Sunday, April 19, 2020

Mid-April Snow Storm in Provincetown Actually Brought a Pleasant Tranquility

Looking beyond the clothesline to gardening pots at the edge of the snowy forest.
About 6:15 this morning I awoke to about an inch of snow on the ground and in the trees, giving a sort of surreal, black-and-white look to the patch of forest where my back yard ends. The only bits of color visible today, in this normally verdant scene of green grasses and treetops against a bright blue sky, were now just the row of big clay pots and the barely-yellowish birdbath at the back of my yard, which lies just along the edge of a lovely, tiny patch of conservation lands.
The sun was up, but invisible behind the thick layer of clouds that were slowly dropping huge, wet snowflakes over Provincetown and beyond. I watched for about 40 minutes as snowflakes the size of tiddlywinks, (remember those?) and even a few poker chips, drifted silently down to cover my back yard in about an inch of whiteness that felt a bit surreal, but somehow kind of comforting, even soothing.
I knew I wasn't going out in it, so I didn't resent this mid-April (and hopefully the last) snowfall in PTown till next winter. It actually made my day a little better somehow, and I'll take all of these little bits of serenity I can get these days.
Stay hopeful, stay safe, and, please, stay indoors. You can still enjoy the view.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

April Fools Day in Provincetown

What's wrong with this picture? Enter to win a great prize from a great PTown eatery.
There's something odd about this photo, taken on a busy summer day along the streets of Provincetown. If you can spot what's wrong with this picture you'll win a prize from a great Provincetown restaurant, deli, takeout, clam shack, pizza joint or other fine eatery..
It's easy to enter; all you have to do is leave a text or voice message with your name and phone number, along with your answer, by dialing 617 283-1003, or e-mail, or send by snail -mail to TheYearRounder, P O Box 1632, Provincetown, MA, 02657 before the deadline. Entries must be received, by any of these means, before 12:01 AM Eastern Daylight Time on April 30th, 2020.
Don't worry… you will never end up on an e-mail list or land on a telemarketer's clipboard by contacting TheYearRounder. You'll just be notified if you win something.
If more than one correct answer is received before the deadline, the winner will be chosen in a random drawing from ALL CORRECT ENTRIES received ON TIME. Then all on-time entries, even those with the wrong answer will be combined in a big hat, and another prize will be awarded! Any entry judged(by me!) to be really funny, will count as a correct answer, and be included in that drawing, as well as any possible random drawing. That means you don't even have to be right to win this April Fool's contest, you just have to enter, unless, of course, there's only one correct answer submitted on time, which would automatically win, and then be entered into any possible random drawing as well. You can enter as many times as you'd like between now and the deadline.

I think my all time favorite April Fools joke is still the BBC effort above, just 1:30 in length, so take a look. it shpild be followed by anothe brief film about how they did it. You can also see it by clicking on this link: Penguins April Fool - The Making Of - BBC

  Click this link to the see BBC 1957 "spaghetti tree"

The program Panorama, BBC's public affairs program, was broad cast as an April Fools joke in 1957, still worth a giggle today when you think about how many people believed it, or were offended by it.


Sunday, March 29, 2020

As Coronavirus Cases Begin to Show up in PTown, This is NOT the Time to Visit Us!

Ironically, our Chamber of Commerce was just getting our new invitation ready
to welcome visitors back to Provincetown once this is all over, just as our
first virus cases were being reported. And we were doing so well ....
Folks, we will joyfully welcome visitors to Provincetown once again, after
this extreme health emergency is all over, but for now, friends, please don't come.

We who have chosen this spot to live, or who were born here, certainly understand the appeal of Provincetown, and we can't blame people for wanting to hunker down in this gorgeous, serene setting filled with warm, wonderful people who normally embrace all who want to visit, but right now, we simply can't do that. Our governor has issued a stay-at-home order throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He has declared that anyone coming into Massachusetts MUST self-isolate for a period of 14 days, including residents returning home from a trip. A parking ban is in effect in order to further discourage visitors from trying to come to Provincetown. There's NOWHERE to go out to dinner. Dining rooms are closed in all 92 of Provincetown's restaurants. Eggs are being rationed at the supermarket, and there's not a jug of spring water to be found.

You know we love all of you guys, but this
is NOT the time for a trip to PTown. 

All non-essential businesses are closed. There are restaurants offering meals to take out, and the Stop&Shop supermarket remains open, but it is short on many items and completely sold out on others. With so many of us staying home and cooking our own meals all day long, and most folks trying to stock up on enough groceries to last at least a couple of weeks at a time, some are panic-buying when they find the stock on the shelves getting low, and that leaves very few grocery alternatives for so many of us who can't afford a 48-pack of Charmin.

UPDATE 3/31/22: Our governor has announced a short-term rental ban on accommodations.
That means that no hotel, motel, Airbnb or similar rentals are currently available to the public anywhere on Cape Cod. Any short-term rentals still permitted to operate will be serving medical or emergency workers only,  along with some satellite facilities being authorized and adapted in various locations throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,
in order to care for medical patients.

We are all making sacrifices in order to slow the spread of the Covid-19 virus. As New York zooms toward the peak of its infection, and people leave that city in great numbers, it doesn't make sense to travel to Provincetown, from anywhere! Our numbers are rising here as well. They will rise exponentially faster and higher if we have an influx of people coming to stay indoors here rather than staying indoors at home.

In the summertime we have extra police officers, paramedics, ambulances, doctors 
and sanitation staff on hand, to make sure this little village can look after all of the 
extra people coming into town. In the wintertime, we don't have any of that.

We all know that a certain percentage of people traveling anywhere throughout the nation at this particular time will be carrying the virus, whether they know it or not, and whether they
feel fine at this moment or not. Our closest hospital is 54 miles away, in Hyannis, serving many other towns as well. Boston hospitals are 127 miles away, and already feeling the crunch as virus cases are ramping up more quickly. Groceries are in short supply, and, again, there's
not a jug of spring water to be found. And we all know what Provincetown water tastes like.
We're all staying indoors and reading cookbooks, trying to figure out what we can
make for dinner with whatever we could get at the grocery store this past week,
and doing our very best to keep our little town from blowing up.

We're not saying you can't come here. We get it. But at the same time, if we get
big influx of people, a greater number of us will get sick, and it will take us much longer to clean up and get ready to welcome everybody back again when it's all over. 
In that scenario, we would definitely have more businesses, as well as more people,
going under, literally, and permanently. The face of Provincetown could be
changed forever, and nobody wants that.

I'm just sayin' ...

This is not the time to come to Provincetown.

Stay safe at home, wash your hands, protect those around you, wash your hands,
get plenty of sleep, wash your hands, eat well, wash your hands, and wash your hands.
We love you, and we'll see you again, when it's all over.
And don't forget to wash your hands.

The stunning photo of the tidal flats along Provincetown Harbor were taken by Randy Jansen,
a frequent contributor to the Provincetown Photography Page on Facebook.
If you're jonesing for a bit of Provincetown, find many great photos in various  corners of Facebook to help tide you over until  we're ready to welcome you all back again.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Happy 100th Birthday to Provincetown Treasure Ilona Royce Smithkin!

Probably the most-recognized photo of Ilona Royce Smithkin is this iconic photo from the
film Advanced Style, by Ari Seth Cohen and Lina Plioplyte, available on Prime Video.
Today is the 100th birthday of renowned artist, beloved friend and neighbor, and one of the absolute treasures of Provincetown, Ilona Royce Smithkin! Born in Poland, and immigrating to the United States in 1938, she has been a fixture in our town for, ummm, I'm guessing, more than 70 years, dividing her time between winters mostly in New York’s West Village, and the rest of the year in her beloved apartment and studio in PTown.
In between times she has regularly taught painting classes in many other locations, where she is just as beloved as she is here. She also taught art through her acclaimed television series lona’s Pallette, which became a PBS staple. She has also taught extensively here in town, at Provincetown Art Association and Museum. Her classes are jammed with students as eager to hear her speak about life in this world as they are to learn sketching and painting from this most remarkable artist.

Ilona has performed around the world , as captured in this
photo from an article about her in Passport magazine
In her early 80s, Ilona went through a sort of renaissance, finding a certain freedom in her advancing years, along with a sense of joyshe had never fully experienced before that time.
Infact, she felt free enough to begin performing a sort of "cabaret" with a bit of song in the style of Marlene Dietrich, among others, along with wonderful stories from her very colorful life.
Such literary luminaries as Ayn Rand and Tennessee Williams had asked her to do their portraits. In fact, Ilona has sketched or painted portraits for many well-known actors and entertainers over the years, some of which are displayed at the Karilon Gallery in Provincetown, at 447 Commercial Street.

Ilona’s life changed quite a bit again a number of years ago when she met a man on the streets of New York. For years, Ari Seth Cohen had been drawing stylish older women, and later began photographing these women “of a certain age” as he came across them. At one point he had been told about Ilona and her flaming red hair and eyelashes, and her penchant for bright colors, and he ended up looking for her on the streets of the West Village for about a year-and-a-half, wanting to include her in a project he called “Advanced Style.”

Poster for the film Advanced Style
He had begun putting his photos and written impressions of great numbers of captivating older women into a blog, and eventually into a book, and then into a film, collaborating with first-time director Lina Plioplyte. Ilona became an audience favorite in that wonderful film, which you can find on Prime Video. Click here to watch the trailer for Advanced Style on IMDb.

In honor of Ilona's 100th, I also watched Ilona Upstairs again. It was made by Hammil, who became Ilona's neighbor when she moved into the apartment below the one where Ilona had lived and painted in the West Village section of New York City for, at that time, at least 60 winters.
Hammil had become fascinated by this small, relentlessly cheerful woman who maintained a real sense of joy in her life by holding at arm's length the horrible sadness of her earlier life. Click the link above to watch the movie for free on Vimeo.
See the terrific article and photos in the Passport magazine article titled Ilona Royce Smithkin: Artist, Writer, Chanteuse, Raconteur. Get to know Ilona a bit when you watch "I'm in love with life" - Advanced Style Icon Ilona Royce Smithkin on YouTube.

Those Eyelashes!
You'll also want to see the YouTube video Eyelashes! by Zoe Lewis, capturing Ilona's ebullient spirit in videoclips of her making her way around town, celebrating life at the edge of the beach, and performing in the annual Eyelash Cabaret benefit for PAAM. She sings and dances as she creates a sketch for some lucky recipient in the audience, while Lewis sings the song she wrote about Ilona's most striking feature: those trademark, inch-long, fiery red eyelashes cut from her own hair and pasted into place on her lids. You can't watch this performance without dancing out of the room, singing yourself.
We in Provincetown have been enjoying Ilona's colorful style and infectious "joie de vivre" for many years, and we celebrate the wonderful occasion of her 100th Birthday!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Provincetowners Find Ways to Keep our Sanity in the Crisis.

Peter Donnelly put on a great concert from home last Sunday, streamed
live on Facebook, and folks were able to interact through their comments.
So all of Provincetown has been officially asked to stay at home, and even though it's really only been a couple of days, people are understandably getting a little twitchy as they are completely disrupting their lives in order to try to stem the rapid rise of the Covid-19 virus throughout the US.

A lot of folks have been going to work, maybe going out for a few drinks or dinner with friends, all the while being cautious, washing their hands, and trying really hard to remember to stay 6 feet away from everybody else on the planet.
Well... that was all well and good while we were clinging to the notion that our little community, isolated from the rest of the world by sheer geography, might be spared altogether from the talons of this often mild, yet potentially lethal, new virus.
That little pipe dream ended last week when two of us here in PTown tested positive for coronavirus. Today I was told that there are now two more new cases here in our little burg. We're in the stage where we can really help to keep the number of new cases here  low, but that can only happen if we all STAY INDOORS! PERIOD!! THAT'S IT!!!

Confinement is a very difficult thing to deal with, especially in Provincetown, where many people already feel isolated in the off-season, when our fairly deserted streets show a sharp contrast to the busy, boisterous display of  a PTown summer. We're used to being in a crowd of people happily walking arm-in-arm, greeting friends with a kiss, or at bare minimum a big, heart-felt hug and a warm conversation lasting several minutes, ending with another lingering hug or kiss goodbye. That's how we do it around here, even among the few of us who are here year-round, but all of that must change, and right now, even if only temporarily.

We all know that we're responsible not only for our own health, and for doing all the things that we know are helping to slow the spread of the virus, but we also know that we each have a duty to our friends, loved ones, and to strangers as well, to keep them as safe as possible by doing what we know are the right things, challenging as that might be.
We have to get a little creative to come up with ways to amuse ourselves while shut away from friends and even relatives, and there are lots of folks who are finding ways to entertain us, on TV, in print, and particularly online. On Sunday afternoon I just happened to stumble onto Facebook at the right moment to catch local singer/songwriter/musician and all-around good fellow Peter Donnelly, putting on a concert from home, entertaining all of us who are in great need of connection with our fellow humans. "Aunt Steve" was on hand to amuse us as well. This wonderful bit of entertainment was so greatly appreciated, by me, and by so many who watched it live on Facebook, their comments rolling up on the screen in real time.
You might be able to look this up on Facebook. I hope so, because I'd really like to see it again. I couldn't find it on YouTube, but I did find a number of short videos of Pete singing some of his great original songs, a lot of which paint vivid pictures of life in Provincetown. I also found an amazing "America Strong" moment on network television...
Click to watch Dr. Elvis Francois singing, accompanied by Dr William Robinson on the piano, after they had finished their hospital shift at the Mayo Clinic. You can find some remarkable performances all over the internet, and I'll share more of these as I find them. By the way, Pete said something about legendary Provincetown entertainer Zoe Lewis  doing a show tomorrow night, Thursday, March 25th, at 6 PM. Check Facebook to see if I got this right.
Do the right thing: Be safe, watch out for your fellow humans, and live well as we all weather this storm.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

There's Soooo Much to Learn About Women in US History

1921 photo of Suffragettes, New York Times
Today is International Women's Day, with events, celebrations, and probably a fair number of protests also taking place in various locations the world over. In addition to this world-wide holiday held every year on March 8th, March has been declared Women's History Month in the United States, with special tributes and tidbits featuring little-known women who have shaped US history showing up on TV programs like ABC's The View and in other relevant spots in American News.
I'm going to begin to put up a photo or a quote about women or girls, something that I find interesting or provoking, as often as I can through this month, and maybe beyond that time as well. When I went to look up some facts on this world celebration, along with the convoluted history of America's still-uncompleted Equal Rights Amendment, I read various accounts of the ERA still  short of becoming the law of the land. Pages and pages and pages!
Even after all of these dozens and dozens of years in which good men and women have fought to put in writing the most basic protections for women, and to secure real rights equal to those routinely expected and afforded to men, there were so many pages to absorb that I had to give up as the afternoon slipped away from me.
On their website, at, the  National Women's History Museum begins their timeline of women's suffrage and activism in 1840. I'm woefully unprepared to enlighten on these events, but will study up for future posts (or at least tidbits) during the rest of this month. In the meantime, I heartily recommend playing today's Google Doodle, dedicated to International Women's Day. Just go to Google, or click here and then click on the "start" arrow.
Happy Women's Day!

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Leap Year Brings a Bonus to Saint Mary's: One Last Winter Community Luncheon!

Left to right are Cathy Hatch, Jean Sagara, Robin Comins Unger and Chris Keenan.
Live music is a big part of the popularity of Saint Mary's winter community luncheons.
The best part of having an extra day added to this Leap Year calendar might just be the chance it offers all of us to enjoy one last terrific “bonus” meal at Saint Mary of the Harbor Episcopal Church on February 29th, 2020. That’s tomorrow, Saturday, from noon till about 1 PM or so, with a lovely meal prepared and served by some dozen or more volunteers, mostly from the church’s congregation. There is no charge for this wonderful meal, and all are invited.

This is a community luncheon intended to welcome absolutely everyone for a congenial meal among friends, both new and old, with Saint Mary’s stunning view of Provincetown Harbor as a backdrop, and live music for all to enjoy. It runs every Saturday during the Cape's two most challenging winter months for many of us: January and February. It’s easy to become a bit isolated when the weather might keep us from getting out and being among the humans, and this welcoming, community luncheon creates a great atmosphere for a little socializing, a lot of music, and something good to eat.

John Carroll and John Luftin made the best ratatouille I've ever tasted!
I hadn’t made it to a single lunch all season until this past Saturday, and had been missing a lot of the folks that I’ve always enjoyed spending a little bit of time with over the winter months.

Boy, did I luck out by catching a ride to the church that day...

Walking across the courtyard I could smell the divine aromas of this homemade meal from 50 feet away, and wonderful, live music was wafting on the air.

My nose led me to big baskets of crusty, really good garlic bread and a beautiful salad of mixed field greens, accompanied by the greatest ratatouille I’ve ever tasted! Saint Mary parishioners John Carroll and John Loftin baked several big pans of that delightful French stew simply brimming with fresh vegetables, in a uniquely flavored sauce that I hope to have the good fortune to enjoy again one day.

Dessert, as usual, was a lovely variety of baked goods such as cookies, brownies, lemon bars, carrot cake and the like, cut bite size so you could taste as many as you wanted, with a platter of these little sweets on every table.

This plate of excellent ratatouille, beautiful mixed salad greens and
great garlic bread was a real hit with last week's St. Mary's crowd. 
Besides great food, this weekly winter event always features live music, courtesy of two or three splendid Cape Cod musicians, together with friends they might bring along from various Cape towns and beyond, and sometimes featuring PTown tunesmiths as well.

Musicians from Eastham, Brewster and lands well beyond will venture out to the beauty of Provincetown on a cold winter's day, all for the love of the music. Diners and servers alike will often join in a sing-along, or dance to the music as it moves them.

This past week brought us Cathy Hatch, a dedicated regular traveling from Yarmouth to play guitar for us nearly every Saturday, along with Jean Sagara of Wellfleet, another regular, playing the fiddle. Our best wishes go out to John, another regular, at home, recovering from an injury and unable to play that day.
Cathy and Jean were joined by Robin Comins Unger and Chris Keenan, who both are frequent visitors to the Outer Cape, traveling from western Massachusetts to a little get-away in Truro as often as they can. They had brought their fiddles along. Each of these many fine musicians plays multiple instruments, and you never know which of dozens of strings, drums, percussion, woodwinds or others we’ll be treated to on any given Saturday.

We thank Saint Mary’s and the volunteers for another great season of food, music and comradery. The eclectic mix of friends and neighbors among the crowd, in the band, and in the kitchen, makes this a wonderful gathering for everyone, with the ambience completed by the view of magnificent Provincetown Harbor, seen from every corner of the dining hall at Saint Mary’s. This remarkable, homespun, weekly tradition should not be missed this winter, with your last chance for the season to join in the fun falling on Saturday, tomorrow, on Leap Day. Come join us in a good meal, live music, perhaps a bit of song and dance... all in a beautiful setting where everyone is truly welcome!

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

When Pigs Fly in PTown, One More Time: Identify This Spot and Win a Tasty Prize

You may win a prize at a great Provincetown eatery by identifying this spot.
Yes, you saw this here several weeks ago, but there was a hiccup in the process. A late entry arrived by phone message several hours late, and happened to have the correct answer, right down to the house number, which even I didn't notice, so I wanted to award my random "no reason whatsoever prize" to this entry, besides awarding other prizes, appropriately, to any entries that might have met the deadline.
But then I thought, this is Provincetown, where we sometimes have notoriously crappy electronic services like e-mail, cell phone messages, texts and so forth that, for some reason, may not show up "in a timely fashion." I've both sent and recieved messages hours late, or even the following day, with no apparent rhyme or reason.

To be fair, I didn't want to extend the deadline for this particular entry without offering everybody else another chance to enter late, too. To me, the fairest thing to do seemed to be extending the original deadline. So... If you can identify this spot, e-mail me at, or snail-mail TheYearRounder at PO Box 1632, Provincetown, MA, 02657, or leave a text/phone message 424 23P-Town. That's 424 237-8696. You could win a great treat at a PTown restaurant, ice cream parlor, takeout or other fine eatery. Enter by 12:00 Noon on September 18th, 2019, for a chance to win a prize, even if you're not sure of your answer.

Spot this whimsical weather vane on a PTownside street.
Enter by 12:01 AM on August 1st, 2019, for a chance to win a prize, even if you're not sure of your answer. The first correct answer will win a prize, and other entries, right or wrong, will be put into a hat, and another prize will be awarded at random, from all entries received. And, as always, I reserve the right to bestow another random prize for no reason whatsoever.

The photo at the left may help you to identify this spot. It's set back a bit from the edge of the road, so not everyone walking by will notice the flying pig right away.
Be sure and enter, one way or another, even if you have to make up an answer. You might still be one of the winners! After all, we can all use something good to eat, can't we?

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Goodbye to a PTown Summer, and Farewell to Our Friend Khris Francis

It's a relief to be past the crunch of summer visitors clogging Commercial Street.
Walking out our doors into the streets of Provincetown today, we heard a kind of collective sigh of relief, and began to feel like we were getting our town back.

A long, lilting, musical sort of  "AAAaaaahhh!" was carried on the faint breeze wafting down Commercial Street this morning, breathing new life into many who had found this summer to be maybe a little tougher than usual. Many people felt that they had worked harder for less income than they had counted on, yet were eager to have their schedules slow down a little, so they could relax a bit and turn some of their time to a little recreation in this gorgeous paradise we live in, even if for only a few months out of every summer, for some.
I haven't talked to a single person who was not cheering on a quick end to the season, even though it had been an especially short one. Nearly every business lost virtually the entire months of May and June to cold, wet, windy weather that kept a great number of visitors from venturing out to the tip of the Cape, almost until the Fourth of July. And with Labor Day falling on September 2nd this year, it made for a very short season indeed. 

Beach Plum gathering is a great way to de-stress after a workaholic summer.
But as we settle into the far less busy "shoulder season" most of us are less scheduled, even perhaps having a day off, which is rare for a lot of us during the summer crunch.

We can spend an afternoon out on Long Point, maybe bike through Beech Forest, or revel in the joyous invigoration of a whale watch trip
We'll finally have the time to stroll the edges of the dunes, and the fringes of Beech Forest, gathering the last of the Beach Plums before they're all picked. Those are all time-tested ways to begin the recovery process once the stresses of the summer begin to fade away.
There may be an employee party to attend, a favorite annual pub crawl to join, or any number of celebrations among friends who gather to have a lovely beverage while venting their feelings about the horrors of the season.

Tonight we celebrate the late Khris Francis at Townie Bitch Night.
Tonight, continuing a favorite post-Labor Day tradition of the late Khris Francis, where PTown workers can vent their grievances of the summer at an open mic evening known as Townie Bitch Night, we'll also be marking his recent, unexpected passing.

Most of us met Khris Francis through his raucous, coarse, provocative and unabashedly offensive comedy, which packed the bar at the Town House, and later at Steve's Alibi, beginning in the mid-1990s. His wall-to-wall audience would be howling with laughter, shocked at the outrageous things that came out of his mouth in one minute, and then be moved by his angelic singing voice a moment later. He was truly one of a kind.

His annual Townie Bitch Night was the way Khris liked to celebrate making it through another summer, and he held court at the event every year, on the evening following Labor Day. So tonight, at the Post Office Cafe, where Khris had once again been packing in the crowds on summer evenings during the last several seasons, we'll honor our departed friend with a celebration he would have loved...
We'll kvetch about this past season, dump on idiot bicyclists with a death wish, and tourists who displayed IQs far below the average; And we'll all say the most offensive things we can muster up about this legendary Provincetown performer, who will be remembered fondly by each of us he took the time to personally offend, and missed by all who knew him.
Make it to the Post Office Cafe tonight, before the 9 PM showtime, for a good seat. Uproarious comic Mama Tits will be acting as MC, and will do her best to offend us all, on behalf of Khris, who is no longer able to shuffle his big ass through the front door. XOXOXO!

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Don't Miss PTown's Fabulous Carnival Parade, Today Along Commercial Street

The theme Enchanted Forest will be on display during Carnival Parade in PTown.

Provincetown’s annual Carnival celebration began humbly back in 1978, having grown this year to a nine-day party with 17 official events scheduled, and dozens of less-official parties and gatherings at guest houses, homes. bars and swimming pools throughout the town.

Routinely bringing upwards of 90,000 people to this little village of some 3,000 year-round residents, Carnival in PTown has been called the best festival on Cape Cod, and is among the largest LGBTQ celebrations in the nation.

The marquee event of this shindig is our Carnival Parade, which is scheduled to begin at 3PM this afternoon in front of Harbor Hotel, in the Far East End of town, following Commercial Street all the way to Franklin Street in the West End. That gives you about two miles in which to carve out a little space for yourself, maybe set up lawn chairs with a few friends (at least two hours early,) or come late and stand behind eight rows of people crowded onto the sidewalk somewhere along the route. Either way, you'll have fun.
Typically the procession reaches the center of town about an hour after the scheduled start time, but we've been fooled before, when the parade has actually started on time, or been delayed, so be prepared to show up early, and to wait awhile. Fair warning: a handful of real parade zealots may have already shown up at 7AM to get their exact, favorite spot, armed to the teeth with reading material, coffee, pastries, sandwiches and lots of cold beverages (remember, alcohol is not allowed on public streets.) 

Those who walk in shoes like these all day long are the real heroes of Carnival..
Past parades have brought us a wide variety of floats created by local businesses; driving entrees like stars of our famous summer entertainment perched up high in the backs of stylish, open convertibles; perhaps a marching band or two; walking entries, and many others. And this year there are three Grand Marshals of the parade:
Lea DeLaria - comedian, actor (Orange is the New Black,) talented jazz singer and owner of The Club at 193A Commercial Street; Trixie Mattel - drag queen, actor, songstress, and widely known for her win on the third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars; David Velasco Bermudez - resident of Cape Cod and veteran of the Stonewall rebellion, 50 years ago this month.

Past Carnivals have shown off remarkable costumes like these.
You can expect to see lots of fabulous costumes, glitz-and-glamour, tiny swimsuits, and really big hair. This year's theme is Enchanted Forest, and there's just no predicting what will come from the imaginations of those in the parade, or those who choose not to march in the procession but to create marvelous costumes to wear while they simply stroll the streets or make their way to parties around town.

The gentlemen in this photo had made their own, truly unique costumes for the Carnival theme Viva Las Vegas a few years back, with flamingo codpieces. :ook closely. Fabulous!
For me, half the fun of Carnival is always just sitting on a bench somewhere and watching all of the costumed revelers walking by licking ice cream cones, or having their own little parade, day or night, in the streets.
Remember, there will literally be dozens of thousands of people all around you in Provincetown today, so don't forget - be kind to your fellow humans and animals, tip your servers well, and get out to enjoy whatever Carnival is for you.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

In Celebration of Nachos, and the Man Who Invented Them!

Today's Google Doodle commemorates Ignacio Anaya Garcia's 1943 Invention of Nachos

Yes, today’s Google Doodle celebrates the 124th birthday of Ignacio Anaya Garcia, who had been the maître d’ at a Mexican border town restaurant near a US Army air base outside of Eagle Pass, Texas. One afternoon in 1943, a group of military wives had crossed the border, out on a day’s adventure, in search of something to eat, maybe a few beers…
The women may have walked into the restaurant between the usual lunch and dinner hours, because in order to serve them, Ignacio went into the kitchen himself and grated a mound of Wisconsin cheddar cheese onto a big platter of crispy tortilla chips. He topped the mountain of chips and cheese with sliced jalapeño peppers and slid his creation under the broiler until the cheese was all melted and bubbly, and then he carefully brought the hot platter out to the group of famished women.
His dish was an instant hit, and soon it began cropping up in other restaurants as well, on both sides of the border. “Nacho” was a common nickname, or an abbreviation, for the name Ignacio, and that’s how one of today's truly great snack foods eventually became known around the world.

Venture out to any number of Provincetown eateries for many different versions of this platter of nachos. For example, Rosie’s Traditional Mexican Cantina, at 331 Commercial Street, as the name implies, offers nachos served in the traditional way: tortilla chips covered with melted cheese and jalapeños. The great thing about these simple nachos is that Rosie’s makes their own fresh tortilla chips, frying them up all day in their own kitchen.
Or, for a different take on this staple of bars and restaurants throughout the land, you can head over to Fanizzi’s, at 539 Commercial Street, for their Ultimate Nachos:An enormous plate of our tortilla chips, with spicy beef chili, jalapeños, tomatoes, sliced black olives and scallions smothered in cheese and served with house-made chunky salsa and sour cream.” Add grilled chicken or guacamole, if you’d like.
Combine this great plate of food with a frosty cerveza or a favorite cocktail from Fanizzi's popular bar, along with that spectacular view from your table at the edge of Provincetown Harbor, for one of PTown's most sublime waterfront dining experiences, year-round.

So there we have two very different versions of the recipe created by Garcia some 76 years ago, just south of the Texas border. It can be a meal or a snack, and has become one of the most popular “bar foods” ever created. Step out this evening and celebrate Ignacio Anaya Garcia and the impromptu creation of his simple culinary masterpiece by ordering a platter  of nachos, found in several different incarnations in restaurants.throughout the town.
 Buen Provecho!

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Where Are We? - When Pigs Fly in PTown: Identify This Spot and Win a Tasty Prize

You may win a prize at a PTown eatery by identifying this spot.
This charming, whimsical weather vane, perched on top of a sort of garden shed in a side yard off of Bradford Street, got an update recently, with a fresh coat of bright pink paint.
It's on a side street leading to a couple of Provincetown's many attractions, so a lot of people walk by it every day.

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about strolling the footpaths, side streets and alleys winding through the town, and really noticing some of the little jewels to be found, just off the beaten path.

If you can identify this spot, e-mail me at, or snail-mail TheYearRounder at PO Box 1632, Provincetown, MA, 02657, or leave a text/phone message 424 23P-Town. That's 424 237-8696. You could win a great treat at a PTown restaurant, ice cream parlor, takeout or other fine eatery.

Where are we? Enter to win a Prize "when pigs fly."
Enter by 12:01 AM on August 1st, 2019, for a chance to win a prize, even if you're not sure of your answer. The first correct answer will win a prize, and other entries, right or wrong, will be put into a hat, and another prize will be awarded at random, from all entries received. And, as always, I reserve the right to bestow another random prize for no reason whatsoever.

The photo at the left may help you to identify this spot. It's set back a bit from the edge of the road, so not everyone walking by will notice the flying pig right away.

Be sure and enter, one way or another, even if you have to make up an answer. You might still be one of the winners! After all, we can all use something good to eat, can't we?