Blogs from Charleston, South Carolina, United States, North America


You're probably wondering about the title of this Blog page. The last time I was in Charleston- Karen and I took a Historic Charleston guided tour carriage ride. The young southern girl serving as our tour guide- pointed out a building which she said: "was a jail where they housed prisoners during the WAR of Northern Aggression". I of course raised my hand and said "excuse me Miss - do you mean the Civil war?" To which she promptly replied "Sir - down here we call it the WAR of Northern Aggression". The civil war began here in Charleston with the attack on Fort Sumter in 1861, so I decided to include the story in my title. The Charleston area was also a center point in the some of the key battles in Revolutionary war, indeed ... read more
The Irish Pub in Charleston _ Tommy Condon's Irish Pub
View from my room at the Marriott Courtyard Waterfront
Novel idea Charleston Chews in your room!

North America » United States » South Carolina » Charleston January 25th 2019

This is a trip I did a few years ago. Starting from my little village North of Montreal, Canada, to explore sites in Virginia, both Carolinas, Georgia and North Florida. There are thousands of people from Quebec going to Florida every year in the winter, but they never explore other states on the way. For my part, I think one's can find interesting places a bit everywhere on earth, if you learn a bit on these places. One thing I ever wanted to see was cotton fields. We all know the horrible history of slavery in the US, and many suffered to work in these fields. I saw my first cotton fields in Goldsboro ,North Carolina. This is a peculiar plant: The cotton fibers on the plants look like popcorn, and this is quite beautiful. We ... read more
Magnolia's Garden main house
Magnolia's Garden oak alley
Nice house in Paris, Virginia

North America » United States » South Carolina » Charleston September 12th 2018

Growing up in Charleston, a coastal city with large areas that are at or below sea level in elevation, one learns to respect hurricanes. We moved here in 1952, moved away for two years 1954-6, then back here permanently. So we missed Hazel. But we were here for Gracie. At that time we were living in the apartment building on Dunneman Avenue on the Citadel campus. Only the practice football field lay between us and the railroad tracks. At night we heard the poor lion in the small Hampton Park zoo with his coughing roar. Transistor radios were relative rarities, and computers for the home were not yet invented. So what guidance we got was from the television (as long as the station, and we, had power) and from the radio. Radio was mostly AM at ... read more
Hurricane Gracie Charleston SC 092959-Edit

North America » United States » South Carolina » Charleston September 3rd 2018

This year we decided to take our vacation traveling the Romantic Road in Germany, with a few extra stops afterwards. Unlike other years, now that I am retired, we did not book our flight. Instead, we decided to fly Military Space Available, or Space A. Because I am retired military, I have the benefit of being able to fly on a military plane to anywhere they go, for free. My wife can also fly, but only with me, and only to destinations outside the United States and return. I found out that Hawaii and Alaska don't count as inside the U.S. or CONUS, so she can also fly with me to those destinations. Before you get all envious (if you aren't retired military), let me add a few important details. As I said, we can only ... read more

Today was one of those glorious mornings where you get to sleep in until 7am and roll out of your sleeping bag and not have to roll that & your thermarest up! Not only that, but we were all pumped for our first traditional build day with the weather in our favor! We ate some of the 70lbs of DMed day-old bagels from Panera (way to go Noah!) and there was plenty of left over fruit from dinner and bananas from Whole Foods so we ate well before working in the sun all day. NJ presented town facts for Jame’s Island while we ate and then we bid Ryan farewell as we loaded up the 15P and set out for our build. Sea Island Habitat is the third oldest Habitat in world! It’s the third bc ... read more
Foundation prep
Standing inside what used to be a giant hole
Leaving our Mark with the many others inside the Habitat truck!

This morning we woke up to a cover of Annie’s favorite Jay-Z song “99 Bottles” since it was her last ride day with us 😿 There were also many wedding themed songs (including Train!) since she’s leaving the trip early to plan her wedding. We packed up and ate an interesting spread of food—some choosing hotdogs, others steak, while others made combos or Nutella and almonds on tortillas and whatever other interesting combos they could come up with (Chris being the most notorious for this particular skill). Jana and I cleaned the plates in the bathroom sink with hand soap-not the best situation but at least we were in it together! We had route meeting, Colin shared his team’s cheer, we did ours (probably our best yet!), and the team got rolling. My ride team was ... read more
Adventure + Best Thing
A perfect breakfast 😍

Charleston has been a destination that I have been fascinated with for years. The laid back mentality has always been a draw and a complete opposite environment compared to New York. I recently went there with my friend Mike. We got through security easily in JFK. Our gate was right near the food court which was very convenient. We went to Cheeburger Cheeburger for lunch. This was the worst food of the trip by far. I ordered a chicken burger and Mike got a regular burger. We both agreed the food was bland with no seasoning at all. Thankfully the fries was decent or the meal would have been a total failure. JetBlue had an effective boarding of the plane. My TV only worked half the time and the other half would go black. Next to ... read more

I had a very exciting time in Charleston. I went to Friday night services at Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim, the second oldest temple in the US, the oldest continuous temple in the US and the First reform temple in the US. It was first built in the 1700’s and them burnt down when much of the city caught fire. Their current sanctuary was built in the 1840s. It was very cool being services in the temple of this old. They were very “warm and welcoming“ to me. Saturday morning, I woke up early so I could be on the first boat over to visit Fort Sumpter. Felt very weird and very special being on the grounds of Fort Sumter. It’s where the Civil War started. Since we were the first boat on the island they had ... read more

Growing up in Charleston, one becomes accustomed to various airborne effluents that shape in a visceral way your feel of the city. In my youth, we knew that if the wind blew from the north we would smell the paper plant in North Charleston, an aroma which must be experienced rather than described. My high school driving instructor, whose husband worked at the plant, said it smelled like bacon and eggs to her. The MeadWestVaCo plants is still there today, and still perfumes the air with what my father would have called the sweet attar of roses. In the right sun, viewed from the water or the nearby I-526 bridge, the glass front along the Ashley River reflects glints of light from wavelets in the river, putting on an almost psychedelic show. Today, the smell of ... read more

I grew up in Charleston SC. Our family moved here in 1953, moved away for tw years, then returned in 1955 and remained here from then on. It is where I attended primary and secondary schools, lived when school was not in session during my college years, and lived during medical school. Then, in 1976, I graduated from medical school and headed to San Diego for internship. Other than 2 years back here as a medical oncologist, I have lived away during my entire professional career, principally in Bethesda MD area and in Oklahoma City. In September 2016 my wife and I rented a small house in Mt. Pleasant, and now have bought a house on James Island. Coming back to Charleston has caused me to see things differently. I am trying to re-explore some of ... read more

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