Kate Clinton: The Ptownie Blog

Great news! Despite the fact that the Pilgrims landed here in what had to be the first Brexit, the good citizens of the tiny island-nation of Provincetown have wisely voted to remain in the Commonwealth. And why not?  MA is the proud birth-state of marriage equality and affordable healthcare. 

In fact there is a palpable new civic spirit in Ptown – new year-round residents, new community websites, new public/private ventures, and volunteer ad hoc committees exploring solutions for affordable housing, job creation and education.  Their new energy builds on the steady stewardship of long-time residents who love and have loved our town. 

For me, one glorious symbol of vibrant community life is the Wednesday and Sunday night dance party and sunset beach fire at Herring Cove hosted by Far Land, our homey East End deli/bakery and offseason meeting place. In the wild windy sunset light, even busy locals are out. It feels like old school Ptown with many town characters-in-the-making. You half-expect to see Sarah Orne Jewett, Mary Heaton Vorse or some character from Annie Dillard’s The Maytrees walking up from the beach, hair wet from a sunset swim.  Mary Oliver would love the eggplant  fries.

Provincetown is the town that theme weekends built. Thematically we have already cycled from our internationally famous Film Festival through Family Week.  This week’s theme is the unofficial pre-Carnival Breather Week. 

While famous for our separatist-crowd-pleasing theme weeks, we have also been cycling through many other phases.  Florally, we have cycled through crocus, daffodil, tulip, lilac, wisteria, iris, rose, day lily, hydrangea and the phlox are popping.  Maritimely-speaking, if seal-shark-orca is a food chain cycle, we are in its jaws.   Heartbreakingly, we have cycled through the caterpillar-pupa-gypsy moth life cycle. Naturalists blame the arboreal devastation on the lack of moisture essential to grow a caterpillar-killing fungus, though Paul Mannafort blames it on Hillary.  We are rapidly cycling through summer’s annual fundraisers. 

For the record, I humbly suggest a Fundraising Themed Week with the Funk buses ubering generous donors from one event to another.  A sample day: start with H.O.W. breakfast at Yolk; then a FAWC brunch at Café Heaven; AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod luncheon at Bayside Betsy’s; PAMM Cocktails around Ptown Inn pool; double espresso at Joe Coffee; huge All-Politics is Local Dinner at Town Hall catered by Front Street with dancing after at the Crown and Anchor.  (Gluten-free option available courtesy of Bradford Natural Market.)  I estimate we could get all fundraising done in one week.

I have happily cycled through many phases of my life here.  I have performed comedy in various clubs in Ptown for 32 years, from Separatist L, to G, to B, now T, to Q with increasing numbers of straight allies. Yes to the S.   

For 9 years I was a proud rear-rounder. For 20 years I have been a part-time resident.  Through town meetings, lives and deaths of friends, the AIDS crisis, changing shorelines and demographics, droughts and blizzards, mad partying and sobriety, fads and fashions this has been my heart’s home, my emotional landscape.

August is upon us.  Commercial Street is a mad tangle of people.  We wait and watch for the day the chlorophyll signal goes out to the grasses at our moors: no more green.  The grasses slowly turn the color of sand.  One night sitting on a bench looking at our harbor, an old transplanted Arcadian told me the secret to life in a thick French/Portuguese accent:  “The tide goes in; the tide goes out. What more do you need to know?” 

The date for the Swim-for-Life.  It’s Saturday, September 10.

See you there.  Oh, and don’t forget Bride Pride Oct. 15.






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