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