Fine late afternoon and evening in Ptown this past Saturday, reminding us that one of the great things about Wellfleet is having Ptown so close. The morning’s rain blown away, it is (at last) glorious summahtime, warm and humid, as we meander west on Commercial, checking out the scene and immersing in it at the same time.
Leaving the Commercial Street flow to take in the fado concert at Town Hall, we find ourselves plunged into a whole other aspect of this town. We love fado, a traditional folk form, a Portuguese version of Spanish flamenco or the blues, fine voices producing a unique sound of longing. And how amazing to be in the middle of this room in which the dominant language both in the audience and from the stage is Portuguese: the Portuguese community apparently still intact.
Out in the street again, we join in the throng mesmerized by the Sambaland drumming corps who this year were doing it in the street, at least the part we caught. Led by an inexhaustible, gleeful madman with a whistle held in his big white teeth, it’s pounding, pulsing, throbbing, irresistible. And endless, seeming to make the point: if drumming is the pulse, is life itself, which it obviously is, how can it stop?
We extract ourselves and mosey on. Outside the Post Office Cabaret, there are the young guys of the Rock Hard show with beautiful bodies of which their skimpy red bikini bottoms, notes my wife, leave little to the imagination. And that little will soon be gone, we are told by one of them, as they prepare to go upstairs to, yes, take off all their clothes. (“But we are all trained dancers” he says, with a laugh. One of the others does a really high kick to illustrate the point.) We make a note to bring a friend when she visits in a week.
Sure, Provincetown may not be what it once was. We denizens of the Outer Cape know the backstory—the secondhome market, the differential taxing issue. But on a summer night like this . . . all we can say is: Gotta love the Ptown scene. And there’s an extra dimension of meaning to it this summer. A lot of this life seems (not intentionally, just being what it is) to defy Trump and other regressive forces abroad in the culture now.