STT Newbies re "town"
During the last few months I've been hearing newbies referring to "town" as "Charlotte." I don't know where it came from but in my ove two decades here, Charlotte Amalie" has always been referred to locally as "town."
Just a conversation point - to a point. The Legislature regularly goes on a bent of re-naming roads which certainly does get rather confusing, particularly to visitors when whatever available road maps are rarely updated. "Skyline Drive" several years ago became the Lionel Berry Highway. The Smith Bay Road was renamed the Emilio (Milo) Francis road and there are many others.
I have enormous respect for the history of the Virgin Islands but re-naming main roads as a gesture of respect for departed members of the community basically negates history.
Dear newbies and prospective newbies, the capital of Charlotte Amalie which was named after a Danish Queen, is locally called "town."
Cheers to all and HAPPY CARNEEVAL!
As long as we are teaching newbies, might as well give 'em some more history about Charlotte Amalie (pronounced ah-MAHL-ya) and hubby King Chirstian V:
"We're all here...cuz we're not all there!"
Some random observations about roads, signs, and driving:
Islander, have you noticed that on the map "Four Corners" actually looks like a five-way intersection? Just to further confuse things...
Another amusing thing-- have you noticed that no matter what (numbered) road you're on, no matter which direction you're going on that road, there are signs that indicate "to airport" 🙂 Makes me grin every time. Also reminds me that you can never get too lost because at worst you'll go in circles.
On my first driving trip to STT I spent ~3 hours semi-lost while driving around looking for a dumpster.
I used to get frustrated when I asked for directions and the local didn't know the numbered names. Now that I've driven seemingly endlessly on STT, I understand. I just stayed with friends on Peter Mountain and I don't think I could possibly describe how to get there to a newbie, even with the numbers. The only way I can get around is to get all Zen and just relax. If I get uptight I mess up. Navigating at night can still be a challenge since the visual cues look different.
To someone unfamiliar with the island and roads, another mistake is assuming that the roads depicted on maps look like roads. Sometimes they are so narrow and primitive that it is hard to recognize as a road that would appear on any map. Plus, the maps are far from accurate. There are many many more twists and turns that are evident on the maps. If a main road goes mainly east-west on the map, understand that you will travel all compass points while transiting that road.
So, advice to new drivers on STT: stop and ask for directions frequently and be patient with the person giving directions. Don't freak if you get lost. Allow plenty of time to get to your destination-- build in some "lost" time.
maybe that means that all roads lead off-island!
On STX, the most prevalent signs are ones giving you directions to the Divi Hotel & Casino. They have signs at the far opposite end of the island. There aren't additional signs at many of the intersections you would need to turn, so they are less directional in nature and more a form of advertisement.
Great House Real Estate
"Interesting" situation many years ago on STX. They numbered East End Road for the first time, as they were printing a road map, apparently a big move forward at the time. When the maps arrived, the route number for East End Road had changed to 82, so they changed the number for the road to match their new map, and it's been 82 ever since, though most folks only know it as East End Road anyway.
I went on a PMV to STT in Feb. and my mom and I drove around trying to get aquainted with the island and its roads. They were so confusing I coulnd't even get frustrated, I just laughed. Really she had the harder time because she was trying to navigate. Instead of trying to find destinations, we let destinations find us. Only now I'm worried that I won't be able to find my way to potential apartments or job interviews. Do people get irritated when you ask for specific directions, and does anyone go by actual addresses? I've been going through the island phone book and the businesses don't list them, they just list the town or main road or landmark that they're by. Thankyou
Sounds like the Outer Banks of NC. Directions are given by mile marker or mile post. I was at a resterant and a guy came in looking for directions. He gave us the address. We asked what mile post it was at. He didn't know so, we couldn't help him. Wal Mart is at mile pst 1, K mart is at mile post 7, and I lived at mile post 9 1/2. So using land marks is not much different.
Per pale Or and gules, three crosses patonce counterchanged
When you first get to STT, you MUST pick up the free hand out island map that Tourists use to find their way around.
Getting to most of the general areas is easy to figure out, and once you've done that, more specific directions to find an exact building is much easier.
The basic main highways are pretty easy to figure out.........then you start working on knowledge of short cuts and the smaller ones.
The island map is available free at most stores in town, as well as the Red Hook Mail Service, and the East End Secretarial service (both now housed in the same office).
Addresses, we don't need no stinkin' addresses! 😀
People are very accustomed to giving directions, but they take some getting used to. Write down whatever the person tells you- even something as seemingly silly as "Look for the purple whale" or "Turn at the black pick-up." Ask if there are any special land marks. When you are looking for the place, it will make sense.
This: "Instead of trying to find destinations, we let destinations find us" is great advice! Also, the advice that my sage former landlord gave me, "It's an island, you can't get very lost!"
Too funny. Didn't realize what a can of worms I'd open posting initially but all too true.
Many years ago one of my tenants at the time, a visiting nurse, was invited for dinner by a local lady who did a lot of the (good) hospital cooking. Not knowing where she was going, the nurse asked me if I'd care to join her and then got the lady on the 'phone, first to ask her if it was OK to bring someone and secondly for me to get directions.
The lady gave me directions to come up by Donoe Bypass and take a right at the flamboyant. Dutifully writing everything down but not recalling a flamboyant, she remained insistent about the flamboyant.
When I drove up the Donoe By-Pass that early evening and took a right at the flamboyant tree, I kind of realized why she might have been a bit reluctant to tell me that she lived in the Donoe housing projects which had a less than savory reputation.
Suffice it to say that it was a most warming and memorable evening. Numerous fanily members, young and old, were in and out of this tiny living space all night long, the nurse and I were the only white faces around and yet we were warmly welcomed by everyone who came and ate and went - and the food was fantastic. It's a wonderful memory!
On our first PMV here, we were going to travel from the east end to Kmart in F'sted - and were told about going "past the windmill ruins" (trust me, there is more than one set of ruins), taking the sharp curve (yep, more than one of those, too), and turning left at the "ladder building" (some sort of construction supply place)...the worst was "look out for the goats on the highway"...I was thinking "do WHAT?" We left our home base supremely confident in our ability to navigate even with a tiny little map, and also supremely confident that we were somewhat brighter than the average bear and the poor islanders just didn't know how to give directions. A couple of hours after leaving home, we finally arrived at our destination...after going past the ruins, taking the sharp turn, turning left at the ladder building, and dodging a particularly large goat break out on the highway that day. No one warned us about the two horses running loose on the road to the rum factory, but maybe that's not a regular landmark.......
Interestingly, my husband works in an industry where a physical address is a MUST, as is a date of birth. Many islanders, particularly the older ones, simply do not know either. The address thing we've gotten used to, as well as using dog pens and horses for orientation points...(and learn your trees, flamboyants and mango trees do NOT look alike)...the date of birth thing is still awfully strange...I don't know about STT, but one thing we are consistently amazed at is asking a local directions to a point several miles away and getting a blank stare, and then an "I don't know, I've never been there"...one young man worked in F'sted and lived there...when we asked for directions to Divi, he had no idea - had never been past center island. Mid 20's, in school at UVI, with a car...and had absolutely no clue what might lie beyond Sunny Isle.
The good/bad news is that within a matter of weeks, you begin to give directions based on trees and livestock. The other great thing is that in being lost you see areas of the island you might never have gone to on purpose because you missed the cow and now you're on a dirt road to nowhere...I would take issue with the statement "it's an island, how lost can you get?"...my answer would be "very, very, very lost"...I am living proof that those of us who are navigationally challenged can spend HOURS looking for something familiar. Now I just head for the highest point and look for Hovensa, my ever-present landmark!
Becky: Okay, St Croix IS the Big Island! Maybe you CAN get more lost!! LOL! 😉 Here on the Rock, you just continue until you find the tamarind tree and then turn at the Fat Man's! (That is an actual direction in Smith Bay- and Fat Man's is no longer there, but still give directions based on it!)
LOL re: Fat Man's
As a newbie, I have really noticed this. One day I was given a direction to turn at Frank's Bakery. After driving around the area back and forth for a half hour or more trying to find Frank's Bakery, I finally gave up and turned where it seemed to make logical sense. When I arrived at my destination I mentioned that I never managed to find Frank's. The person who gave me directions said "Oh, I meant turn where Frank's Bakery used to be."
I do agree though that it is rather difficult, if not impossible, to get "really" lost on STT.