Anyone have somethi...
 
Notifications
Clear all

Anyone have something positive to say about the island?

Page 2 / 3
 
margaritagirl
(@margaritagirl)
Trusted Member

The weather is wonderful. Love all the live music on STX.

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 20, 2011 12:56 pm
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

Hasn't been mentioned, but on STX, as with ANYWHERE in the world, a large part of your quality of life comes down to money. If you have it, life is good. If you don't, everything is more difficult and becomes more of an irritation. Before the hippy dippies (sorry EE, had to steal that) pipe in with "money isn't everything"....well, of course not, but on STX, where milk is $7, it sure makes it better.

I don't know this for sure (since I only personally know a handful of the posters here), but I'm guessing the "rainbows and butterflies" brigade are pretty comfortable financially. They can enjoy all that STX has to offer and also afford an airplane ticket whenever they want a break.

Then, of course, there are indeed the hippy dippies who embrace all people, cultures, etc. and can be happy as long as they have a meal, soft bed and sunshine overhead.

I don't fall into either of these categories. I can afford to live here, but not wealthy. I do want some material luxuries and a big box store. I think I, and MOST of the posters here, fall into the same boat. I'm not a scared white person. Like Linda J, I'm an OLD white person. And that means my rose-colored glasses have been around the block. I don't think we're negative. We really are just answering the questions people ask...honestly.

As you read through here, notice people ask more questions about crime, schools, jobs, cost of living, etc. than they do about the beaches. Ask about the beaches and watch the positive comments fly in.:-)

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 20, 2011 2:09 pm
Hiya!
(@Hiya!)
Trusted Member

This is far from the first time new comers have said this. And we always say things like damned if we do damed if we don't or the positives are obvious but the negative are not.

Seriously I REALLY REALLY want to know from the original poster. What exactly came across as so negative? Do you not want to be prepared? Your life here will be reality, not a vacation. You're not exactly insulting us, it's more like a side swipe and it makes it hard to keep wanting to help.

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 20, 2011 3:27 pm
stcmike
(@stcmike)
Advanced Member

They say the best things in life are free

I love walking down strand st F'sted during sunset or being at the pier during sunset. It seems the whole world is at peace when watching the sunsets

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 20, 2011 3:48 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

Juanita, you are correct. We are certainly not wealthy, but we can eat out when we feel like it, island hop and visit the states often, but what we need and some of what we just WANT. It is more difficult in general to enjoy life when you are worried about money -- here doubly so.

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 20, 2011 9:51 pm
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

Hasn't been mentioned, but on STX, as with ANYWHERE in the world, a large part of your quality of life comes down to money.

This is an excellent post. One of the hardest things for me about living here is that I am in a stage of my life (33) where I'm supposed to be accumulating wealth. I have 2 kids that I will need to educate both in the near term and also in the long term by saving for college. I have retirement to think about etc. My accountant put it bluntly when he said "this is a horrible place to accumulate wealth."

Every $7 gallon of milk I buy is $3.50 that I don't get to put into my kids college fund. Every $500 plane ticket to see family and friends is $500 that won't be there when I retire. When I put money into rennovating my house I know that I will not likely see it come back when I go to sell it, almost all houses here are "underwater" in that the cost to construct is far higher than the market value of said construction. While this is true stateside in some places, it's been like that here for many, many years, even during the boom times.

For me this is offset by the fact that I have a job that pays me a little more than I could make stateside. I am fortunate in that regard, although prices here have gone up more in the last 3 years due to Wapa than my salary has been able to keep up with which makes the above questions more pertinent. It has also caused a vast number of our friends who are in similar stages of their lives but not quite as fortunate in regards to income leave. It is tough to have "2 year friends" over and over again.

Many of the people I meet here aren't looking to acheive great things or change the world, they are actually looking for the opposite, a place to escape the "real world" and lime their life away. It is hard when you are in the stage of your life where you are trying to build up your career and finances but are in a place surrounded by those who have already done this (rich) or have never had the desire to do this in the first place (poor). Money is important if you plan to live your life responsibly and take care of yourself for your time on this earth. I take that responsibility seriously and it makes living here a bit tough sometimes. I am not rich or poor, and that is a tough thing to be in the VI.

So I apologize if I come off as negative but writing things like the above is meant to be informative and also is a bit selfishly thearputic. There are many good things about the VI, the community here is great, the weather and beaches are obviously amazing overall there is much to love about the VI. If there wasn't I wouldn't have spent the last 7+ years here. Life here is as real as anywhere else and if you are ok with that and have the financial means to be at peace with the high costs of everything you will enjoy it here.

Sean

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 21, 2011 1:30 pm
JahRustyFerrari
(@jahrustyferrari)
Advanced Member

So...I've spent the last 2 hours reading through posts and haven't seen much positive. If there are any positive people out there who moved from the states to St Croix or any other USVI and LOVE it....please reply!!! There have to be people that are in love with the island lifestyle, etc. Please speak up...we'd love to hear why you love it and wouldn't change a thing. Thank you for taking the time

First of all, Dave, know this: there are people living here (lots of them) who can afford to live ANYWHERE on the planet. They have chosen St. Croix, so there must be a good reason for that, unless they know something we don't know.

You will keep more of your earnings here...we have less taxes.
Your commute will be much shorter, and you will find courteous drivers, not road rage.
You will be able to laugh at your friends back in the States during "winter"
Your friends in the States will be able to laugh at you during hurricane season (LOL)
Your children will enjoy the benefits of living in a tolerant, diversified community.

I could go on and on....

I have lived here for decades. The vast majority of people here, like myself, live perfectly ordinary, mundane lives without fear of muggers, burglars, murderers, etc. You have to maintain the proper vigilance, of course...there is always a criminal element, it is HUMAN nature and NOT peculiar to this area. Some would have you believe that St. Croix is the most dangerous place on the planet, and they will quote all kinds of "statistics" to prove it. Most people here go about their everyday lives, work, play, care for their kids, eat, drink, etc.

Beware the small minority who like to get on bulletin boards and bemoan the state of the island. They have some validity, sure...we have crime, potholes, corrupt officials, bad boys, etc...but most of us are decent people who just want to get on with our lives, as I'm sure you do.

People often mention cost of living and how expensive it is here. I have lived in the US and I can honestly say that, for me, I find it less expensive to live here. You may buy a gallon of milk for less money in Wisconsin or Detroit, for example, but you need two wardrobes and you need to spend a significant amount of money to heat your home for winter. Your commute may be much longer, so you buy more gas. Your water is piped in, and we collect ours from the rainfall. Your bill for air-conditioning your house in summer may be rather high. Sure, the big box store has cheap stuff, but all that stuff is from China, and that's where your middle-class jobs went...so it all adds up, and there is more to it than simply the cost of commodities. You pay state tax, federal tax, sales tax, etc.

You would need to make 125,000 a year in New York City, for example, to live like a person who makes 60,000 a year here lives. I know I'll get flamed for saying that, but it is true...I have lived in both places.

I am happy to be here. I love it here, and I would not think of living anywhere else...and I say this as a person who has lived in many places. It is not for everybody, but it is definitely for me.

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 22, 2011 7:56 pm
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

LOVE living here. Beautiful day today.

But every place has its problems.

One of the reasons for some of the negatives is the board hears from people who plan to move here on a wing and a prayer, and we know how THAT will probably turn out.

Another reason: people keep asking about the negatives, crime for example. So we keep answering about it.

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 22, 2011 8:50 pm
JahRustyFerrari
(@jahrustyferrari)
Advanced Member

LOVE living here. Beautiful day today.

But every place has its problems.

One of the reasons for some of the negatives is the board hears from people who plan to move here on a wing and a prayer, and we know how THAT will probably turn out.

Another reason: people keep asking about the negatives, crime for example. So we keep answering about it.

Some people also talk about money, and how much of it you need to live here. I think a lot of people who plan to move here would benefit from chatting with an actual "local"...maybe we should start a help forum.

By "actual local" i mean the guy who came here from St. Lucia, for example, 30 years ago, with nothing but the clothes on his back. Well, he now owns a mansion on a hilltop that is all paid for, and his children are all in college or have graduated.

There is a wealth of knowledge in this man, who , by the way, is more representative of the typical Crucian than is given credit for. But nobody who moves here wants to talk to him

These guys had focus...work, save, build a big house (no mortgage, pay as you go), send kids off to colleg. You hardly ever saw them...they were always doing some 16-hour shift at HESS or something. They may look settled and cool now, but there are thousands of hard hours behind them. They didn't care about potholes, criminals, politicians, big box stores, blah blah blah...these guys had focus.
Their vision did not include debt slavery. It was more of a "one hand wash the other" approach, where guys would get together on weekends and help each other build houses. It took years, but you ended up with a large house with an apartment to rent and no mortgage payments...so you appeared to be comfortably well off to the casual observer.

Maybe we will get the Arabic community to chime in also...after all, we have all watched these industrious people come here and haul a suitcase around from neighborhood to neighborhood for a few years, and then wind up owning Plaza Extra, Sunshine Mall, all the gas stations, and all of the furniture stores...no would-be transplants are talking to that community either. The nay-sayers get the most attention.

Beautiful sunrise this morning. I think I'll go take a sea bath before breakfast. I love it here.

Tell you a true story...one day I was at Cane Bay swimming and I noticed a Caucasian lady some distance away standing in chest-deep water, crying. I rushed over and asked her if she was OK, and what was she crying about.

I'll never forget her answer.

She said "I can see the bottom".

That's why we live here.

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 23, 2011 9:56 am
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

JRF, we agree on things and disagree on others: I enjoyed reading your posts.

You compared St. Croix to New York which probably has the highest cost of living in the country (if you mean NYC). It also has some of the highest paying jobs which we clearly don't have here. Compare St. Croix to Raleigh NC or Corpus Christie Texas and I think you may see where people are coming from with cost of living complaints.

Even with that said, I came here from DC which is a high cost of living areaand was able to live the same lifestyle there for less money than it would take to live it here. You have some valid points though, there are high taxes in the states that don't exist here. I think having children changes the equation quite a bit though. Children = dependents = write off so that lessens the burden of taxes. And while you might disagree almost every person I speak to with a college degree (local and continental) seem to feel that you cannot send your kids to public school here and expect them to get a good education. With that being the case you are looking at a signficant outlay each year per child for school that you wouldn't have to pay in many areas of the states. This more than offsets the tax burden.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying its anyone's "fault" it's just the reality of living in a geographically isolated area with a small population that doesn't lead to economies of scale and competition for business. I am amazed at all that we have here and appreciate it given that reality. There are many wonderful things here that are non-material that for many offset the higher cost of living.

You make a great point about learning a lot by watching the "local" way of doing things when it comes to housing and I agree that it has quite a bit of merit. Pay as you go, don't go in debt, build when money comes in etc. is a very rewarding way of life that also allows you to live with a great deal of freedom. It also gives you a sense of acheivement as when you earn money you are rewarded by being able to build onto your house as opposed to getting the full reward up front and having no incentive to work harder as you are just "paying off the man." It also makes a lot of sense in an area where jobs can be seasonal and work can be spotty, if things go bad you just don't build for a few months until things get better rather than having to worry about making mortgage payments. So much less stress to do it that way. It is something that the rest of the US should consider.

Sean

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 23, 2011 12:08 pm
JahRustyFerrari
(@jahrustyferrari)
Advanced Member

stiphy said:

"And while you might disagree almost every person I speak to with a college degree (local and continental) seem to feel that you cannot send your kids to public school here and expect them to get a good education."

Tell that to Senator Ronald Russell, Attorney Devin Carrington, Attorney Marise James, Attorney Beverley Edney, Pastor Vincent D. Gordon, his wife (deceased), the math-teaching Schusters, etc. etc.

The US Army has a test called the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery). One section of it is the GT (general technical), which is basically the Army's IQ test. It maxes out at 130. I scored a 124 GT with a Central High School education, thanks to my parents, my teachers, and due diligence.

There are tons of Virgin islanders who went to public school (central High AND Complex) and received a great education that allowed them to go on to bigger and better things. The problem is, as usual, that they do those better things in the continental US.

You would be amazed at the number of Public School graduates who are kicking big corporate butt on the mainland....check Facebook sometime for the large VI community in Orlando, e.g.

I recently heard from a very reliable source of a little known fact: graduates of the VI Public School system are much more likely to complete their chosen Major in college than the graduates of the Private Schools...you will NEVER hear this, though.

A large part of schooling is PARENTING. The people who holler about public school education need to be better parents. I went to Central High, and I dare anyone to tell me that I did not receive a good education. My mother worked for less than thirty dollars a week as a maid, and we lived in what would be considered a shack by modern standards...but she attended PTA and kept in close contact with my teachers, and she would give me hell if I brought home grades lower than B.

The problem with the public schools is that they have been allowed to become a fashion show, full of posturing posers instead of STUDENTS. This is largely the fault of the parents, especially the ones who want to go to school and fight the teacher because their little angel was disciplined.

It is a great insult to the dedicated teachers of the Public School system to denigrate their efforts and call them, in effect, worthless. Do not fool yourself into thinking that the private schools are that much better. The private schools have better parent-teacher interaction, but if you slack up those kids will also take advantage.

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 23, 2011 12:38 pm
Hiya!
(@Hiya!)
Trusted Member

1. Taxes are not higher everywhere in the US, mostly just one the east coast. Many States do not even have state taxes, like Texas. And even with it, we still made more money when we lived in CA. The cost of goods and services kill you here. It helps so much if you are handy and like being handy.
2. Pay as you go is a great system, however all the Cruzans I know live with their family while they build. Not much of a option for transplants. But there are other things you can do. Like buy a house with a large enough apt that you would want to live in and rent out the main quarters.
3. Who says they do not want to talk to you. If they don't know you how can they ask for you. Sounds a bit like a maytr complex. Talk and they will listen.
4. I grew up in a beautiful warm location so I appreciate the beauty here but it does not keep me here. Everything has it's own beauty just open your eyes where you are.

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 23, 2011 12:52 pm
guice
(@guice)
Advanced Member

I had a choice between Austin, TX and STT. Both had their advantages (Austin has more outdoor hiking/camping activities than STT). But, I decided to go for STT for a few reason: 1) I just came back from a visit, and the people over all are generally nice. Yes, there are some bad apples, and some rude folks, but that's to be expected in a tourist trap (have you dealt with tourists on a daily basis? my god, some of them can be such assholes!); 2) There is no winter in STT (yes, a big plus for me! :D); 3) The beach--I love the water.

So, in the end. STT won for me. I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to live on a tropical island. Not to mention the added benefit of no winters! The scenery and beaches are a bonus.

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 23, 2011 2:59 pm
JahRustyFerrari
(@jahrustyferrari)
Advanced Member

1. Taxes are not higher everywhere in the US, mostly just one the east coast. Many States do not even have state taxes, like Texas. And even with it, we still made more money when we lived in CA. The cost of goods and services kill you here. It helps so much if you are handy and like being handy.
2. Pay as you go is a great system, however all the Cruzans I know live with their family while they build. Not much of a option for transplants. But there are other things you can do. Like buy a house with a large enough apt that you would want to live in and rent out the main quarters.
3. Who says they do not want to talk to you. If they don't know you how can they ask for you. Sounds a bit like a maytr complex. Talk and they will listen.
4. I grew up in a beautiful warm location so I appreciate the beauty here but it does not keep me here. Everything has it's own beauty just open your eyes where you are.

The original poster asked for positive things about the island...do you have something positive to say, or are you going to spend time nitpicking at my comments?

1. This is not California...everything has to be shipped here, as opposed to driving stuff by truck from Arizona or Washington State.
BTW, I know a guy who divides his time between here and California, makes six figures here, wife makes more than he does, and he can't save a penny and can't afford housing in California (BTW, I lived there too, in Monterey, and it was godawful expensive). I have a brother in San Diego and all he does is bawl about money being tight. A lot of these money issues have to do with budgeting. Maybe you don't need to eat steaks five nights a week, run the AC all day long, subscribe to 600 TV channels, and run to the shopping mall every day.

2. Nobody said that transplants had to live with anyone...just that they should talk to some of the oldtimers.

3. Not a martyr complex, just an observation. I don't see transplants walking up to some oldtimer and asking him for advise on how to make it here. I see transplants reading bulletin boards full of posts by other transplants.

4. No, we are not the only warm location, and yes, it is not for everybody, especially not for people who have been spoiled by a lifetime of continental US conveniences.

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 23, 2011 4:36 pm
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

JRF,

I am a product of a public school system that was always denigrated as being one of the worst in the area I lived in (PG County public schools right outside of DC) and have done very well with the education I obtained there. There was a lot of bad stuff happening in school but I do agree that a child's success is largely up to his/her parents and, in the later years, the child him/herself. Education is what you make of it and I have no doubt that bright people here can and do succeed coming out of the VI public schools. I don't necessarily agree with people who have told me "you cannot get a good education in the schools here" which is what people I've talked to have said, I think that, like you point out that is an overstatement.

But how do we reconcile the anecdotal information you posted about the schools with the fact that for several years up until about a year ago the schools here lost their middle states accreditation and a graduates high school diploma was not all that meaningful when applying to college? Losing accreditation makes a students hard work in school worth less (not worthless but worth less) since they cannot use their diploma to get into college without jumping through additional hoops.

Fortunately the VI Public schools has gotten back on track to a certain degree and was able to regain accreditation and hopefully things will continue to improve. I would love it if, when the time comes, I could choose to send my kids to the public schools here with full confidence that they are getting the education they deserve since I am already paying for them via my tax dollars!

Sean

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 23, 2011 4:38 pm
Hiya!
(@Hiya!)
Trusted Member

Thank you for the chuckle. I like the fact that everyone else is nick picking but you. Reminds me of my Grandfather. He could be a huge pain in the rear as well and make little sense, but he loved talking to everyone, never met a stranger. I imagine you would be a delight in person as well. Not much point in responding to anything you said. Hope your day gets better.

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 23, 2011 5:58 pm
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

Re: born here Crucians who have done well.... Good for them. But the poverty stats, crime, income, and drop-out stats cannot be ignored and blamed on parenting. These and the fact that more students attend private schools here than public should tell us something.

More Positives:
Good private schools
Awesome scuba diving

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 24, 2011 1:03 am
TheSavage
(@TheSavage)
Advanced Member

They have palm trees.

Are the palm trees even native here?

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 24, 2011 1:37 am
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered

the fact that more students attend private schools here than public should tell us something.

I am pretty sure that you do not have the numbers to support that 'fact' - certainly not the case on STT.

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 24, 2011 3:03 am
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

" the fact that more students attend private schools here than public should tell us something."

I am pretty sure that you do not have the numbers to support that 'fact' - certainly not the case on STT.

This information was broadcast last year on STX during a local (970) radio interview with Bill Sinfeld, head of Country Day and Raquel Cedano, head of Good Hope. I have to admit, it surprised me at first, until the headmasters explained that there are a large number of Christian schools on the islands, and not just secular private schools like Country Day. Coming from them, I assumed it was true.

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 24, 2011 10:50 am
VIsnorkeler
(@VIsnorkeler)
Trusted Member

Great hiking on St John. PM me when you get here and I'll tell you all about them!

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 24, 2011 6:26 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

They have palm trees.

Are the palm trees even native here?

The tyre palm is native...

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 24, 2011 10:12 pm
JahRustyFerrari
(@jahrustyferrari)
Advanced Member

Edited March 28, 2011: Message Removed.

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 25, 2011 12:21 pm
Hiya!
(@Hiya!)
Trusted Member

Edited March 28, 2011: Message Removed.

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 25, 2011 12:41 pm
JahRustyFerrari
(@jahrustyferrari)
Advanced Member

Edited March 28, 2011: Message Removed.

ReplyQuote
Posted : March 25, 2011 1:02 pm
Page 2 / 3
Close Menu