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Wednesday, August 17, 2022
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Why have Barkers Been Here for 40 Years?

Dear Source:
This former resident residing in Florida says there were barkers here since 1963. Has anyone asked why? One reason is that the topography of Charlotte Amalie is such that people tend not to walk on "back streets" or up hill, like Government Hill. There are no paths or sidewalks on Government Hill and people do not walk in the streets (with cars) without being urged to do so, as I do every day. I agree with Felipe in that I would love to see people wandering around the historic district. But, they don't and getting rid of 10 barkers is not the cure.
The major reason tourists do not meander around is because the cruise lines hire promotion companies, who print the identical maps of town, and dictate where visitors should walk. They start at Emancipation park, cross the post office and are told to only go to recommended stores on Main St. Anyone in an alley (or up a hill) is out of luck.
Every day in which I promote my restaurant, I spend most of my time talking about our historic town, what to see, where to go – the synagogue, the church, the Seven Arches Museum, etc. There is no Tourism office, no information booth and even Blackbeard's Castle/Haagansen House is closed on non-cruise ship days much to the unhappiness of hotel guests. What about that Felipe? Have you talked to the cruise lines? They control this town. And you think tourists will walk around to look for poinciana trees? You are in a fantasy world. Isn't there anyone on this island who understands business and history?
Paulette Keffas-Chassin
St. Thomas, Virgin Islands

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.

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Dear Source:
This former resident residing in Florida says there were barkers here since 1963. Has anyone asked why? One reason is that the topography of Charlotte Amalie is such that people tend not to walk on "back streets" or up hill, like Government Hill. There are no paths or sidewalks on Government Hill and people do not walk in the streets (with cars) without being urged to do so, as I do every day. I agree with Felipe in that I would love to see people wandering around the historic district. But, they don't and getting rid of 10 barkers is not the cure.
The major reason tourists do not meander around is because the cruise lines hire promotion companies, who print the identical maps of town, and dictate where visitors should walk. They start at Emancipation park, cross the post office and are told to only go to recommended stores on Main St. Anyone in an alley (or up a hill) is out of luck.
Every day in which I promote my restaurant, I spend most of my time talking about our historic town, what to see, where to go - the synagogue, the church, the Seven Arches Museum, etc. There is no Tourism office, no information booth and even Blackbeard's Castle/Haagansen House is closed on non-cruise ship days much to the unhappiness of hotel guests. What about that Felipe? Have you talked to the cruise lines? They control this town. And you think tourists will walk around to look for poinciana trees? You are in a fantasy world. Isn't there anyone on this island who understands business and history?
Paulette Keffas-Chassin
St. Thomas, Virgin Islands

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.