Thanks to an invitation from friends, I ended up in Provincetown on November 2 — All Souls Day. Provincetown was still celebrating Halloween. I think it likes Halloween! Here’s a zombie/transvestite mannequin:It was a gorgeous day. Our friends’ house must have some of the most spectacular views in town. Here is the Pilgrim Monument at sunset as seen from their rooftop deck:And here is the harbor:And the dunes:After dark, things get interesting in Provincetown — too bad my camera isn’t better. Here are some sailor boys and, er, girls: Here is a biker/angel of death:On the opposite side of the religious spectrum, here is a nun in a miniskirt and a pope (maybe) wearing sneakers:Everyone was headed to the big Beaux Arts Ball at Town Hall:Provincetown is one of a kind.
Provincetown is quiet in March. Most of the shops and art galleries don’t open till May, and many of the hotels are closed, as well. Why go there?
My lovely wife and I go there because that’s where we spent our honeymoon, back in the McKinley administration, or maybe it was the Garfield administration; it’s hard to keep administrations straight after a while. We were broke, and Provincetown in March was about all we could afford. So for us, a visit there is about memory as much as it is about sightseeing.
Here is the Provincetown War Memorial, with the Pilgrim Monument in the background:
The Pilgrims stopped at Provincetown before making their way to Plymouth. It was here they wrote the Mayflower Compact. So, in a sense, the idea of America was born in Provincetown. I’m pretty sure the Pilgrims wouldn’t have approved of many of the denizens of modern P’town; but then, I wouldn’t have approved of the Pilgrims.
Here’s Commercial Street, which will be so crowded in July you won’t be able to breathe. March is the time to get the streets and sidewalks repaved:
Here is the Town Landing, with one wrecked little boat lying in the sand:
And here is the scene at Herring Cove Beach, look off towards Race Point Light (I think).
We pretty much had the place to ourselves. Which was fine by us.
Here is a report of Joe Biden speaking down in Provincetown:
Biden honed in on the LGBT issues during his campaign speech at the Pilgrim Monument and Museum, which is located in a prominent gay community in Cape Cod. “If I had to use one adjective to describe this community it’d be courage,” Biden said. “You have summoned the courage to speak out, to come out. We owe you.”
(First, note the Politico reporter testing the limits of my support by using the phrase “hone in on,” which I’ve considered previously. Also, who says “in Cape Cod”? Any native would say “on Cape Cod.” But I digress.)
I’m pretty sure that Biden knows that courage is not an adjective. And his sentiments are admirable! But geez, every vote counts; let’s think harder about what we’re saying and avoid making the pedants grumpy.
Here is Biden speaking:
Like most vice presidents, Biden is the target of a lot of ridicule; it comes with the territory. He actually has a compelling biography, especially the heartbreaking story of what happened to his family after he was first elected to the Senate:
On December 18, 1972, a few weeks after the election, Biden’s wife and one-year-old daughter were killed in an automobile accident while Christmas shopping in Hockessin, Delaware. Neilia Biden’s station wagon was hit by a tractor-trailer as she pulled out from an intersection; the truck driver was cleared of any wrongdoing.Biden’s two sons, Beau and Hunter, were critically injured in the accident, but both eventually made full recoveries.Biden considered resigning to care for them; he was persuaded not to by Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield and others and was sworn into office from one of their bedsides.The accident left Biden filled with both anger and religious doubt: “I liked to [walk around seedy neighborhoods] at night when I thought there was a better chance of finding a fight … I had not known I was capable of such rage … I felt God had played a horrible trick on me.”
On the other hand, we’ve been blogging about plagiarism lately, and Biden has more than one plagiarism story in his bio. Here is a nuanced (and lengthy) discussion of the topic.