Archives – November, 2005

Blue Cave Castle First Impressions

I had on a decent beer buzz walking in through the castle gates. It was still raining so the security guy took me right up to my room.

I couldn’t help feeling disorientated as I was hustled through lopsided porticos and winding stairways of this grand castle by the sea. I tried to get a sense of the place but only caught it in glimpses.

I stumbled though my doorway bags in tow, and I startled Claudia the housekeeper who was busy sweeping water out of my mildly flooded room. She must have opened all the windows to air out the room and was caught off guard by the severity today’s storm. I guess the place was built primarily to look cool, and it seems some tenets of proper architecture were overlooked.

I plopped on the big comfy bed and told Claudia not to worry about the floor. “I’m not one of those guests.” I said with eyes closed.

She smiled in that Jamaican way, lighting up the room as she pulled the incongruent doors closed. Jamaican women are so beautiful.

I don’t know how long I slept, but it was still daylight, and from the seaward window I calculated about two hours to sunset. The floor was still a bit damp, but the clouds were gone and the sun had baked everything dry.

The nap did the trick though, my energy level was back and I cranked up IRIE FM. I danced around like a white boy as I unpacked, then I took a cool shower to wash off the residual travel goop.

Showered and cool, I dressed, and headed outside to check out the Blue Cave Castle. The bright sunlight on the white castle, highlighted in blues and yellows made me to spin around to get it all in. The place was so damn cool, like a majestic fortress from a distance, but close up it’s more like a Dr. Seuss book or a Disney exhibit.

I headed out through the gates and took a walk to a little market maybe a quarter mile towards town. The road was hot and dusty, my inherent laziness almost had me hop a cab, but I pressed on, chatting with locals and merchants along the way.

I enjoy this aspect of travel to my little paradise. I read trip reports of people who just don’t get it, a mix of gullibility and probably something worse. It’s almost like it gives them a sense of satisfaction to join the small but vocal chorus of people who perpetuate negative Negril rumors.

I picked up water, beer and some other goodies, bananas, mangos and the like. I had to settle for a pack of ginger snaps, they didn’t have Jackass crackers, damn! On the way back I whimped out and hopped a cab for a mildly overpriced $100J trip to the castle.

I must have guzzled half a gallon of water in the few seconds after I got back to my room, you could never keep hydrated in the August heat by drinking only beer and Ting.

I fired up my spliff and marveled how cool the eighteen inch stone walls kept my little round room, in a few minutes I was marveling how cool everything seemed in my little round head.

The sun was in its last fifteen minutes, as it dropped towards the horizon I walked out to the yard. I met Petrona the hotel manager, we chatted for a while when she asked me if I was “Vinny from Philly.” I was taken aback! No one ever referred to me as that in person. She thought it was pretty funny.

I’d given myself the moniker for the message board a few years back, and I guess I upped the ante when I started my website and began posting my stories and editorials. I’m not sure if I liked it though, is my anonymity forever compromised? Does it matter, or am I being over-dramatic? Over-dramatic? Me?

Leaning at the garden wall staring out at the cloudy sunset, I couldn’t help but fantasize I was Black Beard himself. That’s the magic of this place, it may sound strange, even childish, but any guy who’s stood at this place and didn’t picture himself in a long double breasted jacked with gold brocades and a tri-cornered hat (parrot optional), well he really missed a great opportunity.

I was just pissed Petrona had wandered off and no one was there to ask me a question so I could answer, “Aye Matie!”

Argh! And a mighty fine sunset, it was! I say, I say.



Leave a Comment November 28, 2005

I really miss Warren Zevon

She’s so many women
He can’t find the one who was his friend
So he’s hanging on to half her heart
He can’t have the restless part
So he tells her to hasten down the wind

Continue Leave a Comment November 27, 2005

The Adventure Cam

What can I say? I’m a gadget freak.

In the effort to make this blog interesting and dynamic, I purchased a little laptop USB camera thingy, it’s really pretty cool.

I’m always writing in different places from a coffee shop in Chelsea, to a park in Philly and all points in-between, so I thought it would be cool to let you all in on my whereabouts.

Today I’m in a second story dining room at a Starbucks on 4th and South Streets in South Philadelphia writing in my notebook and people watching.

Tomorrow I’ll be in Atlantic City, Brooklyn Tuesday, Wilmington Delaware Wednesday, and back in Philly by the weekend.

Next time I’m in Negril of course I’ll be broadcasting from there!!

Any Requests? :)

Leave a Comment November 13, 2005

Trains, Van Gogh, and Girls

Van Gogh is gone. I’m on another train. I love the rhythmic rolling of the springs on uneven rail. As a kid I’d lay on the tracks, their parallels touching, an infinite smoothness before me. So smooth, why do trains rock so? It soothes me, though there’s a part of me that doesn’t understand it.

Such a curious conveyance, a rush hour crowd of seasoned straphangers mime away the trip, some stand, some sit, by two, by three. Shiny shoes, expensive suits and extended accounts. I lean like a scolioid serpent giving my neighbor room without leaning too far into the aisle space.

A girl across from me, bobbed blonde hair a sweet seriousness on her furrowed brow, notices an older man standing. She offers her seat seeming embarrassed to be sitting. She’d gotten there early enough to have a seat, her long dangly jade earrings jangle at the collar of her irregular striped shirt of limes and greens. I look over nonchalantly, she’s writing too.

The older man did not take her seat. She was beautiful in her selflessness. To no one in particular he asked, “Do I look that old?”

Everyone within earshot laughed; to me he didn’t look very old at all. My first thought had been that she was being excessive.

“I’m sixty-nine years old” he stated meaning only.

Damn, he did look good for his age, bravo old standing guy!

NJ Transit trains have such warmth about them. The faux leather seats and the faux oak paneling made sense to someone once. They rile up sweet memories of holiday parade trips with my sisters and the Nolans just old enough to travel un-chaperoned. We struck out timidly fearless with the wild imagination of adolescence into a pre-Rudy New York City. Next it was Grateful Dead shows and CBGB’s adventures blurring years between.

My best memories of NYC train trips are with Kristine when she was six or seven, watching her eyes widen and her mind open, grasping the bigness of the world. There’s a great picture of her on my brother Michael’s shoulders standing under the Broadway street sign at Times Square her arms outstretched and yelling, “I’ll be back”.

She’s working on it.

Leave a Comment November 4, 2005

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