Archives for posts with tag: Andrew Sullivan

Birthday Cake 2014

 

They had the complexion of wealth, that white complexion that is heightened by the pallor of porcelain, the sheen of satin, the luster of fine furniture, and is kept in perfect condition by a moderate diet of exquisite foods.  Those who were beginning to age seemed youthful, while those who were young had a certain look of maturity. Their faces wore that placid expression which comes from the daily gratification of the passions; and beneath their polished manners one could sense the special brutality that comes from half-easy triumphs which test one’s strength and flatter one’s vanity.

Madam Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

It’s a hot and humid morning in NYC. Tompkins Square Park is dripping.  The dog walkers are melting.

We drove from Provincetown yesterday, leaving the pretty streets, the clapboard houses and verdant gardens to Bear Week. Thousands of large, hairy shouldered men smiling and engaging not scowling or isolating like the circuit boys who infested the town two weeks previously during the 4th July celebration.

The past six weeks in Provincetown were, on the whole, a great deal of fun. I met a huge assortment of extraordinary and not so extraordinary people. I saw people I knew from LA and NYC. I met men and women from DC, Nashville and Florida. Mostly enjoying their week off, some of them… not so much.   Americans get so few vacations.

The A gays who live in Provincetown were kind and considerate.  They have beautiful homes and make them readily available to those they trust.

The extraordinary designer Ken Fulk has restored a perfect gem of a house in The East End where I was privileged to spend the 4th July and then see photographed by famed society doyenne Douglas Friedman for Elle Decor.  Editor Robert Ruffino scampering around arranging flowers wearing his Florentine winkle pickers.

The walls are the color of raspberry mousse, the windows frames and architrave painted chocolate-brown.

 

My birthday dinner:  an anonymous donor very kindly paid for.

I really didn’t know anyone very well at my party, except Michael Goff and Michael Cunningham.  So when it came to making my speech, after the candle was snuffed, I said: “I don’t know any of you at all… but this delightful group of strangers came together to celebrate the birthday of another stranger… and with such magnanimity it brings tears to my eyes.”

The following day I told someone from the party that I had no intention of making friends with him beyond Provincetown because our friendship could only flourish on the Cape.  He looked a little perplexed but one has to be realistic.  When we return to the city a tsunami of gay gossip will drown the truth and ones expectations will be dashed.

Michael Cunningham

The utterly adorable Michael Cunningham (who I had known previously through Amelia Rizo) made a necklace for my birthday.  We sat in his exquisitely decorated water front home, surrounded by magnificent art, picking out trinkets for a silver chain.  I had a moment of unrestrained excitement as I realized that a Pulitzer Prize winning author, writer of The Hours, was making me a birthday present with his bare hands.  He continued, throughout my stay, to delight and engage.  We discussed Emma Bovary.   We… of a certain age, share the same literary starting blocks… but he won the race.

We talked about Neil Bartlett‘s beautiful book Who Was That Man.  Required reading for any young gay.

There were many occasions these past weeks when I noticed how relaxed I was, at peace, living in my own body, inhabiting the life I have rather than the life I thought I wanted.   There were, of course, other occasions when a face from the past popped into view and caused momentary consternation.  The vile, blond publicist/image consultant, owner of Black Frame Brian Phillips who, wether he likes it or not, is in my social orbit but never bothers to be cordial.  Or the ex boyfriend Chris Shipman who cycled around town with his thin calves and sad eyes.  I ignored the ex and engaged with fey Brian Phillips who sat in his chair as I forcefully reminded him what an evil cunt he can be and how he seems unable to keep and love another man due to his crippling narcissism.

I met Jim Lande, producer of the hit burlesque/freak show Audition and talked about his flawed film: Love is Strange directed by Ira Sachs.  Shown at The Provincetown Film Festival this beautifully shot and directed film promises so much but fails to deliver… relying on coincidence and melodrama.  The film lacks any real emotion.  Two old gay married men separated by circumstance and bad choices.  Could have been brilliant but… wasn’t.

I kept away from the drag shows and the theatrical events but I saw Ryan Landry‘s inventive and surreal Pantomime: Snow White and The Seven Bottoms which reminded me of Charles Ludlam.  Go see this if you can.

Jim Lande

I spent a great deal of time chatting with the adorable Andrew Sullivan and his husband Aaron Tone. The gays, on the whole, are openly hostile to Andrew, they accuse him of being a ‘traitor to the gays’ because he aggressively posits an alternative view. Our politics couldn’t be more different yet we agreed about so much, mainly our loathing of powerful lobby groups like AIPAC, GLAAD and the HRC.  I found him to be gracious and engaging.

 

Andrew told fascinating stories about his private dinners with President Obama, his short-lived stay in NYC, the history of his three-legged dog. We sat outside The Wired Puppy coffee shop on Commercial Street where I witnessed at first hand the disdain the gays show him and the delight straight people have… in equal measure.

The white gays may never understand his POV because by now they think they rule the world.

Andy Towle

I spent time with Michael Goff and Andy Towle in town to promote their site towleroad.com, we greeted the first of the bears at the dock with 20 drag Goldilocks who boasted that they had eaten all the porridge.  We sat in their charming house and ate whatever they had in their fridge.  We took my friend Caroline Reid to a Bear-B-Q, Caroline is cult performer PamAnn.  We took her to more bear events where she was the only woman.   Her fans adore her.

Andy Towle, Caroline Reid and Michael Goff

And that was that.  There were other amusing people to play with who I haven’t mentioned.  There were less amusing people who I hope I never see again.

Thanks Provincetown and… adieu.

 

Meat Doll, John Derian

Provincetown, for those who have never been, is basically one long Victorian street… Commercial Street.   Primarily an LGBT resort most everyone seems welcome here.  At all times of night and day Commercial Street teems with pedestrians, bicycles and many dogs.  Cars edge cautiously amongst the chaos.   During the season (June-September) there are themed entertainment weeks (Saturday to Saturday) for gays, lesbians and trans visitors.

Near the Town Hall at town’s center there are bars, candy stores and tourist favorites like The Lobster Pot serving lobster rolls and oysters.  Provincetown has become an unlikely hen night/bachelorette party destination.  Rowdy, drunk girls dressed in cheap veils patrol the streets screaming raucous songs and hitting men on the head with large dildos… true story.  Drag queens, by the way, love dildos and hate Bachelorettes.

My Two Mums

Commercial Street is divided into East and West Ends.  It’s probably best to work out which end is which within minutes of arriving here.  So, facing from the bay where the ferry disgorged… the west will be to your left, the east to your right.  I start my day, every day at 7am, after my beach walk with the dogs… unleashed, on the patio at:

1. Joe‘s

170 Commercial St, Provincetown, MA 02657  Phone: 508 487-6656

Hours: 7:00 am – 7:00 pm

West End.

Delicious, fragrant coffee served by an attentive bunch who remember both your name and what you want.  Joe’s is a  staple breakfast haunt for most of the cool ‘townies’ (locals).  It’s common to see straight-backed, imperious Andrew Sullivan arrive with his husband on their ancient dutch bikes or watch John Waters sail elegantly by dressed in Issy Miyake.   Ryan Murphy and his adorable family chowing down on their morning baked goods.

Try the delicious, freshly baked almond croissant… but get there early to avoid disappointment.

A perfect place to eavesdrop!  Who fucks who?  Learn all the local gossip:  “They bring their terrible taste from the suburbs…”  A great way to start the day with everyone who works or lives in Provincetown… and a few tourists.

Meet this man drinking coffee and eating his breakfast:

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2. Loveland

West End.

120 Commercial Street  Provincetown, Massachusetts 02657  Phone: 508 413-9500

Run by Josh Patner ex Rome based fashion journalist and stylist, this charming haunt is brimming with local and international art.  Possibly the chicest most eclectic store in town.  Beware!  By August almost everything has been sold.  Look out for beautiful and reasonably priced ceramics by:  Gail S. Browne.

I bought a beautiful vase by Gail Browne and a gorgeous 18th Century throw.

Gail Browne

3. Room 68

East End

377 Commercial Street, Provincetown, MA 02657  Phone: 617-942-7425

Room 68 is Eric Portnoy’s 21st century gift shop.  Originally out of Boston’s Jamaica Plain – 68 South Street, originating the store’s name.  Look for Debra Folz  ingenious extending ash table and more of her award-winning work.  For those drowning in bad art glass and cat portraits… Room 68 is a welcome high style lifeboat on the choppy sea of capey mediocrity – quite unlike any other found on Commercial Street… or on Cape Cod.

4. Canteen

Town Center

225 Commercial Street, Provincetown, MA 02657  Phone: 508  487-3800

Opened in 2013 Canteen continues its stunning success.  This charming restaurant is perfectly situated at the heart of Provincetown, offering a simple, unpretentious menu that capitalizes on local favorites like the ubiquitous Lobster Roll but served in a wholly original way.  Like the interior of this nautical themed dining room the food is fresh, clean and authentic.  The deep-fried smelt with tartar sauce are not everyone’s cup of tea… but I love them.  Order everything with re-fried Brussels sprouts doused in an aromatic balsamic reduction and remember to sit in the newly opened garden overlooking the dunes and the spectacular sunset.

5. Red Inn

West End

15 Commercial St, Provincetown, MA 02657  Phone: 508 487-7334

Away from the madding Provincetown crowd, either a 30 minute walk or a ten minute rickshaw ride is the legendary Red Inn.  Consistency, taste and prompt service make this elegant venue an essential but expensive must see.  Last night we ate perfectly prepared filet mignon, served by delightfully charming staff at the bar over looking the spectacular bay.  Older bearded gay men with their well behaved hounds sit on the terrace and drink cocktails.  One eats reasonably priced oysters during happy hour (4pm-5pm) or lounge in the very British country garden: lavender, roses and sweet-william perfume the early evening breeze.

Provincetown Garden

6. Mimere’s Homemade

Town Center

281 Commercial Street #4, Provincetown, MA 02657 Phone: 917 670-7561

Opened by ex-banker Andrew Hood just this year to sell his vast array of delicious home-made, seasonal jams and jellies using old-fashioned techniques.  I bought 6 different flavors including hefeweizen (wheat beer and orange) and red onion preserve.  The chunky peach jam is particularly delicious, slathered on crusty toast from the Pain D’Avignon French Bakery found at Provincetown Farmer’s market held every Saturday by the Town Hall.

 

7. Provincetown Film Festival

Town Center

Provincetown Town Hall, 260 Commercial Street, Provincetown, MA 02657  Phone: 508 487-7000

This years Provincetown Film Festival, hailed a huge success, attracting viewers from all over the world.  I met women from Europe and a couple from Australia who coincided their holiday with the film festival.   A well-organized and international feeling festival The Provincetown Film Festival grows in reputation every year.  This year I saw Andrew Sullivan rip a new ass hole in the makers of the ghastly Chad Griffin propaganda film: The Case Against 8, at a festival breakfast.   I couldn’t think of a better way to spend $25.

As I left the breakfast feeling exhilarated, I bumped into a huge and handsome man, I said, “Did you see that! Andrew Sullivan is my hero!”

He replied, “Me too, that’s why I married him.”

Andrew Sullivan at Ptown Film Breakfast

8. Fag Bash at The Governor Bradford

Town Center

312 Commercial St  Provincetown, MA 02657

I’ve already written at length about this wonderful, subversive spectacle.  A delightful Wednesday night basement party.  Arrive at 11pm, leave at 1am.  Wear your finest drag.  I expect the ghost of Leigh Bowery to make an appearance at any moment.  Remember, most everything closes at 1am in Ptown.

Tranny Fun at Fag Bash

 

9. John Derian

East End

396 Commercial Street Provincetown, MA 02657 Phone: 508 487-1362

The queen of decoupage Derian runs a tiny showroom a world away from his NYC empire.  It is packed with essential nick nacks at the back of his Greek revival Ptown home.  Black, $500 paper hollyhocks are not immediately alluring or justified… but… with time… anything is possible.  I love the meat dolls by Nathalie Lete and the papier-mache hippo head.  At night, as you pass by, envy his candle lit parties for Martha Stuart… and other gorgeous celebrities.

This boy will serve you.  His name is Kevin and he is DIVINE.

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10. Monument Barbershop

West End

145 Commercial Street, Provincetown MA Phone: 508 487-5151

Once a week I drop into see the charming, flirtatious Joey to have my hair and beard trimmed.  It’s essential whenever you are anywhere for longer than a week to locate a great barber and Joey is he.  Very reasonably priced, very funny and he’s… totally gorgeous.  In fact, I’m off there, right now to get my neck shaved.

Quebec Boy

 

 

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