St. Maarten is recovering nicely from Hurricane Irma

For the foreseeable future, I will publish once a week on Monday.

This limousine was totaled by the hurricane

Every once in a while, my post is about travel. Today’s post concerns St. Maarten, a beautiful half Dutch, half French island in the Caribbean. On September 6, 2017, Hurricane Irma, a category 5 hurricane, with sustained winds of 185 mph or greater, quickly passed over the island, leaving near total devastation. My wife and I visited the island last month. Tourism is the lifeblood of the island, so we went to do our part and see the reconstruction with our own eyes.

The airport terminal is closed during reconstruction

The almost new, $100 million airport, sustained considerable damage to its roof. I heard rumors that rather than cover the roof with tarps to stop the rain, supervisors ordered no tarps, so a bigger insurance check would come. As a result, the water infiltration led to extensive mold growth, forcing the closing of the terminal. It will take $75 million to restore the $100 million terminal. In the meantime, temporary tents were erected to handle visitors.

Divi Little Bay Beach Resort

To our eyes, the island has made remarkable progress. Many roofs have been repaired, making the buildings habitable again. The Divi Little Bay Beach Resort was opened to visitors last month, at the beginning of May. 25% of the resort was ready for guests, with construction continuing at a brisk pace on the remaining 75%. It will be substantially ready for business this coming winter season.

That’s me on the left, Chef Dino Jagtiani in the middle and my lovely wife, Lia on the right

Many of our favorite restaurants were closed, due to their destruction. Chef Dino Jagtiani lost his restaurant, Temptation, in the storm, but he is now the executive chef at a new restaurant, Emilio’s, our new favorite. We had several fantastic meals there. Other favorite restaurants, like Le Santal and Mr. Busby, were destroyed. Tropicana, at the marina in Marigot, survived, but was only open for lunch.

The Grand Casino in Maho Beach is being rebuilt

The beaches all survived, except for Dream Beach. The water is still as clear, clean and beautiful as it always was. It’s a wonderful island that can use your tourist dollars. You’ll have a great time and participate in the island’s recovery.

No shows until the Baltimore Art, Antique & Jewelry Show at the end of the summer, August 30 – September 2, 2018, as we were forced to give up shows like Denver. Unfortunately the Baltimore show promoter has moved the show one week later than usual, to the Labor Day weekend. The show used to be held over the Labor Day weekend, but that was many years ago. The show is wonderful, so we’ll continue to exhibit there regardless of the change of dates.

We’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call. I recently listed some of the new items on my website and will list more every week. Click Philip Chasen Antiques to take a look. I will make every effort to actively list new items as often as time permits. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

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