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Monday, July 28, 2008

Move Over Oistins - "The Street That Never Sleeps" Is Back

Finally the Baxters Road Fish Fry Village opened last week to the beat of steel pans and Soca. Nevermind it never made it in time for Cricket World Cup 2007, after all the Oistins facility didn't make it either and neither did Almond Casuarina and scores of other still half-done projects that were supposed to help put Barbados on the map during that once-in-a-lifetime Primetime event for the island. Ooo, that brings up again the fiasco and embarrassment of the ending of that series in utter darkness at the new 200-odd million dollar Kensington Oval so I better leave it alone even though the unforgiving Bajan public apparently couldn’t let it go when they showed up at the polls last January.

Long before Oistins there always was Baxters Road and it is good to see the nighttime street vendors in the area finally moving into more convenient and sanitary facilities. The open sewers that once lined this famous Bridgetown street have been covered for a while now and street lighting has improved, but the bugaboos that haunted nightlife along Baxters Road when it peaked in the mid 1990s and eventually sent it into a tailspin especially when Oistins got on the map were the sanitation and safety concerns.

There is more space with this move across the road to the corner of Westbury Road and Barbrees Hill and with the parking at the corner of Barbrees Hill and Passage Road this blogger believes Baxters Road could be in for a renaissance. There may be a concern that this move may draw business away from the traditional brick and mortar shops left on Baxters Road proper so it is now up to those businesses to do new things or make the necessary changes to survive. This blogger will still be strolling over to the Pink Star to collect a few leadpipes and turnovers. I do not expect to see a lot of foreign visitors to the island showing up just yet, at least not in the numbers seen in Oistins (even though Baxters is much, much closer to the West Coast and a large part of the South Coast tourist centers), but especially at this time of year - “Crop Over” - the hoards of returning Bajan-Yankees, Bajan-Limies, and Bajan-Canucks together with the locals should more than keep the local vendors happy in their new facilities.

One personal word of advice to the Baxters Road vendors - fry less tuna and more flying fish and dolphin (mahi mahi). Oops, I keep forgetting that the flying fish have gone to Tobago and even though the Trinidadians can buy up whatever they want in Barbados including our scarce land and largest conglomerate - BS&T, and even Trinidadian Brian Lara now buying into Crop Over itself, Bajans still cannot fish in Trinidad & Tobago waters.

Read local press coverage here.
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