Notes from Jane
Everyone keeps saying ”Welcome to the New Normal!” All I can figure out is the new normal means total uncertainty. How about you? This month is usually all about going back to school and all that entails. Who knows when the school year will begin and what form it will take? In person, virtual or a combination of the two, a few days per week in person or a double shift of classes, decisions will have to be made soon. There will be naysayers no matter what the decision, that’s the only certainty.
The only thing that seems to be set is the Tax Free Weekend for purchasing those back-to-school (?) items. Of course, the rest of us can purchase the same items and save the taxes. I will be a good stimulus to local business and boy do they need it after the pummeling they’ve taken this year. The tax holiday is from 12:01am on Friday the 7th through Sunday the 9th at midnight.
The College of Charleston is expanding its offerings for engineering majors. Pending approval, CofC will offer a new Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. The School for Professional Studies will close.
Remember that tract of land at the end of Romney Street. Yes, the site of the old dump, sweetly renamed Laurel Island. Every few years, it pops up in the news as the newest land to be developed. Developers are once again slated to appear before the Planning Commission to request rezoning of the 196 acre tract. Presently zoned for general business and industry, they are looking for permission to build a Planned Unit Development. It looks like the development will consist of office space, entertainment facilities, retail and maybe hotels.
The initial focus will be on affordable workforce housing, the Post & Courier reported. This is all way down the road after receiving approvals, building infrastructure like roads, sewer, water, and power. A bridge will need to be built to span Morrison Drive and the railroad tracks. The BAR would also have to approve designs of all buildings. So, even in a perfect world they estimate 1-2 years before any dirt is moved.
We have a few events scheduled. As we said earlier, nothing is written in stone, so if these interest you, check to make sure they haven’t been postponed. Safety measures are in effect. The Gullah/Geechee Nation International Movement and Music Fest will be on the 1st, Saturday, noon-6pm at the Sotille Theatre and continue through Sunday.
The Jr. Pet Helper Virtual Camp is a safe way to keep the kids occupied. Programming consists of live streamed activities, crafts and more from the 4th- 7th. The 7th is National Lighthouse Day, paying tribute to the many years lighthouses have provided safe passage to sailors. The Home Free show that was cancelled on April 17th has been rescheduled for the 7th at the Charleston Music Hall.
The 16th Annual Sweetgrass Festival is scheduled for the 8th at Mt.P Waterfront Memorial Park. A wide assortment of pieces will be available, as well as, opportunities to learn about the Gullah culture that produces these pieces, some of which are in museum collections around the world. The Omar Shrine Temple will host its family friendly 2020 Seafood Festival at their auditorium on Patriots Point on the 9th from 12 noon til 5pm.
The Lowcountry Dancing with the Stars Oxygen Ball is an American Lung Association benefit that pairs local celebrities with professional dancers. This event has been switched to a Virtual Event. The 22nd Annual Half Rubber Tournament will be at the Isle of Palms Recreation Center. Check In and Captains Meeting for the August 22nd tourney is at 7:30am. Games begin at 8am and Lights Out is at 10pm at the very latest.
Whether to capture our attention with instantly recognizable theme songs, transport us to different worlds, or guide us on an emotional journey, music plays an essential part of the storytelling process in both TV and film. Through the use of recurring melodic themes or even a two note motif, music provides a heightened emotional response that adds life to a story. From the small to the silver screen, revisit some of the most memorable musical moments in TV and film with Jazz On The Screen, an evening with the Charleston Jazz Orchestra at the Charleston Music Hall on the 22nd. Two sets, 5pm and 8pm will include music from the Game of Thrones, West Side Story, Beauty and the Beast, the Glenn Miller Story, Mannix, and even a Saturday Morning Cartoon Medley.
The 21st Race for the ARK, benefitting Alzheimer Family Support Services will take place on the 22nd. There will be a staggered start, the number of runners will be limited, there will be no onsite registration and no award ceremony in order to adhere to Covid 19 safety precautions.
Whether you believe there is an Covid 19 pandemic or not, the world is reacting to it. Some hotels and resorts are fielding cancellations from concerned travelers. For the first time since visitors began to slowly return, statewide hotel occupancy took a dip during the July 4th weekend.
But visitors love the Lowcountry. Yes, it’s time for the Conde Nast Travel+Leisure Readers Choice Awards. Guess who was once again, for the 8th year, named the Best City in the US? You got it! As they say, their readers have a soft spot for southern cities. While they may enjoy high octane New York and amiable Chicago, when it came time to name the US cities that they most adored this year, travelers turned to smaller-though no less vibrant- towns on the lower half of the map. 8 out of the Top 15 US Cities are in the American South. Yes, we have history, architecture, culture, great weather, gracious locals, beaches, that’s true. But if you ask why the obsession with this city, readers say it’s the food. Homey hole-in-the-wall or fancy, they’ve never had a bad meal here. As for hospitality, chatting with the locals is another top reason: 1. Charleston 2. New Orleans 3. Santa Fe 4. Savannah 5.Chicago 6.NYC 7.San Antonio 8. Honolulu 9. Asheville 10. Austin 11. Nashville 12. Williamsburg 13. Wash, DC 14. Minneapolis/St Paul 15. Carmel-by-the-Sea. In the Top 25 Cities in the World category, only 2 US cities made the cut: Charleston came in at #18 and New Orleans at #22. Top 15 Islands in the Continental US? #3 Hilton Head and #5 Kiawah. The Sanctuary was #8 on the Top Resort Hotels in the South. The Top 15 City Hotels in the Continental US – and there are a lot of them!-#7 Wentworth Mansion and at #12 John Rutledge House Inn.
Looking for a special hotel stay in the Holy City? There’s a list for that. “Last year’s runner-up took the top spot this year thanks in part to ’the best hotel breakfast in Charleston’ and the ‘view from the cupola, which is unmatched anywhere else in town’ …’the interior design is also a winner’…’the hotel was amazing and beyond our expectations regarding both the level of service and its rooms.’ Pretty heady stuff. So I guess you know that #1 was Wentworth Mansion followed by: 2. John Rutledge House Inn 3. The Vendue, Charleston’s Art Hotel 4. Planters Inn 5. The Spectator Hotel 6. Zero George 7. Andrew Pinckney Inn 8. Hotel Bennett 9. Belmond Charleston Place 10. The Restoration 11. The Dewberry Charleston 12. French Quarter Inn 13. The Market Pavilion Hotel 14. The Grand Bohemian Hotel 15. The Harbour View Inn. That’s it for this month, see you in September.