Yesterday's weather was in sharp contrast to the day before's. Monday was a holiday, Veteran's Day. Joe had the day off from teaching his fitness classes and his suggestion of a trip up to Provincetown was met with total approval and anticipation of a great day out. And, it was. The sky was blue, the air was just a tad bit chilly and Provincetown was the place to be....for us. We had lunch at our favorite place, Fanizzi's http://fanizzisrestaurant.com/, and then we did our favorite stroll up Commercial Street. We like to park the car in the east end of town and walk as far west as we can. It is a great way to get exercise and, without the tourists, the sidewalks are easy to negotiate. This is not the case during the tourist season. We are so fortunate. Every year, thousands flock to this tiny town, overcrowding streets, restaurants, shops and bars. While the "sights" may be more entertaining during the Summer months, we find the sights of the real P-town after Labor Day to be much more so. The air is clear and clean. The architecture, stunning. Most of the shops and restaurants are still open, and will be until Christmas. There are sales and the people who work in the shops and restaurants are happy to take the time. The frenzy of being in service to tourists has died down and oh, what a difference.
I have been a lover of Provincetown since my early adolescence. My parents spent three weeks of every summer from the first time they visited until they finally bought their own beachfront home, in a rented cottage on Beach Point. Provincetown holds lots of memories for me. My brother's first successful business was, and still is, on Commercial Street where he and his partner brought the first "slice" pizza to town. Today, "Spiritus Pizza" is a landmark http://spirituspizza.com/. When I look at the benches in front of Town Hall, I remember hours and hours, sitting there with my friend Liz. It was called the "meat rack" in those days and the Cafe Poyant and Gene's Bakery http://provincetownjournal.com/gallery/image_full/118/ were next door. Do you remember "beatniks"? I sure do. I wanted to be one so badly and did a decent job of proving that when I returned to school after my three week indoctrination course. Those benches held many secrets. Liz and I still can share many a laugh but we're not telling. Just sayin' we managed to avoid serial killers, that's all.
So, on Monday, we walked Commercial Street and I was once again reminded of the past seasons and today, I'm reminded of the beauty of the current season. I'm on a different meat rack now, watching birds in trees in my back yard instead of boys on the street. My beatnik heart is still alive and I'm exactly where I want to be, living less than an hour away from my beloved P-town with my very conventional husband who allows me to live the life I planned fifty years ago. Life is very good.
For more about vintage Provincetown: http://remaininginprovincetown.com/2013/07/30/provincetown-cape-cod-60-years-ago/
And, if perchance you're under age 60: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beatnik