St. John Historical Society Presents their 50th Anniversary Fundraiser on Sunday, March 24th

St. John Historical Society Presents their 50th Anniversary Fundraiser on Sunday, March 24th 1

The St. John Historical Society, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, will be hosting a 50th anniversary celebration and fundraiser to highlight Caribbean history on Sunday, March 24th at 18°64° Restaurant, located in Mongoose Junction. “Back to the Museum” Night will feature St. John artifacts, historical paintings, and an exclusive look into local families’ private collections. There will be a cash bar, silent auction, raffle, and hors d’oeuvres.

Read moreSt. John Historical Society Presents their 50th Anniversary Fundraiser on Sunday, March 24th

Love City Creates Mosaic Mural in the Park

Love City Creates Mosaic Mural in the Park 2

Good morning! With Spring right around the corner and St. Patrick’s Day coming up, this is my favorite time of year.

St. John has been a hub of activity lately. A couple of the highlights were the English Caribbean’s Women’s Fast-Pitch Tournament Qualifier at the National Park Ball Field and next to it, the community driven art project bordering the newly constructed playground. If you were in Cruz Bay last week, you may have stopped by the park to watch the softball games or helped to piece together the mosaic mural being created on the two walls encircling the kids’ playground.

Read moreLove City Creates Mosaic Mural in the Park

Shwayze, Shred is Dead, and Since JulEYE to headline VI Jam Festival 2023

Shwayze, Shred is Dead, and Since JulEYE to headline VI Jam Festival 2023 3

With March fast approaching, our favorite music festival is right around the corner!  The 5th annual VI Jam Fest is less than a month away, hosted by the Windmill Bar + Moe of Lightbrush and Christie & Andy of Cruz Bay Music.

The event is held on the first week of March – dates are 2nd – 4th, and tickets are for sale at https://vijamfest.brownpapertickets.com.

Read moreShwayze, Shred is Dead, and Since JulEYE to headline VI Jam Festival 2023

An Afternoon With Elin Hilderbrand

An Afternoon With Elin Hilderbrand 4

A while back, I received a message from “the queen of the beach read” and best selling author Elin Hilderbrand. She reached out to me via Instagram to ensure that I had seen the story about ABC’s possible option on her Paradise Trilogy. I asked the famed novelist if she wouldn’t mind sitting down with me when she was next on island. She told me she would be on St. John this month for her annual five week “Winter in Paradise” and, with a green light from Captain Teddy, I invited her to join us for an afternoon of conversation and sailing on Asante.

So, on March 18, Elin and her boyfriend, Tim, joined Teddy, Chewy and myself on the boat to celebrate their ninth anniversary and chat about the madness of 2020, Love City of past and present and some interesting parallels between the author’s home of Nantucket and her beloved winter “paradise,” St. John.

Read moreAn Afternoon With Elin Hilderbrand

Online Art Auction and Virtual Concert Series

Online Art Auction and Virtual Concert Series 5

Good Morning All!  I have mentioned many times before the absolutely devastating effect that COVID-19 has had on our island’s very necessary non-profits over the past year.  The majority of them host fundraisers throughout the year that give the little island that could a reason to get out and socialize for a number of great causes.  This year, many of them have struggled with the cancelling of these momentous annual events which has caused drastic decreases to their annual fundraising efforts.

But, in the true spirit of St. John, most of them have been flexible and creative; developing new ways to raise funds and collect donations online.  And fortunately for all of you who are not currently on St. John, this means that you can participate and support from afar like never before!  This month, the St. John School of the Arts has taken their annual concert series to the web and are hosting an online art auction to “keep their lights on” and support the artistic community and students of St. John!

Read moreOnline Art Auction and Virtual Concert Series

“This Too Shall Pass” – A Musical Message of Hope and Resilience

"This Too Shall Pass" - A Musical Message of Hope and Resilience 6

Good Morning and Happy Friday to you all!  Last week, the VI Consortium shared a video featuring 15 artists from the USVI and BVI with an absolutely beautiful message, stunning views and impeccable talent.  “This Too Shall Pass,” written by Patrick “Soljah” Farrell and Luis Ible Jr. of St. Thomas, paints the picture of working together through the hard times.  Once again, Virgin Islanders spread a message of hope, compassion and resiliency….

Read more“This Too Shall Pass” – A Musical Message of Hope and Resilience

New Video Series Featuring Love City Locals

New Video Series Featuring Love City Locals 7

A few weeks ago, we highlighted ancestral St. Johnian, Ital Delroy Anthony in our first “Local Livin'” profile.

When I saw this amazing video pop up on Facebook yesterday, I was beyond excited!

I reached out to the videographer, Spencer Chaney, about permission to share this with you and about our dual interests in sharing the stories of the beautiful individuals who make up the Love City Community.

Spencer has just moved to St. John and started his company, Island Media Co.  His goal with this mini-series, Rooted in the Caribbean, is to “give a voice to the unheard.”

This is episode 1 and I, personally, am very excited about seeing more of his work!



The Legend of the Hook Bracelet

The Legend of the Hook Bracelet 8

Have you have ever bumped into a stranger somewhere completely random, only to notice they have on a hook bracelet that matches your own?  Then you know. You know you have found someone else who leaves a little piece of their heart in the Virgin Islands.

If you don’t know what I am talking about, you’re likely reading this while dreaming of your first vacation to St. John. Once you arrive, you will quickly notice this unique bracelet, one or more, on the wrist of every man, woman and child. Yes, we even put them on our babies.

What Is the Hook Bracelet’s Connection to the Virgin Islands?

Today the hook bracelet is an established symbol of the Virgin Islands. Its rebirth has been accredited to Sonya Hughes of St. Croix. Hughes began creating her handcrafted, unique and signature hook bracelets in 1964 and they quickly became a MUST HAVE for all who visited St. Croix.

This stunning tradition is now interwoven into VI culture, and artisans on St. John are now crafting their own versions of the notorious hook as well. The St. John specific hook evolved from the simple “U” shape with the addition of a ball embellishment turning it into a “J.”

Read moreThe Legend of the Hook Bracelet

A Whimsical Side of St. John

explore dream discover

Like many people, Ali Norton always wanted to live a free and independent lifestyle. After a little soul searching, she found herself settled on our beloved island of St. John where, for the past 10 years, she’s created whimsical art that is sure to make you smile.

Ali focuses on creating artwork that brings the vivid colors and tranquility of paradise into the homes of her both travelers and locals alike. They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Well, anyone who loves St. John will certainly see its beauty, and Ali hopes that through her art people can keep a piece of this beauty with them always.

See for yourself:

Ali Norton 2

Ali Norton Main

Ali sells her paintings and mixed media pieces at Hibiscus Jazz, a quaint little boutique tucked next to Chateau Bordeaux on Centerline Road. In addition to her paintings and mixed media items – many of which she creates right on site – the boutique also sells other artist’s works and touristy items. Nearly all of the items sold at the boutique are made in the USA, Ali said.

Ali Norton 3

Ali Norton 1

The next time you’re on Centerline Road, make it a point to stop by Ali’s shop and say hello. Be sure to bring home one of her amazing items. We did!

Ali is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can also find her on the web at www.AliNortonArt.com

DPNR Issues Notice of Violation for Denis Bay Property

Photo Courtesy of John McQuillen
Photo courtesy of John McQuillen

The Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR) issued a Notice of Violation to the Denis Bay property owner accused of altering the area’s landscape and VI National Park land.

DPNR found that property owner Tony Ingrao violated seven provisions of the VI Building Code including excavating and land clearing on National Park land; failure to secure an earth change permit; building without a permit; violating provisions of permits; and excavations affecting adjoining properties.

According to the Notice of Violation, the Division of Building Permits was notified on May 13 that a landslide occurred on a lower section of the roadway adjacent to plot 2B Denis Bay. Prior to the landslide report, the Division had met with the construction project manager to discuss concerns about possible environmental impacts and hazards created by the site. Mitigations efforts were discussed and it was indicated at the time that they would begin as quickly as possible.

Now that the Notice of Violation has been issued, Ingrao will be required to submit plans and a new building permit application for site stabilization, drainage and any associated structure needed to stabilize the affected area. Ingrao must submit any agreement or mitigation approved by the National Park with regard to the impacted areas. Ingrao is required to notify and receive approval for any work conducted on the recently reopened roadway leading to the property, and upon approval, Ingrao has 45 days to make repairs to that roadway.  DPNR also fined Ingrao $10,500 which must be paid within 30 days.

Jamal Nielsen, DPNR Media Relations Coordinator, stated Monday that Ingrao has already implemented corrective action measures, although he did not have specific details on what types of measures have been put into place thus far.

Ingrao is a world-renowned interior designer based in New York City. News of St. John reached out to him Monday, but was unsuccessful.

Below is a map of the property’s location:

Marked Denis Bay Map