THE WEEKEND THAT WAS!
Funny how the celebration of a bar’s 60th anniversary can take on epic proportions on such a small island. People came from far and wide to celebrate Marius Stakelborough and his bar, Le Select. Or they came simply for the free Jimmy Buffett concert on the dock, which drew upwards of 1500 people. The dock was packed (and the mountain of trash that was left behind makes one wonder….). Le Select was also packed. But behind the scenes a lot more was going on. For one thing, the island was much busier than usual for a first week in November. Hotels, villas, and restaurants benefitted from this extraordinary influx of visitors. So economically it should be a big success. It was also a big success socially. People met for parties in villas. They met for group luncheons in restaurants (75 of us at Andy’s on the day of the concert was quite a sight to behold!). They went out on yachts for picnics at Colombier. They tried every restaurant in town. They had private chefs cooking up a storm. They got up early every morning and took photos on the beach. There was a reception at the Normandie Hotel with Marius among the guests. The entire weekend was one of those occasions when all the various populations on the island mixed and matched, with Le Select serving as the central magnet to bring everyone together. The local choir sang. A steel band played. The president and senator of the island played in various local bands. Speeches were made. An untold amount of beer was consumed. But in the end, it shows the magic of a place like Saint Barth and its ability to draw people to the island for an event that could only happen here. Those who took the time to watch the films about Marius and Le Select (“The Swedish Heritage” and “Marius’ Friends) got a rare glimpse into the private life of this enigmatic man, including footage he shot of his kids when they were young, footage of his trips to Sweden, and of an airplane landing in St Jean long before there was even a runway. Marius’ new museum also offers a glimpse into his life: his personal collection of artifacts evokes the richness of his personal experience and at the same time traces the evolution of the island over the past 86 years. Things have quieted down a bit, but the rest of the month of November promises to be busy as well, with the Gustavialoppet or Swedish marathon at the same time as Pitea Day, which celebrates the twin cities of St Barth and Pitea in Sweden, followed by the Cata Cup regattas for catamarans from around the Caribbean, Europe and the US, with a tennis tournament along the way. Of course the entire island seems to have road work going up, but if you can make your way around the obstacles, you’ll be in for a good time whenever you are here!
More to come,