Tuesday, December 22, 2009



Christmas in Provincetown

A Lobster Pot Tree!

December 19th, 2009

Provincetown does everything a little bit different, and the Christmas tree is no exception. Forget fir or spruce, the Outer Cape’s stand on a narrow spit of land surrounded by sea breeds originality.

The Lobster Pot tree, built by Julian Popko and family, stands proud in Lopes Square over the duration of the holidays.

A tree of cod, you might imagine, or perhaps, a decorated dune. No, lobster traps are the answer. Once a year a Lobster Trap Christmas Tree is built to celebrate the winter holidays and honor the area’s connection to the Atlantic Ocean.

Made of lobster traps, plastic lobsters, and thousands of bulbs, the tree stands tall at the base of MacMillan Pier, with holiday splashes of red and green that fittingly coincide with a lobster’s change in color from live-green to red-and-ready-to-eat.

The Atlantic Lobster, or Homarus Americanus, was once found in such large numbers in the Cape region that locals reportedly served the culinary delicacy to their livestock. After the onset of boats that could keep the crustaceans alive in their holds, the export of lobster to inland markets and restaurants became a vibrant industry – one that Provincetown was in a prime position to benefit from for many years.

Today, lobstering is still an important part of Cape Cod and there are many lobstermen who still use some of the same techniques to gather the succulent arthropods as their counterparts did a century past.

Traps or lobster pots, albeit now often constructed of wire instead of wood, are strung on lines that lobstermen haul through every few days during the warmer months of the year, hoping to glimpse that green-brown color that marks a live lobster as they pull their traps to the water’s surface.

The Lobster Pot tree, built by Julian Popko and family, stands proud in Lopes Square over the duration of the holidays.


Gary Kelly said...

I'm never quite sure how to respond to messages about ho ho ho and Merry Christmas. However, I do rather like the idea of a lobster pot tree.

Coop said...

Lobster trap Christmas tree...makes perfect sense to me!

Christmas Eve with the Coops family = lobster pie.
I identified with "Lobster killer" take on Talking Head's Psycho killer" in Julie & Julia.
Haven't done the deed YET but every New England boy knows how. hohohohohoho

J said...

When I lived in Newport RI my dad used to go down to the harbor and buy those unfortunate crustaceans on a regular basis. The premium prices by weight went to the smaller ones, but he prefered to buy a few "senior citizens of the deep" because of the size of the yield. Maybe not quite as tender, but just as tasty. Only later did I find out that some of them were indeed quite old, and I regret we didn't cut them some slack.

Stew said...

That is totally kewl that you come from an area that is not a cookie cutter community like most of America. I hope your Christmas is wonderful. And thanks for sharing your life with us for these past 6 months.

Diane Hutchinson said...

I see Captain Jack's Wharf!!! I think your blog seems sincere and interesting...