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Pissarro: St. Thomas’ impressionist master

July 10, 2012

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Today is the birthday of the impressionist master Camille Pissarro, who was born and spent his childhood on St. Thomas, then part of the Danish West Indies. The son of a Sephardic Jewish father and Dominican mother, Pissarro went to Paris at age 12 to attend school. There, his advisor told him to “take advantage of his […]

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10 Virgin Islands reads

April 8, 2012

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I love to read and I love the Virgin Islands. Here are 10 of my favorite Virgin Islands books. The Night of the Silent Drums John L. Anderson Rome: Mapes Monde, 1992 The Night of the Silent Drums is the story of the 1733 slave rebellion on St. John, told through the eyes of a […]

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The Way We Were: BVI culture in days gone by

October 13, 2011

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Fritz Henle photograph

Who has not entertained a fantasy of quitting your job and living the simple life on a quiet tropical island? Living in a house you built by hand, surviving off the bounty of sea and land, warmed by the love of your family. If you’d like to ponder this particular dream a bit longer, pick […]

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Alexander Hamilton and Me

October 2, 2011

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Hamilton Grange

Alexander Hamilton and I are friends. Or so it seems. The founding father and first Treasury Secretary of the United States was famously killed in a duel by Aaron Burr in 1804. Most schoolchildren also learn that Hamilton was one of the authors of the Federalist Papers, a series of essays which established the moral […]

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Mokolution: The Evolution of the Moko Jumbie

September 18, 2011

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Mocko Jumbie masks

Mocko jumbies are the colorful stilt-walkers who perform at parades and festivals throughout the Virgin Islands. Attend any of the islands’ annual carnival parades and you will see them, jumping, balancing and stepping out to the sounds of up-beat soca music. Mocko jumbies have an equally colorful history, as I learned watching Mokolution: The Evolution […]

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Atop St. Croix’s Maroon Ridge

August 30, 2011

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Ras Lumumba picked me up in his Rasta-colored 1970s Land Rover and we set off for a drive along back roads to a viewpoint overlooking the north coast of St Croix. We were going on a hike, along with his daughter and another friend, but first Lumumba, a naturalist and exceptional tour guide, wanted to […]

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Film review: The Heritage and Architecture of Saint Croix: A CHANT Walking Tour

August 24, 2011

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For newcomers or visitors to St. Croix who have not read my guidebook (smile), The Heritage and Architecture of Saint Croix: A CHANT Walking Tour provides a pleasant orientation to the primary historic sites of the island’s two towns, Christiansted and Frederiksted. Local historian Wayne James narrates the tour which begins in Christiansted at the Sunday […]

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