Dine in Style: Cape Cod Restaurant Week

By October 10, 2017 FOOD & WINE, PROVINCETOWN ART, PROVINCETOWN EVENTS, PROVINCETOWN THINGS TO DO, STAY IN PROVINCETOWN

October 9-15 is the Fall Restaurant Week here on Cape Cod. For food lovers, it’s a great excuse to get out and explore new restaurants. It’s also a great deal! Each restaurant offers a prix fixe menu of either three or four courses for $25, $30 or $35. See? I told you it was a good deal!

Here at the Inn, we are obviously partial to our own restaurant, The Pointe. But we certainly don’t begrudge a little exploration beyond the borders. Here are some recommendations (near and far, in case you don’t mind the travel):

THE RED INN, PROVINCETOWN With a dining room overlooking Provincetown Harbor and Cape Cod Bay and a history that goes back a hundred years (or more), the Red Inn has it all. I love their raw bar and the filet mignon (available on the restaurant week menu) is a standout.

SPINDLER’S, PROVINCETOWN It’s one of the new kids in town but it’s already developed a great reputation. Located right on Commercial Street (the upper deck offers a great view of the action), Spindler’s is one part Italian, one part French, mixed together with a healthy dose of New England sauce sprinkled on top.

CAPTAIN LINNELL HOUSE, ORLEANS Chef-owned and well worth the drive, this classic fine dining restaurant has been serving up excellent food for decades now. It’s charming Cape Cod at its best.

BLUEFIN SUSHI & SAKE BAR, CHATHAM Yes, it’s a hike from Ptown but come on, they’ve got a Red Sox roll on the menu! This place is also a recent addition to Cape Cod’s restaurant scene and it is arguably the best sushi on the Cape. The rumors are true. It’s that good.

VERS, ORLEANS This one is a wild card cause I know nothing about it but am totally intrigued. Great reviews. Good service. A classically trained chef. Odds are in favor.

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Halloween in Provincetown

By October 2, 2017 PROVINCETOWN ART, PROVINCETOWN EVENTS, PROVINCETOWN NEWS, PROVINCETOWN THINGS TO DO, STAY IN PROVINCETOWN

Candy, costumes, parties, tricks AND treats…Was there ever a holiday so perfect for Provincetown as Halloween? The holiday of holidays is a month away, so time to make your Halloween plans and bust out your costume. Halloween in Ptown is pure and unadulterated joy.

Because it is Provincetown, it is not just one day or even just a weekend. Halloween 2017 goes from October 27-31. It’s never hard to find a party in Ptown and Halloween is no exception. Every bar and club up and down Commercial Street is hopping. Other events to check out:

  • The Masquerade Ball at Town Hall has been a favorite, although I can’t find the details on this year’s party.
  • The Boatslip has its last Tea Dances of the season that weekend—spooky themed, of course.
  • Parades (both planned and impromptu)
  • Dead Silence, a horror theater attraction that is PTown’s version of a haunted house.
  • Provincetown Theater is bringing Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to the stage. Their poster is freaking me out all on its own!
  • And just across the street at our partner property, Brass Key Guesthouse, the Goblins and Ghouls Lounge party goes from Oct 27-29 at the Shipwreck Lounge. It’ll be two nights of parties, random prizes for best costumes, specialty drinks, and scary fun videos. A scary great time all weekend long.

Well, looks like I just about planned your weekend for you! Great! Halloween in Ptown is absolutely awesome. But don’t take my word for it. This video by David A. Cox from Droning Provincetown says just about everything you need to know. Makes me jump up and dance every time I watch it (yes, I admit it, I’ve watched it more than once…it’s catchy!).  See you there!

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Five Reasons to Visit Provincetown This Fall

By September 16, 2017 FOOD & WINE, PROVINCETOWN ART, PROVINCETOWN EVENTS, PROVINCETOWN THINGS TO DO, STAY IN PROVINCETOWN

 

 

Did you need a reason? Beautiful weather and smaller crowds make the fall shoulder season an amazing time to visit Provincetown. While the social life slows down a wee bit, there is still plenty happening. Tea Dances are still hopping through October and performances abound everywhere from the Crown & Anchor to the Provincetown Theater. If you are trying to decide when to come, here are a few of our favorite highlights of the fall season:

 

#1 Provincetown Book Festival – The second annual Ptown Book Festival (September 15-16) is hosted by the Provincetown Public Library with all events free and open to the public. Authors Sebastian Junger, National Book Award winner Julia Glass, and Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Russo are some of the highlighted speakers for the event.

 

#2 Tennessee Williams – The 12th Annual festival (September 21-24) celebrating playwright Tennessee Williams is jam-packed with colorful, international performances. This year’s Festival presents plays by Tennessee Williams and William Shakespeare: two great poet playwrights of the English language. The four-day extravaganza presents shows all over town, performed by theater companies from around the world. “Pericles” staged on board the 66-foot Rose Dorothea fishing schooner? Yes, please!

 

#3 Women’s Week 2017 – With live music, stand-up comedy, literary events, sports, and all kinds of get up and go activities, this week (from October 8-15) is all women all the time. Sponsored by the Women Innkeepers of Provincetown.

 

#4 PAAM’s Annual Fundraiser Gala – There is dancing, food, and plenty of great art to be seen. This fall, PAAM is highlighting its permanent collection with two exhibitions, one featuring abstraction and another showing recent acquisitions of drawings, watercolors, and diaries by Edward and Josephine Hopper.

 

#5 Halloween – my favorite holiday…always! Halloween weekend in Ptown (October 27-31) always involves great parties, costumes galore, happy (and scary) hauntings and tons of events for both kids and adults.

 

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Provincetown Morning Routine: A Warm Cuppa and a Little Something

By August 31, 2017 FOOD & WINE, FOOD & WINE, PROVINCETOWN ART, PROVINCETOWN EVENTS, PROVINCETOWN THINGS TO DO, STAY IN PROVINCETOWN

And just like that, it feels like fall. Actually, it’s been spectacular. I admit it, I’m not a heat girl. 75 and sunny is perfect for me. We’ve had a slightly cooler than usual summer. I haven’t even turned on my a/c. You won’t hear me complaining although my tomato plants are not as psyched that it has rarely crept up into the 80s this season.

 

On these slightly chilly late August/September mornings (sweater, please!), a trip for a warm cuppa is first on my list. A close second is a tasty little baked good. Provincetown doesn’t disappoint on either count. I’m sure everyone has their favorite spot. People are picky about these things, but there are a few of the places that I keep in my regular morning rotation.

 

For coffee, I hit up either Wired Puppy, Joe’s or Kohi (I wrote about each of them back in March).  For tea, my new favorite is The Captain’s Daughters, located on Commercial Street and just opened this season. I’m still dreaming about the last cup of tea I had in there that, of course, I can’t remember the name. It was herby, earthy, not too heavy or bitter. Couldn’t get enough.

 

Once I’ve got my hot beverage, the next stop on the hunt is for some kind of baked good. Joe’s actually has a nice selection, so that has the added benefit of being a one-stop shop. If not Joe’s then I go to one of two places: Happy Camper or the Provincetown Portuguese Bakery. Happy Camper when it’s a donut morning (love those!). Portuguese Bakery when I need malassada (best description I have heard for this Portuguese version of fried dough: sugar covered clouds) or croissants. The breakfast sandwich with linguica is also spectacular.

 

Can’t wait till tomorrow morning!

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Provincetown Tours with a Twist

By August 10, 2017 PROVINCETOWN EVENTS, PROVINCETOWN THINGS TO DO, STAY IN PROVINCETOWN

 

I love me a good tour. Doesn’t matter if I’m a visitor to a new place or simply doing something new in my hometown. In my opinion, a good tour must be a) FUN & ENTERTAINING

  1. b) EDUCATIONAL, in the broad sense that it piques your curiosity and shows you something new, and c) FUN (Did I mention that already?). Ptown tours run the gamut, from the classic (the whalewatch, the trolley) to the quirky (see below!) and definitely have the FUN and curiosity piquing thing covered! Here are a few of my favs:

WHALEWATCH

Can’t come to Ptown for the first time and NOT do it. Well, I guess you could, but why? The animals themselves are amazing creatures. You are out on the water. There are snacks and naturalists.  What’s not to love?

ART’s DUNE TOURS

Simply driving by Ptown’s crazy sand dunes is not enough.  You have to get out there.  Those silent windswept expanses also offer a welcome bit of peace and quiet¾and quite the contrast¾after the the buzz of Commercial Street. There is something for everyone¾adults, kids, families, singles (sorry, the pets have to stay behind though).  In September and through the fall, their Sunset Tours are available almost every day (starts at 4:30pm) and include a traditional New England style Clambake, with alternative food offerings of course.

PTOWN PEDICABS

I lived in Asia about 10 years ago and pedicabs were an essential part of my daily existence. I am so happy that they have arrived stateside!  Ptown Pedicabs offers customized tours of whatever you want: galleries, downtown, graveyards, history, and more.

KAYAK & SUP TOURS

See Provincetown by water! Provincetown Aquasports offers kayaking and paddleboard tours for all ages and experience levels of Provincetown Harbor, Herring Cove, and Long Point Lighthouse.

SIDEKICK SIDECAR TOURS

I have never done this tour, so I can’t speak from experience, but I have to say, this one is on my TO DO list! Take a ride with a private tour guide on a vintage 1986 Honda CMX motorcycle.  You’ll have to fight over who gets to ride in the sidecar!

SAIL ABOARD A WOODEN SCHOONER

Want to see what it feels like on a 100-year-old wooden sailing vessel?  I’ll answer for you: yes, you do.  The Hindu, originally built in 1925 as a pleasure yacht, will always be one of my personal favorites (we spent the afternoon of our wedding on it) but there are others too.  There’s a reason these sailboats never retire.  A leisurely sail around Provincetown Harbor is magical and soothing—just about as timeless as it gets.

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Theater In Provincetown

By July 20, 2017 PROVINCETOWN ART, PROVINCETOWN EVENTS, PROVINCETOWN THINGS TO DO, STAY IN PROVINCETOWN

Provincetown’s connection to theater is just as rich and storied as its connection to visual art. Thanks to the Provincetown Players, a small but influential company active in the early 20th century, Provincetown is often considered the birthplace of modern American theater. Playwrights such as Eugene O’Neil, Tennessee Williams, Susan Glaspell, Norman Mailer, Paula Vogel are just a few with strong Ptown connections. These days, several theater companies have taken the reins in Provincetown’s theater scene and are making it as diverse, vibrant, and relevant as ever. Here are a few of the companies making it work in Ptown today:

 

Peregrine Theater Ensemble

This relative newcomer to the Ptown theater scene already has an impeccable reputation for putting on high quality programming. Named after the first Pilgrim child born in the New World (when the Mayflower was anchored in Provincetown Harbor), it also sports a great name. This season, Peregrine presents, CHICAGO, for its Outer Cape premiere. It has already gotten rave reviews.

 

Provincetown Theater

With a history that goes back decades (albeit with a different name) the New Provincetown Players (NPP) bring excellence and excitement to their home turf, the Provincetown Theater. This year’s showstopper is a radically re-styled and re-staged version of Oscar Wilde’s “Salome” starring Australian native Kim David Smith. Wilde’s once-banned biblical play features new costuming, scenic design, choreography and casting. Performances are at 7:30 Wednesdays through Sundays July 12 through August 19.

 

Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival

Now in its eleventh year, the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival celebrates Williams’ connection to Cape Cod and his avant-garde spirit, so easily captured in this town.

This year’s festival, September 21-24, presents plays by Tennessee Williams and William Shakespeare: the two great poet playwrights of the English language — both of whom mastered their craft while living in turbulent times. The four-day extravaganza presents shows all over town performed by theater companies from across the globe.

 

Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater (WHAT)

Not technically in Provincetown, but noteworthy nonetheless, WHAT presents some of the best-and most adventurous-theater on the Cape. This company embodies a kindred spirit of risk-taking and openness to new ideas that any Ptown local would recognize and admire.

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2017 Provincetown Gallery Tour

By June 30, 2017 PROVINCETOWN ART, PROVINCETOWN EVENTS, PROVINCETOWN THINGS TO DO

Now that summer is in full swing, the crazy summer whirlwind of outstanding art that is Ptown’s gallery season is ON. No matter how long your stay, if you are human, carve out at least an hour to wander down Commercial Street’s East End.  No where else can you see such high quality contemporary art in such a non-snooty atmosphere. That’s what I appreciate most about the galleries in Ptown. After a friendly hello from the gallerist, you will be left to your own devices to check the art out and no one will be giving you the stink eye, wondering whether you are cool enough to be there. If you are in Provincetown over a weekend, Friday Night Gallery Strolls, from 7-10pm (Mid-May through September) are an annual tradition. Many galleries plan their opening receptions for Friday nights, making it a fun and festive evening. In addition to last year’s round-up of galleries, here are a few more worth the stop:

 

ALBERT MEROLA

This gallery has been around since 1988 and shows a diverse range of contemporary artists, including one of my favs, Paul Bowen. First show up in July is Richard Baker, an award-winning painter, with a series of small-scale, trompe l’oeil gouache paintings of classic books.

 

RICE POLAK GALLERY

Another Commercial Street contemporary powerhouse showing painting, drawing, photography, and sculpture.  Representational, minimal, abstract, naïve, folkish—you name it, they’ve got it. Up now through the beginning of July is a group show of gallery artists including some of my favorites Edward Del Rosario, Stanley Bielin, and Julia Zanes.

 

GAA GALLERY 

Only a couple years old, GAA is in ArtStrand’s old space just off Commercial Street with an additional space in Wellfleet.  I’m totally biased, as my sister-in-law, painter Erika Wastrom, shows there but aside from that, they do a nice mix of nationally relevant artists. Up next is

Ohio-based artist Dani Leventhal (who recently screened a piece at the 2017 Whitney Biennial), with a series of collages that  incorporate personal and found photographs, film stills, paper fragments, fur and found objects, and marks made in oil, wax, and watercolor.

 

SCHOOLHOUSE GALLERY

Showing modern and contemporary painting, photography, and printmaking with over 50 artists from the Outer Cape and beyond, this gallery packs a large punch. Each show through the summer contains a small group of artists. First up in July are Anthony Falcetta, Leah Dyjak, Marty Epp-Carter, and Ted Kincaid. I’m particularly psyched to see Dyjak’s unconventional photographs of Ptown’s Herring Cove Beach.

 

JO HAY OPEN STUDIO

Started in 2014, Jo Hay is another relative newcomer to Commercial Street’s gallery roster and it’s new to me. I am curious to check it out the next time I’m out and about. Showing now through July 5th is painter KJ Shows, with a series of realistic portraits of shoes; converse, espadrilles, loafers, and more. Looks like fun.

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Provincetown Shopping: A Commercial Street Stroll

By June 19, 2017 PROVINCETOWN THINGS TO DO, STAY IN PROVINCETOWN

It’s amazing. No matter how long you have lived here. No matter how many times you’ve done it. Walking down Commercial Street never gets old. Strolling, window shopping, browsing—it is a multi-course feast with flavors suited to anyone and everyone’s taste. On a recent walk, I checked out a few shops that just opened and a few that were new to me. I suppose you could call this a round-up but it is admittedly a random smattering. That is the beauty of Provincetown: the delight in discovering a new hidden gem of a shop—with a crazy, distinctive personality—that was probably there all along.

kmoe

This brand spanking new shop just opened this season with goods produced by the two partner/owners: Karole Moe (hence the origins of the name, kmoe) and Karen Baker.  It is a random combo: hefty, rugged leather jewelry, custom-made light fixtures, often built from repurposed materials, and slick, glossy wall décor in firey hues of reds and oranges.  But somehow, it works.

The Captain’s Daughters

When I stopped by, this store was only weeks into its first season. It’s an interesting mix, combining a tea bar with vintage goods and nautical apparel and accessories. It totally won me over with courteous, personal service and a tasty cup of tea. I’m a fan of any shop where boxes of hard-to-find loose leaf tea stand within arm’s reach of piles of stunning indigo-dyed vintage textiles.

room68

This shop has been around for four years but was totally new for me. Not sure how I missed it before. Statement pieces for your house that would totally make a room without screaming about it.  Pricey but completely unique.

Kenneth Scott

Another relative newcomer, this men’s apparel shop features casual wear, swimsuits, basically everything you need for summer living here in Provincetown (or to capture dreams of it when you are elsewhere).

Loveland Provincetown

This shop is so cool, it doesn’t even have a website. Every now and again you walk into a shop and think, OMG, someone opened a store JUST FOR ME! I imagine a lot of people have that reaction when they enter this rich, colorful bohemian pirate ship. As far as Commercial Street goes, it’s a little out of the way in the West End. Totally worth the detour. It will make you happy.

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Indulge Your Sweet Tooth—Provincetown Edition

By June 19, 2017 FOOD & WINE, PROVINCETOWN THINGS TO DO

We New Englanders take our ice cream VERY seriously. And Provincetown is no exception. As I write this, I am on my way to Commercial Street for my mid-day indulgence. Summer is a couple weeks off, but that has never stopped any self-respecting Cape Codder I know (myself included) from grabbing a little something. The sun is shining, the bees are buzzing, and well, it’s time. There are plenty of places to go.  In the list below, I stopped at seven, but there are undoubtedly more (sorry Ben & Jerry’s).  The best part?  They are all on Commercial Street, so you could even do your own uh, ice cream crawl? Yeah!  Hit them all up!  Wow, how come I never thought of that before?  Let’s do it!

Purple Feather Café and Treatery  The Purple Feather features 24 Flavors of gelato.  With names like Turtle Dove, Chocolate Sundae, and Mojhito, I’m swooning already.  Plus, they have sandwiches and regular food, if you are feeling like you should be practical.  Desserts, wines, and cocktails plus fruit tarts, brownies, molten lava, biscotti, chocolate chip cookies, and their specialty, homemade éclairs round out a very full menu.  Everything is homemade on premises.   If you go, try the Mermaid’s Orgasm.  Peach, pineapple, coconut.  Yup, I’m in.

The Nut House Obviously, roasted nuts are a specialty at this 16-year-old joint but the chocolate chip cookies and ice cream are equally amazing.  Travel & Leisure magazine agreed and named them one of the must stop ice cream shops in the USA.  Their recommendation? The brown butter brownie ice cream.  Sounds just about right.

PtownScoop Small on size, big on flavor.  This place the perfect spot to hit up after ogling art in the East End.  Plus, it’s location is just far away enough from the main hustle and bustle that there’s rarely a crowd.

Bliss! P’town Frozen Yogurt Word on the street is this is the best soft serve in town.  Homemade ice cream, homemade waffle cones.  And good people watching!

Happy Camper If you’re not totally committed to ice cream, this place may be your speed.  They’ve got house made popsicles, ice cream, donuts, and more.  Donuts are really their jam. National Donut Day is June 2 (later this week!).  I’m guessing they’ll be celebrating it right.

Lewis Brothers Ice Cream The institution.  All ice cream is made fresh in the store every day.  Keep an eye out for their solar powered Ice Cream Truck!  They’ve got over 25 flavors plus some adult only flavors with names like Belle De Brillet, Chocolate Guiness, Limoncello, Mint Julep (Kentucky Derby Special), Mudslide Chip, and White Russian.

I Dream of Gelato Plenty for everyone to enjoy here—tons of flavors! With extraordinary flavors like Banana Killer, Cherry Tart, Nutella, and Fior di Latte w/Almond, they have arguably the best gelato (made with milk, not cream) around. Plus, the only vegan options in town.

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5 Reasons to Visit Provincetown this May & June

By May 18, 2017 PROVINCETOWN ART, PROVINCETOWN THINGS TO DO, STAY IN PROVINCETOWN

Here in Provincetown, we are finally emerging from our seasonal hibernation and don’t look now, but the thermometer outside says 65 degrees. Yippee! May and June are interesting months on Cape Cod, as the tourists arrive in a slow trickle. As locals, we notice that the traffic at lunch break gets a little slower, there’s a longer line at our favorite coffee shop, that sort of thing.  The deluge of people doesn’t really start until July, after schools get out. So the ‘shoulder season’ (a.k.a. now) is a really great time to get to Ptown for a visit.  Weather can be iffy but there’s no lack of indoor activities.  In fact, one perk of the iffy weather is that it forces you to explore beyond the beach in a way that you just wouldn’t do at the height of summer.  Rates are often cheaper for ferries and events. And no huge crowds (not yet anyways)—caveat to that is Memorial Day Weekend which, when Ptown gets its party on for the first real she-bang of the season.  If you are not the partying sort, better steer way clear.

 

Here are some fun events to catch in the next two months:

 

World-Class Concerts, Readings, & Speakers

Housed in the historic Hawthorne Barn (which was a famous Ptown art school

during the first half of the 20th century), Twenty Summers brings a lively slate of musicians, writers, poets, and leaders in their field for lectures, concerts, and readings every spring weekend, mid-May to mid-June.  We’re talking world-class offerings.  Not to be missed.  Buy your tickets early—some events are already sold out and the small space only allows about 50 seats.

 

One-Of-A-Kind Performances

The Provincetown Theater has opened its 2017 season with a bang. May 3-20, catch “Salome” by Oscar Wilde, a scandalous play that takes place at King Herod’s Birthday party. May 24-June 11 is “Amadeus” by Peter Shaffer, a Tony Award winning play telling a highly fictionalized biography of the lives of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his rival composer Antonio Salieri.

 

Great Music

Memorial Day Weekend, Melissa Ferrick performs at The Art House for two shows on May 27 & 28.  A Massachusetts native and a teacher at Berklee School of Music in Boston, Ferrick has played with the likes of Ani DiFranco, Morrissey, the Indigo Girls, Bob Dylan, and more over her long, successful career.  This show celebrates her newly released 12th album.

 

Just Plain Fun

On June 1-4, Provincetown CabaretFest 2017 returns with “Sentimental Journey,” a tribute to the music of World War II. Run by John O’Neil, the weekend is packed with four days and three nights of cabaret, music, workshops, networking, humor and fun.  Eric Comstock & Barbara Fasano are this year’s headliners.

 

The Galleries Are Open!

Head to the East End! The galleries have emerged from their winter slumber to share all that their busy artists have been cranking out over the winter. Here’s just a sampling: Cortile Gallery is showing “Freshly Created: New Works” for its opening show with new works by all 30 of its gallery artists.  Always scratching the avant-garde itch, AMP Gallery presents a group show of provocative paintings by Jay Critchley, Jackie Lipton, Dorothy Palanza & Jicky Schnee.  On view at Provincetown Art Association & Museum (PAAM) through July is On Bended Light, a retrospective of esteemed Provincetown photographer Marian Roth.  I don’t want to miss a selection of recently deceased Wellfleet painter Selina Trieff, on view at Berta Walker.

 

 

 

 

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