Friday, December 30, 2016

A Bonfire at Herring Cove is Quietly Exhilarating, Even in December

Dressed for the occasion, you can still enjoy a bonfire with a
winter sunset on spectacular Herring Cove Beach, in Provincetown.
That warmish winter weather we've been having lately has been attracting folks to Herring Cove for a bonfire at sunset, despite the ever-present breeze along the shoreline. This always puts a smile on my face.
This little band of hardy souls typically piles out of a couple of vehicles about an hour before sunset, dressed to suit the bracing weather in hats, gloves and parkas, with a blanket or two to wrap up in if they need to.
While the water and clouds begin changing colors, a couple of folks carry a wood box, along with a few tools and various impedimenta, to the sandy shore, and someone begins setting up beach chairs while a couple of others dig a little fire pit and coax a tiny flame and a bit of kindling into a small but satisfying blaze.
A stroll on the water's edge, a conversation and a laugh around the fireside, and gazing alternately between the flickering firelight and a glorious sunset… What better way to end a wintery afternoon in Provincetown?

If you decide to try this yourself some evening, it takes just a bit of planning. Remember to leave the beach exactly as you found it, and don't forget to get your bonfire permit and rules from the park ranger ahead of time. Bon lumière!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Spindler's Restaurant Celebrates Their First Anniversary on Thursday, Dec 29th

Spindler's restaurant, at 386 Commercial Street, will celebrate
 its first anniversary on Thursday, December 29th, from 4 till 7 PM
Spindler's restaurant opened their doors at this time last year, giving Provincetown a brief preview of the great food they would begin offering in the following spring. They will celebrate their first anniversary tomorrow, December 29th, which also marks the 94th anniversary of the sinking of the ship Annie L. Spindler, which would become the namesake of this wonderful new restaurant in PTown's Gallery District.
She was a British schooner that Provincetown folks had dubbed the "Rum Runner," regularly carrying contraband to this vicinity during the era of Prohibition in the United States. The manufacture or sale of alcohol on American shores was outlawed from 1920 to 1933.
At that time ships would bring rum up the coast from the Caribbean, distilled spirits like gin would be carried across the Atlantic from England, and champagne would find its way here from France. Ships would wait far offshore, out of local jurisdiction, for boats that would venture out in the middle of the night to strike a deal on as many cases of illegal hooch as they could afford or carry.

The Annie L. Spindler, aground at the Race Point Coast Guard Station, 1922.
The Spindler, having sailed out of Nova Scotia loaded with Canadian whiskey, famously ran aground on Race Point Beach, within a few yards of the US Coast Guard station.
The schooner had been powerless against the high winds and heavy seas of a nor'easter, as the crashing waves of that brutal winter storm tossed the boat up onto the shoreline early on the morning of December 29th, 1922. Read my original article The Wreck of the Annie L. Spindler and learn more about the humorous side of this event, and about the rescue of the crew by breeches buoy.

I try to order something new every time I eat out so I can tell you
about it, but Spindler's charcuterie board is so good that it will be very
hard not to order it every time I go there. It's the best in Provincetown.
Since I eat at every restaurant in town every summer, I only made it to Spindler's once during their first season. So I looked them up on Yelp today to read comments other diners had made. They scored a solid four-star rating. I left my own review there as well, reading something like this...

Spindler's Charcuterie Board is the very best in Provincetown, right down to their house-made mustard, which is the best I've ever tasted. Generous servings of premium salumi include chef's selections of handmade regional specialties like Genoa salami, tartufo, prosciutto di Parma or chorizo Seco, the dry-cured spanish style chorizo.
The chef will also choose a couple of pâtés or terrines for you, such as a house-made pâté de campagne, a duck rillette or a wonderful chicken liver mousse. Each is delicious. Crusty French bread is accompanied by the chef's exceptional hummus. Garnishes and accoutrements like tiny cornichons, perfectly pickled red onions, and that superb grainy mustard I mentioned, complete the board. You can also order a board of selected cheeses, or the chef will choose an assortment of meats and cheeses for you.
I had a nice roasted chicken entrée that night as well, and excellent service. My visit was during their opening week, and my waiter and other staff ran to the kitchen several times to find answers to all my questions, without a hint of aggravation.

Join Spindler's 1st anniversary party Thursday, December 29th,
from 4 till 7 PM. Free admission includes tastes and tidbits,
with a cash bar for you to enjoy one of their fine libations.
Spindler's is a great addition to PTown's list of very good restaurants, and, happily, we can look for them to soon begin operating year-round under their new license, recently approved by the Town. With luck, everything will fall into place somewhere in the early part of January, so keep an eye out for their upcoming 1922 special, celebrating that year's "landing"  of the Spindler on Provincetown shores.
Watch for an Early Bird dinner special that will offer a three-course meal, served at a bargain price in the early evening. A salad, followed by an entrée, as well as dessert, will be offered for only $19.22.
I can't wait!

Also, click the link below to visit Spindler's website and find out about all the New Year's festivities they have planned, like their six-course tasting menu and dinner party with champagne toast on New Year's Eve. There will be two seatings. On New Year's Day they'll present their Bloody's and Corpse Reviver Brunch. Call 508 487-6400 for reservations for these two events.
Go to for tickets to Sparkles@Spindler's, a cocktail party from 4 till 9PM on New Year's Day, serving plentiful hors d'oeuvres and Spindler's "Rum Runner" punch, and promising "an evening of music, fireworks, fun and friends." Tickets for this event are limited, so hurry.
In the meantime, be sure to stop in at Spindler's 1st Anniversary Party on Thursday, beginning a 4 PM. There will be free hors d'oeuvres and tastes, and all are invited. A cash bar will also be in operation, so beer and wine will be available, along with their lineup of specialty cocktails. The chilly weather will keep the party from spilling out onto the outdoor patios, so it's bound to be a bit crowded, but be patient. If you come by and can't squeeze in, come back a little later and try again. It'll be worth the effort.
Find Spindler's is at 386 Commercial Street, at the Waterford Inn. See you there!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Happy Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, and Festivus, et al.

A Holiday Wreath, Cape Cod Style
Whatever holiday tradition you might uphold or abhor, I wish you a sense of peace, love and joy, whatever the coming year may bring.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Provincetown Offers Holiday Revelers 150 Shops, Galleries, Restaurants and Accommodations

Good Scents, at 351 Commercial Street, brings us fragrant
products from around the world, joined by at least 80 more
PTown boutiques and galleries open for your holiday shopping.
I took a spin around the streets of Provincetown the other day and found more than 150 businesses open for folks who want to shop, eat and play in the relaxed and welcoming atmosphere of our holiday season. I counted more than 80 stores, boutiques, gift shops, galleries, hand crafters, and other unique purveyors of various goods and finery before I lost count of them all.

Tonight, Mac's Italian style celebration highlights seven varieties of
seafood. Click on the link at the left for Mac's New Year's Eve menu.
There are more than two-dozen wonderful restaurants open to serve you anything from a great deli sandwich to a splendid holiday meal with wine pairings and live music. You can enjoy shoulder season bargains and specials or immerse yourself in fine dining at its best.
Mac's Fish House, for example, offers choices ranging from its famous all-you-can-eat fish and chips dinner on Thursday nights for just $16, to tonight's Feast of the Seven Fishes. This special meal is a traditional Italian holiday feast.
Mac's is also pulling out all the stops for its special New Year's Eve Dinner, beginning with an amuse-bouche, followed by six courses, then dessert, with optional wine pairings available as well. This fabulous meal will be followed by live music from the Rip It Ups. A portion of the proceeds from this event will benefit SKIP, the Soup Kitchen in Provincetown. Call 508 487-6227 to inquire about reservations.

Click on the link at the right to reserve a room online, or call
508 364-2549 for the White Porch Inn's special winter rates.
Lodging in PTown varies widely from rustic simplicity to stylish elegance.
The multiple award-winning White Porch Inn, for example, is a jewel among dozens of inns, B&Bs, guest houses and hotels in Provincetown that are open throughout the holiday season. In fact, this fine inn and a number of others stay open year-round, often featuring great bargains on seasonal rates.
This immaculate B&B has the charming look of an old sea captain's home, while the thoughtfully renovated interior provides a unique backdrop for contemporary paintings by artists from all around the world. Guests often become attached to a particular painting during their stay. Happily, many of these artworks are for sale, gaining the place a fine reputation as an Art Hotel. In an international survey of comments and ratings by its visitors, the White Porch Inn scored 9.7 out of 10, which ranks it among the top 3 percent of those surveyed hotels around the world.

Suede's unique talent defies description,; her voice is truly her own. MUST SEE!
The jazzy, bluesy, fabulous vocals of Suede will be oozing out of the Paramount at The Crown & Anchor on New Year's day as the diva takes the stage at 8 PM.
In fact, The Crown & Anchor will be a very busy place over the holidays, with Bobby Wetherbee's famous sing-along piano bar, Thirsty Burlington's Christmas Special, drag bingo to benefit the Provincetown Business Guild, and a huge New Year's Eve dance party.
There will be special menus in the restaurant, along with Peter's award-winning wine list, and special room rates, too. There will also be a food court on New Year's Day as part of Provincetown's First Light celebration, and this will be a great spot to watch the fireworks that evening. Click the links above to see all the things going on at the Crown.
Come and enjoy Provincetown for the holidays, with something for everyone. Visit the PBG website for the First Light event schedule, including parties, entertainment, Hanukkah festivities, family fun, European style holiday market, a bike event, indoor farmers market, polar bear plunge, fireworks, and food events all over town. There's also a list of lodging and restaurants open to serve you. Come Join us! Create a New Year's tradition for yourself with our 2nd annual First Light celebration.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Three PTown Events This Weekend Offer Great Food, Shopping and Entertainment

Get homemade baked goods today at the Methodist Church bake sale in PTown.
There's a bake sale today at the United Methodist Church in Provincetown, at 20 Shank Painter Road, from 10 AM to 2 PM. There's no telling what kinds of tasty baked goods will be offered.
You're bound to find homemade cookies, brownies and a variety of holiday treats and festive goodies made by parishioners, with proceeds going to the church's student education fund.

See the Outer Cape Chorale and Chamber Singers
free concerts in PTown and Orleans this weekend.

The annual holiday performance of the Outer Cape Chorale got underway last night with the first performance of this year's program "O Be Joyful" at Town Hall in Provincetown.
There will be another performance of this free concert (goodwill donations are gratefully accepted) tonight at 7 PM at Town Hall, with one last chance to see this highly anticipated event on Sunday afternoon at 3 PM in Orleans, at Nauset Middle School.
Traditional holiday tunes will also be featured. Go a bit early to either venue, as this event generally plays to a packed house.

The Canteen brings a European style holiday festival to
Provincetown with food, fun,  entertainment and shopping!

The Canteen's very popular Holiday Market returns for weekends through New Year's Day. Fridays through Sundays until January 1st, from 11 AM till at least 7PM each night, you'll find this winter festival both indoors and outdoors at The Canteen, at 227 Commercial Street.
You'll find hot food and drinks, live music, theater performances, exhibits, local vendors, booths filled with crafts and gifts made by skilled artisans, and the list goes on…
This wonderful event was inspired by traditional European Christmas and New Year's festivals, providing food, fun and entertainment for the community and its visitors.
This year, an ice skating rink has been added, and Cape Cod Beer will be on hand, presenting a new winter brew, available only at this event. The beach at The Canteen will be a great spot to watch the fireworks, and a free champagne toast for all will celebrate the New Year.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Holly Folly Offers Provincetown Visitors More Holiday Events Than Ever

Find out about Holly Folly events when you visit this years' headquarters at Tin Pan Alley, 269 Commercial Street.
Holly Folly is Provincetown's annual holiday celebration, with a particular welcome to LGBTQ visitors who may not always be able to celebrate at home or with family. Every year, dozens of events are packed into a three-day period, beginning on Friday of the first weekend in December.
From ugly sweaters to art exhibits, from cookie parties to splendid holiday music, more than 30 events will take place throughout Provincetown Friday, December 2nd through Sunday, December 4th. There will be great shopping in more than 100 PTown shops, galleries and boutiques, not to mention holiday treats and wonderful food from one end of town to the other.
This three-day party kicks off today, with six events this evening, and a chance to get a jump on your holiday shopping during the day. Be sure to save your receipts from participating restaurants, shops and galleries. You may win one of five fabulous gift baskets as a reward for your patronage at spots all over town. Get details online or at Holly Folly Headquarters, at Tin Pan Alley.

Swimsuits are required at the Jingle Bell Run, and optional at the Champagne Brunch, which follows.

New this year is the WICKED WINTER WONDERLAND, billed as “An Interactive Holiday Fright Maze for Naughty Kids & Adults of All Ages!” according to the PBG website. Certain special events will provide unique shopping opportunities as well, such as the Holly Folly Food Boutique at Sage Inn and Lounge, where you can 
”Sip, snack and shop from artisanal food and beverage producers from all over New England.”
There will be musical events such as concerts and sing-alongs, lots of food, a wide variety of parties, and a number of participatory events that don’t all fit neatly into categories, like the ANNUAL JINGLE BELL RUN AND CHAMPAGNE BRUNCH on Saturday. Proceeds of the event help to support and sustain the Provincetown Business Guild (PBG) fostering LGBTQ Cultural Tourism in Provincetown.

Guesthouses, homes and businesses throughout PTown are decorated for Holly Folly.
Just strolling through the town will lead you to charming guesthouses, businesses and lovely homes decorated for the holiday season, with prizes to be awarded for the best lights and displays. Special sightseeing tours in a warm, cozy van will be offered by *Discover Provincetown. Call 424•23P•TOWN (that's 424•237•8696) for info or pickup, or to schedule a private tour of historic Provincetown during your visit.
Pick up a printed schedule of Holly Folly events at Holly Folly Headquarters, at Tin Pan Alley, or go online for info at Some of these events are free, some are fundraisers for local organizations, and all are great fun! Here’s just a partial list taken from the PBG website:
•HOLLY FOLLY INN STROLL 15 guesthouses and inns, guided tour also available
•Ugly Holiday Sweater/Hard Candy Christmas Party
•HOLIDAY DANCE PARTY at Club Purgatory
•ANNUAL HOLIDAY PIANO BAR  Bobby Wetherbee, Central House,  No Cover

•Special film screening, THIRSTY, featuring local drag legend Thirsty Burlington
•SOUPER SATURDAY luncheon to benefit PTown's marvelous soup kitchen
•'Tis The Season Holiday Revue at Paramount, at the Crown & Anchor
•The Annual SNOW BALL at the A House, 4-6 Masonic Place
•Holly Folly Cabaret @ Tin Pan Alley - Direct from New York City, Allison Mickelson sings Holiday favorites and signature standards.
•Holly Folly Sing-Along with Billy Hough at the Porchside Bar, Gifford House Inn: 9 Carver Street. Request your favorite holiday tunes. No cover.
ANNUAL JINGLE BELL RUN AND CHAMPAGNE BRUNCH! Proceeds of the event help to support and sustain the Provincetown Business Guild (PBG) fostering LGBTQ Cultural Tourism in Provincetown.
These and twenty other events, displays, parties and performances await you. Happy Holidays!

*I started Discover Provincetown this past summer to provide year-round, custom, narrated sightseeing tours of historic Provincetown in comfort, at a reasonable price, and with accurate accounts of the history of this remarkable town as the centerpiece of each unique tour. Call or text 424•23P•TOWN (that's 424•237•8696) for pickup, or to schedule a custom tour ranging from 30 minutes to 4 hours.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Souper Saturday Warms Provincetown, Body and Soul

Delectable soups from favorite Provincetown restaurants highlight
Souper Saturday, a benefit for Provincetown's remarkable soup kitchen.
The Soup Kitchen In Provincetown (SKIP) will host its annual “Souper” Saturday lunch on Saturday, December 3, from 11:30 AM to 3:30 PM, at Tin Pan Alley, located at number 269 Commercial St, directly across from Town Hall.
More than two-dozen local restaurants and businesses will offer delicious, hearty soups for a donation of $5 per serving in this wonderful fundraiser that has become a favorite event during Holly Folly, PTown’s annual holiday celebration.
Enjoy live music by pianist Jim Brosseau and other area performers along with your delicious lunch, with all proceeds helping to provide roughly 13,000 meals for Outer Cape residents over this coming winter. SKIP merchandise such as T-shirts, caps and mugs will also be available for purchase.
Weekdays from November through April, SKIP serves hot, nutritious meals at the United Methodist Church on Shank Painter Road. Lunch is free and open to all. Guests begin gathering as early as noon for the 12:30 PM lunch, spending time with friends or browsing the adjoining thrift shop. Many will linger afterward for socializing amongst a wide cross-section of local residents.
These meals can help to fill the gap in an economy that stretches the budgets of people who may have little or no income during the winter months. For others, joining friends for lunch can provide a feeling of community and a much-needed gathering place in a season that can feel rather desolate without the pace of the summer and the crowds in the streets.
Join us at Tin Pan Alley on Saturday for this great fundraising lunch, and if you’re in town over the winter, join us weekdays through April at The Soup Kitchen, for a good meal and a bit of fellowship. If you can’t attend, you might consider sending a check. Donations are tax-deductible and can be sent to SKIP at PO Box 538, Provincetown, MA 02657.