The photo depicted here was taken in the village of Grand Case, on the French side of the island of St. Martin in the Caribbean.
This photo was taken during the early evening Although Grand Case–or at least the street that largely accounts for the tourist business–is so crowed during the day during tourist “high season” (October to April), the streets are barely peopled during low season (May through mid-October–when the weather is too hot even for Floridian snowbirds escaping the cold season from the American and Canadian northern regions). I would have preferred the busier time after 7:00 PM, when the street is crowded with diners and store browsers. Unfortunately, all I had available to me was the considerably lower picture quality of my Android S4 Mini, which takes lousy evening shots. Although I am not happy with the sparsity of the tourists and citizens that would have been crowding the narrow street later, I discovered–from a different perspective–the same yet very altered street on which I spend many hours two days a week. This photo shows not only many of the shops and restaurants along the “near” end of the village’s “main drag,” but also some of the buildings that I noticed for the first time after snapping the photo. The big “validated Parking Lot” in the foreground points the way to where I generally park on Wednesdays, when we split our time between drawing lessons and painting lessons. During the day, the lot is free to all who park there (right behind the building housing The Elephant Box shop and studio and the dinner restaurant on the lower level). I learned last week that I get charged $3.00 to park there, whether I was there long before 5:00 for the painting lesson and leaving at 5:05, or had spent the entire evening dining and browsing through the many open shops until well past 10:00 PM. This afternoon, I managed to find a parking space right behind the white car in the right foreground, praying fervently that I would not be ticketed or hauled to impoundment. I lucked out. The car was still across from the studio when I “finished” my lesson at 7:00 PM, and there was no parking ticket on the windshield when I came out. Of course, I drive what is definitely an island car, with a huge dent in the passenger side rear door that is now missing a handle, a decal from the previous Dutch-side election to support a friend running for office, and a lei of artificial flowers strung from my rear-view mirror. Maybe island cars are not so quickly ticketed.
Instead of taking this wide photo at street level (which would have given a greater impression of emptiness), I took it from the balcony of The Elephant Box, which taking a quick smoke break from watching my instructor, who was busily re-constructing my work for about the gajillionth time. She had chosen the work for me, and the moment I saw it, I knew it was far beyond my capabilities as a novice painter (today, she admitted that it was a difficult scene even for her). I took the opportunity of her “re-working time” to snap a few photos from the balcony of her shop and studio to complete my Day 2 Photo101 assignment. The next painting will be simpler, and produced mostly be me. (wink, wink)