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Brookgreen Gardens Nights of 1000 Candles 2013, Brookgreen Gardens (grand strand): 21 December 2013   2 comments

Posted at 12:29 am in events,grand-strand,out-of-area,venue

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"Some Pig!"

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This years' was the warmest Nights of 1000 Candles I've ever been to. In past years, there have been times when I have been so cold that I couldn't feel the buttons on the camera, but this year was not just mild: We're talking bikini weather here (though even so attired, you would still have on more clothes than most of the statuary..).

In years past, I have either taken a tripod (now disallowed) or set the camera on something for long time exposures. This year, I just cranked the ISO up to 16000, 32000 and sometimes 64000 to see how things would come out. Obviously the results aren't as pristine as some in the past, but despite all the high-ISO noise, I think you get the general spirit. If you've never gone, well, it's too late for this year, but you should make some plans for next.

Written by ted on December 23rd, 2013

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Piggly Wiggly, 115 Willbrook Boulevard Pawleys Island(*): 9 November 2013   7 comments

Posted at 12:45 am in grand-strand,out-of-area,stores

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Well, just to continue our ongoing list of Pig closings, the store in Litchfield Beach is now gone.

This was a fairly new store, and quite nice. It also seemed to always do quite a good business as far as I could tell.

The store is located in a plaza just across US-17 from the main Litchfield resort area (with the old Tara Theater) and has a number of restaurants and a few retail operations. There has been some churn during the financial crisis, and Blockbuster, a computer store and a couple of others have gone, but Massey's Pizza and Eggs Up have moved in, so on the whole it is doing OK. Physically the site is quite nice, with moss draped live-oaks and stop-light access.

The Pig will be re-opening as a Bi-Lo, and I have to think that this will mean moving the Bi-Lo from a few blocks north into this spot. Currently the Bi-Lo (originally built as a Harris Teeter) is in an older, failing plaza, which has recently seen the only other decent store (Litchfield Books) decamp to the new Fresh Market complex.

All of this movement takes place in the total revamping of the local grocery environment. Along with the newly opened and afore-mentioned Fresh Market, the Grand Strand's first Publix will be opening in the currently dowdy Pawleys Island Plaza, and a Lowe's Foods will be opening in a new plaza at the Island's South Causeway. This has to be putting a good deal of pressure on Food Lion which has been running a rather up-scale location also at the South Causeway.

(*) All the online google hits list this location as Pawleys Island. In my mind that is clearly wrong. This is Litchfield Beach, plain and simple. Somehow the area covered by the Pawleys Island moniker has tended to spread as "Arrogantly Shabby" has become "upscale" and gained a bit of cachet.

Written by ted on December 6th, 2013

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Not 'Mane', At Least   4 comments

Posted at 2:39 am in commentary,grand-strand,out-of-area

"Captain! The main lobsters are down!"

"Then deploy the.. impulse lobsters!

Written by ted on November 16th, 2013

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Carolina Renaissance Festival, Huntersville North Carolina: 2 & 3 November 2013   5 comments

I'd heard the radio ads for the Carolina Renaissance Festival for years, but somehow never got around to going until the start of November. For one thing, I wasn't quite sure where Huntersville was (answer: just north of Charlotte), for another I didn't know if there would be enough there to be worth a weekend.

In the event, I was quite pleasantly surprised. The place is a couple of miles east of I-77 and has an interesting air of semi-permanence about it. The parking lot is obviously a pasture or some such non-graded space, and the buildings are all open to the air with porta-johns providing the facilities, but yet they are permanent structures, and the festival is now in its 20th year.

The crowd is an interesting mix. There are the standard parents-with-kids families out for a day of face painting and low-tech carnival rides, then there are the Society For Creative Anachronism types, the "healing crystals" and New Age crowd and the Celts and fairies crowd. One comic storyteller commented that there was a lot of crossover with engineering and science-fiction fandom types (and indeed SCA is strongly correlated with SF fandom..) such that he could tell Rene Descartes jokes ("Rene Descartes walks into a bar. The bartender asks him if he wants a beer. 'I think not', says Descartes and vanishes..")

The show people were great. Everyone had a line of patter to draw in a crowd (the fire eater: "I'm not that good. Come watch me, I might hurt myself!"), and kept up rapid fire comedy bits while swallowing swords ("You can only swallow a sharp sword once!"), walking the tightrope, abusing the peasants or juggling.

It was also a "something for all ages" event. As I mentioned there were plenty of kid friendly activities, but there was also a bit of a bawdy side for the grownups at events labeled LC ("loose cannon").

Here's a few videos.

From the sublime:

To the freaky:

To the dangerous:

To the NSFW:

And the even less SFW:

The Fair runs weekends through the rest of November.

Lots more after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ted on November 13th, 2013

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Fire, Front Street Georgetown: 25 September 2013   2 comments

This is about the only good news to come out of Georgetown in the last few days.

I have been in a number of these businesses, and they are right in the heart of the downtown boardwalk.

The State has the initial story and several followups, including the Governor's visit.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ted on October 1st, 2013

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Krystal, 3120 U.S. 17 Business (Murrells Inlet): June 2013   14 comments

Posted at 12:30 am in grand-strand,out-of-area,restaurants

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Apparently this was not the last Krystal in South Carolina, but it's pretty close. It looks like the other few that are left are clustered along the Georgia and North Carolina border areas with none in the Midlands, Pee Dee or Low Country.

This store, on US-17 Business near to Inlet Square Mall is not in an obviously bad location (though a Five Guys did open nearby a couple of years ago) but is in a little strip that doesn't seem to prosper. In particular, a Moe's failed a few storefronts down, something that seemed unlikely to me at the time, and one end unit has cycled through quite a few entertainment concepts (comedy club, karakoe..) in the last few years.

Written by ted on July 10th, 2013

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Oasis Tanning Salon, 280 West Third Street (Swansea): June 2013   1 comment

Posted at 12:06 am in business,out-of-area

Made a nice little ride out into IGA territory on Sunday to check out this spot in Swansea, a place that to the best of my memory, I'd never been to before. Third street is apparently the business district, and there were several restaurants in the general area. While I concede tans look good on other people (especially of the female persuasion), I've never seen the appeal myself, especially with Irish skin. Anyway, if you do, it looks like you can latch on to a turnkey setup here.

(Hat tip to commenter Jay)

Written by ted on June 25th, 2013

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The Puddlin' Duck Restaurant & Pub, 108 Columbia Northeast Drive Suite G: Spring 2013   8 comments

Posted at 11:57 pm in out-of-area,restaurants

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This little Irish pub was tucked away at the bottom of the hill in the little strip mall fronted by Dunkin' Donuts. In fact, it was so tucked away that while every time I saw it, I meant to try it out sometime, it would always slip my mind completely when I actually was looking to go somewhere.

I noticed recently when I was looking at Golden City, that it had, so to speak, changed its stripes and is now Kwagga.

Written by ted on June 7th, 2013

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Extra Crispy Crust, Please! (Pizza Hut, 530 Church Street Georgetown: December 2012) Open Again   8 comments

Posted at 1:13 am in grand-strand,out-of-area,restaurants

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UPDATE 9 April 2014 -- Here are a few pictures from early January 2014 of the new building, which is now open. (Unfortunately, it was a very grey day):

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Written by ted on June 1st, 2013

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Jiggitty Jig   9 comments

Posted at 1:03 am in commentary,out-of-area

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Written by ted on May 30th, 2013

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