[B]The Real World 27[/B] seems to be a lock for Hassel Island, St. Thomas. St. Thomas is unincorporated territory and constituent district in the United States Virgin Islands, which are a group of islands in the Caribbean sea that are an insular area of the United States. [CENTER][url=http://vevmo.com/vbimghost.php?do=displayimg&imgid=12938][img]http://vevmo.com/imagehosting/14f4b948a1f95e.jpg[/img][/url] [B]The "A" denotes Hassel Island[/B][/CENTER] A few weeks ago we came upon a twitter post which posited that the next season of the MTV franchise, The Real World would be set in St. Thomas: [url=http://vevmo.com/vbimghost.php?do=displayimg&imgid=12930][img]http://vevmo.com/imagehosting/14f4b8e5870492.jpg[/img][/url] Of course, there is a tweet about The Real World being in every city in the United States, every day (especially Pittsburgh - why do people think they'd ever go to Pittsburgh?) So a healthy bit of skepticism was needed. Last week, "BigKahuna" a recent contributor here and operator of the St. Thomas blog shared with us in the Real World 27 casting thread that The Real World was in fact [URL="http://networkedblogs.com/ulonm"]coming to St. Thomas[/URL] in the near future. Final conformation was offered by [URL="http://virginislandsdailynews.com/"]The Virgin Islands Daily News[/URL] in today's paper, [I]"Some landlords have gotten new tenants who have agreed to shortterm leases of five or six months. Vendors have been paid with checks that say “Real World 27” and have a matching address to the show’s production company, Bunim/ Murray Productions."[/I] and [I]"MTV’S reality show ‘Realworld’ appears set for St. Thomas." [/I] [CENTER][url=http://vevmo.com/vbimghost.php?do=displayimg&imgid=12940][img]http://vevmo.com/imagehosting/14f4b95e9e5fe8.jpg[/img][/url] [url=http://vevmo.com/vbimghost.php?do=displayimg&imgid=12939][img]http://vevmo.com/imagehosting/14f4b95980ec31.jpg[/img][/url][/CENTER] If they are in fact a Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper, then I guess that is about as good as conformation gets. From the blurry image shot by Big Kahuna we were able to ascertain that the house is called, "Hassel Island Estate." Via the [URL="http://www.privateislandsonline.com/hassel-island-estate.htm"]Private Islands Online Website[/URL]: [QUOTE][B]Hassel Island Estate, US Virgin Islands[/B] The past awaits on Hassel Island -- an island unlike any other in the US Virgin Island chain. Voiced through its ruins and abundant, indigenous flora and fauna, Hassel Island speaks of an important Caribbean multicultural history from pre-Columbian times to now. [B]The Estate[/B] The estate was purchased by its current owner in 2007. Extensive renovation to the property were completed in early 2010. The project was designed by award winning local architect, Kevin Qualls, who understands the nuances of multicultural Caribbean architecture. His many creations include elite homes combining old Caribbean designs and textures with new, contemporary dimensions. Brick arches, stone walls, West Indian Mahogany shutters, and more will be used to create this great Caribbean living experience. Set on 10 acres of land surrounded by National Park, the estate consists of three houses totaling about 15,000 square feet. A main house with three master suites opens to an unobstructed view of Charlotte Amalie harbor. The large living room leads to an open terrace just 100 feet from the harbor, and the main swimming pool, featuring a natural cascade from the existing ancient rock outcroppings. In addition two 1200 square foot West Indian-inspired Guest Cottages are located North and South from the main home, to capture a great view of the harbor. An ample Harbor facing front lawn is suitable for up to 225 guests. A new dock and helipad site were also added. [B]History[/B] Hassel Island, a lush and unique place originally connected to St. Thomas, now forms an island, just a quarter mile from the town of Charlotte Amalie. It is an island whose own cultural history is still deeply connected to the islands that surround it. In exploring Hassel Island, historic ruins stand as testaments of Britain's occupation of the area during the Napoleonic Wars. A little further are the remains of the Creque Marine Railway, one of the earliest steam powered marine railways the world has ever known. Listen carefully to hear the distant echoes of the Dutch, British, French and American steamship companies that once operated from the island. And from the island, it has been said that the ships of smugglers, pirates and buccaneers sailed into Charlotte Amalie harbor, close to the island, before St. Thomas became a free port. Much has been seen and done here on Hassel Island and the ruins still whisper their compelling tales. [B]National Park[/B] Hassel Island also boasts a lush and protected natural landscape, as 90% of the island lies within the Virgin Islands National Park. Within the park boundaries, you will find protected bays of limpid blue-green waters, and sandy beaches teeming with sea grape trees, coconut palms, and other tropical flora. The Virgin Islands National Park provides habitat for over 800 species of plants and animals. Add to this relics from the Pre-Colombian Amerindian civilization and the remains of Danish colonial structures, and you begin to experience the rich cultural and natural history of the Virgin Islands National Park and the island it inhabits.[/QUOTE] The house is owned by St. Thomas businessman Ricardo Charaf, who purchased the estate and the 10 surrounding acres on Hassel Island from the Paiewonsky family (the previous owners of much of the island dating back to the 1930's) in 2007 for $7.5 million. It is again up for sale, with a current asking price of approximately $10.0 million. [url=http://vevmo.com/vbimghost.php?do=displayimg&imgid=12931][img]http://vevmo.com/imagehosting/14f4b90631f3e8.jpg[/img][/url][url=http://vevmo.com/vbimghost.php?do=displayimg&imgid=12932][img]http://vevmo.com/imagehosting/14f4b906b277f3.jpg[/img][/url] [url=http://vevmo.com/vbimghost.php?do=displayimg&imgid=12941][img]http://vevmo.com/imagehosting/14f4b964973a2f.jpg[/img][/url][url=http://vevmo.com/vbimghost.php?do=displayimg&imgid=12942][img]http://vevmo.com/imagehosting/14f4b965042e19.jpg[/img][/url] [url=http://vevmo.com/vbimghost.php?do=displayimg&imgid=12943][img]http://vevmo.com/imagehosting/14f4b9658eacdf.jpg[/img][/url][url=http://vevmo.com/vbimghost.php?do=displayimg&imgid=12944][img]http://vevmo.com/imagehosting/14f4b9665e3464.jpg[/img][/url] Satellite image via Google Earth: [url=http://vevmo.com/vbimghost.php?do=displayimg&imgid=12945][img]http://vevmo.com/imagehosting/14f4ba87c6798b.jpg[/img][/url] Here is the St. Thomas nightlife summation from [URL="http://www.frommers.com/destinations/stthomasusvi/0097010030.html#ixzz1nc1A6oL0"]Frommers[/URL]: [QUOTE]St. Thomas has more nightlife than any other island in the U.S. or British Virgin Islands, but it's not as extensive as you might think. Charlotte Amalie is no longer the swinging town it used to be. Many of the streets are dangerous after dark, so visitors have stopped visiting the area for nightlife, with the exception of a few places, such as the Greenhouse. Much of the action has shifted to Frenchtown, which has some great restaurants and bars. However, just as in Charlotte Amalie, some of these little hot spots are along dark, badly lit roads. The primary problem here is mugging, although some of the criminal activity appears to be drug-related. Sexual assault is known to occur, but happens rather infrequently. Sexual harassment can be a problem in certain bars in Charlotte Amalie. Any of the major resort hotels are generally safer, and any place we've recommended can be viewed as hospitable (though, of course, creeps can be found in any bar). [/QUOTE] Wow, that sounds inviting! Maybe some of the locals can give us a more even handed perspective... So I guess the question remains, what type of season will this bring? With a lackluster return to San Diego in 2011, this staple of reality television definitively needs a boost to assure its very survival.