Provincetown Hub




The Unexpected Story of a Gay Dentist Who Became Provincetown's Entertainment Impresario: VIDEO

Provincetown, Massachusetts has a longtime reputation for attracting visionary and enterprising individuals to its scenic shores at the tip of Cape Cod. Its history as an arts colony, its spectacular natural setting, and its appeal as a tourism mecca for gay and lesbian travelers have made it a cultural hotspot where creators, curators, and connectors come together each summer to work and live, exchange ideas, and just relax.

Towleroad and LEXUS have been bringing you their stories in our AskTell ACT series. Last week we featured the story of Towleroad founder Andy Towle's relationship with 'Ptown'. The week before we spoke with our friend Josh Patner at his Loveland boutique. And you can't miss the story of Rob and Loic, a gay binational couple who fell in love, quit their jobs, and opened their dream restaurant in town.

RCF_LGBT_300x250_STATIC_112014Today we're pleased to bring you the story of Rick Murray,  who moved to Provincetown full time more than two decades ago amid the HIV hysteria surrounding medical professionals in the early days of the AIDS crisis. Rick, a dentist at the time, decided to shut down his practice before moving to the Cape; not only were things being made difficult for those in his profession at the time, but he wanted to keep his patients safe, as it was uncertain in the early days of the crisis how HIV was transmitted.

Rick moved to Ptown and opened Mussel Beach Health Club and took ownership of The Crown & Anchor Inn.

It's hard to miss The Crown & Anchor Inn in Provincetown. The lively, colorful, and historic complex at the center of the town's Commercial Street is flanked in the afternoon by an assortment of Broadway performers and drag queens hawking their various shows and in the evening provides a street soundtrack of show tunes and tinkling melodies that waft to the street from the piano bar in its lobby. It's also a restaurant, a prime nightclub and must-not-miss party experience for those visiting over the 4th of July or other summer holiday weekends. Towleroad partnered with the Crown for our Summer Camp last year.

In the video above, Rick tells us how he made the show go on for The Crown and his own career. We hope you enjoy it.

And don't miss our earlier videos in this series:
> This Gay Couple Found Love, Quit Their Jobs, and Opened Their Dream Restaurant in Ptown
> Fashion Exec Left the Rat Race and Opened the Ideal Boutique in Provincetown
> Towleroad's Founder Extols the 'Unlimited Inspiration' He found in Provincetown

Rmurray

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Towleroad's Founder Extols the 'Unlimited Inspiration' He Found In Provincetown: VIDEO

Artists and writers have flocked to Provincetown "not just because it’s an amazingly beautiful place, but because people felt free to be themselves," says Towleroad’s own founder and editor, Andy Towle, who first landed there in 1991 for a writing fellowship at the town's Fine Arts Work Center, returning for inspiration from the culture, history, art, and people every summer for the past 23 years.

RCF_LGBT_300x250_STATIC_112014Towleroad spent much of last summer in 'Ptown' and got to know some of the people whose dreams have been brought to life by this unique place, and whose visions are helping make it the most popular destination in the country for LGBT vacationers.

Towleroad and LEXUS have been bringing you their stories in our AskTell ACT series. Last week it was our friend Josh Patner and his Loveland boutique. The week before we brought you the story of Rob and Loic, a gay binational couple who fell in love, quit their jobs, and opened their dream restaurant.

Today we’re especially pleased to present our own Andy Towle who prior to starting Towleroad ten years ago was a published poet, professional photographer, magazine editor, and a bartender at New York’s famous Splash Bar and Ptown's Boatslip. All of that along with a Stanford graduate writing fellowship and regular time in Provincetown is perhaps the most optimal resume for what we try to do on this site, presenting news of, by and for the LGBT audience.

Towleroad was at the forefront of the "blogging craze" ten years ago and has evolved into the most widely-read and respected gay news site online. As Andy says in the video, Towleroad has "allowed us to reach out with news to a lot of different people" over the years and we hope to do so for many more.

We hope you enjoy this opportunity to get to know our founder a little better in the video above.

And don't miss our earlier videos in this series:
> This Gay Couple Found Love, Quit Their Jobs, and Opened Their Dream Restaurant in Ptown
> Fashion Exec Left the Rat Race and Opened the Ideal Boutique in Provincetown

Towle_ptown

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This Fashion Exec Left the Rat Race and Opened the Ideal Boutique in Provincetown: VIDEO

Provincetown's main drag Commercial Street "is a stage and everybody is on it," says Josh Patner, the owner and founder of Loveland, his one-of-a-kind boutique in the west end of the gay and lesbian tourist mecca at the tip of Cape Cod. Provincetown's history, its spectacular natural setting, and its cultural appeal have made it a hotspot where creators, curators, and connectors come together each summer to work and live, exchange ideas, and just relax.

RCF_LGBT_300x250_STATIC_112014Towleroad spent last summer in 'Ptown' and got to know some of the people whose dreams have been brought to life by this unique place, and whose visions are helping make it the most popular destination in the country for LGBT vacationers.

Towleroad and LEXUS are bringing you their stories over the next few weeks in our AskTell ACT series. Last week we brought you the story of Rob and Loic, a gay binational couple who fell in love, quit their jobs, and opened their dream restaurant.

Today we're introducing you to Josh, a former NYC executive who brought his experience in design, retail, and journalism to bear at Loveland, a shop he thinks of as "a pirate ship...because the shop to me is a treasure trove of bounty from far away."

Loveland is also a theater of sorts, and its changing interiors, colorful cast of friends, shoppers, and townie regulars tell a story throughout the summer that could not be told in any other place but Provincetown.

We think you'll agree. Please enjoy his story in the video above.

And don't miss last week's video about Rob and Loic, who fell in love quit their jobs, and opened their dream restaurant, The Canteen.

Loveland

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This Gay Couple Found Love, Quit Their Jobs, and Opened Their Dream Restaurant in Provincetown: VIDEO

Provincetown, Massachusetts has a longtime reputation for attracting visionary and enterprising individuals to its scenic shores at the tip of Cape Cod. Its history as an arts colony, its spectacular natural setting, and its appeal as a tourism mecca for gay and lesbian travelers have made it a cultural hotspot where creators, curators, and connectors come together each summer to work and live, exchange ideas, and just relax.

RCF_LGBT_300x250_STATIC_112014Towleroad spent last summer in 'Ptown' and got to know some of the people whose dreams have been brought to life by this unique place, and whose visions are helping make it the most popular destination in the country for LGBT vacationers.

Towleroad and LEXUS are excited to bring you their stories over the next few weeks in our AskTell ACT series.

Today we'd like you to get to know Rob and Loic, a binational married couple who met in Provincetown and two years ago decided to pursue Rob's passions as a chef and Loic's ambitions as a business owner, renovating a restaurant in the center of town.

Their restaurant, The Canteen, has since become a go-to destination for foodies and tourists alike, hungry for its lobster rolls and fried brussels sprouts, its quaint backyard a serene oasis amid the chaos of the town's main drag, Commercial Street.

In the video above, Rob and Loic explain how they made their dreams a reality in the place they now call home.

Rob_loic

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47 Portraits of People in Provincetown and a Chat with Photographer Emil Cohen: PHOTOS

BY ANDY TOWLE

Towleroad spent several months this summer in Provincetown, Massachusetts. 'P-town', in addition to being the nation's historic LGBT resort destination, has also served as an enclave for writers and artists since the late 1800s and continues to attract creative types from all over the world who are drawn by the area's dramatic physical beauty, its numerous arts venues, and its colorful collection of tourists and townies.

EDC_PortraitsOfProvincetown_Towleroad_002One project we've had our eye on all summer is a photographic documentary series by Emil Cohen, who stationed himself each evening outside the Boatslip (where a daily and long-running 'Tea Dance' is held) and found hundreds of willing subjects to stand in front of his lens.

Emil (pictured, right, in self-portrait) sat down with me this week to share 47 of the portraits with Towleroad and discuss the process and inspiration behind his impressive project.

Who are you and how would you describe yourself as an artist?

My name is Emil Cohen and I'm a professional photographer. I received my MFA this past spring from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA. As an artist, I find myself drawn to portraiture’s ability to capture the human experience.

What inspired you to start photographing people in Provincetown?

This past summer, my fiancé and I had a seasonal rental lined up for the summer, so I knew that the next project that I took upon myself would be shot in Provincetown and more specifically, be about Provincetown. The inspiration behind this particular project was mainly Richard Avedon's In The American West series. I proudly own an original copy of the book (a gem I discovered at Tim's Used Books on Commercial St.) and became inspired to create my own portrait series. I like to believe that people captured in Avedon’s work represent real, live individuals, not staged personas. That skill, to embody each person’s essence, is something that I strive to achieve in my own work every day. 

Is portraiture your specialty?

Portraiture is indeed my specialty. I have always found myself drawn to photographing people, though sometimes photographing their environments provides further light on the subjects. Studying the work of Alec Soth, Claire Beckett, Matt Williams and Brian Schutmaat, has enhanced my understanding that a portrait can be more than just a photograph of a person. 

EDC_PortraitsOfProvincetown_Towleroad_035Where did you find your subjects for this project and who are they?

My subjects are all volunteers. I set up my camera on the corner of Atlantic St and Commercial St and ask people if they'd like to participate in a photo series. 

How many people did you photograph? Was it over the course of an entire summer, a few days?

I began shooting this project right after July 4th and have been photographing nearly every day so far. Without realizing it, doing this every day, I’ve captured over 200 people. What’s so unique is that each photograph represents a different person’s background, perspective, experience, life. What I’ve realized about this series is that it’s not only a portrait series, but also a chronology of a P-Town summer: From Bear week to Family week to Carnival and more.

How did you choose the setting?

The critical aspect of the setting was the continuous backdrop, akin to Avedon’s work In The American West. Having people stand in front of the same backdrop forces the viewer to concentrate solely on the person. To me, the storm shingles beautifully represent Provincetown and Cape Cod. Having each person stand in front of the same shingles helped identify the location of this project but also helps create a catalog of people, which as a whole, becomes a portrait of Provincetown itself. 

Which are your three favorite portraits and why?

As each person approached the storm shingles in front of my camera, I provided the same simple instruction: "Be yourself." The three portraits I'm particularly drawn to are ones who fully understood my guidance. Specifically, Super Judge Judy, the two men in black singlets, and the young black man in the black tank top named Richard (all this page, click to enlarge). Super Judge Judy and Richard look directly into the viewers’ eyes and exude a level of self-confidence that strengthens the photo overall. With the Two Wrestlers, I particularly love how the gentleman on the right got lost in the moment and forgot that I was watching them. For these individuals, a mix of the P-Town atmosphere, and perhaps a few Tea Dance cocktails, helped lower their guards and elevate their presence in the photos.

EDC_PortraitsInProvincetown_RichardStGermain_001What is it about Provincetown that makes it especially suitable for this type of project?

I love Provincetown’s ability to draw out the child from within. Each person, regardless of background, can be who they want, dress how they want, and act how they want. This level of curiosity, openness, and fun was more than a gift for me in this series. By beginning to capture the essence of this small town and its visitors, I’m excited to see this work develop into a portrait of the town itself.

Is there a Provincetown photographic tradition that you admire? Any other photographers?

While I don’t have a specific Provincetown photographic tradition in mind, the costumes and theme weeks certainly are a photographer’s dream. There are many photographers whose work I admire and turn to for influence. Irving Penn and Avedon are particularly strong inspirations. As are, Bruce Davidson, Gregory Crewdson, Renika Dykstra, Jess Dugan, and Collier Shore. 

Did you give your subjects special instructions before photographing them?

Stand in front of the shingles and be yourself.

Do you plan to make this a tradition?

To me tradition isn’t something planned, but something that grows organically. Looking back on the project, Portraits in Provincetown is a chronology of portraits, encapsulating the summer of 2014 through a series of photos. Moving forward with the project, returning to the series would expand the idea that this project is an archive which continues to grow every summer. I would love to do such an ambitious project and in five, ten years, have this enormous volume of portraits taken throughout the years to archive Provincetown’s history, continuity, and change. We'll see. I do know one thing’s for sure: I’ll be coming back next summer with my fiancé! (wedding in P-Town anyone?)

Enjoy 44 photos from Cohen's 'Portraits in Provincetown', AFTER THE JUMP...

(you may recognize a few faces, especially near the end)

Visit Cohen's website here and his blog, A Minute for Minute here.

EDC_PortraitsOfProvincetown_Towleroad_005

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Check Out This Stunning View of Provincetown Shot by a Drone: VIDEO

Boatslip

Videographer David Cox brought his DJI Phantom Vision drone to Provincetown, Massachusetts to document some of the resort town's many appealing features including the Cape Cod National Seashore, the picturesque harbor, the Pilgrim Monument, the bustling tea dance, as well as last week's costumed Comic Book Carnival Parade (see our photo gallery HERE), much of it from a great height and in glorious HD.

His clip will make those of you who love this place feel the urge to "come home."

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

Parade

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