Celebrating the Spirit of Community

September 7, 2011 3:02 pm0 comments

by Steve Desroches The AIDS pandemic hit Provincetown hard. Come the early 1990’s when people would return each May for a summer in Provincetown news of who had passed away over the winter, either in town or elsewhere, would regularly be shared.  And just before Memorial Day Provincetown would mark [...]

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A Divine History. Provincetown Magazine Donates Archives to Library.

August 31, 2011 8:28 pm0 comments

The cover of the very first issue of Provincetown Magazine published in 1977 features an aerial shot of the town with the planet Earth in the sky. That seems fitting as many do consider Provincetown to be another planet. Ever since, Provincetown Magazine has done the most comprehensive coverage of arts, entertainment, and culture of any publication in Provincetown. Early interviews with John Waters, reviews of shows by Divine and Wayland Flowers and Madame, previews of concerts by Sylvester and Grace Jones. For 34 years, Provincetown Magazine has documented one of the most vibrant, interesting, and fabulous arts and entertainment scenes in the country, as well as writing about some of our more eccentric town characters and freaky news stories.
Recognizing the historical importance of the archive, publisher Rick Hines is donating a collection of back issues of the magazines to the Josephine Del Deo Heritage Collection and Archives at the Provincetown Library for preservation, and to aid in historical research for generations to come.
“Provincetown Magazine has played a vital role in reporting the arts and attractions in town for more than three decades,” says Hines. “I am thrilled to know they will be preserved and protected as a resource for the town into the future.”

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Provincetown Declared The “Gayest” Town in America

8:20 pm0 comments

The news might induce a smirk followed by a declarative “duh!,” but based on data released from the 2010 United States Census, Provincetown is the “gayest” place in America according to recent headlines in both the gay and mainstream presses. In other news, the Pope is Catholic and bears crap in the woods.
What seemed like a forgone conclusion never had any statistics or comparative demographics to prove that Provincetown has the highest per capita gay and lesbian population in the country until the 2010 census, which was the second time the federal government specifically tried to count same sex couples. And the Williams Institute, a think tank affiliated with the UCLA School of Law that is solely dedicated to the study of sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy, has synthesized the data showing Provincetown overwhelmingly has the most same sex couples per capita of any municipality in America. So now we can declare that Provincetown is indeed the “gayest” place in America, right?

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Stories Set in Stone. Provincetown’s Cemeteries

8:16 pm0 comments

Provincetown has long been regarded as a historic town, be it the Pilgrims landing, the days of whaling, the foundation of the art colony, or as an epicenter of the gay rights movement. And throughout most of the historical periods since Provincetown became a town, some remnant remains: a historic [...]

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Chignons, Spray Tans and Sailing

August 10, 2011 5:00 am0 comments

altThe World According to Robby LaRiviere.
The icy cool steel of Tabatha Coffey’s razor sharp eye and savage tongue has whipped the most dysfunctional salons and strident coiffeurs into shape. But the Australian star of Bravo’s Tabatha’s Salon Takeover almost met her match at the West End Salon, and not with Dougie Freeman, the longtime owner of the salon with eccentric sass, but with his young protégé, Robby LaRiviere.
“It was torture,” says LaRiviere of his experience filming the episode, which premiered in January 2011. “You felt like you were going to school and getting yelled at by the principal in front of the whole class. There was 80 hours of filming. I would do it again in a heartbeat. It was such a great learning experience.”
All of those hours of taping were whittled down to about a 45-minute episode, in which LaRiviere was featured as the salon’s enfant terrible, particularly when Coffey taught LaRiviere a proper chignon, a specific-type of bun.  But it was the salon’s devil-may-care ways that also troubled Coffey, with their bubble machine, pole dancing, and “Better Than Sex” pedicures. It seems Coffey might understand how to run a salon, but she didn’t get Provincetown’s unconventional ways. And LaRiviere dug in to attempt to explain it to her.

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The Cape Cod National Seashore Turns 50

August 4, 2011 7:22 pm0 comments

Documentarian Ken Burns called the National Parks Service “America’s Best Idea.” And looking at areas up and down the Atlantic Coast overdeveloped with high-rise hotels and condominiums, and then comparing it to the sweeping beaches and sand dunes within the Cape Cod National Seashore, we couldn’t agree more.
This week we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Cape Cod National Seashore, which protects 44,000 acres along 40 miles of coastline from Chatham up to Provincetown.  Sometimes erroneously referred to as a National Park, the term National Seashore is a different distinction under the Department of the Interior’s National Park System for coastal areas deemed significant for their natural beauty and recreational opportunities. It was on August 7, 1961 when President John F. Kennedy signed legislation establishing the Cape Cod National Seashore, creating one of the top ten most visited parks within the National Parks Service system, one that welcomes over four million visitors annually, as well as providing daily enjoyment for those lucky enough to live on the Outer Cape.
Though the idea of conservation caught on in the United States with the work done by President Theodore Roosevelt and naturalist and writer John Muir (known as “The Father of National Parks”), it was President Woodrow Wilson who in 1916 signed the National Parks Service into law “to conserve scenery and the natural and historic objects and wildlife therein, and to provide for their enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”

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The Center of the Sea

July 28, 2011 5:39 pm0 comments

The secrets of the ocean have fascinated people for generations. Whether the sea was home to mythic beasts of ancient lore or the bountiful blessing that fed coastal communities, it has always been an integral part of human life. The creatures that live in the ocean are incredibly numerous and diverse – many not fully understood yet, some not known at all. It’s easy to see how two marine biologists and a geologist, having just attained their Ph.D.s and moved to Provincetown, would find themselves carried away with a passion for the ocean.
According to Dr. Charles “Stormy” Mayo, one of those marine biologists and a Provincetown native, this fascination is what led him with fellow scientists Barbara Mayo and Graham Giese to the found the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies (PCCS) back in 1976.
“I think it was mostly serendipitous. We didn’t think we were forming an organization. We thought we were going to have some fun teaching,” recalls Mayo.
The trio of scientists started out with a desire to share knowledge about coastal ecosystems with the Provincetown community at large in 1975, leading beach walks and other informal educational initiatives. But the teaching rapidly developed into the major research and education facility that PCCS has become.
PCCS celebrates its 35th anniversary this year with a slate of public programs, a gala dinner to honor its founders, as well as their usual activities, like the incredible Whale Week programming described in the sidebar to this article.

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Lemonade for Sale! 50 Cents!

5:16 pm0 comments

With the endless parade of humanity along Commercial Street, there are a few who stand out and become icons. There’s Jan Kelly with her poinsettia-covered bicycle, Dottie “the window washer” telling friends when the bluefish are running, and of course, there was Ellie, the quintessential Commercial Street superstar, a distinction granted to those who are known for being themselves. Included on the list is a young girl who made herself a mini-business mogul by taking a classic American summer pastime for children and adding her own flair. She’s Xia Maxwell and she sells lemonade – for fifty cents.
Twelve-year-old Maxwell just finished the sixth grade in her hometown of Glastonbury, Connecticut.  She’s been spending summers in Provincetown with her mother, Christine, who owns Mad Maxine’s Jet Ski rentals, and her four older sisters (Krista, Mariko, Katelin, and Samraiweit), since she was adopted from China. She began selling lemonade on Commercial Street with her sisters when she was five years old. Along with Mariko and Katelin, she sold lemonade over the summer of 2006 and donated the money raised to the orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where Samraiweit lived before joining their family.  As a family they have traveled all over the world to volunteer in orphanages. Now the revenue raised goes to Xia’s college account, with a little set aside for her to spend.

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dennis lehane comes to town hall

5:00 am0 comments

altrecent release, Moonlight Mile, a sequel to Gone Baby Gone, made the New York Times bestseller list as well. A writer for television, he has worked on episodes of the HBO series The Wire. He also occasionally makes an appearance on screen in the TV series Castle, where he plays one of the crime writer’s poker buddies.

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Bradley Edward Farrell and Michael Joseph DeVellis

June 13, 2011 12:57 am0 comments

altBradley Edward Farrell and Michael Joseph DeVellis are to be married on June 18th, 2011 in Provincetown, Massachusetts on Cape Cod. A long-time holiday destination for both grooms, Provincetown also holds special meaning as the location of their first weekend trip together, as well as the spot where Mr. Farrell proposed to Mr. DeVellis in May, 2010.

The ceremony will be held at the historic Unitarian Universalist Meeting House in the town center and will be officiated by both James Vincent, a renowned make up artist and close friend of the couple, and the Reverend Dave Johnson. A reception will follow on the grounds of the iconic Pilgrim Monument overlooking Provincetown Harbor.

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