On a recent trip out of Charleston, I noticed a celebrity on my flight to Atlanta. None other than TV’s Jack Hanna was standing with his wife, waiting for his boarding zone to be called. I didn’t bother him. I like the man and I appreciate his work, but he’s not exactly the Crocodile Hunter. The odd thing about the encounter was that “Premium” was already boarding and I was next in “Sky” (because I foolishly paid more for the extra leg room and the free banana) and Jack and his wife weren’t in my boarding group. They were in coach with all the other people who weren’t international TV personalities or frequent Late Show with David Letterman guests. Continue reading “Jack Hanna Flies Coach”
Charleston, South Carolina used to have a tourist season. Tourism would begin to ramp up during the weekend of “SEWE,” which stand for the “South Eastern Wildlife Expo,” and continued until Thanksgiving. But after major travel publications like Conde Nast and Travel+Leisure named Charleston the “Number 1 tourist destination in the world” (good lawd, y’all) there is no longer a tourist “season” in Charleston; tourist flock here year round.
I am not one of these “poo-poo the tourists” locals. In fact, I’m not even counted as a “local” by the poo-poo people. Your family has to have lived in Charleston for 2-3 hundred years before you’ll be welcomed at any Battery-addressed soiree without at least one disapproving glare as you walk through the door. I’ve lived in Charleston for 15 years, but in the eyes of the Blue-Bloods, I’m closer to a tourist than a resident. Which is why I believe I am most qualified to offer this list to tourists because, basically, I am one who simply hasn’t left since 2005.
There are hundreds of “Charleston Tourist Guides” on the internet. A few years ago, I wrote a piece called the “Ten Things I Hate about Charleston.” Not my finest work as it was an attempt to be different in the realm of Charleston lists, but worth a look if you’re interested. What I didn’t find on the internet was something that prepared you for being a tourist in Charleston. So instead of telling you what to do and where to go (I’ll do some of that), hopefully this piece will prepare you for being a tourist in Charleston and give you an idea what to expect while you’re here. Continue reading “Charleston Tourist Season”
And what have you done, Yoko?
I wouldn’t say it’s my “favorite” time of year only because a seventy-five degree day in April is pretty awesome; but I do enjoy Christmastime. I realize that I have neglected these pages the last few months, and for that I am sorry. No excuses. I do appreciate those who have enjoyed and supported this blog over the years. My most popular work by far is pieces about the holidays, so I would be remiss if I didn’t disappoint you one more time before 2019 with some thoughts on Christmas. Continue reading “So This is Christmas”
I shot this aboard my buddy’s boat in Charleston, SC using my Mavic Pro Drone. Enjoy and Merry Christmas
I don’t dance in public often. Except for being filled with a rare combination of alcohol and a well-stacked wedding buffet, I can’t say I dance in public ever. Alone in my car or the shower is a different story. There, should the mood strike, I’m pretty good on the fake bass guitar and lead vocals. Sorry you had to see that.
Anyway, last night I went to see a little ole band from Texas called ZZ Top in a theater in downtown Charleston. It was fantastic. Three guys don’t make it for forty plus years in the music business being terrible. The concert was great and the Top delivered like they always do. The people I was sitting around, however, did not with a capital “Dammit.” Continue reading “Meddling Concert Women”
I’ve lived in Charleston, South Carolina for almost 12 years. Being one of the oldest cities in the US, it has experienced many changes and boom times. But I doubt it’s ever experienced the influx of tourists and attention that it has in the last decade. When I could still stomach watching “Chopped” on the Food Network, one year a whole season of that show seemed to feature a different chef from Charleston on every episode. By the end of that season I think the only people left off Chopped was the street meat purveyors and a Subway sandwich tech from the King Street location.
I think you get the point. Charleston exposure is nearing overkill. If there were a magazine for dogs they’d be ranking the “Top Ten Places in Charleston to take a Crap.” I’m glad that my city is popular and that people are willing to come here and spend their money. I really am. The traffic is decidedly more horrible, but progress comes with a price.
Being a “local” in a popular tourist destination puts you in a precarious position. On the one hand, you want to share your home and what you love about it with people who are interested. On the other, you want to be able to go to your favorite joints without waiting in line behind giant men in tank tops who saw the place on Rachel Ray.
I pretended to be a tourist for a day to see what it was like. I guess you could call this a “Local acting like a tourist’s guide to Charleston.” Continue reading “Charleston Proper”
Halloween is a lot like going to the bar for children. You dress up, eat about 8,000 calories worth of candy and then end up on the floor with dilated pupils swearing that you’ll never eat another piece of candy again. Halloween is also like hitting the kid lottery. I filled up a pillowcase one year and seriously considered retiring. But as the days of November creep along, your Halloween candy stash begins to dwindle. You start rationing like a world war has broken out. One piece of chocolate here, a cherry Jolly Rancher there, until you start only biting a half of a Butter Finger a day in a desperate attempt to make the stuff last until Christmas. No one ever makes it. You cave like the selfish sugar addict all children are. And then you hit rock bottom. Nothing left in the till except grape anything and Atomic Fireballs. Next to the apple that one jerk always hands out, the Fireball is the worst Halloween candy. They linger like black mold in your candy basket. You know they are there, but you avoid them until you have no choice. Throw them away? Never. They are still candy. But you eat them begrudgingly, like broccoli, because you have to. Continue reading “Fire Fireball Whisky”