As Seen in Provincetown: Part One


This was my 14th Fourth of July in Provincetown, and over the years I’ve seen the week of the Independence holiday grow from one of the busier weeks of the summer into a full-blown party week. And as the town has gone more upscale (the new Ptown, as some are calling it), the quaint village at the tip of Cape Cod has not lost any of its charm, but it has begun to attract those who might otherwise spend their summer holiday in East Hampton or Capri or Mykonos, or some other more traditionally glam destination.

YachtTake the photo above, shot from the end of Macmillan Wharf, where promoter David Flower was throwing his annual pier dance. Instead of the scenic Cape Cod Bay, partygoers were treated to a view of the side of a massive yacht, and it wasn’t just any yacht.

This is Black Sheep, said to be the yacht of mogul Barry Diller (which might look nice parked beside his sail-inspired Frank Gehry erection), perhaps the most expensive private yacht I’ve seen in all my years in Ptown.

The music from the party blasted until well after sunset. To the casual observer it may have looked like Diller himself was throwing the party. He was spotted shopping in town with his wife Diane von Fürstenberg and superagent Bryan Lourd, along with a young sandy-haired local that Lourd is rumored to be dating. But there was no sign of any of them on the yacht that afternoon, just a couple of young women chatting into cell phones as the music blasted. Perhaps the power trio was below deck wearing earplugs…

And yes, that other alleged power couple Reichen Lehmkuhl and Lance Bass were Rippedcontinually spotted around town. I saw them twice (as did others) at the Atlantic House (A-House) bar. A stroke of serendipity placed them next to me in a line for the men’s room where Reichen introduced me to Lance. We had a brief conversation, but I can’t confirm or deny the status of their relationship (which some, in the comments to this post, say was a bit rocky). What I can say was that everytime I saw Lance he was well-tucked under the shadowy mask of a baseball cap, and Reichen was extremely polite.

I also briefly saw playwright/screenwriter Bobby Harling (Steel Magnolias and the new Dallas movie), VF scribe Kevin Sessums, local painter John Dowd, and bloggers Boozhy, Cyd Zeigler of Outsports, and art purveyor Oliver Kamm of Thought Not. I glimpsed blogger Andrew Sullivan whizzing by on a bike and had drinks with longtime friend and former Clinton gay liaison Richard Socarides.

I was also really happy to meet some of the readers of this site — you know who you are! You never know who you might run into on the streets in Ptown.

I took a couple of additional very short “slice of life” videos. Sorry for the quality but they’re shot with my Canon Elph. Here’s one taken in front of Spiritus Pizza. For folks who haven’t been, this is what happens after the bars close at 1am, and it hasn’t changed in years. Throngs of gay men turn Commercial Street into an outdoor gay bar, complete with whatever drag queens happen to be out, and of course lots of pizza consumption.

And here’s another short “slice of life” video I shot just as we were getting ready to leave town. This is just another Ptown local putting on a little show.

Photos of a more scenic side of Provincetown on the way soon…