Saturday, April 13, 2013

Invading Downtown Charleston

Charleston's City Market

one of the oldest in the country, is significant enough to be part of a permanent exhibit entitled “Life in Coastal South Carolina c. 1840” at the American History Museum of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC.

The City Market is a fabulous place. Nancy, Ken, Wayne and I went there today to browse and possibly buy some of the wares.

Three hoodlums roaming the walkways looking for trouble... er... I mean bargains.

History Has It...

that in 1788, a man named Charles Pinckney gave the land where the Market stands to the City of Charleston. Mr. Pinckney included a stipulation with the land gift that required a public market be built and that it remain a public market into perpetuity.

Wayne and Ken had to be pulled away from the candy counter in the Market.
The buildings from Market Hall to the waterfront were built between 1804 and the 1830's.  In the early days, the market housed vendors of meat, vegetables and fish. The spaces rented for $1 to $2 -- the more expensive being spaces that had a marble slab for fish or meat.

The "Charleston Eagles"

In the earliest days of Charleston's Market, butchers threw scraps of meat into the streets. After a time, so many buzzards frequented the area, they were given the nickname "Charleston Eagles".

And so, we finished our tour of the Market with only one purchase: Ken bought a Charleston T-Shirt. Nancy and I intended to buy (1) dry flower art, (2) a battery operated acupuncture apparatus, (3) magnet bracelet, (4) cotton tablecloth, and (5) a piece of silver jewelry. We never did. We are stingy.

The Confederate Museum

At one end of Charleston Market, this beautiful old building stands behind the ornate wrought-iron stair rail. It is a Confederate Museum. It houses memorabilia of the Civil War and is owned and operated by the United Daughters of the Confederacy.  Because our time was so limited, we didn't go in but it's one more thing we'll see when we return to Charleston... and we will return.

If only I'd had a hoop skirt...

At the base of the steps to the Confederate Museum (and many other places in the Market) women sat quietly weaving baskets.  More about that in the next post.

Roaming The City Streets

Unable to find any real trouble to get four old people into, we stopped in at a downtown Five and Dime just to roam the store, laugh at the goods and take pictures.  Of course, we bought nothing, but played with all the toys.

Nancy and Ken standing in the doorway to the "Five and Dime"
This is more our price range.

Shoot 'em up, Space Cadet.

And Then To Lunch

We ate at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.  The bench where Ken and Nancy are seated bears a plaque that states, "I'm Forrest, Forrest Gump.  People call me Forrest Gump".  It's a statement by Forrest Gump 1994 -- says so right there on the plaque.

Ken and Wayne had shrimp poboys, Nancy ordered a salad of some kind and I had a very good bowl of She Crab Bisque.  We ate light because we're saving room for "you know what"...

And then there was a candy store -- with ice cream!   The four of us, especially as a group, cannot pass ice cream.  This little corner store had some kind of wonderful concoction... I think it was actually Italian Ice. Whatever it was, it could only be described as delicious

Look at the expression on Ken's face in this picture. 

Two happy kids in a candy store.

It would have been a wise move for us to take a long walk after eating lunch and ice cream.  But no, we drove the car the 4-6 blocks down to the waterway, where we parked the car and stepped across the street to take a few pictures of ourselves with nice houses in the background.

Ken and Nancy standing in front of their summer home.

Wayne and me in front of the same summer home.
Notice my carriage is approaching. 

Nap time was drawing near so we retreated to the campground.  But late in the afternoon we left again to play putt-putt. I think it's politically correct these days to call this game "Miniature Golf" but to me it's still putt-putt.  Once again, Nancy won with the low score.  Wayne's game improved since our outing in Fort Myers -- he came in second.  Ken had a bad night and I, of course, had the highest score.  At least I'm a good sport about my poor play.  Next time, I'll beat their brains out though!

There's just one more day with Nancy and Ken. Tomorrow we're going to see a real working Charleston plantation!


  1. We didn't get to spend much time in South Carolina and I've always wanted to. Now seeing this post makes me want to visit even more. It's amazing how much fun four "more mature" folks can have.

  2. As always, it looks like you are having a grand time. Hope the plantation is Boone; it was one of our SC highlights. Don't know where you are heading next, but Willow Tree RV Resort near Myrtle Beach is in our top five places to stay.