"Among its several distinctive characteristics is Rhode Island's small size. The smallest state gives its residents a distorted perception of distance (a trip to Woonsocket requires an overnight); is often used as a measure of scale (the fire burned an area the size of Rhode Island); and in the eyes of non-Rhode Islanders does not exist as a state (island off the coast of New York or a spot on the highway to Cape Cod)."
Smolski, Chester, "Measuring Up Rhode Island" (2000). Smolski Texts. 300.