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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Pre-Thanksgiving Happiness

I am heading out of town early tomorrow, folks, so I'll bid you a fond adieu and Happy Thanksgiving now. (Don't worry, I'll write from the road. I always do.)
Remember, should you need to...shall we say PREPARE for the holidays, do join us at Fish tomorrow. $4 holiday cocktails should be first on your to-do list. I'm just sayin'.

In the meantime, I leave you with the gem above, from the Life magazine archives. Riddle me this: is her feather shrug made of turkey feathers? Inquiring minds want to know. Safe travels.

Nothing says happy holidays like seafood on a treadmill

It's really your choice: crab on a treadmill or shrimp on a treadmill. No, it's not some new special Nico whipped up. It's the College of Charleston making headlines on the Today Show. And might I say? It's quite riveting.

Here at PP today, we're gathering for a Thanksgiving staff lunch. Potluck thankfulness if you will. I will try to snap a few pics to share.

In other pre-Turkey news, you're cordially invited to Fish tomorrow evening to prepare for the familial onslaught. We'll have $4 holiday-inspired cocktails and $6 to $8 small plates. And, we have very nice bartenders that can talk you down from most any family anxiety/stress you might have. They're good like that.

Oh and don't forget to put the Buy Local Week events on your calendar for next week. Seriously, do it now because you might forget after all the turkey and stuffing and then you'll start next week feeling behind and then you'll be all stressed and who needs it? (See what I did there? I nurtured.)

Ahem, to review:

Monday, 12/2: Give Local Holiday Bazaar, 3 to 8 pm, 10 Storehouse Row at the Navy Base

Tuesday, 12/3: Eat Local Night at select area restaurants

Thursday, 12/5: Watch Local: the documentary Independent America at The Terrace Theater at 7:30 pm. After Party at Zia Taqueria

Sunday, 12/7: Buy Local Bash at Lowndes Grove: 12 area restaurants, live music, local beer, wine and fantastic local food, 6 to 10 pm

For tickets and more information, simply go to www.lowcountrylocalfirst.org.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The American Theater, Wings & things

Had a fun meeting about social media with Ginny Deerin and Liz Mester from Wings for Kids yesterday. Check out the Wings for Kids creed while you're at it. They are doing amazing things.

Charleston Ad Fed joined us at American Theater last night, more specifically in our newly refreshed Stars Lounge. For those of you who have been in Stars before (for Piccolo Spoleto, TheHaveNots! and sundry other events), you will be amazed. On that note, we were showing our pal David around the new ballroom last night and he snapped the photo above on his super snazzy iPhone. Really shows the beauty and expanse of the space.

If you're out and about on this blustery evening, don't forget, our man JAZ is spinning at Fish starting at 10 pm. I have it on good authority that at least one of the Fish bartenders can pop and lock.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

William Aiken House Holiday Ornaments: Just $19.95!

Here's a memory: it's about 1978, and I give my Mom a Christmas ornament that I made with my own wee hands. It's the top of a jelly jar, made into a picture frame. I glued holiday-themed fabric to the back and inside was my school picture. The whole sweet mess hung from some very festive red yarn. I am quite certain my Mom cried when I gave it to her. (Um, because she thought it was SWEET, thank you very much.) Might I add, my Mom still hangs that ornament from her tree every single year.

Anywho, I share that little moment as a preface to something a bit more...shall we say, professionally done?

To ring in the holidays, we are offering a limited supply of the fabulous ornament pictured above. Handcrafted by Charleston Gate Jewelry by third and fourth generation silversmiths, these heirloom sterling silver ornaments take their inspiration from historic Charleston gate designs, like say our very own William Aiken House gate. And yes, they are perfect stocking stuffers, hostess gifts or keepsakes for those Charleston history buffs. (Let me have my QVC moment, please.) Cost, you say? $19.95 + tax. No, I am not making this up. See, marketing is not always fun and games. But truly, they are really pretty and if you play your cards right, you just might be able to convince your Mom you made it. You could pass for a silversmith, couldn't you? Place your order by calling 843.853.1810.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It's international day at PP!

Today in the PP LLC office, we got treated to quite the international lunch. First, our very own Staff Accountant Elena Hacker, she of the Polish variety, spoiled us ever so rotten with homemade pierogies. Holy mother of potatoes, they were amazing. Then, because we just can't get enough, we ordered up the pho noodle soup from Fish, which P.S. is the dish you should order up on a cold, blustery day. It's spicy, slightly citrus-y, full of noodles and pulled chicken and I have to stop talking right now. Happy sigh.

By the by, back by popular demand tonight at Fish is...Mercy of the Chef! To review, 3 courses = $25. You put your trust in Chef Nico and he will treat you right. Which is very comforting in such trying times, no? For $5 extry, you can get wine pairings to go with.
And finally, if you didn't get enough Pecha Kucha, here's your chance to relive the magic.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Equality, DJs, etc.

Check out the dog for equality! In community news, I ventured out for a march to protest Proposition 8 on Saturday afternoon and let me just say, I am just so proud of Charleston. The protest was peaceful, orderly and the community at large was super supportive: honks of support from all sides! P.S. How funny is this?

On Saturday night, Managing Partner Randall Goldman and the Patricks joined me at AFFA's Taste of Equality, their 10 year anniversary shindig held at Memminger Auditorium. It was an incredible night (especially on the heels of a successful protest earlier in the day). Everyone looked absolutely smashing, and the night raised money, spirits and awareness. Good stuff.

Oh, and P.S. DJ JAZ created quite a stir at Fish on Friday night. Things were jamming! Don't worry, he'll back next Friday night...and so on and so on and so on!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Birthday scone cake, anyone?

First of all, Happy Birthday to PP Managing Partner Randall Goldman. Our fabulous Pastry Chef Susie Ieronemo made the fantastic scone cake pictured above expressly for one Randall Goldman, founding member of the scone of the month club. And no, I don't know how old Randall is. I think we'd have to cut him open and count his rings to find out.

PP is abuzz with activity. Check out Lowndes Grove in the Party Scene for Charleston Magazine for Charleston Ballet Theater's recent shindig.

Some lovely moments from Laura and Chris' wedding at The William Aiken House captured by photographer Olivia Griffin.

Nico cooked up some crab rangoons at last night's grand opening for our new neighbors at King Street Kitchen Company. The store is beautiful and the opening was jam packed with fun folks. And, Nico got some help with the rangoons from his new pal, Olive.

If you're out and about tonight, you need to stop by Fish to hear the sweet sounds of DJ JAZ (aka John Zahl). Take a listen. JAZ starts at 10 pm. Come get your groove on. You know you want to.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Pecha Kucha

Like everyone else, I've been thinking a lot about the economy lately. I try my hardest to look at challenging times as an opportunity to try something new, offer help to someone who needs it, get out of my own head and take a long look around. Some days are better than others. Last night was a great one.

Last night at Memminger Auditorium, 9 fantastically creative people from an array of disciplines inspired, encouraged, enlightened and entertained a group of more than 200 people, in six minute and forty second increments. The evening was called Pecha Kucha, and it goes down as one of the best nights I've ever had.

Our own Nico Romo was one of the presenters and whipped up a six minute bouillabaise while still-life photos of the ingredients flashed behind him. What was more interesting than the food he produced was the story he told, of his multi-cultural upbringing (Italian, Spanish and French influences) and the inspiration for the French-Asian concept at Fish and his passion for fresh, local ingredients. Even I forget sometimes that a Chef is an artist, a creative spirit constantly on the search for inspiration, always willing to try something new.

At the other end of the creative spectrum were Upper King Street neighbors Brady Waggoner from Hook, (whose talk about reggae and hip hop was magical), Blue Bicycle Books' Jonathan Sanchez (his dry humor slays me), Tim Hussey (unbelievable photographs with the story to match) and Marcus Amaker (lyrical spoken word and design). Equally as wonderful were urban designer Jacob Lindsey, LEED certified architect Whitney Powers, artist Colin Quashie and filmmaker Justin Nathanson.

The planners and sponsors deserve applause, high-fives and kisses. From start to finish, Pecha Kucha was perfect, in its imperfections, its vibe and earnestness. Most of all, it served as a reminder to the Charleston creative community that there are so many of us here, and really, we need to get together more. Because when we do, people laugh and get inspired and share and challenge and hope. And we can all always use more of that.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lowndes Grove: the Ralph Lauren Rugby shoot

So, on Sunday, Lowndes Grove began its temporary transformation to FASHION CENTRAL for the Ralph Lauren Rugby photo and film shoot. Yesterday, the day began early: 5:30 am for me (earlier for our illustrious sous chef and event folks). I was directing pre-dawn traffic with my flashlight, decked out in my warmest jacket and hat. "Drop off here (air traffic controller gesture). Park here." (air traffic controller gesture) Sidenote: if you haven't watched a Charleston sunrise lately, you should make a point to do it. 'Tis magical. Sidenote 2: I was truly impressed with all of the Wagener Terrace early risers. Tons of walkers and joggers.

The Rugby shoot was amazing, in large part to its ambitious schedule to shoot both photography and film under the same tight time constraints. A large, energetic team managed to pull it off and I'm proud to say the Lowndes Grove team came out in full force to help the hospitality side of the day run perfectly.

The bluestone terrace (currently tented) turned into wardrobe and styling where seamstresses, models, stylists, gobs of Rugby finery (hats, belts, ties, shoes, trousers, scarves, blouses galore). The River House served as home to breakfast, lunch and snacks (read: caffeine and can we have some more caffeine, please?).

The shoot made great use of the property, from a rugby scrum on the front lawn to a pillow fight in on the second floor to an action-packed pool party (yes, really). Check out a select few pics. As the shoot wrapped at 6 pm, cast and crew hustled to pack things up (planes to catch, etc.). But, most everyone stopped dead in their tracks, at least momentarily, to quietly witness one of the more stunning Charleston sunsets I have ever seen. The river was still; the light was pink, and it was so wonderfully peaceful. Quite an end to a very eventful day on the river.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Well, hello & welcome to Lowndes Grove!

Just got back from Lowndes Grove where I met up with some of the Ralph Lauren folks who came over to scope out the property for the Rugby photo shoot on Monday. A fine group of guys, might I add. (Sidebar: when I walked into the LG sales office prior to the Ralph Lauren crew's arrival, the Event Managers were hard at work Googling the models for the shoot. Information is power, ladies!) Thanks to the entire Lowndes Grove team for helping make this shoot flawless.

Getting fired up for Pecha Cucha next week. Spoke with Nico this morning and he's going to be doing a 6-minute bouillabaise. ADD Frenchman, anyone?

Came across some amazing photos from a recent wedding at The William Aiken House by Lauren Slusher. Love how she used the surrounding neighborhood, too.

Also had the pleasure of meeting Elizabeth Huggins today. She's Director of Membership & Development for the Preservation Society of Charleston and is charged with recruiting the next generation of preservationists.

And finally, congrats to our pals at Blue Ion, Gil Shuler Graphic Design and Formo who won AIGA Awards for their snazzy designs.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Bacon, Ballet...mmmm good!

I have to say I agree. Bacon does beat fries. (Thanks to Serious Eats for that one.)

Director of Events Jennifer Goldman just popped by on her way to Lowndes Grove for tonight's Charleston Ballet shindig.

In other Goldman news, beginning December 1, PP Managing Partner Randall Goldman is VP of the Charleston Civic Design Center (CCDC), whose mission is to enhance the quality of life in Charleston by engaging the community in creating a dynamic urban design. Congratulations, Randall!

Vintage cars, Pecha Cucha, Twittering

Let me just put it out there that there is no typical day here at PP. Case (cases) in point: Yesterday I spoke with interior designer and fine car afficianado, Merrill Benfield. Seems the Ralph Lauren folks are looking for a super cool vintage car for their Lowndes Grove photo shoot coming up on Monday. Merrill was incredibly helpful and offered his 1967 champagne yellow Lincoln Continental convertible. (Sidenote: I am tempted to rent it myself if RL passes!) We'll see what happens. Many thanks to Merrill for his graciousness and to Liz Rennie from the CVB for the info.

Nico received an incredible invitation to be part of next week's Pecha Cucha get together. If you haven't heard about Pecha Cucha (once you start saying it, it's quite addictive), you must read this now. In a nutshell, it's happy hour meets open-mic meets creative conflab (I can die happy now. I used the word conflab in a sentence.) Nico and all the presenters get approximately 6 minutes to do their thing. It's fast and furious and I can't wait. Really cool folks are in the line-up. Again, check it out.

Met with one of the PP interns earlier this week. She's a hospitality major at COC and all about metatags and Google analytics. It's interesting to watch the hospitality industry wrap their collective arms around technology. Along those lines, check out this Twitter-er. P.S. A little "vernacular" tip. To "Twitter" is the verb. The result of Twitter-ing is a "Tweet." You are now one step closer to tech dork status.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Voting stories, New York stories, Fish stories

Just another day here at Patrick Properties. That's Jerry and Ingram, hard at work painting on John Street. Or, they are working to become a haz mat team. It's a toss up in my mind.

So, here I am, back from points north. I have to say it was quite wonderful to unplug for a few days. I recommend it whenever you're able. I spent Halloween with my best friend, his wife and their 17-month old daughter (see bunny here.) We took the baby trick or treating, and it was just big fun. From surburbia, I moved to New York City to visit recently engaged friends who live in a Chelsea co-op with a fantastic view of the Empire State Building. When I arrived, my friend and I went up to the rooftop deck for sparkling red wine, bread, cheese and honey. We watched the sun set, ate, drank and just reveled in the goodness of the fall evening. Couldn't ask for more.

In other news, I voted (2 hours from start to finish), and I hope you have too or are on your way to polls.

Here's my sweet story from the poll line: standing in front of me was Alice Guess from Gibson Thompson Guess Architects and her daughter. In front of her was a couple she knew and their two young daughters (one 7, the other, 2). As we finally got into the school itself (line was wrapped halfway around it when we began), the 2 year old jumped up and down, and with great exuberance, shouted O-BA-MA! (She emphasized the BA, which made it that much cuter.) And to that I say, go girl.

Charleston Weddings and an array of local planners and floral purveyors spent today at The William Aiken House shooting gorgeous bridal bouquets and centerpieces for the Winter issue of the magazine. The few peeks I got this morning were just incredible. Thanks to Melissa Bigner and the whole crew for thinking of us for the shoot.

And finally, don't forget to join us at Fish when you exit the polls. We'll be sporting $5 politically-inspired cocktails, $6 - $8 small plates and two T.V.s for your viewing pleasure.