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  • 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! 

  • Provincetown Carnival 2012: A Space Odyssey

    (originally published on August 17, 2012)

    Yesterday was the best day of the year in Ptown!  A few scenes ...

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    And the parade begins ...

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    Miss Richfield holds court.

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    Scarbie (remember when I was her assistant?)! She turned it out.

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    The Hat Sisters with their alien sea horse hats!

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    Miss Universe contestants.

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    That's my mom in the corner. People loved her Elroy costume (we all went as the Jetsons, but that's another post.)

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    The Marc Jacobs float.

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    Next year's theme: Vegas!

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    The aftermath of the parade ...

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    And the drive home down Commercial Street (I HIGHLY recommend you do not try this yourself. Experienced Ptown drivers only.) Mom was like the Queen with everyone commenting on her hat. N got some more beads and a "You're sexy" from one fan. And I shoulder danced with a guy outside the car. Perfect ending to a perfect day.

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  • 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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  • 5th (and Final) End of the World Bar Hop

    (originally published on August 3, 2012)

    Five years ago, several of us sat in the back room at Fanizzi's and hatched a plan. The evening began at Victor's -- when we arrived, ready for dinner, we were told they were completely booked. After eating snacks at the bar and sipping a cocktail or two, we landed across town, ordering a second round of snacks and cocktails. "We should do this every year!" And thus, an annual family tradition that has come to be known simply as "The Bar Hop," was born.

    We've been to many fine establishments over the years and even survived torrential downpours during the year of the "Splash Dash Bar Hop." Five years is a big deal. And 2012 is the end of it all. So we kicked it up a notch ... with tshirts! Here's the front ...

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    And here's the back ...

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    The evening began at Napi's with good cheer and good snacks.

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    We then stopped in at The Squealing Pig (yes, Bostonians, it's the same Pig of Med School area popularity. Except they have oysters).

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    Third stop was the Top of the Pot.

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    Our tshirts were very popular. We had people coming up to us all night either telling us how much they loved them or asking why it was the final bar hop (one of us would just turn around so they could read the back of the shirt.) I also could hear people reading the text on the shirt out loud to each other and making comments and laughing. 

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    After our third stop, we realized we needed some food and as we could see the Surf Club from the deck of the Pot, we scooted across the beach into their back entrance and plopped ourselves at the bar.

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    Just so happens that the opening ceremony of the Olympics was starting so we were able to see most of it from our bar stools.

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    And the final stop of the evening, as tradition dictates, is the Governor Bradford. If you are ever in Ptown you must go there for Drag Karaoke. The place is filled with all sorts of people (meaning if you are uncomfortable in a gay bar, you'll be just fine here.) Most patrons are pretty impaired by the time they get up and sing so it can be hilarious. One poor guy, Mousy, was so out of it that he stood up on stage with his mouth open while Dana (below) sang his song for him. Later, he was seen curled up on the floor in front of the speaker.

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    Lest we end up like Mousy, we called it a night and headed home hopeful for next year's theme: "The Mayans Were Wrong."

  • How I Became a Drag Queen's Assistant

    (originally published on July 31, 2012)

    I'm back at work. But I still have lots to share with you from my vacation including a surprising evening at Wednesday bingo night. You may remember that last summer we ventured over to the local UU for our first foray into the Ptown bingo scene. Well, they switched it up this year!

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    It is now hosted by the nicest drag queen in town, Scarbie. We bonded on our way in and she complemented me on my golden tan. Loved her immediately!

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    Isn't she fabulous? She has a ton of awesome hats like this and outfits to match, which she wears around town promoting her show.

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    Right after I took this photo of Scarbie, I started Instagramming it, completely focused on my iPhone. When I looked up, I noticed everyone was staring at me and my family was telling me to get up there. Apparently, Scarbie had asked who that "sweet little thing is" and asked that I join her at the front of the room to "check her balls." Which I did. I even got to do a little Vanna White while I was up there! She also asked me to pull the drawer so all the balls could drop and go into the bingo bin. It was FUN!

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    We also got free popcorn!

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    I especially love the indescribable joy of daubing. I've decided I'm going to buy a few for myself and daub, daub, daub. I love those little colored circles!

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    None of us won, but I did get something new to put on my resume! If my day job doesn't work out, you can find me in the basement of the UU, shouting out "B 13. B 13."

  • Paddle!

    (originally published on July 26, 2012)

    Whenever people in Provincetown do something -- anything -- they go all out. And everyone else cheers them on. No matter what it is. It's one of the things I love about this place.

    So this week, Whale Week (actual whales -- it's not like Bear Week) is no different. It is sponsored by one of my favorite organizations, the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies. These are the people who pioneered marine mammal disentanglements and who head out into some of the most dangerous of conditions to save whales. 

    As part of their efforts to raise awareness about marine debris issues, they created the Build Your Own Paddleboat competition. We gathered along the edge of the Ptown Harbor to watch, not sure what to expect.

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    Points were awarded for multiple things, like use of actual marine debris in the building of the vessel ...

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    Aesthetics were key -- which included costumes. I LOVE his!

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    Yep, that's a tux. And he wore it to paddle.

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    And, of course, buoyancy was important. No pre-testing permitted!! 

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    They then raced out to the green kayaks in this photo and back. This one was trouble from the start but it had a pink flamingo so I was rooting for it!

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    Classy Trash and his tuxedo.

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    Looks good, right? Not so much. They were last to get back to shore. But they did raise the most money!

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    See the guy in the background riding the bike? We all could not stop laughing because he was just splashing himself in the face the whole time. His partner is in the water pushing the thing.

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    And the guy with my favorite outfit didn't even leave this spot. The "boat" fell apart!

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    Some of the first to return ...

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    In the end, Classy Trash won the duct tape trophy and bragging rights. We decided as soon as my engineer sister finishes our Jetsonmobiles for Carnival Parade, she can get started on designing a boat for me and the Mr. for next year's competition. And I'll work on some fabulous costumes! There will be sequins and glitter and neon and ...

  • Breakfast at Devon's

    (originally published on July 24, 2012)

    After two days lounging at the pool, the Mr. and I decided to spend the day in town. We started off with a wonderful breakfast at Devon's.

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    Most people like to sit outside and watch the people traffic on Commercial Street. Those tables were all taken so we sat inside ...

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     ... at a lovely table by the back window. The Mr.'s blue shirt and blue eyes matched the interior. How cute is he?

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    And here's our view through the screen window. There was a light sea breeze drifting through. They also had great music playing -- a little Cut Copy to go with the airy feel of the place. (You can leave that playing while you read the rest of the post.)

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    His and hers morning brew ...

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    The Mr. ordered the Portuguese omelet with linguica, roasted red peppers, onions, and cheddar with sourdough toast. Yum!

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    I had the cornmeal pancakes with wild blueberries. And applewood smoked bacon. The liquid fat still bubbling there, as you can see.

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    We then spent the day walking around town, filled with energy from our wonderful breakfast!

  • The House on Center Street

    (originally pulished on JUly 22, 2012)

    Across the street from the Provincetown Library is this house that I've been fascinated with forever. There is so much going on in the yard outside!

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    There are large statues everywhere. From a large form of Ganesh with what appears to be a small cat praying to it at the base ...

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    ... to this fascinating representation of some sort of winged man with a crystal ball ...

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     ... to another winged creature that could be straight out of The Wizard of Oz.

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    There's also a giant mosaic snake slithering up the side of the building by the front door.

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    And a cute, kinda out of place, cat fence.

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    The stone wall  -- my favorite part -- was clearly meticulously created with these wonderful gems, stones, and miscellany added to it.

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    How cool is that?

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    While I was in the library, I took a photo from above.

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    I would love to see the rest of the place up close. Can you imagine what is inside??

  • Provincetown Library

    (originally published on July 21, 2012)

    I promised earlier this summer that I would investigate the newly renovated library in Ptown. On one of those 90+ degree days last week, I ducked inside to see what it was like.

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    As nothing in this town is like anywhere else (in fact, the town's tagline is "Like Nowhere Else"), there is a giant sailing vessel inside.

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    Built in the 70s and 80s, the half-scale model of the Rose Dorothea dominates the interior. You can see it from every level of the library (except the first floor, be sure to go up the stairs!).

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     I love how it expands beyond the space of the central room.

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    It wouldn't be a Provincetown building without an art gallery. This is Harry Kemp, the Poet of the Dunes, and the namesake of a road we travel every day, Harry Kemp Way.

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    And, finally, there is the view from the third floor windows looking onto Commercial Street and into Provincetown Harbor, where the fishing fleet is docked.

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    This is definitely a well used library. There were people everywhere inside, looking for books, working on computers, sitting in the chairs reading -- even on a hot day in the middle of the afternoon in the middle of the week. I can totally see myself bringing my laptop to this place and spending some time working here. Couldn't be more inspiring!

  • Searching for Herons

    (originally published on July 20, 2012)

    This week my mom and I participated in a heron watch in Eastham sponsored by the Wellflleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. After getting our fill of seafood at Cooke's in Orleans, we pulled into the tiny parking lot at Hemenway Landing. A short distance off of super busy route 6 is this Cape-Coddest-Of-Cape-Cod views.

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    And the buggiest place on the planet. Glistening in bug spray, we all headed upland to Skiff Hill -- a very short walk that felt like a mile as deer flies flew in my ears and no-see-ems swarmed my head. So completely annoying.

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    It was woodsy, too. 

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    But totally and completely worth it.

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    Sigh! If I weren't being devoured by bugs, I would have swooned. This is a calendar photo. A painting. A too beautiful to be real spot. Can you see the ocean on the far horizon?

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    These are hard core birders, as you can see. Bob Prescott is the same man that ran my marine animal stranding field school a couple of years ago. He is Cape Cod. He knows everything! And what is that rock in the corner, you ask?

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    It's a community grinding rock used by the Nauset Indians.

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    How cool is that? You can see the grooves created by their arrows and spears and whatever they used.

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    Oh, right, the HERONS! We saw a Great Blue Heron and two snowy egrets fly across the marsh. None of us could stand the bugs for very long so we disbanded early. Before any of the night herons flew across the marsh on their nightly sojourn. And that was totally ok with me.