Monument to the men we thank for the VINP

The Virgin Islands National Park turned 60 this year.

Laurence Rockefeller gets all the credit, but there were actually three men who helped make it happen. Rockefeller, philanthropist Frank Stick and Senator Julius Sprauve.

A new monument outside of the VINP visitor’s center across from Mongoose Junction honors them.

From St.John Source:

The Friends of the V.I. National Park helped fund the monument, designer Kate Norfleet conceptualized it, and architect Glen Speer erected it. Maryland-based stone sculptor Rick Rothrock created the sculpture itself.

St. John artist Karen Samuel created the original artwork from which the faces of Rockefeller, Sprauve and Stick were copied onto the monument.


The St. John can crusher

This is Model #CG-10-J, a designation we are told is completely without meaning, but that’s the Island Green Living Association’s official can crusher.

It is also just a part of the IGLA’s ambitious efforts to get St. John to recycle more.

The ReSource Depot, at the intersection of Gifft Hill Road and Centerline Road, is where you drop off anything that might have a chance at a second life -paints, construction materials, furniture – (there are two gently used one-year-old pool floaties there right now).

And it’s where the cans you deposit in the green boxes by the dumpsters end up. Thousands and thousands of cans, crushed into bricks, shipped to the states and sold.

Do you like the idea of more recycling on St. John? Go get your credit card.

Island Green has a $30,000 matching challenge to raise another $30,000 by January 1st, with $25,000 yet to go.

Click here to donate.

(Did you not click? Come on. A couple of bucks? This is your money well spent. Go head. Click!)

PS: There still is no glass recycling on St. John. Your favorite soda or beer probably also comes in cans. Consider that choice.

Happy Holidays from the Fork in the Road

As festive as it is every holiday, the Gifft Hill Fork in the Road is in the Christmas spirit.

This thing really is a St. John icon.

First built of plywood by homebuilder “Bird Man Jack” in 1984 as a way for the concrete company to find his road, the Fork in the Road has been vandalized, torn down, backed over and otherwise destroyed a dozen times in 30-plus years.

But there it is.

A construction project that has earned the right to say Fork You St. John.

Ugly sweaters seasons greeting

Happy Holidays from St. John Brewers and The Tap Room in their annual ugly sweaters seasons greeting.

Click to enlarge. That’s Cheech on the far left. If you run into Cheech, congratulate him on what must be the ugliest ugly sweater in the world.

The fire-ravaged Tap Room’s rebuild at Mongoose Junction is coming right along.  It doesn’t look long until it’s ready to return to its original location. (The Tap Room’s next door right now…)

Lifespan of a floatie? About one year

Frontgate’s “World’s Finest Pool Floats” really are great floaties, but even the World’s Finest don’t last long on St. John.

The new ones just arrived, almost exactly a year after the last pair first set sail in the Bongo pool. (The exact color of their predecessors when they arrived a year ago.)

Sun exposure and sunscreen are two of a floatie’s biggest enemies, but, at least at Bongo, so are the resident iguanas, who like to sun themselves on an unattended floatie with their sharp claws ripping into the foam.

Off go the new ones on their inaugural spin around the pool. Enjoy your year in the sun.

Drinking and dining on the beach

It took years to finally get here, but the restaurants along Cruz Bay beach are now fully embracing their beachfront location.

Beach Bar had long done it for happy hours and special events, though it always had a hint of something they were doing under the radar.

Now you can sip your Painkiller or enjoy your burger up and down the beach. Joe’s Rum Hut, Beach Bar and High Tide all have made beach-side a thing.

There are also picnic tables and Adirondack chairs further down, across from Drink.

Fragile? What’evzz

“Handle with Care” is really just a suggestion at the San Juan postal facility or St. Thomas post office or wherever the box-smashing machine is.

It is holiday package season everywhere and that includes St. John.

Post-Net, the small postal service center on the second floor at Marketplace, is packed to the ceiling with boxes. So much so, that the always nice but never particularly urgent Post-Net lady actually called me. That is a first.

“Please come and get your boxes honey. They’re big and I need the space!,” she said.

She really did need the space.

Here’s the new Island Cork

If the air conditioning and the soft classical music isn’t enough to get you in the door, the imported meats and cheeses and walls of wine definitely will.

Island Cork landed a prime street-front corner location for its new store, and proprietor Paul Tsakeres plans to fully exploit that location.

There will be wine tastings, charcuterie plates and tapas, and at the hut just across the courtyard, he’ll be serving rare roast beef and lobster rolls.

But come for the wine Paul is curating. And don’t expect to spend a lot for a great bottle.

“The sweet spot is really the $25 to $30 range,” says Paul. “I’m bringing in a lot of exceptional wines at that price point.”

Pick Paul’s brain too. Tell him what you like, and let him steer you to a bottle or two you’ve probably never tried. And have him put together your own charcuterie selections to take back to the villa.

The addition of Island Cork is part of a major renovation at Wharfside Village. You’ll be impressed.

Christmas comes early for cisterns

There has been wave after wave of drenching downpours interrupted by long, sunny daytime and starry nighttime stretches the last 24 hours.

There was even a great lightning show overnight.

Watching it rain ranks right up there among the most soothing things on St John.