The difference between Provincetown and Ogunquit is best seen in the people who frequent the seaside towns. In Ogunquit, I encountered Barbara, a crusty 80-something broad (in the best sense of the word) who is a fixture at a bar called The Front Porch . Bon mots dropped from her acidic tongue between quick sips of her martini.
It was love at first insult.
In Provincetown, I bonded with a klatch of winsome men from Toronto. One was the winner of a Canadian reality show where contestants competed to be the next Halloween superstar (you can’t make this stuff up), another worked on a talk show for the Canadian version of Oprah Winfrey (yes, that’s a real thing). I’m not sure about the third, but he was nice to look at and smiled a lot, so it was fine that he was around.
These people helped define the towns as I split a week between Provincetown and Ogunquit. My initial, misguided plan was to pit the two hamlets against each other in some kind of rainbow-colored blitzkrieg. Both places are known for their longstanding embrace of “eccentrics” — that’s the polite term my great-grandmother once used to describe gay men and lesbians — and pretty much anyone else who flits in for a visit.