St. Barths Online

Those who are visiting for a while

Classical Wealthy Americans - These are the ideal visitors from everyone's point of view. They don't make a mess, they are always friendly and polite, and they are not intimidated by extravagant prices.


Celebrities - Without the training and patience of a detective on a stakeout you won't see them wandering about unless they are young enough, or egocentric enough, to need frequent doses of admiring recognition. They come and go surreptitiously, briefly inhabit villas distinguished by their privacy, and occasionally patronize a handful of reservation-only restaurants. The impressive lists of vacationing luminaries that are unfailingly mentioned in travel magazines as part of the St. Barths scene are a mild curiosity to most residents, who wouldn't recognize Harrison Ford, Liz Claiborne, Beyoncé or Black Eyed Peas if they walked in the front door.


Successful Media Hipsters - These are not the stars of movie and television fame, but a segment of the cadre of producers, directors, agents, and technicians who make stardom possible, and make lots of money in the process. They are hyperactive by nature, and often adorned with baseball caps and tee shirts bearing enigmatic logos comprehensible only to themselves, their associates, and the ardent students of show business publications.


Yachtsmen - These range from the owners and guests aboard the huge and costly international mega-yachts, to the deliberately destitute nomad whose home-made boat is a testimony to under-appreciated influence of guardian angels.


Young Professional Parisians - These are easy to spot. They arrive dressed in black and white, and they are alarmingly pale, as if they have been prepared in advance for the casket. They rarely smile, and every gesture appears to have been carefully rehearsed. This group seems to benefit most from a couple of weeks in St. Barths. They begin their vacation with the furtiveness and suspicion of a hunted animal. By the time they leave, they are golden brown, at peace with their surroundings, and have regained the optimistic vigor of their university days.


Cruise Ship Passengers - Pot bellies, blue hair, and a shy friendliness that wears thin by the end of the afternoon. They don't seem to know why they are here, and seem most at ease with activities that are familiar, like buying a tee shirt or riding in a taxi. The pack of Filipinos headed for the wholesale liquor store are members of the ship's crew.


A particularly distinct category of nautical visitors is the crew/passengers on the Sail-It-Yourself Square Riggers. On most Tuesdays, they are found trudging up or down the road that leads towards St. Jean. Many are aging eccentrics with a fondness for bizarre hats. There is often a gaggle of painfully plain working girls in search of romantic adventure. All of them seem dressed for a costume party whose theme has not been defined. They give every indication that they are having a wonderful time; few visitors enjoy themselves so openly.

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