The 12 Days of Christmas – Charleston Style

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By Minta Pavliscsak

On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:
A Seagull Perched in a Palm Tree

On the second day of Christmas:
my true love sent to me:
Two Parking Tickets and a Seagull Perched in a Palm Tree

On the third day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:
Three Bloody Marys
Two Parking Tickets
and a Seagull Perched in a Palm Tree

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:
Four Window Boxes
Three Bloody Marys
Two Parking Tickets
and a Seagull Perched in a Palm Tree

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On the fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:
Five Horse Drawn Carriages
Four Window Boxes
Three Bloody Marys
Two Parking Tickets
and a Seagull Perched in a Palm Tree

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:
Six Pounds of Oysters
Five Horse Drawn Carriages
Four Window Boxes
Three Bloody Marys
Two Parking Tickets
and a Seagull Perched in a Palm Tree

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:
Seven Dolphins Swimming
Six Pounds of Oysters
Five Horse Drawn Carriages
Four Window Boxes
Three Bloody Marys
Two Parking Tickets
and a Seagull Perched in a Palm Tree

sweetgrass basket 3

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:
Eight Sweetgrass Baskets
Seven Dolphins Swimming
Six Pounds of Oysters
Five Horse Drawn Carriages
Four Window Boxes
Three Bloody Marys
Two Parking Tickets
and a Seagull Perched in a Palm Tree

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:
Nine Ladies Shopping
Eight Sweetgrass Baskets
Seven Dolphins Swimming
Six Pounds of Oysters
Five Horse Drawn Carriages
Four Window Boxes
Three Bloody Marys
Two Parking Tickets
and a Seagull Perched in a Palm Tree

surfboards 2

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:
Ten Guys on Surfboards
Nine Ladies Shopping
Eight Sweetgrass Baskets
Seven Dolphins Swimming
Six Pounds of Oysters
Five Horse Drawn Carriages
Four Window Boxes
Three Bloody Marys
Two Parking Tickets
and a Seagull Perched in a Palm Tree

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me:
Eleven Sailboats Sailing
Ten Guys on Surfboards
Nine Ladies Shopping
Eight Sweetgrass Baskets
Seven Dolphins Swimming
Six Pounds of Oysters
Five Horse Drawn Carriages
Four Window Boxes
Three Bloody Marys
Two Parking Tickets
and a Seagull Perched in a Palm Tree

palmetto rose 1

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:
Twelve Palmetto Roses
Eleven Sailboats Sailing
Ten Guys on Surfboards
Nine Ladies Shopping
Eight Sweetgrass Baskets
Seven Dolphins Swimming
Six Pounds of Oysters
Five Horse Drawn Carriages
Four Window Boxes
Three Bloody Marys
Two Parking Tickets
and a Seagull Perched in a Palm Tree

Why is Life Good in Charleston, South Carolina

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By Mark A. Leon

Life is good in the little Southern town of Charleston, SC.? The sun is shining, the beach is filled with warm water and sand in late September, the sunrises and sunsets are as picturesque as a classic painting, the restaurants are filled with culinary magicians looking to fill your tummies with foodie delight, boating is a lifestyle, the College of Charleston, Charleston Southern and The Citadel remind us of the promise of tomorrow, MUSC and Roper watch our health closely, beer and bikini’s fill our background, the craft beer scene is exploding, yoga stretches our limits and things are just a little bit slower and we like it.

Life is good in Charleston

Here are a few more reasons why….

  • Festival season never ends. Locally, we segment by season our festivals – Summer – Outdoor Festival Season; Autumn – Fund Raising Festival Season, Winter/Spring – Food Festival Season.? Put that all together and you have a year of festivities.? All year round, you can count on a great festival to bring the community together.
  • Beach life – What more can we say. Sullivan’s Island, Edisto Beach, Folly Beach, Isle of Palms and all within 5 to 45 minutes away and if you really want to get away, head to Pawley’s Island, Garden City, Hunting Island State Park or Myrtle Beach.? The Carolina Coastline is always waiting for you.? What is even better, if it is not a county or state park, the beach access is free.

GALLERY:? Life at the Charleston Area Beaches

  • Dining – That speaks for itself. The James Beard Recipients, fine dining, casual dining, inventive culinary artists and food trucks are just the tip of the iceberg.? Here in Charleston, we over over 110+ brunch options.? That alone speaks volumes.

Charleston Brunch Guide

  • College Life – You want a city, not only brimming with shopping, dining, outdoor activities and tours, but a thriving college life, welcome to Charleston. Within the city proper, The Citadel and the College of Charleston will give you your fill of academic culture.? Students aside, the athletic and cultural offerings to the public are thriving.
  • History – First shots of the Civil War right here in Charleston. George Washington stayed in Charleston.? Pirates were hung from our trees.? Ghosts roam the Old City Jail and residential homes.? We can’t say enough about our history and thus we celebrate it with the Mace Brown Natural History Museum, Karpeles Manuscript Museum, Fort Sumter, Fort Moultrie, Historic Carriage Rides, Historic Walking Tours, Ghost Tours, Boat Tours and more.
  • South Carolina Aquarium – If you love sea and ocean life, but aren’t ready to get on a boat, the South Carolina Aquarium is a structurally beautiful, educational and fun way to spend the day on land and still feel the power and beauty of the ocean. Plus, it is located right on the harbor and offers majestic views.
  • Daytrips – What if I want to get away, but don’t want to spend the whole day in the car. We have a few options:? Augusta National – Augusta, GA; Beaufort, SC; Savannah, GA; Jekyll Island, GA; Myrtle Beach/Pawley’s Island, SC; Riverbanks Zoo, Columbia, SC; Charlotte, NC; Asheville, NC; Appalachian Mountains.? I think we made a great point.

Check out 7 Great Charleston Area Escapes – Daytrips

  • Shopping – Louis Vuitton, West Elm, William Sonoma, Forever 21, Alex and Ani, Godiva, M. Dumas & Sons, Beckett Boutique, Le Creuset Boutique, MOSA Boutique, House of Sage, Forever 21, The Charleston City Market, Antique shops (High and Low End) and so much more.

We can certainly go on with Art Galleries, Coffee Houses, Biking, Churches of the Holy City, Dog Parks, Playgrounds, A Cat Café, Comedy, Theater and Film Festivals, but we hope this sheds a little light on why life is truly good in Charleston.

Smile, You Are on Instagram: Great Charleston Instagram Accounts to Follow

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Are you taken away every day by the incredible beauty and artistic canvas of Charleston, South Carolina.? From the sunsets to the architectural decor, this is a city with a foundation that would make any artist blush.? Some amazing photographers and observers have been helping to document this for all the world to see.

We would like to invite you to follow some of the finest Charleston based Instagram accounts and become part of Charleston.? Come with me as we Feel Charleston together.

You may already follow some of these visual historians.? If not, show you love and support and add them to your daily slideshow.

Explore Charleston – explorecharleston

Charleston Lowcountry – charleston_lowcountry

Charleston Daily – charleston_daily

Around Charleston – AroundCharleston

Charleston Baker Gal – charlestonbakergal

Historic Charleston Foundation – historiccharlestonfoundation

Official Account Charleston SC – charlestonsc

Charleston Pictures – charlestonpictures

Mark Swick – mnswick

Daily Charleston – dailycharleston

Charleston Magazine – charlestonmag

Charleston SC Tour – charlestonsctour

College of Charleston – collegeofcharleston

Sailing Charleston – sailingcharleston1

Ellis Creek Photograpy – Ellis_Creek_Photography

Walt Baker Photography – WaltBakerPhotography

Margaret J – mfoard01

Em Thompson Photography – emthomp_photography

Justin Falk – justinfalkphotography

Taylor Franta Photography – TaylorFrantaPhoto

Wendy Mogul Photography – wendymogulphotography

Nicholas Skylar – nicholas_skylar

Kevin Holliday Photo – KevinHollidayPhoto

Billy Ellison – billy_ellison

Featured Photos from @ellis_creek_photography (Edisto Island) and @g_heaton (Pineapple Fountain Sunrise)

Desirable Places in Charleston, SC to Escape Life

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By Minta Pavliscsak

Ever have one of “those” days? Sure you have; we all have. The type of day where you just want to be alone and escape life for a bit. Between work, school, family, friends, and the constant connection with technology, places where you can just be alone are difficult to come by.

However, as long as you do not check in on Facebook or Yelp when you get there, you can seclude yourself and escape life if you wish to do so. Turn off your phone, bring a book, magazine, your puppy, a notebook, or simply your own thoughts, take a few deep breaths and enjoy your solitude.

Here are a few of the best hidden places in Charleston to escape life, if only for a few minutes.

Folly Beach: You have a few options here. The best places to go to be alone with your thoughts are as far east as you can go on the island, and as far west as you can go. On the east end you will enjoy a scenic view of Morris Island Lighthouse. The far west end is a bit further of a walk, but totally worth it. The walk there is part of the destination itself.

Charleston Waterfront Park swings at night: There’s not a sound much more soothing than the sound of water, and when accompanied by the feeling of gently swinging back and forth under the moonlight, worries seem to melt away. Bring a comfy sweatshirt, even in summertime as it tends to get a little chilly.

Melton Peter Demetre Park (formally Sunrise Park): If you want a unique view of Charleston and the surrounding areas, here is your spot. Nestled deep within James Island, this is the perfect place to start your day or spend the afternoon in peacefulness.? In the distance you can view the Cooper River Bridge or the church steeples of the peninsula.

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Allan Park

Fishing and Crabbing Dock at James Island County Park: Even if there is someone fishing, they usually just nod to say hi and focus on catching a big one. The dock is large enough for you to have your own spot to yourself. Bring your fishing pole, crab net, or just sit and enjoy the view.

Allan Park: Located just off of Ashley Avenue near Hampton Park, Allan Park is a splendid half acre of tranquility. There is a large fountain in the center and plenty of grass for picnics. There are also benches around the fountain if a blanket is not your thing.

Caw Caw Interpretive Center: Located about sixteen miles from downtown Charleston, Caw Caw Interpretive Center has remained virtually untouched over the years. Once several rice plantations, it is now home to a multitude of wildlife which you can enjoy along over six miles of trails winding throughout swamplands, cypress trees and boardwalks.

Magnolia Cemetery: Not many people think “relaxing” when it comes to cemeteries, but trust us on this one. Magnolia Cemetery is located on the banks of the Cooper River and in our opinion has to be one of the most beautiful places one could spend their resting days. Taking a stroll through this 92 acre stretch of land can give a whole new meaning to “escaping life”.

MUSC Urban Farm:? Right in the heart of the medical district off of Bee Street between Ashley and Courtenay is a safe haven.? In the heart of this square escape is an educational community garden where you will find everything from lemons, to rosemary to sunflowers with free gardening and nature lessons weekly.? Just outside the garden are open grassy areas and benches to relax, have a meal or just daydream.? Also, enclosed in this area are stretching equipment to keep your body physically fit.? This is a true mental and physical realm of health and solitude in the heart of the Charleston peninsula.

 

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Magnolia Cemetery

We know there are more, but we do not want to give away all of the secrets! If you have a favorite spot that you like to go to escape life and would like to share, please comment below.

What Not to Do In Charleston

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By Minta Pavliscsak

It seems everywhere you look these days there are blogs popping up about what to do in Charleston. Having information about what to do and where to go is great, but sometimes it is good to know what not to do. Fear not! We have you covered. So enjoy your time in Charleston, but please keep in mind the following things not to do in Charleston, South Carolina:

– Do not stop in the middle of the road to take pictures of the big, beautiful houses. Again, that goes for cars and pedestrians, although we see it happen mostly with cars. Simply pull over and park, get out and walk around. You will get much better photographs and see so much more!

– Do not block the sidewalks. We all have places to go and people to see. While this is the south and time does seem to run a little slower here, we are still in a rush to get to where we need to be. Please be considerate of those behind you when walking down the sidewalk and make sure they have plenty of room to get around you.

– Do not let the door slam on the person walking in behind you. We are taught at a very early age to “hold the door” for others, especially southern gentlemen. When you don’t, it is nothing personal, but we take it as such. And it’s simply rude.

– Do not stop in the middle of the intersection. This goes for cars and pedestrians. The light stays green for only so long, and trust me it’s not very long. If you are unsure of where you are going, just get out of the way and then figure it out.

– Do not eat at Hymans. With so many other amazing options, try not to fall prey to the hype. But you definitely don’t have to take our word for it.

– Do not walk in the bike lane when walking across the Ravenel Bridge. The bikers will warn you that they are coming up behind you, but they will also come pretty dern close to running you over if you are in their lane.

– Do not pay for a taxi when getting around downtown. You have a couple of free options. The city has the DASH, a free downtown shuttle that has different routes that will get you all over the peninsula. There is also Scoop Charleston, a free electric taxi service that will get you anywhere you want to go in downtown Charleston.? The Rickshaw is just a fine Southern tradition and cozy way to get around town.

– Do not get to the bar late if you do not want to pay a cover charge. Going out at night? Try upper King Street or hit up the Market and East Bay area. However, be warned that there will be lines and cover charges.

– Do not bring alcohol on the beach. Folly Beach was the last beach in the area that allowed drinking on the beach. They banned alcohol on their beach in 2012 following a last straw Fourth of July incident. Some say just be smart about it; we say why risk it?

– Do not forget that everyone has their bad days. Sure, Charleston has been named one of the friendliest cities but whether you are a local or a tourist, things like what are listed above can -and will- bug anyone from time to time. Just be patient, smile, and remember the golden rule for in the end we all want our Charleston experience to be a great one.

Getting to Know Philadelphia Alley

 

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By Minta Pavliscsak

If there is one thing Charleston, South Carolina will never be lacking, it is charm. In historic downtown Charleston, every street, store front, restaurant, park, and even alleyway has a way to make you point and say “awe”. Then, as if an automatic response, your camera is out taking pictures before you even realize it.

Follow us as we take a stroll down Philadelphia Alley and see alleyways as only Charleston knows how to do them.

 

 

This charming alley can be found between Queen Street and Cumberland Street. Often overlooked, Philadelphia Alley is one of the many hidden treasures Charleston offers. Dating back to 1776, Cow’s Alley as it was originally called, was access to rental homes behind Francis Kinloch’s house. He renamed it Kinloch’s Court after he widened it.

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This alley has seen two fires in its lifetime, including the infamous fire of 1796, and another in 1810. Holding true to its name, The City of Brotherly Love stood by Charleston’s side by donating?financially to aid in rebuilding this area in 1811.

 

What a more proper thank you than to forever give this beautiful strip of canopy covered, cobblestone refuge from the heat during the summer months, and the best place to listen to the bells of St. Phillips Church the honor of the name Philadelphia Alley.

 

Many locals refer to this passageway as Dueler’s Alley. Back when gentleman settled their disputes with pistols twenty-one paces away, this alley was the perfect setting in Charleston to do so. One of the most famous stories is of one man’s love and what he did to prove said love. Dr. Joseph Brown Ladd, known as the whistling doctor would eventually meet his demise as a result of a duel with Ralph Isaacs in 1786.

 

Many local ghost tour companies will tell the tale of the Whistling Doctor, and some Charlestonians have even said to have heard faint whistling while walking down the alley alone. Today you will find a tranquil, picturesque setting where each person you meet will pass you by with a friendly smile and nod. So as Robert Frost first suggest, take the road less traveled and be sure to explore Charleston’s only Philadelphia Alley.

 

 

 

 

 

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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The Kindness of a Stranger – A Charleston Starfish Story

By, Minta Pavliscsak

The day started out as any other day; the sun had just peaked over the horizon and my tummy was starting to rumble. I was carelessly bobbing along with the current in search for some breakfast reaching out to cling onto any rock I may float by that happened to have a clam or mollusk attached to it. I wasn’t having much luck today though.

Then I spied a delicious looking cluster of oysters just off to my right and I tried with all my might to maneuver myself towards it. Alas, the gravity of the incoming tide was too strong for me and it pushed me right past. I wasn’t worried, not yet anyway. This happens often enough, but the ocean is vast and there are plenty of opportunities for a tiny starfish like me to find breakfast. Only today, today was different. Today I just kept floating.

Soon I found myself crawling along the bottom of the ocean with the top of the water descending closer and closer to me. I lost control of my movements as the waves took over my direction. It wasn’t long before I was on the beach under a large wooden pillar structure.

As I crawled on the wet sand, I could hear the sound of dogs barking and feel the footsteps of many people passing by. I tried calling out to them for help, but given that our mouths are underneath us, starfish can’t project very well.?Keeping as calm as I could, I began to work my way back towards where I thought I would find the comfort of the ocean. After some time, this seemed to be in vain. I began to wonder if I would ever get back home. Had I known last night’s meal was my last, I would have made it a much nicer one. I would have called my parents and told them I loved them. Do my friends know how much they mean to me? Was I nice enough to strangers I had met along my path? As these thoughts passed through my head and I thought surely this was the end for me, I was scooped up by a warm, gentle hand.

I had no clue what to expect next. I was frozen in fear as I was carried around and put on display for another human being. Suddenly, I was joined by another, smaller starfish. Not knowing what else to do, I began trying to crawl away. Of all things, the human started to laugh! This had to be a good sign, so I moved all my legs with all my might. I heard even more laughing as I could see that my new friend and I were being carried towards the ocean. The next thing I knew, my friend and I were flying through the air, twirling around and around, and splash! We landed gratefully in the ocean. We exchanged Twitter handles and promised to stay in contact through Facebook, then said our goodbyes. As I swam home, completely forgetting about breakfast, I called my parents as updated my status to “thankful”. I will never forget about that kind human on the beach. Sometimes it takes almost losing it all to realize just how much you really do have.

“Collected Stories” at Midtown Theatre, a Must See For All

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By Minta Pavliscsak.

Midtown Productions, owner and operator of Midtown Theatre located at 2816 Azalea Drive, North Charleston has started 2016 off strong with a captivating show that will make you laugh, reminisce, and ultimately contemplate those all too important “life decisions” you made back in your college years.

“Collected Stories”, produced by Sheri Grace Wenger is winding down it’s production at Midtown Theatre.?Written by Donald Margulies, “Collected Stories” first premiered at South Coast Repertory in California on April, 1996 and had a two month run on Broadway in 2010. It follows the dynamic relationship between a celebrated writer and her graduate student protégé over the course of six years in the 1990’s.

Angst, intimidation, pride, doubt and an insatiable need to be accepted are only a few of the emotions that leap off the stage from the only two stars sharing in the spotlight. The performance takes place in the Greenwich Village apartment of Ruth Steiner, a straightforward professor and mentor, played by two time winner of the Charleston’s “Best Actress” Samille Basler. Opposite her is exceedingly bubbly Lisa Morrison, played by Charleston newcomer Sarah Glendening. Seemingly incompatible at first, Ruth and Lisa develop a bond that far exceeds that of your typical professor/student rapport.

The pair develops an intimate mother daughter tie fueled by penetrating moments where life and school lessons are shared in a tapestry of complex exchanges. We watch them go from lightheartedly sharing afternoon tea to having a falling out over the thing that brought them together in the first place which establishes the main conflict of the play. The emotional separation begins to build momentum subtly around the same time that Lisa’s writing career flourishes.CS.Lisa@window1

The author scripts out a poignant moment in the play when Lisa gets her first review and she is overwhelmed with feelings of uncertainly and depression.? This mental tug of war between success and seeking refuge in a mentor is one so many in the academic circles must face.? Ruth, being true to her unapologetic ways, tells Lisa “There’s nothing worse than getting what you wanted.”

Set Designer Ryan Ahelert did an exceptional job with “Collected Stories”. We were easily transported back to the 1990’s in part to his careful attention to detail. We spend the entire play sharing in Ruth’s living room space. It’s comfortable here with her bookshelf filled with books of influence and interest, coat rack that has one too many coats hanging on it, and a messy desk piled up with folders and mail. Ruth and Lisa’s movements flowed seamlessly around the stage and nothing seemed to distract the audience from them.

Midtown Theatre is structured to offer an open cabaret style format.? Along with engaging theatrical performances, the theater offers wine, charcuterie and dessert plates. ?Midtown Productions has been happily calling this place home for just over a year now, and they are excited for what their future here holds.

There are only three more opportunities to catch Samille Basler and Sarah Glendening in their starring roles as Ruth Steiner and Lisa Morrison this Thursday, Friday and Saturday. You can purchase tickets here for the three remaining 8:00 shows. Make sure to keep Midtown Productions on your watch list. They have some great shows coming up for the rest of this season including an upcoming performance of “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” beginning February 11.

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Photos courtesy of Nancy Santos.

20 Ways to Start Out The New Year Right – Because it’s not too late!

  1. Send out Thank You cards.thank you pen
    We know you got at least one awesome Christmas present! Chances are you got more, maybe even more than you needed. Let your loved ones know just how much their hard thought, time and money is appreciated!
  2. Download a new album. –Or for us old school folks, buy a new CD.
    “Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” –Berthold Auerbach ?Crank it up, kick off that dust and live life!
  3. Start setting a little money aside each week for that dream vacation.
    Summertime sneaks up and you are left with a wanderlust accompanied by a low bank account. Avoid this disappointment in 2016 by anticipating your getaway.
  4. Get involved.
    With so many opportunities around Charleston to participate in a worthwhile cause, you have no reason not to get involved. It doesn’t have to be a long term commitment; it can be something as simple as hanging out with the animals at one of the local shelters. Need ideas on how to get involved? Check out our article Volunteer Opportunities in the Lowcountry – Get Involved.
  5. Drop the resolution!
    I’ve never really believed in New Year’s resolutions, for a few different reasons. #1) If you really want to make a change in your life, you should do so now, not wait for the beginning of a new year. #2) Chances are you’ll just end up disappointing yourself. Even if you start off with the best of intentions and things are going great, most of the New Year’s resolutions I hear about simply do not stick. By the end of February, if not earlier, they are forgotten about all together. #3) That’s a lot of stress to put yourself, and your loved ones, under. Usually these resolutions involve some massive change and you tend to think the change can come January 1st. Why do that to yourself? #4) They usually involve something completely unoriginal and something that really didn’t have a lot of thought put into it in the first place. You deserve better for yourself than that.
  6. Wash your car.
    Don’t neglect the thing you rely on most everyday. Add it into your organizational plans.
  7. Pick up a book.book
    Books help open our minds and allow us to escape to anywhere our imaginations can go. Make the time to unwind, relax your mind, and snuggle up with a good story.
  8. Decide to love yourself.
    This doesn’t mean simply saying you love yourself, but just like in your relationships with others, you have to show yourself that you do. This includes eating right, getting enough sleep at night, exercising regularly, taking time for yourself, saying “no” when you can’t do something for someone -and feeling okay about it- and any other special way you can prove to yourself that you matter.
  9. Change your air filter.
    Another friendly service reminder courtesy of Charleston Daily. You’ll thank us later!
  10. Meditate.
    There are so many benefits to meditation! It is a stress relief, it helps with focus, it helps to reduce anxiety, it boosts your creativity, and it can aid in relieving depression, but the list goes on! Just devoting ten minutes a day can make a significant difference in your life.
  11. Go watch a movie by yourself.
    It’s really not as bad as it sounds. Trust us on this one and give it a chance.
  12. Make a plan.
    This can include absolutely anything. You’ve just got to get the ball rolling. Totally different than a resolution!?Really put some though into it, set small goals and work on them at your own pace. You’ll have more success with the results sticking this way.?The best ideas start out with a good plan.20151207_171211-01
  13. Spend a sunset at the Battery.
    There are many beautiful spots to watch the sunset around Charleston. The Battery is one of our favorites. You can spend the afternoon enjoying White Point Garden, have a picnic, walk around, or relax on one of the benches, then take in a spectacular sunset before ending your day.
  14. Spend the night at a fancy hotel or bed and breakfast (preferably one with a big tub).
    Just have a change of scenery?for a moment. It can help give you new insights on what’s really going on in your life. Do it locally so you eliminate the stress of traveling. Our recommendation? The Battery Carriage House Inn?located in beautiful downtown Charleston.
  15. Donate to a local charity.
    Of course charities will always welcome a monetary donation. But you actually don’t have to have any money at all to donate to most charities. Clean out your closet, clean out your pantry, clean out your garage. You will find lots of things to donate to different organizations. You can also pick a charity, visit their website for their Wish List and grab something extra next time you are at the store.
  16. Take a sunrise walk on the beach.
    I realize this was included in our “List of things to do before the end of 2015”. Well, did you do it? There’s never a bad time to take a sunrise walk on the beach. -I might recommend waiting for a day when it’s not raining, but other than that you’re pretty golden!-
  17. Pay off your lowest credit card.
    When working on getting out of debt, experts recommend paying off the card that has the lowest balance first. Don’t neglect other cards you may have, but even if you can put an extra $10/month towards that one card, you will start seeing a difference a lot faster. –It also helps if you don’t add anything else to that card! –
  18. Wake up fresh.
    This idea comes with appreciation?from my best 5 year old friend. When asked what I was writing, and I explained it to him, he took it upon himself to contemplate the subject and this was his first idea. I like it, a lot actually. So get your behind in bed at a decent time, snuggle in for more than your usual few hours, and wake up fresh!
  19. Purchase that perfect outfit.
    Start this year off looking and feeling fabulous! –Hey, everything’s on sale right now anyway! –
  20. Have a dinner party.
    This is a great way to connect or re-connect with friends. Plus throwing a party is just fun anyway. Good food, drinks, music, your closest friends…sounds like a great night to me!

20 Ways to Start Out The New Year Off Right – Checklist