633 Commercial Street

633 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2010).

633 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2010).

James Mack and Jon Arterton.

James Mack and Jon Arterton.

The Sign of the Mermaid condo is an artists’ colony all by itself: the poet Melanie Braverman calls it home, as do Jon Arterton (right), founder of the Flirtations, and his husband, James Mack (left). So does Michael Cunningham. In 2001 — between the publication of his Pulitzer-winning novel, The Hours, and its release as a movie — he bought a unit here. (The name was bestowed by Roger Donaghue in 1964 when this was a lodging house.) Cunningham’s Land’s End of 2002 has such deft notes as: “Provincetown today is something like an elderly bohemian who once knew people of great influence, who still dresses eccentrically, still lives in defiant poverty, still paints or sculpts with heroic optimism, and flirts only on bad days with bitterness about having been gifted and dedicated and having been left behind.”


More than 2,000 buildings and vessels are searchable on buildingprovincetown.com. The Building Provincetown book is available for purchase ($20) at Town Hall, Office of the Town Clerk, 260 Commercial Street, Provincetown 02657.

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