NORTH TRURO — The very first time I drove into Provincetown I took the shore road, of course. Right away, I knew I was entering another reality.
At first, I was frightened by the line of cottages — little boxes, like in the Malvina Reynolds song — all the same, set along the shore like a row of teeth. Then there’s that crooked line of telephone poles across the road — each one bending a different way — letting you know there’s going to be real contrast here, in the town at the end of the continent.
Like everyone else, I have come to love everything about Day’s Cottages. I made my first pinhole picture here 30 years ago, in front of “Cosmos.” A few years ago, the owners converted all the cottages to condos. I met them both at the nursing home when I visited my mom, and got to know the children who took over the operation. I think they still run the convenience store across the road and are now making it a local destination.
It all still feels like something from the early days, a time when they say happy children ran around barefoot and the families from New York or Boston came to feel the ocean for a week or two, squeezing themselves into a piece of heaven. Off season, I haunt this part of the road with my camera, thinking of my grandma’s apartment in Coney Island, the smell of the sea, and of a million other things.