The View
from Here:

    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.

    August '07

    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 belief that one day their ship would come in. Actually they were probably more concerned with catching enough fish to feed the family. Today they run many of the island’s businesses, are in local politics, teach school, work at the post office, and generally keep the place going. When summer comes, a series of neighborhood festivities provides the local population a chance to get together and relax, fish, play cards and dominos, race traditional wooden sailboats, and generally enjoy themselves in shorts and tee-shirts. The teenagers especially as many of them go off the island to school in the winter and these summer events provide them a chance to dance the night away with childhood friends and cousins. As far as I’m concerned a good movie in an air-conditioned cinema would be a much better way to spend a 90-degree dog day of August, but then again I’m not a native. Speaking of cinema, that brings me to the parallel world concept. While the locals were whiling away the weekend at the summer fete in Lorient, an entirely different scenario was playing itself out elsewhere on the island. The beautiful people were here: those who use locations such as Aspen, The Hamptons, and Saint Barth as the backdrop for various scenes in their cinematic lives. Last Friday night there was a gallery opening at the Carré D’Or—the oh so very chic shopping district in Gustavia—where the beautiful people were perched on their seats at Caviar Island, wearing summer whites while sipping their drinks, as only a few folks at a time can fit into the tiny gallery, where the work of two photographers graced the white walls. But the real buzz wasn’t about the art, it was the presence of the ethereally beautiful actress, Isabella Rossellini, who was in town for the marriage of her handsome brother Roberto, a regular visitor to the island, who was getting married on Saturday at the Anglican Church. How much more “beautiful” or “people” can you get? With La Plage restaurant and other island hot spots setting the stage for the wedding weekend, it was worlds away from the beach in Lorient. But the truth is these worlds do mix, as one of the great things about Saint Barth is that everybody is beautiful under the tropical sun! And some of us slip quietly back and forth, from an art gallery opening at in Gustavia to the fete in Lorient, making the most of both worlds!

    More to come,
    Ellen Lampert-Greaux
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