Tag Archives: St. John US Virgin Islands

Sunset from the Cruz Bay Overlook

Aerial View of Mallory Square at Sunset- Photo by Gary Sibley
Photo by Gary Sibley
Sunset from the Cruz Bay Overlook
Sunset from the Cruz Bay Overlook

Watching the sun set at Mallory Square in Key West, Florida, has become a tourist attraction and a nightly arts festival featuring artists, food carts, and street performers.

Here on St. John it appears that a similar, if quite a bit smaller in scale, activity has begun at the Cruz Bay overlook on the North Shore Road, minus the street performers, artists and food sellers that is – at least for now.

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St. John Virgin Islands: Dramatic Morning

sunrise
sunrise

rainbow
rainbow to the west
sunrise over chocolate hole
sunrise over chocolate hole

Earlier (around 6:00 AM) for just about five minutes, the sky exploded in a bright orange. In the far south, towards St. Croix, a small patch of blue could be seen and looking to the west, there was a rainbow.

Shortly afterward, the dark squall clouds gathered together. Lightning lit up the sky and thunder shook the house.

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St. John Virgin Islands: Caneel Hill Viewing Platform

Caneel Hill Viewing Tower
Caneel Hill Viewing Tower

Before 1985 there was a wooden viewing tower atop Caneel Hill, built by National Park contracted workers. That year the powerful Hurricane Hugo destroyed the tower leaving it pretty much a pile of debris, a state in which it remained for some 21 years.

In 2006, a St. John resident, Frank Cummings, who operates SNUBA, decided to do something about it. With some persistence, he was able to obtain both permission and partial funding from the National Park to construct a new tower atop the 719-foot high hilltop. Work began in May of 2006 with the help of private volunteers and additional funding provided by Steve Black. The debris was removed and carried down the hill and the new construction materials were carried up.

Volunteers carried up the 80-pound bags of cement, containers of water, tools and afsteners. Teachers from the Baptist school brought up a generator, and Boy Scouts from Illinois helped bring up the recycled lumber substitute along with volunteers from the Friends of the Park.

The tower can be reached via the Caneel Hill Trail

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St. John Virgin Islands: Leinster Bay in the Afternoon

Leinster Bay
Leinster Bay

Leinster Bay was once called “Smith Bay.” The current name “Leinster Bay” was adopted by James Murphy, a St. Thomas merchant, slave trader and ship owner, who purchased Leinster Bay, and surrounding estates in 1796. The name Leinster came from the province in Ireland where his family came from.

This photo was taken from the Annaberg Sugar Mill ruins.

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St. John Film Society Presents: “The Milagro Beanfield Wars”

The following is a press release from the St John Film Society. I’d just like to add a little note of local interest about one of the film:

The Denis Bay Connection
Some illustrious St. Johnians have lived at Denis Bay either as renters or caretakers. St. Johnian, Thomas Thomas, served as one of the first caretakers and Robert and Nancy Gibney were among the first renters, having leased the property in 1947. The late Carl Frank, the founder of Holiday Homes was also a caretaker. He passed on the enviable job to Peter Griffith and family. One of the Griffith’s daughters, Melanie Griffith, who is one of the stars in the Milagro Beanfield Wars, spent much of her childhood at Denis Bay.
Excerpted from St. John Off The Beaten Track

Press Release:

St John Film Society Presents:

Free Movie

7:00 pm Tuesday, September 1
Sputnik Bar
Coral Bay, St John

“Milagro” is the Spanish word for “miracle”
THE MILAGRO BEANFIELD WAR
by Robert Redford (117 min) 1988
“Whimsical, yet credible”

This enjoyable tale of a small village’s fight over water rights is told with magical realism and humor. The residents of a small humble New Mexican agricultural community are threatened when big business appropriates their water rights to supply a posh housing development, thus depriving them of their one source of livelihood, crop raising. One man courageously stands up to fight the usurpers and causes division within the community.

Stars Ruben Blades, Sonia Braga, Melanie Griffith, Daniel Stern and John Heard.
” … a populist fable set in some beautiful New Mexican landscapes about one stubborn Chicano’s battle against an uncaring system.” The New York Times

Come early for Julietta’s famous rotis!

Seating is limited, so bring a beach chair if you’ll be late.  See You There!

COMMUNITY ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Allawees AfterSchool Program
(Safe, Drug & Violence-Free Youth Activity)

St John Youth, ages 10 – 15, are invited to enroll now in an exciting 10 week program, sponsored by the St John Community Foundation and the V.I. Department of Human Services.
Sept. 14 – Nov. 19 Tues/Thurs 3-5:30 p.m.

Parents, Sponsors & Community Volunteers:
For more info contact Paul Devine at St John Community Foundation
(340) 693-9410, E-mail: allawe@sjcf.org


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St. John Virgin Islands: Overlooks

Yesterday was another spectacularly clear day, even more so than the day before. You could see as far as Vieques and Culebra in the west and St. Croix in the south. The horizon line was distinct, skies blue, hillsides green, clouds white and fluffy like its supposed to be. It was a day for photography. The following photos are images taken from some of the overlooks on the St. John roadways. Enjoy!

St. John Virgin Islands Overlooks

Caneel Bay Overlook
Caneel Bay Overlook

Cruz Bay

Coral Bay
Coral Bay

Maho Bay Overlook
Maho Bay Overlook

Margaret Hill
Margaret Hill

Trunk Bay
Trunk Bay
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St. John USVI: St. John Film Society Presents:

The St. John Film Society’s last presentation, “Africa Unite,” at Sputnik in Coral Bay was a resounding success. People came from all over, Coral Bay, Cruz Bay and even St. Thomas. It was SRO (Standing Room Only) all chairs filled, some sat on the floor or on top of tables, others stood inside and other outside looking in through the open louvers. It was free, it was fun, it was cool and it was THE place to be. It looks like this group will establish themselves on St. John and help fulfill the islands thirst for good entertainment. I say, “Good T’ing!!!”

Here’s their Press Release:

!!! Free Movie !!!

TUESDAY FEBRUARY 24th
7:00 PM
PASTORY GARDENS

St John Film Society Presents:

spirit-marathon-150x150SPIRIT OF THE MARATHON

A documentary by Mark Johnathan Harris, Jon Dunham and Gwendolen Twist (102 min.) The first ever non-fiction feature film to capture the drama and essence of the famed 26.2 mile running event. As six unique stories unfold, each runner prepares for and ultimately faces the challenge of the Chicago Marathon. More than a sports movie, Spirit of the Marathon is an inspirational journey of perseverance and personal triumph, a spectacle that will be embraced by runners and non-runners alike. www.marathonmovie.com

Also – 8 Tuff Miles Pre-show Rally!!!

Mo Chabuz from Skinny Legs will present a short preview of his 8 Tuff Miles film-in-progress.
Jeremy Zuber, five time winner of the 8 Tuff Miles will share some words of inspiration.
Sherri Theberge, director of Healing Together, will introduce St. John’s new cancer support group and invite the community to run for the cause.
Peter Alter, 8 Tuff Miles race director, will answer questions after the film.

Come early for dinner! Stay after to discuss the film!
For more info contact Rea: (340) 715-9899
www.stjohnfilm.com

Who they are:

St John Film Society

St. John Film Society is comprised of a small group of local volunteers. Our mission is to inspire appreciation for the history, culture and oceanic environment of our US Virgin Islands by establishing a free monthly film series open to and for the benefit of our community. We will present high quality fiction and non-fiction independent films that celebrate the human spirit with a focus on the Caribbean. Our intent is to increase cross-cultural awareness of the many communities throughout the Virgin Islands and beyond. Each month we will invite a local Virgin Island filmmaker, video installation artist or visual artist to present their work prior to the feature film presentation. Our goal is to develop public awareness of the talented individuals in our own community, by creating an environment in which filmmakers / artists introduce and discuss their work and their artistic process with audiences of all ages. We invite film enthusiasts to come and enjoy the films and help plan monthly programs. We also invite filmmakers / artists to submit their work for consideration. Email your suggestions to stjviff@gmail.com or submit preview DVD’s to:
St. John Film Society
5000 Estate Enighed PMB 98
St. John, USVI 00830

Future Goals:

The ultimate goal of the Film Society is to establish an annual Independent Film Festival on St John. We hope to bring attention to the rich cultural diversity and unique voice of the Virgin Islands as we share our stories through film. While our monthly screenings are free to the public, we welcome donations to help us achieve these goals. Founding members:

Andrea E. Leland, artist and filmmaker, has produced and directed a number of award winning documentaries focusing on Caribbean and Latin American cultures. She is the co-founder of REELTIME, a highly successful monthly film series in the Chicago area, now in its 10th year. (www.reeltimeevanston.org) She received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago.

Rea McQueen Roberts is a devoted film and music enthusiast. She has worked in the public relations and music industries, with emphasis on special event planning and fundraising. She has been involved with several of St John’s annual events, both as a participant and as a volunteer.

Martha Hills is a writer and an avid film enthusiast.

Coming Up

March 3rd:  The Developing World
Feature Presentation: Life and Debt – by Stephanie Black  A feature-length documentary that explores the complexity of international lending and free trade in the developing world.  http://www.lifeanddebt.org/

April 7th: A Celebration of Garifuna Culture
Opening Film: Play, Jankunú Play – A short film by Oliver N. Greene Jr., about the Garifuna Wanaragua Ritual of Belize, as expressed through music, dance, and costume.  http://www.der.org/films/play-jankunu-play.html Feature Presentation: The Garifuna Journey by local filmmaker and film society founder, Andrea Leland  http://www.newday.com/films/GarifunaJourney.html

Our film series will continue at Sputnik on the first Tuesday of every month. All are encouraged to bring a folding chair and arrive early for better seating. Until further notice, Cruz Bay screenings will be held on special occasions. Future Cruz Bay screenings to be announced. The calendar will be updated regularly on www.stjohnfilm.com.

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St. John Life: Sunday at the NPS Playground

NPS Playground, Cruz Bay St. John USVI
NPS Playground, Cruz Bay St. John USVI
Jacob and Argena sharing a bike
Jacob and Argena sharing a bike

It was a busy Sunday at the National Park Service playground at the Cruz Bay Creek. Kids were coming and going all day. Kids brought bicycles, tricycles and scooters and played on the playground equipment.

Jacob shared his bike with his schoolmate Argena

Even the iguanas got into the act. I’m not sure what it is that they’re doing, but I’ll assume that it’s not x-rated and that the green one is riding on his mother’s back. But I would love to hear from some zoologist or iguana expert to get their take on the playground activity.

Iguanas at the NPS Playground
Iguanas at the NPS Playground
Hanging On
Hanging On
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