By ROBERT ELIAS DEATON
Last week, we introduced you to that picturesque tip of Cape Cod known as Provincetown, a speck of history and tolerance celebrated as much for its Portugese bakeries as it is for its large permanent lesbian and gay populations. This town of 3,500 soars in the warmer months to 10,000 people, including tourists, transvestites, and Tea Party candidates searching for the last holdouts of liberal indifference.
If you arrive by ferryboat from Boston, have your camera ready. There’s an instant photo opportunity waiting night or day at MacMillan Wharf—home to the town’s fishing fleet, ferries, yachts, and assorted pelicans hoping for easy fast food. Most likely your bed and breakfast is a short walk from the pier, or the local taxi services (we recommend Black & White Cab—508-487-7800) will take you to any destination from the pier for $8.00 per person, including two bags of luggage. For your first dining-by-the-bay experience, book at Fanizzi’s by the Sea (539 Commercial St., 508-487-1964). Situated on the east end of Provincetown, the restaurant is so close to the water that high tide literally flows under the stilted frame of the building. Our favorite from the menu has always been the Baked Cod Stuffed with Crab Meat and served with a Newburg Sauce ($24.99), but the choices range from a simple burger ($9.99) on up.
Right in the center of town, look for the Portuguese Bakery (299 Commercial St., 508-487-1803), where the specialty is Malacadas—Portuguese Sugar Doughnuts that are rather addicting. While it’s true the bakery is a tourist trap, it’s equally as accurate to announce that they have the best stuffed sandwiches in town. We like them so much, that we’ve often waited in the no-itnever- gets-any-shorter line for a to-go lunch.
Herring Cove Beach is one mile from town at the end of Route 6. Follow the signs as you merge on to Province Lands Road, where you’ll discover two parking lots servicing the white sand. Since this beach is officially managed by Cape Cod National Seashore, there is a $10 parking fee. When you reach the water, turn to the left and discover the best gay beach in P-town. Continue a little beyond that point, and you’ll find sunbathers shedding their clothes to remove any trace of the Great Northeast tan line.
The Provincetown Public Library (356 Commercial St.) is a fun place to people watch, and check your email via the free public use computers. The ½ scale model of the schooner Rose Dorothea pays tribute to the town’s fisherman legacy, and is the showcase of the second-floor children’s section.
Mussel Beach Health Club (35 Bradford St., 508-487- 0001) is the cleanest, most u p – t o – d a t e facility for working your muscles to a fine tune. Free weights combine with elliptical crosstrainers and stairmasters in this popular gym that sells a week-pass for $90.
The A-House (6 Masonic Pl.) is the bar where twinks, bears, leather men, and muscle boys share the space. Actually three bars in one, the place includes the Little Bar with its cruisy men and a jukebox for sound, the upstairs Macho Bar where naughty is nice, and the large dance floor and patio called the Big Room—all open ‘til 1 a.m. There is no end of fun in this town of plenty, where a simple walk down Commercial Street is a kaleidoscope of gays, straights, lesbians, and the occasional fisherman—all living the dream on Cape Cod Bay.
Read Part 1 : TRAVEL: PROVINCETOWN- If the Pilgrims Could See Us Now