Faded places

Every community has its empty places, faded and overgrown. Some of these, when there had been no design or charm to begin with, become a blight on the landscape. But others have personality and become a part of the character of a place, in their decline adding a patina of charm and history. How do the well-intentioned and civic-minded learn to tell the difference,…

Buy me Love!

This store display screams “Love! Buy me love!” and to avoid confusion the t-shirts on the mannequins say “my boyfriend” and “my girlfriend” with a big red heart. So come on, just buy me some clothes, buy me love! Now here in the Caribbean — once you get away from the big stores — the style is a little different. On the gallery (porch…

Subjective Realities

Each person’s heritage and life experiences are different, creating unique subjective realities that affect our interpretation of the world around us. I like these images because the feelings and stories they evoke for me tell me something about myself. The original images were captured at night, handheld, without the benefit of flash. I then enhanced the indistinct and impressionistic qualities to make the images…

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 Modern Shrine

There is a new shopping mall near the airport in Orlando, Florida. It is called Mall at Millenia and is a part of a much larger mixed use (retail-residential) development called simply, and somewhat ominously, Millenia. These images are from the mall’s interior public spaces dedicated to the further glory of upscale consumption. For a moment I had a vision of this magnificent public…

Trojan Ships

The cruise ships have returned to St. Croix. They arrive in the morning and disgorge their living cargo for a few hours ashore. Priorities are rearranged. New businesses spring up in an attempt to pry a few dollars from wallets. The ships are welcomed as a needed lift for the island economy, even though some activities threaten to destroy the local culture and natural…

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…

Bride to be

Nude mannequins in store windows may be an overdone subject (like sunsets, razzbuffnik). Nevertheless, the play of light and reflections in this upscale bridal shop in Florida were compelling. The contrast between the in-store lighting and the outdoor light on the dismembered mannequin gave her an other wordly look, echoing the contrast between the romance inside and the reality outside glimpsed in storewindow’s mirror.

Emplacement

The two old Danish forts on St. Croix — one in Christiansted and the other in Frederiksted — were defended by cannons aimed seaward. The irony is that the real threat to the planter’s culture of that era came from the land in the form of the changing economics of the sugar trade, the end of slavery, and rebellions by workers against the oppressive…