally owned business which has been in the same family since before the civil war.

The shopping district is set off from the rest of Happy Harbor by festive flags and banners, all emblazoned with "Happy Harbor Shopping District". It is noisy and busy and full of life. But as you walk closer to the harbor life takes on different shapes. Softer ones that motivate leaves and squirrels. In this neighborhood, at 510 Beech, is the Mad Yak Café. The Mad Yak is the home of the best late morning brunch and late night conversation in Happy Harbor. The clientele leans toward the Bohemian and Beatnik, so come with a mind resting somewhere between politics and art. And beware the store demon Torcher, who tends to be a bit temperamental.

If you are looking for family friendly entertainment, look no farther than The Funhouse amusement park. Although it is a fairly new addition to the city, it was designed along the aesthetic of old Coney Island and invokes the same reminiscent wonder.

The Midtown Convention Center is the site for a great number of events, including concerts, operas, plays, and, of course, the HarborCon, the third largest comic book and SciFi convention in New England. For the best information on coming events call 401 555-6386 (555-MDTN).

This report would be greatly remiss if it neglected to mention the large amount of superhuman activity in Happy Harbor. The Justice League operated out of Happy Harbor for many of its early years, as did Young Justice and for a brief time the Legion of Super Heroes, a team of super-heroic teens from a distant galaxy that were temporarily stranded on Earth. And Hourman of the JSA also called it home.

Happy Harbor is a pleasant place where gentle winds blow soft, salt air across the city. If you are ever in southern Rhode Island, be certain to pay a visit.

With utmost gratitude to the inimitable John Wells, Scott Shaw!'s Oddball Comics, and Craig Young's Hourman site. All historical information gleaned from Microsoft Encarta.

The highly odd Mathew D Rhys is an obsessive storyteller and family man whose wife graciously allows him to prattle aimlessly, and gives him no end of joy in life. He hopes to one day write comics his son can read. You can read his original character fiction at

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