Seed Views

Seed View for July 9th, 2011: Part 2

This is a view of exactly what I was looking for once I knew we were going to Cape Cod as part of our summer vacation.  A classic seafood house right on the water with the second-floor open-air deck overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.  Just one fisherman’s platter with scrod, squid, scallops, and shrimp (that’s alliteration, poetry fans) made my trip worth the planning and the travel.

I had never been to Cape Cod before.  I’ve been to Boston and the surrounding area a number of times over the past few years, but I’ve never traveled down to the Cape.  We didn’t put a ton of research into the best places to go, activities to do, places to eat, and so on.  I think we wanted to just go down and chill for a couple days.  Mission accomplished.

I saw enough to know that I’d love to come back again, but there was a couple random things about Cape Cod that stood out to me.  First, I knew that the Boston area has a large Irish influence, but I wasn’t aware that the scope extended out to Cape Cod as well.  I take for granted the Irish influence around Boston when I’m there.  I’m used to it and expect to see it in bars, restaurants, advertisements, billboards, and sports paraphernalia for all Boston teams.  But I was surprised at how much I noticed it in Cape Cod as I looked around.  Most noticeable was the hotel we stayed at in Yarmouth.  It was an Irish family-owned hotel with a gift shop adjacent to the lobby that was a shrine to all things green and gold.  It was like the Disney store had been taken over by a mouse-shaped leprechaun named Mickey O’Mouse.

The other thing that stood out to me was that Cape Cod isn’t immune to the omni-present claim by every local store and restaurant around to have “the world’s greatest chowder” or “New England’s finest lobsters” or “voted the #1 house for steamers”.  Everyone is the best, everyone is the greatest, everyone has been voted #1.  I call “bullshit”.  It’s not Cape Cod’s fault, by the way.  I blame pizza box manufacturers.  Most pizza boxes in America have a quote on them that say, “World’s Finest Pizza” or something like that.  This doesn’t apply to the chain pizza places like Pizza Hut or Papa John’s, but check the next box from your local pizza place.  I’ll bet it will have some sort of a claim to be the greatest.

It’s marketing and I get that, but it still doesn’t prevent me from noticing all the time.  If everything is “the greatest”, then nothing is “the greatest”.  Simple logic.  “The greatest” implies that there was a contest of some sort where a verifiable winner was chosen over all other competitors.  Everyone claiming to have “the greatest” is as bad as participation awards in youth sports.

It also reminds me of the department store Kohl’s.  If you have a Kohl’s near you, go in sometime and notice how everything is marked down and on sale.  Every goddamn thing in the store.  Am I to believe that Kohl’s management isn’t concerned about maximizing their profits, so they offer sales on everything to their customers?  Again, I call “bullshit”.   It’s bullshit claims to make people think they’re getting a deal on everything in the store when they’re not paying any less than they would anywhere else.  Granted, I could be overanalyzing this.

Which brings me back to The Skipper Restaurant & Chowder House, pictured above.  You may notice on their sign “Voted Cape Cod’s Best Chowder”.  Having now tasted the chowder, I will agree with their claim.  Son of a bitch, was it good.  The whole experience for my family and I was worth the bill.  My wife got the lobster she craved all week, my kids ate like champs, and I drove them all nuts with my faux New England accent.  Between our steamahs, clam chowdah, and huge lobstas, we had a wicked good meal.  Thanks Skippah.

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