G had to go to a conference a few weeks ago in Charleston. No one was going with her so I got invited to tag along. I'll always take a trip to Charleston. We always end up going for very short visits and there's too much stuff to do. There were some art things that I had not been able to get around to so this was my opportunity.
We just had a couple of days so we wasted no time getting to the beach.
I love walking around tidal areas and seeing all the eco-stuff that we don't have in the upstate. In one of the tidal ponds we were greeted by fish jumping out of the water all the way across.
The shipping freighters always fascinate me too.
The light was perfect all weekend. I believe the light is always better at the coast anyway but still, this was good light even for the beach.
The sun started setting while we were walking on the beach so we raced it over to Shem Creek and caught it from our table at RB's as it finished it's day.
While the sun did it's thing I jumped into a plate of stone ground grits, BBQ shrimp, hushpuppies and a baked potato.
The next morning I got up and ran around the Holy City. As I ran, the sun came up over the Battery. I realized two things that morning. 1. Sunrise in Charleston is stunning. 2. People laugh at you when your running app is blaring Taylor Swift songs on King Street.
Such a beautiful run. A great start to my day.
We walked to a very cool breakfast place (Kitchen 208) and I was able to get the first art thing checked off my list. Charleston native Shepard Fairey had a big exhibit in town earlier this year and as a part of that exhibit he had several murals put up around the city. I'm not a big fan, but I felt a responsibility to see and photograph the ones that were left. This one was OK but breakfast was awesome.
After breakfast we cut through to the Market because it's pretty much required when you visit.
It's always worthwhile to pay attention as you walk around down there. You never know when you might see another Charleston native like Stephen Colbert.
We love Moon Pies and we spend way too much time in the Moon Pie store.
The light, the trees, the architecture.
The Holy City earns it's nickname with all the cool steeples.
Since I was nice enough to escort G on her trip across the state, I made her escort me to a bunch of art places. One place I've always wanted to check out is Redux Contemporary Art Center. There was a cool exhibit of hammers and you know how I love me a hammer.
These were all cast in something I forgot and wrapped in threads.
The exhibit in the main gallery featured a lot of cool paper related sculptures.
And that's the building exterior tucked behind The College of Charleston.
Then we walked over to The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art and saw a cool Picasso exhibit I'd never even heard of.
The works there were part of a photographic collaboration/narrative that he did with two other artists.
Indonesian artist Jumaadi also had a cool exhibit of the work he created while being the artist in residence during the last year. Lots of cool things but I wont bore you.
The Halsey has the first Art-O-Mat ever to come to South Carolina. This old cigarette vending machine now houses small works of art for sale for $5.
Neither of us was really hungry for lunch be we saw a place called The Kickin' Chicken and we decided we had to at least get a snack. The food was great and we wound up eating a full meal.
G was able to sneak away to her conference and across the street I found the other Fairey mural I was looking for.
With a couple of hours to kill, I walked back down towards Broad Street. I had planned to go to the GIbbes Museum of Art but I found out it was closed until 2016. Bummer. But I'm easily amused and hey look, a cemetery!
I probably take photos of these same headstones each time we go to Charleston but I just love the whimsical nature of each one. I know they were not meant to be funny but they crack me up.
I needed to produce a few drawings around the idea of angels, so these provided the perfect stimulus to get me going.
I saw George Washington.
And this odd stone.
And because two giant meals in one day is just not enough, we ate again when G got out. We decided we were not hungry and we were going to just walk down to Sticky Fingers and get an appetizer and then go to an ice cream shop. But on the way we passed Jestine's Kitchen and there was no line. Our plans changed instantly. Because I wasn't very hungry I just had the Pecan Fried Chicken, Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Mac and Cheese. Sooo good.
The next morning we set out in search of one last thing we had always missed out on in Charleston...The Angel Oak. As a side note, I'm pretty religious about my morning coffee. I make my own ginormous mochacchinos at home. The double shot of sugar and caffeine helps me become a real person. When we travel, finding good coffee is always a high priority but that always has to happen in the morning before I've had any coffee which can make it a very difficult endeavor. This morning we spotted a locally owned coffee shack just down the road from the tree. I felt like I needed to order the "Angel Mocha" and man, was that a great choice. It was a mochacchino with toasted marshmallow and white chocolate syrup. I think it was twice as sweet as my normal coffee. I was bouncing off the walls.
But the tree is great even if you're not all hopped up on sugar. Charleston is so visually stimulating that it takes a downshift in mental gears to be able to fully appreciate a tree but the drive out the gravel road and the silent surroundings help out. I think they said the trunk of the tree is 30-something feet around. G's legs are somewhere in the photo above to put the scale in perspective.
A lot of the things I read had conflicting information about the tree. It may or may not be the largest tree east of the Mississippi River. It may or may not be the oldest oak tree in the country or in the world. But one thing is certain, you may not get a photo of the tree without those stupid signs in it unless you purchase it in the gift shop.