Monday, October 10, 2016

The Countdown Begins

I've dug out my checklist from the other years.
  • Stop the mail
  • Stop the newspaper (electronic delivery only)
  • Check my camera equipment (batteries charged, lens cleaned, etc.)
  • Chargers & cables (last year I forgot them and there wasn't any place on the tip of the cape that had any)
  • Start putting aside the clothes I’m going to bring.
And so on, and so on.

And so begins my annual pilgrimage to the holy city for the LGBT community… P’town. Provincetown Massachusetts, way out on the tip of Cape Cod, where Route 6 begins its cross country journey.

I first went to Provincetown when I was knee high to a grasshopper. We used to go up to North Truro and stay two weeks, a neighbor family rent the cottage on the bay for a week and my parents rented it for the following week, us kids got to spend two weeks on the ocean and our parents got a week’s vacation from the kids.

My father used to call Provincetown an “Artist Colony” because of its Bohemia lifestyle. There were writers, actors, actresses that came to Provincetown in the summer, such painters as Franz Kline, Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner, Motherwell, Helen Frankenthaler and Fritz Bultman, the Surrealists Roberto Matta, Arshile Gorky and Max Ernst. Playwrights such as Eugene O'Neill, Tennessee Williams, and writers such as Norman Mailer and Kurt Vonnegut all made their homes in P’town at one time or another.

Into this mix came the “Tallships” of Fantasia Fair trans week.

I first came to Provincetown as Diana back in 2000 and attended FF for the long weekend and I wrote about it on my old Geocities blog, here it is complete with my bad grammar and spelling errors…
October 22nd
It has been just a year since I joined COS, in that years time I went to the dinners and banquet that they have hosted and have enjoyed them all. But, the Fantasia Fair can’t come any where near any of those events. It’s a seven day filled with all types of presentations and evening entertainment. I went up on Tuesday with another COS member and we stayed at a Bed and Breakfast on a side street just off of Commercial Street, the main thoroughfare through town. It’s a nice little place that is very Transgender friendly. (Photos from Provincetown)

This year at the fair they had the events a la carte. You could buy a morning, lunch or an afternoon presentation as well as the evening entertainment. We chose only to buy the evening entertainment. On Tuesday night it was a cabaret act by Jill Richards a transgender entertainer from Vancouver B.C. and the show was held at the Vixen night club located just off of Commercial Street. After the show, we meet up with a couple from COS. They had come up on Sunday and gave a presentation on Monday .

The next day we shopped and shopped until we dropped. For those of you who have never been to Provincetown ( or otherwise know as P’town ) it is what use to be called an artist colony. The "Street" is about a mile long and is covered with small stores. Art galleries, Photo galleries, clothing stores, jewelry stores, restaurants and other assorted stores, and I mean Assorted stores there are a number of just weird stores, but most are tourist type stores. Another thing about P’town is that it is very "T" friendly. Also it is very popular with Gays and Lesbians. The last weekend of the Fair was also "AAA Lesbian weekend".

The second night we were there they had a fashion show that was also at the Vixen. The show lasted for about 90 minutes and in the show they showed sportswear, leisure wear, business wear and cocktail dresses. Once again after the show you could socialize until all hours of the night if you wanted. P’town is a partying town.

On Thursday another COS member and her spouse arrived to stay for two nights, just to see what the Fair was like. Once again it was shop until you drop. I ended up buying a necklace, a bracelet and a couple of rings. The town is hopping with bus loads of tourist during the day. As we walked down the street it was fun watching the tourist watch us and see the expressions on their faces. It was all part of the P’town experience. At no time was there any harassment or hostility toward us and the shop keepers were very happy to see us come in and look around.

That night’s entertainment was a concert by Sara Buechner on the piano and Elanie Kreston on the cello. Sara Buechner is member of the faculties of New York University and the Manhattan School of Music and she is world renown for her work. She is also a transsexual who transitioned in 1996. The four of us went to to the concert. I had never been to a classical concert before and I enjoyed it. The concert was a nice change from the night before. Also at the concert we meet some other members of COS there.

On Friday one of our member signed up for the whole day of presentations with lunch and evening entertainment included. Speaking of lunch, my favorite place is the "Stormy Harbor" it has the best New England clam chowder in Provincetown. There are a lot of restaurants on the street varying price ranges. We had diners at the Governor Bradford on Thursday night and at the Lobster Pot on Friday. After dinner on Friday we went to the Crown and Anchor for the Fanfair Follies 2000. The show mistress of ceremonies was Jill Richards and included some of our COS members. They brought the audience to a standing ovation with their number ‘If you read my mind". The couple from COS also did the closing number "Love Can Build a Bridge".

Saturday was a quite day for us, we were all shopped out and one of our COS members and here spouse had to leave for a previous engagement. The banquet that night was an awards banquet for all of the people who helped out at the Fantasia Fair this year. The theme song for the banquet was an old Doris Day song, "Que Sera Sera Whatever Will Be Will Be, The Future's Not Ours To See Que Sera Sera"

If there is one place where you can relax and be yourself, it’s Provincetown. The tourist may gawk and stare, but they leave you a lone. After awhile it even becomes funny. As we were leaving the Lobster Pot on Friday , two couples were just coming in. The men stopped in their tracks and their jaws just about hit the ground. We just walked by and said hello. Provincetown and Fantasia Fair can be fun. I hope I can go back next year and meet some old friends from the fair, meet some new friends and maybe see more faces from COS there.They have girls coming from all over the US and Canada to spend the week and have a good time being themselves.
I have been going back off and on since then. Back then I went for the workshop and the excitement of being “Diana” for the whole week, now I go because it is more like a class reunion and I get to wander around taking photographs.

I don’t know that I have mentioned it before, but my brother and I are thinking about selling our New Hampshire lake cottage and with the proceeds from the cottage I am hoping to swing buying a 3 season cottage on the Cape around the Outer Cape, Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro, Provincetown.

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