July 25, 2021

Proletariat Travel | Charleston, South Carolina | Food, Architecture, History

Charleston has a rich and diverse history. It was one of the first places to allow Jews to practice their faith without restriction and yet it was the largest drop point for the slave trade. Also, this is where the Civil War began.

OLD SOUTH

This is the HL Hunley. It was one of the first submarine ships out there and pretty much anyone getting into it knew they probably weren’t coming back.

We walked past an old Fire Station and it finally became clear to me how cities of yore would burn completely to the ground. How the hell is this rickity old fire engine gonna put our a raging brownstone inferno? Exactly.

Sweetgrass basketing weaving is an art form that came over with the slaves. It is truly amazing how these artisans create patterns and ornate structure. If you can afford a piece when you get to Charleston you have to bring one home. It’s definitely something that will look good for decades in your home.

Here’s one of the landmark monuments in Charleston that will unsettle you. I haven’t really talked about this yet, but there was something about this part of the country that just kind of creeped me out, and it wasn’t the people, it was just the history. This is the Old Slave Mart, which as you can deduce, is where slaves were bought and sold like cattle. I found it very intriguing that the all-seeing-eye was prominently carved into the building’s front.

ARCHITECTURE

Charleston is a beautiful city. It is one part old America (like Beacon Hill in Boston), it is one part Caribbean/Islandy with all the pretty pastel colors, and of course everything has that Old South plantation vibe.

Charleston is famous for its side porches. People disagree on why they exist (old tax rates, small land plots) but they are unique and beautiful and were very handy pre-air-conditioning. The gardens aren’t bad either…

DINING

If you go to Charleston, South Carolina, you HAVE to eat at Jestine’s Kitchen. Leslie and I arrived at 3:45pm on a weekday and still had to wait in line for an hour. I couldn’t believe it, but our new friends in line told us this was a short wait. Good thing is the food actually delivered. I was afraid after waiting that long that nothing short of a tab of ecstacy would make it worthwhile, but the Southern fried chicken, shrimp and grits, and Coca-Cola cake was just what the doctor ordered.



SHOPPING

Coming from the East Coast, you assume there is no shopping anywhere like what you’re used to. Well, it was proven to me time and time again that I was wrong. Most cities in the USA have decent shops and Charleston had more than a few…


And even though it’s a tourist trap you gotta go to the City Market. Mainly so you can get some good old Southern spices!


“Slap Ya Mama” is my new goto fajita rub. All in all Charleston was a good place to visit. The people were nice, food was amazing, and I was glad to leave – which is always a sign of a good vacation.

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