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Archive for the ‘US-17’ tag

Brookgreen Gardens Nights of 1000 Candles 2012, Brookgreen Gardens (Grand Strand): 22 December 2012   no comments

Posted at 1:38 am in attraction,events,grand-strand

I went down to see the Gardens last weekend (the 15th) and ended up getting rained out, so I took a daytrip back yesterday.

This was neither the warmest nor the coldest of the Candles events I've been to, but it was cold enough that I had trouble feeling the smaller camera controls with frigid fingers..

I didn't take my tripod this year. They were disallowed last year, and while I didn't see any verbiage one way or another this time, I decided I would do more handheld shots at high-ISO rather than try to get a lot of long exposures. (Though I did set the camera on various rests to get some). That is preface to say there is a good bit more noise than previous picture sets, but there are still some nice ones.

They went all out in the exhibit room with electric trains this year -- possibly the most iconic Christmas present for boys of a certain age. The room had that immediately identifiable ozone smell from the working transformers and small hot engines as well as the unique sounds of O-27 trains (there were other guages as well). I've still got a set up in the attic -- I ought to take it out and set it up some time.

If you liked this set, there are others: 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008.

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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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Indian River Fruit Stand, A1A Yulee Florida: mid-1970s   no comments

Posted at 1:25 am in stores

I wish I had gotten better pictures of this place. Heavens knows I had enough opportunities over the years, but I never thought about it until quite recently, and the last few times I was in the area, it was either evening or heavily overcast, otherwise it might have been a picture on my Roadside Florida calendar.

This fruit stand was on A1A in Yulee Florida between I-95 (exit 373) and US-17. If you look closely on the door, you can see a Master Charge logo which dates the place to before 1979, when Master Charge changed to Master Card.

I like the shape of the building from the sides, and the wood cutout lettering and fruit shapes. It's the type of place that, while you may find its like still in service, is not being built anymore.

The fruit stand and an abandoned service station of the same vintage (about which I may do a closing eventually) stood on adjacent lots. As you can see in the later pictures, both have now been knocked down and the land is for sale (apparently interest is not high, as the price has been reduced).

And not to worry about being able to find Indian River citrus and Florida souveniers in Yulee.. Across the street from this stand's former location, a converted Stuckey's still offers all you could wish for:

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Written by ted on October 10th, 2012

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Fireworks Over Barefoot Landing: 4 July 2012   no comments

Posted at 4:45 pm in entertainment,events,grand-strand

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Written by ted on July 5th, 2012

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Austin's / Bove Restaurant & Bar / Pastaria 811, 11359 Ocean Highway / The Exchange: 2011 / 2012 (closed,moved)   5 comments

Posted at 12:56 am in grand-strand,restaurants

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I never went to Bove as my impression of it was always that it was too tony a spot for me to be a regular. It was the type of place that had named chefs and a deep wine selection.

Some time last year, it occurred to me that I never saw any cars there, and I stopped to take a look. There was no indication whatsoever that the place was closed, in fact there was what seemed to be a unique-for-the-day menu posted on the door and all the fixtures were in place. However, that menu never changed, and now that I was paying attention, there were no cars ever.

Bove was on US-17 in Pawleys Island, just north of the Sonic and south of the new Fresh Market. A few miles north on 17 in Litchfield Beach is an office complex and small mall called The Exchange.

My memory is that The Exchange was built in the late 1970s or early 1980s as a very upscale place. I particularly remember that on the north side of the gallery, just above where the tourism office now is (if indeed *that* is still there..) there was a specialty cheese shop, with all sorts of exotic cheeses that you could not (then) find in a typical grocery. There were also jewelers and upscale clothing botiques as well as some art galleries. Well -- it was simply a place that the Grand Strand was not ready for. First, I doubt they truly realized how seasonal the market was -- just because things looked good in June and July didn't mean that you would see customer-one in October, and second, that's not the kind of crowd that came to the beach in those days. Certainly now there are a bunch of well off retirees, but people toting a load of kids to the beach and Pavilion weren't going to have the time or inclination to peruse fancy cheeses -- essentially what happened is that every original tenant went bust over a very short period of time.

The second incarnation of the place was as an art mall. There were several galleries, one of which was very good and stayed many years and others which came and went. There were also spaces for painting classes and exibits and a couple of artist studios.

During this phase one of the long term tenants, The Coffee & Chocolate House opened. I never could understand how they subsisted on the meager foot traffic, but finally decided that mostly the place was a work area for their catering which seemed to carry them (and as far as I know they are still there).

The other long term non-art tenant was Pastaria 811. They were in a back slot which had originally (during the inital incarnation of The Exchange) been some sort of deli, and were a very good Italian restaurant. In fact, I would say they have the best bread on the Grand Strand, and one of the best pizzas in South Carolina (curiously, the other best pizza in SC is now less than a mile removed). In addition, the salads and pasta dishes like "stuffed shells" were quite good as well.

I should probably have tried to cut down the number of pictures of the place that are below after the break, but I'm a little sentimental about it as I ate there with both my mother and father.

As the years passed I ate there less frequently because my hours gradually shifted to the point I would go out to lunch at 3:00, and the Pastaria is one of those places that closes between lunch (ends at 2:30) and dinner (starts at 4:00), but still I would catch pizza there every now and then.

A year or two ago they did a major expansion, opening a new dining room area in what had been part of the Chocolate & Coffee House space (in the meantime, the good art gallery had moved in with the Coffee house), so I was very surprised, after they went to that expense, to hear that they were moving. I can only figure that 1) The Exchange was continuing to implode and they feared for its future stability and 2) The opportunity to get a building directly on US-17 that was already outfitted as a restaurant was too good a deal to pass up.

At any rate, they started moving into the old Bove space in January, and are now up and running. I went by recently, and the bread, stuffed shells and pizza are just as good from the new kitchen as the old.

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Written by ted on May 3rd, 2012

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The Crab Pot Restaurant, 10024 Highway 17 South (McClellanville): late 2000s   no comments

Posted at 12:56 am in landmark,out-of-area,restaurants

Written by ted on January 24th, 2012

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Brookgreen Gardens Nights of 1000 Candles, Brokgreen Gardens: 3 December 2011   1 comment

Well, it seems to me I got better pictures last year, but I had a good time as usual at Brookgreen Gardens Nights Of 1000 Candles last Saturday. The weather was nice -- I didn't have to zip my jacket or put on gloves, and the lights were as spectacular as usual.

If you will be in the vicinity of Murrells Inlet on 9, 10, 16, 17 or 18 December this year, you should definitely stop by and check it out!

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Written by ted on December 5th, 2011

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The Mayor's House, 13089 Ocean Highway (Pawleys Island): 8 January 2011   1 comment

Posted at 12:09 am in grand-strand,out-of-area,restaurants

The Mayor's House was for many years at the South Litchfield Beach causeway and stoplight, across from Latte Litchfield and a bit north of The McKenzie Beach Motel. I would, in fact, give the location as "Litchfield" rather than "Pawleys Island", but the later designation is creeping steadily northward.

I always had the impression that The Mayor's House was a) "Too Fancy" and b) "Too Seafood" for me (what with the big pink shrimp and the Fried Lobster come-on), so I never got around to eating there despite liking the pier-like aspect of being built over a pond.

Looking for the address of the place did turn up an online review site which was decidedly... mixed. It did confirm my impression that it was probably too rich for my blood. I do wonder what happened to the shrimp though.

Written by ted on October 14th, 2011

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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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Western Steer / The Pink Pony, US-17 Business (Garden City): Fall 2009   3 comments

Posted at 11:12 pm in entertainment,grand-strand,nightclub

Maybe there is no such thing as a recession-proof business...

On the other hand, this WPDE story speculates that perhaps Wal-Mart put some pressure on this Garden City strip club to close as they opened a new SuperCenter across the street. Certainly, the coming of Wal-Mart seems to be what closed the nearby Krispy Kreme (though the building is still standing so far).

I believe The Pink Pony building started life as a steakhouse, though the WPDE piece says the club had been there for a dozen years.

UPDATE 4 May 2011: Added Western Steer to the post title based on the comments.

Written by ted on May 3rd, 2011

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