Graffiti and a Crown of Thorns

There are ruins, both old and new, on the old site of Fort Louise Augusta high above the point that guards the entrance to Christiansted harbor. Some of these ruins are decorated with graffiti that are not likely to be innocent. Just to the left of the graffiti are the remains of an old building covered in the thorny cactus-like stalks of the night-blooming…

Scent of St. Croix?

A play on words and the image of a dark haired seductress graces this sign hanging beneath a covered arcade in Christiansted town. The store advertises that it sells costumes and “accessories” such as lotions, bath products, “kama sutra” and more. A few blocks away, another female gazes forlornly from behind the bars of an abandoned storefront. Someone has placed her there among the…

Old Dog, Young Woman

Bloodshot eyes, red gums and worn teeth did nothing to stop this old dog from enjoying life. Adorned with a carnation necklace and leaning against his owner’s knee, he was happily watching the antics of the St. Patrick’s Day parade crowd, ready to give any passerby a gentle lick and a wag. In contrast, the young woman seated alone at Pleasant’s bar seemed isolated…

Pictures from the Fair

St. Croix’s annual agricultural fair held in February is an eagerly anticipated and well attended event. And then there is the color. There is a small village of food booths in one area all painted the same slightly greenish yellow. Vendors sell pates (vaguely like a fried turnover), johnnycakes, fried chicken and fish, a variety of fruit drinks and other local delicacies out of…

The Dark and Light of it

The strong shadows from the morning sunlight highlighted the geometry of this cotton plantation greathouse that lay in ruins — windows missing, iron bars staining the walls with rust, and the roof open to the brilliant blue morning sky. These old stone relics are gradually disappearing as they crumble or are converted into modern greathouses for today’s wealthy. On the “lighter” side is this…

Faces

These two images are from a street festival. The man was a dancer and performer. He stood out with his serious clear-eyed gaze and spear held so close. The woman was a spectator… of sorts. She was so excited and having a good time just dancing on her own up and down the street! And best of all, her curved pink sunglasses almost perfectly…

Ways

Stairways, doorways. Ways in and out. Their graphic qulaities attract my eye, and the ambiguity of where they lead teases my mind. These were both in one of the many interior courtyards in old Christiansted. The courtyard has a few small offices along the back wall and a suite of offices in one of the buildings above. The center, open to the sky, had…

Open shutters, locked gates

Many of the old buildings here in the tropics have wooden shutters over their windows, but no glass or screens. When the shutters are opened to let in the light, there is also an open exchange of air, insects, and more. What is inside can go out and what is outside can come in. How different is the message from the old gate with…

Time passes

The queen rides by in sparkling yellow proud and smiling. A few blocks away, the afternoon sun illuminates a crumbling cemetery. The stones speak of dreams and lives long gone, and stories played out on that balcony just beyond the cemetery wall.

Different lives

Different people, different lives. The image above was captured at dusk in a waterfront cafe, waiting for the Christmas boat parade to begin. A smiling older woman strolls through the crowds selling trinkets and candy from a bin in a baby stroller. Always ready with a smile, she is a fixture at the town’s events. And below is a tall man, cigar and beer…