Thursday, August 29, 2013

PTOWN Café Frittata is a "Best Bite"

The frittata at PTOWN Café is Best Bite, available Saturdays and Sundays.
PTOWN Café, found on Commercial Street next to Town Hall, offers a great breakfast choice on weekends. They make a frittata, a bit like a crustless quiche, with sun dried tomatoes, feta, arugula and a few Kalamata olives. It's delicious, and a good-sized slice sells for just $3.75, which makes it a Best Bite.
For another dollar I'll often add a cranberry pecan roll, and that makes a nice breakfast for about $5. A variety of fresh baked goods will come out of the oven throughout the day, and there are coffees and teas both hot and cold. The iced coffee is cold-brewed for a smoother flavor, and you'll find a nice brewed, iced green tea, too.
The cranberry pecan roll is among my favorites at PTOWN Café.
They also carry quite a variety of healthy packaged snacks, like Beanos black bean chips, for a quick bite, or to go with a cup of fresh fruit or a sandwich. This thoughtful choice of snack foods includes things that are good for you, like oats, dark chocolate, beans, nuts or olives.
For those times when your taste runs toward the more decadent end of the scale, look no further than Lisa's killer chocolate chip brownie, perhaps the best in town.
PTOWN Café is located at 258 Commercial Street, just west of Town Hall. Give 'em a try.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

"I Have a Dream" 50th Anniversary Event

Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. addresses the crowd attending the 1963 March on Washington.
Today is the 50th anniversary of the "I Have a Dream" speech given by Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., as he addressed the crowd attending the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom during the height of the civi rights movement. Dr. King stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial as he spoke to the crowd of more than 250,000 civil rights supporters, calling for an end to racial discrimination in America.
Referring to the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing millions of slaves in 1863, King's speech lamented the fact that "one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free." Acclaimed gospel singer and activist Mahalia Jackson was heard to cry out "Tell them about the dream, Martin!" This may be what prompted Dr. King, toward the end of his speech, to depart from the text he had prepared, and to talk about his dreams for a society of true freedom and equality for all of its people, leading him to deliver what various scholars have declared to be the greatest American speech of the 20th century. 
Over 250,000 heard Dr. King's now-famous address from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
There will be a celebration of this momentous event tonight at 7:30 PM in Wellfleet, at the Congregational Church, found at 200 Main Street. It has been described as a "sing-in" of songs from the civil rights movement, along with various remembrances and a showing of the speech. The Outer Cape Chorale and a number of others are expected to perform, and this will be a very rare chance to see this remarkable speech from August 28th, 1963.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Hot Ticket - The Atomic Bombshells

The Atomic Bombshells are pure entertainment from the moment they take the stage!
Only two more performances, tonight and tomorrow at 10 PM at the Post Office Cabaret.
If you've never seen a burlesque show, you may not quite know what it might be. The dictionary describes burlesque as "a variety show, typically including striptease." The Atomic Bombshells are among the nation's greatest practitioners of the art of the striptease, presenting one of the most thoroughly entertaining, scintillating stage performances you're likely to see all year.
Start with great music of many genres, wonderful choreography, fabulous costumes and gorgeous performers of all types and persuasions. There is eye candy on stage for everyone! From the slow, seductive Hawaiian hula striptease to the performance of a charming, larger-than-life illusion, this troupe is completely engaging, highly amusing, and (I repeat) thoroughly entertaining.
The evening is hosted by a breathtaking, statuesque, impeccably costumed drag queen with a very quick wit who disarms anyone who might feel a little out of their element in the audience of their first striptease show, and provides brilliant, very funny vignettes between performances of music, dance, illusion and the alluring, sultry presentations of the artistry of the striptease. All the performances are top notch, and there is truly something for everyone on this stage.
The Atomic Bombshells have only two performances remaining in their Provincetown schedule. See them tonight and tomorrow at 10 PM at the Post Office Cabaret, at 303 Commercial Street. Get tickets online at or phone the
P. O. at 508 487-0006.

Friday, August 23, 2013

On PTown Streets During Carnival Week...

Eddie and Jamie, from Connecticut and New Jersey, made their fabulous costumes,
and are frequent visitors, always looking forward to Provincetown's Carnival week.
Carnival always brings lots of great costumes and characters to Commercial Street. Eddie and Jamie, above, hail from Connecticut and New Jersey, are fairly frequent visitors to Provincetown, and try to make it here for Carnival every year. They don't miss many. They made their wonderful, whimsical costumes, and get extra points for a look that is topical (Viva Las Vegas!) funny, and sexy.

Emily and Jeff, still best friends since college. 

Emily and Jeff were best friends in college a number of years ago in Texas and have remained close through the years. Both are now architects. When Emily and her husband stumbled into Provincetown during Carnival last year, they couldn't believe they hadn't known about this beautiful place and this week-long party, and, it turns out, neither had Jeff. So this year Emily brought Jeff here for his first visit to Provincetown, dressed in a tank top and pants featuring the King of Hearts and other playing cards, and Emily made her hat of giant playing cards. I found them making their way to Tea Dance, Jeff's first, but he'll certainly be back to PTown for more.

Rick and John exhibit all the showmanship of
legendary Las Vegas icons Seigfried and Roy.

Siegfried and Roy (AKA Rick from Denver and John from Boston) are also frequent visitors and love Carnival week in Provincetown.
I found them on Commercial Street on their way from a party, and heading up Masonic Place toward the A-House. They were quite the showmen, and their iconic outfits with plunging v-necks, big rings and even bigger hair were completed with tigers, one biting Roy's neck, illustrating the tragedy that ended Siegfried and Roy's long-running career on the Vegas Strip, 10 years ago this autumn.

Steve nails the essence of Phyllis Diller.

Steve owns Wardrobe, a popular women's clothing store at 213 Commercial Street, and put together the perfect outfit as he morphed into legendary Las Vegas performer Phyllis Diller, a groundbreaking comedienne who appeared regularly on Vegas stages from 1964 until 2002. Steve completely nailed her charm, mannerisms, and her look, from her foot-long cigarette holder to her frazzled, trademark mop of shaggy blond hair.

There's never been enough money printed in the history of the
world to get me to don a pair of shoes like this for even 10 minutes.

When I met Chris, from South Boston, it was after midnight, and he was barely able to walk, having worn these shoes for hours as he made his way around town to a number of parties and events, traversing Commercial Street several times this evening.

Townies or visitors, players or spectators,
everyone turns out for Drag Bingo.

A wide range of characters will turn out for Drag Bingo every year, a benefit held on the lawn at the U. U. Meetinghouse. Many fundraisers take place over the course of Carnival week, raising money for local charities and non-profits, and Drag Bingo is a favorite of visitors and Townies alike, whether they are players or spectators.

What's another
word for sexy?

Costumes for Drag Bingo can be simple or elaborate, and some are even quite provocative. These folks are definitely turning heads as they make their way along Commercial Street as the bingo hour nears.
Bingo, anyone?

These two have transformed into the perfect pair of Vegas slot machine grannies, taking a break from the one-armed bandit to play a little bingo. A bit of padding, a few simple accessories and a really bad wig make these outfits flawless. These two could blend right in at any casino on The Strip, and they are certainly dressed for Drag Bingo. Viva Las Vegas!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The New York Times Called Him "The Johnny Appleseed of Environmental Art"

Roy Staab's work can be found near the breakwater in the West End, while it lasts.
A number of years ago I was strolling in the West End, and as I walked a little closer to the breakwater I saw that someone had stabbed long reeds into the tidal flats and then woven more reeds between them, forming a sort of free-standing sculpture of geometric shapes that seemed to float in the air a foot above the water. I watched as the tides rolled in and out over the next few days, variously exposing and then hiding this amazing creation as the water level rose above, and then dropped below, half-tide. After several days this sculpture began to break up a bit with each new tide, and eventually it disappeared altogether. A couple of years later another amazing sculpture appeared in this same spot and then slowly disintegrated with the tides, and over the years I have seen several of them, each one a different design.
For years i've been wondering who was coming into town and creating this amazing art in the open, at the edge of the wetlands. A few days ago I happened onto another one, freshly completed, and finally met environmental artist Roy Staab. He has traveled the world creating this large, open-air, public art in tidal flats, river basins and marshlands from one edge of the world to the other, using natural materials he finds and gathers in each area he chooses for the creation of his art.
Timing is important in seeing Roy's work at its most dynamic. Optimum enjoyment of his amazing sculptures can be had when the water level is low, but not all the way out at low tide. Having a little water covering the base of the vertical reeds, especially when the water is still, along with the sun being out, gives the best conditions for enjoying the work as the reflection of the shapes rests on calm waters. I was having trouble getting all these factors working together in the short time I have available for myself in the summer months, and I wanted to share this treasure with my readers, so Roy was kind enough to send me the photo above. The rosy, golden color on the loops of the horizontal reeds seem to be the deep colors you will only find when the sun is very close to the earth, near the time of sunrise or sunset.
Roy Staab at work on one of his giant reed sculptures.
Once I knew his name, I could look up Roy Staab's website, and there I found the image above in the form of a You Tube video of this still image with Will Walkers article from the 2012 Provincetown Arts magazine scrolling over the screen to a somewhat haunting bit of music. Here's a link to this Meandering Moment.
Roy created a sculpture in the Pamet while he was here as well. He left yesterday for Saunders Farm in Garrison, New York, where he'll be creating a work for the local Collaborative Concepts group. Roy says "Life is special and always fleeting and my art is as well." Visit the West End as soon as you can and reflect on this splendid, timeless bit of environmental art. It may not last much longer.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

West End Racing Club Summer Fundraiser is Underway

Kids learn more than swimming and sailing at the West End Racing Club.
Somewhere back around the year 1950 a group of parents saw the need for a place for their kids to call their own as they were learning to swim and sail kind of informally along the beach near Flyer's boatyard. There were grown-ups teaching them about safety on the water as kids would show up on the beach on several afternoons during the week, and a few little sailboats were found to help the kids get started in learning to sail.
A building was needed to give these kids a permanent home and a place to gather to learn the art of sailing. For some of these kids, learning to swim was the first step. As the idea of a sailing club for kids began to take hold, money was raised, boats were built, volunteers were sought, and when a suitable small piece of property on the west end of Provincetown Harbor was found, a downpayment was made, and soon a fledgeling non-profit organization was born, dedicated to the mission of teaching Provincetown kids and summer visitors to swim and sail safely.
The West End Racing Club has been carrying on that mission ever since, raising funds every year through donations, T-shirt sales, and a yearly raffle that raises a good bit of the money needed to run the organization for another year. Raffle prizes in the past have included artwork, dinners in Provincetown restaurants, and a number of other rewards for contributing a few dollars to help kids from 8 to 16, residents and visitors alike, learn self-reliance and discipline as they learn to sail and race these little boats.
So when you meet these kids on the street, or find them occupying the fire station near Town Hall, crack open your wallet and buy a few raffle tickets, and help to continue this wonderful tradition of raising strong, confident kids as they learn to work together to master the art of sailing.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

3 Under 35 - Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner in PTown for About $35 for All Three

Portuguese Bakery has simple, inexpensive breakfasts.

It's been a while since we worked our way around the town to a whole day of meals for less than $35, so here we go. We'll start with breakfast at the Provincetown Portuguese Bakery. This is not a fancy breakfast with a parsley sprig and a cantaloupe sliver garnishing the plate. This is a simple ham and cheese omelet served with a couple of slices of hearty multigrain toast with butter and jelly. Other bread choices are available, too.
The famous Portuguese Bakery, at 299 Commercial Street, has been there for well over a hundred years, selling not only wholesale Portuguese breads, which gave the shop its start, along with the huge selection of pastries that were later offered to the  public, but for the last many years they've also operated a tiny, no-frills café for breakfast and lunch as well, with a grill and a small kitchen in the front corner of the shop. They make fried eggs, French toast, omelets and breakfast sandwiches. My omelet was $5.85, and with tax and tip it cost me $6.85. Some folks don't tip at a counter-service restaurant where no one actually serves food to you at a table, but I generally leave around 10% for the folks who take my order and hand me the food, whether I'm eating-in or ordering takeout.
You are asked to bus your own table here, so just sweep your crumbs onto your paper plate and toss it into the trash bin. There's also a recycling bin for soda bottles and cans at lunchtime. Clearing your own table keeps prices low here, so your omelet isn't $8 to $10 as it is in a little fancier place.

Vorelli's has many choices within our lunch budget.

For lunch, we're off to Vorelli's, at 226 Commercial Street, where the sign out front announces three lunch specials for less than $9. How about the 6 ounce Black Angus Burger, served with steak fries, for $8.25? I like my burger medium-rare, and at Vorelli's, it always comes out juicy and flavorful and just as I ordered it.
Besides the BBQ pulled pork sandwich served with cole slaw, and the the soup & sandwich special mentioned on the sign, there are other menu choices like a variety of sandwiches that fit our budget for this meal, and when I last checked their lunch menu there was also an artichoke and spinach quiche and small salad for $8.95.
You'll always find someone helpful in front of Vorelli's, ready to show you the menu and make suggestions, and the service is always prompt and friendly. With tax and a 20% tip on our delicious burger and fries, we're out the door with a big smile for just $10.48.

You can't beat the early dinner specials at the Seafood Grille.

Dinner takes us to the Seafood Grille at the Waterford Inn, at 386 Commercial Street. They continue to offer a complete three-course early bird dinner special for just $14 as long as your order is in by 7 PM. Dinner starts with your choice of a lovely garden salad or a cup of clam chowder, followed your choice of four entrées, including Cape Cod fish and chips, broiled cod with Lobster Newburg sauce, grilled lemon pepper chicken breast with rice, or steamed mussels over Asian vegetables and linguini, which is what I invariably order because I can't just can't help it. This is one of my very favorite seafood dishes in Provincetown at any price. Your meal also includes a great crusty sour dough bread, and the dessert of the day, often ice cream drizzled with chocolate sauce. This early dinner special is a great meal, whatever entrée you choose. at the eminently affordable price of $17.78 including a 20% tip and state and local meals taxes, and that has earned it TheYearRounder's Best Bite award for the second year.
We've had 3 good meals and left a decent tip for a total of $35.10 for the day. More posts will follow soon in our "3 Under 35" series as we roam through Provincetown and find many more ways to enjoy three good meals for about $35 or less for the entire day.