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So I've been saying I need to go to Detroit for a while but when Jet Blue started non-stop flights to Charleston for almost $200 less than non-stop to DET, my choice was made for me. I was in CHS years ago and loved it so was psyched to see the city again. Figuring out a hotel was a pain since I happened to be going during this annual Spoleto Festival, which jacked up the prices; bad timing on my part. Ended up canceling the nicer place on the edge of town when I saw a deal for the older, more run down Days Inn in the perfect location. Had a good flight and took the shuttle from the airport where the first three people I met weren't so friendly like you expect in the south. Wandered around and went to Pearlz on East Bay for happy hour which consisted of fried oysters and a nice sparkling wine. That's where I met people from Dorchester whose flight wasn't as smooth as mine, they made an emergency landing in NYC. I then walked up to another main drag, King St. to Macintosh for their famous bacon happy hour. Full food report here http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/901265. Ended the nite with a grand marnier soufflé at Cypress, you don't see soufflés too often so had to get it when I could.
This was kind of a food trip cuz I was back out early for a bacon maple donut at Glazed Donuts, one of those high end donut shops. I then schlepped out to where the record stores were on the bus, got a couple things at Monster Music and Earshot. Got Lunch at a "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" fave, the Early Bird Diner for a fried green tomato BLT with a side of mac n cheese. Anyone who knows me knows I split most all the food I eat so this was a lot at one time, but damn it was good. I got back to the main part of town and wandered some more then happy hour time. Happy hours are all over the place in Charleston and at Social, I ended up sitting next to this girl Katie who used to live in Boston and knew the guys from Tree, Wargasm, Cracktorch, etc. How did we not know each other back then? We made a plan to hang out before I left town. I then continued on to the Friday art walk and after regrouping, stopped by Amen St. to watch the Bruins playoff game and eat excellent she crab soup. The bartender was from Providence. Tried to see some music, this band the Wild Reds from Atlanta were at a bar called Wild Wing but they were too indie rock for me.
Sat. I was up early to hit the big farmers market where all sorts of stuff besides produce is sold. A lot of food trucks are set up so I got a beignet and a ginger iced tea then headed down to the dock to take a tour of Fort Sumter. It was a nice boat ride over and tour around the grounds, then back for lunch and a walk by the famous pastel houses and down the Battery. I did so much walking I was feeling faint in the hot sun (which happens more often than it should) so sat down for a nice cool beverage at yet another happy hour, where the man at the bar asked me to dinner. I declined since I'd actually eaten lunch at the place he was going to and wanted to stop at a food truck festival that was happening. It was cool there (with more mediocre music) but I decided to eat indoors where two of the wait staff were from Boston. Who knew Charleston was such a magnet for Boston people.
The last day was more wandering around, many walks up and down King St. When I went to Charleston the first time, King St. was no man's land after a few blocks but it's got all sorts of cool cocktail lounges (and not so cool bro bars) up and down. I visited the Charleston Museum, the oldest in the country but now in a new building plus took a tour of an historic house. Met Katie in the evening at Stars rooftop bar then to the Cocktail Club bar for a "craft" cocktail. We tried a pork slap sandwich at one place then moved on to Hom known for their burgers. And they have ping pong tables, you don't see that too often. Unfortunately, this was not one of my better ping pong nites but we had a good time and Katie's been in CHS such a short period, I was showing her things she didn't know about (from my long detailed list that I always make when I travel).
So a nice time in a beautiful city. Hoping for a trip to Russia and Finland in the fall but Detroit's still on my list, before the buildings all crumble and it fades away into bankruptcy.