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Archive for the ‘Roams’ Category

The birds are chirping.

The bees are buzzing.

The leaves are budding.

The flowers are blooming.

The sand gnats are, unfortunately, emerging, as evidenced by my insanely itchy right forearm.

You can wrestle with the mainsail on a blustery day on the water without raw hands and cumbersome parkas getting in the way.

There are girls in swimsuits sunbathing in open park spaces in 60 degree weather like it isn’t a ridiculous thing to do.

Spring is upon us, Charleston!

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Paris may be ubiquitously known as the City of Love but the Holy City of the South may give its a run for its money.  Even the casual observer strolling through Charleston cannot help but notice the multitude of hearts that are etched into the everyday fabric of the city’s built environment and its creative concoctions.  Many take up residence as elements of the several hundred wrought iron gates that guard the ingresses to many of the spectacular homes in the old walled city and beyond.  In the days leading up to that one holiday that most guys seem to dread and girls say they don’t care about but honestly do, we’ll be demonstrating some of these symbols of love and blood circulation. Meanwhile, I will be sitting here….dreading*.

*Joking, Suz.  I think.

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The front door of the Footlight Players Theatre, for all intents of wishing to see a performance by these local troubadours and actors, resides on Queen Street. However, this isn’t the only “front door” attached to the theatre.  A second more intriguing and much more foreboding front door lies at about the midway point of the similarly mysterious Philadelphia Alley.  The door is as ramshackle as a door could possibly be, dented and scarred with a placard reading “Front Door” hung haphazardly on its surface.  The whole strange assortment of elements is further enhanced in its ghastly appearance by the presence of an odd human figure made of matchsticks beneath the placard.  One immediately thinks of voodoo inclinations or maybe literally just a bunch of matchsticks positioned to look like a man.  I prefer some semblance of the former for imagination purposes.

I’ve always been most interested in this little weird door frame among the multitude of stately door frames in Charleston that garner interest.  It may be nothing more than the cast’s entryway into the theatre or it may be, really, nothing at all.  But I’ve always wondered what significance the matchstick man holds.  I don’t think I have ever really asked about it.  Until now.

Anybody have an inkling into the meaning and purpose of this “front door”?

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When we first started dating (or since we’re in the Deep South, I guess I should say when I began courting Suz), one of our favorite ways to pass a sunny Sunday was to grab a couple of sodas at Queen Street Grocery and head down to White Point Gardens. While there, we would remark on how awesome it would be to have a dog alongside as we watched one hound in particular sprint happily around the grounds (more on this guy soon), people watch for hours on end, grumble about people swinging on the limbs of the magnificent live oaks, and generally idle by under a bright blue Carolina sky.

Sunday afternoon, we decided to go back to our roots, so to speak, after what seemed like a tremendously long absence from the park.  With weather so perfect, it kind of took us back to those first trepid forays over two years ago, when a lull in conversation due to being overly careful with our divulgences was saved by some off the cuff remark about a squirrel or laughing at some kid who just totally bit it while attempting to catch a football.

There were no awkward lulls this time around.

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Yesterday was one of those all too rare perfect days of the year, where a light wind combined with only partial cloudiness and 70+ degree weather to create an outdoor enthusiast’s heaven. It was also just a bit too early in the calendar for sand gnats to attempt to ruin the fun.

Today is a lot different, with a light rain falling throughout the morning.  Still, if you had a refined entryway such as this, a feature that is extremely common in much of the old-walled portion of Charleston, I think today wouldn’t seem quite so bad.

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Finally.  The misery appears to be mostly over.

Gone are those nasty near-30 degree mornings and those 40 degree days.  At least, I hope so.  I’m going to will it to be so.  Are you listening, Mother Nature? Enough. The Holy City is tired of feeling reclusive.

Since this blog has the word ‘roam’ in its title and we’ve done relatively little of that activity recently, the moderating temperatures propelled Suz to take it upon herself to refill the ol’ photo bank a couple Saturdays ago while I toured the Calhoun Mansion with my visiting friends.

I’m not really sure you can ever run out of subjects for a photography expose in this place.  The accompanying photos pervade that vintage antique feel that is ubiquitous at every turn and every glance.

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Do you feel that, Charleston?

What I am referencing is that enhanced, almost exhilarating buzz in the air as you walk around downtown.  The Holy City is well-known for its ever-present bustle and its very small degree of hustle in that bustle. Charleston moves to its own beat and that includes out-of-towners when they are immersed in its aura. But during the holiday season, this non-hustly bustle becomes a bit more concentrated, as the merry throngs peer eagerly into the glittery doorways of shops emitting Christmas tunes looking for that perfect gift.

At times, these glittery doorways are accompanied by charity bell ringers, whose jolly jingle and warm smiles add to the lift in the atmosphere.

The city’s multitude of street performers, fixtures that, over time, become such a common sight that you almost don’t recognize they are around, have a kick to their step and a renewed vigor to their playing. Maybe it’s the larger-the-usual accumulation of coins and bills in their instrument cases.

There’s a lot to see out there and lot of happy faces and we’re going to do our best to document it this season.

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