cape cod

Wellfleet
  • Cape Cod Modern House Tour *part two

    (originally published on August 25, 2012)

    Let's continue (if you missed part one, start here) .... so, it turns out Young Whippersnapper and I made a pretty good house touring team. She managed the directions (following the dot on her smartphone) and I drove, making more left turns on Route 6 than I ever have in my life. Not fun. YW was also pretty good at snagging the cookies at each house and sharing them with me.

    Our fourth stop on the tour was the figure eight-shaped Zindler House, built in 1977 and designed by Elenore Petterson (who apprenticed with Frank Lloyd Wright.) One of the cool things about Modern houses is that you never quite know where the entrance is. I love that!

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    The path leading up to the house was lined with wooden posts, each displaying a different rock cluster. This particular vignette is so Cape Cod -- beach rocks, pine needles, pine cone, and drift wood.

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    Inside was the swankiest, 70s-est sunken living room I've ever seen. It was fabulous! Why don't they make these anymore? I want one.

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    And the house, like the others, was filled with art. Or plastic doll chairs on a table. As soon as I saw them, I said to YW, "This was just made for instagramming," as I pulled out my own smartphone and snapped away. And smirked.

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    The only way to get upstairs was to use these wonderful spiral stairs.

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    More of the fun art inside ...

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    This view is outside from the back. It's hard to see the figure eight plan, but you get a sense of it better from the inside.

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    And they had a lovely pool.

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    The last house on the tour was YW's favorite. To get here, we had to go down yet another questionable road and drive over a huge asphalt bump that almost gutted Black Beauty. 

    The Ozbekhan House was built in 1974 by another female architect, Anne Ozbekhan, who studied with Mies van der Rohe. The "house" is really a compound with three buildings - the two you see here and the studio which is behind me, up the hill.image

    This place was filled with art and creative touches, too!

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    Don't you just love that wood stove?

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    The woman who lives here is an artist. I loved catching glimpses of the huge sculptural faces randomly placed around the complex.

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    And inside the studio was some of the owner's amazing work! 

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    Pretty fantastic! In the end, I dropped off YW and her smartphone at Castle Hill and made it back to Ptown for my boat home. If you are interested in doing the tour next year, be sure to stalk the Castle Hill web site in late April/early May when tickets go on sale. It's definitely worth it!

  • Cape Cod Modern House Tour *part one

    (originally published on August 24, 2012)

    This past weekend, I completed number 108 on my Mother List. I've wanted to go on the Cape Cod Modern House Tour for a few years now but it was always sold out. I bought my ticket in May this time! (If you want context, you can read all about the Modern buildings on the outer Cape here.)

    Those of us lucky enough to get tickets met at Castle Hill in Truro (which I drove past no less than 3 times until I finally figured out where to turn. Not off to a great start.) For carpooling purposes, I was then paired with a PhD student in the History of Architecture who did not have a car. I asked her if she was a good navigator. She replied, "I have a smartphone. I'm young." In my mind, I said a million things in response (like, "Child, I have a blog that people read in Ethiopa!" or "I have 648 followers on Pinterest, how many do you have?") but in reality, I smiled, put my hand on her shoulder, and said, "I'm not that old." (So get in the car and buckle up, sister! And get that smartphone out while you're at it!)

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    Our first stop was in Wellfleet at the Chapel of St. James the Fisherman, built in 1957 by the architect/designer Olav Hammerstrom. The Cape's Episcopal Bishop charged him with designing a rustic chapel where no one would sit more than four seats from the Holy Table. Here's what he did ...

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    Couldn't see the seats? Yeah, it was freakin' dark in there.

    The second stop on the tour required us to travel on a dirt road. With huge bumps and tricky piles of sand and craters filled with water and only enough room for one car. Our trusty Honda, which we all affectionately call "Black Beauty," was put through the ringer. As were my nerves. But, oh my, was it worth it! 

    Hatch Cottage was built in 1961 and designed by John Hall. The Cape Cod Modern House Trust bought it and is currently in the process of restoring it. Take a look at the views!

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    After we traveled back on the dirt road from hell, we headed for our third  --and what was to become my favorite -- house on the tour. The Sass House, designed by Charlie Zehnder, was built in 1963 and the artist's studio next to it, in 1976. A pool and extended deck area were completed in 1985. 

    The house is filled with art, the views are incredible, the pool is amazing, and the studio (THE STUDIO!) is a dream.

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    I think I let out a little "Oh, s$%&!" when I walked back the hallway and saw this sunken walk-in shower. I mean really!! And the green striped towels? Killing me.

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    Love the owner's bangle collection!

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    The view of the studio from the outside. Look at that window! And there is a roof deck!

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    The studio in proximity to the main house.

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    AND ... the pool! Swoon. Le fabulous!

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    Tomorrow I'll share the rest of the tour, including another amazing artist's studio! 

  • Lobster: The Icky Bits

    (originally published on August 6, 2012)

    Devouring a whole lobster can be a lot of fun. Unless ... but we'll get to that later. First, let's celebrate the fact that Moby Dick's in Wellfleet has been in business for 30 years! 

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    When we arrived (early, I might add), we had to wait in line outside. This place is so popular. And with good reason ...

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    The choices are mindboggling. It's really amazing how many options there are here. And we've never had a bad meal.

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    Brilliant. Just brilliant. Pre-mixed dark 'n stormy. In a can. Perfect for a BYOB establishment. 

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    The Mr. ordered a full clambake so he got a bunch of littlenecks to start the meal. Clams are not my thing. And littlenecks, with those little necks, are really not my thing. I ate one, though. Little neck kindly removed first by the Mr. and then dunked in a ton of butter.

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    My mom ordered the sea bass, which she graciously allowed us all to try. Again, never a bad meal.

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    And the rest of us had lobsters. N's was the most photogenic.

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    Mine and the Mr.'s looked a little less perfect.

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    How cute are we in our lobster bibs? I really need to wear one of these at every meal. Something always ends up on my shirt. I'm certain I am not the only one with this problem.

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    I'm no lobster sissy (remember I watched my lobster hacked to death two inches from me when I was in Jamaica?). But this lobster gave me hell. My claws were tough and the Mr. had to help me. One knuckle was stubborn and the Mr. had to help me. Again. When I tore off the tail, the tomalley was super gross and remained attached to the tail. So, so gross. And there was so much roe, I had to scrape it off everything. I had my napkin out wiping down my precious tail meat. You can see the little red specks everywhere in the photo below. You can also clearly see that I ate the whole thing. Despite the icky bits.

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    This is the line when we left. It was 5:30! You really need to get there super early to avoid the wait. (Yes, mom. You were right.)

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  • Wellfleet OysterFest

    (originally published on October 19, 2011)

    The Mr. and I went to the Wellfleet OysterFest this weekend for the first time. Having heard how big the crowds had gotten over the years, we opted to park at Newcomb Hollow Beach and take the shuttle into town. Should you go next year, do the same -- this is the absolutely best insider tip I can give you.

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    It was gorgeous and there were oysters everywhere!

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    We had a little snack before heading into the main event space.

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    How awesome is this corn roaster??

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    We waited in this line for 30 minutes -- the Mr. timed it.

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    For Deep. Fried. Lobster. Tails. on. a. STICK!

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    Now, to be honest, I could have done without that weird squiggly sauce but it was scrumptious, nonetheless.

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    We watched some of the Shuck Off while we were in line. 

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    The crowds were enormous!

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    We washed down our lobster tails with some very special Sam: Wellfleet Oyster Stout brewed with actual Wellfleet Oysters. It tasted ... just like a stout. Harumph. I was hoping for a briny taste.

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    Finally. Some oysters! Now I prefer my oysters with a little mignonette but none was to be found. Some cocktail sauce and a dollop of horseradish had to suffice. Life is so hard!

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    Next time, we wear our oyster outfits.

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    Almost all of the 126,000 oysters consumed at the Fest were recycled by being dumped back into the harbor to provide grounds for new oysters to grow. How cool is that?

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  • Flying Lobster

    (originally published on August 3, 2011)

    One of our beloved summer traditions is to go to Moby Dick's in Wellfleet for a lobster dinner. 

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    Moby's has fun, eclectic decor -- a huge compilation of all things nautical.

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    I especially love their massive menu boards with handpainted depictions of the food. There are a million choices.

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    But we were here for this!

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    Its a BYOB establishment -- the Mr. and N had beer. I had prosecco.

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    My 1 1/4 lobster -- I have trouble wrangling anything bigger than that. In fact, one of the claws on this guy was particularly troublesome and it ended up slipping through my cracker and flying across the table in N's direction. Oops. 

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    The Mr.'s lobster.

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    N's fork -- which played a major role in the most dramatic moment of the dinner when she was trying to get some meat out of the knuckle and ended up flinging a piece of the shell high in the air. It landed with a nice thunk in the middle of the table of the people behind us. They all jumped in surprise and looked around suspiciously. Like a 5 year old, I pointed at N  -- "she did it!" Still cannot stop laughing about it!

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    We left with full bellies and in our wake, some traumatized fellow diners and lobster carnage.

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