Wednesday, January 3, 2018

NotSo Hostel to hold first American Hostel Conference Jan. 22-24

Calling all savvy sojourners

Posted by Mary Scott Hardaway on Wed, Jan 3, 2018 at 1:10 PM


When conjuring up images of a hostel, one may envision the narrow, cobblestone streets of a quaint European city. Although not imbued with the ancient charm of, say, Venice, Charleston, too, has its share of quaint narrow streets and storied cobblestones. And, since 2002, the Lowcountry has been home to a haven for world weary sojourners.

The charming front of NotSo Hostel
  • The charming front of NotSo Hostel
Opened more than a decade ago by College of Charleston grad Claire Cunningham, and run since 2006 by CofC grad Vikki Matsis (she even wrote a how-to book on managing hostels), NotSo Hostel has hosted travelers from the U.S., Europe, and Asia, welcoming all budget backpackers with the motto: "Life is too short to sleep alone."

The only hostel in the state, NotSo Hostel will be hosting the first American Hostel Conference Jan. 22 through 24. The three day event will cater to hostel owners and managers; entrepreneurs; travel, community, and adventure "advocates;" and anyone interested in learning more about the industry.

Highlights of the conference include speakers like Joe Garner, the star of Craigslist Joe; Jacob Lindsey, the director of the department of Planning, Preservation and Sustainability for the City of Charleston; and Karalee Fallert, one of the city's most prolific and progressive restaurateurs. There will also be movie screenings; dinners, lunches, and cocktail hours; and beaucoup presentations on any and everything related to the hostel industry. See the full schedule here.

The event may be centered on an international industry, but its roots are close to home. The American Hostel Conference is sponsored by VroomRes, a free property management system startup based in Charleston, and is supported by participating businesses including PURE Theatre, Basic Kitchen, Monza, Black Bean Co., and O-Ku.

Tickets for the conference can be purchased online; one day local attendees pay $80, three day attendees pay $285, and conference sponsors pay $750.

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Charleston Black Theatre presents stage reading of George Washington's Boy as part of Black History Month

A portrait of Washington inspired the play

Posted by Connelly Hardaway on Wed, Jan 3, 2018 at 10:31 AM

George Washington's Boy, written by Ted Lange and directed by Black Theatre's Yvonne Broadus, tells the story of George Washington's presidency through the eyes of his slave, Billy Lee. The stage reading will be performed at West Ashley High School on Sat. Feb. 17 at 6 p.m. Tickets are $15/adults, and $10/seniors and students and can be purchased online or by calling (855) 811-4111.

Lange researched George Washington's Boy extensively, and in his research discovered an image of Billy Lee in the background of a well-known portrait of Washington. Painted by John Trumbull, the portrait shows Washington standing on a bluff above the Hudson River, with Lee on horseback behind him. According to, Trumbull painted this portrait from memory, five years after serving as Washington's aide-de-camp early in the Revolutionary War.

Lange, the author of 19 plays, writes stories that give a voice to unknown Black Americans. He is the graduate of London's Royal Academy of the Dramatic Arts and the recipient of the NAACP Renaissance Man Theatre Award. Also, for pop culture junkies, Lange is well-known for his role as bartender Isaac Washington in the TV series, The Love Boat.

Learn more about Charleston Black Theatre online.

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VIDEO: Watch Dusty Slay's TV debut on Kimmel ahead of Charleston Comedy Fest

More like Dusty Slay(ed)

Posted by Connelly Hardaway on Wed, Jan 3, 2018 at 8:42 AM

Former Charleston comedian Dusty Slay made his television debut on the Jimmy Kimmel show last night. The stand-up comic will be performing at the Charleston Comedy Festival (co-sponsored by your favorite alt-weekly) later this month, along with a ton of local and regional acts, and headliners Colin Quinn and Iliza Shlesinger.
Until then, check out Slay's clip from the show, which has him cracking jokes about growing up in a trailer park and having parents buy him shitty gifts with "good" money, trying to get in a kidnapper's van ... and well, just check it out for yourself.

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