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Posts Tagged ‘Fun for kids’

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Cars beware! On Commercial Street pedestrians and bikers rule. So, to all those drivers out there, roll your windows down, go 3 miles per hour, and, for goodness sake, park your car as soon as possible, and get out into the action.

In “Land’s End,” novelist Michael Cunningham’s must-read book about Provincetown, he writes,

Provincetown is, has always been, an eccentrics’ sanctuary…It is the only small town I know of where those who live unconventionally seem to outnumber those who live within the prescribed boundaries of home and licensed marriage, respectable job and biological children…Among strollers and shoppers [on Commercial Street] on a summer afternoon, it is not unusual to see, within a fifty-foot radius, all of the following: a crowd of elderly tourists who have come for the day on a tour bus or have disembarked from a cruise ship anchored in the harbor; a pack of muscle boys on their way to the gym; a vacationing mother and father shepherding their exhausted and fussy children through the shops; a pair of lesbians with a dachshund in a rainbow collar; two gay dads in chinos and Izod shirts pushing their adopted daughter in a stroller; a dread-locked and ostentatiously tattooed young woman who works at the head shop; a man dressed, very convincingly, as Celine Dion; elderly women doing errands; several closeted schoolteachers from various parts of the country who come to Provincetown for two weeks every year to escape the need for secrecy; several weary fisherman coming home from their stints on a scallop boat; a bond trader with three-hundred-dollar sandals up for the weekend from New York; and a brigade of furious local kids on skateboards, seeing how close they can come to the pedestrians without actually knocking one over, a stunt that is usually but not always successful.

Throughout “Land’s End,” Cunningham perfectly and lovingly captures Provincetown in all of its strange and glorious beauty. And I couldn’t help but think of the above description chronicling the rich and vibrant street life found on the town’s main drag as I walked along Commercial Street for an afternoon of window shopping and practicing the underrated art of loafing around.

Now, first let me discuss the limited scope of this blog post. The rich gallery scene, the vast cultural offerings, and the incredible night life will be not be included here. Each deserves its own space – and I will be sure to get to them soon. So, let this blog post act as just a dip of the toe into the ocean of things that can be said about Commercial Street. (more…)

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The bandstand was paid for and built by the volunteer amateur musicians who make up the Chatham Band.

Ever since the 1940s, families have gathered during the warm summer months on the gently sloping green of Kate Gould Park to attend the Chatham Band Concert. From 8 to 10 p.m., on Friday nights only, forty band members ranging in age from teens to octogenarians, all dressed snappily is red and blue uniforms, squeeze into the bandstand with their instruments in hand. As dusk settles over the town, the bandleader turns to face the crowd and shouts, “Hi-De-Ho!” and the audience merrily replies, “Hi-De-Ho!” and it is that call and response which begins every Chatham Band Concert, a tradition beloved by generation after generation. (more…)

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Happiness on the left, unbridled hysterical joy on the right

Two of the many faces at the Barnstable County Fair - Happiness on the left and unbridled, hysterical joy/terror on the right.

As I stood in line to enter the Barnstable County Fair, a thick blanket of grey clouds hung low in the sky. The wind was strong and rather cold. There was a slight drizzle, which threatened to turn into something more disruptive, and, because I arrived just as the fair gates were opening, the crowd was sparse. Yet, I was incredibly excited to be there. And, judging from all of the energized kids running around me, I was not alone in my state of ebullient anticipation. Since as long back as I can remember, the sight of a ferris wheel arching high up over the skyline has always thrilled me. The county fair – with its deep fried treats, rusted, neon-covered rides, moist-eyed farm animals, and exhausted, chain-smoking carnival workers – is an age-old summer tradition that I look forward to every year. (more…)

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By the time I arrived at the Sesuit Harbor Cafe, the food line was out the door

The Sesuit Harbor Cafe

When it comes to dining on the Cape, I’m happiest when things are kept simple. All I need is a stellar location and some fresh food that’s cooked well. So, when I get the chance to eat out, and the weather behaves, my favorite place to go is the Sesuit Harbor Cafe, a well-kept secret tucked away amongst the towering boats in a Dennis marina. The views are outstanding, the napkins are paper towels, the tables are of the picnic variety, and the food (well, most of it anyway) is outstanding, golden-fried seafoody goodness. (more…)

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Where am I? Provence? My eyes could not believe the color of these golden fields of heath at the Welfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.

Where am I? In a Van Gough painting? My eyes could not believe the color of these golden fields of heath at the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.

Once I was out walking around the salt marsh, heath, and ponds of the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, surrounded by the happiest birds on Cape Cod and some of the most profound beauty I’ve ever seen, it seemed impossible to me that I’d spent a lifetime on the Cape without ever coming here, but somehow (dumbly) I managed. But now that I’ve been here once, it will be difficult to keep me away from this incredible place. The Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, located off Route 6 in Wellfleet (close to the Wellfleet Drive-in) and part of Mass Audubon, a Massachusetts organization that fights for wildlife and habitat protection, is a hands down, must-visit destination on Cape Cod.  (more…)

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A busy but swiftly moving flow of people shared the pure pleasure of minigolfing amongst the pirate kitsch

A busy but swiftly moving flow of people shared the pure pleasure of minigolfing amongst the pirate kitsch

The poet Frank O’Hara wrote, “I can’t even enjoy a blade of grass unless I know there’s a subway handy, or a record store or some other sign that people do not totally regret life. It’s more important to confirm the least sincere. The clouds get enough attention as it is.” So, though I share neither O’Hara’s impulse to ignore those beautiful clouds in the sky, nor his genius, I too will pen an ode to the least sincere, to a land of turquoise dyed water, artificial grass, and terra cotta-colored boulders manufactured out of plaster. This is a love song to Pirate’s Cove Mini Golf in South Yarmouth. (more…)

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Strawberry Rhubarb is what's cooking at the Green Briar Jam Kitchen

Strawberry Rhubarb is what's cooking at the Green Briar Jam Kitchen

A cluster of tiny Eastern Phoebe chicks sit snugly in their nest as their protective parents, flitting amongst the nearby blossoming wildflowers, look on. Pots of strawberry rhubarb jam gently simmer on the stove. Children peek in on carmel-colored bunnies that look as soft as velvet. The most raucous this scene gets is the giggling coming from an 5 year-old’s birthday party, the sound of the laughter only occasionally punctuated by the croak of a Bullfrog. Where, may you ask yourself, is this Valhalla of sweetness and light? Welcome to The Green Briar Nature Center, part of the Thorton W. Burgess Society in Sandwich – a living ode to things past.

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