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The Charleston Insider

We love Charleston and keep a pulse on what's going on in our community. Whether you are looking for interesting facts about Charleston's history, stories of the people living right here in our city today, or simply looking for things to do, places to eat, and where to stay, we've got you covered!
Monday, 13 May 2019 13:30

We return to town this week and visit 456 King Street, known as the William Aiken House. Its namesake, William Aiken, was an Irish immigrant born in 1788 who came to America at the age of 10. Aiken became prosperous in the cotton and rice business of South Carolina. His name lives on in the South Carolina town and county of Aiken. He was also the father of Governor William Aiken who lived several blocks away on Elizabeth Street in the museum house known as “The Aiken-Rhett House."

Monday, 06 May 2019 15:37

This week we go further afield and drive out to scenic Highway 61. There are three major plantations located on this highway along the Ashley River that are open to the public: Magnolia Plantation, Middleton Place, and Drayton Hall.

Of these plantations, Drayton Hall has the only plantation house that was not destroyed by Union forces as they burned their way into Charleston at the end of the Civil War. Supposedly, rumors that the house was being used as a hospital for highly contagious people was enough to totally discourage the Union forces from getting close enough to discover whether the patients were Confederate or Union troops.

Monday, 29 April 2019 11:25

Welcome to 98 Broad Street, a small building next door to the Charleston County Judicial Center. Notice the French flag in the photo; 98 Broad has been home to Gaulart & Maliclet Café, a small French restaurant, since 1984. G&M, known to locals as "Fast & French," is a favorite restaurant for many Charlestonians, especially during lunchtime to those employed near Broad Street.

Tuesday, 23 April 2019 09:37

On Bull Street traveling towards the Ashley River, several townhouses tend to capture people's attention. Sarah Smith built these Italianate-style row houses, starting with the one she lived in at 101 Bull Street, around 1853-1854. "Row houses" refer to a row of houses where each house shares a common wall with the next.

For purposes of this post, we will focus on 101 Bull Street. The façade can be misleading; 101 Bull has over 6,000 square feet. Look at the ornamentation above the door. If you're from Charleston or visit frequently, this heavy terra cotta ornamentation will look familiar because of its resemblance to the window cornices at the Mills House Hotel at 115 Meeting Street.

Monday, 22 April 2019 10:41

There is something simultaneously exotic, passionate and downright swinging about gypsy jazz. That's the all-strings musical style that guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli popularized with their Hot Club of France collaborations in the 1930s and '40s, but back then, they didn’t call it gypsy jazz. It was simply a small group of musicians led by Reinhardt playing the guitar in his uniquely superb style accompanied by the amazingly talented Grappelli on the violin. The combo was a grand slam.

Wednesday, 17 April 2019 09:30

When you’re planning a wedding in the South, you might consider incorporating some deep-rooted traditions and decoration styles into your celebration to make for a memorable event. These traditions have been handed down through generations and can be fun, quirky, and even superstitious. Many people don’t even know where these customs came from but including them in your celebration can be a great way to make your event truly unique. Here are just eight Southern wedding traditions to keep in mind:

Monday, 15 April 2019 10:05

The French Huguenot Church is on the southeast corner of Church and Queen Streets. Across the street is the Dock Street Theatre, and straight ahead is St. Philip's Episcopal Church as Church Street curves around it. A French Huguenot Church has stood on this site, in the midst of these historic buildings, since 1687.

Huguenots were French Protestants who followed the teachings of John Calvin. Under the 1598 Edict of Nantes, Huguenots were allowed to practice their religion in France, which was primarily Catholic at the time. In 1685, King Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes, and Huguenots began leaving France to escape persecution.

Monday, 08 April 2019 14:45

Built as a double tenement by Josiah Smith, the grand old brick building with the arched passageway at 85-87 Broad Street dates from 1795. Smith gave one tenement to each of his two sons, William and Samuel. The Smiths descended from an old and distinguished family who had helped settle Carolina.

 

Friday, 05 April 2019 09:35

Just having my daily Quad Toddy (quadruple Cortado) at the best coffee shop in town, Muddy Waters (whoot, whoot), and as usual, I run into clients and potential clients with great questions on how to reach their fitness goals. First off, kudos to everyone out there taking classes and hiring coaches to help them get fit! Question: "I'm doing yoga, pilates and HIIT (high intensity interval training) 3-5 days a week, but I'm not seeing the results for my effort. What gives?!?" Let's give them the benefit of the doubt when it comes to eating and sleeping habits, and focus on exercise!

Monday, 01 April 2019 10:42

St. Philip’s Church at 146 Church Street is the mother church of Anglicanism in Charleston. This English colony, founded in 1670, served as a beacon of religious tolerance, which was written into the governing document of Carolina. Anglicanism would have been the “state” religion since we were an English colony but other religions were welcomed here.

Friday, 29 March 2019 10:10

By Emily Gracey on behalf of ABC News 4

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — Slow roasted pork, rum and fresh fruit are the cornerstones of any Cuban kitchen and key ingredients in a new bar from a couple of holy city new-comers.

Owners Timur and Michael hail from the West coast and have opened Dalila’s on Spring Street.

Monday, 25 March 2019 09:45

What most people notice first about 95 Broad Street is its fabulous color -- that of a red-orange poppy. The paint seems to breathe instead of looking flat and uniform because the house has been "limewashed," an old European method of painting where lime is mixed with earth pigments for color. The paint works particularly well over absorbent surfaces such as stucco and brick. The effect particularly appeals to me as an artist.

 

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