St. Barths Online

News

Nov 16, 2005

The Write Stuff

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With the launching of the tourist season each year comes the onslaught of tourist magazines. One would think that the people who come here on vacation must have an endless amount of time on their hands to read, or are in desperate need of a new watch! In any case, at least a half of a dozen glossy magazines have appeared this year, including, in no particular order, Harbour, Discover, Tropical, VIP, Pure, and Island Hopper. Photography has taken a leading role in some of them, especially in Pure, which is published by a French photographer and features extraordinary images of fashion models, dogs in sunglasses, and at least one famous chef. Pure is also a perfect example of the island's general shift from a laid-back Caribbean outpost to a highly sophisticated jet-set destination where the black and white shades of minimalist design are pushing the colorful West Indies design aesthetic back into the sea. Yet, the island's history is also a favorite subject for these magazines to repackage in new ways year after year, and one of the island's popular subjects, Jeanne Audy Roland, the keeper of the Nureyev legacy in Toiny, appears in at least two magazines this season. And I must offer apologies to anyone who doesn't like my writing style as they will certainly get a boatload of it this year. Not only did I write most of the copy in Harbour, I also translated the personal portraits in VIP. Mistakes and typos included. But I figure if the New York Times can run a corrections column on a daily basis, a few misplaced modifiers and oddball phrases are inevitable. In addition I translate the articles in the St Barth Weekly, the English-language baby brother to the Journal de St Barth, where my husband is the sports reporter/photographer. I also write the People Watch column for the Weekly (you can now download the entire Weekly directly from this Web site, so please take a look). You can avoid reading me by sticking to Tropical, Discover, and Pure, where my journalistic talents have not yet been called upon (although I did once do some translations for Tropical). Of course the journalist and design pool is rather small on an island of this size, so the same graphic artist did both Harbour and VIP, while her sister wrote the articles for VIP. The same person who translates my articles for St Barth Online also translated my articles for Harbour, and most of it is done via Internet from Paris, as she no longer lives on the island fulltime. She also wrote the articles in Tropical that I translated a few years back. It's a small island and one wonders about the seemingly endless number of ad pages that keep all these magazines in business. But clearly Saint Barth has a great appeal for writers and photographers who have made it one of the most written about and photographed rocks in the world.

More to come,

 

Ellen Lampert-Greaux


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