The only reason this article series exists is because my friend constantly trash talks Grand Bahama. My vendetta against him may have been ill thought out though. Showcasing Grand Bahama calls for a level of social interaction that I’m just not comfortable with. If you’ve read my ‘Bombshell’ piece then you’ll know that I get socially anxious in certain scenarios. I’m entering into a phase in my life though, where I’m tackling challenges head on, kinda. That includes showing my face in public more often, as evidenced by the title of this article, “Public Intoxication”.
Like I mentioned in my last Weekend Culture article, people constantly compare Grand Bahama to other Bahamian cities. But my question to you is this: what do you do in any other city in The Bahamas that you can’t do in Freeport? Most of you only drink anyway. I’m looking at you, Andrew.
It was with this knowledge that I approached Ashley, The innovative founder of Entwined, the country’s first and original Adult CapriSun bar. Entwined is every playful adult’s dream come true. Stepping into the bar is like walking into a Candy Shop built with a foundation of Rum and Willy Wonka vibes. I’m here for it.
Even though I’m only here to pick up a case of their signature Adult CapriSuns, I can’t help but grab one for the road. Drinking and driving apparently isn’t a thing anymore so I’m obviously waiting until the car is firmly parked at my final destination.
If it sounds like I’m pining after a life of reckless abandonment, I promise you I’m not. I’m headed to one of the best beaches on the island: Fortune Beach. It’s National Heroes Day and it’s obviously a clear Bahamian past time to lose oneself in the dunes of sand on a good beach during any holiday.
Drinking alone is generally frowned upon, and so I invited the only friends I have on island, the girls from BombShell Fitness.
Fortune Beach is home to Banana Bay, one of the island’s premiere beach-side restaurants. It’s the perfect mix of “Salt Life” and bougie. It’s a restaurant I go to sometimes if I want to hear expats say “boungie” and it’s acting as the backdrop to our pre-party carb loading session.
It’s been a while since I’ve done this. Socialize, I mean. One of the girls has already told me that I Iook like my “Social Battery” has been depleted but I’m drained in a good way. Good times are less about the places you go to and more about the people you go with. I feel like I learnt this lesson on an episode of Dragon Tales.
It’s true, crowds are thinner in Grand Bahama, but a crowd doesn’t always equate to a good time.
Ask Marie Antoinette.
The spot we end up at is one of Grand Bahama’s open secrets. It’s a narrow path that leads to a small patch of paradise. This path however, is directly across the street from a now-empty lot. Anyone my age or younger would just assume that it’s an abandoned property, but I know from stories told that this vacant lot was once a jewel in the crown that made up Grand Bahama, The North Star Resort. The abandoned structure that once held the secrets of a time now past is now gone and its ghosts along with it.
It’s hard not to talk about what has been lost on Grand Bahama; you see constant reminders in empty spaces like this canal side lot. Most Grand Bahamians walk around with what can only be described as exhaled nostalgia. You breathe in the loss and exhale the memories. It’s been about an hour since we’ve been wading in the water, dancing and just enjoying each other’s company when I bring up Club Neptune’s. I’ve never actually been inside the popular spot and it hits me a little hard when the girls tell me it’s now closed. It makes me even more appreciative that I’ve stopped at Entwined.
When you say that there’s nothing in Grand Bahama, you’re telling local entrepreneurs that they don’t exist. You’re overlooking complete Girl Bosses like Ashley who provide stress-free spaces for the working class and economic freedom to women. Entwined is lit for reasons other than four dollar drinks.
It represents a new wave of young entrepreneurs emerging out of the wings to make things happen. Deciding to innovate and rebuild versus moving away. Every woman who was on the beach with me on National Heroes Day looks at Grand Bahama through a realistic yet hopeful lens. And there are dozens more of us.
Holidays on Grand Bahama are similar to holidays anywhere else in the country. We eat, we drink, we gossip and we try to forget that the next day is more than likely a work day. It’s with the confrontation of that frustrating reality that people normally pack their things and head home. We’re still on the beach though. Holding on to the last rays of sunlight. It’s only after the sun gives a final wave through the last cloud that we actually decide to turn towards our cars.
I’m starting to realize that I may be the worst person to highlight the social scene of Grand Bahama. Mostly because I’m not actually a social person. I love people, though – don’t get me wrong. But a lifetime spent on the outside looking in has left me somewhat socially awkward and anxious in ways I don’t care to delve into at the moment.
I’m willing to put myself in socially awkward positions, however, if it means annoying my friends in the capital with a Grand Bahama post every week. Or every other week, I’m not consistent – we know this.
We’re reviewing bougie restaurants in my next article.