Saturday, July 6, 2013

Provincetown Landing

Bleecker and Thompson Streets today
Provincetown Landing

Location: Corner of Bleecker Street at Thompson Street, New York, New York, USA

Opened/Closed: 1940s/1950s

According to Lisa E. Davis,

Provincetown Landing was a popular lesbian bar and hangout that lasted at least into the 1950s. On the corner of Bleecker at Thompson St., it was only three blocks away from the Provincetown Playhouse on MacDougal, which originally linked Provincetown, MA, and the Village as twin bastions of liberality and creativity.

It certainly served as a magnet for lesbian writers.

According to Joan Schenkar, Patricia Highsmith was "something of a fixture" at Provincetown Landing back in the 50s. 

Sandra Scoppettone also visited Provincetown Landing  in 1955. These recollections are from a 2005 interview.

I was working for the now defunct National Airlines as a phone reservation clerk. There was this one guy, Bob, who was a very obvious gay man and we began to talk.  Nobody was intending to make a career of this job so he asked me what I wanted to do with my life.  I told him I wanted to be a writer.  He told me he had a very good friend who was a writer.  I asked who and he told me she wrote under the name of Vin Packer.  I almost fainted.  I had read her first novel Spring Fire and two others that were crime oriented.  I thought Packer was very good and I desperately wanted to meet her. He said he'd see what he could do.  It seems to me there was some negotiating on his part with Packer, who he told me was really Marijane Meaker.

I worked the 2-11pm shift so going directly home was out of the question. Eventually the night was set.  I was very nervous about this meeting.  She was an idol to me.  There was a bar in the Village called The Provincetown Landing.  We went there.  I believe Packer/Meaker was late so Bob and I got a table and I had two fast drinks while we waited a short time until she arrived.

She was so funny and smart.  I think we immediately started a sparring type conversation, but it was in fun.  I kept up with her and we both liked that.  She was the first published writer I'd ever met. I don't really remember, but I'm sure I asked questions about writing and her books, because that would be like me.  On the other hand, it would be like her to deflect them.

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