Sunday, December 8, 2013

Holiday Decorations Light Up PTown

The lighting of the Pilgrim Monument signals the beginning of Provincetown's holiday season.
Every year, on the night before Thanksgiving, people gather at the Pilgrim Monument, or find another vantage point where they can watch the lights go on as the monument is lit up for the holiday season. Strings of thousands of white lights form a kind of cone from the top, widening out toward the monument's base, creating a sight that many people say resembles a giant Christmas tree, which can sometimes be seen from as far away as the shoreline of Boston on a good, clear night. These lights will be lit at dusk every evening from now on into the New Year.
Other lights and trimmings have appeared around town all week as businesses and homeowners have put up decorations which raise Provincetown's holiday spirits, as well as winning a little cash for those deemed the best, in our annual Holly Folly celebration.
A few stragglers will add more decorations around the town as Christmas approaches, missing the chance for that prize money but adding to the fun and the holiday spirit here at the tip of Cape Cod. People will make trips around town to see the lights and enjoy the sights, like the now-traditional lobster pot "Christmas Tree" display that lights up Lopes Square at this time of year.
Lopes Square's "Lobster Pot Christmas Tree" has become
a favorite holiday decoration of both Townies and visitors.
Touring the town in search of all these decorations has become a tradition of the Council on Aging, Provincetown's senior center, which sponsors its fourth annual light tour on Thursday, December 19th. Folks will gather at the COA's new facilities at 2 Mayflower Street (the former elementary school) at 3:30 PM for carols and refreshments, followed by a tour around the town to see the decorations from the COA shuttle bus. Call the COA at 508 487-7080 for information, or to arrange a ride to and from this event. Watch for more info on holiday events for seniors in upcoming posts.
As more lights and displays appear around town over the next week or so, go for a stroll or gather some friends and take a drive to see the sights. Sunset this week is at 4:09 PM, so by 4:30 it's dark enough to see many of these lights, though some may not come on until folks get home from work and turn on home decorations. One way or another, get out and enjoy the sights of Provincetown during this festive season.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Souper Saturday Benefits SKIP

Have a nice bowl of soup for a great cause on Souper Saturday.
20 great PTown restaurants will bring their favorite soups to the Crown & Anchor on Saturday, Dec 7th, to benefit SKIP (that's Soup Kitchen In Provincetown) in their Souper Saturday 2013 event. From 11 AM till 3 PM (or while it lasts!) you can gat a delicious bowl of soup for just $5, choosing from a number of varieties which will change throughout the day. Spend another 5 bucks and enjoy another great soup from a different restaurant. This very popular annual event brings SKIP some much needed funding, helping their multitude of volunteers to operate a remarkable community resource.
Provincetown's Soup Kitchen will serve more than 10,000 meals this winter, and provide a warm, welcoming place for friends to gather and socialize, easing the isolation many people can feel over the off-season in this remote location. A sense of community can become even more important during the winter months, when many here can feel marginalized.
Every weekday, from November through April, a hot, nutritious, delicious meal is served at the Methodist Church, on Shank Painter Road. People start gathering around noon for the 12:30 meal, spending time talking with friends or browsing the thrift shop. Many linger around the large dining tables after the meal, socializing with friends and meeting new people, feeling a part of the community, and for some, filling the gap in a harsh winter economy that doesn't always leave enough money for food after paying the rent. All are welcome, and a tremendous cross section of Provincetown residents can be found here over the winter, any day of the week.
Come to the Soup Kitchen for a nice meal and a bit of camaraderie, and support the Soup Kitchen by coming for lunch at the Crown & Anchor on Souper Saturday.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Spot More Species of PTown Wildlife

This little box turtle blends into the colors of the forest floor around it.
This week's wildlife pic is a box turtle I found walking through Beech Forest, headed through the trees toward the hill that it would have to climb to reach Black Water Pond, which seemed to be where it might have been set out for. The pattern on its shell and its coloring helped it to blend in with the colors of the forest floor, covered with bits of leaves, dried grasses, twigs and fallen pine needles.
Have you ever noticed how good the cover of the wildlife around us really is? Whether I'm hiking in Foss Woods, walking out in the dunes or near the beaches, or even driving through Beech Forest, I just sort of keep my eyes moving back and forth for anything else that's moving, because the camouflage on some of these animals is so good that you can be looking right at them and still not see them unless they are moving. I spot a lot of flora that way, just by watching for anything that moves.
Try it the next time you're out on the bike trails, or walking on the Old Colony Nature Pathway, or strolling on Duncan Lane. Watch for something moving around you or in the distance, and stop once in a while and stay still for a few moments, maybe sit on a fallen log or an aging fence rail for a bit, keeping your eyes moving. These and so many other areas in Provincetown are simply teeming with wildlife, and you'll see more of it if you just have a little patience, and a bit of luck, and look sharply for anything that moves.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

PTown Halloween 2013

Official SpookyBear events run Thursday through Sunday.
Each year Provincetown's SpookyBear event gets bigger and bigger, with more bears in attendance and more activities, too. It is presented by The Northeast Ursamen, a non-political, gay fraternal organization that exists to provide bears and their admirers with opportunities to meet and enjoy time together in a variety of safe and fun social events. The group was founded by a couple of dozen men in the Hartford/Springfield area in October of 1992, making it one of the longest-running Bears clubs in the country.
There are many events and parties, with prizes for costumes, of course. Click the link above to see a fun video about the superheroes and villains seen above, and a complete schedule of events ranging from Tea Dances and parties to the screening of the cult classic Rocky Horror Picture Show (free, everyone invited) at the Crown & Anchor Cabaret Friday night at 8 PM, to the Farewell Breakfast Buffet on Sunday.  It's always great to have the Bears in town.

PBG website offers huge list of events.
Click this link to Halloween in Provincetown, 2013 to visit the Provincetown Business Guild page presenting a comprehensive list of events and attractions found in Provincetown this Halloween season.
One of this year's highlights will be the return of the biennial "Hell Town on Winthrop" tonight, Oct 29th, from 7:30 PM to 10 PM. Their blurb on the PBG site promises "blood-curdling screams, howls from hell and bone-chilling cries for help. Take a stroll down Winthrop Street if you dare and experience for yourself that FEAR IS REALITY.  Ghosts and ghouls and twisted souls are waiting for you behind every fence and every corner and maybe even up in the trees.  Beware and keep your eyes open, your senses about you, and hold tight to your friends…one misguided step, one quick  turn of your gaze and you may be dragged down to the underworld.  Enter at your risk and exit if the demons allow it. Not for the faint of heart."
A suggested donation of $5 benefits the Soup Kitchen in Provincetown, but all are welcome. Presented by Richard Conley, The Watership Inn, Bayberry Accommodations & The White Wind Inn. For further information please call 508-487-0094.

Annual Ghost Town attraction runs Thursday - Sunday.

Click this link to read the story of the fictional 1736 village of Provincetown, featured in the 5th Annual  Ghost Town indoor haunted attraction, found at the Aquarium, 209 Commercial Street. This entertaining website offers information and tickets, as well as a spooky video.

You'll be warned to "prepare yourself for a frightful journey through condemned buildings, pirate ruins and scary grave-sites as you encounter terrifying creatures of the living dead. Keep your wits about you as you wind your way through areas of death, decay and doom trying to find your ultimate escape." For more information call 508-487-9601.

Beaux Arts Ball promises a spectacular costumed event with guest Taylor Dayne

The Beaux Arts Ball is a spectacular party and dance to be held at Town Hall on Saturday, November 2nd, with revelers expected to show up in full costume. This event was a long-running PTown tradition from 1915 until the 1950s, and was revived in 2011. This year's special guest Taylor Dayne will perform, and VIP ticket holders will get a chance to meet her, along with enjoying many other perks offered to those who buy the upgraded ticket for this fundraising costume ball. Proceeds will benefit Town Hall, Provincetown International Film Festival and Helping Our Women. Visit the Beaux Arts Ball website for info and tickets.
There's something for everyone this Halloween, and simply being on the streets and watching all the costumed revelers each night is always great fun. Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

PTown's Recent Spate of Very High Tides Makes Breakwater Walk a Bit Tricky

A cormorant bobs on an exceptionally high tide at the West End Breakwater.
Unusually deep tides have edged higher and higher along the length of the West End Breakwater recently. Over the last several weeks I've seen the tide rise well above the average high tide mark on many, many days. Part of the reason may well be because of the full moon, and I don't pretend to know how all that moon and tide stuff works, but we had tides of ten-and-a-half feet during the last full moon and during the time of the very slightest sliver, so it isn't all about the phases of the moon. Tides have risen above 11 feet several times recently.
Last week, amongst a group of people, I wondered out loud if these seemingly higher tides could have some relation to the melting polar ice caps. A murmur of assent spread through a good bit of the crowd as many people nodded and began conversations with those around them, with one marked exception: a man who quietly turned slightly red in the face as his jaw clenched and he began aggressively shaking his head from side to side, conveying an angry but silent "No way, you idiots" message to the rest of us. His wife turned her head up and away from the crowd, looking over her shoulder as though there were suddenly something compelling to watch going on behind her. It was plain that she knew better than to have an opinion on this topic.
Why are these folks who insist there is no such thing as "climate change" so angry? They can't all have stocks in the oil companies and auto industry, can they? I nearly ended up in a fistfight with my sister a few years ago, before she retired from her lofty position in the accounting department of the Porsche automobile company, when I innocently muttered something about the world being better off if we all drove cars that got better gas mileage. It was strictly the company line coming out of her mouth as she went off like a rocket about global warming being the most vile and insidious lie ever perpetrated on the American people. Some folks still cling tenaciously to the opinion that it doesn't matter one iota how much energy we use in our quest for more and fancier "stuff."
The great blue heron is usually seen in the wetlands, in deeper water.
At any rate, the tides have been noticeably high here recently, whatever the reasons might be, with the water splashing right over the top of the breakwater a bit on windy days that bring whitecaps into the harbor, so be a little cautious when you go out for a walk to Long Point or to Wood End. And keep an eye out for the herons in the marsh to the right of the breakwater. One was found on the tidal flats just a couple of feet from the rocks at low tide the other day, which was a pretty unusual sighting.

Friday, October 25, 2013

West End Salon Bustles With Fantasia Fair

Dougie Freeman celebrates 30 years in PTown's West End
I desperately needed a haircut the other day, and couldn't wait to get to my appointment at the West End Salon to get rid of the shaggy mane I'd grown over the summer. Dougie always has a great idea about what to do with my hair, and the relaxed atmosphere and friendly chatter with the staff and other patrons is always fun, even entertaining.
I settled into my chair as the day turned a little chilly, sipping a nice cup of hot cocoa while Dougie checked on clients in various stages of their transformations, knowing that I'd walk out the door that afternoon with a whole new look as well.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the West End Salon. Whenever I'm in the shampoo room or under the drier I take a look around the walls of this room, lined with photos and autographs of famous clients Dougie has cosseted over the years. This time my gaze fell on a gorgeous young Shelley Winters, seen in some 140 films and plays over her career, just one of the famous people Dougie had worked with through the years, and he has stories about all of them.
Dougie Freeman started this unique PTown business in 1983, at 155 Commercial Street, pampering visitors and locals alike. The salon has evolved over the years and now offers a wide variety of spa treatments like massage, pedicure, salt glow treatments, Caribbean body polishing, paraffin wraps and others. Any time there's anything new in the industry,
it will soon be available at the West End salon.
While I was there a variety of clients, many of them in town for Fantasia Fair, had facials, manicures, makeup and other services, and someone stopped in to schedule a full makeover for the following day. A young woman dropped by to talk about scheduling for her entire wedding party. I had a cut, shampoo, conditioning, and Dougie suggested making my hair a shade darker and then adding a few highlights, which took about 10 or 12 years off of my appearance. At the same time, a man had brought in a photo of a style he thought would help hide the thinning of his hair, and Dougie gave him a variation that looked great, shaving a few years off of his countenance as well.
The West End Salon staff are the town's leading practitioners of body art, spray tanning and henna tattoos. I got a glitter tattoo there once, just for fun, and I got all kinds of comments on it from friends and even from strangers wondering where I had gotten it. Suffice it to say, the West End Salon is a fun place to visit, and their amazing staff will always help you to look your very best. Stop by to make an appointment for yourself, and wish them a happy 30th anniversary.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Heron Today, Gone Tomorrow?

Herons and other crane-like birds are frequent sightings in the wetlands.
Despite reaching an overnight low temperature of 32 degrees the other night, Provincetown's miraculous autumn weather has rallied again, giving us the chance to continue hikes, bike rides and nature walks in shirtsleeves.
This great blue heron was spotted in the pond along Province Lands Road. These herons seem to be here in larger numbers this year, often being found near this little lagoon, or in the rivulets of water that wind through the marsh near the breakwater. Time spent in these spots is likely to be rewarded with sightings of these stately birds and others, and this weather makes the walk a real pleasure.
It seems like I write something every week recently urging you to get out and enjoy this amazing autumn season before the cold weather sets in, but seriously, how much longer can this perfect weather last?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Brilliant Autumn Leaves Surround PTown

Autumn colors are found in every corner of Provincetown.
Scrub oaks in the dunes are turning rusty shades of red and gold, sugar maples on side streets are rosy shades of vermillion, and Virginia creeper takes on deep scarlet hues all around Provincetown. Take a stroll on the Beech Forest branch of the bike trail and see dozens of yellow and ochre shades among the green.
A walk nearly anywhere in Provincetown this autumn shows us especially bright colors this year, partly because we've had rather sparse rainfall over the last many weeks. The drier the weather at this time of the year, the more brilliant the changing colors of the foliage all around us appear. The leaves are gradually beginning to drop from the trees, so get out for a walk and enjoy this show of splendid fall colors before they disappear.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Last Call for PTown Summer Favorites

The Red Shack's hot lobster roll is crazy good.
Columbus Day and Women's Week bring the 2013 season to a close for a number of PTown businesses. This is the last hurrah for some of our 90 delis, restaurants and bakeries as they get ready to board up for the winter.
The Red Shack, on Lopes Square, will stay open through women's week this year. I was just there the other day for a hot lobster roll before they close. They make it on a big toasty roll, freshly baked each morning at the Portuguese Bakery, right around the corner. They stuff it with big chunks of lobster meat, whole claws and knuckles, with a little melted butter. Heavenly... And now that I know they're open for another week, maybe I can get there for another one before they close.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Spaghetti Supper Benefits Historic Church

Dan Lacombe is putting on his famous spaghetti supper tonight at the UU Meeting House, 236 Commercial Street, from 5:30 to 8 PM. Everyone is invited to this community dinner. It is a benefit for the Meeting House, one of the most welcoming spots in Provincetown for people of all beliefs and philosophies. If you're not familiar with this remarkable PTown landmark and gathering place, then it's certainly high time you paid a visit and became part of this community.
The poster above tells you all about this complete meal, from salad to dessert, for meat-eaters or vegetarians, and there's even a gluten-free choice while supplies last. It's a good idea to go for dinner early in the evening, before the kitchen starts running low. This is a very popular event and food could run out. You can get your dinner to go if you can't stay and spend some time enjoying the wide cross-section of the community that will come for dinner at large communal tables in the Meeting House "Theater" on the ground floor of this historic church. There will even be live entertainment. This is a great event, supporting one of the organizations that makes this town such an amazing, welcoming place. See you there!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Gather Ye Mushrooms While Ye May

Persistence pays off in the search for mushrooms.
It took the better part of the day, but this gentleman and his family (his wife and their two children) finally were able to gather enough wild mushrooms to nearly fill their bucket. They drove to Provincetown on their annual mushroom pilgrimage and went wandering in the little hillsides surrounding Province Lands Road, out near the visitor center, where the land isn't exactly forest and not exactly dunes either, but rather a verdant combination of small, sandy hills and little pockets of pitch pines and scrub oaks, with the occasional fox or coyote thrown in for local color.
These folks rambled over dozens of scenic acres, peeking beneath shrubs and around tree trunks for the elusive edible mushrooms that are scattered all too sparsely through these little hummocks this year. The dearth of rainfall this spring may have something to do with this year's scarcity of the fungus that brings carloads of visitors to this part of the Cape Cod National Seashore each autumn for a peaceful walk among the changing colors of the season while they forage for these delicious morsels.
My favorite Provincetown chef told me he hunted for two hours the other day and found just two mushrooms, and he remarked that the cranberries looked to be about three weeks behind schedule, too, with none quite ready to pick that day. We've had rainfall this year far below the amount we receive in the average year. This spring we got very little, and we stand at less than 10% of the average rainfall over the past month, which may have something to do with the lack of mushrooms this season, and the slower growth of the cranberries. But I've also met a few folks who have filled their mushroom baskets and buckets to the brim, with persistence paying off during a longer walk.
If you know your mushrooms and are confident in your ability to recognize the edible varieties, by all means, get out for a little hike and find the tasty few that await you. Just remember to be careful not to walk on any of the plant life as you wander. Some of these plants and grasses are extremely fragile. And remember to cut your mushrooms off at the base of the stem rather than plucking them out of the ground so that they can continue to sprout more mushrooms for others to find later. If you don't know very much about wild mushrooms, get out and enjoy the stroll anyway, but simply admire the lovely mushrooms you might discover and just walk on by. We want you to live to take another walk amongst the mushrooms another day.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Café Maria Shines for Breakfast

This raisin almond bun is one of Café Maria's tastiest baked goods.
Café Maria makes a breakfast treat that's somewhere between a cinnamon bun and a croissant. It's made with raisins and sliced almonds on top, and it is really delicious.
The combination of the light, airy dough, along with the crunch of the almonds and the body of those sweet, chewy raisins makes a fusion of textures and flavors that is hard to resist when these buns roll out of Maria's oven in the morning.
They make a number of other pastries and breakfast goodies, and a variety of breakfast sandwiches served alongside Lavazza coffee. Their lunch includes one of my favorite sandwiches, made with linguica and cheese on a fresh baguette right out of the oven. They actually bake baguettes as they are ordered, so there isn't a fresher one in town.
There's ice cream for dessert, along with fresh-baked cookies, if there are any left when you get there.
Find Café Maria by ignoring the address you might see printed somewhere (277A Commercial Street) and just head down Ryder Street, along the east side of Town Hall, and as you cross Commercial Street, just continue on that same road, walking toward Fisherman's Wharf and the harbor. You'll find this little counter-service cafe and its sunny outdoor dining patio (with umbrellas for hot or rainy days) about 50 yards off Commercial Street, near the Kite shop and a lovely expanse of beach, open to the public. Service is friendly, prices are reasonable, and the food is fresh and tasty.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Wildlife Sightings Galore Around PTown

There's an abundance of fox, turkey, heron and other wildlife
this autumn in Provincetown.
Looks like this little fox has a meadow vole (think gray and fuzzy and a bit bigger than a mouse) for an appetizer on this particular afternoon. He's been seen a lot near the Province Lands Visitor Center over the last couple of weeks, usually late in the afternoon when travelers and their dogs have left the area to get to the beach for the sunset. He's sometimes spotted making his rounds around the edges of the parking lot where people have been walking their dogs over the course of the day. He re-marks his territory where the dogs have been, just to make sure everybody knows who's boss around here.
I saw an American gold finch yesterday, a little late in the season for them to still be around. And the herons are here in pretty good numbers this year, by all appearances, seen most often in the marshy wetlands of the Far West End or in the little pond across the road from "the bike rack" where the boys all pile their bikes on the fence on a bright summer day. These stately birds are most often seen standing knee-deep in the water around half-tide, waiting for a little fish or a frog to swim by and become part of their lunch. Turkeys have been seen this week on the edge of route 6 feeding in the grasses anywhere between Shank Painter Road and Snail Road.
Take a moment to enjoy the wildlife that is part of the natural world that makes Provincetown such a unique environment.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Tennessee Williams Fans Converge on PTown for Annual Four-day Festival

Four days of events in Provincetown celebrate the life and works of Tennessee Williams.
Provincetown's annual Tennessee Williams Theater Festival gets under way today, launching four days of events ranging from discussions for those who may not be as familiar with the life and work of Williams as they'd like to be, to a southern barbecue and whiskey evening, to the world premier of a play written by young Tom Williams before he adopted the monicker "Tennessee."
Williams grew up in the Delta, near the mouth of the Mississippi River, where soulful blues music poured out of "juke joints" where people flocked to dance, drink, and to forget their troubles. Award winning blues piano and vocal artist Eden Brent has travelled to PTown from Mississippee to help transform the Surf Club into a juke joint for a few hours on Friday and Saturday night. There are many plays, events and parties scheduled during the festival to immerse us in the works, the history and the culture of one of our greatest American playwrights, and a frequent visitor to Provincetown over many of the summers during the 1940s.
Find information on the festival at and check out the many events scheduled daily beginning at 10:30 AM and running some nights through midnight. Find descriptions of the various scheduled events of the TW festival, and the many plays being produced, each with several performances between now and Sunday night. Plays range from the well-known Cat on a Hot Tin Roof  to some that are rarely seen. Slapstick Tragedy: The Mutilated is a highly anticipated event with five performances during the festival. This seldom-seen production will feature performances by cult film legend Mink Stole, gaining fame in John Waters films ranging from Desperate Living to Serial Mom, and Penny Arcade, who blossomed as a superstar at a tender age, during her teen years spent in Andy Warhol's Factory.
To make a contribution toward running this wonderful yearly Provincetown gathering of Tennessee Williams enthusiasts, or to volunteer to help make it all happen (and get some great volunteer perks) or to get information on all the events scheduled over the next few days, you can drop by the old firehouse at 246 Commercial Street, just west of Town Hall.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Get it While You Can...

As the little casual dining spots in Provincetown get ready to shut down for the season, I'm making the rounds to enjoy some of the great food and bargain prices that we'll miss over the winter...

Mojo's grilled swordfish platter with mixed vegetables, salad and their signature round fries. Mojo's has a HUGE menu with some of the best prices in town.

The Red Shack lobster mac & cheese became a new favorite when I tasted it this summer. I'll miss their gyro, pastrami, sausage and peppers, and their giant breakfast wrap with a whole meal rolled inside.

Provincetown Portuguese Bakery has the best fried dough in town, hands down. Breakfast and lunch from their grill are bargains, as are dozens of sweet or savory pastries and traditional Portuguese treats.

John's Footlong fish sandwich is among the best in town, along with their fried clams, kale soup, scallop roll and oooohh, the lobster roll. And don't forget the footlong hot dog in a grilled bun.

Lewis Brothers Ice Cream is the last real, homemade American ice cream in Provincetown, despite the "homemade" signs you might see in other windows. It's not. The brothers make it right there in their shop, churning out several flavors every day. I love their small sundae. I'm not sure I could finish the big one.

Native Cape Cod Seafood is one of the spots I miss most over the winter. Everything they make is absolutely fresh, delicious and reasonably priced. You could throw a dart and be happy with anything on the menu. I order an ear of corn with my linguine and clams. And the lobster scampi rivals any in town, at a great price.

Blondie's portobello mushroom burger comes with caramelized onions, roasted red peppers and feta cheese, and it's one of my favorite vegetarian meals in Provincetown.

Uma Loucura brought Brazilian flavors to town this summer with daily specials like Bobo De Camarao, made with yucca, peppers, fresh tomato, coconut milk and a mountain of shrimp. Everything is made from scratch, and I loved everything I tasted there.

The Canteen brought great seafood, sandwiches, homemade linguica and a variety of ethnic flavors to Provincetown this summer. Their homemade sodas, and the return of Pucci Wings, were highlights of my summer. I'm jonesing for them already.

I Dream of Gelato makes more than 200 flavors of the best homemade gelato (the Italian version of ice cream) you're ever likely to taste, from simple fruit flavors to gourmet delights. My very favorites are the pineapple basil and the black sesame.

The Coffee Pot has a line of people every morning getting their coffee, fresh baked goods and an array of great breakfast sandwiches. When I'm really famished I'll order the Rescue Squad, with three eggs, three slices of bacon, two sausage patties and double cheese on a sub roll.

ScottCakes are the best cupcakes in the world, period. This fluffy vanilla cupcake topped with that distinctive swirl of pink buttercream frosting is one of the greatest sweet treats ever invented.

Get out and enjoy some of these great PTown eats before these little joints fold up for the season.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

PTown Indian Summer

Most folks on Provincetown's breakwater this afternoon are fishing as kayakers revel in Indian summer weather.
OK, true "Indian summer" weather usually means the return of summer weather after a killing frost, and we haven't had one of those yet, but I'm going to count it, especially after the overnight low temperature was a chilling 39 degrees two nights in a row last week. I don't know a better way to describe these absolutely gorgeous days we've been having. Get out and enjoy this beautiful weather today, because this may be the last of it, with a pretty good chance of rain tomorrow and daily highs dipping down into the 60s next week. That'll make it more like fishing weather than kayaking weather, but still lovely for hiking, biking and many of the outdoor activities that make Provincetown such a remarkable spot.

Monday, September 16, 2013

More Public Art Appears Near PTown's West End Breakwater

A five-foot-wide sand sculpture appeared next to the breakwater Sunday morning.
Someone created a sand sculpture just to the right of the breakwater in the west end of Provincetown harbor this morning. This photo was taken about two hours before low tide. I wonder if the sculptor continued to work on it after this point? It looks like a mound of sand with a depth of a couple of inches scraped away from the edge in concentric circles, just where the receding water forms a wider circle every 20 minutes or so. But there's a concave wedge carved out of the left end, too. It gives me ideas about ways to use the receding tide to create shapes in the sand. I hope this fleeting piece of public art will inspire others to experiment and create as well.
This bit of art is about 30 yards from environmental artist Roy Staab's reed sculpture on the tidal flats exposed on the right side of the breakwater at low tide. Click the link above to see the photo and read a bit about him in my August 20th post. It's remarkable.
Thanks to all the folks who create something where the public can see it. Watch for upcoming posts about the tremendous variety of public art found in Provincetown, from the Scott Dosch mural in the Whalers Wharf rotunda to Jackson Lambert's "cat crossing" signs on Freeman Street.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Afterglow Festival Lights Up PTown

This week in Provincetown we've been treated to live stage performances of spoken word, music, comedy and any other form of live performance you can imagine, and things you would never imagine, each as a part of the third annual Afterglow festival. The brainchild of John Cameron Mitchell and Quinn Cox, this non-profit organization and festival was created to provide a place for established as well as emerging performance artists of every sort to express themselves, while leading Provincetown back to its roots and its pivotal role in creating and nurturing the Modern American Theater movement, and re-establishing a place for performing artists to break new ground.
Remaining performances include Jill Pangallo, who's been called ", funny, highly original and kinda creepy." She takes the stage tonight at the Crown & Anchor at 10 PM. Click on the following link to read more about her and to watch a teaser of tonight's performance piece, Unfollow.
Sunday at 5 PM the Crown hosts international cultural icon Penny Arcade, who has cemented her reputation as a poet, essayist, actress and cultural critic with strong feminist and queer sensibilities, a tireless devotion to free speech and human rights,
and an irresistible stage presence.
At 7 PM Sunday see Lance Horne and Guests. Horne is a renowned performer-lyricist-composer who has performed with, composed and/or arranged music for stars ranging from Alan Cumming to Sandra Bernhard to the Seoul Philharmonic. He's appeared with the London Gay Men's Chorus, Dwight Yokum, and at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. He has performed everywhere from Buckingham Palace to Carnegie Hall to the Apollo Theater. This promises to be a wonderfully diverse musical program.
Sunday at 9 PM the famous Mattachine dance party comes to PTown. The nation's first gay rights organization, the Mattachine Society, staged the 1966 "sip-in" at Julius' Bar in New York City, where members gathered peacefully, announced they were gay, and demanded to be served drinks, despite the law that proclaimed that alcohol would not be served to known homosexuals.
Some five years ago John Cameron Mitchell and PJ De Boy started the monthly tradition that celebrates the history of queer pioneers, bringing a recurring dance party to the West Village on one Thursday night of every month to revive Julius' Bar, one of the oldest in the city. Folks generally dress up for a night of dancing to every conceivable style of music, and "the carefully curated songs of queer yesteryear."
Support alternative entertainment and the revival of progressive theater in Provincetown with a contribution to this not-for-profit, tax-exempt 501 (c)(3) organization, or by attending performances. Tickets for all events can be had with a visit to the Crown & Anchor box office, at 247 Commercial Street.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

What's New? Hawaiian Breakfast Sandwich at the Coffee Pot

The Hawaiian breakfast sandwich is a new Coffee Pot choice to start your day.
Leave it to the folks at the Coffee Pot to come up with a breakfast sandwich like the Hawaiian: it's spam, pineapple cheddar cheese and egg on toasted Portuguese sweet bread, and it's not bad. Linda told me her son-in-law came up with the combination. It tasted good, and everyone who tried it liked it, so it went on the menu.
Try the new peanut butter hot chocolate as the mornings get cooler.
Have it with a cup of their new peanut butter hot chocolate, topped with a little whipped cream. Really decadent, but really tasty. Try it. You'll find the Coffee Pot on Lopes Square, across from the Chamber of Commerce.
Linda and Nelson and the gang at the Coffee Pot celebrate their 20th anniversary this summer. There are a gazillion things on the menu for breakfast and lunch, even for supper, and fresh baked muffins, croissants, cookies, brownies, bagels and other tasty things come out of their oven each morning. They make all kinds of coffee, and one of the best smoothies in town, with real fruit, and there's always something new coming out of the kitchen. Stop by to wish them a happy anniversary, and try something you've never tasted before. Call ahead at 508 487-2580 and they'll have it ready for you.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Big Fish at the Breakwater

There's a beautiful, big fish in that bucket.
Seen today as an exceptionally high tide rolled in at the breakwater in Provincetown's Far West End, this man was fishing in the first 15 feet of water to the left of the breakwater, right  next to the shoreline, which I thought made no sense, but notice the tail of the fish sticking up out of his bucket! This fish was about 30 inches long, still kicking, as the woman plopped it headfirst into the bucket. I couldn't get my camera out fast enough to capture the photo of this beautiful fish as she held it up. It was at least two-and-a-half feet, maybe a little longer, and looked to be a nice, sleek, striped bass, the prize fish of these waters.
You can try your hand at fishing by picking up a rod and lures at either of the local hardware stores or at Nelson's Bait and Tackle on Race Point Road, and stroll out onto the breakwater yourself, or you can fish along the beach at Herring Cove. Remember to get your fishing permit, which you can do online at the public library by googling "Mass recreational saltwater fishing permit" (and print it out there as well) for about $12 total, charged to a credit card. Or get your permit right now if you're reading this from a computer that's hooked to a printer by clicking this link to get your saltwater fishing permit. If you're over the age of 60 it's free, though they zing you a couple of bucks for the processing fee if you get it over the Internet, and if you're under the age of 16 you don't need the permit at all. If you're going out on a fishing charter you've hired, their permit covers you at no cost. Get out for a little fishing in this beautiful weather we're having.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Life! The Celebration and the Swim, 2013

This weekend offers a lot of events, starting tonight at 8 PM at the U U Meeting House, found at 236 Commercial Street, with the 20th annual Celebration of Life. This free community concert is the brainchild of local musician, composer and community activist John Thomas, who produces this annual musical celebration in conjunction with the Provincetown Harbor Swim for Life and Paddler Flotilla, which is described below.
This is always a highly anticipated concert, the feel-good event of the tear, with performances by talented local residents, celebrities performing in town over the summer, and always a few surprise guests. It is a life affirming event which raises the collective spirit of the entire audience while it honors those no longer with us.
This year’s performers include Jon Arterton, Peter Donnelly, Will Harrington, Billy Hough, Halcyone Hurst, Roxanne Layton, Zoë Lewis, Ken Lonergan, James Mack, Phoebe Otis, Elena Mancheva, Miss Richfield 1981 Scarbie, Sylvie Richard, John Thomas, Nedko Zdravkov Valchev, Janet Villas, West End Wendy Wendell and other surprises.
The 26th annual Swim for Life follows tomorrow morning, Saturday, September 7th, with hundreds of swimmers, along with kayakers and standup paddleboarders, making their way across magnificent Provincetown harbor, setting out from the Long Point Lighthouse, at the very tip of Cape Cod. This is an open-water swim of about a mile-and-a-half, finishing on the beach at the Boatslip Resort. Swimmers unable to conquer their fear of deep water, or those with other limitations, will be swimming in pools, making laps to equal the distance across the harbor. Teams of swimmers from Wellesley High School and from swim clubs in Philadelphia and Chicago, among others, travel to Provincetown to join in this event. Swimmers in other cities, and even in other countries, will participate in their own events.
Last year's event saw some 400 swimmers raise over $200,000 for local healthcare and other nonprofit organizations, lifting the total to about $3 million in contributions to local charities and nonprofits over the years. It's not too late to decide to swim. Registration will be Saturday from 9 AM to 10 AM at the Boatslip Resort, 161 Commercial Street.
Join us tonight at the Celebration of Life, and tomorrow morning at the Boatslip, to cheer on the swimmers, and at the Mermaid Brunch, which follows the swim, catered by Far Land Provisions. The brunch will feature awards for swimmers in many categories, along with up-beat entertainment, and caps off this wonderful, affirming, two-day celebration.