As a writer and photographer I travel between my life in Toronto, my life in Antigua, and anywhere else my wanderings may take me ... writing my books and enjoying local arts and adventures along the way.

Early Morning KiteSurfing at Jabberwock Beach in Antigua

This morning I went to Jabberwock Beach in Antigua to do my daily yoga, stretching and calisthenics. I met Lee and Carolyn Richards, a couple of kite surfers from Cadillac, Michigan.The two told me that if I’d gotten there just slightly earlier I would have seen a number of locals (mainly older folk) who gathered there at daybreak to exercise every morning just as I did.
Lee and Carolyn were soon joined by Stuart Saffer, another kitesurfer from the US. Lee and Carolyn said they liked Antigua because it was less touristy. “We tour the Caribbean islands but we try to avoid really touristy ones” they told me. Part of the reason they said is because they like connecting with people who have a deeper knowledge about the places they visit. Touristy places they felt tend to have lots of people who work there but live elsewhere and so aren’t necessarily great information sources. And these two were truly interested in learning more information about Antigua. After hearing that I’m in Antigua writing a book on local artists they asked me to recommend some artists to them. It seems that many people visiting the islands are looking for this same kind of authenticity in the keepsakes they take home with them.

Lee Richards from Cadillac Michigan on the right and Stuart Saffer also from the US on the left, both talking a little shop. Lee came to spend his vacation in Antigua from Cadillac Michigan where he owns an automotive supply company. Stuart is enjoying the vacation from his job at Volante POS software company back in the US. Meeting these two was a pleasant reminder that the US automotive industry and the economy in general are still alive an kicking.

Lee Richards from Cadillac Michigan on the right and Stuart Saffer also from the US on the left, both talking a little shop. Lee came to spend his vacation in Antigua from Cadillac Michigan where he owns an automotive supply company. Stuart is enjoying the vacation from his job at Volante POS software company back in the US. Meeting these two was a pleasant reminder that the US automotive industry and the economy in general are still alive an kicking.

Lees wife Carolyn operates Pine Grove Athletic Club back in the US. She gave me some advice to help turn back the clock on my rickety knees.

Lee's wife Carolyn operates Pine Grove Athletic Club back in the US. She gave me some advice to help turn back the clock on my rickety knees.

Lee gets board and kite ready for his next run.

Lee gets board and kite ready for his next run.

Everyone’s at Home in Antigua

I began today fairly late and so ended up doing my usual morning combination of yoga, calesthenics and stretching on the beach. I think I’ll make a habit of it. Drowning out the noise of daily life and concentrating on the mechanics of breathing, and focusing on core values and thankfulness are all much easier when the Caribbean Sea is stretching out forever in front of you.
On the beach I chatted with Peter and Barbara, a couple from the UK who have been taking holidays in Antigua for the last 15 years. I asked them what they love most about Antigua. “Harry’s at Half Moon Bay” they answered. “He’s very friendly. We always take him a bottle of beer from England.” I asked what they loved so much about the place. “We always meet some great local Antiguans” they said.
Peter and Barbara run the Black Horse bar back in Ingleton, England and believe in the importance of supporting local businesses. “We try to let our money stay in Antigua” they said. “As opposed to businesses that are owned by someone in Britain or America”.
In particular they enthusiastically recommended that visitors, especially cruise ship passengers, take advantage of local taxi tours. I agreed that the local knowledge is absolutely invaluable when you’re on a schedule and the drivers are often interesting characters with completely offbeat and unexpected stories to tell. So get a local tour at a fixed, pre-arranged price, adopt a spirit of adventure, and you can’t go wrong.
A house on a hill that I always pass on the way to Darkwood Beach.

A house on a hill that I always pass on the way to Darkwood Beach.

Getting up Late

I began today fairly late and so ended up doing my usual morning combination of yoga, calesthenics and stretching on the beach. I think I’ll make a habit of it. Drowning out the noise of daily life and concentrating on the mechanics of breathing, and focusing on core values and thankfulness are all much easier when the Caribbean Sea is stretching out forever in front of you.

Peter and Barbara of the Black Horse Pub in Ingleton, UK

On the beach I chatted with Peter and Barbara, a couple from the UK who have been taking holidays in Antigua for the last 15 years. I asked them what they love most about Antigua. “Harry’s at Half Moon Bay” they answered. “He’s very friendly. We always take him a bottle of beer from England.” I asked what they loved so much about the place. “We always meet some great local Antiguans” they said.

At home both in Antigua and in the UK.

At home both in Antigua and in the UK.

Peter and Barbara run the Black Horse pub back in Ingleton, England and believe in the importance of supporting local businesses. “We try to let our money stay in Antigua” they said. “As opposed to businesses that are owned by someone in Britain or America”.

Enjoying the Island like a Local … Patronizing Local Businesses

In particular they enthusiastically recommended that visitors, especially cruise ship passengers, take advantage of local taxi tours. I agreed that the local knowledge is absolutely invaluable when you’re on a schedule and the drivers are often interesting characters with completely offbeat and unexpected stories to tell. So get a local tour at a fixed, pre-arranged price, adopt a spirit of adventure, and you can’t go wrong.

Antiguan Artist Alvin Kofi Returns to Exhibit Works

I’ve never seen an art show under construction though I’ve attended many an opening night of an exhibit. Watching a striking exhibit come together from an empty space is a very strenous but in the end thoroughly gratifying exercise of both one’s vision and one’s faith.
Since I’m in Antigua and Barbuda writing a book about the arts I’ve met many in that community. Tonight I joined local artist Marc Brown and some others who came to help Antigua/U.K. artist Alvin Kofi set up his exhibit for its opening this Friday November 27, 2009.
I asked Alvin why he chose to show his exhibit in Antigua and Barbuda. He told me that as an Antiguan and as the son of Antiguan parents exhibiting in the Antigua and Barbuda National Museum is a huge honor. “This is THE museum. Like portrait artists in London exhibiting in the National Portrait Museum. We are exhibiting in our own museum”.
I had a fascinating conversation about art and the african diaspora with Alvin Kofi Ferris who is one of the UK’s leading contemporary black artists. I’ll make sure and share photographs of the opening of his show “Colour & Movement” which will take place on November 27, 2009 at the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda.
Links to Alvin Kofi’s work:
http://www.tempolefineart.co.uk/gallery/16/1/
http://alexandragalleries.blogspot.com/2009/02/alvin-kofi-open-studio-weekend.html

I’ve never seen an art show under construction though I’ve attended many an opening night of an exhibit. Watching a great exhibit come together from an empty space is a very strenous but in the end thoroughly gratifying exercise of both one’s vision and one’s faith.

Outside the exhibit space everything is quiet. Inside Kofi and the others are preparing for a very special exhibit.

Outside the exhibit space everything is quiet. Inside Alvin Kofi and the others are preparing for a very special exhibit.

Since I’m in Antigua and Barbuda writing a book about the arts I’ve met many in that community. Tonight I joined local artist Marc Brown and some others who came to help Antigua/U.K. artist Alvin Kofi set up his exhibit for its opening this Friday November 27, 2009.

Contemplation & Dance

Contemplation & Dance

I asked Alvin why he chose to show his exhibit in Antigua and Barbuda. He told me that as an Antiguan, and as the son of Antiguan parents, exhibiting in the Antigua and Barbuda National Museum is a huge honor. “This is THE museum. Like portrait artists in London exhibiting in the National Portrait Museum. We are exhibiting in our own museum”.

I had a fascinating conversation about art and the african diaspora with Alvin Kofi Ferris who is one of the UK’s leading contemporary black artists. I’ll make sure and share photographs of the opening of his show “Colour & Movement” which will take place on November 27, 2009 at the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda.

Links to Alvin Kofi’s work:

http://www.myspace.com/kofiarts

http://www.tempolefineart.co.uk/gallery/16/1/

http://alexandragalleries.blogspot.com/2009/02/alvin-kofi-open-studio-weekend.html

Fort James is for Lovers

Right Behind the Beach

Of all the times I’ve been to Fort James beach I never thought to look for an actual fort. But having driven just a little bit further today to see what lay beyond Fort James beach … there it was … big cannons and all.

Big gun locked onto cruise ship and ready to let loose.

Big gun locked onto cruise ship and ready to let loose.

Cruise Ship in the Crosshairs of Fort’s Cannon

A big cruise ship passed right in front of the cannon at Fort James so that it was lined up for a good shot. Hostile ships would have been lined up for a similar cannon blast from these very same guns hundreds of years ago. No telling how many ships these monster guns sank.

A Romantic Spot

The ruins of the once mighty fort can no longer hold out any invaders. But it’s cliffs still are easily accessible and provide a breathtaking view, making the site perfect for a stroll with a sweetheart. I met a young couple named Shawn and Vancia doing exactly that … strolling along the cliff among the ruins that remained of the Fort.

Young sweethearts Vancia and Shawn out for a romantic stroll.

Young sweethearts Vancia and Shawn out for a romantic stroll.

Just beyond the fort I passed Bab’s Beach Bar, a sleepy little bar on the beach itself where there is plenty of time to entertain a stranger with a good story.

On the patio of Bab's Beach Bar at Fort James, accusations of impropriety in shuffling and dealing the cards don't prevent David and Jacklyn from enjoying a friendly game on another beautiful afternoon.

On the patio of Bab's Beach Bar at Fort James, accusations of impropriety in shuffling and dealing the cards don't prevent David and Jacklyn from enjoying a friendly game on another beautiful afternoon.

Doing as (Some) Locals Do in Antigua

I’ll be on my current book-writing trip in Antigua for quite a few months. Since I’ll be here for awhile I have the chance to venture out around Antigua and to learn a little more about Antigua’s ecology. On my last trip I had already hooked up with Antigua and Barbuda’s Environment Awareness Group (EAG) which is dedicated to educating locals and tourists about the rich local flora and fauna. Having had a good experience with the EAG I decided to connect with them again. I looked forward to accompanying the EAG on some of the various hikes and trips that they bring locals and tourists on and which visit interesting ecological sites in Antigua and Barbuda and the offshore islands.
Looking to get the real inside scoop I even went so far as to get involved in the organization. In fact today I became a card carrying member of the EAG and went to a meeting of the not-for-profit group. In the meeting I met a whole cast of characters: another photographer, a former dive shop owner, an internet enterpreneur, a couple of members of government, and other parties who’ve noticed the changes in the ecology of Antigua and Barbuda over the years and who want to do something about them.
I’ve been away from Antigua and Barbuda for so long that I can’t clearly see which changes in the ecology over the years of my absence are real and which just tricks of my memory. But the island’s beauty is still more than motivation enough to err on the side of preservation. After the quick island tours I experienced on my recent cruise ship voyage through the eastern Caribbean, my involvement with the EAG promises more exotic excursions into parts of Antigua and Barbuda that for me and many readers will be trips into the unknown.

Here in Antigua for Awhile

I’ll be on my current book-writing trip in Antigua for quite a few months. Since I’ll be here for awhile I have the chance to venture out around Antigua and to learn a little more about Antigua’s ecology. On my last trip I had already hooked up with Antigua and Barbuda’s Environment Awareness Group (EAG) which is dedicated to educating locals and tourists about the rich local flora and fauna. Having had a good experience with the EAG I decided to connect with them again. I looked forward to accompanying the EAG on some of the various hikes and trips that they bring locals and tourists on and which visit interesting ecological sites in Antigua and Barbuda and the offshore islands.

Getting the Inside Scoop

Looking to get the real inside scoop I even went so far as to get involved in the organization. In fact today I became a card carrying member of the EAG and went to a meeting of the not-for-profit group. In the meeting I met a whole cast of characters: another photographer, a former dive shop owner, an internet enterpreneur, a couple of members of government, and other parties who’ve noticed the changes in the ecology of Antigua and Barbuda over the years and who want to do something about them.

A photo from my visit to sooty tern nesting colonies on a small island offshore from Antigua.

A photo from my visit to sooty tern nesting colonies on a small island offshore from Antigua.

Foggy Memories

I’ve been away from Antigua and Barbuda for so long that I can’t clearly see which changes in the ecology over the years of my absence are real and which are just tricks of my memory. But the island’s beauty is still more than motivation enough to be cautious and to err on the side of preservation. And the island’s beauty is something I will relish taking the time to explore. After the quick island tours I experienced on my recent cruise ship voyage through the eastern Caribbean, my involvement with the EAG promises more exotic excursions into parts of Antigua and Barbuda that for me and many readers will be trips into the unknown.

In Antigua at Last

This morning after a long night of karaoke with many new friends I slept through the ships arrival into Antigua. As my wakeup I was a supposed to get a call from a newlywed couple from Turkey that I had arranged to photograph this morning. However after the night’s festivities I had to get up early for a run in order to clear my head and therefore was already awake when they called. But I was glad I did so. It was truly enjoyable to have been able to take photos of them and to be part of making their special cruise an even more special event.

For those new to my blog Antigua is the port at which I disembark from the cruise in order to finish the book I’m creating. It’s to be a photo journal of notable Antiguan painters, sculptors, writers, and other artists and is tentatively titled “Amongst Artists in Antigua”.

Ozge and Engin were part of the lively karaoke singing that went on the night before.

Newlyweds Ozge and Engin were part of the lively karaoke singing that went on the night before.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Page 12 of 32« First...1011121314...2030...Last »