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.
    October '02
    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 New York, based on the reservation list at certain local restaurants.
    But this month the tables are turned and a group of the island's leading hoteliers and restaurateurs are going to take a bite out of the Big Apple.
    Organized by the island's active Hotel Association, this expedition to New York is headed by Mayor Bruno Magras, with a few other members of the local government. There will also be representatives of the French Embassy on hand to help the St Barths contingent greet 250 travel agents at Cafe St Bart (a conveniently named cafe at St Bartholomew's Church). Their schedule also includes a press luncheon for 50 at the very lovely restaurant Jean-George. While thanking the travel agents and the press for their support, this will also be the perfect occasion to do a little extra promotion for the island.
    But the problem is: which St Barths should be promoted? The one where jet setters fly in for a party on a private yacht and stop by the new Bulgari boutique for a new bauble or two before baking on the beach? Or the one where barefoot women walk along the roads wearing wide-brimmed Panama hats to protect them from the hot sun while gathering branches to feed their goats? Then there is the question of what to drink. Is it a short glass of vanilla rum, a French invention that has become popular in St Barths recently? Or a genuine ti-punch, the age-old and always popular island drink made with rum, sugar, and lime? And what about the music? How does former French tennis star Yannick Noah sound (he performs here at least once a year)? Or Henri and Leon, the local twins who play traditional island music on accordion and conch shell? And which events? Carnival or the classical music festival? Will the real St Barths please stand up?
    Fortunately for those of us who live here, St Barths is all of these things rolled into one. From the glamour of the yachts bobbing in the Port of Gustavia to a little wooden fishing boat pulling up to the dock in Corrosol with the catch of the day. From Christmas shoppers buying the latest fashions in the Carre D'Or to St Barths kids singing Creole Christmas carols on the beach. All of this is very real and certainly worth promoting on this tiny little French island that really has a lot going for it.
    More to come,
    Ellen Lampert-Greaux
  News & Comment   |   Editorial Archive   |   A Visitor's Guide