The View
from Here:
    Ellen Lampert-Greaux lives in Petite Saline, and when she's not organizing the St. Barthélemy film festival, or supervising the local volleyball league, or writing for various magazines, she turns her all-seeing eye upon local happenings.
    March '03
    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 travels haven't been quite so dangerous but it all began in February when I agreed to write an article about a new cruise ship, the ms Zuiderdam. Ok, I know that going on a cruise doesn't sound like hard work but who has time to loll around for a week. So thinking the ship would include St Martin on its Caribbean itinerary, I agreed to take a look at the entertainment venues on the ship and all the cutting-edge technology they have before writing the article. But the closest the ship came to St Barth was St Kitts, not St Martin. So with suitcase in hand and husband in tow, I flew from St Barth to St Martin to Nevis to St Kitts to reach the ship in mid-cruise. The first person we met in St Kitts was the immigartion official who duly stamped our passports when gave us his business card for "Bob's Island Safaris" and made us promise to call him whenever we were ready for a tour of the island. But our taxi driver, an energetic fellow by the name of James Brown, beat him to it, taking us on a rather round-about way to the ship, pointing out everything from British monuments in the town square to high-school students and the gas station. We spent the night aboard the ship as it sailed from St Kitts to St Thomas, where we disembarked in mid-morning, had lunch with a friend in Frenchtown, then spent the afternoon with my husband's Frenchtown relations. Frenchtown, is of course, the St Thomas neighborhood settled by the people of St Barth sometime last century when the men left the sunny shores of St Barth to seek work in the US Virgin Islands. We then flew back to St Barth via a night in St Martin, proving once again that the islands might be close as the crow flies but you really can't get there from here. Since that mini-cruise I've been halfway around the world with stops on the Baltic Sea in Denmark, a trade show in Frankfurt, Germany, a theatre-going day in London, seeing both a matinee and evening before tumbling into bed. After a quick week in the Big Apple, I'm now at another trade show in Minneapolis on my way to Los Angles and Las Vegas where I will settle wearily into my seat to watch the opening of the new Celine Dion show at Caesar's Forum. Wow, I can barely keep up with myself these days.
    Of course all this traveling means I haven't been on my favorite island since mid-February but my dear husband has come to Philadelphia (where he was able to witness a 30-hour snowstorm and couldn't get home for a few extra days) and New York where we had dinner with a young couple we met last year in St Barth as they finished a three-year sail around the world. Since we saw them last at Le Select in December, they have found new jobs, a new apartment, sold their sailboat, and are expecting a baby. So I guess I'm not the only one who has been busy, and at dinner we lifted our glasses of red wine and perrier and toasted our next reunion in St Barth, and all of us thought wistfully of the relative simplicity of life on the island... compared to the rest of the world anyway. So as the bombs go off in Iraq, I can't wait to get back. I've got my ticket in hand for April 10 when I'll show up in time to take a deep breath of tropical air and get back to work organizing the 8th annual St Barth Film Festival, a project I do in my spare time. Whenever that might be!
    More to come,
    Ellen Lampert-Greaux
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