Sobering STX Reviews
Tubbyscubby, I use online postage/shipping, then all I have to do is drop it at the post office.
USPS for letters, and Paypal for packages. Order your Priority boxes like you would stateside, as the PO always seems to be out of the free priority boxes...
You can also do the Customs Declaration Form Online, and that too can be dropped without having to stand in line...
If shipping USPS, for the love of God DO NOT use media mail. 3 months later...
Tubby, maybe you'll have better looking moving to Kenya?
kenya? yeah, that works. 😛
for those that offered possible shipping solutions, thank you. i pretty much do that now and you've pretty much reaffirmed that for the most part, it's not all that different.
on the whole, i've learned that safety concerns are REAL. where the reviews may have been inflated by emotion, i will have to take more diligent efforts on USVI than i would in other areas but that doesn't mean i need to cross it off my list....as it's the only place on my list.
I bought land on STX and hope to build a house in 5-10 years (if I can ever retire!). I've made three trips to the island now and stayed about a week each time. I've been reading this forum and anything else I can find, just like you.
I'm sure you're finding that the more you read the better you get at interpreting what you're reading. Some folks have a definite agenda or bias, that after a while you learn and understand how to "filter". Some people are very good at answering questions in a direct way, and even though they probably have bias (we all do, it's impossible to self-filter completely), it's still a good data point to bounce against other data points. The picture becomes less "fuzzy".
The crime subject, which I think you were really referring to in your opening post (am I right?), has been a difficult subject for me to get a handle on. You've already seen a pretty wide spectrum of answers/opinions/experiences. I see the bars on windows of many homes, so I interpret that as a strong indication that home burglaries must be more than just a "slight" problem (bars are not cheap). But, on the flip side, I see people parking on dark streets in town and walking around at night (although I'm too old to be out much past 10:00 PM). I've left stuff in cars, in clear sight without any problems. My wife and I went to dinner in town and she sat alone on the boardwalk for 5 minutes while I went to the bathroom. When I returned there was a 20-30 yo man sitting next to her asking questions like "where is your husband?". It did not seem to us that he was being "just friendly". But, I don't really know what his intentions were.
So, unfortunately, even after three trips I really couldn't tell you that crime is any worse than any suburban area that I've lived in. I can tell you that the really bad reviews that you referenced are SO far from what I've experienced that it's really hard for me to consider those reliable.
The other problem with trying to get a handle on crime is that it's somewhat dependent on your life style. So, crime statistics or anecdotal info may not be pertinent to you.
If you figure out how to assess the crime issue, let me know!
Hrmph! Who has awakened me from my slumber? Ah, the topic of crime raises its ugly head again...
Greetings tubbyscubby! Welcome.
Ever wonder why there are so many houses/condos/apartments for sale or rent here? The furious pace at which we are building new homes? NOT! Interesting, eh?
The topic of crime will fracture this board like no other. For the most part, the answers you’ll get reveal more about human psychology than they reveal about crime. Understand who you are chatting with. Most of us are continentals who have made the choice to stay - at least for the time being. There are no statistics that I’m aware of that show just how seriously we are outnumbered by folks that have come and gone. 1000 to 1? 10,000 to 1? More? Why would so many people leave “paradise?”
Crime here is high. Unless you’re moving down from an inner city, it’s damn high. The homicide rate here last year was more than 2,500 times the rate it was in the community I came from. The “wrong time, wrong place” argument you see so often thrown around here doesn’t hold water. Here, the “wrong place” can be difficult to discern and “wrong time” can be anytime day or night. Why then are so few people willing to tell you about it and discuss it with you?
The lure of “paradise” is strong. The dream of living on an island is shared by many. People will always come here and people will always leave. Nothing said on this board will ever change that.
Do I sound bitter, angry, or jaded? Heh heh, you’d never recognize me on the street based on what I’ve written. I’m happy here. I thrive here. I accept the risk. This is probably not the last stop on my journey, but I wouldn’t trade the time I’ve spent here for anything.
You’re on the right track, tubbyscubby. Continue to ask questions and then read between the lines. Best wishes to you!
Now back to my nap….
you should be awake more often 😉 nope, not from an inner city but not from a sheltered suburb either so wherever i've moved, this is the happy medium i look for. and no, you don't sound bitter...not at all actually. some of the posts throughout the years make a reader wonder because if it's that bad, why stay? i honestly wouldn't have thought to question security if it weren't for this forum which is why i'm sorta surprised by some of the flip responses...although most have been candid and helpful.
i do get what you're saying though. i could be asking the same question of some of my friends who continue to live in NY in rat infested studios paying $1300/month and i'm sure that i'd get the same ambiguous responses. in a way, you really have to be there to gather what you're willing to put up with BUT what's there when i get there? if only i could know that in advance and in a way, now i do. i hope to enjoy it as many of you have but who knows, i'm a gypsy and although i never tire of a place, i have the geographical attention span of a gerbil.
you're right. what i'm aiming for is clarity. the more i "talk it out," the more understanding and confidence i gather. in some moves, i just did it. this isn't one of those moves...at least not for me.
interesting that you purchased land. my bf wants land, i want to buy a multi-family home. ultimately, it's about planning for my...our future now when my dreams aren't clouded by kids, aging parents and a career path that's set in stone.
i'll be sure to share any info i get but you seem well on your way...minus the youngin hitting on your wife 😀
tubbyscubby, I have lived here now for 5 years and I do love it here. I think the longer you live here the more you except things. I know after I had been a victim of crime here after 1 year living here I wanted to get the hell out. We actually did try to sell our home but we kept getting really low bids. We worked to hard on this home to let it go for beans, so we have taken the house off the market. I have mixed feelings about moving away from here. I call it my love/hate relationship with this island. I do feel the racism here, I'm very light skinned and have blond hair so I always say I stick out like a sore thumb. I now ignore it and don't let it bother me. I have several Crucian friends so the few that are horrible to me I just ignore. Our Crucian friends will stand up for us when someone is ignorant to us which is awesome.
I can tell you one thing, I have more friends here then I ever had while living in the states which makes island living so much easier.
Now that I have been here for 5 years I do catch myself defending St. Croix all the way, I think you learn to turn your head to things.
I say you have to experience island living for yourself. Come down and check it out it's the only way you will know if it is for you.
I have put together an album of photos around the middle part of St. Croix and Christiansted--images you will NOT see in the pretty brochures and by googling images of St. Croix. I hope they give you some idea of what the real life here is all about.
You can see the album here:
@margaritagirl - sorry to hear about your misfortune but glad that you were able to overcome it. i can't imagine being violated. the worst thing that happened to me was having a computer stolen while visiting a friend. anything beyond that...wow.
racism...being in the minority is difficult at times but never did i feel it more than when i was at college. Blacks = 7%. i didn't know many people that went there and most of my white friends went to other colleges so beyond my roommate and a few others, i didn't know any White folk...and few Blacks as it was my 1st year i would literally walk around campus with blinders on but as soon as i saw dark skin, there was an instant acknowledgment. we always spoke to one another...it was like a silent affirmation of...something.
what's odd is, i feel the same way (sometimes) when i visit martinique. it being a french speaking island and predom Black, you'd think i'd fit in. and i do but sometimes my mind gets exhausted and i'd like to speak w/o having to pause here and there. during those times, seeing Americans makes me feel an instant kinship and i have an itch to hear and speak English.
so i guess the question for those who have been there a longer period of time and are melanin-challenged, does the "looking for like people"...whether it be cultural/economic/racials/etc, fade away in time? or do you find yourself occasionally looking around for people who look like you? or is that not a problem given how close some of the residential areas are to the tourist parts?
@antiqueone - great photos! thanks for sharing. although some of the images were depressing to say the least, i found myself smiling a little seeing the american style strip mall, cars in the drive through, "times square." very cool (tu)
so i guess the question for those who have been there a longer period of time and are melanin-challenged, does the "looking for like people"...whether it be cultural/economic/racials/etc, fade away in time? or do you find yourself occasionally looking around for people who look like you? or is that not a problem given how close some of the residential areas are to the tourist parts.
I'm new England white and all the people I work with are dark. I am well accepted and considered a "good and fair boss". Most of the people I work for are white. That is the thing here that afer a while we (they) are all just people. I defineitely have more fun with my local friends, no pretension. I worked with Puerto Ricans on PR and Dominicans on DR and have never longed for" people like me". As long as you are real and live with respect you will be accepted. With some locals the Patois can be difficult to understand but when you slow down, not so much.
Bombi, I spent 13 months on St John as a kid. Back then the way I spoke you would have thought I was a native Virgin islander.
You are correct,as long as you are real, you will always find friends. Black,White,Latino,Asian. Interacial,who gives a rats ass,it is none of my business. Just treat me with the same respect as I would treat you and we will all get along just fine. Oh I forgot,I'M a colorfull,Tattooed White boy from Tenn. You got any room for people like me ? Just kidding. I'M coming anyway.
Yo chockman, I spent considerable time in Mountain City and Johnson City Tennessee.and Boone NC. I may have ate with you at a highway cafeteria. You can't see my tattoos but WTF. So come on down and give it a bid. If your vibe is good and you cater to veggies I'll give it a bid.
I for one would love to see some Tennessee Barbeque down here. I grew up in Memphis and went to school at UT Knoxville. Worked in OakRidge. I miss the BBQ.
OK ,good. Your not my ex wife. She was from Rutledge. She would of ate the cow. I have been wondering about Vegetarian dishes and how some of them may go over. I am a meat and potatoes guy.
Do you find much of a vegetarian culture on island ? Would some of them sell to the masses or just a few people ? Don't get me wrong I sometimes order the vegi plate and I think I will have a dish or two on the menu but I could never loose meat. 100 % Vegetarian or do you eat the occasional fish ?
Bombi,don't forget, we will sell booze as well.
I wouldn't know about the veggie stuff, as one of my good friends says "I didn't spend 100,000 years evolving my way to the top of the food chain to settle for carrots."
Don't get me wrong, I like veggies, but it's not a meal without meat.
I like Tennessee Hickory Smoked Pork Barbeque.
Keep talking Rotor head. You haven't had my smoked,Dry rub Ribs yet. I don't use the beer can for smoking but have you ever had Beer can Chicken. That by the way is the politically correct name.
Since Chicken Charlies is for sale,I thought the island could use a little competition for smoked foods. Bombi we smoke veggies to.
I worked in Oakridge as well. I have a two sister's one in Memphis and one in Knoxville. Since 98,I've been stuck in New Mexico.
I'm a second hand vegetarian. Cows eat grass, hay, etc and that is a form of vegetables. I eat c:@)ows!
My understanding is that Rastas are typically vegetarian so there must be some vegetarian places here. I seem to recall a vegetarian restaurant in the Barren Spot Mall (mind you I've never been in since I figure God gave me incisors for a reason...)
Quite a few veggie places here. My favorite is LeJaime, next to Food Town. As a matter of fact, hubby is picking up my lunch right now!:D
I could go for some of the bbq, though. I prefer NC style, but TN isn't bad either. Eat @ Cane Bay has a NC style pulled pork sandwich. It's great, but the last time I had it I think they were trying to stretch it a day or two past it's "best by date". It had a watery sauce, which isn't right for NC, and I think it was to cover the off taste. I haven't been back. I will one day, but I have to get over the bad taste it left.
Cows eat grass,hence the Vegan. It really is just a matter fo how you look at it.8-)
I will offer you a bottle of sauce with your meal. That way you can do it up as you please. It depends what it is,somethings require no sauce at all,just a good old Smokey flavored meat or veggie. I will run out of it before I serve you something that has worn out it's shelf life. I know Talk,Talk,Talk. I'M working on it as fast as I can:P
Tubbyscubby~I have read all of the banter on here and I do agree with most that a PMV is a VERY good idea or a visit at least.
I have been coming to this island for about 5 years now. I have come many many times and last year was there four times due to the fact that one of my best friends was a victim of crime "wrong place wrong time" and he almost died as a result. I personally have not had many issues with crime except for once at Ha' Penny beach when we left the door unlocked and someone got into the trunk and took everything. I blame myself because we gave them the opportunity. I guess I was not too upset about it simply because I realize that life is more precious than any material thing.
I know STX is not perfect, but it is perfect enough for me that I did buy some land there and will build one day. I don't intend to live there full time at this juncture but who knows what the future will hold.
Definitely continue to do your research, but keep in mind that everyone has an opinion...and it is just that...their opinion.
Best of Luck
This has been a very interesting read. It's full of fact and fiction and perfect contradiction.
When I meet someone new to St Croix it usually only takes a few minutes to know if they will make it long term here.
Dear Ms. Tubbyscubby,
St Croix is a place to enjoy life.
With all due respect and sincere kindness, save the airfare, St Croix is not your kind of place.
as the numerous PM's i have received indicate, some of you are just horrible people. i wish you were happier in your lives but clearly, you are miserable, sad individuals hell bent on dragging the rest of the world down with you.
i have a bbq to go to. ciao!
I didn't send Tubbyscubby a PM, but I would like to congatulate all that did(tu)