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Roaming South… Continued.

February 22, 2015

….”All in all it totaled ten states. Seven cities. Six days. About 3000miles… give or take.  Many, many seedy greyhound bus stations.  One train. One plane.  Only one bed. One very interesting night at the Memphis airport. One pair of broken shoes.  One very sturdy, trusted and dusty pair of Frye boots. A couple pretty good record finds.  Twenty or more cliff bars.  One fabulously superb meal.  About 30 rolls of negatives.  Miles of strange highways.  Miles of even stranger towns.  Oodles of personal information from complete strangers. Two new friends.  Hours of photographic stimulation, and only one real moment of fear.”

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Charleston South Carolina marked the thousand-ish mile.

I had waited on a craigslist ride to get there that never panned out.  It seemed I was destined to make a bed again on a bus.  I got pretty good at this.  I was more than enthused when I was able to grab a train.  The comfort level was stepped up but apparently so was the air conditioning.  Traveling the south in the beginning of September I had only brought a sweatshirt, mostly for pillow purposes.  The wide leather seat was half empty on one side when I woke up to find myself shivering against the stranger in the three piece white suit sitting next to me.  (To this pimp/man, I apologize) although I think he was chilly as well.

I was tired to say the least as I waited for the sun to come up on a curb outside a closed Starbucks.  It felt like forever before an employee came to open.  I tried not to look too impatient as she flashed me a polite smile that also said I know you look desperate for coffee and a bathroom but I’m not letting you in early.

One thing I kept noticing as I meandered and waited was how empty it was.  Even in some of my late night roaming back in Boston I find it odd that there aren’t more people.  Such big places, how could I be the only one around so frequently.  Does no one else travel overnight? Does no one else explore quiet cities in the wee hours of morn? Not that I mind the solitude, I’m just surprised there weren’t a hundred other people doing what I was doing.  Or at the very least, how was I the only early bird waiting for starbucks to open in the heart of Charleston…?

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I put in a phone call to the lovely Alyson Mathias after I had some caffeine and felt functional again.

(Look at her work if you haven’t…it’s fabulous.)

https://rubyhazzard.wordpress.com

I knew her sister Jill and finance Juan lived in town and as expected they were just as welcoming and hospitable as Al.  What I didn’t expect was to find my own sort of bizarro world right in her own home.  If you know the episode of Seinfeld I’m referring to then you know just what I’m talking about.

Back home I live with a family of friends I met at photography school.  We have a very close but wide variety of characters and equally as varied shenanigans we get into together.

Jill and Juan both being chefs invited me for what it still the best home cooked meal I can remember.  The apartment upstairs housed friends of theirs who were hosting a casual pizza night.  It was almost instantly that we got upstairs that the familiar feelings of home came in.  Their friends were all chefs living together laughing out their own shenanigans.  Even down to the different personalities, I was labeling each one as friend back home.  The witty charismatic one, the more mature leader, they even had the one non-chef in the mix as we have a welder in ours.  The whole atmosphere, even the jokes felt like I had my friends from Boston plucked out and dropped in Charleston.   I felt lucky to stumble upon this.  They played Prince records and told funny stories.  I almost broke when they played a recording of a silly home written song I believed was titled “smack santa’s sack”.

The similarities were uncanny.  Twilight zone uncanny.  No matter how I write it out it will never sound to you how wonderful and almost freaky it was for me.  I had always wondered throughout my travels about what moving would be like.  Would I ever find anything similar to what I have  now?  I certainly think it’s possible….

Pizza night.

Pizza night.

Window Pasta.

Window Pasta.

Ches Nous

Ches Nous

Aside from being more than gracious hosts Jill and Juan are talented chefs and owners of Chez Nous.  Their restaurant is as beautiful and comforting as they are.  For all the unexpected things you find when roaming Charleston certainly dished out some great memories.

I traveled like a hobo and got to eat like a king.

Chef Jill Mathias.

Chef Jill Mathias.

Jill Mathias and Juan Casselet.  Ches Nous

Jill Mathias and Juan Casselet. Ches Nous

Brandy.

Brandy.

Porch Light

Porch Light

Curiosity

Curiosity

The Green Door.

The Green Door.  Buffalo Chicken Waffle Tacos…. I’m not joking.

A tiny Taco Spot.

A tiny Taco Spot.

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DOA Crew.

DOA Crew.

Girl on Break.

Girl on Break.

Jail.

Jail.

Church across from the jail.

Church across from the jail….

King St. night gem.

King St. night gem.

Drunken walks.

Drunken walks.

Weekend plans with Fish.

Weekend plans with Fish.

Memphis to come soon….

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