The Eastside's transformation from abandon and run-down homes to a fab urban mileau is every day more clearly evident. Sometimes, though, dashing toward the future includes a few flashbacks.
We've lived here on Charleston's Eastside for a few years now and have literally watched all types of people come and go. This area, a pocket of the community once economically depressed, running rampant with crime and drug traffic, was simply off the radar. At that time most people simply didn't venture above Calhoun Street on foot out of sheer fear. Calhoun Street acted as a belt around the waist of the peninsula, fashioning a defined separation between the lower, gentile and heavily toured portions of this grand city from the original middle and lower class suburbs located outside the walled boundaries.
Times have changed though and Charleston's historic Eastside is now attracting a diverse cross-section of local color. Last weekend as we waited for an afternoon bus into Mt. Pleasant for a shoet escapade of shopping we spotted four guys decked out in full 80s glam-rock regalia heading toward us. These guys had the whole tribute thing down pat too. Their spiral permed hair styles were all taller than our friend, Carolyn's, 4 inch teased bangs circa 1986, and they had evidently spent a good hour applying stage makeup as well as knotting dozens of leg bandanas to compliment their spandex pants. Ten to fifteen years ago we doubt these guys would have dared walk around the streets of the Eastside sporting looks akin to the group Poison, or Johan Sabastian Bach. But today is thankfully a different era. Welcome to the 'hood guys. Oh, and yo, fellas....Bret Michaels called. He wants his zebra print spandex pants back.