"Lived here for 7 years-"
I lived in an apartment on this street for 7 years-in case you don't know Central Falls, it is a very tiny urban area, just one square mile, with maybe 25,000 crammed into it. As a white French Canadian girl, I was definitely the minority, but still felt at home since I speak fluent Spanish. Yes, there are drug dealers, yes there are drive bys and violence, but what urban area does not have it? At the end of Pine Street are a bunch of old industrial bldgs, one is a Carleton Cards Factory, and it gets quite dark down there at that end, so I don't recommend walking it at night. Our landlord was a nice Guatemalan guy who owns a restaurant in Providence, and many of the 6 apts were occupied by family members, so upkeep and bldg security was good. Rents though, have gotten expensive since they are about 45 min to Boston, $600-900 is the norm, some are higher, and hubbys sister lives there just got a 3 unit apt bldg and her mtg is $3000 a month. We did have a few incidents of vehicles in back with tires slashed, windows smashed-so additional security lights were put up. We were lucky to have off street parking, since most of the city does not. Also, homes are very close there-which has its negatives (loud arguing, music late at night, parties) but also the aromas of central american, dominican, mexican & puerto rican cooking wafting into your windows. There are bus stops everywhere, and you can walk all around town pretty much without having or needing a car. Some people still speak only Spanish though, and very little English-so you may need to know the basics. My son went to the local Y childcare within walking distance, they also have teen & afterschool programs from Channel One, the city does try hard to keep youth occupied & out of trouble. I don't recommend walking drunk late at night, people I know have been assaulted & robbed-much better to take a cab if you're planning on imbibing or have a designated driver for the night. One of the main streets, Dexter Street is close by-you can find music shops, import car part shops, the barber specializing in urban cuts, urban clothes shops & a few bars-but most important is the FOOD! El paisa is a great place for the traditional colombian food-the bandeja colombiana (colombian platter) is great. China House on Dexter St and New Hong Kong Restaurant on Broad St stay open until 1 am on weekends-they used to stay open later but the City changed that due to problems with drunks after the bars, etc.. hubby likes to get half fried chicken with pork fried rice there, most of the Latinos seem to order it and I haven't seen it in Maine where I now live so it must be geared towards Latinos...hubby is Guatemalan, so its right up his alley. Another place for the typical burger (which has won raves in RI) is Stanleys-good, greasy & tasty! Taqueria Lupita is not bad for Tacos but There is another place for tacos on Broad Street, it is part store, part restaurant and you can get tacos for $1 and tostadas for $1.50-I find that they are better at that place. If you go to the El Salvadoreno restaurant on Lonsdale ave, across from BK try the pupusas revueltas, they cost about $1.50 and are awesome! Village Pizza on Dexter St delivers a decent pizza, and there is a Dominos further down on Dexter, on the Pawtucket town line. Panal Chicken is also next to Dominos and they deliver a good chicken plate. For breakfast, everyone goes to Georgias on Dexter street, the price is good and the portions are awesome! There is another Colombian restaurant down the road on Dexter Street on the Corner of Dexter & Central Street, I forget the name, but you can get a decent arepa con queso & chicharron there for about $5. La Sorpresa Bakery on Broad St has decent take out food, both Mexican & Colombian. There are a couple stores in the area, bodegas, that sell Dominican Platters as well, rice beans, your choice of meat for about $5. My favorite was going to the Xelapan bakery on Lonsdale Ave and getting chiles rellenos $1.75 and Guatemalan pork tamales $2-available only on the weekends you'd better get there early! There used to be a KFC in town, but it was converted to a laundromat and also a Blockbuster, but it also is a laundromat now. McDonalds on Broad St shut down abruptly, word has it that rats had infested the restaurant. Burger King is on Lonsdale Ave, and there are a few Dunkin Donuts in the city as well. One thing is watch out for cockroaches! They are in most of the apts down there-so be careful to look for signs of them, open cupboards, check for white piles of powder around drains kitchen cupboards, etc.. that supposedly kills them. Also common are mice, feral cats and the occasional possum. Bars within walking distance that you could go to dance at are the tropicana night club, a small dance floor, expensive drinks in small glasses, $5 cover-but if you want to see live entertainment (mexican singers) and dance to bachata, reggaeton & salsa you can have a decent time there-the owners are always there, but beware you might have to buy drinks or pay to dance with the waitresses-they are attractive, but hubby has friends that have spent a paycheck there no problem. On Dexter Street is another bar Horizontes, where again the theme is Latin and you can witness a good barfight from time to time. The owner is also there, and seems to be a decent guy. Club 2000 is a disco-located just across the line into pawtucket at the end of Pine St. Plays all latin music, and is a little classier than the other 2 places-I went there a few times, but preferred to watch hubby & friends play pool at Horizontes or Tropicana so can't say too much about Club 2000. There is usually something always going on in CF or the area, festivals, portugese feasts nearby (god the frango chicken is to DIE for!, make sure you get one, they are $6-7.) You really can't be bored in such an urban area, and you are right down the road, actually surrounded by Pawtucket and Providence is about 10 min away on the highway. You can get an idea of what it is like by checking out the local paper www.pawtuckettimes.com that covers both CF & Pawtucket news. Even if you decide not to live there because it just isn't for you, it really deserves to be visited for the vast array of restaurants & ethnic foods that can be bought for great prices.