28 June 2010
A WALK THROUGH P-TOWN
I have sort of a love/hate relationship with Provincetown, an artist colony/gay-friendly tourist enclave on the tip of Cape Cod.
Although the insularity, attitude and marked-up prices on everything tend to grate after awhile, P-Town can be a fantastic, almost otherworldly spot for a weekend getaway, given the right accomodations (I've had a few less-than-ideal B&B experiences); thankfully, we stayed in a nice little rental this time out.
If the town has an identifiable landmark, it's undoubtedly the Provincetown Monument.
The library (a former church) also stands out among the more rustic Cape homes, although it seems to be in a perpetual state of restoration.
As usual, Steve and I came for the Provincetown International Film Festival (The Art House Cinema, pictured above, is one of its venues). In its 12th year, PIFF is still going strong--most screenings I attended were close to full. I saw many films and gave everything good-to-great ratings, except for a few shorts (I never learn with those festival shorts programs).
Although I skipped out on the awards ceremony, that night I did briefly spot honoree Tilda Swinton (tall, luminous, dressed in white) happily strolling down the main drag. I ran off to notify a few friends, but by the time we returned she and her male companion had disappeared into the night.
Geographically, P-Town is long and narrow. That main drag, the aptly-named Commercial Street spans from East to West with an overload of signage.
Sometimes, the signs line up in pleasant symmetry...
...and occasionally, one has a wide canvas all to itself. Still, the signs don't entirely distract from the gorgeous gardens that dot the front yards of both businesses and residences:
One evening, we checked out my favorite part of town, the sleepy West End. We dined at Sal's, an adorably rustic Italian restaurant.
As night fell, a few of the town's oddities surfaced through the coastal fog, such as this jolly, beguiling Buddha...
...and this welcoming (if stoic) statue, which looked like it was once a part of a ship's figurehead.
Look closely enough and you may catch something looking back at you.
On our final morning in town, we walked beyond the West End to an edge of the world, peering out at the mighty Atlantic. A sight of expansive marshland, the dunes, and a beach (though one can barely make it out from this distance) suggests a multitude of possibilities:
I leave you with a close-up of the library's cupola, illuminated by a peaceful P-Town sun.