Monday, November 14, 2016

Chasin' Bubbles on a rainy day...

 It was more than a month since Charleston had had any rain.

Things were dry and a threat of brush fires was becoming a reality.

So, we were glad to see the first rain since Hurricane Matthew had brushed close, early in October.

Matthew dumped a LOT of water!

I had driven to a Stevie Nicks concert in Columbia and returned home Sunday morning, driving on VERY wet and slick roads.

I wondered how that would affect the 2nd Sunday on King Street turnout?

When I started up blocked-off King Street around 2 pm, it looked pretty deserted and grim.

But, as I wandered along, I soon was amid clumps of people, and I was taking some fun "street photography."

Saw a few people proudly walking their dogs, some wearing colorful holiday seasonal red and green vests.

I mean the dogs were clothed warmly because it was still sprinkling and chilly.

I did notice that very few restaurant tables were set up curbside because dining out on a misty day is just not very comfortable.

However, I did see there were pretty good crowds inside the restaurants that I passed.

Of course, I kept my eyes open to spot unusual sights and snapped a small bunch of buskers tucked into a doorway. One guitar, three cigarettes and  - hidden or just keeping warm - a cute puppy.

I had seen this group earlier when I walked through the Starbucks in the Francis Marion hotel.

The brown and white puppy was mostly out of sight then too.

Members of my Photo Group had been invited to gather and walk along King Street this afternoon.

Guess the sudden end to our mini-drought had kept them away.

The plan was to meet in the lobby of the hotel at 2 pm and I got there just as the bells in St. Matthew's Church next store were bonging the time in an insistent manner.

I saw there were quite a few cadets doing more than just window shopping along King Street.

Foul weather would not thwart free time away from their Citadel.

A breath of fresh air. Damp, but open air and off campus.

(Hmmm. Apparently, an umbrella or even a plastic poncho is not part of the uniform of the day.)

In the background was one of the murals painted during Spoleto.

They are scattered all around the historic district and add splashes of vibrant color where you least expect.

As I said, continuing down the street, more people were gathered and stepping around small puddles.

As I got closer to Hasell Street, I heard music and, in particular, a strong clarinet leading a distinct Klezmer sound.

Yep. A stage was set up under an awning and bleacher benches for listeners also were covered and sheltered from the sprinkles.

Several families sat and appreciated the music amid aromatic scents of ethnic food being cooked nearby.

I had worn the waterproof hoodie I had bought for my trip to Scotland.

It worked well there and equally fine today under gray skies.

Attendance WAS way off and that's a shame because a rainy day offers many photo opportunities and a cool, slower-paced walk.

Shopping the open stores did not seem hampered and the crowded restaurants showed it was not a "bad day" as far as they were concerned.

I continued to keep my camera ready and even spotted some young
ladies with the same goal in mind. I suggested they come to a monthly meeting of my local photo group.

At our last meeting of my Lowcountry 21st Century Photo Group, the members attending included our oldest long-time member (George calls me"kid") and Rivers Rudloff, a first-timer  17-year old high schooler.

They both take great photos.

So, all in all, it was a good photo day for me.

Caught some nice shots of people enjoying the outdoors and even turned the corner on Beaufain Street to step into Le Farfalle, the new restaurant that four months ago, replaced the former Leaf.

Before that, the spot was Vickery's for almost 20 years.

Speaking of places I like to re-visit, the lobby of the Francis Marion was spectacular.

Back in the 1950s, I had worked in the corner store that now is Starbucks.

I was a senior at Bishop England high school, a few blocks down Calhoun Street, and worked at Norvell's Camera Exchange.

We even had a black & white darkroom on one of the floors upstairs in the hotel. I would take the elevator up to drop off rolls of film for processing.

I recall that all of the color films were packed up and mailed each night to Kodak in Chamblee, Georgia.

(Click on the photos and links for more details.)

Looks like the rain has cleared out and a sunny week is forecasted. Get out and take photos.

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