There are many shops where you can spend money. There are many restaurants where you can eat and spend money. There are many bars where you can drink and spend money. As you can see, spending money is the objective, but it is not so easy to spend that money at Port Lucaya Marketplace.
Trying to find a parking space at Port Lucaya has always had its challenges, but lately it seems virtually impossible, begging the question whether or not merchants, owners and/or developers actually want to make money.
This lack of parking at Port Lucaya makes me wonder if residents are even welcomed to patronize the various businesses. For as much as people are talking about the slow economy, one would think that more would be done to make Port Lucaya more assessable.
I was shocked and irritated last Thursday evening to find that there were no parking spaces available when I wanted to collect my phoned in food order. Pulling around by the straw vendors’ stalls, I found half of the parking spaces in that lot blocked by cones, while the parking lot at the back on the eastern side was roped off.
Half of the parking spaces in this particular lot are marked with “name tags” for the family members who are fighting over ownership for the largest piece of “ Freeport.” On any given day, one would find these parking spaces empty, and definitely not open to paying customers.
The only way you could venture to get a spot in such prime real estate is to smile broadly, bat your eyebrows, and muster up all the sugar your palate would allow, and sweetly beg the security guard to allow you a few minutes in a greatly sought after parking space. If that does not work, then I suggest you never try going to Port Lucaya, especially on your own to collect anything.
While it is difficult to get into Port Lucaya, there are people with challenges of their own at work and even at home. Ponder the scenario where you are doing everything you can to produce and go beyond what is expected on the job. Then think about when opportunities arise for promotions and you are passed up without any explanation.
There may also be times when important information pertaining to your job is being discussed around you; you are totally left out of the loop. In such instances, you are definitely being under appreciated and unwelcomed. Yet, many people suck it up and continue to go through each day, disappearing in the process.
Similarly, there are those individuals who find themselves in relationships where they find themselves lurking on the periphery, because they feel unwelcomed and unwanted. Early on in the relationship the phone calls are frequent and the attention to detail is bar none. Then, later, there is no specific time frame, things begin to change and you are no longer in a healthy relationship.
And, this is where the people of “Fee” port now find themselves. They are still being taxed and inundated with fees and bills, yet they are not a part of the “Port.” Discussions about the future of the Grand Bahama Port Authority are happening all around the residents, but those with substantial interests are not saying a word to the residents of their “fiefdom.”
It is time that the residents put up their own no parking signs and unwelcome mats. It is more than apparent that Port Lucaya cannot survive on tourists alone. In order for those shopowners to survive, they need the local residents to patronize their businesses. So come on you mighty Lords and Ladies, free up a few parking spaces; it’s not as if you actually use them.
About the author:
Joye Ritchie-Greene is an Educational Consultant, Writer and Martial Arts Instructor. She is the owner/operator of The Bahamas Martial Arts Academy; president of Time-Out Productions; and is also a columnist for the Freeport News. She has a B.A. in English and an M.S. in Human Resources, resides in Freeport, Grand Bahama with her husband and enjoys playing tennis. Joye can be reached at