June 29th, 2005

I Will Not Defame New Orleans.

The Cod

Back from a week of holly-olly-oliday bouncing about New England. Here's how it goes:

Wednesday, flew to Providence. Because that's where Southwest takes you when you say "Boston." That, or New Hampshire, but unless there's a Shaggs concert afoot-foot, I don't really see any reason for N.H.

Rented a Piece-o-Shyte (actually, it was a pretty decent car for the ghetto-rental place we were using), and drove up to Bostage. We got in too late to visit with the divine Miss Lees (I rue the fact still, my dear!), it being a skool-nite n' awl, but we managed to hook up with Patrick, one of my oldest friends, first college roommate, surrogate brother, and unrequited fling-fodder. He said, "Meet me at Fritz's," Boston's only gay, non-smoking sports bar (huh?) which was fine and all, but I hadn't realized Massachusettes has gone the way of California in that whole Mr. Mackey, smoking-is-bad-m'kuh? thang. I lost a little respect for the place once I heard they've kowtowed to the Moral Majority (which, as you may know, is technically the Moral Minority With Political Clout).

Patrick was working on a Sleazy Hookup, so we went to dinner with it, then back to its apartment for Campari and Grappa (huh?), eventually driving to Plymouth to crash at P's mum's country-kitchen-cottage.

In the morning, we hopped in our Rental Unit and drove to Provincetown at the tippy-tip of Cape Cod, a beautiful drive, slowly, endlessly curving to the left as the rolling, tree-dotted hills travel the curlicue of the narrow strip of land probing far into the Bay.

We stayed with the inimitable Rickylane and Allison in their itty-bitty cottage a mile from the quaint, tightly-packed downtown Ptown. Summer is its short but sweet season, and a beacon for New England fags and dykes. Here's the structure of Provincetown: the dykes, in their miserly fashion, save every farthing they make, buy all the property, and rent it out at exorbitant prices to the DINK* fags, who are too busy spending their money on Prada, crystal and teadance cover charges to invest in beachfront property.

All the boys were tightly-built and impeccably dressed, if a bit cookie-cut for my taste. Cliquey and anti-social seemed to come with them from Boston. As Ben pointed out, "They're all in 2's and 4's. No odd numbers." And I do so prefer 'odd'.

Nightlife is a curious ritual in Ptown. The early last call (1am) makes for unnatural restructuring of what I consider nightlife, coming from a 24 hr. town.

Also, The Place To Be is a moving target, and one must Be In On It to know which place, on what night, at exactly what hour, Has It Going On.

For example, if you go to the A-House at 9:30, you'll see two tired showtune queens, a drunk girl actively being ignored by the bartender, and a dragqueen dressed as Dorothy who may flit through. (Ben, to Dorothy: "Hello. They say we're friends, but I don't believe we've been introduced.")

"Well," you think, "this isn't the place," so you wander down Commercial St. to the Gifford House. On the way you pass a gaggle of faggles going in the opposite direction. You get to Gifford house, there are two stray circuit boys whom you overhear, "Oh, is it 10 already? Okay. Shit. Let's go to A-House."

You wander back to A-House where the Assembly That Dare Not Speak Its Name congregates from exactly 10:00pm – 10:42pm, at which point another bar is targeted and infiltrated en masse. At 1:30 when everyone is kicked out of the bars, those who haven't made their hook-up for the evening (which is most of them because no one speaks to anyone else) stand outside Spiritus Pizza on Commercial St. desperately shedding their defensive shells in hopes for that last-minute 'tang score.

In the day, people are out shopping, hiking around the Cape, biking, or beaching. Ben and I opted for Herring Cove Beach for two or three days, at the very end of the earth. Lots of eyecandy, but again, no talking to or touching the fauna or flora by express order of the National Park Rangers!

Though I speak disparagingly, I really must give a hearty thumbs-up to Ptown. It's charm and energy and colonial architecture is cutsey-wootsie to the nth and definitely worth the travel time to get there. (Conveniently reached from Boston by a moderately-priced ferry which traverses the Bay, saving much time driving all the way around the Cape.)

Okay, and then there are the dykes.

Look, I don't want to seem a traitor to My People or whatever, but — what is UP with that HAIR!? And those CLOTHES? I mean come on ladies! That 7th grade P.E. teacher semi-curled poodle-mop is patently unattractive! And your back-up plan, that of just shaving the rodent off and calling it the Boys Don't Cry Look, is not alterna-fabulous. It's chemo-diculous!

I've never seen so many 5'2", 250lb., pastel-clad, cane-hobbling, socks-n-sandlers in one place in my life. Including Season in the French Quarter, home to some of the most hideously clad tourists on earth.

It was a convention for Quasimodo lookee-likeys. Soundtrack by Indigo Girls.

Where in the dyke handbook does it say you must actively try to make yourself as unattractive as humanly possible?

Of course, those were just the obvious ones. Maybe the blonde Barbie dolls were also lesbians, but I didn't recognize them for it because they wore tailored clothes and sparkly nail polish and didn't talk like chain-smoking truck drivers from the Dustbowl. My lesbo-gaydar is decidedly faulty except for the obvious cases.

On our second to last day, we decided to leave Ptown for Providence, a city we always enjoy when we have the occasion to stay there. "Well, we're in the neighborhood," we reckoned. Providence : Boston is like Philadelphia : New York. It's a smaller, less expensive, friendlier, more laid-back version of its larger neighbor. For this reason, I vastly prefer Philly to NY, and Providence to Boston (though the big cities by NO means suck!)

We bid, dewy, moist farewells to our amiable hosts, drove to Rhode Island and checked into our favorite B&B, which, if you're ever stranded in Providence, I cannot recommend highly enough. Little themed rooms in a large, beautiful, colonial mansion, at prices the same as or below a room at the Biltmore downtown. The location is better as well, and boasts parking. If you want downtown, it's a five minute walk down the hill. Or a block up the hill you can tour around Brown and RISD and all the wrap-it-up-I'll-take-it homes in the area. Yah, I'm an architecture snob, and spoiled by living in New Orleans. I'd have to say Providence is a fast contender for my Best American Architecture award. (Right, changingthesky?)

Went downtown for cocktails with Patrick who was in town staying with dad. I enjoyed Providence's nightlife better than Ptown, even though we were there on an off night (Monday). But, again with this 1am last call shit! And as of three months ago, Rhode Island fell victim to the Family Values Jesus-Lickers bullshit of "no smoking in bars because I don't want my precious offspring inhaling second hand smoke!" (Then don't take your chirren to bars, you dumb cooze.)

Morning coffee with Patrick, and a loooooong flight home. As we settled into a barstool at Country Club late last night, I was once again hit with this happy thought: "GOD that was a great trip! And I'm SO glad to be home!"

For it's true, we're really, really spoiled living in New Orleans, where the only rules are those we impose upon ourselves, where people are friendly and accessible, where there is always something going on, and which just gets more beautiful every day I see it.

You may have noticed there are no photos to accompany this recapulation of our sojourn. It's because I left my camera at home. And that's because I'm a douchebag. As you may have long suspected.

As a reward for reading this far, you get this week's link to What Random Music Is The Marquis Listening To? This one's going out to geekwitch, who likes this song, but why I know that I cannot say. A charming a capella version of Bach's Little Organ Fugue in Gm by the Swingle Singers. Here 'tis.

*DINK, as you doubtless already know, is tax code for Double Income No Kids