Black Friday has become as much of a Thanksgiving tradition as fighting your brother for the last slice of pumpkin pie and then passing out on the couch after too much turkey. Instead of trimming a tree after Thanksgiving, we like to test the limits of our bank account. Camping out for days or trampling one another for a chance to buy a cheap flat-screen doesn't really appeal to us, so we decided to keep our shopping local.
King Street was absolutely packed with families trying to get a jump-start on their holiday shopping. Children begged their parents to go into Robot Candy while dads leaned against various storefronts waiting for their wives and daughters to finish their shopping. Our first stop was to veer off the main drag to Cose Belle on Beaufain where we were greeted with Christmas music, free holiday treats, and 20 percent off the merchandise. On our way to Hampden Clothing, we stumbled upon their new venture, James, a sliver of a space boasting big-name brand accessories — we had to stop ourselves from trying on all the new shoes. Next door at Hampden, mother-daughter-grandmother trios were combing the 40 percent off racks and sharing opinions on which outfits would work for upcoming holiday parties.
If you were looking for a special something for the fellow in your life, then VILN Collective on Upper King was the place to start. The store was full of men taking advantage of the buy-one-get-one-half-off sale on shoes and discounted skater gear. Just down the street, Jamie Lin Snider was offering 50 percent off her entire store. Snider said she had people waiting at the door before the store even opened.
After depleting all our funds on Friday, it was time to partake in another post-Thanksgiving tradition: football. The infamous University of South Carolina-Clemson rivalry was playing out on Saturday, and we decided to see how the alumni bars were celebrating. We texted some USC graduates to find where they would all be watching the game downtown, but they weren't sure. After checking an alumni guide published by the City Paper, we settled on King Street Grille for the game. There were a few USC fans, but we saw even more Ohio State and Alabama gear — same color as USC, right? We grabbed a seat at the bar, which helped when we needed to ask someone what was going on. Multiple televisions and cute undergrad waitresses make KSG a good choice to watch any sports, but we were in search of some ardent fans.
We remembered that Midtown Bar and Grill is a top choice for Clemson alumni for watching games, so we switched locations at half-time. Midtown's pool room was filled with orange as fans watched the plays on a giant screen projected onto the back wall. We were told that many of the bartenders were USC grads, so "Sandstorm" was played after each Gamecock touchdown, like they do at Williams-Brice. Tiger fans didn't really find that amusing. Everyone stared intently at the televisions and prayed that their team would win. Tables of opposing fans jeered one another in between plays and the Clemson fans ended the evening in heartache, but at least they were already at a bar to drown their sorrows.