28 January 2015

Teeny, tiny houses of Charleston

Ashley Avenue, Charleston, SC
It is probably some kind of garden or guest house rather than a tiny home but it is small and different. I'll need to check back and update when the grounds are finished. 

27 January 2015

Somewhere over the rainbow

Caw Caw Park, S.C.
I caught a fallen rainbow on a recent walk at Cawcaw Park in Ravenel. It is mostly a walking trail park with six miles of trails over former rice fields and a boardwalk through the swamp. I almost wish I had dog-napped my neighbor's dog for a walk through the woods. Caw Caw is one of the county parks and admission is a painless $1. The play of the light on the swamp was the most impressive thing. Magic!

26 January 2015

Bowen's Island - call for photos

Bowen's Island, S.C.
Bowen's Island is a funky, seafood restaurant on the way to Folly Beach. I had to laugh reading the reviews on Yelp. Some people thought they had the best oysters they had ever tasted while others thought the food was greasy, servers rude and the place entirely and over rated. Everyone agreed the view was terrific, sunsets glorious and the place was a character spot - although they don't all mention what kind of character. This entry is a public service announcement to let you know that Evening Post Books is calling out for your photos of Bowen's Island. I didn't live here "way back then", so I am counting on you!

Do you have old photos taken at Bowen's Island, the venerable seafood restaurant between James Island and Folly Beach? Evening Post Books is in the process of publishing a history of the popular hangout written by beloved Lowcountry Author William P. Baldwin and wants YOUR photos! The book will also feature family photos recipes and many photographs in black and white and color, going all the way back to when Mary Bowen started it all in the 1950s. Contact the Evening Post Books at 843-958-7367 or Info@eveningpostbooks.com.

24 January 2015

Murals - Sottile Theater

Sottile Theater, Charleston, S.C.
What, I ask you, what the heck is going on with this mural? I've always liked the Sottile Theater but there was some oddness in the decor last night. There is no mural on one side, this splotchy project on the other and no more twinkling stars in the ceiling. I assume this is some kind of renovation project but can't figure out what the marks are. Anyone got a clue?

Edit: Never mind. A little research answered my own question. Their history site is quite fascinating.
As the College of Charleston made improvements to the Sottile Theatre in early 2011, it discovered two large-scale murals hiding beneath acoustic tiles. Painted on canvas by Italian artists from New York City during the theatre's construction in the 1920s, one scene depicts a centaur and nymphs before a forested and mountainous background. The other shows Classical figures celebrating music and drama before a blue-green sea. The murals were unveiled in 1927 during the theatre's grand opening.
The College of Charleston has started to restore these masterpieces, already removing one mural for safekeeping and repair. The other mural has been uncovered and left hanging, its blemishes, damage and deterioration on display to theatre patrons, including the audiences of Spoleto Festival USA. Much of the restoration work will involve remediation of the many spots of glue used to attach acoustic tiles to the murals decades ago.

Happy Robbie Burns Day!

Mount Pleasant Hospital, Charleston, S.C.
My volunteers are such good sports! Thanks to Noel Johnson, Mount Pleasant Hospital volunteer for putting on the Gunn tartan for my Robbie Burns Day photo-op prank. Doesn't he look sharp? Maybe I can make it the required volunteer uniform. I'd need to budget for more whisky, naturally. Cheers to everyone with Scottish blood at your festivities tomorrow.

A Red, Red, Rose
Robert Burns - 1794
O my Luve's like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June:
O my Luve's like the melodie,
That's sweetly play'd in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.

And fare-thee-weel, my only Luve!
And fare-thee-weel, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho' 'twere ten thousand mile!

23 January 2015

Fort Sumter Hotel

Fort Sumter Hotel, Charleston, S.C.
The units in the Fort Sumter Hotel at the tip of the Batter are now condos but the landmark was built in 1924 as a hotel and I always think of this bit of historical scandal story when I am walking that way:

The hotel was the site of a tryst between John F. Kennedy and a Danish woman with connection to the Nazis. On February 6, 1942, just after Kennedy arrived in Charleston for service with naval intelligence, he spent three nights at the Fort Sumter Hotel with a former Miss Denmark, Inga Arvad. The FBI was monitoring Arvad and taped the encounters. The information was then passed to Kennedy's father, Joseph Kennedy, who, in an effort to separate his son from Arvad, had him reassigned to a PT boat in the Pacific, the now famous PT-109. John F. Kennedy remarked, "They shipped my ass out of town to break us up."
In other news, it is Friday night and I've had such a good evening. I grabbed a snack at Caviar & Bananas with friends and went to the Beatles Tribute show with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra at the Sottile theater. It was such a fun concert. The show appeared to be sold out but there is one more performance tomorrow night.

PS: Those glasses of wine are NOT as big as they appear. Hic. 

Have a good weekend, kids!

22 January 2015

Historic graffiti

Drayton Hall, Charleston, S.C.
Uhoh. Timmy is going to get in trouble!

It appears to be the name "Timmy" scribbled in black on the inside of the door at the historic Drayton Hall. The guide mentions repeatedly how the house has been preserved rather than renovated and the graffiti remains on display.

It is my least favorite way to take a tour, guide led, standing on a square of carpet in the middle of the room with the rest of the group with no freedom to explore but the building is fragile and protected carefully. We were instructed NOT to try to stay at the end of the tour group to try to frame the shot we wanted. Oooops. Still, it is an incredible building and the story is interesting. 

I believe the free admission offer for folks who have "liked" Drayton Hall on Facebook continues through to the end of January so you can still take advantage of it. I appreciated the offer!

Now, who was Timmy?

21 January 2015

Set a spell

Charleston, S.C.
This garden scene made me think of the expression "come set a spell" and then I wondered where it came from.

I smiled at this query on Yahoo:

What does "come sit a spell" mean?

i saw this phrase "come sit a spell" on a wooden sign on some lady's porch, and i have no idea what it means? no, shes not a witch..any ideas?
Heheh. Here is a better answer:
set a spell
To sit down for a period of time, especially in the company of other people and in order to relax or to engage in casual conversation.  [quotations ▼]

19 January 2015

Teeny, tiny houses of the lowcountry

Drayton Hall privy, Charleston, S.C.
I have a little brick sweetie to add to our collection of teeny, tiny houses of Charleston. Tin roof, fireplace. I am ready to move it. One catch - this particular wee cottage was actually the privy or outhouse for the much larger mansion. We are still going to do it in style since the framed sketch inside shows that it was a seven-seater! Call your friends. We have room for everyone. Yikes.

The fireplace was added later when it was used as an office.

18 January 2015

Protecting the Manger Scene

Tradd St., Charleston, S.C.
Oh, I couldn't resist! I haven't really taken the "war on Christmas" crowd seriously and I am sure that isn't what this is about but the the mixed message stopped me in my tracks. They haven't taken their manger scene down yet and it is well protected.

Yay, I found an intact starfish! Most of you find them on the beach but I take what I can get.

I also found a greeting for frequent commenter William Kendall from Ottawa Daily Photo. Put a sweater on before you visit his blog. Things look a little chilly up there. Thanks for all the comments William!

17 January 2015

Countyline Grocery

Countyline Grocery, Countyline, Orangeburg, S.C.
This abandoned grocery store catches my time every time I pass it and today was a perfect day to catch a photo. There isn't much happening here now but I imagine it was a busy intersection in years gone by. How much do you want to bet they sold boiled peanuts?

Drayton Hall

Drayton Hall, Charleston, S.C.
Forgive my absense. Besides having a couple of busy days, I had internet connection issues. A helpful Knology service repair person named Carla crawled around my attic and home in the dark and got me taken care of. As much as I dread calling for service (painful history with Comcast), they let me make an evening appointment after work and spent the time to make sure my problems were fixed. Thanks Knology!

Here is a quick tip for locals who haven't been to Drayton Hall recently. If you tell them at the gate that you have "liked" them on Facebook you can get in free. I know it's true because I think I was the first person this morning to claim my ticket and the gate girl had to figure it out. I'll be back later with more photos but it's a bright sunny day so let's get out and enjoy it!

13 January 2015

Stay connected, my friends

Calhoun St., Charleston, S.C.
We haven't seen bright skies like this since, well, Saturday. It's been a gray and drippy week so far but there wasn't a cloud in sight on my weekend walk. These are unusually tall palm trees for Charleston and passing this corner always makes me feel like I am briefly on a tropical vacation. 

I am grouchy as a snake about computer problems. Knology issues are allowing me to watch limited tv channels and sporadic internet access and it is ruining my good mood. I can't leave it alone. I have to keep checking endlessly to see if it is working yet, rebooting over and over. So, here I am to say "Hello, Goodbye" all at once. I've scheduled a service call for tomorrow evening so hopefully things will improve. Stay connected my friends.

12 January 2015

Gotcha Babe!

West Ashley Bikeway, Charleston, S.C.
The little used bikeway path near my house is the red headed-stepchild of the West Ashley Greenway. It meanders through some sketchy neighborhoods and I didn't pass anyone else when I followed it to the end on Sunday morning. The Rails to Trails Conservancy site has some pretty sad comments about our scrappy green space. I had heard that a dock was being constructed and thought I would check it out and report back to my audience who I am certain is waiting on pins and needles.

Apparently they don't want me snooping around the area during construction.  Hmmmph. "Gotcha Babe", "Smile, Your Picture Has Already Been Taken Twice" signs threatened me if I went further and I'm not sure my hair was styled well enough to photographed more than twice in one morning. So, hang tight. Updates to follow.

In case anyone is interested, the walk to the end of the bikeway and back to my house is 7,006 steps. I am slightly addicted to the stepcounter on my cell phone. 

Meanwhile, here are some prettier pictures. My sister Barbra in Canada sent me this link to a travel blog that friends of hers wrote after their trip down our coast. It sounds like they liked Beautiful Beaufort by the Sea.

10 January 2015

Baha'i Museum - Charleston

Baha'i Museum, 2 Desportes Court, Charleston, S.C.
Charleston promotes the Museum Mile leading from the Charleston Museum down Meeting St. to the Gibbes Art Museum but there is an alternate museum route. The alternate route would include the Macaulay Museum of Dental History and the Baha'i Museum, don'cha think? We need to add a few more quirky little museums like the Veveteria - Black Velvet Painting Museum in Portland, OR or the Penis Museum in Iceland and I can start leading tours.

Disclaimer, I've never been inside. Every time I've been by it's been locked up tight with no sign of activity.

The museum is named for the late Louis G. Gregory, one of the best-known figures in the faith's 158-year history. Gregory was born and reared in Charleston, the son of two former slaves. He joined the Baha'i faith in 1909 and became one of the faith's best-known worldwide advocates. The Louis G. Gregory Institute in Hemingway, the first full-time Baha'i institute in the United States, was named after him, too.
The museum is in a small, two-story house in a historic neighborhood of homes built by freed slaves. It is the same home where Gregory lived for much of his youth. Charleston Baha'is bought the house at auction in 1989. The museum features displays of Gregory's personal effects, photos and correspondence, as well as exhibits about the Baha'i faith and its history worldwide. The museum sign is being designed by noted Charleston blacksmith Phillip Simmons. The Baha'i faith is one of the youngest of the world's religions, practiced by more than 5 million people in 235 countries. It was founded by Baha'ullah, a Persian nobleman who died in 1892. The central theme of Baha'i teaching is that humanity is one single race and that the day has come for its unification in one global society.
Baha'i Museum, Charleston, S.C.

08 January 2015

Fifty Shades of Gray

Spanish Moss
Fifty shades of gray - with a touch of pink.

According to the Post & Courier we will have another tv series filming in Charleston later this year. 
A new HBO comedy starring Danny McBride is set to film later this year in Charleston, according to officials.HBO spokesman Diego Aldana confirmed Thursday night via email that "Vice Principals" - the story of a high school and the people who almost run it, the vice principals - will film in Charleston, although it was unknown exactly when or where.The show, created by McBride and Jody Hill, who also did "Eastbound and Down," is slated for 18 episodes, with the debut date and number of episodes per season to be announced.
More tv excitement for the lowcountry:
Chef John Ondo from Lana Restaurant will be featured on Cutthroat Kitchen with Host Alton Brown on Sunday, January 18 at 9/10pm eastern. 
It's cold out there, kids! Let's not do this for very long. Thanks goodness for my electric blankie. 

07 January 2015

Tucked away in a tree

Oak Tree, Magnolia Plantation, Charleston, S.C.
See the little opening in the giant oak tree? Take a guess. What do you think it is? It is pretty unique and created by man. I'll come back and post the answer if no one knows or remembers.

Edit to add the answer: The former owner loved the property and tree so much that when he passed away in 2002 he had himself cremated and the remains put in a box that was tucked inside the tree. I imagine the bark will gradually cover up the entire thing and he will be secure inside the tree itself. 

06 January 2015

This Little Piggy

This little piggy, Magnolia Plantation, Charleston
He is cute but I'll let him stay in the petting zoo at Magnolia Plantation where he can muck around in the mud. I was there first thing in the morning so all the critters thought I might be breakfast lady. Sorry kids.

05 January 2015

My Little Pony

Magnolia Plantation Gardens, Charleston, S.C.
One of the special treats at Magnolia Plantation is always a visit to the miniature horses. Isn't he a cutie? The little fella peeking out from behind the post at the Observation Tower was pretty cute too.

04 January 2015

Church Photo in Lieu of Attendance

Magnolia Plantation Gardens. Charleston, S.C.
I was in my church - wandering in the woods and spotted this miniature chapel. Cute, eh? It was part of the Christmas Village set up at Magnolia Plantation for the kids to meet Santa. It makes a good addition to the Church Photo in Lieu of Attendance series.

I knew it was going to be foggy out this morning so headed out to walk through the gardens. I'll be back later with fading camellia shots.

02 January 2015

Everything That's Old

Livelihood Cafe, Ashley River Rd, Charleston, S.C.
I don't know if these items originated in Charleston but I took the picture locally and that serves our purpose for this evening. I did go to work today and without meetings and non-stop phone ringing I was able to get some things done. I did however slip out for a late lunch with my friend Rebecca at the Livelihood Cafe on Ashley River Rd. We snooped around and this little scrap of embroidery on the wall caught my eye. 

The other item we were curious enough to ask about was this scythe hanging over the door. The owner said she had bought it on Johns Island. Googling around I discovered it is a Wheat Cradle Scythe. I even found a blog and video of the scythe in action.

Grain Cradle Scythe over the kitchen door at Livelihood Cafe
Rebecca in camouflage blending in with the tapestry background

01 January 2015

Out with the old, in with the new

Smith St., Charleston, S.C.
Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a good New Year's eve. I had an early and delicious dinner out at Muse Restaurant with a group of friends. We were in, out and home before any craziness started up. I watched the new year coming in from the comfort of my couch.

While we were at the restaurant we looked out the window to the hotel across the street and noticed a bride and groom standing outside the hotel. They were both formally dressed in bridal-wear but were alone. At first I assumed they had escaped wedding festivities to have a private moment but the couple headed our way, into the restaurant and sat at the table next to us. Just the two of them at dinner at a table set for two. They asked their server to take a picture with their cell phone. What an interesting way to get married.

I did a walk downtown today to see if any of the stores decided to give anything away for free. Apparently not. I found today's photo on Smith St.

No complicated New Year's resolutions here but on reflection, throwing out my old socks and buying some new ones might be in order. Happy New year kids!