Friday, February 24, 2012

Tattered, but not Torn - Columbia, South Carolina

Standing among the new skyscrapers of the downtown, remnants of this relic are now surrounded by the glass towers looming above it's haggard walls.

The State House - Columbia, South Carolina

The State House's history is unique for the construction began ten years before the American Civil War began no more than 100 miles away in the Charleston Harbor.

George Washington Memorial at the base of the stairs
It's design is of Greek Revival, giving it the prestige but yet clean and simple look which proved it's durability as the city of Columbia was burned to the ground as General Sherman swept through the capitol city, although by his orders, this building was to be spared from direct torching.  To this day, there are marks from bullets and cannonballs on it's walls from the War between the States.

Bronze panels making up the semi circle of the African American History Memorial mark the history from the first slave auctions in port cities such as Charleston up to today's African Americans as leaders and more.

Corinthian capitals crowning the tops of the columns add grace to the Greek Revival of this historic landmark of the Palmetto State.

The Covenant Presbyterian Church - Charlotte, North Carolina

Formed by two churches joining together in 1947 to create a sanctuary to support the growing number of members of both churches and facilities to provide to the congregation and the community such as a school and a large fellowship hall.  By 1953 their new church had been completed and calls worshipers to it's towering English Gothic steeple and sanctuary. 

First Presbyterian Church - Charlotte, North Carolina

One of Charlotte's oldest landmarks of the downtown area, the First Presbyterian was built in 1857 and has continuously served the community ever since! 

True Gem of the South - Charlotte, North Carolina

Following in second to New York City, Charlotte is the known as an important financial and trade center with numerous banks claiming the Gem of the South as their home.  Charlotte is also the birthplace of NASCAR and American President James Polk, along with other notable people and businesses of North America.  

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Fleet Landing - Charleston, South Carolina

A great place to take in the expanse of the Charleston Harbor and enjoy excellent food!

All of the dishes served are made 100% fresh and makes for a great meal after a day's worth of exploring the dynamic and historic harbor city of Charleston!

Life vests adding some sea-faring sensations to Fleet Landing

Also, a great place to learn more about the United States Navy and how it's enduring history involves the City of Charleston!  From the outside decks of Fleet Landing and while enjoying a savory meal, you can spot out Sullivan's Island which is home to Fort Moultire, significant to the American Revolution defense and of course, Fort Sumter, the starting point of the American Civil War.

Living on the Battery - Charleston, South Carolina

John Ravenel House - 1849
William Roper House - 1838

Lining the Harbor and the area known as the White Point Gardens, shaded by the wide boughs of the oaks with colorful gardens and the classic palmetto trees of South Carolina are some of Charleston's iconic homes on the Battery.

South of Broad - Charleston, South Carolina

Looking out onto the Harbor on South Battery to the right looms over head the branches of oaks from the time of the American Civil War in White Point Gardens and to the left stand some of the treasured keepsakes to Charleston that have survived wars, hurricanes, and the test of time.

Creepy spider that I found weaving it's intricate web 

Standing watch on the furthest point into the Charleston Harbor of the peninsula the city lays claim to is the monument of the Defenders of Charleston.  Erected in 1932 by the Daughters of the Confederacy to the men and women that died for the Confederate cause for the Southern Independence which started within sight of this very statue.

Along the pier, one can see fauna that unique to the Charleston climate such as this colorful palette of leaves in one of many flower beds next to the wharf. 

Walking along King - Charleston, South Carolina

Known as the Holy City for it's skyline filled with spectacular steeples soaring above the city streets and it's long history of religious tolerance since it's founding as a colony to the English Crown.
Many of the persecuted religions from the Huguenots, Jews, and other minority denominations found the welcoming arms of the Charles' Town to be their new home in the New World. 
Life is vibrant any day or night of the week with the buzz of the local shops, boutiques, and nightclubs that color the facades of King Street.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Circular Congregational Church - Charleston, South Carolina

Founded in 1681, this church is marked one of the oldest continuously worshiping congregations of the United States.  Built in the heart of the coastal city of then Charles' Towne, and gave name to the street which it's doors open to due to it's friendly environment, Meeting Street.

Members to the church remain at her side for eternity, in the shade of the boughs of the oak trees that span above the sacred stones.

After learning more about the Church, it's diverse community, and it's early religious tolerance.  From it's founding, the congregation was made up from European and African descent that brought ideals of Presbyterian, Huguenot, and Independent denominations. 

After nearly one hundred years, the Church fled Meeting Street as the British overtook the Harbor City. The Congregation made do in  Philadelphia until 1787 when they returned to Charleston.  Within a few years, the Church was refitted to accommodate the growing numbers in 1804.  Headed by Robert Mills, also the designer for the Washington Monument in D.C., drew up the scheme one of the largest domed buildings in America at the time and to have a capacity of more than 2,000 congregants.

There is a peaceful air, under the moss covered boughs and among the black slate stones.  I had the sense of going back in time, into the old walled city of Charleston, bustling carts along the cobbled streets, while strolling around the grounds of the Church that warm Sunday morning...

Saint Matthew's Church - Charleston, South Carolina

View from Marion Square
Moonlight Steeple

Built in the mid 19th Century for the growing German and Dutch population of the Port City of Charleston, Saint Matthew's German Evangelical Lutheran Church. Founded by a future General and Mayor of Charleston, Johann Andreas Wagener brought the plans for a German-speaking service to immigrants to light in 1840.  As a tale to most historic edifices around  the world, the most destructive factor is Fire.  In 1965, the Tale of the Tower happened after a light bulb blew and in turn, ignited some materials which engulfed the church. The steeple fell across King Street into Marion Square due to weakening of the structure.  However, through community support and hard work, the church has been fully restored with stained glass windows made in Munich, Germany, and the Church was able to hold services once again by the following year.

The Buzz of King Street - Charleston, South Carolina

The one aspect that I truly loved about my first visit to Charleston was the fact that  everyone was always going but it was still a quiet, tranquil city.  I highly recommend any place on  King Street as far as food is concerned!  These cupcakes are from... Cupcake, a boutique shoppe just over a block from Marion Square in the Downtown area.  Now, I would not advise you to eat them as your dinner as I had done, but nonetheless, treat yourself on your next visit!

Definitely a great stop for a good feel for Charleston or the Deep South is Closed for Business.  The menu is not to over-bearing to chose from and the food is scrumptious!  Few local beers to go with the best pork sandwich topped with a green tomato chutney made my day!

I like the feel that live music gives to the night life, but when musicians tie the crowd  into the buzz of the night, that I love!

I would recommend the Charleston Beer Works to anyone interested in trying locally made beer along with imported beer from Germany and South America that wants to play some shuffle board or billiards in a lively hub for all ages.

Fitting into it's acclaimed title of being the "America's Most Friendly" one is bound to meet new people and have a great time any where that they may  go in Charleston!

The Francis Marion Hotel - Charleston, South Carolina

In memoriam to the Swamp Fox and one of South Carolina's most famous Revolutionary Patriots and veteran of the French and Indian War, Francis Marion.

Commonly represented by the figure Benjamin Martin in the film, The Patriot, place after place have been dedicated to the American Hero throughout the Low Country of South Carolina.

Low Country Living - Walterboro, South Carolina

Nestled in the hills of the northern Low Country of South Carolina, Walterboro, although a small town, is filled with plenty to do and explore!

The Historic Downtown, whimsical and bright, is filled with any sort of shop you can conjure! Perfect for anyone that wants to get out and enjoy a quaint afternoon walking along arboreous avenues to the sound of the song birds and get in some local shopping with friendly smiles welcoming you everywhere!
Talking to a local store owner about some of Walterboro's unique elements and one of them being the seashell sidewalks that are in the historic downtown telling a small story to Walterboro's history of using the mussels for food and trade.

St. Peter's A.M.E. Church

Sure sign of the small town feel, petite church steeples cresting the skyline.