31 July 2013

Don't get too popular Charleston

King St., Charleston, S.C.

Sigh. I hesitate to share the awards Charleston wins because I want people coming here for the right reasons, not just because it is listed as the best and latest place to check off their bucket list. This time we won Conde Nast's "Friendliest City" award. Ya gotta like that. I am reminded of the time a gentleman was charged with assault. He slapped a visitor who didn't respond when he said "Good Morning" on the street. Most friendly city indeed! His explanation? In Charleston we say "Good Morning."


1. Charleston: Score: 91.5


With “sand, sun, history, good food, and friendly people,” Charleston is a consistent hit with the travelers who venture to this “gracious and beautiful” city (in fact, it's also the No. 1 city in our entire Readers' Choice Survey, with high scores for ambiance, restaurants and culture). Nearby beaches and impressive architecture draw visitors, but it’s the “insanely nice” locals who enhance “magnificent” bed and breakfasts and “amazing shopping.” “The charm of this city brings me back every year,” praised one devoted fan.

In other news, it sure is hard to pack a suitcase when everything you own is blue and black. 

30 July 2013


Reflections, King St., Charleston, S.C.
I've been missing a few posts recently. Got hooked on the House of Cards series and have been wallowing in a gluttony of evening tv watching. It's like eating candy when you get introduced to a new show and have the entire season laying there in front of you. One more, just one more. Yum. Kevin Spacey is so very good.

Would someone please remind me that I have to be at work before 7 a.m. for a fundraising cookware sale? Yawn. I can do it.

28 July 2013

Walking on the Edge of America

Folly Beach, S.C.
I usually avoid the beach at peak season. One of the main reasons is the problem finding a parking spot. I got lucky this morning and spent my entire walk thinking "why don't I do this more often". Folly Beach is such a character spot. Is there anything more fun than watching kids leap and squeal in the waves.

I believe the group of gals below were part of a volleyball team working out. At the moment I walked by they look like they are worshiping the ocean.

I hope everyone has had a good weekend. I need to get to my bed but I've been watching House of Cards and it is so good I keep treating myself to one more episode. Then just one more.


27 July 2013

To market, to market to buy a fat pig

Charleston Farmer's Market, Charleston, S.C.
To market, to market, to buy a fat pig,
Home again, home again, jiggety-jig.
To market, to market, to buy a fat hog,
Home again, home again, jiggety-jog.
To market, to market, to buy a plum bun,
Home again, home again, market is done.
I loved how these folks lined up for my picture last Saturday.

Unrelated but have some quick fun with Charleston letters at Charleston Letters. Cheri Cox walked the streets finding images with letter shapes. I knew that, but I didn't know she had set up a web site where you could try it. Type your name in and see what she has in store for you. You can order prints if you like them. Fun gift idea.

Now, where shall I walk this morning?

26 July 2013

King St. beauty

King St., Charleston, S.C.
What a great building this is. It appears to be empty again but I can't imagine that it will be for long. Thanks to the gentleman who rode by on his bike improving the shot.

Yay for Fridays! I made it to see The Way Way Back after work and sat in the dark by myself nibbling on my kiddie combo letting the work week melt away. I enjoyed it very much. 

Charleston Grit found some high energy dancing pictures to add to my recent shots of break dancers at the park. Check these out: Charleston Grit. Is that seriously Mahatma Gandhi dancing with a blonde? I never expected to see that. Have a good weekend kids!

25 July 2013

How much is that Seafood in the window?

Dave's Seafood Carry Out, Charleston, S.C.
It might not be the most fashionable restaurant in town but check out Dave's Seafood Restaurant rave reviews on Google, Yelp and even a nice review from Garden & Gun.

I didn't eat at Dave's today but I have eaten well. I enjoyed fried catfish at a late lunch meeting at the Glass Onion and just got back from walking through the North Charleston Farmer's Market and then picking up some Mahi tacos at Sesame with my son. I think I need to go out for a very long walk. If I can move.

24 July 2013

Before & After - Jasper St.

Jasper St., Arabian Temple, Charleston, S.C.
After the Arabian Temple was taken down there was an empty lot for a long time. When I walked around the corner this weekend there was a whole new house there. I really do need to keep my eye on things.

Teeny tiny houses of Charleston

I didn't say all of our teeny tiny houses were fixed up, did I? This little sweetie on Smith right below Marion St. is on occasion waterfront property. I was tempted to straighten out the shot below but I think that shows it about right.

Happy trails kids! Keep on walking.

23 July 2013

Farewell to the old Charleston Library

King St., Charleston, S.C.
My self assigned assignment this past weekend was to get a photo of the old Charleston Library before it is demolished and replaced with a fashionable new hotel. I climbed the steps of the Francis Marion Hotel garage to get the view from the upper level. As soon as something new is built I slap myself for not having a picture of what was there before it.

The building has been sitting empty for years and looking very much the worse for wear. It is definitely time for something to happen and permission has been given for an eight story hotel which will change the area dramatically. I have many happy memories of time spent in it. I remember being so pleased to discover that I was living a couple of blocks from the main Library. My children and I carried home armfuls of books every week and I spent hours in the periodical section. I can't help wondering what will happen to the imported pink marble slabs that must have been a pretty big deal when it was built in 1960. Many of them are already missing.

Here is a blog that presents the decision as a loss for preservationists and I learned that it was Charleston's first desegregated public building. It will be nice to see it lively and functioning again especially since it borders the popular Marion Square. Farewell old friend.

22 July 2013

And the gates shall remain closed

6 Thomas St., Charleston, S.C.
I used to live on Vanderhorst St. and had always been aware that Robert Barnwell Rhett the Father of Secession lived in my house. He is listed as the occupant of 42 Vanderhorst in the 1851 census directory. Googling his name came up with his name attached to the much more impressive home on the corner of Vanderhorst and 6 Thomas St. He must have come down in life to have moved from this mansion to my old home.

I've always loved the beautiful home but was unfamiliar with the story behind the massive iron gates I have walked past hundreds of times. Here is an old Post & Courier story about the house.
The house has an enduring bit of Charleston lore associated with it. Along Vanderhorst St. (bordering the property to the south) are large and very decorative iron gates. The set of gates to the west is said to have been the spot where a woman bid farewell to her fiance, telling him as he left that she would not reopen the gates until he returned. The man was killed in the Civil War, and no subsequent occupant of the house has reopened the gates to this day; they remain locked shut.

Kevin Spacey visits Charleston's waterfront

Kevin Spacey on Wentworth St., Charleston, S.C.
Kevin Spacey visits the Charleston waterfront. In this case the waterfront scene is yesterday's downpour on Wentworth St. I did not take this shot but couldn't resist sharing. I believe it is a photo he tweeted himself. Welcome to Charleston!

21 July 2013

The Tastier Peach State

Schuler Peach Co. at the Charleston Farmer's Market, Charleston, S.C.
If I had a nickle for every time someone has told me that S.C. grows more peaches than the Peach State of Georgia I'd be able to buy myself a modest peach farm. According to the SC Dept of Agriculture website we aren't even going to fight for the title, we have our own. We are the "Tastier Peach State".

I picked peaches one summer as a teenager in Canada. I remember as if it was yesterday being at the top of a ladder stretching to reach for a giant juicy peach with my fingertips. I bit into it and stood there on my perch overlooking the orchard with peach juice dripping down my arms. I am forever looking for that very perfect peach and enjoying every bite of the journey.

20 July 2013

Break dancers - Charleston Farmer's Market

Marion Square, Charleston, S.C.
These kids were great and clearly each one admired the other dancer's techniques. I can't find much about them which is a shame since they were raising money for a national free style dancing competition that folks might want to contribute towards. It looks like they may be the Missing Links.

19 July 2013

It's a bug!

Barnes Auto, James Island, S.C.
I pass this corner every time I go to a Friday matinee on a Friday. Barnes Auto Center always has a couple of old VW Beetles around.

I squeezed in The East at the Terrace Theater and just got back from enjoying a little green Thai curry and bought a couple of hydrangeas on sale at Lowes. Not a bad start to the weekend.

18 July 2013

My last night as a music promoter

Richard Larson, Charleston, S.C.
Sigh...my short lived career as a music promoter came to an end. This was fun! I lined up musically talented co-workers to play at the Gathering Cafe West Ashley as a Lowcountry Heart Walk benefit. 5 - 7 p.m. is earlier than most places host live music but for a day shift healthcare crowd it was just perfect. What a treat to stop for a tasty bite to eat with a room full of friends and enjoy live music.

Thanks to everyone who entertained us this week, the Cafe for hosting and donating a percentage to the Heart Association and everyone who came out to listen to the music. I clearly hang out with some talented folks!

Raymond Santiago, Charleston, S.C.

17 July 2013

My new career as a music promoter

Ohvalentino at The Gathering Cafe, Charleston, S.C.
I feel like a music promoter! This is a whole new thing for me. I lined up friends to perform at the Gathering Cafe since Chef Nathan Conkle offered to give 5% to my Lowcountry Heart Walk team. I am not very musically inclined so it is all magic to me. My friend Mark Dickson sang last night and this evening a husband and wife team called ohvalentino performed. They were great! We had a full house and almost everyone was there because I promoted it. Made me very happy, I tell ya.

I have one more evening to showcase the musical talents of my friends. Tomorrow night Richard Larson and Raymond Santiago will be performing between 5 - 7 p.m. Come on by for an after-work bite to eat. They both work in Information Services at the hospital. I can't wait to hear them. Then I go back to my regular life. This brief stint as a music promoter has been fun.Thanks for everyone's support!

Hint, hint - tips for a cause!

15 July 2013

Tasty food for a hearty cause

The Gathering Cafe, Charleston, S.C.
Chef Nathan Conkle at the Gathering Cafe offered to donate 5% of his proceeds this week to the American Heart Association. Cool match since he cooks healthy delicious food. I roped in some of my friends from the hospital to entertain and stopped by this evening for an early bite on the way home.

I'm not done yet - my friend Mark Dickson is singing and playing Tuesday, Aaron O'Brien on Wednesday and Richard Larson and Raymond Santiago on Thursday. Healthcare workers singing for healthy hearts. It all makes sense! The music will be from 5 - 7 p.m. Stop by if you can. 

Bastille Day at Fish Restaurant

Bastille Day at Fish Restaurant, Charleston, S.C.
Bastille Day at Fish Restaurant - I think it is a bigger affair each year. This year the costumed crowd gathered at Marion Square and marched up King St. and it seems more and more people were wearing costumes. The only suitable costume I have is Joan of Arc and the chain mail is simply too heavy to enjoy wearing for dinner. I shrink a quarter inch each time I wear it.