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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Nothing Says Halloween Like...

Gold lame? Platform boots? Red sequins? Or D: all of the above? I think D. Please enjoy this behind the scenes shot of "Right On,"who truly brought the funk Saturday night at The William Aiken House. Now, you kids be safe out there tonight!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Some Parties Need No Headline, Honey

There are parties at The William Aiken House and then there are PARTIES at The William Aiken House. Know what I'm saying? Was perusing Harper's Bazaar latest issue and came upon the lavish spread on Mimi van Wyck and Ham Morrison III's Charleston wedding extravaganza that took place back in April.

Quick history on the bride first. Mimi (Mary Ann) van Wyck is the daughter of Mary Ann and Bronson van Wyck of Tuckerman, Arkansas. That makes Mimi a descendant of Cornelius Barentse Van Wyck, one of the original Dutch settlers in the New Amsterdam colony (before New York was New York); Richard T. Van Wyck, in the Revolutionary War; Charles H. Van Wyck, governor of South Carolina during Reconstruction and later a congressman from New York and senator from Nebraska; Robert A. Van Wyck, the first mayor of greater New York City; and Augustus Van Wyck, a New York Supreme Court Justice.

And before you ask, the Van Wyck Expressway? Yes. I KNOW. Also, Mimi's brother Bronson and their mother own Van Wyck & Van Wyck, an event planning company known for its party prowess, extravagant props and impeccable style. They've planned shindigs for the likes of P. Diddy, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to name a few.

By the by, bridgegroom Ray "Ham" Hamilton Morrison III is just as fab. Currently, he restores historic Charleston properties and races a pretty mean stock car in his free time.

Anywho, The William Aiken House played host to the couple's stunning rehearsal dinner where an array of VIP guests dined on sole and corn pudding (true to the Arkansas-born bride's roots) in the rooms and on the piazzas dressed in true Van Wyck & Van Wyck style. For you fashionistas, Mimi wore an Alexander McQueen white sheath dress and jewelry by Kara Ross. And to wind this up, it's been confirmed that at the reception, the bride brought down the house with her own personal cover of Madonna's "Lucky Star." (That's after her brother warmed up the crowd with Madonna's "Hung Up" accompanied by Madonna's actual dancers.) For real. Gosh, I love Charleston.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Our Carb-Heavy Past

A while back we received a letter from Charleston native Kathy Puckhaber Baxley. She's the owner and editor of A Wonderful Wedding, a magazine and website for weddings in our fair city. Turns out Ms. Baxley's family, originally from Germany, was the previous owner of the building in which Fish restaurant now resides. Back then, that's the late 1800s, the building was a bakery, one of the very first in Charleston. You just gotta love Charleston for that. All of its inherent history, a story on every corner. That's the good stuff. Can't you just smell the fresh stollen and stroopwafel now? Don't act like you've never had one.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Whole Lotta Lowndes

Exciting things are happening every day at Lowndes Grove. I am not even kidding.

On Wednesday afternoon, folks from Sheila Wertimer's office presented their plans for the landscape refresh to the PP team, architect Glenn Keyes and the construction team. Then, Glenn and the construction folks led the PP team on a walk through of the construction that's gearing up. Then, on Wednesday evening, the Bar of Architectural Review approved plans for the construction of a catering kitchen on-property. Like The William Aiken House, Lowndes Grove will be serving the fine food prepared by the Fish restaurant catering team led by Nico Romo and Richard Jones.

And this morning, I had a great conversation with interior designer Paula Adams, the creative mind behind the interiors at The William Aiken House, its carriage house and Fish. When asked to describe her vision for the Lowndes Grove interiors, she began with one word: serenity. Which hello, that's fabulous. The obvious difference between Lowndes Grove and the William Aiken House is simple: one's on the water and the other's not. There too lies the difference in their interior design. Ms. Adam's vision for the riverfront estate is as simple: to pay homage to the formality of the estate's architecture while reflecting the serenity and beauty of its natural riverfront setting. That means soft colors that recall nature and drawing one's eye always to the bucolic setting outside. If that doesn't sound dreamy and wonderful, I don't know what does.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Do You Know This Man?

Patrick Properties Managing Partner, Man About Town and all around good egg, Randall Goldman turned up in the Post & Courier this morning. I know. AGAIN. This time he's in an ad describing how reading the daily newspaper enriches his life. Ahem, I'll quote: "It (the P&C) paints the rainbow in full color." I'll just let that sink in, shall I?

Anywho, we're always amazed at how effortlessly Randall segues from real estate to hospitality to advertising and marketing. Must be those triple espressos. I'm sure he's fielding television and film offers as I write this.

P.S. If you get tired of reading the ad, I'm pretty sure you can make out the Lockhorns and Ziggy cartoons from the other side.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

One California Day at American Theater

Our thoughts go out to those who have lost so much during the wildfires in California. At a time like this, we felt like we should concentrate energy on all of the amazing things about the state, like its thriving surf culture.

One California Day: A Collection of Stories About the California Surfing Experiences, a documentary by Mark Jeremias and Jason Baffa, premieres tomorrow night (Thursday) at the American Theater (446 King Street) for just two shows: 7 pm and 9 pm. Tickets ($10 each) are ONLY available at the door prior to the show.

The stunning visual journey travels through six distinct coastal regions, capturing the California surfing experience through the senses of seven surfers who live it. Shot in brilliant super 16mm color film, One California Day looks at the unique relationship surfers have with California and its magical waters.


Joe Curren

Jimmy Gamboa

Tyler Hatzikian

Alex Knost

Chris Malloy

Dane Perlee

Joel Tudor

Tyler Warren

Concessions, including popcorn, soft drinks and a full bar, are available before and during the show. And, as if the stunning visuals weren't enough, the soundtrack for the film is sick. (That's me, using the lingo.)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Romo Rocks the Sustainable Seafood Festival

I'm totally showing my age here, but you just can't put a headset on anyone in my presence without me mentioning Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation or Madonna's Express Yourself. There, I said it. Now I'm done. (Sorry, Nico.)

So, Sunday's Sustainable Seafood Festival was a smashing success. Many thanks to all who attended. Our very own Executive Chef Nico Romo wowed the audience with his culinary skills (and sassy French accent) as he prepared a gorgeous poached, local flounder with marinated ginger carrot, haricots verts (green beans, you heathens!) and spicy garlic butter.

Members of the Fish restaurant team were also on hand to support our culinary guru and spend a day in the sun eating and drinking to their little hearts' content. Happy sigh.

Monday, October 22, 2007

A Little Lowndes Grove Love

First of all, thanks to everyone who came out for the 4th Annual Sustainable Seafood Festival. We had a great time and will soon have the photos to prove it, so stay tuned.

Now, onto the newest member of the PP family. As you may already know, this summer we purchased Lowndes Grove, the peninsula's last great waterfront estate and oldest surviving plantation. Nestled on 14 acres along the banks of the Ashley River, the property includes a 6,800-square-foot home circa1786, a carriage house, river house, a swimming pool and a dock. Nice, right?

It gets better. After taking a strategic look at the property, we discovered ways to make better use of both of the grounds and the structures. During the next two "off-seasons," we'll be working to return the estate to its original splendor. Which is a whole lot easier with the help of people like Glenn Keyes Architects, interior designer Paula Adams and landscape designer Sheila Wertimer. Plus, it doesn't hurt that we're working with really cool stuff like Georgian and Regency style architecture, sweeping piazzas, arched porticos and a pristine black cypress exterior.

While we're at it, here's a sneek peek from our recent photo shoot. The fine dresses are courtesy of our friends at Maddison Row. Special thanks to our fantastic models and the talented Taylor Stewart.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Sustainable Seafood Sunday: Noon to 6pm

Say no to the NFL just this once, and spend Sunday, October 21 with Fish's own Chef Nico Romo at the 4th-Annual Sustainable Seafood Festival at the Charleston Maritime Center.

Chef Romo and other area chefs highlight this FREE celebration of fresh, local, sustainable seafood. Take in a cooking demo, sample beers and wines or buy shrimp right off the boat. (Food and drinks are for sale.) This jam-packed event features children's activities and a recipe contest where high school students compete for scholarships to Johnson & Wales. Come out for food and fun that supports the South Carolina Aquarium and the Sustainable Seafood Initiative. We promise the Panthers, Falcons and John Madden will still be there next Sunday.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Upper King Design Walk

If you're looking for some sweet sounds and fine fare at the Upper King Design Walk, we've got you covered. Start the evening off at 5:15 pm with a FREE, yes FREE concert by the Charleston Symphony Orchestra at The William Aiken House. Afterwards, you're mere steps from live jazz from the Charlton Singleton Trio and some seriously delicious seafood at Fish. As proud residents of the Upper King Design District, we invite you to take a stroll through all of the incredible shops, boutiques and showrooms that make this part of Charleston so wonderful. Hope to see you.

Mutual Inspiration

Earlier this week, the folks from Baker Furniture and the Historic Charleston Foundation came by The William Aiken House for some inspiration as they begin designing their new line. Managing Partner Randall Goldman and longtime Patrick Properties interior designer Paula Adams led an informal tour of the main house and the carriage house regaling our guests with a variety of tales: from the meticulous renovation to the "Where did you get that fabulous piece?"
FYI: Answers ranged from an estate sale in Virginia, a Cabbage Row "junk store" and Nat King Cole's estate. And the inspiration was certainly mutual: the Baker Furniture team is passionate, energetic and loves what they do.

Where Upper King & Fifth Avenue Meet

What's fun about having historic properties? They make amazing backdrops for photography. A few weeks ago, Charleston photographer Michael Petry approached us about using The William Aiken House for a photo shoot for Saks Fifth Avenue. And let's just say when high fashion and history come together, the results are...wow! Look for the photos in the Saks windows on King Street for the next month.

Existentially speaking, why are we here?

And by "we" I mean Patrick Properties. I haven't had nearly enough caffeine to ponder the bigger WHY. So, before we get in too deep. Here's a bit about us.

We do what we do out of a passion for Charleston and a reverence for the buildings we believe are a vital part of the fabric of our society. Of course, it’s not just about buildings. It’s the experiences we create within them that matter most. Whether it’s an intimate family celebration, an unforgettable wedding, a unique corporate retreat or meeting, our goal is to create authentic moments with gracious, personalized service and innovative cuisine in venues that can never be duplicated.

That – and we really enjoy a good gathering of people. Even when corporate folks use phrases like, “Let’s sync with that approach.” And even when saucy groomsmen fail at their attempt to do the worm.