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Saint Andrews Center, 300 Saint Andrews Road: 16 January 2023 (Fire)   11 comments

Posted at 11:09 pm in closing

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Shopping center St Andrews Center (the former Clusters of Whitehall) suffered a fire during the night of 16 January 2023. I have not seen any update on the cause, but the initial reports were fairly sketchy. Here is one from The State with a picture of the blaze in progress.

Looking at the buildings on 21 January, it appeared to me that the damage was mostly confined to the west building, on the side that fronts Bush River Road. Basically that comes down to two businesses, a night club, Sugar Daddy's Jazz Cafe / Red Beans & Rize Jazz Cafe and a hair salon, Hair Power. The next storefront away from those two is a church, which was reported by commenter Gypsie as planning to go ahead with their next service as scheduled.

(Hat tip to commenter Homer)

Written by ted on January 27th, 2023

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The South Carolina State Fair 2022: 23 October 2022   15 comments

Posted at 11:12 pm in closing

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Well, the South Carolina State Fair is once again over, and I'm sure they've already started tearing down the rides. The weather was good this year, not at all chilly, and the event seemed to me to be completely recovered from the dark days of 2020. If you have followed these posts over the the years, you know the kind of thing I like, and the Fair continued to provide that with plenty of neon, questionable foods, games where chance is not as big a factor as the players think, and happy crowds.

I did notice two specific changes this year on the Midway, where one of the swing attractions that I enjoy riding was missing. That one had kind of an antique look to the paneled artwork that provided a classy touch. I had to ride the Yo-Yo instead, which was OK, but not as good. The second change is that usually the side of the midway facing the stadium usually has some sort of log-flume or water ride, and I don't believe I saw one this year.

As was the case last year, the empty park where the Steel Building used to stand was a frontier village concept (unlike the dinosaur exhibit which has also occupied that space). They had a glass-blower, which is always interesting, but unfortunately I wandered through between shows.

The art building has been re-arranged, with the flower exhibit put in the back where the student art usually goes, along with some kind of huge Moon exhibit. Unfortunately I got to the flowers pretty late, so the blossoms were definitely not at their peak, and many had been removed though there were definitely still some nice ones. I've always wondered about the student art, as I don't recall any of our classes in elementary school being asked to enter work, and I don't believe my nieces' classes ever were either. Whereever it comes from, it's a bit daunting that the Kindergarteners are still better at it than I am.

The vendor building seemed a bit less packed than usual. In particular, I did not notice the jerky vendor who is usually there, and there didn't seem to be any vendors pushing cool new Christmas toys.

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Written by ted on October 23rd, 2022

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Margarette H. Miller Cosmetology Center, 1509 Fontaine Road: Summer 2022   2 comments

Posted at 10:16 pm in closing

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Over the years I have always wondered exactly what this Cosmetology Center on Fontaine Road was. The answer seems to be that it was a banquet hall and event center.

Over the past few weeks, a new marquee has gone up announcing that is is now Kandy Shop, though I'm not clear on exactly what that means.

Written by ted on July 12th, 2022

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Three Dog night, 4750 Highway 17 South (Alabama Theatre North Myrtle Beach): 30 April 2022   1 comment

Posted at 8:30 am in closing

Written by ted on May 2nd, 2022

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Greenacres Country Market / J & J Dollard Soul Food & BBQ / Event Center, 2101 North Willison Road (Florence): 2021   1 comment

Posted at 10:55 pm in closing

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This barn-esque building is across the street from Step Saver Gas on the cut-through from I-95 to US-76 in Florence. I became aware of it through driving to the beach that way from time to time, and when I first noticed it, it was one of those SCDA flagged stores that featured local produce and products. I wanted to stop and check it out, but it always seemed like I was in a hurry and in the event I never did before it was gone. Apparently the name was Greenacres Country Market, and there is a site with some nice pictures of it here. It appears they were also a bakery.

Recently I noticed that the signage for that operation was gone and that the building was operating as a soul food & barbecue restaurant which doubled as an event space. Apparently that didn't last too long, and the building is now listed for sale.

Written by ted on January 20th, 2022

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Brookgreen Gardens Nights Of 1000 Candles 2021, Brookgreen Gardens: 4 December 2021   no comments

Posted at 12:03 am in closing

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I took the opportunity Saturday to make my annual trip to Brookgreen Gardens and the Nights Of A Thousand Candles Christmas display. This year was quite warm for a December night, unlike some years in the past, and it was very pleasant to be out and about under the trees with all the lights and candles.

As usual, the big picture stays the same: sculpture, trees & lights, but the details change yearly. This year, I think there was more going on in the Children's Garden for instance, and less in The Fountain of the Muses. I also think that they took some cues from last year's Bruce Munroe installation, which I liked quite a bit, especially in the riverbank area which rather combined the ideas from his frog display and his firefly display in a way.

One very noticable change was that the popular "Holiday Memories & Trains" exhibit has moved across the main concourse to the Rosen Galleries, leaving the old space as a members' lounge.

Though some of the remaining nights are sold out, if you can Read the rest of this entry »

South Carolina State Fair 2021: 24 October 2021   no comments

Posted at 10:41 pm in closing

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I believe 2020 is the only South Carolina State Fair i have missed since starting the blog (and I had missed very few before that), so it was nice to get back this year.

There were a number of changes in this year's edition, both major and minor. The major change would have to be that the venerable grandstand, where numerous well known (if not then at their peak draw..) acts have performed over the years is gone. In its place was a circus Big Top tent where a free circus was performing several times daily. I don't know if this is a stopgap, or will be a permanent feature. Also this year, the performance tent generally set up to the left of the corridor leading to the agricultural displays was gone, and in its place was a set of bleachers in front of a space for small outdoor acts. When I was there, there was a torch-throwing duo working. (They had an amusing patter: Hey, maybe this isn't that impressive, but it's better than you coudl do!). To the right of the agricultural corridor, where there generally are bleachers and some sort of animal act like racing pigs, they have turned the orientation 90-degrees witht the bleachers backed up to the corridor and a covered stage up against the art building.. Where the Steel Building (which I still miss) once was, instead of the dinosaur park they have done the past several years, they had a collection of Frontier attractions, including a working glassblower. (Unfortunatey he was on break when I went by -- it's a fascinating thing to watch).

There were a few noticable changes on the Midway as well. Probably the biggest of these was the absence of the Log Flume from its usual spot near the southwest corner. To fill that spot, they moved one of the Bumper Car setups from its usual place on the north corridor. They also moved the junior Bumper Cars from the usual kids' midway to the central corridor. As an aside, it's something of a travesty that armband guests get expedited access to the rides over ticketed guests. When there are only 9 working Bumper Cars, and they fill 6 of them from the expedited line, it's just too much. I have the feeling that some of the fun-house/haunted-house attractions against the back wall were different this year not because I recall the names, but I think some of the carnival artwork I usually try to get pictures of was missing. Finally, the girl sitting in a big lemon selling lemonade at the west terminus of the skyway was gone this year. It's a silly thing, but I liked that lemon.

As far as I could tell, the crowd was of a typical size. I saved a bit of time pre-buying a ticket at Circle-K, but in the end I had to walk back to the car once because they did not like my camera belt carrying case. I think next year I will just stuff the case in my pocket as I go through the gate.

If you have followed these posts, you know what I like, and that hasn't changed. So there is plenty of neon and the usual yearly subjects past the break.

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Written by ted on October 24th, 2021

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The Beach Boys, The Township Auditorium: 1 October 2021   no comments

Posted at 6:08 pm in closing

Written by ted on October 4th, 2021

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Brookgreen Gardens Nights Of 1000 Candles, Brookgreen Gardens: 11 December 2020   no comments

Posted at 11:33 pm in closing

Written by ted on December 16th, 2020

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Bruce Munro: Southern Light, Brookgreen Gardens: 6 June 2020   1 comment

Posted at 8:15 pm in closing

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Due to scheduling issues of one sort and another, I did not get to Brookgreen Gardens Nights of 1000 Candles in 2019, so I was looking forward to seeing the Bruce Munro Southern Light installation this Spring. Well, then there was, of course, COVID-19, and that was put on hold for a while.

Now however, the display is up and running, and I found a chance to take it in on 6 June 2020. It was one of those unseasonably cool nights we have had this Spring, so the bugs were down, but it was still very comfortable, and there was also a beautiful full moon to go with the lights. My favorite part was towards the last of this set of pictures, a profusion of small color-changing bulbs on stalks planted across one of the more open and less sculpture-studded sections of the gardens. I felt as though I could probably have sat out there for some hours, but as the display closes at 11pm, I had to move on out before I was quite ready.

The exhibition runs from 8pm-11pm through September, so if you are in the area, it's well worth checking out.

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