Preparing to shoot a few segments of Big Jon in 5 for BEER2WHISKEY in our upstairs studio at Barley's Taproom in downtown Greenville. That's owner Josh Beebe preparing for his closeup.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Charleston on My Mind

I just got back from an overnighter in Charleston. My home in Greenville is about 3 hours from the birthplace of the War of Northern Aggression. Consequently, I drove.

The occasion was a Hyundai event. I sort of invited myself to it. I drove the cars featured at the Charleston program in Las Vegas a month or so ago. In fact, I've already written the reviews of the redesigned Accent and Genesis for my newspaper client. Why would they bring me to a program with cars I had already seen and written up, you might ask.

Hey, I'm a fun guy. I'm a great addition to any gathering. I'm known far and wide as the ground zero of any party. But that's not the reason. Actually I have a Florida buddy who was at the event and needed a lift from Charleston to the Greenville-Spartanburg Airport to hook up with some high-school buddies.

That's the kind of amigo I am. I'll make a 6-hour-round-trip mercy mission for my buds. Well, my buds and a free hotel room and dinner.

I hadn't been to Charleston in four or five years. It hasn't changed much in the last 100 years; certainly I had no reason to expect any big changes since my last visit. There were no surprises.

I arrived at the hotel in the early afternoon, so I had some time to walk around downtown a bit.

Here's my take on Charleston, a city I like, by the way: The main difference between Charleston and Ft. Lauderdale is that T-shirts and cheesy tours are hawked out of buildings constructed in the 1950s in Ft. Lauderdale, and they are sold out of buildings built in the 1700s and 1800s in Charleston.

Otherwise, it's pretty much the same tacky, touristy atmosphere.

Granted, I only saw about 5 square blocks of that grand old lady of the South this trip, but that was about all I wanted to see. Great old mansions and churches surrounded by frozen-yogurt stands and T-shirt shops. Ugh.

Bumper to bumper, the line of stalled traffic heading into downtown from I-26 on
Meeting Street
moved with all the alacrity of three-legged hippo. Old ladies with walkers raced by as I sat sweating and cussing.

Yes, I was a little disappointed in Charleston, but the bed was comfortable, the food was good and the drinks were free. All things considered, it wasn't a bad way to spend 24 hours. Oh, and I managed to deliver my buddy to the airport with time to spare.

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