Farewell to summer
It may technically still be summer until Tuesday, but as my brilliant writer friend Frankie pointed out, with the way the weather is going it might as well be fall. There’s been a chill in the air, the sun is setting earlier, and I’ve been listening to Kay Hanley’s “Fall” on repeat.
That’s fine with me. Autumn is my favorite season, with its brisk air, colorful trees and of course Halloween. (And Kay Hanley is one of my favorite artists.) But perhaps prompted in part by yesterday’s gorgeous weather, I feel like summer deserves a last hurrah, so I thought I’d give a summary of our wonderful vacation in New England.
Most of our time was spent in or around my old college roommate’s apartment in Cambridge, Mass., which just might be my favorite city. There’s so much life in the downtown without all the hectic rushing of New York, and maybe it’s just the vacation buzz, but the people certainly seem more pleasant. Instead of a Starbucks every 10 feet, you find tea shops. (For someone like me who loves tea and hates coffee, that’s a welcome change.) And since I refuse to drive in either city, the traffic really only bothers my boyfriend.
But more importantly, at least for this blog, I’ve also found that we don’t feel strangers’ eyes on us all the time. In fact, as I noted in a post last year when we went on a very similar vacation, people also don’t really give us a second look, a fact my subconscious defenses notice and welcome.
If I thought Cambridge was accepting, you can imagine how welcome I felt when we went for a two-night stay in Provincetown, certainly the mostly famously fabulous town on the East Coast and easily the gayest place either of us has ever been. The main commercial strip can’t be much more than a mile or two, but I don’t think I’ve seen so many LGBT people together since we last went to New York’s Pridefest. It was so freeing to be in a community where we didn’t have to worry about anti-gay discrimination that even persistent rain couldn’t get us down.
Our hotel, the Provincetown Inn, was located at the very tip of the cape, and as you can see we had a room that offered a great view of the beach. Along with browsing the outrageously priced clothing shops, we had truly amazing dinners. The first was at the absolutely delicious Karoo Kafé, where I had some mind-blowing vegetarian Capetown Stew and my boyfriend had fish so fresh even I, the supreme seafood hater, liked it. Our second supper was more upscale and also quite good, the cozy and costly Edwige, where we ran into someone who came from right near my boyfriend’s hometown.
While there were scores of other young men with what I understood to be less than chaste intentions, the two of us acted a lot more like the older straight couples who apparently (and somewhat bewilderingly) decided a gay resort town was the best place to bring their kids. More power to ’em, I say!
For instance, instead of staying up late partying, we got up early to go whale watching. That was fine with me, since we were treated to not one but two whales deciding to surface right next to our boat while a piratesque long ship floated just on the other side of them. Naturally, my camera battery died minutes before, but while none of my photos really do it justice, it was a great experience.
We also went to see the inimitable Maggie Cassella, a comedian who had us in stitches throughout her entire show. We had actually bumped into her in the street earlier in the day, when she asked us what we had planned for the night. When we told her we hadn’t thought that far ahead, she handed us a flyer and guaranteed us an entertaining night, and boy was she right! She immediately recognized us and referred to us frequently, calling us—the only male-male couple there that night—”(her) boys.” In proof of our everlasting bond, we are now friends on Facebook.
So while I’m still eagerly anticipating going apple-picking, drinking fresh spiced cider, and wrapping up in a warm blanket, please don’t think me anti-summer. It was full of time spent having a ball, with strangers telling us we were sweet instead of sick. I may have been too busy to post about it all until now, but they’re memories I’ll need come winter!