Friday, August 29, 2008

Cape Cod-Day 3-Provincetown

We couldn't go to the Cape without spending a day in Provincetown, the gay mecca of the Cape and perhaps the Northeast. The weather was beautiful and we were excited. I'd been to Provincetown a couple of times in the past and always enjoyed it. The gay atmosphere reminds me of being in the Village in NYC, and it's definitely bohemian and artsy. It's also shopping hell. I went with two places in mind-Conwell Lumber to get my soy-based stain, and a place to find a brake pad for my rollerblades.

As we approached the town, I couldn't help but think that the place had grown, at least the cottages that line the coast on the way in. It just seemed larger in scale, but that could be an illusion. My mind works in strange ways. Well, right from the get go, as we entered the town, my first thought was that it was too crowded and hectic, but it doesn't take much. I was looking forward to going to Conwell Lumber and actually meeting Jeff, the guy in charge. I wanted more soy finish and figured that since we were out there, I could save on shipping and meet the guy who has been very helpful thus far in my eco-quest. I had ordered some stuff but it was delayed so I told him I'd be in personally to pick it up. I'm guessing he didn't believe me but left it at that.

We actually happened upon the hardware store on the outskirts of town. The streets were narrow and traffic was everywhere, and I couldn't help but think it was a shitty place to have a lumber yard, but Provincetown needs hardware. R and the kids waited in the car while headed inside and got lost immediately. As you can imagine, the place was a labyrinth. I found the stain, was hoping to meet Jeff but the guy behind the counter said he was busy with several calls and I'd have to wait. Well, I couldn't wait, my family was waiting for me in the car, so I tried poking around to find him, but no luck. I wasn't going to meet him, but such is life. I'll just email him.

Provincetown was bustling. I was under the impression that we were heading into slow season, but it was packed, with the usual cast of colorful characters. The kids thought it was fun and exciting, and we browsed through some shops and poked our heads into some stores, which tiring really fast. I don't get a sense that the kids new what was going on, but they were having fun.

And then the issue of lunch. We were getting hungry, and searched for a place to sit down. Now as you can imagine, there are no shortages of places to eat in Provincetown, the choices are quite eclectic, so we decided to embrace this fact and sat down in a South African restaurant on the main strip. It was really nice in terms of atmosphere, with hip African music playing in the background and all sorts of authentic (I'm assuming) South African decor. It was fun. The food was very interesting, with regional selections as well as ugly-American fare like hot dogs and stuff like that.

We were a little adventurous, and I liked the food. Not wanting to be like the ugly American that wants cheap food and large portions, I did think that the servings were on the small side, and expensive to boot. This wouldn't have been a problem except that I was hungry. We got a veggie appetizer platter which was very good, though it's hard to go wrong with fried foods. There was a hummus plate and the lentl/mint salad. A had the wild boar sausage, which had faint suggestions of Andouille, and N had the hot dog.

I thought the food was nice, it didn't blow me away, though it was flavorful and interesting, but again, for the price, I came away from it wanting a slice of pizza. It was too gourmet, in a way, but not enough. I'm guessing it's not a place regulars go, but then again, maybe it is.

We wandered around some more, into a killer store, the Army Surplus, which is like going to Disneyland. I found some killer surfing coffee mugs, I bought two, and wished I'd gotten the whole set. Maybe I still can. A&N were enjoying themselves and having a blast, though the gay scene was a mystery to them. I feel comfortable in a gay town, though the constant blatant references to sex in the store windows get on my nerves, mainly for the children's sake. We had to answer some awkward questions.

We stopped for a smoothie and in the process of trying to divide it into two, I spilled the whole damn thing on A, poor thing. I went back to get another and the girl didn't give it to me for free, which bummed me out but I can't hold that against her. We had some gelatto, which was a rip-off but the portions were thankfully small, which may seem counterintuitive, but with things like ice cream and other assorted sweets, when the portions are large, that isn't always a good thing with kids.

By the late afternoon, we were beat, and had our fill of Provincetown, the proverbial nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there. It is exciting and fun, though. We stopped in Truro and Wellfleet on the way back, both quaint and charming little towns, though Truro made no impression on me, and then headed back to Eastham, still hungry after our lunch, or lack thereof.

We stopped at the Lobster Shanty for dinner, and it was such an awful experience that I won't go into it too much on this post. It was nice to be home and to get some sleep. Until the next time, thanks for reading.

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