Sunday, October 28, 2012

Cultural Institutions in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I

St. Thomas may be a fairly small island but cultural institutions abound here. One of the cultural institutions in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. is the Pistarkle Theater. Established in 1991 and currently molded by Nikki Emerich as the artistic Director. The Pistarkle Theater offers a variety of productions that get better each year.

Saturday was the final performance of "Cabaret" at the Pistarkle Theater. Typically,  there was not an empty seat in the house. I attended with two friends and enjoyed the performance of a cast that has been honing their skills and clearly are exhibiting the benefit of a new musical director. An additional bonus is being able to see  friends and colleagues preform at a professional level.

This cultural institution in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands offers educational camps for the youth of the community. The 2011 Leadership Performing Arts Camp was held July 29 to August 19th. Some of the attendees are featured in the video below.
The 2012 - 2013 after school program runs from Oct 15 through December 14th. They offer dance, acting and singing lessons. Individual lessons are $10 per class, $45 weekly and $350 for all 8 weeks. The acting classes are free to children enrolled in public schools  age 9 and older.

Located in Tillet Gardens which is a center for the arts, yet another cultural institution on St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Here, shops sell everything from Orchids, hand crafted jewelry, and hand painted clothing to name just a few products of local artists. The center was created by Jim Tillett, a, now deceased, world renowned, silk screen artist. He arrived on  St. Thomas in 1959 and converted a Danish farm into  a screen printing shop and art gallery. There are some Thirteen shops and a new Restaurant, "The Bistro". I tried the honey mustard pulled chicken salad, Saturday. The food is tasty and the portions are more than generous.

These cultural institutions on St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands provide opportunities for young people to develop their talents, learn to express themselves in wonderful ways, improve their self esteem, and provide a great source of entertainment for the community.  The arts are heavily dependent on contributions from individuals and corporate sponsors.

Friday, October 26, 2012


 The ultimate Halloween video. I know it it vintage but I don't believe it gets any better than this. Michael Jackson set the benchmark for videos with this one.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cottage for Rent on St. Thomas, Virgin Islands

Play VisualTour
Other than large villas, rentals on St. Thomas are generally either the top part of a home, the lower part of a home, or one of many units in a building or condo complex. Anyway you look at it, you are sharing a building with others. This cottage is just that a single cottage.

The essences of island living in St. Thomas, a charming, stand alone, two bedroom, one bath cottage on a fenced and gated property. Tastefully decorated with original art from around the world, Moroccan carpets and all new furniture. Every detail has been attended to, down to the linens and cookware.

The kitchen is open to the living area for maximum interaction with guests and family. The bedrooms are on opposite ends of the cottage for maximum privacy. There is an extra room that can be used as a walk-in closet or an office area, if you like. Split air conditioning, Internet service and cable television are included. There is a lovely outdoor dining room with lounge chairs for sipping your cordial after a romantic dinner.

There are traditional wooden hurricane shutters and hurricane resistant glass in the windows and French doors that lead to a patio. A generator in case the electric goes out. There is a full sized washer and dryer. Flat parking for two cars is another bonus with this rental in St. Thomas.

This rental in St. Thomas is conveniently located just West of town, so you are not fighting the traffic. It is close to the University, and not far from downtown businesses. This ideal, home can be yours with an annual lease for only $2,400.00 per month. Pets are considered individually. This is a nonsmoking property.

For all your real estate needs on St. Thomas, contact Van Blake-Coleman Realty. Call 1 866 576 3331.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Stumpy Bay Beach, Legendary in St. Thomas

Play VisualTour
Since arriving in St. Thomas, I have infrequently heard people my age either ask about property near Stumpy Bay or refer to wonderful times they had while growing up going to Stumpy Bay. There was never a lot of details, just whimsical looks and soft knowing smiles.

I have shown property in Estate Hope only once before, a raw piece of land. Estate Hope is located on the Western side of the island before you get to Estate Fortuna, people hold on to the property in this area. I had an appointment to show a home listed for only $249,000, hard to find on St. Thomas. The listing touted the home to be within walking distance to Stumpy Bay. I met a friend I have been showing homes for a while and we ventured down an unpaved road that was pretty rugged (not unusual in St. Thomas). Turns out, this is probably not the home for her and her husband but I could not resist the opportunity to go to Stumpy Bay. My friend had never heard of Stumpy Bay (she is quite young, at least by my standards) We could hear and see the water clearly from the house but there didn't seem to be any beach in sight, just a rocky coastline. When we got down to the road we could not see the water so we decided to drive. We finally reached an area too rugged for either of our four wheel drive vehicles. We parked in the middle of the road, no one was going to be able to drive any further any way; so walked the rest of the way. 

As we came through the trees, a beach began to appear, as we walked across the sand littered with bleached coral (most of this has been removed by visitors on the other beaches even though it is prohibited), there was a serenity and sense of peace that settled around us on this isolated beach. No wonder it is such a treasure to those who know it. I only had the time to take these pictures but I will return with a bathing suite and some snorkel gear, when I can steel an afternoon. Soon, I too will be able to smile whimsically when Stumpy Bay Beach is mentioned. I may not have the wealth of memories but I will know the privilege.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Halloween is Coming - St. Thomas, Virgin Islands

Halloween in St. Thomas is usually a fun event for adults and children alike. There are events like the costume part the Historical Trust gives as a fund raiser every year. Stay tuned for special event for the fall Holloween season in St. Thomas. A haunted house is always fun and scary too. I don't think this home is haunted but is it cool, it is definitely not in St. Thomas. In the mean time enjoy this video I found on YouTube of this not so "haunted house", some place other than St. Thomas. I hope you are getting ready for Halloween with scary pranks and costumes.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

St, Thomas Looses KISS 101.3; A tribute to "Old School

Just a little "old school" coming from St. Thomas to you, enjoy. on 10/2/12 we lost a radio station in St. Thomas, KISS 101.3. They played a lot of good music and I particularly enjoyed the Tom Joyner morning show, and Daddy Driver in the afternoon. It is now off of the air. This is my salute to those who worked there for years and entertained us all. St. Thomas and the Caribbean basin will miss your work.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Open Houses in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands

Wednesday is the day for broker open houses in St. Thomas. There were four today; two homes and two condos. 

Three of the open houses were in the Estate of Frenchman Bay

MLS number 12-1635, priced at $1,799,000 this relatively new, sprawling 7,000 sq. ft, seven bedroom, seven and a half bath home is located very close to the sea and in clear view of the cruise ship route. It was the first open house on St. Thomas, I attended today. It is minutes from Antilles School, town and the Lime Tree Beach.  Amenities include  a huge pool, balconies off of the bedrooms, each bedroom is en suite, custom imported wood work, incredible parking  space and travertine flooring throughout. There are actually two separate units here; a four bedroom four bath upper level  and a three bedroom three and a half lower level. 

MLS number 12-878, priced at $360,000 a two bedroom, two bath, solid concrete condo with breathtaking Caribbean Sea views from every room except the bathrooms. I almost missed this open house in St. Thomas today. This unit has been beautifully kept and has a private driveway.  It is situated in a quite small complex, located in the center of the island. Other significant features are large closets and a double sink mater bath, low condo fees - only $555.30 a month, hurricane screening, UV water filter and an automatic generator.

MLS number 12-1555, priced at $259,000, the only two bedroom two bath unit in Frenchman View Condominium Complex. There are great panoramic views and a large deck. The complex has a pool. Construction is concrete. The condo fees are $962 a month.

                                                     View from the deck of MLS 12-1645

Estate Lerkenlund is the location of the last open house MLS 12-1645, priced at $515,000 and consists of three bedrooms and three baths, with a work shop and bonus room down stairs.  This immaculately kept home commands amazing views of Magen's Bay and the Atlantic Ocean and could be converted into a two unit home if you wanted to, with access from the lower road. The main level has walk-in access and there is a solar and generator system on this home; resulting in low electric bills and making power outages a non-issue. The hammock in the living room make this home my pick of the open houses in St. Thomas today.
If you are interested in seeing real estate in St. Thomas  call Van Blake-Coleman Realty at 866 576 3331. 

Many of the listings are available through broker's reciprocity.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

St. Thomas Real Estate Market Report September 2012

This report contains figures from the St. Thomas Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service:

During the month of September in the St. Thomas real estate market, 7 homes were sold with an average price of $605,929.00. The total volume of homes sold  last month was $4,241,500.  The number of homes sold has increased by more than 200% over the same time period last year but the average price is down by more than 26 %.

There were 4 condos sold in the month of September with an average price of $158,375. The total volume of condos sold last month was $633,500. In the St. Thomas real estate market, the number of condos sold has increased by 33% in the same time frame last year but the average price  has decreased by 46% from a year ago.

The raw land sold in the St. Thomas real estate market during the month of September numbered only 2 with  an average price of $202,500.  The total volume of land sold  last month was $405,000. This represents a decrease of 60% in the number of lots sold compared to the same time frame last year but a 141% increase in the average price.

the St. Thomas real estate market is small enough to be significantly impacted by one or two large or small sales with in the month.  The St. Thomas real estate market normally see an increase in both the number of sale and prices in the high season from November to April. Now is a great time for buyers to purchase on St. Thomas and throughout the Virgin Islands.

 There are a significant number of transactions which take place and are not recorded on the MLS.