30 April 2010

Oldify me baby!

Forsyth Park, Savannah, GA

On a recent trip to Savannah I left Forsyth Park when Civil War reenactors were setting up for battle. It struck on me that this would be a perfect picture for the "antique" generator.

It is, isn't it?!

Go on, try one for yourself. Hint: tourists in shorts ruin the antique effect. Upload a photo, click the box under the photo and post what you come up with so we can come see. It isn't in English but you can figure it out.

Link: http://labs.wanokoto.jp/olds

A Week in the Lowcountry

Charleston, S.C.

I've enjoyed the company of my nephew Jesse from Ontario, Canada this week and will have to pack him back off for the north in the morning.

We've almost converted him. BBQ, Folly Beach, She crab soup, fishing in the Charleston Harbor, shopping at the PIG, the egret rookery at Magnolia Plantation, soft shell crabs from Virginia's, a party under the oaks, shrimp & grits, job shadowing at the hospital and now he is on the way to a shooting range.

Have we missed anything? Jesse said, "a person could really fall in love with Charleston."


29 April 2010

Paint This!

Lanas Restaurant & Bar, Rutledge Ave., Charleston, S.C.

Artist Gina Brown recently visited Charleston when the Shelby Lee Gallery on Church St. started carrying her paintings. Looking for other scenes to paint after her brief lowcountry visit she happened upon....(tada) my blog.

Gina was kind enough to write asking if I would allow her to use my photos as inspiration and it tickled me to no end. Yes, indeed. That would be just fine with me. So often I take a picture and think what a great painting it could be. I can't wait to see what she comes up with. Check out her blog at Gina Brown Art.

28 April 2010

Garden Party

Meditation Garden under the Oaks, Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital, Charleston, S.C.

I love it when folks throw a party and I am allowed to invite my best friends - even if I do rope them all into helping. I was so excited to meet a fellow blogger I had invited when I learned of her interest in meditation labyrinths. Charlotte Hutson Wrenn writes the Charleston through an Artist's Eye blog. Charlotte is in the first picture below second from the left in the white shirt. It was a delight to meet her!

In this case the hospital I work at was celebrating the completion of the beautiful Meditation Garden under the oaks in front of our hospital and the completion of a full size hand carved statue of Jesus. The statue was carved by an artist in Ohio, transported to Charleston and installed by stone carvers from the School of the Building Arts. It's been quite a production.

Designed to fully engage the senses, the Meditation Garden takes you on an inward journey enhanced by fragrant lavender, rosemary and tea olive, by peaceful sounds of cascading water and wind chimes and the various textures of stone. In keeping with the cathedral motif, the garden is comprised of four “sanctuaries” or smaller garden rooms, which one enters through a small circular cloister garden and the Grand Portal (or narthex) and then through smaller portals. The sanctuaries include the Prayer Garden, the Camellia Garden, the Labyrinth and finally the Christ Statue Garden, which lies on an axial view from the narthex, framed by oaks, as if the cathedral’s “altar.”

The Meditation Garden, including the Labyrinth, is wheelchair friendly, welcoming all patients and guests.

This evening the garden was formally opened with a reception for donors and guests. The community is invited to enjoy the space on Saturday, May 1st from 1 - 3 p.m. Y'all are welcome to come.

Respect the Ratio

Folly Beach, S.C.

My nephew Jesse is visiting for the week and we've been trying to make the most of his time in the lowcountry. He has just finished his first year in the Nursing program at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

The day he arrived we walked on Folly Beach and I had him pose showing off his shirt. The shirt says "Men in Nursing" on the back and the front says, "Respect the Ratio: 10 to 1". Heheh. I guess men are still the minority in nursing school. He wasn't complaining.

Beach, egret rookery, observing in surgery, she crab soup, soft shell crab, Thai food, wandering downtown Charleston......what else does he need to squeeze in? I am dropping him off at Shem Creek to go fishing in the morning but let me know. It's been awhile since I was twenty.

27 April 2010

Betcha kucha

Charleston, S.C.

I liked the shape of the tree and had this on my little pocket camera card.

Pecha kucha, pecha kucha, pecha kucha. Gotta say it three times fast.

Pecha Kucha tickets are now on sale here. Just $5 each and you can only buy two. You are notified of the location shortly before the event. Don't say I never invite you to anything.

Speaking of inviting....the Lowcountry Aids Benefit, Dining with Friends is this Saturday evening. Participants host parties in their homes and then everyone gathers at the Maritime Center at nine pm for champagne and dessert.

For many years I have rallied friends and staffed the Champagne Table. I have a good crew but let me know if you want to help out. I can still use some champagne opening muscle power and I am sure they need volunteer help in general. It is a high energy and fun event. The info number is 843-747-2273.

26 April 2010

Charleston - Why Now?

Broad St., Charleston, S.C.

Blog friend Catalyst alerted me to this article in the New York Times - Escaping the Crowds. All true, all true.
CHARLESTON, S.C. WHY NOW: High temperatures in Charleston average about 76 degrees in April and May, near-perfect weather for exploring its refurbished historic downtown. A new waterfront park and pier were installed last summer in the town of Mount Pleasant, just over the Cooper River. And the nearby Union Pier Terminal will be welcoming more Carnival cruise ships next month, conveniently coinciding with the opening of new hotels, a renovated open-air market and the restoration of cultural landmarks.

WHAT TO DO The Dock Street Theater (135 Church Street; 843-720-3968), which opened in 1736 and calls itself America’s first theater for performing arts, is set to reopen to audiences next month after a $19 million face-lift. That’s just in time for the Spoleto Festival USA (843-579-3100; spoletousa.org), the annual celebration of live music, dancing and theater that begins May 28. The outdoor City Market (between North and South Market Streets; thecharlestoncitymarket.com), which predates the Civil War, was spruced up this spring with wider walkways and roomier stalls to hold even more sweetgrass baskets.

WHERE TO STAY The Restoration on King (75 Wentworth Street; 877-221-7202; restorationonking.com), a 16-suite boutique hotel in a former office building wedged between the Antiques District and the French Quarter, opened this month. Rates start at about $300 for rooms that offer plenty of antebellum charm, like exposed brick walls and knotty pine floors; in-room breakfast is included.

WHERE TO EAT Low Country cuisine is all about seafood and raw bars. And in the middle of the historic district is Amen Street Fish and Raw Bar (205 East Bay Street; 843-853-8600; amenstreet.com), which opened in November in a 19th-century brick building. Young professionals cram the black-leather booths, nibbling on raw oysters until 2 a.m. Or drive a little out of town to 17 North (3563 Highway 17; 843-606-2144; 17north.net), a roadside kitchen that also opened in November, in a ranch-style house. The menu features sustainable and seasonal fare, including smoked pulled pork, and a rib-eye steak drizzled with truffle oil.

DON’T MISS Low humidity, few crowds and flowers in full bloom are ideal conditions for exploring Charleston’s many parks and nearby plantations. The Francis Marion Hotel (387 King Street; 843-722-0600; francismarionhotel.com) hands out picnic coolers stuffed with fried chicken, buttermilk biscuits and assorted jams. Packages, which include the cooler and a one-night stay for two, start at $189.

Shem Creek Photo Op

Shem Creek, Mt. Pleasant, S.C.

It feels so deliciously wicked sneaking a day of midweek. I could get used to this indeed. I am amazed to see other people not stuck in their offices in the middle of the day. Who are these people moving freely and happily about town while I am hard at work?

After we walked the swamp walk at Magnolia Plantation this morning checking in on the egret rookery, we went to Shem Creek to see if we could hook my visiting nephew Jesse up with a fishing charter. We will figure something out but it seems tricky arranging for one person to go on a fishing trip. Most are designed for groups of three or four chartering a whole boat. Meanwhile Shem Creek is always a treat and a picturesque stop.

25 April 2010

Sidewalk Curator's Field Trip

SCAD Sidewalk Competition, Forsyth Park, Savannah, G.A.

On occasion your Sidewalk Curator takes a field trip and what could be more important than the annual Sidewalk Arts festival in Savannah? I was much too busy yesterday when the festival took place and it rained over night. So, there. I actually like a few of them better after the rain and the fallen leaf makes the rabbit look like an odd snowman with a carrot nose.

See the winners on the web site. It was raining pretty hard and I didn't have an umbrella. How come we don't have a sidewalk contest?
The Sidewalk Arts Festival: The Savannah College of Art and Design's annual Sidewalk Arts Festival draws thousands of visitors each year to view temporary chalk masterpieces created on the sidewalks of historic Forsyth Park, Savannah, Ga. Participants represent SCAD's many areas of study; different artistic styles are inspired by different cultures, interests and disciplines.

24 April 2010

Busy Weekends

Charleston, S.C.

Photo from my walk last night is unrelated to entry. As usual.

Up and at 'em kids. There is too much going on this weekend so you'd best start early.

This the end of Volunteer Week and I am hosting lunch for 140 of my closest friends. Sadly I depend on y'all to remind me not to cut my own bangs on the day of a party. And you didn't. Ooops.

I am on the run. Have a great weekend. Meanwhile here is a fun blog to explore: Accidental Mysteries. If you back track far enough you will find an entry on his Charleston visit.

23 April 2010

Joggling Boards cont...

Vanderhorst St., Charleston, S.C.

For Waldo. I think of him whenever I see a Joggling Board.

No chit chat tonight kids. I've had a couple of glasses of wine and lost the ability to spell. Typing very carefully here. People let their friends blog drunk. They laugh at them but they let them.

22 April 2010

Concrete Thoughts

Vanderhorst St., Charleston, S.C.

I have been sidetracked lately from the fact that one of my primary blogging missions was to document the sidewalk graffiti of Charleston. No worries kids. I have a lifetime supply of treasures. I am endlessly fascinated by what people chose to write in their brief access to wet cement.

What Does Joan Do?

It's Volunteer Week and a good time to clarify what the heck I actually do.

We are fortunate in this country to have so many people willing to do unpaid work supporting the causes they believe in, that we actually need people to coordinate their efforts. That would be me. I am the Director of Volunteers for Roper St. Francis Healthcare and I coordinate the day to day program at Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital.

I have over 450 active volunteers between the ages of 14 - 96 in our facilities in any one month. Last year our volunteers served over 82,000 hours. Amazing.

In health care the processing is so complicated I am lucky that I have any volunteers at all.

The idea is, if a hospital employee is required to go through safety, infection control, privacy training, health screenings, backgrounds checks etc. to keep our patients safe, why wouldn't we have to do that for someone who is working for free? We do.

My life is processing. I am contantly orienting, placing and training a rolling roster of volunteers of all ages who come to serve. These folks make an great difference in the service we offer and many do it because someone helped them when they most needed it.

Volunteers welcome and greet, help with clerical support, fill water pitchers and help feed, make rounds on patients, push wheelchairs, help in the nursery and drive golf carts. I have a singing volunteer, a couple of clowns and pet therapists whose trained dogs wear official hospital ID tags. We regularly get letters and phone calls grateful for the kindness of this cast of incredible characters that have gathered determined to make a difference.

We have a great reputation for helping students on career tracks and the hospital is well staffed with young professionals who started in my office. I have student mentoring programs, career evenings and a summer camp. I am fortunate to work with a wonderful staff who welcome and teach students interested in health careers.

It's Volunteer Week! Volunteers are working all over this city adding to our quality of life in ways we can't imagine. I hope I say it every day, but thank you, thank you, thank you volunteers.

21 April 2010

JP Gates

Chalmers St., Charleston, S.C.

I appreciate the fact that the well known Charleston author Josephine Pinckney put my initials "JP" on her gate.

This blogger found some old pictures of her that were taken for Life Magazine.
Autobiographical Snippet from the dust cover of Three O'clock Dinner by Josephine Pinckney: "Josephine Pinckney may be described as a cosmopolitan Charlestonian. She has traveled widely abroad, spent a year in Italy, lived winters in New York and summers in Mexico, but she always goes back to home and garden in Charleston,just as her family, well known in the south, has for generations. A literary lady, she has previously published a book of poems, "Sea Drinking Cities" and a novel, Hilton Head. With DuBose Heyward, Hervey Allen and others, she started the Poetry Society of South Carolina which has a strong influence on the rebirth of literature in the South. As a hobby, Miss Pinckney collects and transcribes spirituals which she sings with a group called the Society for the Preservation of Spirituals. Gardening and dogs have a strong appeal for her, and she collects old china and first editions."

I can't write poetry or sing but I think it's time to move the JP gates up the peninsula to my house.

I'm going out for my walk.....

Pinckney St., Charleston, S.C.

I'm going out for my walk....heading this way.

20 April 2010

Greenhouse Effect

Hampton Park, Charleston, S.C.

I had dinner in a greenhouse on Sunday night and found a lot to take pictures of besides the delicious food. Look at all these colorful treats! I've been going to Hampton Park since my kids were little and never knew all of this was here.

Walked late. Wide awake. Want to stay up all night and sleep all day.

Food for the People - and Me, Me, Me!

Guerrilla Cuisine, Hampton Park, Charleston, S.C.

I am late to the game, finally attending a Guerrilla Cuisine dinner well into it's third year of monthly dinners. Shame on me.
Guerrilla Cuisine is Charleston's original collaborative dining project. While the idea of "underground", "alternative" dining is not a new one we've put our spin on it, refined it and brought it to Charleston starting with two dinners in November of 2007. Since those dinners we've evolved and continue to evolve into an exciting culinary, social and philanthropic venture that pushes boundaries, brings awareness and builds communities.

While you may know Guerrilla does at least one event per month and that the event location is only available to paid guests the night before the event. What you may not know is that each event is a collaboration between us, the chef, the farmer, the artists and a particular charity. Think of it as a local awareness project with proceeds from each event benefiting a selected charity...sometimes national, often local.

Guerrilla Cuisine is not for everyone, it's not a sit at the table look at a big menu and pick what you want. It's 5-7 course prix fixe meal to which you BYOB and sit at communal tables with other people as cool as you. Our events are held in unconventional spaces that thus far have included a winery, art galleries, a backyard, a living room, and a warehouse.

I was lucky! Not only did I get to attend I was invited to take the photos which gives me leeway to roam and snoop. The chef for the evening was Jill Mathias from Carolina's (yum, yum) and the setting was the greenhouse at Hampton Park. Nine courses, kids! So much delicious food that we had to have an intermission and listen to music and rest up to feast some more. I ate rabbit with gnocchi, soft shell crab and pan roasted tile fish in a greenhouse, can you imagine? It was all scrumptious.

Our host JimiHatt (yep, all one word) coordinates the events now with the help of his wife Angel. Friend him under "Guerrilla Cuisine" on Facebook or register at his web site to find out about upcoming dinners. After you register, if you are lucky enough to snag a ticket in time, you are sent the secret location twenty four hours before dinner time.

Thanks folks. It was a grand evening. More photos here.

19 April 2010

Seabrook Island

Bohicket Marina, Seabrook Island, S.C.

I am on the run kids, so just a couple of quick waterside pictures from Bohicket Marina on Seabrook. Check out this little wind spinning toy made out of a juice bottle of some kind. They had cut flaps that made it spin in the wind and put a reflecting tape on it to catch the light. Pretty neat.

We all know the Blue Angels were in town but news to me were the Red Arrows that apparently swooped down at Drayton Hall. Too funny.

Meanwhile - here are a few more of mine from the Blue Angel's visit.

Okay. Let's put on a brave face and do this work thing.