Just flew back from Charleston and boy are my arms tired! But seriously, take my boiled peanuts....please! Ok, I'll take it down a notch and explain what's been happening in lifestyle land. Last week gas broke the $4/gallon mark, the midwest is now made of small island-nations, and this week the politcos are banging the off-shore drilling drum. Through all of this we still have to make a catalog and what better place to do it than one of the most beautiful cities in the entire country, Charleston, SC. We headed down to the city that saw the first shots of the Civil War to do some shooting of our own. We chose the iconic southern city as the first site of our 2009 Lifestyle catalog and were absolutely floored by what we experienced. First off, the city is jack-packed with colonial aesthetics which is a total plus if you're trying to shoot a catalog. Secondly, the city is brimming with great food. Coming from Wisco the freshest fish i usually eat is bass or the very occasional filet-o-fish so it was nice to sample some actual seafare. Coming in third on the top 3 of why Charleston rocked my world has to be the people. Rated by those in the know as the most well-mannered city in America, Charlestonites more than live up to their reputation. Everybody says hello to you and it's often followed by a "Have a nice day". Seriously, all of this politeness was kind of unsettling at first. People even say hello to you when they're out for a run. I consider myself a very polite individual but if i'm in the groove and the heart rate's up there, i'm just not in the mood for casual pleasantries. Charlestonites never miss a beat. However unsettling it was, I have to say that it was incredibly refreshing (especially after getting propositioned for an mp4 player in NYC) and I fell into line very quickly. I would go so far as to say that there may not be a more pleasant place to visit in the entire country.
The downtown is very accessable by bike and given the alleys and tight streets, I would recomend going by bike once you're downtown. One thing I'll stress is that you get yourself a decent ride. The cobbles and brick streets left from the 1700's are still very much intact and useable. If your bike's not up to snuff, they will shake the plastic fenders right off that thing. Don't worry about locking your bike up at Fort Sumter. Something about being the most well mannered city in the US goes along with the low crime-rate. A U-lock will do you no problem.
Epiphany: The colonists made streets that have lasted over 300 years with limited technology but the streets made today with all the advancements we've made don't even last a full winter without sustaining serious potholes. What's up with that?
One gripe: The heat. They have a heat there that I have never felt. I can deal with temps in the high 90's but when the humidity is around 90 as well, that's just a tad uncomfortable. The heat wave that hit the Eastern Seaboard was rough but my fiancee's stories of people traversing the roads of Wisconsin in canoes kept my complaints to a quick "yeah, it's a little warm down here."
Look for the catalog to drop Late-August at your local Trek dealer.
Top 3 Places We Ate
Magnolias - White linens, people dressed up, old southern style. Get the Shrimp and Grits. You will NOT be disapointed. Order a Mint Julep for the full effect.
Hyman's Seafood - A local staple that should not be missed. They also carry the local brew Palmetto Amber which was off the meter.
Hominy Grill - A little off the beaten path but worth the trip. Looks like some southern grandma's dining room from the 1920's that you walked into with the smell of grits and collards wafting over white lace. Save room for the pecan pie.
Win Hootie's Hoodie: The first person who can tell me what song and artist I ripped off for the title of this post wins a limited edition Soho Hoodie. I only have larges and x-larges left so if you're little, do something nice for your bigger friends and hook em' up!