by Paul Bowers
Boy howdy, are we ever glad that an anonymous blogger visited Charleston and penned this stunningly vivid Holy City travelogue for The Huffington Post.
"When you think of the South," Globetrotting Style Guru begins, "what comes to mind, pulled pork sandwiches, home made sweet tea, corn on the cob, falling off the bone spare ribs, BBQ stained T-shirts?"
It's like she's lived here all her life. We sure do have a tendency to wipe our hands on our shirts after eating ribs for lunch every day. Our food is so damn messy, someone could make a killing selling us swatches of fabric to wipe our buck-toothed faces.
It's clear that the South has made a name for itself in the food industry. Food is their forte, but what about the other F word, dare I say fashion? Most people wouldn't think to put southern and fashion in the same sentence, but the South is starting to earn the recognition it deserves in the fashion industry, and Charleston is largely responsible for that.
Oh, don't you dare say that F-word! In a backwater like Charleston? I mean come on. We still accuse folks of being uppity if they buy a second pair of overalls to wear to church on Sundays.
When I took my first trip to the Carolinas I was expecting to go hiking in the mountains, ride in four wheelers, jam out at a country concert, maybe run through a field of corn, and of course, eat delicious food. What I didn't expect was to have a SoHo worthy shopping experience.
Let me be the first to apologize, Globetrotting Style Guru, that you didn't get to go running through any corn fields while you were in Charleston. Consider this a personal invitation to visit my house in Park Circle, where you can go out in the backyard and run to your heart's content through the 450-acre corn field that I tend with my 19 children and my ol' hound Dixie.
While in Charleston, I found myself filling up shopping bags with unique finds and being the boutique and vintage lover that I am, I was grinnin' like a possum eatin' a sweet tater.
HOOOOOOOOOOOO-WWWWWWWEEEEEEEEEEE! You said it, girlfriend. Who is this woman, anyway? Her name is just listed as "Shoptiques." Must be French.
Although Charleston is nestled within the sleepy south, it's vibrance should not be underestimated as it is filled with amazing restaurants and some of the most unique shopping around. The city is cosmopolitan, but Charleston has not misplaced its traditional charm.
It sure is nice to have someone "from off" recognize what a sophisticated little metropolis we've become, while also maintaining all of the qualities that made our region an excellent setting for Gone With the Wind. But don't leave city limits! Fatigue will overcome you as you enter the Sleepy South, and you will find yourself napping at the wheel.
King Street is the main attraction, as the strip that leads to the historic Battery marks an area that is overflowing with shops. But before heading there, you must begin your shopping quest in Mount Pleasant, a quaint suburban town just outside of downtown Charleston, which hosts some of the cities best boutiques.
Now, if we hadn't all dropped out of high school to work in the corn fields, we'd probably take issue with some of the grammar here. Anyway, we're glad to see a shout-out for our quaint neighbors to the east. From Banana Republic to Bed Bath & Beyond, Mt. Pleasant's Towne Centre really does have a "Mayberry" essence to it that makes you feel like you've stepped into a Rascal Flatts song.
When the writer starts going on about her highfalutin shopping trips to a bunch of high-end boutiques, we just have to take her word on it. We've never set foot in the "plantation homes" of the downtown College of Charleston campus, nor have we crossed the Cooper River on a bridge called "the connector," but we're sure they're both lovely. And we'd really like to try one of those "hand-crafted" sandwiches she's raving about (Must be a heck of a sight nicer than these machine-assembled sandwiches we've been eating all along).
How best to end this fabulous jaunt through two shops in Mt. Pleasant and parts of King Street? Just pretend you're writing a high school English essay and restate the thesis, dummy!
So now that I have won you over by describing mouth watering food, and wallet emptying shopping, I bet Charleston South Carolina is on your list of stops for your next road trip.
Look out, John T. Edge. We've got a literary master on our hands.