Big, Hairy & Gay; My take on life as a Gay Bear

It’s Out!! Kinda like me!

Just when my life could not get any more interesting with today being my birthday; I figured it was time to share this on BiteTheRoad. So what’s a day in my world like? Well you get asked to do an actual licensed TEDx Talk on being me; big, hairy & gay. 

Yes Really! 

As most of you who read this know, I was one of the lucky 10 people invited to participate in TEDxProvincetown as it held it’s first TEDx Talk series this summer and the full set of speaker links have finally gone live.

And Here It is!

So Why Did I Do It?

26 years ago, I left my life, commuting between Boston and Provincetown for an opportunity to work in San Francisco. I was asked to take part working in progressive sexual adult content mediums addressing often ignored, overlooked, marginalized and underserved communities.
Men like me didn’t fit the gay male archetype; who often struggled to find to a sense of identity with so few role-models to draw from.  So what happens? 26 years later I find myself talking about those very same issues to a wider audience! This partners perfectly with the push in my efforts with MentorSFCA.com to support people in makeing the “best fit” choices for themselves and creating what they need when they don’t see it offered.
It is an honor to share my experience as a gay man on body shaming, invisibility, resilience, and lessons learned from a “bigger” perspective with an incredible group of people.

But I Need Your Help

I am proud to have been able to address body shaming, invisibility and love beyond limits as part of the TEDxProvincetown program to audiences that extended beyond just gay men, including people of all types, ages, genders and orientations.

I want to spread the word spread. I am asking for your help in getting this talk out. Helping me share the message to all audiences. This talk is one of the first licensed TEDx talks that actually addresses body shaming, sex, inclusion, and visibility from a bigger-bodied gay man’s experience. Because of this, it has the potential opportunity to reinforce that desire and love can blossom no matter the body type.  The more views the talk gets, the higher it ranks and the better the chances that it gets picked up for wider distribution. I’m asking that you include the link below in any announcement lists, email, newsletters or websites in an attempt to get the widest scope.

How Can You Help?
Simple. Share the video link to your friends. Share it on Facebook, Twitter,e tc. Anywhere you think people will see it. Don’t hold back to only LGBTQ audiences. This is a message for everyone.

Sharing is as easy as 1-2-3:

1. Copy and paste the link below
2. Add some your own thought or comment that you think your followers and friends would get intrigued by and want to watch it.
3. Add a few of the “hashtags” (Those words followeed by a #) to help it show up in searches.
** Don’t forget youtube also allows you to use embedded code as I did above if you prefer to have the video sit and play on your websites too.
The link to my talk on the TEDxProvincetown Youtube channel is as follows: https://youtu.be/8J-gaUgztjs
Feel free to tag me in any social media you choose to share using any of these hashtags:
#TEDxPtown
#BearTalk
#WhoDoYouSeeNow
#MentorSFCA

My social media accounts include:

Twitter: @FVStrona,
Instagram: @FVStrona

Then What?

Whatch the rest. All 10 of the talks were outstanding and different so you may enjoy checking out one of the other co-presenters by checking out the full speakers playlist for all 10 talks here

Curious about TEDxProvincetown?

You can find out more on its website www.tedxprovincetown.com or read more about the other speakers https://tedxprovincetown.com/tedx-provincetown-talks-performances/.
The hashtags & social media accounts for TEDxProvincetown include:
#TEDxPtown, #TEDxProvincetown
Facebook: [@TEDxProvincetown
Twitter:  [@TEDxPtown Profile, hashtag: #TEDxProvincetown]
Instagram: [TEDxProvincetown– profile, hashtag #TEDxPtown]

5 Other Must-See Beach Vacation Destinations

Image courtesy of SellingYouParadise.com

Beach Time!

With the United State’s long coastlines on the east, south and west borders and the coasts on the island of Hawaii, there is no shortage of varied and distinct beaches for all tastes. However, there are some beaches that stand out from the crowd and deserve a visit at least once if possible. No matter which coast, everyone will love soaking up the sun at these beaches. While many of you know that the beaches of Cape Cod always are some of Frank’s favorite, including the tip of the Cape, Provincetown. Since he will be posting more of Provincetown later this month, I will share some other beaches of note that are worthy of a mention. (Reader’s note – neither Frank or I am not affiliated with any of the links below listed below, nor do I get funds of any kind for the mention)

As a teaser, remember when Frank helped with this video back a few years ago?

You can read the full post here or search “Provincetown” in the BiteTheRoasearchch box above.

 

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach is the quintessential beach resort of the south Atlantic coast. Its boardwalks are replete with arcades, restaurants, and shops, and the Family Kingdom amusement park and the SkyWheel Ferris Wheel are top attractions. The beaches offer some of the whitest sand on the Atlantic coast, and the golf courses are the best around.

Nantucket

The coasts of Nantucket Island are varied as to the types of beaches. The north shore is calmer and is popular with families. Jetties Beach offers lots of rentals and other amenities, and Children’s Beach features harborside waters and a playground. The south shore is windier, and the beaches have more surf. Those who want more secluded beaches or enjoy surfing will appreciate beaches such as Suftside and Cisco.

Kauna’oa Bay, Hawaii

Kauna’oa Bay is the essence of Hawaii. Beautiful white sand, calm blue water and lots of palm trees are what draws visitors to this crescent-shaped island. Visitors who stay at either the Westin Mauna Kea Beach Hotel or the Westin Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel have complete access to the beaches, and other beachgoers have more limited beach access.

Sanibel Island

Most people think of shelling when they think of Sanibel Island, but there is much more to this beautiful island. Visitors can enjoy miles of walking and kayak trails through the J.N. Darling National Wildlife Refuge. The kayak trails are lined with mangroves for a peaceful paddle, and there are also miles of biking, walking, and driving routes throughout. Visitors can stay at various resorts and other rentals or come for a day trip.

Coronado, California

This beach is situated across the bay from San Diego, California. The surf is gentle, the beaches are wide and the quaint streets and fine hotels offer both families and couples a fun respite from their busy lives. Visitors will enjoy visiting the many shops, gardens and mansions and partaking in activities like kayaking, sailing, and gondola rides. Make a point of visiting the iconic Hotel del Coronado that was built in 1888.

Ptown Week 2 recap and home again

I can’t believe how fast the second week went. but I can believe how much work I came home too

So how did the rest of the week go?  Pretty much the same as week 1!

Mornings I spent at Joe’s Cafe trying to draft out notes for the first two journal article due at the end of the month.  On several occasions, we enjoyed the great foods from Chach (luckily I don’t mind eating in the same places if I like the food) as the other guys liked it as well., we continued to ride the bikes, sometimes some of our road longer than others. Lots of the time we grabbed lunch at the condo to take advantage of the weather.

From Connie’s Bakery, I scored a day old fresh loaf of bread so french toast made a visit this year on the deck. (FYI: both Connie’s and Joes offer day old parties in the am. the best part is they come wrapped in plastic to easy to grab a quick snack for later). But many of sweets and sandwiches they offer are reasonably priced and great tasting.

Other highlights of week two included a few meals at the Burger Queen shack – while set up as fast carry out food – meets the quality of many of the more formal ones. (or as in the case of the Mayflower; exceeds it) and the Canteen which with its new expanded back area makes for a great casual place to hang out and eat.

We even get everyone to tackle the Provincetown’s Pilgrim Monument on one of the few gray days. If you have never been – it is well worth a visit. While the Monument itself is a nice walk – the museum also offers a changing collection of history and art.

We took in a beachside jazz night at Herring Cove and got to enjoy the casual mid week time with vacationers and locals alike that ended with a great seaside bonfire.

Of course, we also saw our pal Varla Jean Merman and her new show Bad Heroine (go see it when it comes to a city new you!)

The trip home on Saturday was mostly uneventful on our part. Just a long process and we were ready to get home. Luckily the folks at the Marriott let us park our bags for a few hours while we took in the sites near the waterfront in Boston, then it was off to Boston Logon airport.

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Ryan Landry’s “GREECE” by way of Provincetown

A few words from Ryan Landry

We got to see the very funny and quick witted Ryan Landry’s show “GREECE” last night at the Fishermans Hall (the backside of Provincetown High School). The new performance space will bring you back to school stage performances, and serves as a backdrop for an amazing opportunity to add to an already history rich entertainment portfolio from Landry and the Gold Dust Orphans.  The show was the usual “how do they think of this” mashup of themes (something I look forward to each year)  that creates a carnival of fun in one setting. Plenty of talent in this years cast, with over the top costumes and tight scripting made for a fun night overall.

The new and still growing space, has air conditioning (you may want to bring a sweatshirt- yes it works that well) and a still developing sound and light system that will definitely raised the “story to life”.
Now for those of you who recall its old location; gone is the long walk, limited car and bike parking. Instead, Fisherman Hall (12 Winslow St.) is a short walk from pretty much anywhere in town, and offers easy parking to boot.

Getting to “GREECE”

A little spicy seafood pasta for dinner at Sal’s Place

Staying in the West End, and after a lovely dinner at Sal’s Place, we simply took a short walk down Commercial Street and hung a right on Carver (at the Crews Quarters) then left on to Bradford (past the Gifford House Inn). Several blocks later, is a short set of steps which is the back walkway up to the High School Parking lot at Prince & Bradford.  Really – it is that simple. Then just look for the “Fisherman”! at the building end of the parking lot.

The show runs Sundays through September 3rd. Tickets are available at House of LaRue or online at: greeceprovincetown.brownpapertickets.com

The Fisherman on the wall

For more information on “GREECE” or other GDO shows:

Visit: the Gold Dust Orphans/ website, or on the GDO Facebook page and other social media at  Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat  and learn how you can donate to keep the creative arts in Provincetown https://www.thegolddustorphans.com

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Settling In and stuff

Settling in at the Cove each summer is always a whirlwind for the first few days, but rarely lasts long. On this trip, we also have a few friends here – so its added some fun additional options.

After a very long coach ride into Provincetown on Saturday . It was nice to just sit back and breath.

Come Sunday we were in full vacation mode. Bikes needed to get rented for the next two weeks, as that makes  being able to go to Stop & Shop for groceries much more doable.

So we made the short walk up to the road to PTownBikes   (Address: 42 Bradford St, Provincetown, MA 02657, Phone: (508) 487-8735). After getting our annual “rules of the road” reminders, we were off for a short ride to Herring Cove  to show the boys around that end of the town.

After we got back from the ride, it was nap time for the boys – so I had some time to connect with local friends and get the skinny on the season and the annual “what do you want to do for activities” ticket discussion begins.

Once we were all refreshed and we had enough coffee in us. Yes, I had made sure to run by Joe’s Coffeeshop (170 Commercial St, Provincetown, MA 02657) . You can check out Joe’s Facebook page for more on this little slice of Provincetown. It was time for the dreaded Stop & Shop run.

So, empty backpacks ready,  we got on the bikes and took to the store for supplies to get us through a few days. While we always love eating out – being here in a unit with a kitchen allows me the luxury to also cook some of the days. Especially those when we just don’t want to deal with the crowds. (Note: first time to Ptown? Don’t shop on Saturday if you can avoid it – that’s turnover day in town and usually a mad house. We tend to go later Sunday or even better on Monday am when we can).

It was still early when we got back, so everyone hit the deck for some late rays, while I went in to think about dinner. For tonight, we went with marinated (yes – with bottled italian salad dressing, along with some ginger beer added for zing) to toss on the grill, grilled sweet potatoes and quick pickled carrots.

After dinner we took the first official “ice cream” walk to close out the day.

Monday

Come Monday, we were all in “vaca mode”. I tend to wake up early, so generally out with the camera  walking around by 6:15 then heading back to Joe’s coffeeshop around seven. Spent a few hours drafting some notes for a journal article then met up with Brent and Josh before walking back to the house to figure out the game plan for the day.

All in all, it was just a very nice relaxing day at the Cove; lots of sun and catching up. We ended up eating lunch in doing that old standard “make yourself sandwiches” since we knew that evening we will be going to a show and dinner.

After all getting showered we went over to the Canteen (225 Commercial St, Provincetown, MA 02657) for dinner, one of my favorite of the small places here in Ptown. A nice assortment of fresh and fried foods and probably the best crispy brussels sprouts we’ve had. They do their brussels sprouts cooked to get fried crispy and then top it with the vinegar fish sauce working with the natural flavor of the smoky sprout. The
other guys went with some basic fish and chips,  I opted for “fish fries”, a.k.a. fried smelts.

After dinner, we walked over the Crown and Anchor where we checked out an early show of the Generations Project (thegenerationsproject.info). Part of a new intergenerational, transnational LGBT queer storytelling project that hopes to serve as a bridge between older and younger folks by sharing different stories frint points in our lives (coming out, risk, dating etc.). Tonight’s specifically highlighted the stories related to Ptwn.

After a really well-done show, we once again took a walk so the men could get ice cream and I splurged at the Portuguese Bakery (299 Commercial St, Provincetown, MA 02657) for a pastry; Malasada is  the Portuguese version of a “fried dough” treat. Italians grow up with a similar version serves on Sundays or at street fairs. As they do with the italian version – they cover it with sugar hot out of the grease.

On Tuesday

Paul’s parents were scheduled to come down on the 11 o’clock ferry, so after getting up and doing a few hours of work I went back to the unit and made some breakfast for all of us. 

Then we took a nice leisurely stroll to the ferry for his mom and Eddie. Looking for something to do that wouldn’t require them to walk as much, we decided to make use of the new Provincetown Mayflower Trolley tour.

What a great ride. We were able to get to a bunch of locations with the tour we hadn’t checked out before. While we heard some really interesting stories and history of the people who founded Provincetown. Not to mention learning about the environment & ecological structure.  Overall well worth the money for the $20 tickets and I would reccomemd to anybody who’s never been here to take advantage of it. And I got a recipe to try as well!


We caught sight of some fun street based art that often can be found tucked away in nooks and crannies.
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Travel day

Travel

We all love it, but travel can just as easily go wrong. I have to say the hardest thing about the early morning flight is actually the early morning itself. In order to catch a 6 AM flight out of SFO,  it means leaving as early as 4:15 AM.

As luck would have it, it was a pretty uneventful travel experience. The airport was a little more crowded than usual but I managed to get on the plane, make my connections and found myself a Boston, 15 minutes ahead of schedule, albeit 12 hours later.

Next stop, Residence Inn Seaport downtown to meet Paul, with old friends Josh & Brent in tow, who came in from San Diego and would also be staying Ptown.

Residence Inn Downtown 

Any visit to Boston for me that is non-work related, usually begins and ends with a stay at this facility. Between the friendliness of the staff, the super convenient location for both water events and inner city Boston events, just makes for it to be a perfect place to relax & recharge.

This inspired, converted building turns the stay into something that feels like you’re actually on a “urban adventure”. From it’s super airy atrium, to the modern desired modular rooms; this place, has lots of nooks and crannies to explore. Each of the rooms we’ve stayed in, has a slightly different layout which is how they all fit into the natural structure of the building. Giving those who live in tradition houses an opportunity at staying in a super cool urban environment.

Close to public transportation, including the ferry for those folks headed down to the Cape. They’ve got in-hotel full service coffee shop that caters to the neighborhood, as well as it’s traditional Residence Inn morning buffet. Much like other Residence Inns, the staff tend toward the awesome side of hosting. Working at whatever they can to help make your stay the best.

Word up though; while not the most expensive of the hotels in this area it isn’t inexpensive. So plan ahead, sign up with Marriott deals so that you can utilize your points or discounts as appropriate. This site also is within a short walk to the childrens museum; so on this visit also staying were more families than previous stays which made navigating the breakfast buffett a little “treacherous” as not all children (and some adults it would seem) have been taught proper public shared food space/buffett curtesies or hygiene practices. So if you want particularly kid or family-friendly you might want to call ahead to find out if there’s a kid focused weekend happening. Another fav feature is the “grocery option”. Many of the facilities will now do some basic grocery runs to stock up the very workable kitchens. Billing your rooms and saving you time.

Dinner and what not

This is a great central location for nice walk to the italian area of town. Which we do each trip for pizzia at Regina Pizzeria (the original one). If you want calm, quiet dinner – this isn’t the place. It’s loud and ethnic as only a small family place can be. The 30 min walk, takes you through several community parks, right by the front of the Boston Children Museum, which is sure to have something fun going on and eventually right into the Italian section of town.

Travel to Provincetown

Our next stop of the trip starts on Saturday am, and brings us to to the Ferry. Which normally would take us out over the water into Provincetown. But for the first time, rough weather water warning meant this trip taking a motor coach supplied from the Bay State Cruise Company to get us to Provincetown. [By the way, “rough weather water” warnings means more than a few passengers on the early ferry, ended much “green around the gills” than normal]

Now, while I will miss the boat ride, I don’t need a tossing boat & seasickness to start my day. I say as long as “someone else takes the wheel, and it’s not me driving” go for it.  Needless to say the 2.5 hour drive by coach bus, ended up almost 3.5, but was pleasently stressless it a bit cramped. [hint – this is the Cape, time flows differently so 2.5 hours = 3.5, its new “old” math for the Cape]

Getting Settled

Once we got settled in at Fisherman’s Cove, our “home away from home”, it was time for a short walk and some food. Since it was already 4:00, we opted for sandwiches now and diner later. We walked further down the West End to Relish, (I wrote about Relish in previous trips as well here (2015) and here 2014) bringing them back to the condo and our first waterside meal of the summer. Then it was time for the boys to go down for naps, while I took a walk to get caught up with my local peeps and the “news” around town.

The day slowly came to an end with a pleasant sunset watching on the main deck, while we waited for everyone to get ready for dinner. For the opening night, we took a short walk into town for burgers at Local 186  (I wrote about Local 186 previously here). Closing out the evening with a stroll to walk off the dinner and meander around till we settled in for the night.

Over all, a good first day.

 

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Sundays the way they should be..oh wait it’s only Saturday.

imageEnjoying a summer memory

From sweet to savory.. much like it’s staff, my morning visit at Joe’s Coffee is how I start my days in ptown. With the everchanging, yet consistant range of people watching, parade of “walk of shamers” to the local dishen up “care” with the daily menu of  “did ya hear about”, I can say I wouldnt have it any other way.

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On the Saturdays when the Farmers Market is in; you never know what specialty awaits. Today it was fresh local  jared tomato sauce from Foss Farms.  My order, which will be arriving in San Francisco by mail soon after my return

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Relish isn’t just a summer goto place – here comes “santa”

Let’s face it  – every so often, you just need a good cupcake. Sometimes you want to get creative with the fancy flavors and icing – but more often than not, I want plain, good, deep dark chocolate with a slightly gooey, sweet chocolate frosting.image

While it Ptown of the summer, one rainy day I knew just where to go! Relish. Down in the west end, this little but highly fast and efficient sandwich, snack & bakery shop not only puts out some great sandwich and sides – they do some incredible desserts. I would say I eat three several times eat stay.image

A new feature I noticed this year was that your an order xmas cookies!! A pretty great idea – what better way to treat friends and family than with food products you already love. they have an entire holiday menu of options to choose from.image

Over on the website – I notes posting from the past that indicates; they do Thanksgiving Pies and Cupcakes and kick off  a workshop for Christmas cookies.  Orders for Christmas need to be placed by December 1st.

imageFor more information, give them  a call at 508-487-8077.

you can find them at:

93 Commercial Street (at Cottage)  Provincetown  MA  02657

p: 508-487-8077

e: info@ptownrelish.com

 

Angel Mornings @ Gifford House

I have been lucky to have the generous tasting of these folks from the different locations in Ptown over the last few years – so was excited to check them out at the Gifford House in a traditional dinning room setting.

I am so glad we did. A great menu – actually pretty large by Ptown standards for breakfast fare. It’s not going to rock your socks off  “ambiance” wise – the room is basic to what it needs to be – but the flavor and food quality is where it is at. They make basic ingredients, taste the way they are supposed too and they invite you to “kick it up a notch” with the graceful punch of seasoning and combinations. From the egg scramble with sausage to the omelettes.. I could eat here every morning.imageCheck out the full image

menu. They are open 8am to 2pm and the entire Menu Served All Day

508-487-8600

 

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