St. Barths Online

Ellen Lampert-Greaux

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.

[Jun 7, 2010] The Great Fish Debate

THE GREAT FISH DEBATE There seems to be a bone of contention among a few of my friends. Fine folks who love some of the finer things in life, such as Dover Sole That flat fish floating in butter and capers. Known in French as Sole Meunière, it is made from what is called in European fisherman ver...

[May 4, 2010] Films On The Beach Of St Barts

FILMS ON THE BEACH We survived! The 15th annual St Barth Film Festival, which took place April 24-30, 2010, was a very interesting event this year, with a wide range of films and filmmakers from the Caribbean basin. Getting them all to the island was quite an accomplishment, with the clouds of volc...

[Mar 1, 2010] Rescue at sea

RESCUE AT SEA As I’m sure many boat owners now know, St Barth has an official French rescue-at-sea station (www.snsm-stbarth.com) and a handsome new rescue boat, the Capitaine Danet, which was put into service in November 2007. The boat is now parked near the main dock in Gustavia, where a slip w...

[Feb 1, 2010] Now what?

Now what? The small plane swoops in for a landing on the short runway on a perfect little Caribbean island. You step out onto the tarmac and savor the warm air and soft tropical breezes. You admire the green hillsides where houses with red or green roofs are tucked into the landscape. Hey, you thin...

[Jan 1, 2010] Lucky again

LUCKY AGAIN Saint Barth is one pretty lucky island! We had the good fortune to be spared hurricanes of any serious magnitude for the past 10 years, expect last year’s Omar, which caused damage to the docks due to high waves (please keep your fingers crossed for future seasons…). But here we are j...

[Dec 1, 2009] Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays! ‘Tis the season for sure, with Christmas lights twinkling and the scent of fir trees in the air. Yep, even here in the tropics, people like to keep these traditions alive, even though we have to assume there weren’t any evergreens in the little town of Bethlehem and the only twi...

[Nov 1, 2009] The weekend that was

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 ...

[Oct 1, 2009] Parrot heads flocking to Saint Barth

PARROT HEADS FLOCKING TO SAINT BARTH Can it really be 10 years since the last gathering of parrot heads—alias Jimmy Buffett fans—on the island? Yep, it was back in 1999 for the 50th anniversary of Le Select, the oldest bar in Saint Barth, for anyone who might now know. And here we are in 200...

[Sep 1, 2009] Cool stuff for kids

COOL STUFF FOR KIDS This past July, Susanna Freer Passburg of the Swedish Design Centre of St. Barthélemy announced a new initiative that certainly has merit. Susanna—who is English—runs the shop with her husband Nils—who is the Swede in this affair— as a showcase for contemporary Swedish ...

[Jul 1, 2009] Let's eat

LET’S EAT! I’ve often said that while Saint Barth might not have golf courses or casinos, it does have enough knives and forks for everyone. There is a very lively restaurant scene on the island, and while some places, like Maya’s, Le Repaire, Andy’s, and Le Toiny’s fabulous Sunday brunch ...

[Jun 1, 2009] Do you show your face?

Do You Show Your Face? Dear Readers, how can it be almost the end of June already? Last I looked it was only May! But I must admit I have been so busy on Facebook, I didn’t notice the month fly by. And it is actually very surprising to see how many people and places in St Barth are lurking on ...

[May 1, 2009] Adieu Lu

ADIEU LU I hope by friend Lu doesn’t mind, as this little musing is about her, while at the same time about life on an island. The truth of the matter is that on an island, someone is always arriving or leaving, but in the case of most of our friends, they will soon be back… and its always a ...

[Apr 1, 2009] Let's go to the beach

Let’s Go To The Beach! There’s no doubt about it… one of the best attributes of Saint Barth is its beaches. After all, the island is virtually swimming in them! And over the recent Easter holiday, many of the beaches were home not only to the usual swimmers and body surfers, but also to a fl...

[Mar 1, 2009] Ship Ahoy

Ship Ahoy It’s springtime, which means that the mega-motor-yachts, which grace Saint Barth for the end-of-the-year festivities, have headed off to their summer ports of call, allowing the Port of Gustavia to focus its attention on sailing races, such as the St Barth Bucket, which takes place o...

[Feb 1, 2009] Out on the town

OUT ON THE TOWN I defy anyone to tell me there is nothing to do in Saint Barth. There may not be a golf course but who needs one? It’s much too hot here to play golf anyway. Better to spend the day on the beach, by the pool, or relaxing in a hammock, thinking about dinner. Ah, yes, dinner—the...

[Jan 1, 2009] Art in Saint Barth

ART IN SAINT BARTH It may not be obvious to the casual visitor, but St Barth is a beehive of artistic activity. In addition to the local painters who immortalize the little Saint Barth’s houses or perhaps the yachts in the harbor, there also seems to be a steady stream of visiting artists who ...

[Dec 1, 2008] Economic Bailouts

Economic Bailouts Wall Street got a big one. Detroit is looking for one as well. And it remains to be seen if Saint Barth will need one or not. An economic bailout that is! But while the troubled money tycoons and beleaguered automakers were able to turn to the US government with their hats in ...

[Nov 1, 2008] Taking part

TAKING PART My husband Rosemond is always ready to take part in local events. He helped run the island's volleyball league for at least 10 years, he marches in the carnival parade, helps organize our annual film festival, and has been a member of many non-profit associations. His most recent ex...

[Oct 1, 2008] The wind of change

THE WINDS OF CHANGE Here is it mid-October and I’ve been so busy watching my home-boys on the way to the World Series (Go Phillies!), and Barack Obama on his way to the White House (equally astonishing), that I haven’t had much time to write. But it seems to be that maybe, finally there are w...

[Sep 1, 2008] Vacationing In Saint Barth

Vacationing In Saint Barth I’d never go so far as to say that “Saint Barth is a great place to visit, but I’d never want to live there.” I do live there, but in doing so, had forgotten what a great place it actually is to visit. So in late August, rather than going off on an adventure jaunt...

[Aug 1, 2008] August again

AUGUST AGAIN Here it is the Ides of August and it’s raining. After months of hardly any rain at all, it actually poured a few minutes yesterday. Normally the local residents would be smiling and thinking of all the good the rain does for their gardens and cisterns, while the summer tourists lo...

[Jul 1, 2008] OM

OM It finally happened. After 10 years of thinking about it, I finally went to the island’s Thursday night meditation group. As a willing participant! I don’t know if it’s maybe because I just read Elizabeth Gilbert’s feel-good book, “Eat, Pray, Love,” that I decided I should definitely ...

[Jun 1, 2008] Part Time

Party Time The summer season has started in Saint Barth, which means its time for the annual sales in the island’s boutiques and the pace of life should be slowing down. But it has been like one big summer party around here, especially in the past week when the social calendar has been humming...

[May 1, 2008] The great race

The Great Race I couldn’t help myself. Everyday from early May until May 13, I kept clicking onto the official website for the Transat Ag2r to see how our local heroes were doing. Let me explain. Every other year, in about mid-to-late April, a fleet of small 33’ identical Figaro Beneteau sa...

[Apr 1, 2008] Whose dream is it anyway?

Whose Dream Is It Anyway? Last weekend it seemed like everything on the island was for sale. Part of the Carl Gustav hotel has already met the wrecker’s ball and a lot of the beds, chairs, and assorted articles were for sale, as the hotel makes way for a facelift of the public areas and adds a...

[Mar 1, 2008] What will they think of next?

What Will They Think Of Next? Let’s face it. Saint Barth is a very small island but it also has some very big problems. One of them is power. Making electricity. And making enough to meet an increasing large demand. You’d think the island was the size of China with the demands on such things...

[Feb 1, 2008] Who was that masked man?

Who Was That Masked Man? There are a few times during the year when the residents of Saint Barth really know how to party, and Mardi Gras is certainly one of them. Called Carnival here, as it is in Rio and Venice, not to mention Trinidad, the celebration lasts from Friday then the kids parade ...

[Jan 1, 2008] Denzel and me

DENZEL AND ME There’s a trivia game called Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon played by theatre people, in which they prove that they can be connected to actor Kevin Bacon in six or less steps (their cousin cuts his hair; they were in a film with him, etc…). This game is a variation of the small wor...

[Dec 1, 2007] Christmas Winds

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...

[Nov 1, 2007] Wall Street SBH

WALL STREET SBH! Everyone’s love affair with Saint Barth has a beginning. Mine began almost 20 years ago when I first came to the island and was taken by its natural beauty, and the incredible views that cascaded one after the other around every hairpin turn. View of the clear turquoise water...

[Oct 15, 2007] Turn It Off

Turn It Off! If we were at a dinner party and I leaned over very close to you and whispered in your ear that you were causing global warming, and that every day you were making the hole in the ozone layer just a little bit bigger, you would probably turn your back to me, scoot your chair over ...

[Sep 15, 2007] Scratch Scratch

SCRATCH SCRATCH The first time I came to Saint-Barth I thought it was pretty funny to see a jeep with the words "Dead Mosquito" painted on its sides. What I didn't realize at the time, is that the driver's sole mission in life is to eradicate the island's most tenacious social climbers: the mo...

[Aug 15, 2007] Parallel Worlds

Parallel Worlds This past weekend was a perfect example of the parallel worlds that often operate in Saint Barth. First there is the world of the locals, by which I mean the descendents of the original French settlers who clung to a nearly naked rock from the 17th to the 20th century, in the b...

[Jul 15, 2007] Hail To The Chief

Hail To The Chief Just as the 2008 presidential campaign is heating up in the United States, and a mere month after Nicolas Sarkozy was elected as the new president of France, the little island of Saint Barth is poised to have a president of its own. A president? Here in little old Saint Barth...

[Jun 15, 2007] 36 Hours In Saint Barth

36 HOURS IN SAINT BARTH Every once in a while the Sunday New York Times travel section has an article entitled 36 Hours In… one destination or another. Venice. Barcelona. Philadelphia. I’ve often thought about writing one about Saint Barth. The things a first-time tourist might do in a 36-ho...

[May 15, 2007] The Times They Are A Changin

The Times They Are A Changin' Nicholas Sarkozy may not be a household name in your household but he may be sometime soon. This 52 year-old right-wing politico is the president-elect in France, and will take over the running of the country from Jacques Chirac as of this month. He won in the nat...

[Apr 15, 2007] All Aboard

ALL ABOARD I hate to admit it but sailing has never been one of my favorite pastimes. I love looking at sailboats out on the water, and walking along the docks and admiring their craftsmanship, especially the fabulous classics like Ticonderoga, which spends much of the winter in Saint Barth, ...

[Mar 15, 2007] It's A Dog's Life

It’s A Dog’s Life My dear friend Peter O’Keefe—founder of this illustrious website and one of the funniest men I know—has been in the doghouse lately. Literally. First there’s Tommy, the alpha male dog, a quite handsome yellow Labrador Retriever who was shipped from the US to St Barth as...

[Feb 15, 2007] A Month To Remenber

A MONTH TO REMEMBER January 2007 will go down in the history books of Saint Barth as one of the most important month's in the island's history. After many years of political wrangling and wangling, the French government has finally voted to allow Saint Barth to get out from under the yoke conn...

[Jan 15, 2007] A Taste Of Saint Barth

A TASTE OF SAINT BARTH My husband came home for lunch today with an aluminum foil package in his hands. "You are a lucky girl," he said. That could only mean one thing. He had gone to Flamands on an errand and stopped by to see his parents. Which meant that the foil package must contain my mo...

[Dec 16, 2006] Truth or Fiction?

TRUTH OR FICTION? There has been a big brouhaha in the American press and on the Internet lately over an article written by Alan Richman in GQ magazine in which he wrote something along the lines of there is no such thing as a real Creole person in New Orleans (he likened them to an imaginary ...

[Nov 1, 2006] Nightmare in Sint Maarten

Nightmare in Sint Maarten Welcome to the Friendly Island! What a joke! Sint Maarten has become the largest nightmare in the Caribbean now that the new airport has opened. The wheels of progress may be turning but in this case they need a lube job. Everyone I know that flew in this week, includ...

[Oct 1, 2006] Having your cake

Having your cake If you have ever been to a local wedding in Saint Barth, you will have noticed that there is not just one wedding cake, but multiple wedding cakes. In fact, sometimes there are one or two tables full of them, beautiful cakes in various shapes and sizes, ranging from small h...

[Sep 1, 2006] If the shoe fits

If The Shoe Fits ... I recently read an article in the New York Times, which said that flip-flops have become the footwear of choice in Los Angeles. From the beach to the boardroom, and even the red carpet at the Academy Awards, these casual shoes are becoming de rigueur for men as well as wom...

[Aug 1, 2006] If you've got it

If You've Got It You can get a lot of things in Saint Barth, from a 20 million dollar house on the beach to a 20-dollar pair of shoes. But one thing most people don't expect to get is dengue (a mosquito-borne viral disease). But it seems as if global warming is overtaking the planet (think abo...

[Jul 1, 2006] Allez les blues!

Allez Les Blues ! Screaming "Allez les Bleus" has been the national pastime in Saint Barth since the World Cup soccer matches started in Germany early last month. It translates to "Let's go Blues," which is something like yelling "Let's go Tigers" at a Princeton football game. American footba...

[Jun 1, 2006] True or False?

True or False? The rumor mill is at it again. St Barth seems to be rife for rumors these days, but what else is new? One of the most recent ones that I found amusing is that there will be a "fashion week" in Saint Barth next year. I would guess that if this is true, it would take place sometim...

[May 16, 2006] Speak to me in french, please

Speak To Me In French, Please A funny thing happened to me in a restaurant last night. It was my first visit to a rather new watering hole on the island, and it came highly recommended by a few friends who had enjoyed their meals there. The place is trendy; there are no two ways about it. And ...

[Apr 1, 2006] Busy, Busy, Busy

BUSY, BUSY, BUSY Here it is mid-April, okay almost late April, and my readers must be wondering where I've been. Well I'll tell you. I've been busy, busy, busy. My day job took me off island, first to Toronto for the opening of the stage version of The Lord of The Rings, whose cast and crew is...

[Mar 1, 2006] What a weekend

What a Weekend Randi got married in Saint Barth last weekend. I don't know Randi, but I came over from Saint Martin to Saint Barth on the Voyager last Thursday with some of her wedding guests, including some of the bridesmaids I believe. They were all talking about going to a wedding and sinc...

[Feb 1, 2006] Reality check

Reality Check So here I am sitting in New York City surrounded by two feet of snow, but the city’s record-breaking snowfall is quickly melting as temperatures head into the 50s by the weekend. Being snowed-in all day gave me the chance to reflect about a few things, in terms of Saint Barth. ...

[Jan 1, 2006] Savings plans

Savings Plans On an island that could easily be called INXS (like the rock band), it strikes me as slightly odd that all of a sudden there's a move toward certain environmentally sound ideas. After all, there are people here who use several truckloads of water from the desalinization plant eve...

[Dec 1, 2005] Let the season begin!

Let the Season Begin! I'm back! The cruise ships are back! Let the season begin! It's that time of year when St. Barth lives up to the reputation it has earned in the international press. The island that has been "invented" by journalists who don't look much further than the fireworks on New...

[Nov 16, 2005] the write stuff

The Write Stuff 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 h...

[Oct 1, 2005] Out to lunch

OUT TO LUNCH It's raining. In fact people are beginning to complain about too much rain around here and even some of the old timers are saying they have never, in their entire lives, seen so much rain at this time of year. Cisterns and swimming pools are filled to the brim and gardens are blo...

[Sep 1, 2005] Not so easy!

NOT SO EASY! Like most of my fellow Americans and much of the rest of the world, I have spent the last week watching the televised reports of the death, destruction and despair that followed in the wake of hurricane Katrina. A category four hurricane that pretty much wiped New Orleans off the ...

[Aug 1, 2005] What a summer!

WHAT A SUMMER! As I have often said, summer isn't always the busiest time of the year around here. But this summer flew by so fast I can hardly believe it. And it's been an odd one to say the least. Hot and rainy, first of all, and more humid than usual, making me wonder why I ever thought the...

[Jul 1, 2005] A tourist in St. Barth

A TOURIST IN ST. BARTH Every once in a while it's fun to be a tourist in St Barth. Or at least see the island through the eyes of a St Barth virgin (not that this is a virgin island...). That's exactly what we did the first Saturday in July when a colleague from St. Kitts came for an overnigh...

[Jun 1, 2005] Ship ahoy!

SHIP AHOY! In spite of the fact that St. Barth is an island, ie: surrounded by water, it is sometimes weeks, or even months (do I hear years?) between the times I actually set foot on a boat. Not that I get seasick or anything, it's just that the occasion rarely arises, so I am primarily a la...

[May 1, 2005] What a festival!

WHAT A FESTIVAL! I’ll admit that it’s not every day you see a 6’-tall Senegalese film director hitchhiking into Gustavia wearing floor-length African robes! But during the St Barth Film Festival, held every year in April, anything is possible. In fact, our guest from Dakar, Moussa Sene Absa,...

[Apr 1, 2005] Blue bracelet brigade

Blue Bracelet Brigade The first weekend in April a lot of people in Saint Barth spent a lot of time looking out at sea. They weren’t worrying about the possibility of tidal waves, or keeping on eye on migrating whales, but were in fact watching some very magnificent sailboats parade around the...

[Mar 1, 2005] Jimmy was back in town

Jimmy Was Back in Town Jimmy Buffett has trouble staying incognito around here. It's no surprise. After all, the man flies in on a Cessna Caravan seaplane. You can't miss it. And if the pontoons weren't a dead give away, the initials JB sure are. Once that plane is parked in Saint Jean, the co...

[Feb 3, 2005] Regaling in St. Barth

REGALING IN ST BARTH When it comes to local, there’s no place more local than Au Regal, a combination sports bar and restaurant in the sleepy little fishing village of Corossol, somewhat off the beaten track in St. Barth. To begin with, not many tourists find their way to Corossol, unless they...

[Jan 1, 2005] Star watch

STAR WATCH This is the time of year when the rumors of star sightings are rampant. All kinds of names are being bandied about. Who’s here for the holidays. Uma Thurman, Paul Allen, Woody Allen, Denzel Washington, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, plus Puff Daddy, P. Diddy and Sean Combs all rol...

[Dec 1, 2004] First Things first

FIRST THINGS FIRST First I must apologize profusely to Mr. Thierry Petitjean, the man who makes the wonderful Petite Deauville ice cream. Last month as I was bemoaning the rapid (and continuing) decline of the dollar against the Euro, I pointed out that my friend Frank and I had calculated the ...

[Nov 1, 2004] Getting Ready!

Getting Ready ! November is what might be called the shoulder season in St Barths. You might also call it the rainy season. Either way it’s the time of year when expectations are at their highest and buzz saws and hammers are brought out of their summer resting places and put to use along with...

[Oct 1, 2004] It's too late now!

It's Too Late Now! Next month, November 2004, marks the 15th anniversary of my first visit to Saint Barth! Yes sir, the very first time I set foot on the island was in 1989. How did all those years go by so fast? It’s almost hard to believe. In fact, it seems almost like yesterday that my fri...

[Sep 16, 2004] Pass the sugarcane please

PASS THE SUGARCANE PLEASE Every once in a while I find myself doing something I didn’t dream up or suggest myself. These forays are usually my husband’s idea and in the sake of marital harmony I go along for the ride (ask me sometime about the murder mystery weekend in the Hamptons on Valenti...

[Aug 16, 2004] St Barths under seige

ST BARTHS UNDER SEIGE Anyone who is visiting the island for the first time this summer must wonder what’s going on! The place is like one giant construction site, from one end of the island to the other. Starting in Gustavia, the harbor master’s office and the stage (where local events have t...

[Jul 16, 2004] Radiomania

RADIOMANIA Anyone who listens to the radio in Saint-Barth or Saint-Martin should have, by now, found a nice surprise. A new FM option (95.1 in Saint-Barth and 88.1 in Saint-Martin) dedicated solely to music. No talk. No news. No weather. No advertising (at least for now). The station is allied...

[Jun 16, 2004] what is excellence?

WHAT IS EXCELLENCE? I'm beginning to worry a little about Saint Barth. In recent weeks, all sorts of travel magazines have flooded my desk with tantalizing headlines on the cover. The Best Beaches in the Caribbean. The Best Service at Hotels Around the World. Then there was a flood of emails f...

[May 16, 2004] Crossing the Atlantic

CROSSING THE ATLANTIC George Washington thought it was quite an accomplishment to cross the Delaware (river that is!). Of course he did it standing up in a rowboat. Something I'm not sure I'd try. And if he was doing it in a TV commercial today, the tiny print at the bottom would say "closed ri...

[Apr 16, 2004] Sprocket Holes

SPROCKET HOLES It's that time of year again. Film festival time. The time of year when the bed in the guest room is covered with t-shirts and baseball caps, and the office is filled with 35mm film cans (I can't wait until the world goes truly digital... it's a lot easier to move digits around ...

[Mar 16, 2004] Star, What stars?

STARS, WHAT STARS? Hardly anyone can talk about Saint-Barth these days without talking about the "stars." And that's exactly what I want to do, except that unlike those who are obsessed with the Hollywood movie stars that visit the island for the Christmas and New Year season, and what they wor...

[Feb 16, 2004] A weekend in Guadeloupe

A WEEKEND IN GUADELOUPE St Barth is not only an island, it is also a town in Guadeloupe. Hold on, you might say, isn't Guadeloupe another island, someplace else in that archipelago of tiny dots in the ocean they call the Caribbean. Well yes, and I recently had the opportunity to spend a weekend...

[Jan 6, 2004] No room at the inn

NO ROOM AT THE INN Everybody knows the story of Mary and Joseph arriving in Bethlehem on Christmas Eve to find that there was no room at the inn. Had they arrived in Saint Barth on their motor yacht or sailboat anytime between Christmas and the New Year, they would have found that there was no ...

[Dec 2, 2003] It's party time

IT'S PARTY TIME Anyone who wandered by the plaza in front of City Hall on December 13 might have thought they stepped back in time at least 100 years if they caught sight of some of the clothes people were wearing. The occasion was a day-long arts festival, Art en Fete. And as often happens...

[Nov 16, 2003] Rain rain go away

RAIN RAIN GO AWAY It's raining. In fact it's been raining for the past week. Almost non-stop. Buckets. Cats and dogs. Sprinkles. Showers. Torrential downpours. Sheets of rain swirling in the wind. We all wish it would stop already. And this is rather unusual on a normally pretty dry island. Un...

[Oct 16, 2003] Passports please

PASSPORTS PLEASE Every once in a while something happens in Saint Barth that gets a lot of people into a tizzy, which is something like a tailspin, or a state of general agitation. It could be a rumor about taxes or perhaps the announcement of an oncoming hurricane (and believe it or not, some ...

[Sep 16, 2003] What makes an island sexy?

WHAT MAKES AN ISLAND SEXY? About a dozen people must have called me by now to ask if I saw the recent article in USA Today about "Sexy St Barts." So I looked it up on the internet. After all, I'm always curious to see what people have to say about my favorite island. It's always interesting to ...

[Aug 1, 2003] A tasty tradition

A Tasty Tradition Behind the veneer of glitz and glamour, far from the six million dollar villas and the mega-million dollar yachts, there is another Saint Barth. A gentler, old-fashioned world where values center around the home and hearth, or at least the kitchen.And while I'm not a fan of...

[Jul 16, 2003] Ash Sunday

Ash Sunday July 13 was a lot of things. The second day of the 11th annual St. Barth Open Fishing Tournament, the day before Bastille Day, an important leg in the annual Tour de France bicycle race, and the day that the island of St Barthèlemy awoke to find itself completely covered in ash. It...

[Jun 16, 2003] St. Barth Size

St. Barth Size Ah, the lazy, crazy days of summer are here! How can I tell? One way is by looking at the docks in Gustavia. If they are empty if must be summer. Our popular little port that sizzles with activity all winter is as quiet as a mouse. Most of the boats, from the mega-motor-yachts to...

[May 16, 2003] St Barth by Night

St Barth By Night Did you ever see those postcards that are completely black, with white letters that say “Cleveland By Night” or “Kabul By Night” or some other god-forsaken place where it is assumed not much goes on after sunset. The way things are going around here it seems that you could...

[Apr 16, 2003] Easter, Passover, and April showers

Easter, Passover, and April showers It's Easter. It's Passover. And it's been raining. For days! Normally April showers mean May flowers, but in this case it means wet campers. Please let me explain. As tempting as it may be to camp out on the beautiful beaches of St. Barth, it is illegal to do...

[Mar 16, 2003] Travels with Ellen

Travels With Ellen Oh my my... the month of March has almost roared away and my readers must have thought I had gone with it. But here I am, reporting live from Minneapolis while some of my colleagues in the international press corps are reporting live from the front in Irag. I'll admit my trav...

[Feb 16, 2003] what a mess!

WHAT A MESS! Since late December, when the likes of Mick Jagger and Mariah Carey were hip-hopping across the island, I've been out trash picking. And I don't mean the fun kind of trash picking like in New York where you find all sorts of wonderful things that people just plain don't want anymor...

[Jan 1, 2003] Music in the air

MUSIC IN THE AIR It happens every year at about this time. A swarm of people, dressed all in black, can be seen hovering around the Catholic Church in Lorient and the Anglican Church in Gustavia. Many of them are carrying cases under their arms that when opened reveal musical instruments. For ...

[Dec 16, 2002] 'tis the season

'Tis the season December 15 has come and gone which means that St Barth has once again moved into what is known around here as "the season." Sort of the island's own unique hunting season, I guess. And this season the hunters are plentiful. Plane load after plane load. Coming in from cold clime...

[Nov 1, 2002] Another season underway

Another season underway A few years ago Islands magazine asked me to write a few hundred words describing the perfect day in St Barth. After about 30 seconds of soul searching I realized that most perfect days in this particular paradise revolve around food. And as I said at the time, even thou...

[Oct 16, 2002] St barths and the Big Apple

St Barths and the Big Apple Every year thousands of New Yorkers pack their bathing suits, straw hats, lip gloss, and best sellers into their Hermes and Louis Vuitton bags and head toward St Barths. There are even a few days between Christmas and New Year's when one might think that St Barths is...

[Sep 16, 2002] and the winner is

AND THE WINNER IS . . . There they were. Six lovely young ladies competing to become Miss St. Barthelemy circa 2002. The event took place on August 24 at the town fair celebrating good old St Barth, the patron saint of the island. Of course the islanders had already celebrated pretty hard with ...

[Aug 16, 2002] Keep on smilin'

KEEP ON SMILIN' . . . There have been a lot of meetings in town lately. One of them was called by the local Lion's Club, a well-intentioned group ready to launch a new campaign to get everybody to start smiling a little more around here. The idea is that people aren't always too civil towards o...

[Jul 16, 2002] Happy Bastille Day

HAPPY BASTILLE DAY! Last weekend as France was celebrating Bastille Day, St Barth held its tropical version of the French national holiday. There was a lovely fireworks display over the harbor in Gustavia and a crowd dancing on the dock to the sounds of S? Control, a band made up of local guys ...

[Jun 16, 2002] World Cup Blues

HAPPY BASTILLE DAY! Last weekend as France was celebrating Bastille Day, St Barth held its tropical version of the French national holiday. There was a lovely fireworks display over the harbor in Gustavia and a crowd dancing on the dock to the sounds of S? Control, a band made up of local guys ...

[May 16, 2002] Local Heroes

Local Heroes What a week! It seems as if the entire island was waiting with baited breath for the boats in the Transat Ag2r to arrive on the weekend of May 11 and 12.. And they were not disappointed as the first one came into sight just as the sun was about to disappear behind the Friday night ...

[Apr 16, 2002] Weather Report

Weather Report Special bulletin from Saint Barth: Heavy rains and heavy winds due to a convergence of who knows what from who knows where. With a juxtaposition of dark clouds, brief periods of intense sun and a weekend where everything seemed inside out. It all started on Saturday evening (April...

[Mar 16, 2002] See you at the movies

See You At The Movies Sometimes I wish my friends had told me I was just plain nuts. Or to cease and desist before it was too late. But for some reason they all encouraged me, and here it is just weeks, days, or minutes, before the seventh annual St Barth Film Festival. It's really my friend J...

[Feb 16, 2002] Something fishy

Something Fishy Every time I buy seafood around here I seem to find myself in a fine kettle of fish. They are staring you right in the eye, knowing you have no idea what they are called in French. Or even what to do with them. The first, and last, time I bought fish at a supermarket was over te...

[Jan 16, 2002] Off and Running

Off And Running Whew! The New Year is barely a week old and its already been quite something. I was sitting on the terrace of a friend's house looking out at the night sky on New Year's Eve, and realized something was wrong. St. Martin looked awfully dark. Turns out that no sooner did the la...

[Dec 16, 2001] The numbers game

The Numbers Game It all used to be so simple. Now it seems we are overwhelmed, literally swamped by numbers. I used to remember them all, from phone numbers to social security numbers. But now there are just too many digits. More digits than you can count on the digits of your fingers and to...

[Nov 16, 2001] Two man in a boat

TWO MEN IN A BOAT Actually it will be two men in each of two boats representing the island of Saint Barthelemy, when the 6th edition of the Ag2r, an exciting transatlantic race, sets sail in mid-April. While April may seem many months away, the local organizers of this race are already hard ...

[Oct 16, 2001] Cleaning up

CLEANING UP I don't usually get out of bed at six thirty on a Sunday morning (or any other day of the week for that matter) but when plans were hatched for an island-wide clean up on October 7, I decided I would make a special effort. And I was not alone. Approximately 100 islanders, adults an...

[Sep 16, 2001] Love All

LOVE ALL In contrast to the normal mayhem at sporting events in Saint-Barth, the second annual tennis tournament sponsored by Le Rivage and the St Barth Beach Hotel (with a raft of other local sponsors) was downright civilized. At the summer volleyball tournament, the matches could be mistaken...

[Aug 16, 2001] something in the air

SOMETHING IN THE AIR The holiday season finally got underway the first weekend in August when Larry Gray, our local pyro-maniac or fireworks expert, finally got a chance to show off his stuff in the skies over Lorient beach, after two false starts earlier in the summer. For reasons too compl...

[Jul 16, 2001] Season's Greetings

SEASON'S GREETINGS Basically there are no seasons in Saint-Barth. Not the kind of seasons we had back home in Pennsylvania anyway, where words like winter, summer, spring, and fall trip lightly off the tongue and phrases like "White Christmas" and "April Showers" actually relate to seasonal ph...

[Jun 16, 2001] Away from home

Away from Home I have actually been away from Saint Barth for the past six weeks. Business trips have taken me to Berlin, London, Las Vegas, and New York, with a family get-together in Philadelphia along the way. Time away offers a chance to look at the island from afar, and a dose of appropri...

[Apr 16, 2001] Some Good Old Times

Some Good Old Times Easter is one time of year when the people of St Barth traditionally camp on or near the beach. While not exactly legal under current French legislation, this Pascal camp-out is an island tradition that is as old as the hills and "tolerated" by the authorities. Tents pop up ...

[Mar 16, 2001] Past, present and future

Past, present and future March 8th is International Women's Day, and this year it falls at a very interesting time for St Barth. Here's the scenario: Sunday, March 11 will witness the first round of voting in the island's election of its next mayor. What does this have to do with women? Well, ...

[Feb 16, 2001] H2O

H2O When Samuel Taylor Coleridge's ancient mariner noticed that there was water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink, I wonder if he was in St Barth at the time. This tiny scrap of land is surrounded by the pounding waves of the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, but there is a rather se...

[Jan 16, 2001] STANDING CORRECTED

STANDING CORRECTED No sooner did my husband read my comments last month about the way the airport was back in the 1970s, than he was quick to point out a few errors. First of all, he said, they were sheep and not goats on the savanna that served as an airstrip before the runway was paved. Seco...

[Dec 16, 2000] GETTING HERE IS HALF THE FUN

GETTING HERE IS HALF THE FUN Luckily for those of us who live in St Barthelemy, this island has only one small flat piece of land that can possibly be used as an airstrip or runway. The first air service came to St. Barthelemy in the 1940s, when former mayor Remy DeHaenen discovered that he ...

[Nov 16, 2000] GETTING BACK TO NORMAL

GETTING BACK TO NORMAL I got back to St Barth on November 1 (after a few weeks break in the United States) and hit the ground running. I no sooner kicked off my high-top Nikes and slipped into flip-flops than I was off on a tour of the island's cemeteries. I realize that might sound a bit ghou...

[Oct 16, 2000] IT'S A CAT'S LIFE

IT'S A CAT'S LIFE Before I moved to St Barth I always thought that cats were like ovens: self-cleaning. Of course I had never had a cat (being partial to Springer Spaniels myself) and the few cats I had ever met where pretty much inside cats that had nothing more to clean than a few Manhattan...

[Sep 16, 2000] BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES

BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES I just survived my first hurricane. Okay, I'll admit it, it was a small hurricane, really. Nothing at all like the great gusty storms of recent years, like Luis and Lenny, but it sure gave me a taste of what a larger storm might bring! The day before little Debby ar...

[Jul 16, 2000] ALL IN THE FAMILY

ALL IN THE FAMILY One of the most authentic neighborhoods in St Barth is Flamands. Party because it hasn't changed much in the last few decades, and it is still one of the most family-oriented spots on the island. And the fact that at least half of the families that live there are part of the ...

[Jun 16, 2000] SHIFTING SANDS

SHIFTING SANDS The sands of Saint Barthélemy are shifting, literally and figuratively. In the first sense there have been of late some giant sand moving machines seen in the water near some of the island's beaches. Suffering from a lack of sand since the duo of hurricanes that battered our s...

[May 16, 2000] AT THE RACES

AT THE RACES Hip Hip Hooray, it's Ladies Day at the races. In the wee early morning hours of Wednesday, May 17, the first boat in the Tranast ag2r, a grueling transatlantic sailing race that left Lorient, France on April 16, arrived in the harbor of Gustavia. Its hard to imagine being at s...

[Apr 16, 2000] ST BARTHELEMY: THE MOVIE

ST BARTHELEMY: THE MOVIE The action begins at the break of dawn on a Friday morning in late March. As the sun rises behind the volcanic cones that dot the island, a few lone fishermen set out to sea and the delivery man from the bakery begins his daily rounds. As the first warm baguettes a...

[Mar 16, 2000] PACE OF LIFE

PACE OF LIFE The past two months have flown by so fast its hard to believe that this is the laid-back West Indies where time used to move so slowly you didn't even need to wear a watch. In the good old days, time seemed to lazily stretch before me, but lately things have been different. All I...

[Jan 16, 2000] MILLENIUM

MILLENIUM In spite of rumors which were flying around here faster than fur in a cat fight, the new year seems to have arrived in Saint Barth without too much fuss. If you could believe everything you heard, we'd have seen US aircraft carriers decked out as floating hospitals in the harbor rea...

[Dec 19, 1999] The Select Anniversary

The Select Anniversary No sooner had St Barth finished mopping up from the heavy rains of hurricane Jose than it was flooded with people, an unusual combination of Swedes, sailors and Jimmy Buffett fans who had come from far and near for the weekend of November 6 & 7 to celebrate the 50th anni...

[Oct 19, 1999] August in St. Barts

August in St. Barts While most of the civilized world is lying low, avoiding the dog days of August, the local population in Saint-Barth inexplicably springs into action. Not only is it the hottest time of the year, but it is also the beginning of hurricane season and the weather cannot be coun...

[Aug 19, 1999] Local Wedding

Local Wedding The high point of the summer social season on an island like this is a big family wedding, especially if the bride and groom are part of the big St Barth "family" that stretches back to the original French settlers that eked out an existence here in the 17th and 18h centuries. Y...

[Jun 19, 1999] Boats in distress

Boats in distress June is usually a pretty quiet month in St Barth, with the winter season long over and the summer one waiting to get into full swing when the schools let out. But there are always a few tourists on the loose and a few of them had a pretty exciting time of it last Saturday whe...


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