Holiday Spirits

Colorfully costumed stilt dancers — or mocko jumbies — appear at many island festivals. Cultural icons and entertainers today, the mocko jumbies have ancient African origins. “Jumbies” are mischevious or evil spirits and ghosts, and one interpretation is that the mocko jumbies scare them away by mocking them. Their height allows them to see the spirits before they arrive to cause trouble. While there…

Rising Stars Steel Band and Grilled Meats in Red

Some of the best steel pan music in the world can be heard from the large orchestras that compete at Carnival time on the island of Trinidad in the southern Caribbean. This seems appropriate since Trinidad is the birthplace of the instrument. While perhaps not the best in the world, we are fortunate on St. Croix to have several steel pan orchestras of our…

1961 Plymouth

This classic was built at the end of an era of unusual excess in automobile design — the period of flamboyant fins, rocketship tail lights, and copious chrome. This had been a police cruiser, and was restored in that manner with one of the dual headlights converted to a red flasher. Even in this earlier time, cars had become such an integral part of…

A suburban maze

What is at this glass corridor’s end? Is it the door to the vault where the secrets are kept? Or is it a way out, and with the right spin of the red dial the door will swing open? Or, is it the secret red button that when pushed will launch next wave to resolve the crisis? Whatever it is, I am not sure…

Per Ankh Performance

A local group called the Per Ankh Institute puts on cultural heritage drumming and dancing performances. This woman is one of the performers. Her regal posture and smile, and her instrument covered with hundreds of cowrie shells all spoke of pride in her heritage. The occasion was the arrival of a cruise ship, and the image below shows some of the watchers. The tall…

Outfall

This image started as an abstract, but somehow also became a reflection on our culture and economy. It is interesting how the colors, the grid-like overlays, and the shapes contribute to an ambiguity of meaning that the imagery of the pipe and wall alone could not carry.

Stories to tell

Vacant and for sale, this old building in the heart of Frederiksted looked like it had many stories to tell. The stone and brick lower level, arched arcade, wood upper floor and tin hip roof epitomize the style of an earlier era that makes Frederiksted so charming. The entire town is a gem in the rough, just waiting for the restorer’s touch to make…

Beyond the Green Door

This is from the same series as the “Window to the Past” in the previous post. Here the brightly lit interior space draws the viewer in toward the green door with the little round window. It looks dark through there. I wonder what is on the other side?

Window to the Past

This window in an abandoned hurricane blow-out looked in on a tiled shower stall, with a green curtain still hanging — all lit from above through the missing roof. It is a strange feeling to come across these not-so-old ruins with reminders of the lives lived there still blowing in the breeze while the vines grow in.

Along King Street in Frederiksted

A young woman was relaxing in the shade of an arched arcade along the main thoroughfare of Frederiksted on the west end of St. Croix. The colors of her clothes and the building, her white headscarf, and the classic arch of the building’s arcade made for an iconic image of this old and economically depressed town.