MORE Coming soon…

But here’s a little taste…

 

To walk the 300-year-old cobblestones that line the streets of Charleston, South Carolina, is to traverse time and memory, often getting lost in or misinterpreting both. Trodding down narrow alleys, a single turn suddenly gives way to expanse, be it a view of the harbor, its hazy horizon dotted with blanched sails, its surging waters buttressed by sea walls. The southern sun tires the eyes as it beats against and bounces off the narrow facades of the historic town’s homes, at once brightening and weathering rows of Bermudian limestone in alternating shades of coral, mint, ochre, and lavender, a palette that brings to mind rattan ceiling fans, drawls that dance on the tongue like diabetes-inducing sweet teas, and oh-so-preppy madras golf trousers.

It is also place infused by memories—not all of them pleasant, none of them dull. It is a place of contradictions: A city that feels like a town. A region of stifling heat and cool breezes. Stench of overworked horses drawing tourist-laden carriages mixes with wafts of sweet magnolia and pungent enticing aroma of She Crab Soup. The pain of oppression, the battle for independence.

But not from the Union—rather from a force an ocean away, and for a union that did not yet exist.

But it is that other war that most often comes to mind when we think of when we think of Charleston—the war, as the southerners called it, of northern aggression. That image of Charleston is one of confederate flags and antebellum balls, plantations and the thousands of people enslaved to work them.