Thursday, June 24, 2010

BIKING PROVINCETOWN-A WICKEDLY WONDERFUL PUB

Yesterday, we set out on our bikes to find a crumbling old wharf we'd seen from atop the Pilgrims Monument. And, we expected to poke around town and look-see Commercial Street. Biking on this narrow, one-way street can be heart stopping as you sidle by within inches of slow moving cars and trucks.
 We found the old wharf and it didn't disappoint. Beautiful in its decaying state; stubbornly hanging on; slowly giving over to the birds and barnacles.
We lingered, knowing it may be gone the next time we visit New England. In its heyday, there were 119 wharves serving Provincetown. Five remain.
Biking is a cool and pleasant way to beat the heat. In town, I stopped at several places that caught my eye. Edel's Stained Glass sits on a corner and twinkles at you as the light catches a rainbow of colored glass. Inside, refreshingly original pieces, some with lacy  lead work,  all vibrant and unique. You can commission a work or pick from delicious choices.
You can find her at www.edelbyrne.com

 At Forbidden Fruit, I was attracted to beautiful masks and learned from the proprietor, the masks are made by an Italian Craftsman, Frank Ciccamore, a very low key guy who worked on several award winning movies, providing the costuming.  The proprietor/partner, below, was unsure how to spell Frank's name.
The Venetian Masks were wonderful, in any case. He had nice stuff, jewelry, garden and home decor, treasures  from around the world. On line he is :www.EatMyApple.com
And then we stopped at this wonderfully storied pub called Old Colony Tap. It appeared to have been built when Massachusetts was still a colony. The wood, old and scarred, the eclectic assortment of oddities clinging to the walls and ceilings was nothing to the stories told us by Proprietor/Partner, George Green.
When asked how long he'd been working here, he told us the Pub belonged to his his grandmother who died at age 94, about 50 years ago. His Great Grandfather was Skerry Jack, one of the men who helped move buildings (and people) off the dangerous Long Point, called Helltown,  and into Provincetown, something we'd learned about in the Highlands Museum.  He was a walking history book.
  A local artist once whiled away many happy hours painting people who hung out at the bar. Now deceased, George told us. There are probably 30 of these portraits hanging about.
Jim remembered a marvelous bar in Buckley, WA. called 747 Main. The proprietor, a gold toothed former vaudevillian loved to entertain. She opened her bar from 6 p.m. to midnight, every Saturday, and entertained and sang with a great deal of charade, using mustaches, and costume props. At midnight, the ritual she introduced was for everyone to stand, hold hands and sing God Bless America. Then exit.
George told us of his favorite bar experience from Garden Grove, California. His then girlfriend told him they were going to a classy joint with a dress code, and he needed a tie. In the 60's, eight bucks was a princely sum to pay for a tie, but he fancied up. She took him to this bar where they were met at the door by the guy who enforces the dress code. He snipped off his brand new tie with a scissors. "There must have been 1200 of them hanging around the place," he laughed.
   We stopped at George's sister establishment, the Surf Club, for a bowl of wonderful chowder and steamer clams. Is life on the road good? Or what?

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