A Lifetime of Happiness: Communication, Love and Family – The Glue and the Fuel

By Mark A. Leon
By Mark A. Leon

Is it possible to spend forty-three years of your life, fifty weeks a year, 86,000 total hours, 8600 plus hours commuting, 1375 hours in travel in a place and be satisfied?? More importantly, can you leave behind a legacy that makes yourself and your family proud of the career you have made?

That was a mouthful to swallow.? Let me take a step back.? How many remember exactly what they did at work yesterday?

Sometimes that is even a hard question.

We work our little butts off making crafts and climbing robes in elementary school and junior high.? Then we fight for a reputation in high school and then start right over again redefining ourselves in college.? If we are lucky, we get to stay a little longer in graduate studies.? Then the big decisions happen.? What do I do next?

What do you like, you ask yourself?

  • Sleeping in
  • Drinking, partying and dancing
  • Hanging with the friends
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Afternoon naps
  • Road Trips
  • Play Station

Not the most transferable skill sets.? We obviously have a dilemma.? How do we translate current state to future state and still find the same level of happiness we had for the first twenty-two years for the next forty-three?

happy2If there was a simple answer, we wouldn’t have all these blogs and articles on career planning and career management and happiness in the workplace, blah, blah, blah.

Throughout history, we have seen very content and satisfied employees that have had roles ranging from extremely complex to overly simple.? From Thomas Edison to Fred Flintstone, Einstein to Homer Simpson, one constant is true, finding value in your work and balancing it with the true elements of happiness:? Love and family.

Maybe we found our variable.? Love and family.? So, we have two wandering puzzle pieces:? Crazy fun you and responsible consistent you.? Both are running for the hills in opposite directions.? What if….What if, there was a magnetic glue that could push the two together and then hold it tight.? Love and family.

I believe we have solved the greatest mystery of life.

Let’s take five minutes to do a little assignment.

Take these three categories and list five things you love about them and five things you do not love

  • Social / Play Life
  • Work Life
  • Family

Next, find the common elements in all three.

Put those common elements on a piece of paper or index cards with the title “Things that make me happy in my social, work and family life.? What are yours?”

Now mail these cards to five of your closest friends and family members.? No texting, no emailing, no cloud sharing.? Mail!!!!!? Stamps and all.

Add a post it asking them to find five things that make them happy at work, life and family and then share it with five people.

Besides the fact that this is a great way to communicate and a unique and fun exercise, it will open some eyes.

One of the areas so many of us fail at in life is communication.? We hold back and bottle up our feelings in fear of confrontation, loss or disapproval.? This is a passive method of letting others know, there is happiness in all we do and sometimes we need to look to others to harness this.

This is an exercise that can be done at work in a team building session as well.? Don’t rule that out.

Love and family may be the glue, but communication is the fuel that will lead down the road of a lifetime of happiness.


Pitt Street Pharmacy Takes Us Back to a Simpler Time

Story and Photography by Mark A. Leon
Story and Photography by Mark A. Leon

We live in a different time, a post 9/11 time, where skepticism and fear play in the back of our minds.? Apps track the activity of your children, cars are made with more safety features than ever before, schools require ID to enter and cyber stalking and bullying is an every day issue.? We live in a different time.? Life wasn’t always that way.? There was a time when kids would go to the malt shop for a shake and fries and flirt playfully across the counter, curfews were understood, not enforced and youth was about candy, crushes and football games.

There was a time, when safety and crime were reference points in a history book and reserved only for the “big city”.? Small town Americe and suburbs led a life of simplicity and comfort.? Every store was your own personal Cheers where everyone knew your name and knew your family.? It was always about community.? Neighbors helping neighbors and everyone had an open door.

In the heart of old Mount Pleasant, there is still such a place.? Since 1938, residents of Mount Pleasant has entered this small intimate family pharmacy for drugs, supplies, toys, advice, soda pop, milkshakes and burgers.? Before school, after school, a mid day snack or a toothache, Pitt Street Pharmacy has been the neighborhood stop for generations.

Today, that small town family friendly appeal remains where you can get coffee for 50 cents, a large milkshake with real ice cream for $3.25 or an old fashioned peanut butter and jelly sandwich for $2.50.? It is a place where the traditional values of medicine and family remain.

Let’s walk together on these checkered tiles and for a moment remember those simpler, safer times when community, strong morals and smiles were they way we lived.


Welcome to Pitt Street Pharmacy
Welcome to Pitt Street Pharmacy


Would you like a seat at the counter?
Would you like a seat at the counter?


Maybe you want to etch the name of your sweetheart in the counter top.
Maybe you want to etch the name of your sweetheart in the counter top.


Hope you brought spare change.  You won't need much more.
Hope you brought spare change. You won’t need much more.


How about an old fashioned soda pop for $1.25
How about an old fashioned soda pop for $1.25


Gumdrops or hard candy to compliment
Gumdrops or hard candy to compliment


Maybe jelly beans are more your speed
Maybe jelly beans are more your speed


Look at the old Campbell's Soup display
Look at the old Campbell’s Soup display


Or the classic burger and fries
Or the classic burger and fries


Coca Cola is timeless
Coca Cola is timeless


The owners support local teams and businesses but they are very Clemson
The owners support local teams and businesses but they are very Clemson


Should pick up school supplies while I am here
Should pick up school supplies while I am here


And homemade jam
And homemade jam


The simplicity of the drug section.  So easy to find what I need
The simplicity of the drug section. So easy to find what I need


Original industrialized ingenuity
Original industrialized ingenuity


Wonderful display of old pharmacy memorabilia
Wonderful display of old pharmacy memorabilia

If you have never experienced Pitt Street Pharmacy, come for the milkshake and burger, but stay for the ambiance and experience of it all.


Chase After a Cure Donates $100,000 to MUSC For Childhood Cancer

Pictured, from left, are Debbie Rupert, Chase After a Cure board member; Adam White, Chase After a Cure executive director; Whitney Ringler, Chase After a Cure founder; Dr. David Cole, MUSC president; Kathy Cole, Chase After a Cure board member; Matthew Pecoy, Chase After a Cure board member, pediatric oncologist Dr. Jacqueline Kraveka; Chris Hoyle, Chase After a Cure medical research advisory committee; Margaret Marcoe, Chase After a Cure director of marketing; and Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg.
Pictured, from left, are Debbie Rupert, Chase After a Cure board member; Adam White, Chase After a Cure executive director; Whitney Ringler, Chase After a Cure founder; Dr. David Cole, MUSC president; Kathy Cole, Chase After a Cure board member; Matthew Pecoy, Chase After a Cure board member, pediatric oncologist Dr. Jacqueline Kraveka; Chris Hoyle, Chase After a Cure medical research advisory committee; Margaret Marcoe, Chase After a Cure director of marketing; and Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg.

Media Release:? Chase After a Cure presented a check for $100,000 to pediatric
oncologist Dr. Jacqueline Kraveka and her team at the Medical University
of South Carolina Children’s Hospital on Sept. 26. Each year during
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September, Chase After a Cure
presents MUSC with a check for money raised over the course of the last
year to support pediatric cancer research. Charleston Mayor John
Tecklenburg also attended, proclaiming September as Childhood Cancer
Awareness Month in the City of Charleston.

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is a nationwide effort to bring
attention to more than 15,000 children and teenagers diagnosed with
cancer each year. Cancer is the No. 1 cause of disease-related death
among children. Locally, about 70 children are diagnosed with cancer
each year at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Since its founding in 2009, Chase After a Cure has donated more than
half a million dollars to MUSC for research and equipment, specifically
in the area of the very aggressive neuroblastoma.

Chase After a Cure was started in 2009 by Summerville resident Whitney
Ringler and her family after her son, Chase, was given a 30 percent
chance of survival after being diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma, a
cancer of the nerve tissue of the sympathetic nervous system. Chase
survived this aggressive form of cancer and now his family works
tirelessly on behalf of childhood cancer research.

Chase After a Cure – Official Website

Are We Becoming a Society of “Text Therapy”?

By Mark A. Leon

“Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those, who do not write, compose, or paint can manage to escape the madness, the melancholia, the panic fear, which is inherent in a human condition” – Graham Greene

“The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love.” – Hubert H. Humphrey

What is “Text Therapy”?

If you search the truth (aka Urban Dictionary) you will find several self-imposed definitions of the growing phenomenon in our social sphere. Some view it as the consolidation of emotions into a small phrase on Twitter, Facebook or text to a discriminate or non-discriminate audience. The thought of pouring your emotions to faceless millions does sound appealing to some and almost crazy to others.

In a time where social courage is running rampant, it is no surprise that this is a growing trend. We can meet and reject dates without ever meeting them in person via dating sites, dismiss a friendship with one click, share a new relationship to a global community without making one call or expressing sorrow over the loss of a loved one to the masses. Voices are silenced but never have they been so loud.

When was it acceptable to extend the arm of vulnerability in one hundred and forty characters? Is the first thought on our minds after a divorce or break up to tell anyone in front of a computer or smartphone that will listen that it is over, I am a free person and he/she does not know what they are missing? Are we looking for a reaction from the audience that clearly, by being a friend, paid admission to witness this comment? Does the immediacy of the reactions lend a higher weight to how valued you are by your social community? Are we so in need of virtual and immediate comfort that we don’t even take the time to let the situation sink in and accept the normal course of reaction time?

All valid questions that require a much deeper evaluation of the individuals participating in this ritualistic trend. But, if this piece exceeds 800 words, we will lose the core audience and thus eliminate any value that could be served.

I would like to shift gears away from the non-discriminate form of emotional up chuck and move to a targeted approach and what I believe is “Text Therapy”. Using the small sample size of my circle of friends, I have in the past been a shoulder of comfort to some creating the grand illusion of an open ear and voice of rational thought. The acceptance of friends coming to me for advice and consultation is not new in my world. What I have begun to bear witness is the exceedingly increasing use of text therapy sessions where I would receive a long text indicating depression, fear, anxiety, loneliness, heartache and trauma.

My first reaction is to offer phone time as these are not local friends, but rarely is the offer accepted. Without the ability to give a true and sensible response via text, I offer comfort through only a few simple words. Then a few more texts may ensue or silence. I will follow up and often times I get a “I feel a little better” or “I’m ok” but no clear sign of recovery from the drama that began with the first text.

Can this free and immediate consolidated therapy provide any long term help for the distressed. I am not a doctor, but my analysis is no. I sense that the social revolution has not only brought the world closer together but created a “right now” mentality that has corrupted our ability to feel.

I vividly remember the Challenger Disaster, September 11, 2001 and the announcement of the Death of Osama Bin Laden. The first two still leave vivid details in my memory box and lingering emotions for days and years. Bin Laden was very different. First, I found out 30 minutes before the President made the announcement as it was leaked out through various channels and within 5 minutes after the announcement, the bar did a round of free shots, some continued talking about what had transpired, but most of us moved on other subjects of sports, school, dating and life. We have almost turned ourselves into drones who are incapable of feeling for a long period of time.

That is a scary thought. The ability to feel and connect is what makes us human and thus the most intelligent beings on this planet. If we lose that, we are robots, void of emotion and void of feelings of love and compassion.

Let that sink in next time you reach out and request your next immediate text therapy session.

PS – 785 Words

The Kickin’ Chicken Raises $18,399 for Teachers’ Supply Closet

The Kickin’ Chicken Raises $18,399 for Teachers’ Supply Closet


Kickin’ Chicken supports TSC for 5th straight year and surpasses donation goal ?


Charleston, SC – This month The Kickin’ Chicken presented the Teachers’ Supply Closet with a check totaling $18,399. Teachers’ Supply Closet (TSC) is a Charleston based, nonprofit organization that provides teachers with free school supplies needed for their classrooms that they would otherwise have to purchase out of pocket.

This donation was the direct result of a fundraising initiative by The Kickin’ Chicken during the month of August. Kickin’ Chicken customers were encouraged to purchase paper “chicken heads” to donate either $1, $5 or $10 to the cause. Within a month, the “chicken head” sales raised over $14k and ownership matched the top selling store at $4,301 — bringing the total to $18k+, about $9k more than last year.

“It has been wonderful opportunity to work with The Kickin’ Chicken over these past few years, “said Lynette Duggins Thomas, Executive Director at Teachers’ Supply Closet. “Their generous donation will allow us to purchase crayons, markers, composition books — all the supplies that we need in order to continue to serve the teachers at the 46 schools that we work with in the Tri-County area.

The Kickin’ Chicken invited their top 10 “Chicken Head” sellers to the TSC Golf Tournament at Stono Ferry on Friday, September 16. The Kickin’ Chicken Food Truck was present, serving lunch to tournament participants. While there, Kickin’ Chicken presented the Teachers’ Supply Closet staff and board with the check for $18,399. This is the 5th year that Kickin’ Chicken has directly supported the Teachers’ Supply Closet and the donations generated have grown significantly larger each year.

To learn more about Teachers’ Supply Closet and the Kickin’ Chicken, visit?www.teacherssupplycloset.org?or?www.KickinChicken.com?or find them via Facebook at Kickin’ Chicken.

The Surfer’s Moment – Inspirational Quotes about Surfers and Surfing

By Mark A. Leon
By Mark A. Leon

Yesterday morning, a ball of regeneration rose from the distance in the ocean.? On lookers were equipped with cameras, tripods an IPhones waiting to capture the first moments of the sunrise.? At 7:00 AM a young female surfer began to swim out on her board.? She maneuvered through the small waves until she was alone rested on her board soaking in the morning rays.? It was a moment of peace shared only by the ocean, the sun, her and the board.? It was in that instance I understood the surfer’s moment; the motivation behind the passion.

Surfing is about the rush.? There is no denying it, but it is also as much about the connection to the ocean and nature.? That vision inspired us to share some of the great quotes by and about surfers and surfing.

If you are not a surfer, you may begin to understand its culture a little more after reading these inspired words.

Surfing Quotes / Affirmations

“Out of water, I am nothing.” – Duke Kahanamoku

“We’re all equal before a wave.” – Laird Hamilton

“The joy of surfing is so many things combined, from the physical exertion of it, to the challenge of it, to the mental side of the sport.” – Kelly Slater

“Sometimes in the morning, when it’s a good surf, I go out there, and I don’t feel like it’s a bad world.” – Kary Mullis

“Surfing soothes me, it’s always been a kind of Zen experience for me. The ocean is so magnificent, peaceful, and awesome. The rest of the world disappears for me when I’m on a wave.” – Paul Walker

“One of the greatest things about the sport of surfing is that you need only three things: your body, a surfboard, and a wave.” – Naima Green

“Surfing is the most blissful experience you can have on this planet, a taste of heaven.” – John McCarthy

“Surfing, alone among sports, generates laughter at its very suggestion, and this is because it turns not a skill into an art, but an inexplicable and useless urge into a vital way of life.” – Matt Warshaw

“What I love the most about surfing is that it’s my first love. It’s the first thing I can remember being consumed by.” – Stephanie Gilmore

“It’s not tragic to die doing something you love.” – Mark Foo

“Courage doesn’t mean you don’t get afraid. Courage means you don’t let fear stop you.” – Bethany Hamilton

“It’s all about where your mind’s at” – Kelly Slater

“Surfing expresses …. a pure yearning for visceral, physical contact with the natural world.” Matt Warshaw

“If you are doing what you love then you’re doing what is right.? Desire and passion resonate with your body, mind and soul.? When you’re passionate you don’t question, judge, criticize, second-guess, or doubt.? It’s that passion that will fuel the fire to overcome challenges.” – Layne Beachley

“Surfing is very much like making love. It always feels good, no matter how many times you’ve done it.” – Paul Strauch

“Surfing is for life.” – Bruce Jenkins

“For those searching for something more than just the norm. We lay it all down, including what others call sanity, for just a few moments on waves larger than life. We do this because we know there is still something greater than all of us. Something that inspires us spiritually. We start going downhill, when we stop taking risks.” – Laird Hamilton

“Surfing teaches patience.? On land, surfers cannot will a swell to appear.? They have to wait for nature to make the call.? So surfers wait.? They keep their eyes on the horizon and they wait.” – Shaun Tomson


It’s a way of life Charleston.? One that we embrace with the rising and setting of the sun.

Feeling the rush, becoming one with nature and losing yourself in another place is why so many look to the waves to find that inner peace


New Netflix feature ‘Naked’ to be filmed in Charleston, SC

Media Release: Marlon Wayans Gets ‘Naked’ at Netflix

New Romantic Comedy That Co-Stars Regina Hall Begins Production in October

Beverly Hills, CA – Netflix announced today it has greenlit the film Naked, starring Marlon Wayans (White Chicks, Scary Movie) and Regina Hall (Think Like A Man, About Last Night). Based on the Swedish film, Naken, the romantic comedy reunites Wayans with director Michael Tiddes (A Haunted House, Fifty Shades of Black) and is written by Cory Koller, Marlon Wayans and Rick Alvarez. Naked will premiere globally on Netflix in 2017.

“The response I’ve gotten from fans worldwide to my films on Netflix has been overwhelming, and I’m thrilled to be working with them on an original film. Also, I’m excited to be working with Regina again,” said Marlon Wayans.

Wayans stars as Rob Anderson, a charming man-child, who wakes up on his wedding day, naked in an elevator, reliving the hour before the ceremony over and over again. Marlon Wayans, Rick Alvarez (White Chicks, Marlon), Todd Garner (The True Memoirs of an International Assassin) and Ryan Lewis (Chosen) serve as producers. Sean Robins, Michael Flynn and Paul Hanson serve as executive producers.

The film is slated to go into production in Charleston, South Carolina in October.


About Netflix

Netflix is the world’s leading Internet television network with over 83 million members in over 190 countries enjoying more than 125 million hours of TV shows and movies per day, including original series, documentaries and feature films. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on nearly any Internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.


Charleston, SC vs. New York, NY – Are We Really That Different?

By Mark A. Leon

I spent most of my youth and young adult life just outside of New York City or “The City” as we knew it.? I worked there and gathered a number of memorable stories over the years.? Now I call Charleston home for a good part of the last eight years.? To most, the differences between Charleston and New York are very simple.? New York bore itself into an industrial haven of opportunity, prosperity, diversity and financial strength.? From intellectuals to capitalists, NY has defined itself in fashion, finance, architecture, arts and small business opportunity.? It is the land of opportunity with the Statue of Liberty as the cornerstone of entrance.

Charleston took a different path.? Its foundations were laid on the principles of farming, historic preservation, hospitality and small intimate community with generations of wealthy land owners donning the streets and buildings of this quiet city of cobblestone roads and church steeples.

Times are now changing.? New York continues to reinvent itself in a slow mature sustainable manner.? Charleston, on the other hand, is converting to what some are calling the East Coast Silicon Valley, homes and hotels are the forefront of development, the culinary arts have taken on a life of their own and growth has hit record numbers.

Two weeks ago, Bill Murray was a guest bartender in Brooklyn, NY.? For those that remember, Bill Murray made his start on the humble streets of New York along with Belushi, Curtain, Aykroyd, Murphy, Sandler and more.? After each live performance the cast would go to a small club in the West Village.? The club is still there with Christmas lights around the entrance situated on an unassuming street block.? That club still stands as well as the reminder that New York and Charleston both stand for acceptance and love, but show it in different ways.

Now that these two cities are moving in different directions, are they all that different?? Let’s take a look

  • Hospitality – Charleston is known for friendliness and hospitality.? Saying hello to strangers and neighbors is a way of life.? Servers not only take your order, but converse and get to know you.? It is a happy and humble culture.? In New York, pedestrians are glued to their headsets, eye contact is few and far between, cashiers rush you through the line and horns honk like a symphony.? Maybe we have to look deeper to understand.? I was in a small stationary store purchasing postcards.? When I walked to the counter, the shop owner stopped what he was doing and took my money.? He was quiet, but polite and very courteous.? He didn’t smile or try to get to know me, but he showed all the respect I needed with excellent customer service.? Sometimes a perception and a reality are very different.
  • Deep Roots of Acceptance – The country and world stood proud as Charleston retaliated from the devastating events at Mother Emmanuel with a show of solidarity and non-violent measures.? Even today, in the wake of Charlotte, NC, comparisons are being made to Charleston’s peaceful approach.? As I walked through the campus of NYU and sat on the grass in Washington Square Park, I was surrounded by diversity and individualism.? NY1Homeless playing chess with students, acrobatics and yoga, musicians playing Jazz, diverse couples laying on the grass and an overall feeling of unification.? New York is a melting pot and one that has found a place of balance and unity. ?Later that afternoon, I stumbled on a pick-up basketball game.? As the players cursed over fouls, businessmen looked on and enjoyed the free entertainment.? No matter what the score was at the end, all the players exchanged hugs and handshakes.
  • Festivals – Charleston is a festival haven.? We thrive, unite and rejoice in our festivals.? New York does as well.? The difference is that New York is so expansive, it is difficult to find them as easily as our small community.? The 92nd Street Festival extends 16 blocks on Lexington Avenue on the Upper East Side, while at the same time the famed San Gennaro Italian Festival is filled with song, dance and food on Mulberry Street in Little Italy over four miles away.? Though the set up and themes may differ, the common front of community and celebration remains.
  • Natural esthetics – We are not here to compare acres or quality of natural land between Charleston and New York.? The land allocation will not allow for apples to apples comparison.? New York and Charleston both embrace the need to recharge and public parks both are a vital part of the make-up of each region.? Whether it is Marion Square or Central Park, the need to grass and flowers in the center of concrete jungles is critical to life balance.
  • Bridges – We are both proud to say we have some of the most iconic bridges in the United States.? Between the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge and George Washington, these two port cities have something very special to be proud of.
  • Staying Connected – Offering WIFI in the public spaces is one area that Charleston has taken the lead.? Offering free WIFI in the county parks is an innovative way to get the community to be outdoors and give back.? New York offers patches of free WIFI including Washington Square Park, but they are not quite there for the entire parks system.
  • Embracing History – Both New York and Charleston offer rich experiences including carriage rides and historic tours.? This country would not exist today if not for the brave settlers that took a tremendous risk for an unknown.? Through their courage, we have established a foundation of freedom.? Both the North and South along the Eastern seaboard played and continue to play a critical role in maintaining these freedoms and remembering how we got here.
  • Food – This debate can go on for hours and hours.? Who has more Michelin restaurants, who has more quality chefs, how has more eclectic food offerings? Who offers the most unique dining experience?? There is no reason to dive into this black hole, because there is no winner.? We retract.? The true winners are the guests who have embraced both cities for its culinary achievements.
  • Mass Transit – The edge must go to our friends in the North.? New York, though there is no time of day where there isn’t traffic, has created an above and below ground mass transit system that others around the world have emulated.? We can get there Charleston and we need to.
  • Affordability of Entrance – We are fortunate in Charleston to have no tolls.? Very fortunate.? Whether you travel between New Jersey and New York, Staten Island and New York, Long Island to New York through the Midtown tunnel, you will be paying between $8.00 – $16.00 to enter and in some cases leave Manhattan.? It is costly and we should be thankful we are not at that point.
  • Theater – Charleston has created a proud family of live performance art from Threshold to Charleston Stage, Footlight to Woolfe Street.? I have witnessed some of the most amazing theater I have ever seen.? The quality of acting in this area is overwhelming.? That message needs to get out more.? Patrons and community members need to know the quality of the arts here in Charleston.? The redesign of the Gaillard is a strong stepping stone in the right direction.? New York is Broadway and Broadway is world class live performance art.? We have potential to achieve.
  • Family – Believe it or not, I think this may be one of the strongest connections these two areas have.? New York and Charleston embrace family.? We have beautiful suburban communities in Mount Pleasant, West Ashley, Summerville, James Island, Daniel Island and John’s Island.? New York has Long Island and Staten Island.? Charleston peninsula is growing into a metro haven with a focus on safety.? Whether parents and children play in the park or run on the concrete streets, family is still a foundation of values and comfort.? This is one thing we should both be very proud of.
  • Beaches – Sullivan’s Island, Isle of Palms, Folly Beach – Our three coastal salvations.? Long Island Sound and Rockaway Beach.? Are ours easier to get to? Yes (though some may argue Folly Road and IOP Connector can be nightmares).? Do we offer more beachfront?? Yes.? Still, beaches are a big part of the culture of both.? Plus, New Yorkers can go to the Jersey shore and gamble in Atlantic City.
  • Day Trips – In this case, Charleston is a victim of land distribution.? We have opportunities to go to Beaufort, Santee, Columbia, Savannah and Myrtle Beach, but the proximity of available day trips is limited in comparison to New York.? The tight land formations of the New England and Mid-Atlantic states allow for daytrips to Boston, Providence, Mystic, CT, Hamptons, Jersey Shore, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Kilington, VT and so much more.

There are fourteen comparisons between New York and Charleston; two cities built around different cultures and early country development moral and political values.? Today, those separation points are a little more blurred and it turns out we have more in common than we thought.


SpiritLine Cruises, Gray Line of Charleston Announce Key Improvements to Accommodate Charleston’s Growing Tourism Market

Media Release:? SpiritLine Cruises, Gray Line of Charleston Announce Key Improvements?to Accommodate Charleston’s Growing Tourism Market

CHARLESTON, S.C. – To best meet the needs of Charleston’s growth as a popular tourism and special event destination, SpiritLine Cruises has upgraded several aspects of its business, including adding new tour buses, upgrading audio/visual equipment on the tour boats and bringing on board a new executive chef committed to giving guests a complete fine dining experience.

Both the Spirit of Carolina and the Spirit of the Lowcountry tour boats have been outfitted with new state-of-the-art audio/visual systems. The upgraded systems have improved amplifiers and speakers for better sound quality ideal for everything from sharing information with passengers to providing musical entertainment during a dinner cruise. Audio mixers will better mix the sounds of live bands on the performance deck and lower deck. This speaker system includes multiple levels and zones for crystal clear sound coverage across all decks.

SpiritLine also added to Spirit of the Lowcountry two Planar Media Players that provide high-resolution content to two new Samsung 50-inch TV sets plus two 2 smaller TV sets with tilt mounts. These displays will allow for an interactive visitor experience and virtual narration by Fort Sumter Tours trained tour guides. The Spirit of Carolina also has two, 70-inch Sharp TV sets visible from the inside decks.

Guests joining SpiritLine for a dinner cruise, wedding reception or business function will have the chance to sample cuisine from new Executive Chef Shawn Eustace. A Charleston native, Eustace began cooking at an early age, eventually attending Trident Technical College to study culinary arts and working his way up through local taverns, management and ultimately to fine dining.

“I believe in staying true to your roots, while applying different approaches from different styles, and that is what I want to continue,” Eustace said. “Incorporating every aspect of gained knowledge while keeping true to my base and home-style cooking is what makes my job enjoyable.”

The company’s last major change this year is the addition of three buses to its Gray Line of Charleston fleet. The Diamond Coach offers comfortable seating, cup holders, TV screens, plenty of windows for easy visibility and many more features to give customers a smooth ride as they go sightseeing around Charleston.

“Charleston continues to receive accolades and recognition as a world-class destination for individual tourists as well as weddings, special events and corporate conferences and retreats,” said Ian Harris, director of sales and marketing. “We are continually making improvements, upgrading equipment and bringing on the best staff members to help us fulfill our mission of giving each of our guests a first-class experience.”

About SpiritLine Cruises
In 1961 the Campsen family of Charleston founded Fort Sumter Tours to provide daily excursions to the Fort Sumter National Monument. Today, Fort Sumter Tours and partner SpiritLine Cruises provide daily access to this living monument, along with other memorable experiences for residents and guests of Charleston. SpiritLine continues to expand its fleet and offering of daily harbor tours, evening dinner cruises and private charters. For more information, visit spiritlinecruises.com.

Dear Chelsea (Solidarity for New York) – Original Poem

Fear is honored by the serpent slithering in a path of mischief
A playful devil coloring the world with darkness
As thick as the blackness in his eyes he leaves a path of pain
Shrapnel pierces the skin of the innocence
Streaks of blood fill the streets

Once again the September sky is filled with tears

Dear Chelsea we stand with you
United in a front of brotherhood

The serpent hides disguised as homeless; without shelter, without direction, without remorse
In the shadow of millions of shattered dreams, he waits to strike again

Dear Chelsea
The white light of freedom has blinded the black empty fear
A flower has risen from the ground, nurtured and launched to the heavens like a phoenix
With the strength inspired by our forefathers that built the Pyramids we united hand in hand

Overcome by love, the wall of fear is destroyed
In bright red, artists spell the words on buildings, “Fear is dead, Love is Strong”
This street art represents a weapon more powerful than guns and knives

Dear Chelsea
You too will walk; you too will run

Run for the sun, in celebration and hope on a path of rainbow colors laid out by generations of resilience
Hand in hand, we are one

Dear Chelsea, with love always