21 October 2010

Provincetown, without the crowds

On the waterfront, Provincetown

On October 21, DH and I took a day trip to Provincetown. Many stores and restaurants remain open until the last weekend in October, and the weather can be beautiful on the Cape in autumn. It's two hours and change from our house in suburban Boston, so, after a look at the forecast, off we went. The flyover at the bridge is a big improvement from the old Sagamore rotary, and we made good time on route 6.

Our first stop, The Atlantic Spice Company, in North Truro, is a familiar favorite, www.atlanticspice.com. The driveway is immediately after the turn-off to route 6A, and I mean immediate - take a left about 10' after pulling on to 6A. Up the hill to a big blue warehouse-type structure. Unfortunately, they were out of some of our staples - dried grated lemon peel (almost a good as fresh), as well as peppermint and chamomile tea. We managed to console ourselves with some spearmint tea, and a bamboo cutting board, to replace our old warped maple one. Warning - the facilities, for shoppers, consist of a porta-potty.

The big blue building

Bins of bulk spices and teas


...and mugs for your cuppa

Onto P-town, where we easily found a parking space on Commercial St. - confirmation, if any was needed, that it's not summer anymore - so didn't have to use our usual stables, the large lots on Bradford St. or MacMillan wharf.

Sighting the Monument

What's wrong with this picture - no traffic on Commercial St.

A great way to get around the Cape

Autumn colors

Everlasting flowers

Gallery window, with painting inspired by Trip-around-the World quilt pattern

We ambled westward down Commercial St., able to walk at a normal pace, as opposed to a thread-your-way-through-the-crowds pace, as we had the street largely to ourselves.

Always fun to admire what's on offer

Storefronts with seasonal decor
Lower right is Cafe Heaven, a good place for lunch

Cafe Heaven closes on Wednesday, sadly, but we devoured very good Portuguese kale soup, followed by crab cakes with chipotle mayo, at the Post Office Cafe, 303 Commercial St.; this place has an upstairs performance space with drag shows during the summer, but on this calm day in October the only other patrons were three elderly ladies, and they also enjoyed the soup.

I'd love to see the light through the glass on the inside of this store -
I'll have to return when it's open

Industrial spools re-purposed for display of jewelry at Roots, a home furnishing store

This was a shopping expedition, and we admired the furnishings and accessories at Roots, www.shoproots.com, and spent considerable time at Utilities, www.utilitieshome.com, an Aladdin's cave of kitchen and bath furnishings.

Glassware, woodenware, great melamine, and DH perusing the merchandise

We replaced our thirty-one-year-old food mill with a new model, and also acquired some cooking spoons for nonstick cookware.

Our last shopping stop was the Provincetown Artisan cooperative, Whaler's Wharf, 237 Commercial St., www.provincetownartisancoop.com. If you want funky totchkes and fun jewelry, this is the place. This store is in the newly built Whaler's Wharf - the older structure burned down in 1998- and is right on the water.

Whaler's Wharf atrium, artisans' wares for sale,
remnant of Provincetown Theatre

Kayaks, stored for the winter, behind Whaler's Wharf

We couldn't come to the Cape without going to the beach, so drove to Race Point. Almost deserted.

Elegy to summer

Our last stop on the way home was Wellfleet; The Lighthouse restaurant was about the only open establishment. Cute building, disappointing food, we didn't let it get us down.

Sunset - from the bridge at Chequessett Neck
Can you spot the loon?

A sere silhouette