Monday, March 15, 2010
"I told you so..."
As mentioned previously, my spring break was spent on a house boat (I prefer "ship") docked in Fort Myers' Snook Bight Marina. The weather was absolutely phenomenal (aside from one day of torrential rain and some solid flash flooding) and it was really very unfortunate to leave. A friend described me as a "child of the summer," which is frankly dead on. My biggest problem with Charlottesville is the fact that it is completely landlocked. Its pretty hard to grow up in Baltimore and not develop a love of sun, water, and great seafood. Unfortunately, the real world calls, and I arrived back in Charlottesville this morning after what was supposed to be a 2-day trip back took a little layover in Roanoke. Though I don't claim to be particularly poorly traveled, I will say that the south has (unfortunately) escaped my radar. Most of the architecture classes I've taken here have made me want to take a road trip down the coast to see historic towns like St. Augustine, Savannah, and of course, Charleston. So, when the opportunity arose to stop at the College of Charleston on our way back and spend the night, I can't say I was mad about it. My best friend Katie has been telling me how she can't see me living anywhere else but Charleston since she and her family visited last Easter. At the time I brushed it off, content with my mid-atlantic latitude; but now having visited (even for just over 24 hours), I had no idea what I was thinking. A slightly undercover architecture nerd, I was in absolute heaven. After dropping my friends off at C of C to get ready with our high school friend, I went over to the battery on an adventure to see as much as I could. The lights of Fort Sumter were just visible in the distance, and even in the darkness I was in complete awe. The houses are just absolutely unbelievable - authentic, early 19th century, uniquely southern homes lining an expansive harbor with so much character. Historically, most of the residences have remained in their original families, having been passed down over the years. The photo to the left is 21 East Battery, which is right behind the 1825 Edmondston-Alston House, one of the first homes constructed facing Charleston Harbor. In 1838, the second owner Charles Alston completely remodeled the house, adding Greek Revival details. This is just one example; East Battery street is lined with some of the most interesting, and historic homes I've ever seen. The fact that the majority of the residences are original (or as close as you can get) is what makes so much of a time capsule - and I love it. The architecture is really just the beginning - life moves slower in Charleston; the urgency that can sometimes overwhelm up north is nonexistent. Not only that, but Charleston is the mecca of fraternity fashion. There was no shortage of croakies, colorful khakis, and button downs. Truth be told, I have a soft spot for a good bow tie and blazer. Hopefully someday I'll have the opportunity to live there; I'd take even a cardboard shack on the Battery any day.