If Cape Cod is an arm in a bicep curl off the coast of Massachusetts, Provincetown is the expressively arced hand curving back in at its tip. "P-town" is a 120-mile drive from Boston, or a 50-mile ferry ride. We drove out on Sunday from Boston just before noon, an hour or so later passing the bumper-to-bumper cars coming the other way, off the Cape, which is typical at the end of any nice summer weekend. They were headed back to Boston's first heat wave of the year (3 days or more of 90+ degree weather) while we were headed out to the usually much cooler air of the Cape.
But it was hot even out in P-town. And soon after we checked into our lodgings, the power went out all across town. We stayed at the far west end, the quiet tip of the tip, only a mile walk into town, but with the heat we decided to drive to the center to walk around. While restauranteurs fretted about the approaching evening dining hour, the gelato shops all offered half-price ice cream before their inventory could melt away. Many stores closed but others stayed open, accepting cash only and writing down purchases on paper to plug into computer systems later.
Most people were taking the temporary glitch in stride, literally, with crowds walking Commercial St from one end to the other, or patronizing the few establishments that had backup generators. Provincetown, in case you're not from these parts, is a major gay tourist town, and this week was the big Carnival Festival. This year's theme: Summer of Love - Peace, Love & Go-Go Boots! Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately because of the heat and crowds), we left the day before the big parade, which is supposed to be a real hoot. The scene was mostly pretty tame and restrained while we were there as people saved their energy for the big pre-parade evening and the parade day itself. Why ruin your taffeta party dress and wig with sweat before the main event?
The power came back on after 4 hours, just after we got back to our room. So we went for a nice walk down by the moors across the street and stayed to watch the sun set. Then we were ready for dinner, so we headed back towards town on foot to find a place with good food and a view. Which we did, except that the power went out again just as we were asking to be seated. The harried hostess turned us away (we were thinking maybe a salad and a glass of wine?), so we walked back in the dark, got in the car, and drove south out of town in the dark (and it gets really dark out there) until we reached Truro and then Wellfleet, which had electricity, and a restaurant or two still open.