Mispronouncing Pecha, going green, and bringing home the bacon 

Whiz Kids

The talk of Pecha Kucha XV last Tuesday wasn't so much about who was presenting, but rather how to correctly pronounce the name of the event. Someone pointed out that we Southerners have been butchering the name all these years, but since we couldn't find anyone to confirm this, we decided to concentrate on something we knew: beer. We were surprised to find Morgan Westbrook in line for a beverage from the brewery she and her husband run. Doesn't that give her some influence to skip the queue? Even so, we were happy to chat about the latest developments in Westbrook beers.

The event was held at the College of Charleston's Cistern Yard, so we had to claim a spot in the grass before everyone laid out their blankets and chairs. Randolph Hall was brilliantly lit in the colors of fall and made for a spectacular backdrop while we waited for the presentations to begin. Marcus Amaker, designer of the PK XV sci-fi-themed poster, grabbed a corner of our blanket and added some entertaining running commentary for the evening. Once local photographer and emcee Sully Sullivan took the stage, the inspiration flowed for the rest of the night. Readers can find the talks online, but to sum them up: Paul Roof's mustache defies gravity, Buff Ross gave us all the finger, David Pastre likes bamboo, Dave Brown's grandfather says "Take a whiz," DistilUnion was a Kickstarter success, Heather Koonse doesn't want to see you shopping at Forever21, Margaret Pilarski and Susan Cohen encourage cutting and pasting, and Marc Collins does a poor Mick Jagger impersonation but makes up for it with fresh cookies.

After shivering through Tuesday night's presentations, we were thrilled to see some sunshine for Saturday's Green Fair in Marion Square. Vendors and various organizations were set up outside of the Farmer's Market to educate us on the benefits of going green. The Culinary Institute demonstrated their cooking skills, while in another tent, Charleston Group Fitness taught us how to perfect our squat thrusts. We were sad to hear we just missed the MUSC presentation on raising urban chickens, as we're sure our neighbors would love a feathered addition to the block. Normally we would scoff that this event was just for hippies, but the crunchiness was kept at bearable levels as the diverse groups included everything from AutoBeGreen products to the League of Women Voters to Charleston Henna Temporary Tattoos. It was like your typical day at the Farmer's Market, but more educational.

While exiting the Green Fair, we were handed a pamphlet filled with cute wide-eyed piglets urging us to go vegan. Little did they know, our next stop for the day was Ted's Butcherblock for the Bacon Extravaganza. (Sorry, piggies.) We smelled the mesquite smoke before we even turned the corner leading to Ted's. The line was almost out the door, as guests waited to pay for a plate of porchetta and "bacon explosion." A large tray of pancetta samples was laid out, and before we could make our way to them, swarms of arms snapped them up and out came another tray filled with Benton's bacon. If we weren't saving room for lunch, we could have stood there all day trying a menagerie of pork products. Outside was a lively scene of happy groups of families and friends munching away and taking their chances on $3 mystery beers. The Bushels were setting up to play bluegrass for the crowd and owner Ted Dombrowski checked on replenishing the porchetta and potato salad. We snuck back inside for a few more samples of bacon before leaving. Perhaps we should have slipped the vegan pamphlet onto the table as a joke.

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