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Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, May 18, 2024
HomeNewsArchivesReining in the Graffiti Queen of Frederiksted

Reining in the Graffiti Queen of Frederiksted

"Reynna" competes with neighboring eyesores.Who is Reynna?

All over the south end of downtown Frederiksted, the name is painted on businesses, the walls of dilapidated buildings and practically every large, clean surface. Sure, there is other graffiti in town. For years now, the phrases "Bush and Allies Are Lias" and "Saddam Irak (sic) Hero of the World Free Black People Now" in foot-high letters have covered the entire front wall of a rundown building, greeting every cruise ship tourist taking a stroll, everyone who watches any Frederiksted parade and everyone driving down King Street. Here and there, too, are random tags with stylized three-dimensional letters.

But "Reynna" is the undisputed queen of Frederiksted graffiti, pun intended. She, or at least her name, is everywhere, repeated endlessly on the town’s surfaces in the same curlicue style, dotted about with little spray paint stars. For two years or more, the names have been sprouting like little aerosol paint flowers, in white and blue. For a long time there was only the name, peering out enigmatically, with no explanation.

The ubiquitous markings begged for answers. Who is she? Is someone trying to get her attention? Is Reynna herself telling the world that yes, she is there, she is important? Is someone trying to woo her?

An investigation, asking people in the area stores and on the street if they knew who Reynna was, hit a dead end. It seemed there would be no answer.

Then, relatively recently, there was a change. Suddenly one wall said "Reynna and Daniel." Aha! Perhaps here is the answer! Does Daniel have a crush on Reynna, and he’s been scrawling her name everywhere to show his affection? So how is it going Daniel? Are your affections returned? If so, great! Congratulations. I’m glad your rebellious, romantic gesture paid off. Now you can stop spray painting her name everywhere. A dilapidated building is also home to "Reynna."

Or perhaps she does not return the affection? Well, that’s how it goes sometimes. If that’s the case, you should stop now, as it’s getting sort of obsessive and creepy. You don’t want to be labeled a stalker, do you? So no more spray-painting her name, OK?

Or maybe this is all wrong, and it has been Reynna all along; first just promoting herself, then declaring her affection for some fellow Daniel. Probably not. But if so; Reynna, you can stop now. Your name is immortalized here online. The entire town does not need to see your name painted on everything. Best of luck in your romantic endeavors.

Meanwhile, can the building owners please paint over some of this graffiti? Some of it is on public property — such as historic street-side wells. Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls, can you have a crew put some paint over the public property and abandoned property tagged with graffiti?

Millions of dollars have been spent to make the town nice for returning cruise ships and to better the quality of life for residents. Our Town Frederiksted, the Frederiksted Economic Development Authority and other groups have put endless hours into sprucing up some of the downtown buildings for everyone’s benefit.

In the scheme of things, there are worse things than a little graffiti. But wouldn’t Frederiksted look nicer without it? A nice environment breeds a pleasant community.

On one end of town, the newly refurbished tennis courts and basketball courts have attracted kids and families who can be seen playing every evening. On the beautiful, renovated waterfront, couples and kids can be seen strolling about on any given evening. And where the town is run down, it is seedier and rougher. People treat the run down areas with less respect. Maybe if we clean up the graffiti, the town will be that much nicer a place for everyone to live.

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