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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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Vocal Edition Christmas Medley, Brookgreen Gardens: 22 December 2012   no comments

Posted at 2:36 am in entertainment,events

Written by ted on December 24th, 2012

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Kangaroo Express, 2950 Glenns Bay Connector (Surfside Beach): Fall 2012   3 comments

Posted at 12:41 am in grand-strand,out-of-area,stores

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The Glenns Bay Connector runs, under a couple of different street names, from oceanfront in Surfside Beach, across US-17 business, across US-17 bypass and to SC-707.

Between US-17 and 17 bypass, it is two lanes only. This has not been enough for years, especially since a large number of appartments have been built off of the road in this area. If you are trying to go from the bypass to US-17 in the afternoon, there will always be somebody stopped in the road trying to make a left turn into their complex, backing traffic up for blocks.

Currently there is a project underway to widen the road, and it has apparently eaten this Kangaroo Express on the north east side of the intersection. Don't cry for Kangaroo because there is *another* one on the south east side of the intersection.

It looks to me as though the carwash has been closed longer than the store itself.

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Written by ted on November 9th, 2012

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Building 581 Myrtle Beach Airforce Base, Farrow Parkway: 1993   6 comments

I noticed a new cut-in to Farrow Parkway at the (bankrupt) Market Commons shopping development in Myrtle Beach back in July.

Market Commons is the Myrtle Beach equivalent of Village At Sandhill, and is the most promenient development on the old Myrtle Beach Airforce Base. The base (which shared runways with the Myrtle Beach Jetport) was closed in 1993, and most of the old Airforce Buildings are already gone. The new cut-in to Farrow however leads to one which is still standing, more or less.

I don't know what Building 581 was used for, but the size of some of the doors make me think it may have been a vehicle maintenance facility or storage building. Probably the later, as I saw no evidence of pits or lifts. The place has now been heavily tagged with graffiti, sometimes amusingly, sometimes profanely, so some of the pictures after the jump might be considered NSFW.

Google Maps indicates a phantom road on the north side of the building, which it designates as Old Railbed Road. I suspect that it originally was a rail spur which connected to the rail line crossing the trestle connecting the Waccamaw Neck with the rest of the national rail grid, and would have been used to bring in supplies back in the day.

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Steve Miller Band, House of Blues Myrtle Beach: 8 October 2011   4 comments

The House of Blues at (The bankrupt) Barefoot Landing in Myrtle Beach seems to make a policy of booking major "legacy" acts into its rather intimate space. In the past, I've seen Boz Scaggs, Cyndi Lauper, The Beach Boys (Carl Wilson was visibly failing), and Blondie there.

The only problem I have with the place is that while they have a reserved seating area, the tickets don't seem to be available on the standard web site, and standing up for two hours gets old pretty quick for me nowdays.

Steve Miller has, of course, been around forever, but scored his greatest success in the mid 70s with the "Fly Like an Eagle" and "Book of Dreams" albums. Supposedly he has never allowed a recognizable picture of himself on an album cover, and at the peak of his fame, could ride his bike around venue parking lots without being recognized. He has never had what you could call a "great" voice -- it's a very servicable reedy tenor, and the fact that it's never been perfect means that it hasn't dropped off much either: he was in good vocal form for Saturday's show. The Steve Miller Band is now apparently a six-man outfit. Two guitars, a bass, drums, keyboards and a (very flamboyant) second vocalist.

As you'll recall, when I saw The Doobie Brothers in North Charleston, and Al Stewart in Newberry, I was surprised at how lax the venues were about cameras. In the past it almost seemed like places would break your kneecaps before letting you in with a camera, but apprently, as in school, the Battle of the Cell Phone has been lost, and other cameras reap the benefit. Since I regretted not taking the closing-cam to those shows, I checked on the HOB ticketing site, and non-removable-lens cameras are allowed, so in it came.

The curtain opening number was "Jet Airliner" (with the synth prologue [mostly missed here] playing before the curtain dropped), and Miller went on to play pretty much all of his hits and well known songs: "Jet Airliner", "Abracadabera", "Wild Mountain Honey", "Serenade To The Stars", "Swingtown", "Dance Dance Dance", "Take The Money & Run", "Jungle Love", "Space Cowboy" (dedicated to William Shatner), "Livin' In The USA", "The Stake", "The Joker" (acoustic), and "Rockin' Me". He also played a few blues numbers (it was originally "The Steve Miller Blues Band") that really let the second vocalist shine.

In short, it was an excellent show, and if you get the opportunity to catch him, do.

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Written by ted on October 10th, 2011

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Hooters, 825 Mall Drive (Murrells Inlet): Fall 2009   2 comments

Posted at 1:45 am in grand-strand,restaurants

I've been spending some time on the coast recently (Brookgreen Gardens had a nice little fall festival this weekend), and noticed this closing while driving by the terminally-ailing Inlet Square Mall where US-17 Business and US-17 Bypass come together at Murrells Inlet.

Tracking Grand Strand closings would be a full time job as the area has incredible churn, but I can't resist listing some here from time to time. Just two thoughts:

a) The economy must really be bad if Hooters can't sell what's on their menu.

and

b) They have a pre-printed company-logo sign (with slogan) for store closings?

UPDATE 29 August 2011 -- It's now The Carolina Tavern:

Written by ted on October 26th, 2009

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The Myrtle Beach Pavilion, Ocean Boulevard: 30 September 2006   22 comments


PAVILION AND MIDWAY.
MYRTLE BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA
"AMERICA'S FINEST STRAND"
670 Miles South of New York
735 Miles North of Miami
Home of Miss Universe Pageant of South Carolina

OK, today is an anniversary of sorts. Three years ago today was the final day of operation for the Myrtle Beach Pavilion. As it happens, I was there, and made a video essay to share with friends and family. The fact of doing that, and not really having any good forum for something like that was one of the things that started percolating around in my brain and eventually led to establishing Columbia Closings.

Below is the essay pretty much unchanged from how I wrote it then, followed by a lot of still pictures (too many, I'm sure) that I took on that day and earlier in the year:


Last Ride at the Myrtle Beach Pavilion, 30 September 2006

We didn't actually go to the Pavilion that often as kids, so the closing
shouldn't be that big a deal, but we always knew that there was the
possibility that we might go, and that possibility loomed large in our minds.

In the end, Burroughs & Chapin is a business, and they made a business decision to shut the Pavilion down. That said, they actually did it in a classy way. For the Last Ride celebration on Saturday September 30 2006, they presold tickets, each of which came with park access from 3PM to 8PM, free parking, and unlimited free pizza, burgers, corndogs, funnel cake and ice cream.

As I happened to be at the beach at the time, I reserved a ticket and took a CVS disposable video camera (as well as my regular film camera, and a disposable film camera) to record some last memories.

This page is devoted to the short videos I shot that day. I have converted the DVD which CVS gives you into an AVI file for each scene. While these files are not huge (except for the all-in-one file), you may not be able to stream them unless you have a fast connection. If clicking your left button on a picture does not start your movie player, or if the clip plays jerkily, I recommend clicking your right button over each picture and selecting "save target as" or the equivalent to download the clips. They should be playable with Windows Media Player on Windows, or "mplayer" on Linux.

We start off on the roof of the Pavilion parking garage, looking out at the roller coaster and other rides:

Moving to the South side of the garage roof, we look down at the lines forming to get into the Pavilion:

Coming off the roof, I took a brief shot of foot traffic on Ocean Blvd, noting the fact that the Pavilion Arcade is already closed:

Collecting my ticket and stepping inside the park, we see some kiddie rides:

More kiddie rides:

The very first thing I ever remember from the Pavilion is this 1905 German Band organ. The second thing I remember is the blow dryer in the restroom. I had never seen such a thing! I only remember Daddy being there on that trip, probably because he would have been the one taking me to the bathroom (which is alongside the organ), but doubtless Momma & Sus were around.

I was disappointed that Sugarbug could not see the organ on her trip to the park, but it was closed for repair at the time. When you consider that it is 102 years old, I suppose that's not surprising. I'm not sure it comes across in these videos, but the organ is loud!

The placards describing the organ claim some of the original cardboard punched music sheets are still used. Somehow I doubt that "Ob La Di Ob La Da" was that popular in 1905!

The only actual ride I remember from that (presumed) first trip to the Pavilion is this boat ride, which I thought was possibly the neatest thing in the world:

No trip to any amusement park would be complete without the Bumper Cars:

My attempt to film while driving a Bumper Car ended quickly when the
attendant stopped the ride. I thought I had broken a rule, but he was
after a kid who was old enough to ride, but not drive:

The swings is a nice ride because it goes around, but not enough to make middle aged stomachs queasy:

I hopped aboard a wooden pig for a ride on the carrousel. While not as old as the band organ, it is pretty old. I noticed that the carrousel music was coming from a sound system and not the antique music box. Perhaps they didn't feel it was worth repairing for the time left. I have no idea what will happen to the carrousel or band organ. It would be a shame if they were left to rot:

The Log Flume is the park's intermediate water ride. More wet than the
"boats", less soaking than the "river ride":

There was a pretty good beach band playing at the amphitheatre. The name escapes me, but they had just finished a very good version of "Carolina Girls" when I started filming. This song was well done, but not one I would call a classic:

I wrestled with whether to ride the big coaster or not. On the one hand, I was coming down with a cold and had something of a headache, on the other hand, I'd never have the chance again. Riding the intermediate coaster "The Mad mouse" decided me I wasn't ready for the big one, but here are some people who were:

Here's another shot of the Carrousel, which was strikingly pretty with
the setting sun glinting off the mirror panels. I like this one a lot; there's so much going on in this shot and some appropriately elegiac music for the last sunset on the working park:

Finally, we finish with the band organ again to take us out:

This is the whole video in one 306 megabyte, 20 minute lump:

After running out of video, I stayed until the end of the day, and rode
the final run of the Bumper Cars. It was somewhat of a melancholy experience, but I'm glad I did it.

Ted, 3 October, 2006

Still pix after the jump..

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Written by ted on September 30th, 2009

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Krispy Kreme, US-17 Garden City: Spring 2008 (moved)   5 comments

Posted at 4:59 pm in grand-strand,landmark,restaurants

(7 Jan 2011):

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11 April 2011:

This Krispy Kreme on US Highway 17 in Garden City had been there since forever (although it was obviously converted from a gas station at some time in the past). We used to badger our parents into stopping there from time to time growing up. It had the interesting distinction of being the only Krispy Kreme store I know of which didn't make its own doughnuts. Honestly, what is the Krispy Kreme concept without the Hot Doughnuts Now! sign? Not that they were stale, there are at least three stores up the road in Myrtle Beach that make hot ones and could supply this store on a same-day basis.

From the note, it appears that the whole "dead plaza" area around this store is to be re-developed, which w accounts for the Krispy Kreme and the auto-parts store both losing their leases. I suppose you could say re-development started a few years ago with the new Walgreens in the same block.

I was a bit surprised to see that the new Krispy Kreme location (a few blocks North, still on US-17) still doesn't make its own doughnuts.

UPDATE 3 September 2012: Added pix from 7 January 2011.

UPDATE 26 Jan 2013: Add pix from 11 April 2011.

UPDATE 4 April 2012 -- The place is now open, completely remodeled, as a Verizon store:

Also, the first new Krispy Kreme location mentioned above (north of here on the west side of the road) has now moved across the street to the east side of US-17 and *does* now make its own doughnuts, with the requisite Hot Doughnuts Now sign.

Written by ted on June 25th, 2008

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