Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

July 20, 2013

P-Town: Where do I Start?

I've been dying to head up to Provincetown, aka PTown, this summer, but I was holding out for a day when Russell could come with.  But he's home for a very short period of time and I truly hated to ask him to spend one of his precious days off shopping with me in PTown, instead of relaxing in the a/c, watching TV and napping.  Being the amazing, kind hearted, wants-to-make-me-happy man that he is, I know he would have gone along if I really pushed the issue, but I could tell he was more than relieved when I said, 'Well....would you mind if I went during the week by myself or with one of my friends?'  As it turns out, my stepdaughter was on vacation and when I asked her if she wanted to take any road trips, she said, 'I'd love to go to Provincetown'.  Serendipity?  Oh I think so.   The day we went was frickin hot and humid, which appears to be the common theme this summer.  It's been brutal.  At least it was a little cooler up there with a nice breeze.

Here's a map of the Cape.  I live in Bourne, and it's about 65-70 miles to PTown.

PTown is very small with lots of tiny, old houses crowded onto tiny, narrow streets.  The Pilgrims made landfall in this area first, before they settled at Plymouth, and stopped here because they were out of beer and needed to brew some before continuing their journey.  Sailing, fishing and lobstering are, and always have been, a way of life here.  PTown has also been an artists' colony for years and years, and the epicenter of the Cape Cod GLBT community.  It's colourful, liberal, entertaining and has first rate people watching.  

I remember back in the day whenever I went anywhere, although my camera came with me, a roll of 36 exposure film was more than enough for a day trip. I used to go to up to PTown a few times a year in the 80s, usually with friends, and I hardly shot any pictures.  Now I have to choose from nearly 80 pictures to use here, and there would have been more but it was really just too damn hot to venture off the main drag, Commercial Street.  This will have to be broken up into a couple-three posts.  

This is Pilgrim Monument.  You can climb to the top but there was no way in freaking hell we were doing it. I did it in the 80s a couple of times and it damn near killed me, and I was 30 years younger and in way better shape.  You can see this from the Bay side beaches in Sandwich on crystal clear days, through binoculars or a telescope. It only looks like a teensy dark line on the horizon of water.  I remember the first time I saw it from the beach when I was little.  I was looking through the binoculars at my dad's cottage at Spring Hill and I exclaimed, 'Daddy! I can see ENGLAND!  Look!!!!' All the grown ups busted out laughing and explained that it was the monument and also, I was facing north and England was east.  

So totally would love to do this tour sometime!  I mean how often can a person say they rode in a hearse while still alive?

Beautiful, colourful Commercial Street.  The building on the far left is the Post Office Cafe and we ate there for lunch.  Our waiter was sooo awesome and nice.  And the door guy was a riot.  

Our first stop was at Shop Therapy, which is next door to this corner building, because a request had been made by Russell for a rainbow tie dye shirt.  If I thought I was floored, his daughter was completely gob smacked.  So we went into Shop Therapy and she found 2 designs in his size, right off.  One had a peace sign tie dyed into it and one was the classic swirl.  We decided on the classic.  

I loved this lamppost and was unable to get a better pic of it because despite it being a Monday morning, the place was pretty crowded.

We were really grossed out by this.  It's the classic lobstah meal, which was placed outside a restaurant as a prop to entice people to stop and eat there.  Only thing is, it's real food.  And it stank. See the fly on the lobster?  And how the butter is all rancid and congealed?  Nothing says 'fine dining' like rotting seafood in the mid day summer sun.  

PTown has some wicked cool shops...ones that sell paperweights and marbles and fused glass and dichroic glass and I had to walk out before I whipped out my credit card.

This says 'Best Store Ever' but we didn't go in.....I was trying so hard to be good.

hThis Masonic Lodge was chartered in 1795 by Paul Revere.  So yeah, there's a lot of history in this region and I never appreciated it the first time I lived here.

She may be 22 and you can call me a prude, but I really don't feel comfortable going in a store like this with my  Nor did we venture to the bawdy second floor of Shop Therapy.....

It was Bear Week in PTown that week.

To be continued....


  1. That looks like such a fun place! I would love to spend a few days exploring there. You know that chain peace sign would have been in my car in a split second!

  2. I was tempted to get the chain peace sign too but again, trying so hard to be good. plus I didn't want to lug it around all day.

  3. Oh that looks like fun! I can't wait to read the rest of your posts about this! I so want to go here!
    Tina @ Life is Good

  4. Awesome... quite the town! Serious history and bawdiness all in one place ;)

    Great photos JoJo. Can't wait for more!

  5. Loving these photos!!! Gorgeous!!!

  6. Well, the people who named the places on the cape certainly tried to get in as many English counties as they could!

  7. Went to P-Town ages ago, on a fam vacation with the parents and my Sis. Loved it. When my kid went to Cape Cod with some friends last summer, I made sure to tell him about that Portuguese bakery. When they went there, he texted me a pic of a traditional Portuguese pastry, the "pastel de nata" and the very, VERY sugary Sumol he decided to snack on. I think Sumol's got Mountain Dew beat, yo. :-)
    Some Dark Romantic

  8. I have never been to Provincetown, but it looks like a fantastic place to visit. The next time we head up that way... I am so going to stop.

  9. Sounds like a way fun day. Too bad about the heat, but if you had been more comfortable, perhaps you wouldn't have been so good about not buying. :)

  10. I would totally love to try that haunted tour!! What a blast it be!!

  11. You happened on some really cool stuff. I would have had to run away before I was tempted to spend a fortune too.


  12. Looks like my kind of tour.

    Can't say I've ridden in a hearse--yet. :)

  13. JoJo, you could do travel brochures. After reading this post and viewing all your wonderful photos I want to go there. Looks like a marvelous, quirky place with a whole lot of history, a great place to visit. I love that glass jellyfish paperweight-decorative piece, it's amazing and beautiful.

  14. It's been crazy hot and humid in my neck of the woods too, but we expect it here in the south. Today it is a glorious, dry low 80s, a perfect day as a matter of fact. Portuguese bakery? What are their specialties. Any place that said bakery would be my first stop.