Attractions 

This little city of ours boasts neighborhoods, city life, and attractions like no other. We take pride in The College of Charleston’s new library, and we love the fact that the Market was acknowledged as Best Tourist Trap, although Hyman’s Seafood Restaurant was nipping at its heels while the votes were being tallied. Marion Square still holds the title for Best Public Space. For dog owners, James Island County Park is the place to take your pooch. And for Best Street Character, King Street icon Byron managed to win this category once again. So here they are, our Readers’ Picks for best attractions and best city living.
READER'S PICKS

Best Street Character
Byron
Usually somewhere on King Street

Best New Building
College of Charleston’s Marlene?and Nathan Addlestone Library
Designed by Enwright Associates, Inc., Greenville

Best Neighborhood
I’On
Mt. Pleasant

Best Tourist TraP
Charleston City Market
Downtown

Best Tour Company
Palmetto Carriage Works
40 N. Market St. Downtown 723-8145

Best Public Space
Marion Square
Corner of King and Calhoun streets Downtown

Best Old Building
Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon
22 East Bay St. Downtown 727-2165

Best Restoration
Market Hall
188 Meeting St. Downtown 723-1541

Best Church
Seacoast
750 Long Point Road Mt. Pleasant 881-2100
and other locations

Best Public School
Wando High
1000 Warrior Way Road Mt. Pleasant 849-2830

Best Private School
Porter-Gaud School
300 Albermarle Road West Ashley 556-3620

Best Daycare
Sunshine House
726 Folly Road James Island 795-0086
874 N Lansing Dr. Mt Pleasant 884-7839
17 Farmfield Ave, West Ashley 571-6365

Best Place to Walk Your Dog
James Island County Park
871 Riverland Dr. James Island 795-7275

Best Place for a Left Turn Signal
King and Calhoun streets Downtown

Best Local Bumper Sticker
It’s My Beach, Too (with dog)


CRITIC'S PICKS

Best Re-Branding
The Cigar Factory
701 East Bay St. Downtown 723-4444

When local entrepreneur Steve Ziff bought the three-story brick building at the corner of Columbus and East Bay streets in 1992, then home to Johnson & Wales University, he christened it Port City Center, a name that’s about as memorable as a mile marker on I-26. Twelve years later, with his main tenant’s imminent departure from Charleston staring him in the face, it seemed like a good time to revisit the drawing board. So last summer Ziff gave the space a dramatic makeover and a new name, taking one of the building’s historic uses as inspiration: the Cigar Factory. Now home to Pure Theatre, the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, and sculptor Tom Durham, the repackaged facility looks — and sounds --— like a million bucks. —Patrick Sharbaugh

Best Reuse of an Old Building Fleet Landing
186 Concord St. Downtown 722-8100

Who knew what potential the old Navy Fleet Landing at the foot of The Market held? Tradd and Weesie Newton, that’s who. The Navy built it during WWII to use as a debarkation point for sailors. After the war, the State Ports Authority turned the place into a storage facility. Then, the structure sat uninhabited and unused for at least two decades until Tradd and Weesie finally got hold of it. Last year, the Newtons spent 10 months gutting and rehabbing the joint, and now it sits beckoning us in for a drink, a plate of good old-fashioned Southern seafood and hushpuppies, and an unparalleled view of the water in an ultra-modern nautical setting. Very cool. Thanks, guys. —Stephanie Barna

Best News for West Side Real Estate Barons
MUSC Growth

With a four-story diagnostic and treatment center, cardiology center, and seven-story patient tower scheduled to arise, soon the entire Ashley River face of the peninsula will be altered to accommodate the Medical University of South Carolina. Still, one can build only so high on a landfill-marsh. The properties on or around streets such as Fishburne, President, and even Killians may well come into play in future years as MUSC continues its outward expansion. Those currently residing beyond the dividing line of the Crosstown Expressway might prefer to keep their homes. That is, until the tax base increases to the point where they can no longer afford to stay. —Jason A. Zwiker

Best Reason to Visit Kiawah
The Sanctuary
If you have to ask where it is, you can’t afford it

Face it, if you didn’t have a reason to visit Kiawah Island, the experience would be pretty dull: drive to Kiawah, have gate guards tell you to go away, return home. But, if you have a little spare cash, there’s now a way “the rest of us” can get on the Island and see what’s going on out there. Everybody’s heard of it by now — the massive, we’re-gonna-get-five-stars ultra-resort called The Sanctuary is open for business on Kiawah Island. And it’s spectacular. Just driving in the entry will have you affecting a Thurston Howell III accent, and it just gets progressively better from there. The views are tranquil, the restaurants world-class, and the service leaves nothing to be desired. The Sanctuary aimed high when it sought to set the standard for luxury on the South Carolina coast, and every part of your stay will tell you they’ve succeeded. —Scott Goodwin

Best Neighborhood Street Names
I’On
Mt. Pleasant

As opposed to the Pitt and Bull streets you’ll find downtown, I’On boasts a plethora of street names that sound like they were pulled straight from a children’s book. As you take Shelmore Boulevard from Hwy. 17 into this quaint self-contained community, you’ll make your way through streets with names like Latitude Lane, Saturday Road, Serendipity Street, and Hopetown Road, giving cause to wonder if these people were able to craft their own street names before they moved in; some of these sound too quaint to be real. White people are so funny. —Erica Harris

Best Place to Celebrate 4:20
SOB

Did we say South of Broad? Oh, yes. Beyond the grasp of the long arm of the law, a few lucky (mostly college) renters enjoy green-zone liberality. If you take a stroll on any afternoon, be prepared for a contact high as tight as the one you tied on at that Peter Tosh show. —Spencer Deering

Best Part of James Island Traffic
Sunset/Sunrise over Connector

Heading downtown from James Island during the morning rush hour can be a sure ticket to automobile-related meltdown, unless you travel over the Connector. Depending on how early you’re heading out, there’s some amazing scenery to be taken in across that marshy expanse: boats in the marina, wildlife, weather patterns. Just keep one eye on the car ahead so you don’t spoil the serenity for everybody else. —Shawnté Salabert

Best View Of Charleston Harbor
Western Sullivan’s Island at Sunset

On a clear afternoon, walk out on the beach near the lighthouse at Station 19 or so, turn westward towards Fort Moultrie, and stroll along the waves as the beach curves into the harbor. It’s stunning. You’ll have full view of everything from the Morris Island Lighthouse and Fort Sumter to the steeple tops, the bridge spans, and the U.S.S. Yorktown. There are plenty of beautiful beach spots around Charleston, but this one at sundown can’t be beat. —T. Ballard Lesemann

Best Church Graveyard In Daylight
St. John’s Lutheran
5 Clifford St. Downtown 723-2426

The historic church at the corner of Clifford and Archdale streets downtown has a quaint graveyard with a slate pathway, adjacent to the equally charming Unitarian graveyard. Some of the oldest gravestones in town stand here, many with German text … and a few with cool skulls and crossbones. Standing in a spot like this surely gives one a strong sense of old Charleston. —T. Ballard Lesemann

Best Church Graveyard In Moonlight
St Philip’s Episcopal
142 Church St. Downtown 722-7734

Some of the local tour companies can probably spin a better story, but the ghosts of prominent Carolinians and church members are rumored to pop out from behind the buildings and gravestones on Church Street from time to time, especially on dark summer nights. It’s been written that the west wing of the yard was initially reserved for “strangers and transient white persons.” Spooky and beautiful. —T. Ballard Lesemann

Best Place to Get Profiled for Not Being Happy
Mt. Pleasant

Years back, a certain CP writer was walking to a friend’s party with a couple of companions in Mt. Pleasant. It was past midnight. The police drove by, did a “U-ee,” pulled, not one, but two squad cars over, and started asking a lot of dumb questions. When one companion asked why the police stopped them, one of the officers replied, “You guys didn’t look happy.” We know that sometimes looking too happy means you’ve been up to illicit activities, but looking unhappy? We were still speaking coherently, and we weren’t jumping in front of moving cars. Who knew being unhappy is a crime in Mt. Pleasant? Even today, every time we visit friends in East of the Cooper we hear stories about our buddies being pulled for “changing lanes too many times” or some other nonsense. And, now the Mt. Pleasant police chief is asking for more taxes to hire more police to stop more people for not being happy, changing lanes too often, or occasionally getting a minor drug bust. We think the Mt. PPD are the ones that need to stop being unhappy. —Benjamin Schlau

Best Place to Witness Charleston’s Growth
Corner of Hwy. 61 and Bees Ferry Road

Developers — god love ’em, because no one else does. Highway 61 during rush hour is truly hellish. Cars parked in a row for miles on end, their tortured drivers screaming about why they ever chose to move so far out. Drayton on the Ashley, Shadowmoss, and other developments will soon welcome another 5,000 housing units to that tight, tree-lined “highway,” making a bad situation worse. To cover the 12 miles to get into town from the area, one former City Paper employee budgets an hour if he leaves the house after 7 a.m. —Bill Davis

Best Beach to Get Crabs
Capers Island

While Capers Island lacks most of the thrill of getting caught mid-coitus like the developed beaches in the area, it does have plenty of hard twisted driftwood. Not to mention the air is relatively untainted and you can really get down to those dirty animal instincts. But unless you’re a pair of those love birds who can truly fly, you’ll need access to a boat to get intimate on this beach. —Benjamin Schlau

Best Secret to Know
Towing Companies Aren’t above the Law

Having your car towed in Charleston usually ends up being a Kafka-esque nightmare, a deliberately debasing experience meant to deprive you of your vehicle, your dignity, your self-respect, your sense of restraint, and, most of all, your cash (only cash, mind). What a pleasure it was for us to compile our first-ever Parking Issue last December, and in the process show how these thugs regularly evade a host of municipal codes to bilk unsuspecting drivers out of ridiculous sums of money. The issue even prompted an investigation by the City into questionable practices by these jerks. Want to know more? Look out for a follow-up story here later this month. —Patrick Sharbaugh

Best Ballsy Move By CofC
Ron Jeremy Porn Debate
Nov. 18, 2004

Who better to get college students to participate in an extracurricular lecture than a porn star? Cougar Productions, an organization at the College of Charleston that arranges entertainment events, felt the same way. What started out as a joke among the members of Cougar Productions became reality when Ron Jeremy, star of such films as Sluts, Butts and Housewives, Naughty Girls Need Love Too, and most recently VH1’s The Surreal Life, participated in a first amendment debate on CofC’s campus. While we must give CofC props for inviting Jeremy in the first place, the group seemed to find Jeremy, er, hard to swallow when they postponed his Oct. 6 visit, which would have coincided with parents’ weekend, to a later Nov. 18 date. Fortunately for them, the Hedge Hog has plenty of staying power.
—Megan Hubbard

Best Substitute for Real Friendship
www.myspace.com

Since we’ve all become slaves to the internet, the next level of our obsession is the concept of online friend communities — i.e. Friendster and the even more popular Myspace. You slap up a post-ironic profile of yourself, write a couple of self-deprecating blogs, and wait for the friend requests to roll in. There’s just something about seeing that red “New Messages!” icon blazing on your profile to get your day going right. —Shawnté Salabert

Best New Service That Should Be Free
WiFi ‘ThinkSpots’

Communities across America are embracing the notion —by now obvious to everyone but greedy internet service providers — that the ridiculously simple technology underlying wireless internet protocol has essentially turned it into a public utility. Communities like Athens, Ga., Austin, Texas, and most recently the cities of Philadelphia and even Columbia are providing WiFi internet service, often in the form of city-blanketing WiFi “clouds,” as a free public service. So why is the Charleston Chamber of Commerce still touting its WiFi “ThinkSpots” initiative — a couple of dozen retail establishments where you can shell out $8 a day for wireless access — as a convenience to anyone but Aerolina, the local ISP who landed the exclusive service contract? Good question. WiFi should be free. Period. —Patrick Sharbaugh

Best Use for The old grace bridge
Botanical Gardens

Picture this: you’re driving southbound over the brand-new Arthur Ravenel Bridge. You glance to your right and are captivated by the abundance of gorgeous hanging gardens, Spanish moss, and overall fantastic flora and fauna adorning the entire length of one of those older bridges. No auto traffic is allowed, but bicyclists, walkers, runners, parents pushing baby carriages, leashed dogs led by their owners, and yes, scores of tourists, are all enjoying this fabulous sky-high park over the harbor — a “botanical bridge.” A ticket booth at either end is the collector of a small daily park fee, which helps maintain this new Charleston attraction, and iron gates and security guards keep the whole place safe. Then, all of a sudden, you snap back into reality when one of the latest mile-high supertankers slams into this utopian world and it all goes crashing and splashing into a watery grave. Oh, well. Looked good on paper, though. —Brittany Inman

Best Alternative Fuel Effort
Biodiesel

Oh, to live off the fat of the land. What about driving on the fat of the land? Who’d have thought that anyone in South Carolina would be on the forefront of a new alternative fuel movement, but local tree doctor Ary Fun and others have started a biodiesel co-op. Fun now works with others to turn used cooking oil into diesel fuel. More than an environmentalist’s wet dream; this idea actually works. Biodiesel can be mixed in any proportion to petroleum-based diesel and pumped directly into a diesel engine. Not only does it not produce most of the greenhouse gases that the old dirty diesel does, but it cleans out your fuel lines as well. A gas distributor in Aiken has been offering this more eco-friendly gas for years, the University of South Carolina has been using it in their buses, and workers at the Inn at Middleton Place brew their own fuel as well. Maybe CARTA should set up a biodiesel still and suck up all the grease from local eateries. —Benjamin Schlau

Best Designated Driver
Best Friend Express
830-3478

Jim Cunningham is not a knight in shining armor; he’s just a guy in a grey jumpsuit and orange scarf riding a mini-bike, but he might save your life. For as little as $10, Cunningham or one of his employees at Best Friend Express will drive a mini-bike to wherever you are, at a bar or house, put his bike in your back seat or trunk, drive you home in your automobile, and ride the bike away into the night. You might not remember how you got home, but you won’t be in the county lockup awaiting arraignment for DUI with the mayor of some beach town when you wake up. And both you and the car will be in one piece. —Benjamin Schlau

Best Way to Get Around Charleston
Bicycles

More and more people move to Charleston every day. And they bring their cars. And, since Charleston’s on a peninsula of very limited dimensions, the streets become more clogged with every passing year. The best way to get around the growling mess of automobiles is to bike around town. You don’t have to search for parking, just a sign post or something to lock your bike to. You don’t have to buy gas, just some food to keep you pumping those pedals. And, if you get a flat, a new tube is only a few dollars. You would be wise to stay alert and swallow your pride and wear one of those dorky helmets because many of these new drivers can’t drive. —Benjamin Schlau

Best Way to Banish Horse-Drawn Carriages
Segway Tours

Paris is doing it, so why aren’t we? Load up the blue hairs on the two-wheeled marvels, we say; let ’em blow around town on our cracked, uneven, and narrow sidewalks, and let them get squashed when they cross an alley feeding into a proper street. Then, once we’ve killed all of Ohio, Charleston can finally become a town where you can grow a flower garden and not get people jumping the fence to snag your begonias. —Bill Davis

Best Road Rage Fodder
Specialty License Plates

Wanna piss off a fundamentalist Christian? Get an “In Reason We Trust” official S.C. DMV license plate. Wanna piss off someone who’s read the Constitution? Get a “Choose Life” vanity plate. For about $30, you can go into your local DMV office and pick up a license plate that expresses your opinion on just about any given issue, and be certain to offend someone in these politically incorrect days. —Bill Davis

Best Reason to Get a Tattoo
No More Minibottles

2004 brought us two very important amendments to the law in the state of South Carolina: the legalization of tattooing and the good riddance of those silly little airplane minibottles of liquor. This means you can easily kill two birds with one stone. Pretty soon, you’ll be able to afford pitchers of Long Island Iced Tea, so go out and celebrate by boozin’ it up with all your friends. Afterwards, locate a neon sign flashing the word “TATTOO,” flip through their catalog o’ original designs, find the perfect Old English font, and get your nickname scrawled across your shoulder blades. Trust us, you won’t feel a thing. —Brittany Inman

Best New Economy
Tattooing

Why the hell was tattooing illegal here in the first place? If South Carolinians want a representation of their favorite cartoon character, a sappy homage to their mother, or one of those lower-back flower-and-vine things forever engraved on their bodies, then they shouldn’t have to drive to Savannah to fulfill all their creative desires. And soon they won’t have to. At some point, when all the, ahem, ink, is dry on the paperwork, this state will get the long-awaited go-ahead for tattoo parlors to legally spring up across the land. And then, all the dollar bills previously going into the bands of strippers’ G-strings will be invested in bands of barbed wire and tribal designs on the biceps of our hardworking South Carolina men instead. —Brittany Inman

Best Karmic Retribution
Old Cumberland’s Still Empty

While there’s nothing wrong with a landlord wanting more money for his property, there is something especially delicious about Miles Martschink’s inability to land a major tenant for his Cumberland Street buildings, which used to be home to Cumberland’s, Theatre 99, Café Lana, and other small shops. All have moved into arguably better locations and situations after considerable struggle, while Martschink’s building sits empty. What goes around comes around, Miles, and it looks like your karma just ran over your dogma. But we still hope you get a good tenant. —Bill Davis

Best Place to Suffer Those Who Break a ‘No Cell Phones’ Rule
Fiction Tables at the Charleston County Library’s Main Branch
68 Calhoun St. Downtown 805-6801

Ahhh, there’s nothing like settling down with a classic tale on a nice winter morning within the library’s comfort. Then, as if someone’s topped your head with a tin pot and rung it with a wooden spoon, a ring tone blaring Britney Spears’ “Toxic” pierces the quiet. And instead of humbly turning off the phone, the menace to your left picks up, shouts, “Whazzup,” and proceeds to screech, laugh, and cuss his way through a retelling of last night’s dance party at the “Can” (whatever that is). Clearly visible signs adorn the library’s entrance, asking patrons to avoid using their cell phones. Obviously, this ain’t working. To enforce the rule, a security guard could whap offenders across the head with a copy of War and Peace. That would learn ’em to hang up and read. —Spencer Deering


Best Place to Get Crushed For Breaking a ‘No Cell Phones’ Rule
Andolini’s
82 Wentworth Downtown 722-PIES

Thank the goddess someone believes in the “reprimand-one-for-the-good-of-others” philosophy. (If golf courses and concert halls were as proactive, there’d be no more slow foursomes holding up the back nine or squawking teenagers ruining the show with their insipid banter.) Taped to Andolini’s register, two clear signs — one right on top of the other — warn every customer to stay off his or her phone while ordering. Woe to the doofus who, clueless that he’s up, gabs away at the front of the line on a Friday night (usually about something asinine, like where he’s gonna get the keg for that night’s “killer party”) while families are picking up pies and students are poised to fill their bellies before boozing. Southerners may be nice, but the patrons usually beat the staff to the punch, screeching something like, “Hang up and order, frat boy!” —Spencer Deering

Best Place to See Your Friends Before School
Hazel Parker Park
70 East Bay St. Downtown

From pedigreed pooches to mixed breeds that defy explanation, the dog park brings all walks of life together. From Hermes collars to makeshift bowline leashes, this is a site of bustling early morning activity. One family we know doesn’t have a dog; instead they bring their children to play with other people’s pets. —Ida Becker

Best Shipwreck
The Big T
Ashley River

We’d always noticed the old sailboat moored in the waters just off the James Island Connector, and last fall, after the coast was pummelled by multiple hurricanes, we saw the sunken masts jutting out of the water. As we drove to work every day, we kept meaning to look into the matter — whose boat was sunk out there and why weren’t they doing anything about it? Finally, the daily newspaper got around to noticing it too, and reporter Brian Hicks got to the bottom of it in November (a month after it sank). Apparently, some guys had purchased the old steel sailboat with hopes of fixing it up and sailing it to Russia. Then they sold it and the new owner didn’t do much with it, simply keeping it moored out in the public waters. Then it sank. And now it sits there, waiting for the state to come up with some money to remove the boat (and hoping it doesn’t sink any other boats that might happen upon it). —Stephanie Barna

Best Tree
Angel Oak
Maybank Highway, just past Bohicket Road Johns Island

Angel Oak is over 1,400 years old. When it was just a sapling, the Mayans were flourishing, and Columbus wouldn’t sail for another 900 years. And this tree’s still kickin’ it like a ninja! Sprouting branches so thick and heavy, they extend along the ground like fallen trees, Angel Oak’s enormous trunk looks like a twisted, almost-human set piece from a Tim Burton movie. It is a treasure. But see it soon, because on Johns Island nothing’s safe. Who knows if or, more likely, when some slick developer will discover a way to turn its home into a cookie-cutter development? —Spencer Deering

Best Place to Catch a Fight
Under I-26 Meeting Street’s Exit Ramp

Some might argue there’s no tougher species than the boozed-up college boy, but those types rarely do anything but bark from behind the security of their friends’ restraining arms. So if it’s shouting you want, head to King and Wentworth at 2 a.m. on a Saturday night. If it’s an old-fashioned throw-down, check out the burnt-out gas station that sits in the shadows of I-26’s Meeting Street exit ramp. There, (mostly homeless) men with little to lose and jacked up on whatever they can get their hands on punch, kick, and scratch their way to respect, old-school style. —Spencer Deering

Best Future Home of Weasels and Vermin
Charleston School of Law

As if it weren’t hard enough to discourage recent college graduates from sticking around Charleston instead of going out into the real world, the new Charleston School of Law opened doors to its first class of 202 law students this academic year. While the school has not yet been accredited, it’s expected that by August of 2006 it will be by the American Bar Association. With tuition at $24,500 a year, we can be certain there will be a lot of ambulance chasing in the coming years to pay off those student loans. —Megan Hubbard

Best Police Force
CPD
180 Lockwood Ave. Downtown 911

The N. Charleston Police Department seems to be a wee trigger happy, and Mt. Pleasant cops will pull you at the drop of a dime (or is it for the drop of a dime?). Despite Charleston Police Chief Reuben “Mad Dog” Greenberg’s lack of tact, we say the CPD is relatively less dumb, less mean, and less likely to kill you than the neighboring departments. They also haven’t shoved a toilet plunger handle up anybody’s butt, to the best of our knowledge. —Benjamin Schlau

Best Place to Spot a Mullet
SEWE

The Southeastern Wildlife Expo is kind of like Spoleto Festival USA for the common man. Instead of a deluge of pearls and pinstripes, Charleston sees an influx of camo and Carhartt — and plenty of mullets topped with mesh baseball caps. SEWE’s annual weekend in February brings to town a whole different caliber of people-watching. —Shawnté Salabert

Best Tourist Photo-Op
Pineapple Fountain
Waterfront Park Downtown Concord Street

With its distinctive pineapple-shaped fountain and views of the marsh and harbor, Waterfront Park is our favorite place for a tacky photo opportunity. Low angles offer an effective shot of the fountain, and when the sky’s clear and the sun glints on the gushing water it’s the perfect place to snap a souvenir. Couples occasionally get engaged there and the streetlights behind it offer some sensible symmetry. But we don’t care about any of that if we’re hot and bothered on a humid day. Luckily, water spills out of the pineapple onto the ground and a second fountain sprays water in multiple directions, offering refreshing squirts for sweaty tourists. Visitors are welcome to splash in the water, adding a sense of scale to the backdrop. —Nick Smith

Best Swimming Area During a Heavy Charleston Rainfall
Washington Street
Downtown

If it’s raining and you’re making the voyage to the downtown Harris Teeter, a canoe may be more appropriate than a car. Washington Street, which runs parallel to East Bay, becomes a flowing river during a downpour, making it almost impossible to cross in many of today’s vehicles. You’re better off trading groceries for galoshes. —Michael Staton

Best Bushes to Dive Into Late at Night
St. Philip Street
Between Calhoun and Vanderhorst streets Downtown

As if the danger of being “talked to” by CofC campus police weren’t enough of a reason to pull this off, the bushes here are extraordinarily good to jump into, Jackass-style. They’re tall and thick enough to prevent serious injury, providing a surprisingly soft cushion to dull the impact of your jump. They also contain no thorns or rough branches, so flips and midair twirls are not only possible, but encouraged! Make sure to yell very loudly before you land so everyone can see what an ass you’re making out of yourself. —Michael Staton

Best steps to Run Up Like Rocky Balboa
U.S. Custom House
East Bay and Market streets

Trying to reenact one of your favorite scenes from an inspirational boxing movie, but too drunk to remember the name of it? Well, the name probably isn’t important, so after spending hours in Tsunami or The Brick, run up the stairs of the Custom House and start jumping up and down, humming the Rocky theme music by Maynard Ferguson, celebrating the fact that you actually made it to the top. If this jumping and/or running behavior starts to make you feel nauseous, try lying down for a minute. Don’t worry: if you pass out, the police will be there shortly to help you up. —Michael Staton

Best Summertime Stunt
Sneak into Hotel Pools

In case you haven’t noticed, it gets hot as balls around here from late spring through the fall. Sometimes, you don’t want to make the drive out to Folly or Sullivan’s or take a dip into the salty brine — especially when the water temperature is just this side of simmering. Sometimes, you just want to jump into a cool pool, and that’s where local hotels come into play. Fortunately, there’s no sure-fire visual test for hotel employees to distinguish between a local and an auslander. But don’t be a dick and ruin it for everyone else. Move in small numbers, don’t make a scene, order something from the kitchen, and tip well. —Bill Davis

Best Local Superhero
The Homeless Roller

He can’t travel at the speed of light, but he can go as fast as he pedals his bike. “The Homeless Roller,” as he introduces himself to civilians, has yet to be identified by his actual name. First discovered by one of the CP staff near the Karpeles Museum, this man continuously rides the streets of downtown Charleston, which means he’s excellent with directions. He’s been known to help lost (and/or drunk) people find their way back home. He will gladly reunite people “wit’ deys frients.” And once, he swiftly rescued a young lady riding her bicycle who was a split second away from getting plowed over by some old broad in a Lincoln Continental. No one we’ve talked to knows his real name, but we’re sure he’ll continue on with his good deeds for years to come — as long as he continues receiving the occasional, small financial assistance (this means giving up all the available change in your left pocket) in return. —Brittany Inman

Best Second Coming
The Jesus Guy

We always get His name wrong; it’s something like Paul James, or James Paul — definitely something apostolic. But you know the man we’re talking about — the bearded guy in white robes who walks barefoot around the Lowcountry like Cain. “Paul” owns nothing, preaches tolerance and love, passes on the truths contained within the Bible, and is generally nice to everyone he meets. Local golf ball manufacturer/comedy writer Michael Fechter tried to lend out his apartment to the Jesus guy, not because he’s a believer (or non-believer): “I just wanted to see what kind of house guest the Son of God would make. Wouldn’t it be great if he turned out to be a slob?” Jesus has been gone from Charleston for a while, though, but don’t worry. HE’S COMING BACK! —Bill Davis

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