I don’t know about you, but I think you can learn a lot about a place and its culture by going to the places where the locals “hang out.” You get a sense of the values, traditions, and acceptable (and unacceptable) behaviors among those who live in the place you’re visiting.
If you come to St Croix, there are several “hang outs” you should check out. Not your ordinary spots, mind you, which in itself is so very telling about our little island.
If you’re out east, especially on a Friday night, stop by the gas station (Ziggy’s), which becomes the “libation station” in full bloom on Friday night. Now, i’m a little biased, because my daughter, Kirby, tends bar there on Friday night, but you’ll be fascinated by who and what you see (and hear) at the gas station on Friday night!
First of all, there’s a chef there cooking 3 – 4 interesting, creative dishes that will tingle your tastebuds. Drinks are inexpensive and served up quickly and with a smile. You’ll see a lot of shoulder slapping, hugging, just generally affectionate behavior among the patrons there. Also a lot of ribbing and kidding each other. You’ll see old, young, black, white, rich, poor, and everything in between. It’s just good people. It’s an accepting place, a happy place, and a very comfortable place. Newbies are welcomed, and embraced like old friends. There’s an air of acceptance, of family, of “we’re all here because we’re not all there.”
Head west and you must check out the Domino Club, home of the beer drinking pigs. This is a place where locals and tourists alike gather, especially late afternoon, for a shot of “mama wanna,” great conversation with “the girls” and Norma, and meeting new folks and catching up on island happenings. It’s one of those places you’d probably not stop at, unless you knew about it – which makes it all the sweeter!
Late night, the place to ‘hang out” is the Lost Dog pub in Frederiksted. Friendly, warm, fun, rowdy….you’ll never meet a stranger there, and you’ll likely leave with a few new best friends. And don’t be surprised if the sun is coming up as you and your new besties leave the bar….
Oh yeah, there are LOTS and LOTS of other places to hang out here on our little rock, but these are rather “iconic” and I think really capture the spirit of the island. Places come and go here, like everywhere, but these places have been around and probably will be (at least I hope so) long into the future. Don’t miss them!