USA2010 (Sep 15 10am): Provincetown, Cape Cod, Ma

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Provincetown is picturesque enough and the weather is hot for September, heck at 68F it’s hot even for an English summer. This afternoon I’m going on a whale watch cruise. I mean I know we spotted Orca whale in Alaska but I want a better picture than I have.

Anyway, P-town, it kind of feels like it’s pretending to be something it isn’t. A few times now I’ve got that feeling that ‘the set’ moved. That if I was only quick enough turning around I’d find stagehands moving gear and continuity directors going nuts.

The LGBT scene is big here and there’s certainly a mellow, gentle feel to the place right now as it drifts into the Fall season.

Henry David Thoreau wrote of the Provincetown he knew, of the travails of the largely Portuguese population as they sought to make a harsh living from the seas that surround the town on three sides. He tells of the crowded-together houses and the fishes drying in outhouses.

There is nothing of this Provincetown left today; except possibly the crowded plots of land and the familiar wooden shingle New England cladding on the town houses that crowd Commercial Street.

A new age like liberalism pervades the town and that’s not a bad thing, it provides the accepting atmosphere that makes this a Disneyland for the LGBT. Who can escape the approbation they may face elsewhere and act as normal loving couples.

Nowadays, Provincetown’s Commercial Street, like Disneyland’s Main Street, is a cornucopia of gift shops and galleries, restaurants and cafes; although the Portuguese influence is upheld with a couple of restaurants and pottery stores.

There are some talented people working in the town. The painting, photography, pottery, glasswork and jewellery exhibited all along Commercial Street and in the alley-ways and arcades that cling to it are of high quality. It is a fascinating stroll. Watch out too for the odd sculpture or installation displayed in the gardens of the guest houses and hotels.

Yet, finding a real shop here, to buy essentials, is harder than I thought possible in mainland USA. So, despite the Alladin’s Cave of trinkets, I’m struggling to find the gift I really wanted to take home with me.

I’m not sure I’d like it here in the heat of summer with the crowds it pulls. But from what i have seen so far I am looking forward to a few days just chilling out and winding down after a hectic and action packed visit to five of the fifty United States.

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