Thursday, July 13, 2006
Charleston, South Carolina - Field Report
Just got back in yesterday from a little three day jaunt down to Charleston, South Carolina for some training for the Childrens Museum. I knew I would spend 9-5 Monday and Tuesday in holed up in a training room, and I knew I would spend much of Sunday afternoon in a pub watching the World Cup final (a fitting end to the most disapointing World Cup ever!) but I was still thrilled to walk around and see a new city.
First, though let me give a mention to the fans of the Charleston Battery. I walked into the Blackbaud Stadium complex and then to the Three Lions Pub which is attached to the stadium to watch the game. Before the game I heard more or less a full match report from Mikey of Charleston's game the night before. He was listening to it via internet radio and was thrilled with a road victory for Charleston. It was great to see fans of a lower division side discussing their team the morning of the World Cup final. I loved seeing that passion for their team. Beyond that the Three Lions Pub and all the fans their were total class and made the game, even after Zidane's temporary insanity a joy to watch. I only regret that I had to leave the day before seeing Charleston win their match last night.
The city of Charleston itself is great to walk through. It's got a Colonial vibe, not unlike the historic areas of Philly or Boston, only much more humid. And unlike the few historic blocks in Philly or Boston, all of downtown Charleston is caught up in this vibe. The architecture is unique around every corner, the people for the most part are friendly and the the town itself is very walkable.
As for resturaunts, I would guess there are about 70 per block. That is an exaggeration of course, but there is plenty to choose from. Sunday night I has some very good Thai, and Monday some rather mediocre sushi. But that's okay. The Thai food was fantastic the night before and more than made up for it.
As I walked around the town I was stunned at how much money surrounded me. 20 year old kids were driving Saab's and BMW's. Tons of spolied rich girls walking in groups of 6-7 all talking on their cell phones, all carrying full Urban Outfitter bags. It was like a bad episode of The O.C. when you passed those groups. But, they weren't so annoying that they ruined the whole experience.
The final evening I had gin and tonics at a bar overlooking the harbor. Under a full moon. And the palmetto bugs that I was warned about were nowhere to be found. Fantastic. It's not a place I could picture living for a few reasons, but I sure as hell would accept being sent down there for another conference!