Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween from Haunted Charleston

Personally, I am convinced that Charleston is one of the most haunted cities in all of the Americas. From the revenge of Blackbeard himself to war victims, criminals and bereaved Victorians, Charleston is awash in much more than just residual energetic imprints. Believe it or not, hardly anyone whom has spent any great deal of time here, cannot deny that on the occasional late-night stroll, and that in the silent midnight hours, there are certainly things that go "bump in the night" in the Holy City. Some of our ghosts still cause turmoil, some watch out over us, and some...well, they just cannot part from this lovely city regardless of how much time passes before them.

So, to celebrate the spirit of Halloween, and the many things unseen that continue to walk to streets of an old, old city we present this special series of videos which feature a few of Charleston's more famous departed inhabitants.

Special Props to Edward Macy. Hope you are well, my friend.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bluesphere: portion of earth art expo in Marion Square

If you've walked into Marion Square any time within the last two weeks, you may have noticed a new, strange, stick-like structure near the corner of Calhoun and King Streets. Similar to skinny Lincoln Logs, the spindly structure weaves itself into a canopy over the west corner pathway of the square. It popped up, seemingly overnight, and resembles a giant Jenga game. You'd almost not notice this piece of artwork since it blends so well with the scenery. But then evening falls, and the blue lights designed into the wooden slats shimmer a bit more brightly, easily catching the eyes of passers-by. Most people inquisically paused asking, "what is it," as I stood there considering the structure and its representation.

Sustainability. That's the point of each of the Bluesphere exhibits recently erected in various locations around the City of Charleston. The City Paper says of it - "From sculptors to photographers to graphic artists, Bluesphere includes seven exhibits around the peninsula that will make viewers think more deeply about environmental issues."

As is usual for Charleston, our artistic movements merge cultures from around the world. An American photographer documenting consumption American style in his still frames is mirrored by the work of Brazilian photographer, Pedro Lobo, actively documenting the recycling of necessity blossoming from the depths of extreme poverty in Rio de Janeiro's shantytowns.

Then, from the 2-D photographic showings swell the 3-D world where one can literally walk into the art, much like the new exhibit at Marion Square. Once inside the Marion Square structure, lit blue panels explain the project and provide more information about Bluesphere. This partiuclar exhibit was planned and built by the Clemson Architecture Center in Charleston’s Studio V. Bluesphere is supported by the College of Charleston's Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art.
From the Halsey Institute's website, more on the project

bluesphere: Earth Art Expo was initiated by the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art and made possible by collaborations between many of Charleston's art and education organizations. We seek to bring sustainability education to the residents of Charleston, SC through a mixture of visual art exhibitions, lectures, films and activities focusing on the environment, conservation and how views of our world's resources are presented and expressed through art.

Alright, last but not least, The Post & Courier has provided an excellent video highlighting all of the exhibits to be found around town. The Earth Expo exhibits will be on display until December.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Charleston Pouring into the Streets

Today was the first official Second Sunday Event here in downtown Charleston, and people seemed to be loving every minute of it. As of today, every second Sunday of every month, King Street will close to automobile traffic and be open for pedestrians and bicyclists only. It was gorgeous today, so I walked down to King to stroll the street myself without fear of becoming urban road kill. I must admit, it was very strange a few times when psychological programming related to "never walking in the middle of the street" kicked in causing me to instinctually want to jump back onto the sidewalk. Charlestonians came out in droves to hang on King Street today. All the stores were open with several offering sidewalk sales. A few restaurants were giving away samples while most had street dining set up. Pop's NY Pizza was giving away sample slices, too! YUM! Close to Market & King, one group decided to shag in front of a local retail establishment. They added in a "big band" tune and then it really looked fun. All in all, I'd say this event will gain momentum.

The important thing to remember is that the closing of the street runs from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. every second Sunday of the month. If you are traveling by car, you will obviously have to take a detour as residents and visitors swagger up and down King, finally, sans traffic.

P.S. Here's something interesting I noticed. Without traffic, there's time to take a look at all those bricks people purchased back in the 1990s to help rebuild King Street (remember that project?). Apparently Jimmy Buffett bought one, or did he?

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Transportation Hub

Well, it's about time! Thank God Charleston's elected officials are finally thinking about merging and unifying several major transportation hubs. Today's announcement included a fabulous rendering presented by Mayor Keith Summey, North Charleston. The newly planned hub will finally link major transportation hubs, CARTA, Charleston's bus system, Greyhound, a National Bus System, and, Amtrak, a National Railway System, together in one area where transportation can finally find some synchroncity.

Back in the olden days [think current times], all the transportation hubs were miles apart. The old Greyhound station was located on Dorchester Road, set miles from the airport, and way more than a stone's throw from the CARTA Bus terminals farther down old Rivers Avenue. The poor taxi cab companies were relegated to "zoned" areas where only strip clubs and tatoo parlors resided. BUT...Behold! The Future! Here we are in 2010 and the PTB (powers that be) have finally figured it best to put all of these tranportation instruments into one big band orchestrated together into a finely tuned rhythm. Well, imagine the ingenuity!

I for one, am absolutely ecstatic at this turn of transport efficiency. Believe me. Now, guys, let's get that high speed rail into perspective, and on track, pardon the pun.

New Station on Track (North Charleston, South Carolina).