The View
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    Ellen Lampert-Greaux lives in Petite Saline and is the editor-in- chief of Harbour Magazine for Saint Barth and Saint Martin. When she's not organizing the St. Barth Film Festival, or writing for various magazines including Live Design, MACO, and All At Sea, she turns her all-seeing eye upon local happenings.

    December '07
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   Christmas Winds

It’s mid-December and the Christmas winds are kicking up their heels. Even howling occasionally, and its enough to make you crazy. But like Hamlet, I am only mad when the wind blows north-northwest (I haven’t checked the wind direction yet today so I’m feeling pretty sane so far…). The rest of the time I just try to keep things from flying into my eyes. In the meantime I am waiting to see what these winds will bring. It’s an odd start to the winter season. Maya’s, one of the most popular restaurants on the island, almost didn’t open. Where would all those people have eaten? Certainly not at the Gloriette, one of the island’s recently lamented beachfront restaurants, which along with its popular lunch spot, Cocoloba, have gone they way of other places we still remember fondly like Le Rivage and Chez Francine. Funny, for an island with 22 beaches it’s darn hard to find a place to have a simple meal with your toes in the sand. There’s been a lot of chatter about this on some of the online forums about St Barth, which are great places to get some of the best misinformation about the island ever dished up. Take half of what you read there with a grain of salt, but one popular subject on the forums lately is the risk of dengue fever in the islands. And let me tell you this is not a subject to be taken lightly. Some folks are trying to play it down, saying that dengue is no worse than the flu, and that there have not been any serious cases on the island. I can tell you from first hand experience that it’s a lot worse than the flu, and an average case lasts 10 days during which you can barely lift your head from the pillow. It’s a serious disease, after all. But not to worry, mosquitoes can be kept at bay. We spray our house and I wear bug repellant when I venture out. If everyone were vigilant, those nasty little flying pests with the striped legs that carry the virus wouldn’t bite them. The island is doing what it can to spray generally, and I hope people take proper action at home. This is the tropics after all, and flirting with mother nature can be dangerous. Speaking of mother nature, I wonder how the hotels are doing in Saint Jean, where they are trying to fight the shifting sands and encourage more of it to stay on the beach, rather than out at sea. It reminds me of the Japanese film, Woman In The Dunes, where a woman has to shovel sand into buckets all night long to keep her house from being swallowed by the sand. Why doesn’t she just move, you might ask? If everything were just that simple!

    More to come,
    Ellen Lampert-Greaux
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