31 July 2010

Tribute Ride

Tribute Bicycle Ride, Rutledge Ave., Charleston, S.C.

Jonathan Sanchez - Charleston City Paper, wrote the most touching tribute to his friend Edwin Gardner who was tragically killed in a bicycle accident last week.

Edwin Gardner, he had a way with words - and life.

What a gift it is to be able to write something that makes you wish you had known the person. He sounds like he was a terrific father, husband and friend to many. Friends gathered today for a mass bicycle ride in his honor beginning and ending at Canon Park. I can't think of a more fitting tribute.

How hot is it?

Broad St., Charleston, S.C.

It's so hot they had to put in a wading pool on Broad St. Nice!

30 July 2010

Single & Nekid

Duncan St., Charleston, S.C.

A single house that is and a rare unpainted one.
Charleston Single House: These distinctive homes have a grace that is perfectly suited to the hot, humid local climate. They are only one-room-wide and the narrow end of the house faces the street. Two-story verandas (called "piazzas" in Charleston) stretch down the long side.

The one-room-wide houses offered welcome cross-ventilation in the days before air-conditioning. And the piazza was a shaded place to sit. From the porch you could enjoy the view of your side-garden too. This is a truly Southern architectural style.

Another interesting feature of a Charleston Single House is that the front door is on the porch! Yes, go through the front door from the street and you're on the porch, not inside the house proper. It provides needed privacy because the entrance hall is centered on the side of the house.

They may be suited to this climate but nothing helps much with a 120 degree heat index, does it? I walked for an hour at 9 o'clock last night and still came home soaking wet.

Unusual Blossom

Calhoun Monument, Marion Square, Charleston, S.C.

His name is slapped on almost everything in South Carolina and every once and awhile he blossoms out of a palm tree to oversee the street named in his honor. John C. Calhoun was important politically - serving as Vice President and Secretary of War and Senator. The fact that he declared war on Canada in 1812 (hmmmmph) and believed that slavery was a positive good makes him the rare stink blossom in this scene.

Here are a few more views from my Calhoun Collection. He doesn't seem to mind posing:

Joy in Motion

Zumba la Prisca!, Charleston, S.C.

Wow! this bundle of energy is responsible for a lot of lowcountry laughter and hip wiggling. I loved the imprint on the back of her outfit - "Get Fit, Be Happy". Prisca teaches dance Zumba classes all over but I happened to see her in action at the Lowcountry Senior Center on James Island last night. I couldn't stop smiling just watching them in action.

Prisca has her own blog at Prisca Dances so you can see if she has any programs handy. You have to be over fifty to join the Senior Center (they have to card!). She has offered to teach a one time introductory class at St. Francis Hospital next week as an American Heart Association benefit and we already have over fifty people registered. I'll be the uncoordinated one in the back corner.

28 July 2010

Off campus activities

Charleston, S.C.

The current batch of summer college students are moving on. Wonder what the next group will be into for drunken fun?

Makes me wonder why I bother with plants. I gave up on hanging flags from the porch years ago. It was too tempting for them to leap up, grab the corner of the flag and snap the pole.

Storm Clouds

Meeting St., Charleston, S.C

It's been quite a game staying a step ahead of thunderclouds in these hot and humid afternoons. I walked out of Jensen's Locksmith yesterday to see these but they swept on by and I never got wet.

Salads & sunsets

Stono Creek, Johns Island, S.C.

Seems like someone should have an extra scrap of marsh to give to me. I promise I'd appreciate it ;).

Since that isn't likely to happen I've been lucky once again to have friends who included me in their waterfront sunset. My friends are house sitting in this beautiful setting and gathered my favorite hen party out for dinner and drinks...oh, and I seem to recall licking my plate after a perfect blue berry pie. There are consolations to southern summers.

Thanks Judy, Larry and Caroline! What a treat.

One complaint though...too many of my friends are retiring and keep saying as if in afterthought, "Oh, that's right - YOU have to WORK."

Sucks. I'd better get to bed. I have to work.

27 July 2010

Eat More Curry

Statue, Charleston, S.C.

I walked the streets named after women on Sunday morning - Charlotte, Judith, Mary, Elizabeth and stuck the camera through a fence to get this picture. I believe it was Charlotte and Alexander.

I was home a little early today to meet Greg from Terminex for my annual pest treatment to the house (well worth every penny) and had the tv on at an unusual time for me. Dr. Oz was talking about Alzheimer's - current thinking about this dreadful disease and what we might do to prevent it.

Besides physical activity and a health diet, the thing that might actually make a difference? Eating curry. He recommended eating curry twice a week. Once again, I waited long enough for research to come up with something I like. More curry!

Dr. Oz - Eat Curry to Prevent Alzheimer's: At the very end of the segment, Dr Oz said that one of the best ways to ward off Alzheimer's is to eat curry. He suggested that everyone eat two servings of curry each week.

The good old days are yet to come

Dock St. Theater, Church St., Charleston, S.C.

The good old days may be yet to come! I am particularly fond of this research that shows happiness and joy gradually increase after the age of 50. People keep getting happier. Isn't that nice to know? It looks like I might get really pissed off again around 83 but I'm not going to worry about that yet since worry drops off after 50.

Happiness comes with age:
On the global measure, people start out at age 18 feeling pretty good about themselves, and then, apparently, life begins to throw curve balls. They feel worse and worse until they hit 50. At that point, there is a sharp reversal, and people keep getting happier as they age. By the time they are 85, they are even more satisfied with themselves than they were at 18

In measuring immediate well-being — yesterday’s emotional state — the researchers found that stress declines from age 22 onward, reaching its lowest point at 85. Worry stays fairly steady until 50, then sharply drops off. Anger decreases steadily from 18 on, and sadness rises to a peak at 50, declines to 73, then rises slightly again to 85. Enjoyment and happiness have similar curves: they both decrease gradually until we hit 50, rise steadily for the next 25 years, and then decline very slightly at the end, but they never again reach the low point of our early 50s.

26 July 2010

Monday Funny

Spring St., Charleston, S.C.

A little girl goes to the barber shop with her father. She stands next to the barber chair, while her dad gets his hair cut, eating a snack cake. The barber says to her, "Sweetheart, you're gonna get hair on your Twinkie."

She says, "Yes, I know, and I'm gonna get boobs too!"

Charleston's Summer Party Frock

State St., Charleston, S.C.

Charleston has slipped into her summer party frock with crepe myrtles in bloom on every street and carpets of colored petals underfoot. It's a gift to console us for the heat.

25 July 2010

Church Photo in Lieu of Attendance - St. Helena

Old Tabby Chapel, St. Helena, S.C.

I've always liked the expression "Chapel of Ease" but just recently learned that the definition was that of a satellite chapel intended to provide for the ease and comfort of parishioners living some distance from the main parish church.

Chapel of Ease, St. Helena, Beaufort, S.C.
St. Helena’s Chapel of Ease was built in the 1740s to accommodate the planters who lived on St. Helena’s Island, which was some distance from the parish church in the town of Beaufort. The chapel, constructed of tabby and brick, is now in ruins … four thick walls remain with no roof or flooring… having been damaged in a forest fire on February 22, 1886. Tabby is a highly-textured cement made of oyster shells, lime, and sand, and its whiteness gave the chapel the nickname “White Church.”

It is a sweet spot not too far from Beaufort. Take your bug spray. I suspect that's why I've never seen anyone else there. I was instantly attacked by gnats and mosquitoes thinking I was their afternoon picnic.

The little people left their toys out

John St., Charleston, S.C.

The little people left their toys out. Check the larger version.

In other news, you know I am a walking nut. I grew up walking miles every day. I march briskly and endlessly around the Charleston peninsula with the odd field trip through swamps and cemeteries. I've spent vacations hiking across countries. On occasion I like to share good walking quotes and thoughts by my fellow walkers.

Here is an article on walking that I spotted in the Guardian UK yesterday:

This column will change your life: A step in the right direction.

24 July 2010

Crooked Palmetto Cafe

Saffron's Cafe & Bakery, East Bay St., Charleston, S.C.

Saffron's Cafe & Bakery spruced up their entrance. Cool! Love those matching tilted palmetto trees. How did they do that?

I haven't eaten at Saffron's for years but I've had flashbacks to their Sunday brunch buffet recently. It used to be a regular habit. Yum. Anyone eaten there lately?

23 July 2010

Swing along....

Charleston, S.C.

It's the weekend kids!

I don't waste any time beginning my weekend. I took some of the wackiest pictures ever to end my day, jumped in the car and made it to "Solitary Man" at the Terrace just a few minutes late, stopped at Earthfare for dinner and still have time to go for a long walk.

22 July 2010

Urban Gardening

King St., Charleston, S.C.

Urban gardening....where there is a will, there is a way! I spotted this on upper King St. Looks like a well tended little crop.

College Drink Dispenser

Coming St., Charleston, S.C.

College of Charleston sidewalk drink dispenser.

Hammock with a View

Bohicket Creek, Johns Island, S.C.

I had dinner in heaven last night. Some kind of wicked vodka punch, frogmore stew, sounds of the marsh, a dolphin visit and good company. I sipped my drink and tested that hammock on the dock while those dark clouds rolled in last night.

Don't you love it when the marsh is lush and green?

Thanks Gene and Susan. It was a perfect evening.

20 July 2010

I've got a feeling!

Roper St. Francis Healthcare, Charleston, S.C.

The health system I work for has a lot of very generous people. When I think of the amount of internal fund raising we do for charitable organizations it is pretty mind boggling. We do have fun at it though and that might be why we are so successful. This is the promo video we did for our Trident United Way campaign. Almost every department did a wacky dance bit.

My volunteers have a scene with wheelchairs in the middle of it for about three seconds. Don't blink!

At this very moment

Waterfront Park, Charleston, S.C.

I try not to promote graffiti that borders on vandalism but I do snag some shots for my own files and this is an oldie but goodie.

I like people who appreciate the very moment when things are good instead of always talking about the "good old days" after the fact. These kids marked the moment. 6:10 am. Four friends. The best of times and they knew it.

The inscription was marked on one of the pillars at the waterfront park and has been long cleaned off but I know it was there and smile every time I stand there sniffing the ocean air.

19 July 2010

Old Charleston Jail

Old Charleston Jail, Magazine St., Charleston, S.C.

After a brunch at the Queen St. Grocery on Sunday morning, my friend Becca offered to walk us through her new office - in the old Charleston Jail. Oh yes, yes, yes. I've taken pictures over the wall but was itching to get inside to explore.

The American College of Building Arts is currently using the jail for their offices and studios but other than being structurally stabilized it remains very much as it was left.
The Old Jail housed a great variety of inmates. John and Lavinia Fisher, and other members of their gang, convicted of robbery and murder in the Charleston Neck region were imprisoned here in 1819 to 1820. Some of the last 19th-century high-sea pirates were jailed here in 1822 while they awaited hanging. The jail was active after the discovery of Denmark Vesey's planned slave revolt. In addition to several hundreds of free blacks and slaves jailed for their involvement, four white men convicted of supporting the 1822 plot were imprisoned here. Vesey spent his last days in the tower before being hanged. Increased restrictions were placed on slaves and free blacks in Charleston as a result of the Vesey plot, and law required that all black seaman be kept here while they were in port. During the Civil War, Confederate and Federal prisoners of war were incarcerated here.

Naturally there is a popular ghost tour. The Bulldog Tour site claims, "This is quite possibly the scariest place you will ever go. The experience is NOT recommended for small children or men that cry easily."

Sing along now....

Down in Charleston Jail
(Sergeant Johnson)

When I enlisted in the army,
Then I thought 't was grand,
Marching through the streets of Boston
Behind a regimental band.
When at Wagner I was captured,
Then my courage failed;
Now I'm dirty, hungry, naked,
Here in Charleston jail.

cho: Weeping, sad and lonely,
Oh, how bad I feel!
Down in Charleston, South Carolina,
Praying for a good square meal.

Rip off. I don't see any ghosts in my pictures.

Pull up a chair...

Morris St., Charleston, S.C.

Uhoh. Someone left a chair out for me.

If I won the lottery I'd repair this chapel.

Guess where?

Charleston, S.C.

Fans of haunted buildings consider this one of their most important shrines.

I have the rest of the pictures but I'm having trouble uploading them. My laptop may be possessed. Boo!

18 July 2010

You could say we have beer in our blood....

Pitt St., Charleston, S.C.

"You could say we have beer in our blood and most days you'd be right...."

These students put quite a bit of effort into decorating their beer cooler.

Church Photo in Lieu of Attendance

St. Helena Prayer Chapel, Charleston, S.C.

Church Photo in Lieu of Attendance

My kind of church I think. They don't even expect you to attend services. The sign reads "Pray as you pass". I like that.

I hope everyone is having a good Sunday.

17 July 2010

How hot is it?

Hayne St. Charleston, S.C.

How hot is it in Charleston?

• It's so hot that it makes me want to take off my skin and sit in my bones.

• It's so hot the birds have to use potholders to pull worms out of the ground.

• It's so hot I saw two trees fighting over a dog.

• It was so hot today I saw a dog chasing a cat and they were both walking.

• It's hotter than a June bride in a feather bed.

• It's so hot that the trees are creeping around looking for shade.

• It's so hot outside it will make you return things you never stole.

• It's stupid hot!

• It is hot enough to cure tobacco.

• It's hotter than the devil's underwear.

• It's another one of those aluminum foil sweater days.

• It's hotter than a ginger mill in Hades.

....and it's all true.