Sunday, August 09, 2015
Provincetown, MA: in summer, Commercial Street is a continuous Pride festival
I can recall a session at the old West Side Discussion Group in 1973 (shortly after “my second coming”) when the question was posed, “are gay resorts really gay?”
Well, around DC there is Rehoboth with Queen Street, not that big a deal any more. But as far as I know the two main “gay cities”, separate set-asides, are West Hollywood (which I visited in 2012) and Provincetown MA. (Oh, there is Fire Island's Cherry Grove on Long Island, NY, too -- "where the sea meets the sky".)
The main attraction at P-town is Commercial street, along the southern shore, one block south of Route 6A (itself south of 6, which runs 3670 miles to Long Beach, CA). It is part summer-long Pride Festival, with a touch of other-worldliness, almost like a dominion from Clive Barker’s novel “Imajica”. Guest houses, bars, and little shops abound. The street allows cars but is filled with pedestrians, bikes and pedicarts. The best known club is probably the Boatslip, with bar, dance floor, and hotel. Much of the property is accessible only to guests during the day.
Parking is provided in a public school lot run by the city in the summer, with an hourly rate. There are overflow lots on school property. This is the same concept as West Hollywood: banning most street parking, and proving one large commercial pay garage. The U Street and Dupont Circle areas of DC need to do the same.
Dogs are common, and have the luxury of being the center of attention. Same-sex couples raising children will certainly increase with time, and eventually somewhat change the character of the area.
Along the way are numerous beaches of the Cape Cod National Seashore, with cliff-like structures build up from dunes as if to give the visual effect of the south English coast. Cranberry bushes abound, with their white and pink flowers as well as the berries themselves.
There is a horrible road merge (of 25, 3, and 6) and Bourne and the Sagamore Bridge; it’s surprising that this has never been widened.