Posted on November 29, 2009
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 beauty that many come to see.
Before sundown, the living cargo streams back to the ship’s hold in time for the evening feast, and the leviathon slips quiety into the evening almost as if it were never here. Almost.
Posted on October 21, 2009
We all see funny signs from time to time. Sometimes they are obvious errors, but this one made me wonder if they really mean what they say — that they won’t start cooking that omelet until they see the whites of your eyes! I guess that would be better than yesterday’s or last week’s omelet.
On a different subject, but still having fun, the neighbors had a problem with swarming bees the other day (not an infrequent occurrence here). They called the “bee-man” — a rasta fellow who knows what to do. He looked so strange on the rooftop after he donned all his gear.
Posted on October 15, 2009
I was slinking around the local warehouse food store with the camera the other day, and got this moody picture of the butcher, alone in his glass-enclosed cage. The image is a more recent extension of some of the work I did last month in preparation for an exhibit in Frederiksted.
The camera sees the colors of light so much more acutely than the eye. While we all know that retailers make the meat look redder with a little red in the light, it’s normally not so obvious. The two different qualities of light here – in the work room and on the counter – help deliver the message in this image.
The “Daily Strife” exhibit at the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts opens Friday night, October 16. Six of my images were chosen to be part of the exhibit, including the one on the promotional flyer below. The show will be up until December 1, so stop in if you are on island.
Posted on October 10, 2009
Mobile devices (what we used to call cell phones) seem to be everywhere and sometimes may isolate us as much as bring us together. The image above from San Juan, Puerto Rico, will be part of an exhibition at the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts titled “Daily Strife” (opening on October 16). The exhibit commemorates Virgin Islands – Puerto Rico Friendship Day, and its theme is our common experiences and responses to the chaos and rapid change of modern life.
While mulling over the theme of the exhibition, I saw the woman below — a cruise ship tourist — studying her mobile device while walking through the grounds of the historic fort in Frederiksted. She hurried out to where the cannons were placed so she could have her picture taken with the ship in the background. I wondered if she even saw the fort.
Posted on October 2, 2009
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 woman in white with the camera is one of the Per Ankh troupe. The young girl sitting next to her is a local resident. The others are a few of the cruise ship passengers taking a short break in the shade of the palms to be entertained.
Posted on September 25, 2009
The dead trunk of a palm plant washed up on the shore. At one end was the tangle of roots joined to the base of the trunk. At the other, the spiraled remains of where the living palm fronds had been attached subtly tailed off into fibrous strands. These two semi-abstracts are interpretations of each end of this single object that had washed ashore.
Posted on September 18, 2009
I thought this was a good image to follow the “feral feline” in the previous post. The woman was giving me a similar look, like if I stepped another foot closer, she’d bolt. Good they are taking comfort in the familiarity of a waffle cone and sweet ice cream.
I don’t recognize this couple. Likely tourists. There are always clues, some of which are unique to each locale. In this case, the man’s socks (to match the shirt, no less) with shorts and sandals stand out. Unusual here, but he probably can’t imagine not wearing them. How do you identify tourists in your hometown?
Posted on September 12, 2009
St. Croix is overrun with feral cats, despite the best efforts of several local non-profits to neuter as many as possible. Part of this cat’s territory is a little-used courtyard in downtown Christiansted. This is not the look of a kitty that wants to be petted. In fact, he clearly wanted me OUT of his territory! If he were ten pounds heavier, I’d have been more fearful than he was.
Posted on July 31, 2009
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 it sparkle again.
Posted on July 25, 2009
The oil tankers often lurk offshore waiting for their turn at the spigot. This one was empty, riding high, eager for its fill. He chose the calm lee of the island, hovering there in the fading and hazy light of a cloudy evening.