Archive for June, 2008

I’ll Trade You Two Ice Creams for A Bus Ticket

June 27, 2008

-I left St. Croix last week for my yearly excursion to New York City, my former home. Gentrification is everywhere. While savoring a $6 scoop of gelato, on the Lower East Side, ( when gelato was known only as ice cream ), I noticed this very old sign, still affixed to a very old building.

-Before Orange Alert and Heightened Security Warnings, there were fallout shelters. They were essentially windowless, basement rooms in apartment buildings, suitable for bike and camp trunk storage. In the event of threat of Soviet Missiles aimed at our city, we could descend to this subterranean den and survive on its’ well stocked larder: Bottled water, crackers, toilet paper and aspirin!

Initiated by then governor Nelson Rockerfeller, an expample of fifteen million of our 1958 tax dollars well spent to protect our citizenry from radioactive fallout with acetaminophen.

-I thought about the extremes in contrast this urban mecca is. Adjacent to the Lower East Side is Chinatown where you can buy a bus ticket from NYC to Boston, 200 miles, for a meager $15 on the Fung Wah Bus.

-Somewhere in the middle of too little and too much is just perfect- The Union Square Greenmarket, where you can buy organic cheese, chickens, eggs, beef, breads, pastries, flowers, varieties of carrots in Crayola colors and fresh lavender tied in fatly compacted bundles.

– These really caught my eye: Varieties of RADISHES! Who knew?

-By the time radishes, plain, red, pedestrian radishes reach St. Croix, asphyxiated by plastic wrap and their 10 day journey across the sea, they’re bitter, old, and ready for the compost heap.

Next week starts the museum circuit with my good friend, host and marvelous artist Judith Wolfe.

She defers to my epicurean tastes, and I in turn, get the lowdown on the best movie reviews, museum shows and all things New York.

St. Croix has the -est

June 11, 2008

The -est? What?

Am I referring to the self improvement training program popular in the 70’s? No, not that.

OK, then, is it about changing the clocks to Eastern Standard Time? Unh-uh. Not that either.

Little known to most anyone – assuming most people even know about St. Croix (” Is St. Croix, you know, off of the Canary Islands?” Even my best and smartest friend refers to me as a Croatian. ), is that we’re on Atlantic Time and never change our clocks. Ever.

For those of us digitally dis-inclined or disinterested in changing every device and electronic wing-ding in our house, this is a lifetime exemption.

The -est refers to the deepest and the largest. What, already, you’re asking- of course, if you’re still reading.

-This is a sign posted about 2 miles from my house that indicates a place on this island where the water drops off to a depth of about 3,000 feet, but quite close to land. So although there are deeper waters in the world, none is deeper THIS CLOSE TO LAND!. Hmmm, little ol’ St. Croix.

OTEC was an idea presented to the government in the 90’s- you remember the 90’s when your car was bigger than the house your parents grew up in? The technology was dismissed then. It’s a low cost, carbon neutral energy producing technology that would be ideal in this location.

Now that gas per gallon is more than ice cream, it’s time to reconsider this. It’s going to be another option presented to our power utility ( we have the highest electricity rates in the NATION! ) and our government. Talk has been about using coal! COAL!!!

Cheap, shortsighted, total lack of vision or concern for the future and akin to seeking an 8 track cassette player for your car to replace your iPod.

The other -est is our refinery- Hovensa. The largest refinery in the Western Hemisphere- on an island in the Caribbean- so unlikely. It’s otherworldly- as in Mad Max Superdrome humongous. A belching, smoking monstrosity. Driving from North to South, you’d think you were not in the Caribbean but in Pittsburgh in the 60’s. Yes, they employ thousands of workers and donate significantly to the community.

I’d show a photo but I’d probably be breaching security. And as well, diminishing the aesthetic content of these pages. If you’re hankering to see it- check their web site above.

We are also the eastern most land mass of the United States. So we get to celebrate New Years Eve after Guam, but, eat your heart out Times Square, before New York City.

Which is where I’ll be for the next few weeks, so there may be postings, who can say?

I’ll leave you with the Cute-est Sand Crab, thanks to my good pal and hotelier in NY, JudyLobo.

And tell me you don’t just love the music!

A ” You Make My Day Award “

June 1, 2008

-This tribute was passed on to me by Paz of Pazs’ New York Minute. How could I not love that blog AND that award? Paz captures little jewels of unexpected surprises in an about NYC through her photographs.

The best part is that I can accept this award without the pressure of choosing a gown, a hairdresser, writing a dopey acceptance speech that I’d be flub-a-dubbing from a tele-prompter or a sweaty handed, partially crumpled note taken out of a too small purse in front of a fickle love you when you’re up, hate you when you’re down audience.

Second, her blog contains great little hits of NY pie slices of life in photos that make me wish for some seconds that it was still home.

-And then, of course I look out my deck and that feeling passes.

The suggested guidelines for this award ( no rules, remember this is without pressure ) are:

Award guidelines:

“Give the award to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel happy about blogland. Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so they can pass it on. Beware you may get the award several times.”

So to the following people, I pass on this icon of appreciation.

Some are new to me but new favorites:

1. Nathalie of Nathalie With an H

2. David of David Lobenberg

3. Bill and Lisa of On Painting

4. Of course, Paz of Pazs’ New York Minute

Some are favorites and always give me something to have with coffee or lack of original thoughts:

5. Judy of Lobos’ Rants

6. Terry of Livin’ on St. Croix

7. Linda of Linda Blondheim Art Notes

8. Carol of Carol Marine

9. Sue of Ancient Artist

10. Nancy of Nancy Moskovitz Fine Art

And because 11 is and always has been my lucky number,

11. Sharon of The Art of Horseracing