Charleston Thanks Sigur Ros for Inspiring our Senses to the Wonder of Music

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Words cannot express nor give justice to the mind blowing experience witnessed from the seventh row center of the North Charleston Performing Arts Center as Sigur Ros, visiting from Iceland took center stage for a life changing experience. After nearly two hours of visual and musical symmetry, the entire audience was standing and applauding not just out of respect for the live performance, but the way the band dove deep into the trenches of our souls and reminded us of the power of music.

Front man Jonsi Birgisson’s higher than the angels voice in sync with his bow guitar made for a unique sound that embraced the audience from the first to last row. Named after Jonsi’s sister, Sigurros Elin, the band has been exciting crowds since 1994.

From the powerful bass, to the soothing keyboards
From the violins to the xylophone
From the drums to saxophone

This eleven piece ensemble created an epic musical event, Broadway show and laser light show wrapped with a bow. Paying homage to the visual and musical experience pioneered by Pink Floyd, Sigur Ros has not only taken over where Floyd left off, but taken us into another dimension we did not even know was within ourselves.

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Prior to this evening, this writer has witnessed hundreds of live performances throughout his adult years. Yet, until 8:30 PM on Wednesday evening, Radiohead had topped my list for greatest live concert. From the first string of the guitar to the last howling sound of Jonsi’s voice, I witnessed a changing of the guards.

It was visually stunning. It was musically brilliant and most importantly it was spiritually enlightening.

The show started with a flow of pure mediation and powered itself up to a rock fused climax. Each song built up more power until the electric finish. It left us wanting more. Much, much more.

There are so many wonderful events and concerts that come into Charleston each and every year, but rarely does a show take you to another place.

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Sigur Ros, for those that witnessed this event, gave us a memory that most of us will carry for the rest of our lives. They transcended all expectations to create visionary and vocal perfection.

Thank you Sigur Ros

We must also give a much deserving bow and applause to Julianna Barwick who took time out of her personal tour dates to open for Sigur Ros. Her range and depth provided a soothing sound to usher in the main act. Her voice, keyboards and partner guitar warmed our hearts and opened the gates of expressionism for the evening.

 

This is Charleston – Original Poem Inspired by Charleston

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This is Charleston

It is a rainbow of infinite memories
From the early settlers to the pioneers of tomorrow

Sailboats raise a symbol to the sky as the wind guides them offshore creating a finely stitched canvas of white clouds and ocean blue

From the tips of the church steeples reaching to the heavens, to the remains of our forefathers resting in the sacred burials, Charleston is a blessing and gift

In its wonder, we are taken back in time to cobblestone roads, horse drawn carriages and southern hospitality as sweet as nectar on pecan pie

Once a shipping ground for slavery and inequality; now a harmonious settlement of integration, culture, dining and hospitality

Each morning, the sun rises over the harbor and welcomes a new day with open arms

Streets filled with life, the sound of music and aromas to warm the soul

This is Charleston

It is home to the world

Defining a global appeal, an artist sees a city with a marriage of nature and skyline beauty becoming one
Painting in his head a true masterpiece
Now this canvas, resting peacefully on the coast, is laden in strokes of reds and blues
Always in flux as patrons pay homage to the city we love

This is Charleston

From the laughter of the children in the fountain, to the love of an elderly couple embracing on the sand, this is heart of all that is good

This is Charleston; where the heart of the south reminds you of the beauty of life

 

Charleston Goes Green for the Environment

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Sunday, September 22 was the annual Carolina Green Fair. This year the event changed venues from Marion Square Park in downtown Charleston to James Island County Park and what a difference it made. The vast openness of the County Park expanded the event to a whole new level.

With a large open children’s area, two live music stages, chef’s demonstration area, clothing swap, pet adoption center and vendors for all the eye can see, this was a day filled with wonderful smiling people with one common shared belief: protecting the environment.

Whether your passion is recycling, beer education, organic gardening, energy efficiency, wellness or food, this was the event for you.

After the morning rain cleared, the scene was set. With a nice slight breeze and slightly overcast sky, the weather held up nicely. A sign that nature was on our side. Throughout the day, we were greeted with smiles and fresh aromas of scented soaps, flower bouquets, tofu wraps, vegan baked goods and so much more.

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What made the Green Festival so special was:

  • Awareness and Education – The volunteers, vendors and chefs that contributed their time and energy to make this event a success all care for the environment and loved sharing their personal knowledge with the community of Charleston.
  • Warmth – Each and every vendor we spoke to had faces lit up with smiles. A true testimony to the personalities and caring nature of people that truly strive to protect Mother Earth.
  • The pallet of food – This festival was nothing short of a foodie dream. From the King of Pops to Black Bean Company; BBQ to Indian, this was a food lovers dream.
  • Music to soothe the soul – From the two stages throughout the day, we were blessed with some great local talent, some as young as thirteen years old playing guitars, violins and singing vocals with passion.
  • Kids, Kids, Kids – With more open space than years past, the children’s area was larger than ever including a bike obstacle course and rock climbing.
  • Clothing for all – The clothing swap allowed you to trade your old clothes for a new selection. This was a big hit during the course of the day.
  • Birds of Prey – For the animals of flight fans, this was a welcome sight seeing eagles and owls co-existing together for the entertainment of the audience.
  • Chef Demos – Chefs from all over the Charleston area shared their secret recipes and then the dishes after. The basil, honey, canola, olive oil based dressing was amazing!
  • Commitment to a clean, safe and healthy environment – That was and continues to be a valued goal in Charleston. The festival is a reminder of what was are striving for in this community.

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A warm and genuine thank you to all the volunteers who shared their time and knowledge with all of us on Sunday.

For more information about this Sunday’s Carolina Green Fair – Click Here

Charleston and Yelp Go Gatsby

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Last evening at the Woolfe Street Playhouse in downtown Charleston, we were taken through a time warp to the Roaring Twenties for an evening in the world of Jay Gatsby.

Inspired by The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1925, The Woolfe Street Playhouse was the perfect setting and back drop for this gala event.

Under the stars, the night was filled with unique drinks, food from Vietnamese to sliders to sushi, flapper dresses, fedoras and a carefree attitude filled with dance and laughter, the Woolfe Street Playhouse and Yelp brought us back to a time when life was filled with elegance, dancing and drinking. A time when the wealthy were not just about the dollar value, but how hard they could party until dawn.

Yelp Goes Gatsby was a celebration of life. It was a costume party, a theme party and a gathering of people with one common goal: Party like it’s 1925.

From the moment you stepped into the theater, you were instantly greeted with outfits of class and style, fine art, music, cigarette girls and a wide array of drinks and shots to help loosen and liven the mood.

Like a cinematic flashback, 2013 Charleston turned into the roaring streets of 1925 Charleston. We all had money, we all had class, we all had style. This was our night. Each and every one of us were special.

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Charleston is a special town that embraces all that is good. Often times, we gather together for a cause and a reason to laugh, converse and dance. This night was no exception. Not only was this night focused on the Roaring Twenties, but partnered to raise money for a very worthy cause.

A number of very generous businesses and restaurants helped make this night possible and this collective effort, helped this evening go off without a flaw.

From the walk down the red carpet to the final drink of the night, A Night of Gatsby was truly a night of memories to last.

Thank you F. Scott Fitzgerald
Thank you Woolfe Street Playhouse
Thank you to The 827
Thank you to Yelp

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Most of all, Thank you Charleston for being a town that embraces creativity and community.

Video Montage of Yelp Does Gatsby

Taste of The Market – Slice of Foodie Utopia in the Heart of Charleston

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Charleston is rich in heritage with a warm welcoming community that thrives on its traditions and more importantly its food. We are a foodie nation with a eclectic variety of cuisine prepared by a community of very talented culinary experts. On the Third Thursday of each month (with the exception of November), the city of Charleston is offered a gift for two and a half hours. A gift that has you walking away full and satisfied.

The Taste of The Market brings culinary treats from eight generous chefs, live music to get your feet dancing, a Chef Demo, raffles for great gift cards and discounts all night long at local restaurants. All this for $10.00. If you think this seems too good to be true, let me make it even more mouth watering. The September event included:

  • Mahi Tacos
  • Chicken and Waffles
  • Pork Tacos
  • Thai Watermelon and Shrimp Gezpacho
  • Smoked Salmon Dip
  • Peanuts
  • Shrimp & Grits
  • Crab Dip
  • Kabobs
  • Pork Slides
  • Yogurt cups

Take it from a very satisfied participant that was full more than once during the course of the evening, this was a memorable event that every local should take part in.

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Generous contributions were provided by:

  • Peanut Shop
  • Noisy Oyster
  • Mad River
  • A.W. Shucks
  • Low Country Bistro
  • Crab House
  • Sweet Cece’s
  • Burwells
  • Wild Wings
  • Tabbuli
  • Music by the Bushels

This is truly an evening of culinary magic.

Charleston is a community that invites us with open arms and takes pride in its offerings. On a monthly basis, we are treated to the First Friday Art Walk, Second Sunday street celebration on King, weekly regional farmer’s markets Downtown, Daniel Island, Mt. Pleasant and Folly Beach and the Taste of The Market. In a town with overwhelming options for entertainment, it is nice to find a rare treat that fills your appetite for food and music in the heart of downtown Charleston.

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Mark your calendars today for October 17th and December 19th from 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM at the Palmetto Carriage Carriage Company Lot on Anson Street for the next two Taste of Market events.

Bring a big appetite. You will need it.

 

 

Attention Charleston: Is 911 missing the call?

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This story came to us, not as a result of a tragedy that had us scratching our heads and saying “what if” but a true story of a call to 911 that had us scratching our heads and saying “did this really happen?” 911 is an emergency response option when citizens identify or witness issues that maybe of criminal intent or may put others in harm’s way. It is path of protection from the dangers all around us.

This partnership between law enforcement agencies and common citizens has been a back bone of our society for hundreds of years and continues to provide the protections that grant us our personal freedoms.

Here is the story. We will let you decide.

One sunny Saturday afternoon, a car was driving in the left lane on the southbound side of the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge heading toward downtown Charleston when the passenger side back tire blew sending debris all over the highway and finding a car in the left lane with only three tires. A driver one lane over to the right avoided the debris as best they could and then called 911.

When this individual began to explain the situation and location, they were transferred with the indication this was a Mount Pleasant issue, not Charleston.

After the transfer, this individual told the situation once again and when asked where they were, this caller explained they were close to downtown Charleston on the southbound side. At this point, the caller was transferred again back to Charleston.

Finally, the third dispatcher took the call and asked questions relevant to the situation including:

  • Are you at the scene of the accident? – Response: “No, I avoided the debris and kept driving since I was on the bridge.”
  • Was it a two door or four door car? – Response: “I don’t know. I was at least two car lengths behind looking forward and then after the incident trying to avoid debris from the tire.”
  • Can you describe the driver? – Response: “I have no idea if it was a male or female. I was behind and a lane over.”

After they thanked this person and promised to dispatch a driver, the caller hung up and tried to find a way to get the phone out of emergency mode.

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This situation had the potential to be very dangerous with loose rubber on the highway and a car with three tires trying to get off the bridge on a very busy Saturday afternoon.

Did jurisdiction play into why there was confusion? Yes it did, but the role of a dispatcher is immediate response and safety of those that may be in potential danger.

What are your thoughts on this situation or one you have experienced?