Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wedding in Provincetown I: Civil Marriage is a Right

To bring my musings on Massachusetts full circle, I must take this blog back to Provincetown, the first place I deliberately visited in New England.  I probably would not have gone (any time soon anyway) had my friends Eric & Alan (hey guys) not married there last weekend.  Why not DC?  Well, yes it is closer, but they wanted to give a nod to the state to legalize same-sex marriage before any other.  Plus, Provincetown is a lovely place for a wedding.  And with over 50% of the full-time residents identifying as gay or lesbian, it's not like this sort of thing is unexpected.

I met several of my friends and fellow wedding guests at BWI by sheer coincidence (all out on the same flight).  Once in Boston we ran into a woman going to another P'town wedding that same weekend!  So the five of us hopped on the mass transit to the World Trade Center station, headed to the docks for our ferry tickets, and sought out food.  Our destination was a non-descript sports bar, Jerry Remy's Sports Bar and Grill.  Or at least I think it was Jerry Remy's, as the photograph suggests.  Apparently their website suggests there is only one, and it's at Fenway Park.  Unless the Red Sox have started playing out by the World Trade Center, we definitely weren't eating at Fenway Park.  Anyway, we all had some lovely microbrews from Western Massachusetts and some massive burgers.  They tout their fried dough burger, which the waitress warned us was at least 1200 calories.  I wasn't goin' anywhere near that.  One of us did order it, but on a brioche instead.  I got a filling and satisfying burger ($14) with a side order of sweet potato fries.  As far as sports bars go, it was pretty decent food.

We headed out to Provincetown, on the tip of Cape Cod, on the Fast Ferry - courtesy of the Bay State Cruise Company (only about $85 round trip from Boston to Provincetown).  I didn't get sick, even with the rough seas.  Perhaps I have a built-in Dramamine supply.


Once in Provincetown, we settled into our various B&B's - the Cape, apparently, is full of them.  Mine was the Admiral's Landing, a lovely place on Bradford Street with friendly proprietors that serve homemade muffins and raisin bread for breakfast.  Do check it out if you're up there.

Later that evening the cocktails began.  Not long after that came the food - lots of it.  Before the wedding guests convened on Friday night, I went exploring Commercial Street to get a taste of the place.  Along the way I stopped in the Provincetown Portuguese Bakery for some cheap eats (cash only): a lovely lemon tart, and a bacalhau, that famous Portuguese codfish cake (total: less than $4).  Still not a fan, though I don't blame the bakery - it's not their fault I don't like coddies.  But I liked the tart.

After cocktails we split off into our own separate ways for dinner.  I went with the groom and groom and a few more of us to the Karoo Kafe, perhaps Cape Cod's only South African restaurant.  Once there, I had to confer with Alan, one of our handsome grooms, who is from South Africa, to find out just what to order that would be authentic.  After he conferred with the owner - he had a long conversation with her in Afrikaans - he told me to order the lamb curry ($14), which after tasting mine he said was pretty authentic: a little bit sweeter than a typical curry.  Another one of us ordered the antelope burger ($10), but found it unremarkable.  Yes, I almost ordered it.  I've never eaten antelope.

The next day was filled with little nibbles here and there, some cheap, some relatively pricey, but most good.  A note about Provincetown: it is not difficult to find cheap and good food if you know where to look.  But it is much much easier to find very expensive food.  I was more of the "Where can I get a super-cheap lobster roll that is actually worth eating?" mentality.  That's how I roll when I don't get paid until the next weekend.


I needed to wander out that morning for some toothpaste and hair spray.  Instead, I found myself meandering  up and down the breath-taking Pilgrim Monument and through the Provincetown Museum ($8) - near the site of the first landing of the Pilgrims before heading to Plymouth, I might add.  Then my day of eating began.

And oh, all the eating I did:

* The aptly-named Burger Queen was recommended to me by my innkeeper.  For just $10 you can get a classic and decent lobster roll, complete with the toasted buttered roll, and both small and large chunks of lobster.  They also had a Maryland crab cake (!) available for $16.  I didn't bother with it.  I wasn't sure how P'town Yankees, God love 'em, would do making a crab cake.

* Since whoopie pies have crossed the Mason-Dixon Line, I have been eating my fair share of them.  The one I had at Deja Vu for $2.50 was not one of the better ones I've had, though it wasn't all that bad.

* More than making up for it was the White Russian flavored ice cream from Lewis Brothers ($3.75 for a small cup).  Filling.

* I stopped in the Provincetown Portuguese Bakery for more stuff, some meringues to take home for family.  I regret that I didn't get to explore more of Portuguese-American culture while there.  That will be the next time I visit Provincetown, whenever that may be.

* A friend from Maine recommended Mojo's among other places, and Mojo's was the only one I could make it to.  Their onion chunks (for about $4.50) were fried in some sort of light batter.  Very crispy, and I love the take on onion rings, but they were not the best fried onions I've had.  Again, not bad.

* Scott Cakes, however, is a local institution.  They do their own laid-back take on the national cupcake craze by making just one type of cupcake: yellow buttery cake with pink buttercream frosting.  It is an unbelievably wonderful cupcake - either regular size ($3) or small ($2).  Do they put crack in these?  The innkeeper said she asked about a chocolate one hopefully soon, but Scott hasn't yet found a chocolate cake recipe he's happy with.  I was perfectly happy with the ones I bought, and even tried to bring some home.  By the time they got to Baltimore the icing was not so much on the cupcakes anymore as all over the insides of the box.  Oh well.  I ate it off the insides of the box anyway.

Finally: the wedding at the lovely Crown & Anchor, usually manned by a few drag queens telling passersby what's going on that night.  It was a lovely ceremony on the beach at sunset, with delicious appetizers and an open bar.  That and so many spectators in the balconies, all strangers to us, applauding from the balconies.  I am hoping for that when I land me a husband.

The happy couple.  Congratulations, Alan & Eric!

After post-wedding hors d'ouevres and cocktails, we headed into the dining room for dinner.  We had several choices, if I remember correctly: seafood pasta (this is what I ordered), scallops (this is what I should have ordered) and steak.


Dessert was an array of gourmet cupcakes.  Guys, you outdid yourselves.  I hope you can pay it off.  Though they tell me, as weddings go, it was a lot cheaper than a typical straight wedding might have been.

The next morning I headed back to Boston on the Fast Ferry.  You will read about my eats there later this week.

Other photos:

Oh he's leavin
On that midday boat to P'town
The view from atop the Pilgrim Monument

What ah ya lookin' at?
Oh Varla, when will you missionize at the Hippo again?

She was standing there, all day...

Next thing you know they'll be letting gay cupcakes marry!

The First World War Veterans' Monument in the center of town

Heterosexuals are also welcome in Provincetown

Apparently, they love the whale watching.