When I was young, in my late teens, my friends and I would get summer jobs to pay for our expenses in college. Summer was 13 weeks long and we would take the 13th week off and with $100 head up to Cape Cod for drinking, beaching and carousing.
We stayed at a place in South Dennis, a place that had seen better times, but it was fine. It had an outdoor heated pool and lax supervision. They also didn't care if seven of us piled into a kitchenette room for a week, as long as we were quiet at night which we were.
Our days were pretty simple. We'd get up early and go for a run, then hit the beach and stay all day. Even in late August the water on the Cape was in the low 60s, so that pool came in handy when we wanted a dip, though we were brave enough and scared enough at being considered a sissy that we swam for hours in the ocean as well.
The rest of our days were divided neatly in three. Try to pick up girls, playing "home run derby" with a wiffle ball and bat in the parking lot and finding beer and sub sandwiches.
One summer we struck out completely in the girl department. There seemed to be no one our age, or every one our age was with their parents or we just couldn't find anyone. We would go out walking in the evening, pretending we were Dylan Thomas in "Just Like Little Dogs," our hair curly and roughly handsome from the sea. We came home one night to the hotel and the night clerk asked if we had "struck out in Snatch Alley."
That made us laugh that we were staying at a place called Snatch Alley. Especially since to our eyes there was very little snatch about.
I returned to the Cape this weekend with my wife, two daughters and one daughter's boyfriend. The Cape hasn't changed much in 35 years. Some wise people have kept Route 6, the main highway down to one lane each way, and that's kept development away.
I am staying at the nicest place on the Cape, or nearly so. I have seen no signs of Snatch Alley.