Thursday, June 19, 2014

Pre-Solstice Excursion to My Favorite Place

Just returned from Provincetown. These are some rambling thoughts from the past few days.
Same Old T-Shirts
Actually Benni the dog and I stayed in Truro at the motel which offered pre-season rates and free stay for the dog; after this week, the rates just about double and dogs pay $20 per night. I enjoyed three beautiful days at the beaches and wandering around town.

I've posted about Provincetown many times: my favorite place, with qualifications. Not the town, but the place. The beaches, the dunes, the ocean, the sky, occasionally the people. I must say, I find most people there (tourists, visitors, summer folks) friendly - approachable and easy to converse with. Met some nice people. Having a dog helps.

I had just arrived on Monday morning and the first stop was the doggie park, of course. Met two older gentlemen (my age) there. One has just retired and will be living full time in their summer house in town, his partner, who is still working, comes up on weekends. We had a nice conversation.

I took a minute to call Leon to let him know I had arrived safely. Mentioned that I was at the doggie park. One of the guys shouted into the phone, "Don't believe him, he's at the baths. Don't forget your towel." And they both laughed, and so did I. It was that kind of exchange that made for a great start to my little vacation.

(A summer house in PTown - Oh, to have friends with benefits. -  Alas, we don't).
Having a Dog Helps at the Doggie Park
I have an issue with class and can't seem to get past it. I definitely have ambivalent feelings about PTown and its residents: townies, wash-a-shores, seasonals, weekenders, tourists. There is plenty of wealth for sure and there is definitely some attitude. This is pre-season and although there are plenty of tourists, if you are frequenting a place that is not normally a tourist attraction you may be mistaken for a seasonal resident, though never a townie. I find that a kind of innocent pretense.

Pretense that is not as obvious as outright pretentiousness. Some pretty down-to-earth folks who are fortunate to have summer homes there and who spend more on dinner than I do in a month for groceries aren't pretentious on purpose or blatantly. It's only when they assume you're one of them that you see the other side of class pretense: the belief that everyone here must, of course, have a summer home, or a long-term rental and a rescue dog and eat Edwige for breakfast and the Mews for dinner. "Everyone lives like this, don't they? At least everyone I know does."

The town itself has little to offer besides expensive restaurants, expensive drinks, expensive guest houses, expensive art, expensive clothing and expensive jewelry, expensive doggie accessories, expensive parking, and expensive barrooms. I have no need for any of the aforementioned.The town has gotten even more pricy, more exclusive in the true sense of the word. More condos sprung up over the winter and if there is a patch of earth anywhere, they will be building on it soon enough.

I am surprised that the one and only horse farm on West Vine or the campground hasn't been sold for a trillion dollars and a hundred condos built. (If you want entertainment go to realtor dot com and check out what $150,000 can get you in Provincetown - 289sq ft or condos with "fractional" ownership.)
View From Truro

Near the Breakwater
Photo Ops Free
Could Be Art
Met my friend Eddie for dinner on Monday night. Went to a little take-out fish place at the Aquarium mall where meals are served in plastic plates and you eat with plastic utensils on a picnic table. Not at all pretentious. Eddie enjoyed his Portuguese stew ($24, I believe).  My blackened mahi-mahi over a garden salad was very good. $14.95 plus $2 for a tiny cole slaw; the owner/chef even came out to talk to us - mostly to inquire about my dog Benni - having noticed the Weimaraner traits. I went over to the raw bar for a beer to accompany my meal - Bluemoon on tap - 8oz plastic cup for $6. Just a bit over the top.

So I blew my wad on one meal. The next two nights I ate in my room - I had packed two home-cooked meals that I heated in the microwave. I can afford to "splurge" once in a while by being frugal.

Other stuff in Provincetown is free. The beach is free (very free, if you count being bare ass on the beach), the hiking is free, the photo ops are free, people watching is free, eye candy is free (though sorely lacking on this trip), the sunshine is free, the flora and fauna are free, continental breakfast was free, and WiFi here and there can be free.
Free breakfast
The Beach is Free
Now what I find sad is that so much has changed over the years, seemingly an exponential change; gays seem to be no longer in need of a special place like PTown to go to to "be themselves". Perhaps the one of the last vestiges of LGBT commerce in PTown is the Equal Rights Campaign store and the gay bars - but even these, with their drag shows and stand-up comics and musical reviews seem to be as much for the straight tourists as for the LGBT crowd. A safe tour of the gay world as it used  to be - the equivalent of "slumming it" - gaying it?
Ops! How Did This Get In Here?
Pier Henge
Benni lost his rainbow bandana somewhere and I could not find another rainbow bandana in the entire town (not that I looked everywhere, only in the most obvious places). There are no "Pride" stores in town anymore and I think it is a sign that we are well on our way to being mainstreamed. Sad, in a way, isn't it?
Things Have Changed Except For Love and Happiness

3 comments:

Stan said...

I get it. I don't know if it's because we're older now or what but the fun and freedom to be out and about has fizzled.
I think Key West has gotten like that too. Once the property has become unaffordable the dream is gone too. Even if it was just a dream.
Glad you had a good time there with Benni. Truro is a nice place to stay (off season.)

Russ Manley said...

Whee, what fun! Great pics.

Mitchell is Moving said...

Your pics are beautiful and bring back some sweet memories. I haven't been to Provincetown since the late '80s. Glad to see the "nature" still looks the same.

I also have mixed feelings about being much more mainstreamed now. I hated having to be "ghettoized," but got so used to these oases that I, too, miss them when I see how much they've changed. But, I guess you can't have your cake and eat it too (although I don't understand why not).

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