Saturday, February 12, 2011

Downtown Trolley, Free Ride

Today the occasion arose to take advantage of CARTA's downtown DASH service. I have got to remind myself to do this more often now that the downtown trolley is free! Recent business maneuvers by CARTA (the trolley's owner/manager) have also expanded this free service up to Spring Street, which now makes running around downtown oh so much easier. And so that's where CARTA's Dash bus made this Saturday morning a bit more convenient.

The iMac Mighty Mouse died around 10:00 a.m. in a not-so-timely fashion considering new sites needed attention, emails were drafted to send, and social media work was starting to pile up. The mouse is a vital piece of hardware for any computer user. Even where simple plastic mice come into play, the old saying remains true: you don't know whatcha got until it's gone. And, so, this is where a laid-back Saturday morning turned into a scramble to get to the Apple store.

CARTA's free trolley came to the rescue. No driving, no parking, no money needed, and, hey I got great exercise walking two blocks to hitch the ride down King Street to the nearest Apple location. I hopped onto DASH and noticed the usual collection of Charleston tourists (DASH's primary demographic) hawking over their typical, newly acquired, unfurled downtown maps. The group today was wearing the signature Tommy Bahama shirts, sunglasses and some kind of sandals with socks (it's February, people). They were probably from Ohio, but that's besides the point.  While on DASH the tourists are always busy figuring the city out - studying each landmark, chatting quickly amongst themselves while constantly comparing the map, minute-by-minute, to their current location.

The observation that I live in the middle of "the plan" never fails to humor me. The plan being: that long-ago push to attract tourism in great numbers to downtown Charleston. The bus system seemed to cave to the tourism mantra. Rather than incorporating the DASH system to cater to locals, transporting tourists from famous churches to theatres, the battery, and exceptional dining venues, remains the main function of the bus trolley.
It is true, however, that the old plan is changing. Mayor Joe Riley does adhere to tourism-drawing traditions, but within the last few years there has been more noticeable attention paid by the city to the idea of weaving the needs of Charlestonians into the public systems available to ease our daily lives. So, thanks, city of CHS for making my morning easier by providing me with an extended free dash service...and yeah, I enjoyed that ten-minutes worth of tourist-watching.

So, hats off to the future. Ride DASH, locals! You'll love it. Here's a bus schedule if you want to try it out.

Final Destination Pic: Apple Store on a normal Saturday morning in February, King Street, Charleston, SC.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Hug Marketing?

Earlier this morning I was leafing through the latest Charleston City Paper, and ran across this ad. With an immediacy I found this marketing ploy a little questionable. Who would hug me if I went to this restaurant? The Pig? The Manager? The Cashier? With raised eyebrow, I also wondered about the person who hatched & designed this ad campaign as well...needy?

Questions aside for a second, here's what the ad did achieve: it caused me to look the joint up on the web. But here there were a few problems as well. It seems The City Paper or the expressive person whom planned this ad did not pay particularly close attention to all the little devlish details, such as the website text, which is completely wrong. The correct address is

Sadly, upon finally googling, finding and arriving at the barbeque joint website, I found zero information regarding any free hugs. Hmmmm...what kind of marketing campaign is this anyway? I'm not sure...but I am pretty positive that the pig is behind this in some way.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Going Gaga 2011

Saturday we went Gaga in Charleston! In support of a good cause, The Cosmpoplitan Charlestonian donned its Gaga digs and went on over to the Joe Riley Stadium for a good old fashioned mass dance party. Some of you may ask...why? This past weekend we asked...why not?

Despite the fact that we neither worship Lady Gaga, nor personally know the College of Charleston student, Joe Quinn, creator of the event, we were interested to learn that Gaga Day was started by Quinn on a whim as a social networking event via Facebook. Obviously Quinn has a flare for cultural trends/icons and his Lady Gaga Day fund raiser has simply blown up! While enjoying one of his favorite musical artists, he simultaneously raises contributions for his favorite charities (so enterprising)! So now, Gaga Day, is a yearly thang - and don't we all just want to support a good cause? So, yeah, we went. And here it is. Gaga Day 2011. Joe's charitable cause this year was in support of the Trevor Project, which funds the only crisis and prevention hotline in our nation for gays, lesbian, transgender and youth questioning sexuality. For further information on the Trevor Project, see wikipedia, here.Although we feel Joe Riley stadium was a little impersonal as a cultural event venue, the day, the costumes, and the sheer fun still bubbled over in true Gaga style as the crowd poured onto the baseball field. Charleston Scene captured some of the goings-on in their video click here.Anyway, you may not think there's a whole lot going on in January, but if you want events, just come to Charleston....we've got plenty of causes and events going on right here, and if you like, you can even get your Gaga on...except now you gotta wait til 2012!