Leaving Home

“We gathered up our worldly goods, stole off in the dark, quickly as we could”

So I left Charleston. The world hasn’t collapsed. In fact, I think it’s gotten better. My wife accepted a job in Tennessee. We bought a house and moved here on the first of July. 6 weeks later and I’m feeling pretty solid about the move. My kid now has room to run around a yard and play. I’m not coming in late at night. I’m waking up early and making my kid breakfast every day. I putter around the house. I clean. I do yard work. I watch a sprinkler. And I’m calm. There’s no stress. Nothing to bother me. I get together with one of my best friends and his 3 boys and have play dates. I see my Inlaws (who live up the street) and have dinner with them. I sort of think that boring might just be good. I bought a lawn mower. I looked at bedroom sets. I watched the stars. I signed up for classes at the University of Tennessee. I’m happy. Thank you.

“And I apologize but I don’t know what I love more, you next to me there or the receding shore”

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He Likes the Warm Feeling but He’s Tired of all the Dehydration 

As part of the Lowcountry Local’s “Eat Local Challenge” I am drinking my way through Charleston’s local inebriating options.

 

So the day after the bridge run weekend I had the NCAA Championship game in which my favorite team the North Carolina Tar Heels were playing. UNC would end up losing one of the better Championship games I’ve seen on a last second shot. And being the second best team in the nation is quite an accomplishment. And as proud as I was of the team, sitting at the Upper Deck with a full keg of Holy City Pluff Mud Porter made the end result a little bit easier to swallow. A couple pints later and an Uber ride and I was tucked in bed to sleep off a solid couple days of drinking.  

My wife’s job makes her hours week to week change. So after that Monday she was working early in the morning every day. That, coupled with the long weekend of celebration, made me take some time off. But she was going to go out of town and leave me to my own devices that weekend. So Friday when she left town I was left to find activities on my own. However even by Friday staying in and watching Netflix seemed like a better idea than venturing out into the jungle that is the bar scene in Charleston on a Friday night. I instead made plans to meet with some friends Saturday afternoon at Holy City Brewing. My friend Brandon who I occasionally DJ with had grown up in New York and is a Syracuse fan. We put a bet of a couple beers on the game. My friend Amy and her children were also going to meet us out there.

Holy City is really great that there is stuff for parents to do (eat really nice food, drink even better beer, and watch sporting events on their TV’s) while also being kid friendly where a little bit older children can enjoy themselves (corn hole, live music, and basketball games). They have a wide variety of beer, some of which you can’t find in the store, along with selling some bottles of very limited edition run beers. I made my way up to the bar and ordered a “S’more of the World”. This was an American Imperial Double Stout finished with a fire kissed marshmallow. My friend Sarah who was working there looked at me and my friend Brandon and said “oh what a manly beer” and then got us our beer. And I’ll admit it, it looked really odd for two very large gentlemen (Brandon is about 6’3, I’m 6’6) drink small glasses of beer with a marshmallow in it. But do you know what, it was so delicious that we didn’t care. My friend Amy got a “Washout Wheat” for herself and got her kids a glass of the homemade pineapple soda. I then proceeded to talk a bunch of smack to Amy’s kids while playing them in corn hole and basketball. Just kidding, they were totally better than me at both events. Over the next three hours I also tried the “Holy City Pilsner” which was also great. There were plenty of other “big” beers that I wanted to try but I had driven. I envied the customers that were being driven around on brewery tours in party busses. Still, there is no greater Saturday afternoon this time of year than spending some time with friends, supporting a local business, and being outside in just perfect weather.  

  

Another nice surprise was that “The Cake Farmer” was at the brewery. Apparently she reads my blog. She makes a “Salty Pluff Mud Pie” with Holy City’s Pluff Mud Porter. She gave me a small pie to try out. And wow was it fantastic. My wife is a big baker and I knew that I had to save her some of it. She was also blown away with it. Apparently Holy City and The Cake Farmer are going to start selling the pie at the brewery soon. But you can also find her at local farmers markets. Pro-tip: if you’re out and you see her selling her cakes and pies make sure to buy one. You’re significant other will be on cloud nine. And if you don’t have to share, even better!

  
That night I spent some time at the Night Bazzar on King St.  There I sampled food from vendors along with the bourbon from High Wire distilling.  It was a pretty interesting experience, including a really good DJ set from DJ Jeff Turner.

The rest of my weekend was pretty low key and was spent getting supplies for my daughter’s birthday party, getting ready for the Prom at the Upper Deck, and cleaning my house. But Tuesday was going to be another adventure.

Tuesday I was attending a bachelorette party for my friend Apryl. Apryl had worked at Jack’s Cafe when Jack still worked there. She became a good friend over the years with us both visiting each other’s place of employment. Eventually we would end up even taking trips together and having a lot of fun over the years. Now the group of ladies that all worked at Jack’s were all a close group. And they are also crazy people, in the best way possible. So I met up with them for Apryl’s bar crawl. I met up with them on the back porch of the Kicken’ Chicken. There we polished off a couple of Kicken’ Chickens signature cocktails and local beers. From there we hit a couple more bars before ending up at the Recovery Room where a daylight dance party ensued. Someone along the way had given Apryl a water gun which resulted in some funny moments. It was a really fun time. I’m not sure that I stuck 100% to the local drinking challenge I must admit. When you’re picking up tabs for multiple people sometimes you go with the thrifty option. But I tried to make sure that I got at least one local beer at each bar.

  

The rest of the week has been pretty low key. I’ve been so busy hosting events that I haven’t had time to explore more breweries. But before this is out I’ll get to more. Much to my liver’s chagrin.  

  

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Putting Talents to Use

I been beat up bad, I’ve been kicked around, I’ve been thrown outta every bar in this old town.

Well as much as you will miss me writing about my kid (and life), I’ve decided to take an assignment to write about drinking local. I do generally write after drinking, something highlighted by my incoherent rambling that I pass off as a blog. I decided to take part in the Eat Local Challenge presented by Lowcountry Local First. Lowcountry Local First asked my editor at Grit if I was interested, he asked me, and I told him I’d drink my way through the challenge. I thought my editor would scold me as he often takes my suggestions as idiotic (and he’s right to do so). Then the fine people at Lowcountry Local First also thought this was a good idea. So, bottoms up. 

I guess I’ll be drinking a bunch of local beers. Holy City Brewery is one of my favorite places to visit on a Saturday afternoon. Westbrook cranks out a variety of really nice beers. Palmetto Brewing has changed their lineup and has been offering a nice selection lately. And there are just a bunch of other breweries opening up shop. There are also a couple local distilleries for when I want to switch to the hard stuff. And there are rumors of moonshine, and like Toucan Sam, I can try to follow my nose to the smell of grain alcohol. What trouble I can get into.

So come worship at the alter of Dionysus with me. Meet me out for a drink, just remember to let someone who is sober do the driving.

Touring Holy City

***And thank you to all of you who voted for my blog as best blog in Charleston.  I blame the shitty, ornery, and drunk writer as the reason why I didn’t win.

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The Road Goes on Forever and the Party Never Ends: The Mayoral Race and Crime

So the upcoming mayoral election has me questioning my future in Charleston. I can’t find one person running who I don’t have major problems with. Let’s look at some things. Part 2: Crime in the Holy City

A couple months back a friend of mine came to me and told me how she was drugged at a bar downtown, put into a taxi where she was driven to the battery, then put into another vehicle where she was driven to a North Charleston apartment complex, raped, put back in the vehicle, and dropped off (still drugged) in West Ashley in a neighborhood she didn’t recognize. She went to the hospital and completed a rape kit. Later, she spoke to the detective handling her case. She was told that there is one detective that handles the rape cases in Charleston and if there were cases such as homicides, etc, the rape kit could take months to process. It’s been 9 months and the kit has still not been processed, and she has resigned herself to the fact that it probably never will be.
My friend, and all victims of rape, deserve more than one detective investigating charges. Even when my friend called the detective and left additional information on the case (including a license tag number for the taxi in question) she was never called back. When she asked the detective why only one officer would take the rape cases for this city she was told that it made the male detectives uncomfortable to deal with rape cases.

There are many problems with crime in this city. Instead of dealing with them we have our police force out on King St on a Friday night making sure no one walks down the street with a beer, we have our investigators making sure college kids don’t throw a keg party, and we have a fully funded “livability” court making sure that I don’t rent my living room to a tourist on the weekend.

Hardy-Boys

Riley and Mullen solve the case of the loud music coming from a bar after going to their detective guide books.

Here’s a wake up call to our mayoral candidates: Our city and police department resources aren’t making the city better if they can’t fight actual crime. Stop using our officers for revenue collection. Use them to make sure our friends, our family, our loved ones, and perfect strangers aren’t RAPED and MURDERED.

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