Charleston, SC Named One of the Best Cities for Brunch in the US

Brunch in Charleston has become a way of life.? It is a weekend ritual that seems like it is as old as the colonization of this community.? Its culinary rewards are a sensation to our appetites and an event we look forward to as early as the beginning of each week.? Whether you are a foodie or not, brunch has become an unofficial holiday and one we love.

Whether it is a couple, family, friends, a fried green tomato benedict, shrimp and grits or mimosas, we flock on Saturday and Sunday to enjoy this Charleston tradition.

We have even compiled a resource guide with menus and links to some of the best brunches in the area to help you plan your next outing or serve as a check list if you want to try them all:? Charleston Brunch Guide

The fine folks at FindTheHome used Yelp and a 2014 American Community Survey data to determine the best brunch cities in the United States. SFGate compiled an analysis tool to sum up the best cities.? We are proud to say, Charleston is #3 on the list.? Congratulations to the chefs, owners, patrons and tourists that have put our brunch on the map.

Details of Analysis

The data scientists at FindTheHome, a real estate intelligence site powered by Graphiq determined the best cities for brunch based on data from Yelp and the 2014 American Community Survey then created a comprehensive rating that accounts for quality, popularity and quantity. The “Breakfast Score” equally weighs the following data:

  • Density of 4+ Yelp Star breakfast establishments
  • Reviews per restaurant, normalized
  • Number of breakfast and brunch restaurants per 10,000 people

Only cities with a population over 100,000 people and at least 50 breakfast or brunch restaurants were considered in this analysis. Restaurants needed at least one Yelp rating to be included. The following list of top cities for brunch is ranked from lowest to highest “Breakfast Score.”

Note: Because some cities are simply more active on Yelp than others, the analysis used the number of reviews at chain restaurants (IHOP, Denny’s Starbucks and Applebee’s) to normalize the “reviews per restaurant” figure across locations.

10.? Washington D.C.

Breakfast Score: 73.8
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 0.8
Reviews per Restaurant, Normalized: 174.0
Number of Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 2.8
Number of Breakfast Restaurants in Washington: 175

Population: 633,736

9.? New Orleans, LA

Breakfast Score: 76.3
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 1.7
Reviews per Restaurant, Normalized: 128.0
Number of Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 3.3
Number of Breakfast Restaurants in New Orleans: 121

Population: 368,471

8.? San Diego, CA

Breakfast Score: 77.9
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 1.1
Reviews per Restaurant, Normalized: 184.9
Number of Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 2.1
Number of Breakfast Restaurants in San Diego: 287

Population: 1,341,510

poo7.? Denver, CO

Breakfast Score: 84.0
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 1.1
Reviews per Restaurant, Normalized: 282.1
Number of Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 2.4
Number of Breakfast Restaurants in Denver: 155

Population: 633,777

6.? San Francisco, CA

Breakfast Score: 85.1
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 1.8
Reviews per Restaurant, Normalized: 168.9
Number of Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 3.6
Number of Breakfast Restaurants in San Francisco: 298

Population: 829,072

5.? Paradise, NV

Breakfast Score: 86.0
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 0.9
Reviews per Restaurant, Normalized: 272.4
Number of Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 3.3
Number of Breakfast Restaurants in Paradise: 74

Population: 223,182

4.? Minneapolis, MN

Breakfast Score: 90.0
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 1.5
Reviews per Restaurant, Normalized: 299.1
Number of Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 2.9
Number of Breakfast Restaurants in Minneapolis: 114

Population: 394,424

3.? Charleston, SC

Breakfast Score: 94.6
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 1.9
Reviews per Restaurant, Normalized: 226.1
Number of Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 4.5
Number of Breakfast Restaurants in Charleston: 56

Population: 125,458

2.? Berkeley, CA

Breakfast Score: 95.3
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 2.0
Reviews per Restaurant, Normalized: 209.1
Number of Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 4.5
Number of Breakfast Restaurants in Berkeley: 52

Population: 115,688

1. Portland, OR

Breakfast Score: 95.9
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 2.2
Reviews per Restaurant, Normalized: 248.0
Number of Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 3.7
Number of Breakfast Restaurants in Portland: 220

Population: 602,568

Enjoy brunch y’all.


How do I know if he is interested in “Me” or just “My Body”? – Dating 101

By Mark A. Leon

I have a number of female friends and some questions often come up with common repetition. Regardless of age or maturity level, many women still cannot seem to read the signs of men to determine if they are looking for a quick fix or a possible long term relationship.

It is important to know that for the most part, we are not the complicated gender. We are quite simple in our behavior and feelings toward dating, relationships and commitment. Reading our patterns of behavior will give you a clear indication of our intentions. We hear the unscientific study that indicates that a man or woman knows within five to ten minutes if they want to sleep with, have a relationship or an easy exit on a date. It is very true. As we grow and mature, we become more set in our personalities and interests. If the compatibility is not there, we are left with one option, “Is she attractive enough to want to sleep with”.

So here it is, us males meet you at a bar, restaurant or coffee shop and follow this chain of thinking:

  • If she is very attractive, we want to get to know her.
    If she is average looking, we lean toward possible one night stand unless our personalities are so
    amazingly similar.
    If she is not attractive, we try to come up with a plan or polite way to end the date.
    Subset to the attractive girl – If we feel she is out of our league, we may lie and try to give
    the impression we have a great deal in common to get that one shot at amazing sex with a really
    hot girl knowing it will never amount to anything further.
  • Having the mindset of a one-night stand is not exclusive to males. Females, for various reasons, do
    choose to go out and pursue that option. If that mutual fit is found, it is a win win situation.
    The parties should try, if possible to be up front and honest about the intentions. Both males and
    females do run the risk of falling for their date. If this arrangement will be successful, it is key
    to bring honesty into the picture right away.
  • I know it is impossible to avoid the mind games, but having the courage to try and break them down slowly could help decipher the date quickly and make for a more comfortable evening.
  • Our interest level is a direct correlation to our attention level. If we are making strong eye
    contact, saying your name and responding to what you are saying, that is a very positive sign.
    If we have our mobile on the table, respond to texts or have wandering eyes, not a good sign.
  • The equality of the meals and drinks is also a clear indication. If we have a possible interest,
    we will order at an equal level to you. If you order a grilled salmon and he orders a dinner salad,
    he is trying to rush through things and thus not interested. If you order salmon and he adds prime
    rib, then he wants to take his time and get to know you.
  • If there is a call or text after 45 minutes or an hour and he ignores it, great sign. Yes, men still
    use the fake call from their friends to get out of a bad date.

So what else do I look for to know if he is interested or not.

If he jumps into discussions about ex-girlfriends and beats those stories to death, typically he falls into the category of a player who cannot separate the difference between an emotional and a sexual relationship. Also, that could be an indication of an ego-maniac who is self-absorbed in himself.

If you met through an online dating service, there is a strong likelihood, he is juggling multiple dates. The online community broadens your reach and allows for a much larger pool of potential mates. Many men will try and schedule a few dates and narrow down the pool. If you go on a first date and never hear back or get excuses for scheduling a second date, it is a safe bet that you didn’t make the second round.

Look at some of the common patterns of behavior including eye contact, equal distribution of conversation, use of your name, questions showing a clear indication of getting to know you better and hand gestures. If your date is listening, maybe holding your hand over the table, asking questions about you and focusing on you and not the room, all signs of a positive first date. On the other hand, if he is focused on everything else in the room including everyone that walks in (in the event there is better eye candy after he has already scoped the room for the present occupants), looks down at his phone for texts or sports scores (better yet even if the phone is on the table – not a good sign), seems more interested in talking about himself than you and is rushing through the ordering process then these are all possible red flags.

  • Ask him his expectations. If he is slow to response or provides a vague response such as “depends on the attraction”, “taking it one date at a time”, “not sure what I want yet in my life”, “just got over a bad relationship and not sure I am ready yet”, or “let’s just see where this goes”, then you can expect that he either isn’t interested or not looking for anything long term.
  • Suggest ordering up a little, but not in excess and see how he reacts. I am not saying order the most expensive thing on the menu because that may create the impression you are a “gold digger”, but suggest a nice appetizer that will see his financial limits and lengthen the date. If he is immediately in favor of the idea, good indication for the evening.
  • Look at restroom habits. During a dining experience, one would expect to go to the restroom once. Maybe two or three times if they are a germ phobic. If he is using the restroom several times during the drinks or dining experience, he either has a huge bladder issue (which he will most likely tell you about) or is making other plans, taking to friends or seeing who is winning the football game (all options that show a lack of interest toward you).
  • Let us not overlook the obvious: What is he wearing? If he is dressed like Charlie Harper in shorts and a bowling shirt…run. If a man shows cleanliness in attire and hygiene, then he at least sees this as a date with potential and is open to the possibility of more.
  • Is he sharing in the conversation? If he is letting you do all the talking, he could be boring or lacks interest or on the other hand, if he is asking a lot of questions about you and then agreeing that he has the same interests or background, he may be lying to get you in bed with a false sense of compatibility.

There we have it. Dating 101 from the male perspective. This is clearly not the end all of dating tips but a fundamental start to help you through that next date.

Whether you are going on your first date ever, recently divorced or widowed or ended a long-term relationship, remember whether you are male or female we are in the same boat. We are trying to break down the emotional walls and understand the thought process that is going on at the other end of the table or next to you at the bar. Be honest, be open and most of all, don’t become something you are not.

Dating, when you are at your most relaxed state is so much fun. The idea of getting to know someone from the ground up and all the new and exciting possibilities is a wonderful thing. The one thing that often screws that up is ourselves and the mind games we play.

We cannot eliminate that element of dating, but if you know what to look for, it will make the evening go so much better.

Unless you go on a row boat for a first date..? That is a lesson for another time..

Happy Dating.

South Carolina Chamber Announces 2016 Best Places To Work

Media Release:? COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, Best Companies Group, and SC Biz are proud to announce the 2016 Best Places To Work in South Carolina. Now in its 11th year, 60 companies have been selected to receive the Best Places To Work award for 2016 at the August 4th event. At the August 4th event, companies will also find out their ranking (1-36 for small/medium and 1-24 for large employer). Out of the 60 companies named, 37 are State Chamber Members. State Chamber President Ted Pitts Released the following statement congratulating the winners:

“South Carolina is full of great places to work because our employers across the state understand what it takes to attract and keep good people. Our South Carolina business community is only as good as the companies that are part of it and this list is a strong showing of how many topnotch workplaces there are in the state. The State Chamber is proud to represent many of the companies on this list and we applaud those that have been selected for this year’s award. We look forward to recognizing your achievements in August.”

Small/Medium Employer Winners (15-249 U.S. employees)

Accelera Solutions, North Charleston
*Bauknight Pietras & Stormer, P.A., Columbia
Ceterus, Inc., Charleston
*CF Evans Construction, Orangeburg
*Find Great People, Greenville
*First Reliance Bank, Florence
Hawkes Learning, Mount Pleasant
*Hire Dynamics, Greenville
*Human Technologies, Inc., Greenville
*Infinity Marketing, Greenville
JEAR Logistics, LLC, Mount Pleasant
KeyMark, Liberty
Kleinschmidt Associates, Lexington
*McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture, Greenville
*Midlands Authority for Conventions, Sports and Tourism, Columbia
*Molina Healthcare of SC, North Charleston
*Mount Pleasant Waterworks, Mount Pleasant
*O’Neal Inc., Greenville
*Palmetto Technology Group, Greenville
PhishLabs, Charleston
*Quality BusinessSolutions, Inc., Travelers Rest
Recruiting Solutions, Columbia
*Rhythmlink International, LLC, Columbia
Rosenfeld Einstein, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC Company, Greenville
*Scott and Company LLC, Columbia
*SCRA, Summerville
Sentar, Charleston
*South Carolina Education Lottery, Columbia
Southern Diversified Distributors, Charleston
*Spirit Communications, Columbia
*The Brandon Agency, Myrtle Beach
*Thomas & Hutton, Mt. Pleasant
*Trehel Corporation, Greenville
Turner Agency Insurance, Greenville
VantagePoint Marketing, Greenville
*VC3, Columbia

Large Employer Winners (250+ US employees)

BNC Bank, Myrtle Beach
*Charleston Water System, Charleston
*Cherry Bekaert LLP, Greenville
CPI Security, Columbia
*Denny’s, Spartanburg
Edward Jones, Florence
*Elliott Davis Decosimo, Greenville
Fred Anderson Toyota of Charleston, Charleston
*Hubbell Lighting, Inc., Greenville
IHG, North Charleston
Lash Group, Fort Mill
*Life Cycle Engineering, Charleston
*McAngus Goudelock & Courie, LLC, Columbia
*Palmetto Citizens Federal Credit Union, Columbia
*Sage Automotive Interiors, Inc., Greenville
*ScanSource, Inc., Greenville
*Select Health of South Carolina, Charleston
*Shealy Electrical Wholesalers, Inc, West Columbia
South Carolina Federal Credit Union, North Charleston
*SYNNEX Corporation, Greenville
*Terminix Service, Inc., Columbia
TidePointe, a Vi Community, Hilton Head
T-Mobile USA, Charleston
Total Quality Logistics, Daniel Island

*Denotes South Carolina State Chamber of Commerce Member.

Charleston, SC – 1960’s – 1980’s – Photo Gallery (Remember the Times)

The 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s were a tremendous time of change in the United States.? It was a time defined by equality, civil rights, reaching for the stars, global turmoil, liberalism and conservatism, musical exploration and religious freedom.? It was a time when voices were heard and change was in the air.? Here in Charleston, we maintained a family friendly coastal home.? For many, it was our time of childhood when innocence, hopes and dreams engulfed our lives.? Summers on the beach and rich history on the peninsula was the life we knew.

It was a wonderful time to be in Charleston, SC.? We found some great images captured during this period of our Charleston home.

Take a step back with us.? If you were raised during this time, enjoy these moments of reflection.? If you were not, this is an opportunity to learn more about the evolution of this beautiful area.

Photographic Journey of the Charleston, SC Area – 1960’s – 1980’s

Charleston Holiday Inn - Circa 1960's
Charleston Holiday Inn – Circa 1960’s


Playing in a fort on Kiawah Island 1974
Playing in a fort on Kiawah Island 1974


All smiles on Kiawah Island - 1974
All smiles on Kiawah Island – 1974


Ultravision Cinemas on Sam Rittenberg - Circa 1970's
Ultravision Cinemas on Sam Rittenberg – Circa 1970’s


Old Cigar Factory - Circa 1980's
Old Cigar Factory – Circa 1980’s


Folly Beach Amusement Park - Circa 1960's
Folly Beach Amusement Park – Circa 1960’s


Daffy Duck Charleston Postcard - Circa 1970's
Daffy Duck Charleston Postcard – Circa 1970’s


Old Cooper River Bridge - Circa 1980's
Old Cooper River Bridge – Circa 1980’s


Tradd Street - 1980
Tradd Street – 1980


Harborview Holiday Inn - 1975
Harborview Holiday Inn – 1975


Folly Beach - Circa 1960's
Folly Beach – Circa 1960’s


Folly Beach Streets - 1962
Folly Beach Streets – 1962


Cypress Gardens 1988
Cypress Gardens 1988


Heart of Charleston Hotel - Meeting Street - Circa 1980's
Heart of Charleston Hotel – Meeting Street – Circa 1980’s


Wild Dunes after Hurricane Hugo - 1989
Wild Dunes after Hurricane Hugo – 1989


Loran Station - Folly Beach 1962
Loran Station – Folly Beach 1962


Hurricane Hugo – A Look Back in Pictures

Thank you for taking the time to be part of this journey.? Thank you for being a part of our community and part of our home.














Charleston, SC of Yesteryear: Take a Journey Back in Time – 35 Remarkable Images

Broad Street, Circa 1910
Broad Street, Circa 1910

With so much rich history and heritage, we often get swept away in distinguished past of Charleston.? The historic society, carriage tours, walking tours and preserved buildings continue to keep our past as alive as our ghosts.? Yet, sometimes a visual image paints a picture so much more vivid than even our own imaginations and the stories we share.

Take a step back in time with us and enjoy these visual images of Charleston past.? Some are haunting; some soothing, but all with provide you with a piece of the way life in Charleston used to be.



136 Church Street - Circa 1880
136 Church Street – Circa 1880


Flower Seller from 1939 - Photo by National Geographic
Flower Seller from 1939 – Photo by National Geographic


Two locals on a stoop in 1962
Two locals on a stoop in 1962


Tradd Street - Circa 1910
Tradd Street – Circa 1910


Joseph Aiken House - Circa 1880
Joseph Aiken House – Circa 1880


St. Michael's Church - Circa - 1910
St. Michael’s Church – Circa – 1910


Aftermath of 1938 Tornado hitting Charleston, SC
Aftermath of 1938 Tornado hitting Charleston, SC


Newspaper Article - Circa 1885
Newspaper Article – Circa 1885


Snow on The Battery in 1899
Snow on The Battery in 1899


Cumberland Street - Circa 1865
Cumberland Street – Circa 1865


Broad and Meeting Streets 1865
Broad and Meeting Streets 1865


City Market - 1939
City Market – 1939


W.T. Grant Building, Circa 1950s
W.T. Grant Building, Circa 1950s
Confederate Currency
Confederate Currency


Stoll's Alley - Circa 1880
Stoll’s Alley – Circa 1880


Berkeley County, 1939 - B.W. Muir Photographer
Berkeley County, 1939 – B.W. Muir Photographer


Jenkins Orphanage Band - North Charleston 1914
Jenkins Orphanage Band – North Charleston 1914


St. Michael's Church 1865
St. Michael’s Church 1865


56 Beaufain Street
56 Beaufain Street


Near Francis Marion National Park, 1939 - Photographer B.W. Muir
Near Francis Marion National Park, 1939 – Photographer B.W. Muir


Post Earthquake - Broad Street 1886
Post Earthquake – Broad Street 1886


Shrimp Peddler and cat - Circa 1930's
Shrimp Peddler and cat – Circa 1930’s


Mosquito Fleet, Charleston - 1940
Mosquito Fleet, Charleston – 1940


Soldier Portrait - Professional Photo
Soldier Portrait – Professional Photo


Spring 1861 - Confederate Soldiers
Spring 1861 – Confederate Soldiers


Courtenay School, 1926
Courtenay School, 1926


Portrait taken in 1917
Portrait taken in 1917


1906 Postcard
1906 Postcard


Portrait taken between 1947-1949
Portrait taken between 1947-1949


Philadelphia Street, 1866
Philadelphia Street, 1866


Early Battery Park
Early Battery Park


Cadets, 1891
Cadets, 1891


The Heyward-Washington House 1923
The Heyward-Washington House 1923


Tent City Charleston - 1886 - Post Earthquake
Tent City Charleston – 1886 – Post Earthquake

We hope you enjoyed this journey down memory lane.




Media Release: Sergeant Jasper Agreement Reached – Details

Media Release:? City of Charleston, South Carolina


CHARLESTON, S.C. 29401 ? TELEPHONE (843) 724 – 3746? FAX (843) 724 – 3734




For Release:



Charleston, S.C.

Tonight, Charleston City Council voted to support an agreement to settle the long running Sgt. Jasper dispute. The outline of the agreement is as follows:



  • The judge’s ruling is set aside, meaning that the Board of Architectural Review is protected from further court challenge and can get back to doing its work protecting our city and neighborhoods from unattractive and inappropriate development.
  • Citizens can expect the old Sgt. Jasper unattractive and unloved for more than half a century to come down and be replaced by a dramatically more attractive building a building that the judge in this case has already given the developer approval to build
  • The developer will set aside ? of an acre on nearby St. Mary’s Field for the construction of a new, publicly accessible waterfront park at no cost to the taxpayer
  • In addition to protecting the BAR from further court challenge this settlement requires the Beach Company to bring its Plans back to the BAR for two more rounds of approvals provisional and final before the building can be built


  • The BAR would remain at risk, as an expensive and time consuming legal appeal worked its way through the courts over the next two or more years
  • Due to a quirk in our city’s zoning laws, the Beach Company would almost certainly be forced to reopen the existing Sgt. Jasper building, and then proceed to build additional, primarily commercial structures around it structures that would join the existing Sgt. Jasper on the site for decades to come, and that could be significantly taller than the current building itself.
  • No waterfront park.


Jack O’Toole

Director of Communications

Media Relations/Public Information

(843) 518 – 3228

Charleston Government Website Release Details

Come for Weezer, Stay for Panic! At The Disco

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By, Minta Pavliscsak

The sleepy little town of Daniel Island, South Carolina was rocked to life Sunday evening when the sounds of Panic! At The Disco and Weezer came streaming from the rows of hanging speakers at the Volvo Car Stadium.

In unison, the crowd jumped to their feet with excitement as “Miserlou,” more notably known as the theme song from Pulp Fiction, suddenly started pumping through the speakers as the outline of a red car appeared, racing across the stage screen. Next entered 29 year old, Vegas grown Brendon Urie, and so it began.

I remember Panic! At The Disco when they first emerged onto the music scene. They showed promise, but then they seemed to fade only to return with what I though was a more mainstream sound, so honestly I lost interest. I am here to 20160619_203226-01 (2)tell you, Mr. Urie proved me completely wrong in every sense of the word this past Sunday night!

Between the bold sounds of the band, Brendon’s unbelievable vocal range -the kind of range that could only come from a deal with the Devil himself- and the energy coming from both the stage and the crowd, feeding off of one another, you had what made for a perfect opening set. I have never seen SO much pure, raw energy on stage, and Brendon even did a couple of -rather impressive- backflips!

The highlights of their set were definitely when Brendon took to his drum set, side of drummer Dan Pawlovich, for a dual drum solo/dueling drums/kick-ass this-is-what-we-do moment, and equally as kick-ass, their tribute to Queen with a crowd pleasing “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Among the playlist was “Death of A Bachelor,” “Emperor’s New Clothes,” “Hallelujah,” “Girls/Girls/Boys,” “Miss Jackson,” “Crazy = Genius” and “Nine In The Afternoon.”

Thank you Panic! At The Disco for a fantastic performance!

The set change was a bit on the long side. However, it was well worth the wait, and sitting under an almost full moon on the eve of the first day of summer with a cool breeze, enjoying a tasty beverage, how could one complain?! Finally it happened –what we had all came there for– the lights went out and that was our cue to once again jump to our feet, scream as loudly as we could, and welcome to the stage the one, and only Weezer.

I feel that it is important to mention?20160619_222505here that Weezer is what we would refer to as an “old school”
band. That’s not a bad thing by any means! In a lot of ways, it is has its advantages, bonuses even. Their debut album, The Blue Album was released in May of 1994. I was in 5th grade at the time, and have been a fan ever since. {Thank you to my awesomely cool parents who never attempted to censor my musical choices!} I have been to many concerts of artists who fall under this same category – The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, Green Day, just to name a few. When going to these shows, you are excited for whatever they give you, but you always hope to hear your favorite classics, the ones that made you fall in love with the band in the first pla20160619_213749ce. Weezer did not disappoint! They got straight to the point, opening with “Hash Pipe” then tossing out giant beach balls to the crowd with “My Name Is Jonas.”

It only got better from there!

Of course they played some of their new stuff which, holding true to Weezer form, was awesome, but it was peppered with their classics as well. A few we were graced with were “Beverly Hills,” “Pork and Beans,” “Everybody Get Dangerous,” “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To,” “Say It Ain’t So,” “Buddy Holly,” and “Undone – The Sweater Song.” Weezer wasted no time with a bunch of talking, only doing what they do best, rocking out.

As they said goodnight and walked off stage, the entire stadium chanted their name “WEEZER, WEEZER, WEEZER,” begging for their return. Showing sincere appreciation for their fans, they complied and returned for a couple more jams. My longtime dream had come true. Truly a magical night of musical greatness.

Weezer, you rock.


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A Charleston Moment (Aka: Warm Southern Hospitality and Peaceful Serenity)

By Mark A. Leon
By Mark A. Leon

To an outsider, it can be difficult to comprehend the true sense of Southern hospitality that is Charleston.? It is an indescribable feeling of serenity, peace and community.? Like the warm breeze over the marsh or the sounds of the heron flying above, Charleston is a tapestry of natural wonders, caring residents, nurturing cultural and coastal pride.? It is an area proud of its heritage, its natural beauty and its people.

Sometimes you need a Charleston moment to completely understand why we love our home.

Last evening, just off the connector bridge between James Island and Johns Island, I found paved roadway between two private communities.? With marsh on both sides, palmetto’s garnishing the sides of the road and a westward facing view, I was able to witness a breathless sunset.? On the eve of the Summer Solstice, this sunset, followed by a full moon to lose yourself in, created a moment that has left a last imprint.

The peaceful surroundings of this street alone did not make this moment complete.? As I leaned back on my car watching the sun dip below a palmetto in the forefront, stretches of clouds like delicate paint strokes donned the sky and birds chirped as they passed overhead.? During these last few moments, a few cars, a couple of golf carts, a motorcycle and two joggers passed by my parked car.

With each passerby, a wave and a smile. I even had a father and son team in a golf cart asking if I was okay.? But they knew.? No car problems, just an admirer of a Charleston sunset.

The friendly demeanor of one stranger to another spoke volumes.? These interactions, though subtle, mean a great deal to us.

This moment of complete peace and awe, with a sprinkle of that warm friendliness we have come to love, reinforced how special this place is.

If these words don’t inspire, take few minutes to enjoy the visual spectacle of last night in the Lowcountry.










Continue to take pride in this little spot under the sun, we call our Southern home.

Let’s do a week in Charleston (On a Secret Discount Plan)

By Mark A. Leon
By Mark A. Leon

What do you think about the idea of spending a week together and exploring the Charleston area without damaging our wallets?? I would really like to explore this area with you and expose ourselves to some of the greatest fun and cultural activities our little corner of heaven has to offer.

Let us put our heads together and see if we can plan the best week ever and barely crack open the money pouch.

On Sunday we are going to do yoga, farmer’s market and live funk.? How does that sound.? Almost too good to be true.? We are going to head over to the Charleston Pour House for yoga on the deck at 10 AM, James Island Sunday Brunch Market at 11 AM and then live funk with Kanita Moore and the Motown Throwndown at 1 PM for free live music.? That is a way to spend a Sunday Fun Day.

Monday let’s get a little cultural.? We will enjoy a basking in the sun at Charleston Waterfront Park and then to cool off go to the Free City Gallery at Waterfront Park located right in front of the famous Pineapple Fountain and then later in the evening to the East Bay Meeting House Bar & Cafe for cocktails, cake and some of the best poets in Charleston.? The readings and music start at 8 PM.

We have had quite a week and we are only two days into it.

Tuesday is Drum Circle and Jam session with Graham Whorley and Friends at the Brickhouse Kitchen.? This is a beautiful community event.? If you come at the right time of the year, you may see fire hula dancers.

Charleston Pour House - Sunday
Charleston Pour House – Sunday

Wednesday is a special day.? Wednesday is Beach Day on Folly.? Why Wednesday at Folly Beach you ask?? Great question.? Wednesday is the Folly Beach Farmer’s Market with live music and movie on the beach at 8 PM.? Both Free.? Both amazing for families wanting an evening out on the beach or a romantic night for two.? The market will be hopping about 5:00 PM.

Thursday should be a little more relaxing.? My thought is a historic walking tour.? We can do a historic tour in the morning or a Civil War specific tour in the afternoon.? Either way, exercise and a great lesson of local history for Free.? Wait, there is a $1.00 fee to reserve your spot.

If you have built up an appetite like I have this week, Friday night at Tommy Condon’s located at 160 Church Street in the historic district is just what the doctor ordered.? $12.99 All You Can Eat Fish and Chips and fun live Irish music.? That is a way to kick off a Friday night.

On Saturday, we are going to see how the other side of Charleston lives.? We will start our morning with a brisk walk around the newly renovated Colonial Lake Park.? After that, we will get a table at the scenic Marina Variety Store Restaurant overlooking the marina on the harbor for a tasting and reasonably priced breakfast with an insanely serene view.? After that hearty meal lets go to the College of Charleston and enjoy the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art and Mace Brown Natural History Museum (Both Free and quite educational).

Aside from food and beverages, we barely made a dent in our wallets and had an incredibly memorable week in Charleston together.? Thank you for sharing it with me.

Charleston Cheap – Daily Food, Beverage and Attraction Deals

Drum Circle - Brickhouse Kitchen
Drum Circle – Brickhouse Kitchen


Movies on the Beach at Folly Beach
Movies on the Beach at Folly Beach


Cancer Patients are finding the Love and Support they need – Hope Lodge Charleston

20140730_172409When Glen Orwell was told he had 6 weeks to live, his world fell apart. His one final goal became fighting the cancer that was quickly spreading through his body. Diagnosed with extensive stage small cell lung cancer, Glen knew there was no cure. He just wanted more time. Fighting the type of battle he wanted took resources he didn’t have. Uninsured and 3 hours away from the nearest cancer center, he found it difficult to pay the bills and travel back and forth between home and the hospital where he was having daily radiation treatments. One of his providers suggested he ask the Hope Lodge for help.

The Hope Lodge Charleston is one of 31 Lodges in the United States that offers temporary housing to cancer patients who are undergoing therapy away from home. In 1970, it was founded by Margot Freudenberg, a leader in the Charleston medical community and Ambassador with the Eisenhower People to People Program. It was the first Hope Lodge to be established and it set a precedent for other lodges that were later founded across the United States. It provides a second home to those who live 40 miles or more away from their treatment location. The Hope Lodge is a nonprofit organization sponsored by the American Cancer ?Society. The donations of individuals keep the lodges operational.

The Hope Lodge Charleston is a campus of four houses on Calhoun Street offering private rooms outfitted with twin beds, linens, cable TV and private restrooms. There is a community kitchen and most every night, volunteers from the community cook and provide meals to the tenants. They also host activities such as bingo nights and book clubs. Tenants can find respite on the porches or enjoy the healing garden as well.

image (3)The Hope Lodge requires that a caregiver also stay with the patient. Glen was joined by his daughter Tina, and they stayed for two weeks during his most intense round of therapy. “When we didn’t have enough money to buy peanut butter sandwiches, having a warm meal every night was wonderful” Tina explained.

The facility also has a library with donated books and computers with resources about various cancers and treatment options. Tina spent much of her down time in the library. ?“We found it really empowering to have the resources of the Hope Lodge. We were able to read about his cancer and understand the disease course and prognosis.”

With the help of the Hope Lodge, Glen was able to undergo intensive radiation and chemotherapy that would have otherwise been unavailable to him. He lived for 7 month after his diagnosis, far beyond his estimated 6 weeks. “I truly believe that he had this time and a better quality of life because of the Hope Lodge. Just to know that others care and are willing to help those in need made every day better” said Tina.

The Hope Lodge Charleston is located at 267-273 Calhoun Street and serves the community 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. For more information about donating or volunteer opportunities, please contact Kelly Williams?at? visit their website.