Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Charleston, SC & the 150 Year Wound

Charleston, I will say is a GREAT place to take a family for vacation.  It has the perfect mixture of culture, history, the shores, some of the worlds best seafood chefs and a pretty decent downtown area as well.  There is enough there to do to last a week easily and overall it's a pretty unique place.  It has a culture all it's own.  I took a trip up to Fort Sumter and just missed the 150th Anniversary of the first shot which started the War of Northern Aggression (as it is proudly called by the Fort Sumter Tour Guide).  When reading some of the history during the tour, I overheard some conversations and realized that there are a lot of people out there who still feel very strongly about the war on both sides.  150 years later and people still get worked up.  I havea  feeling that it is a sore spot in our history that will never fully heal.  Since I am touring the South East, it is only fitting that I am currently reading "The Leadership Lessons of Robert E. Lee" along the way.

Overall I highly recommend Charleston as a place to visit...not sure if I’d want to live here, but I’m a little bias b/c of some of my experiences.

Story Time: The Good/Bad of Charleston

First the good.  I stayed at a hostel my second(technically) night in Charleston.  The place was called “NotSo Hostel” and I promised to give them a shout out. The owner there was extremely friendly and hospitable (but loved Obama) and I met a few really cool bros there.  My roommate, who’s name I could not pronounce was a cool guy from Ghana and REALLY loved facebook, he played on facebook almost the whole time I was there.

I met up with some friends at a place called “blind tiger” and hung out there for a few hours along with one of the really cool guys I met at the hostel.  I had been on my own the past few days  to that point so it was refreshing to get a chance to hang out with some people.  When I came back at midnight, my roommate was still on facebook…
Now the bad.  Earlier that day The visitors center told me that the Fort Sumter museum was a close walk away, so I set foot in that direction the first day I arrived in the city.  The last tour of the fort set sail at 3p.m. so I just barely missed that(I toured it the next day)t.  I ended up making a right turn to look for some of these famous seafood place and couldn’t find any so I kept walking, I decided to head in the direction towards the main road which was ‘meeting street’ when I started noticing boarded up windows, crappy street roads, and well overall the area just didn’t look all that friendly.  Apparently, I had walked into a hornets nest for crime. 

Now, this happened to me when I was in London, but luckily this time it was in the middle of the day.  When I was walking, it was clear that I didn’t belong in that part of town and it was also clear to the police as they pulled in front of me, frisked me, and asked me to slowly empty my pockets.  When I pulled out my watch, credit cards, phone, map and camera I guess that’s when they finally realized that yes, I indeed was a tourist and no, I was not there to buy drugs.  This lasted for ten minutes but luckily I got a ride back to the tourist center out of it…I asked them to take a picture of me in the cop car so people would think I got arrested but sadly, they declined.

An hour later, in the downtown area at that, I saw a girl punch a guy in the face and took off running with stolen goods…not going to judge the whole city on based on this, just saying….

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