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DECEMBER | 2019

While The Merry Bells Keep Ringing

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO YOU

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contents F E AT U R E S

Cultivating Our Garden By Alli Steinke

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That’s a Wrap on 2019 By Grey Arnau

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Skip the North Pole - Go Lowcountry Gift Guide 2019

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Season’s Sippings By Teri Errico Griffis

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Your Home for Their Holidays By Susan Fitzgerald Burridge

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IN EVERY ISSUE Under the Skirt

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Skirt Books

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Skirt Men

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Skirt Wellness

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Skirt Essay

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Skirt Table

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Skirt Community

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Skirt Forward

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Skirt Calendar

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Skirt Spirits

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Don’t Skirt the Issue

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Gifts from Our Sponsors

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY TAYLOR JARVIS PALE GIRL PHOTOGRAPHY

DECEMBER | 2019

Stylist: Andrea Serrano While The Merry Bells Keep Ringing

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO YOU

Assistant Stylist: Jonaton Guerrero Ramirez Hair by: Lauren Michelle Makeup by: Laura Pascazio, Silhouette on Site Shot on Location: Pixel Studios

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On the cover: Wrapped presents: Copper Penny, Croghan’s Jewel Box, The Finicky Filly; Bike: Holy Spokes; Tweed jacket: Joh from Copper Penny; Blouse: Ecru from Rhodes Boutique; Skirt: Amanda Uprichard from V2V; Boots: Castaner from Shoes on King; Hat: Julia Pagan; Jewelry: Pearl necklaces, rings, and bangles from Croghan’s Jewel Box. Earrings and long gold necklace by Julie Vos from The Finicky Filly; Bags: Black bag by Benedetta Bruzziches from The Finicky Filly. Red bag by Rebecca Minkoff and Tan quilted bag by Inzi from Shoes on King


CEO/OWNER Paula Dezzutti paula@skirt.com PUBLISHER Thomas J. Giovanniello, Jr. thomas@skirt.com EDITOR Denise K. James denise@skirt.com ART DIRECTOR Laura Staiano laura@skirt.com EDITORIAL INTERN Grey Arnau intern@skirt.com DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY OUTREACH Whitney Brenkus whitney@skirt.com PHOTOGRAPHERS/ILLUSTRATORS Taylor Jarvis, Erin Turner, Daniel Velasco CONTRIBUTORS Susan Fitzgerald Burridge, Esther Curry, Kris De Welde, Dena Di’Orio, Robin Gibson, Teri Errico Griffis, Lorna Hollifield, Helen Mitternight, Alli Steinke BUSINESS MANAGER Cassaundra Tebben cass@skirt.com DISTRIBUTION C&R Marketing, Tina Tartaglia ADVERTISING sales: 843.958.0028 sales@skirt.com EDITORIAL AND SALES OFFICES P.O. Box 579, Charleston, South Carolina 29402 843.958.0028 sales@skirt.com, skirt.com

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Skirt is published monthly and distributed free throughout the greater Charleston area. Subscriptions are available through www.skirt.com. Subscription rates are $24.95 for 12 issues. Back issues may be obtained by contacting the Skirt offices. Back issues are $5.99. All contents of this magazine, including without limitation the design, advertisements, art, photos and editorial content as well as the selection, coordination and arrangement thereof, is Copyright© Holy City Publishing, LLC. All rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Postage paid at Charleston, S.C., and additional mailing offices. Skirt is a registered trademark of Holy City Publishing, LLC. Skirt and skirt.com are licensed under the authority of Morris Media Network. Printed in the United States. Vol. 25 Issue 11 ISSN 2637-3815 (Print) ISSN 2637-3831(Online) Proudly printed by Walton Press for 25 years!

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Changing What’s Possible


under the skirt. As we celebrate the circuit of another year, I hope my heartfelt thoughts inspire you to feel fulfillment in your own heart regarding the blessings of 2019 and the anticipation of 2020. According to the promise of the universe, abundance flows in every step, and even when we feel the lack of understanding, we must remind each other that all things move in perfect timing and there is something more magnificent in control. For me, 2019 has been one of the most challenging “illusions of time.” Life, despite the way I expected it to look, with an adored husband at my side, blindsided me when he walked out the door. The preponderance of faith it takes me to manage the grief of losing what I was so attached to, missing my best friend, and, more importantly, missing the joy of myself is exhausting on a good day. But my soul knows that things are always working out for us, and we must silence any fears that keep us from receiving the miraculous manifestations that are ours for the taking if we just surrender and embrace growth. Yes, it’s easier said than done. I could not have gotten through this year without all the amazing friends and soul sisters who stepped up to carry me when the burden was so overwhelming, I didn’t think I could take even one more step. So much wisdom poured from the hearts and souls of people who have experienced the mourning of loss and the grace of acceptance in their own journeys. Sometimes, we need to be reminded how blessed we are — even blessings in disguise. If I hadn’t been abruptly pushed out of my marriage, I wouldn’t have had the new opportunity to embrace self-care, to honor my truth about integrity and commitment and to figure out the next step. I would not have purchased skirt. or Striped Pig Distillery or grown Local Choice into Music, Media and Magic and the Pixie Record Company. It has been an honor and pleasure to serve you from even a small platform in 2919, which we will grow into an invincible community in 2020. But I can’t do this alone. Let’s make a skirt. pledge together. No matter what personal name you give to your creator or universal consciousness, let’s turn deep into our souls and know there is reward in strengthening our relationship through the laws of abundance and appreciation. When we have food, let’s remember the hungry. When we have work, let’s remember the jobless. When we get into our warm beds at night, let’s remember those who have no home at all. When we are with pain, let’s remember those who suffer more. Let’s call out for help to destroy our complacency, stir our compassion, and be inspired and concerned enough to help each other, by word and by deed. Let’s manifest clear minds for all who carry the responsibility of leadership in the nations and the courage to spread only messages of hope and inspiration — especially now, when it is so easy to spread a message of gloom, fear and blame. Let’s manifest a vision of truth that, by our council, all nations and peoples may work together to bridge religious and spiritual and cultural differences in favor of a direct path of hope, love and inspiration. Join me as skirt. sisters, and let’s bring in 2020 as another year of feeling more prosperous than the last. Let’s further the cause of freedom and justice all over the world and strengthen the neighborhood of humankind — because with unconditional love, all things are possible!

Paula Dezzutti CEO/Owner skirt. Magazine

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books

Belles of More than One Ball A Review of Garden & Gun’s Southern Women BY LORNA HOLLIFIELD

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The book features interviews, editorials and spotlights on personalities such as Danielle Brooks, Reese Witherspoon and Tig Notaro. You’ll read about entertainers, political trailblazers, writers, chefs, trendsetters and more. Each story includes the leading lady’s unique journey to success and

“The South is full of women from all social, economic and ethnic backgrounds and is a landscape wonderfully populated with more than its fair share of entrepreneurial, artistic and political icons.” AMANDA HECKERT

LEFT: SAMANTHA FUENTES

The image of the quintessential “Southern woman” has changed a lot over time. Two stereotypes that tend to pop up when people think of “the South” include the traditional, aristocratic South and the hillbilly South. This leaves images of the authentic Southern woman somewhere between a Scarlet O’Hara type in a hoop skirt standing on a plantation house veranda, or a barefooted, snuff-spitting loudmouth reminiscent of The Beverly Hillbillies. However, the truth is far from either of these extremes. Being a born-and-bred Southerner myself, I grew up in a diverse circle of women with a lot more flavor than either of those two visions. The South is full of women from all social, economic and ethnic backgrounds and is a landscape wonderfully populated with more than its fair share of entrepreneurial, artistic and political icons. That’s why the editors of Garden & Gun came together to produce Southern Women, a book that highlights more than 100 stories from real women who, when bound together with unique strength, show us true Southern character—the energy and attitude that comes from growing up in our famous lower-right corner of the map. It is an energy that pulses through the land, created by mixing the scent of honeysuckle, the weight of humidity and the fire of red rice spice. Women from the South are made a little differently, and this book is here to prove it. What I love most about Garden & Gun’s new release, curated by Editor Amanda Heckert, is its ability to show how very different we women are, while at the same time showing how similar we are where it counts. Essentially, the book manages to celebrate cultural diversity as well as bring us closer together. It does this by recognizing the common threads that sew us onto the same patchwork quilt. After all, that’s what makes a quilt special—all of the unique pieces coming together as one cohesive body, each square depending on the other. A patch is already whole, but it’s better when attached to another. It could even be said the very fabric of the South was “sewn” the same way: European, African and Native American hands, creating this eventual outcome using a weathered loom — wildly different traditions, some fought over, some oppressed, some torn down and rebuilt. They somehow made us who we are, and it’s an amazing thing. Because of our struggles and differences, we have become innovative thinkers and doers.


“And that’s the point this book makes; it’s a celebration of that incredible Southern-made quilt that we came from. You’ll see a little of yourself in it, a little of your mama and a little of your neighbor, too.” how she credits time in this region as part of the reason for it. Almost all of them cite their strength and grounding in their deep Southern roots. Actress Sissy Spacek said: “My roots allow me to let go of the fear of failure. I wanted to give my children roots and have them grow up with...dirt between their toes.” Many of the stories also speak to the will of the Southern woman. Reese Witherspoon quoted her mother as saying: “If you want to get something done, ask a Southern woman to do it.” I chuckled to myself because I immediately thought of my own mother, who would sooner die than not complete a task. I think a lot of our mothers are like that in this part of the country, and it could be for a variety of reasons. It could be based on the way the Great Depression affected the South, teaching people to work harder than ever to get or keep what they have. It could be the book of Proverbs. It could

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just be this downright oppressive heat, making us all as crazy as a kid in a fever dream. Whatever it is, because of this willpower, we stubbornly get things done. And sometimes, the urge inspires us further, sending us into conference rooms or into the House or Senate. That’s the point this book makes; it’s a celebration of that incredible, Southern-made quilt that we came from. You’ll see a little of yourself in it, a little of your mama and a little of your neighbor, too. It’s all of us together. I truly enjoyed this book, and I recommend it as the perfect holiday gift for your mother, grandmother, sister or friend. It’s inspiring, cozy and feels like life in our unseasonably warm homeland. Pick up a copy at Buxton Books in Charleston, wrap it up pretty with a bow, and give it to the Southern woman who made your life what it is today.

skirt . | december 2019  7


Cultivating Our

GARDEN The first TEDxWhitePointGardensWomen promises  to spark discussion and connection By Alli Steinke

T

wenty-five years ago, TED was born in the spirit of sharing ideas. Originally, the conference was intended to cover technology, education and design—hence the name TED—but now includes topics from science to business to global issues in more than 100 languages. More recently, independently run events known as TEDx have been organized as a way to share ideas in communities around the world. While the TED conference provides general guidance, TEDx events are organized independently.

CARSON KOSAR

A year ago at TEDxHiltonHeadWomen, Lisa Berry gave her first TEDx talk: “Own Your Weird,” and she was inspired to help put together other events. With expertise as a leader, mentor and coach in leadership development, process improvement and relationship management, Berry has mastered a variety of crafts that enhance her ability to lead a team in organizing TEDx events such as Charleston’s TEDxWhitePointGardensWomen. She strives to teach women how

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to be better, stronger, more confident and tougher by embracing their unique qualities and learning how to leverage these skills so they can be the best possible version of themselves. Berry’s passion both for people and for the importance of effective communication led her to collaborate with a group of women to organize the event scheduled for Dec. 7 in Charleston. Once she formed her team, they needed to come up with a name, a prerequisite to obtain an event license. “For those who have contem-

“We’re hoping to bring attention to some phenomenal local women who will be speaking on a wide variety of topics in an effort to celebrate all women.” The event is meant to draw in women looking to be inspired and intrigued by new ideas offered by the speakers. Berry’s desire was to work with the committee to gather a group of diverse presenters who embodied the spirit of women in the Holy City. With that in mind, they recruited a cognitive neuroscientist; a museum executive director; a business leader and community ac-

HEATHER COLLINS

HENRIETTA WOODWARD

plated applying for a TEDx event license, there’s an application process you must go through, and part of the process is approval of the name for your event,” Berry explained. “Since we’re totally independent, we wanted an event name that really meant something in the community.” Next on their to-do list was to find an empowered group of women to speak to attendees. “Our speakers will spark deep discussion and connection in a small group,” Berry pointed out.

“I want to show people that even though I am only 17, my age does not define the impact that I can make,” Kosar mentioned. Speaking of impact, Nichole Myles, a single mom and executive director of the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, will encourage attendees to run toward, rather than away from, their “unlikable” descriptors and use them to discover within themselves their hidden superpowers. “We have all been in situations where we’ve been told to ‘tone down’ or set aside an essential part

tivist; a physician and NASA-funded neuroscientist; a singer-songwriter; an anti-bullying advocate and educator; a high school senior; a women’s advocate and community planner; and a certified financial planner. They will delve into topics ranging from confidence and brain science to why being unlikable can be an asset – and much more. Carson Kosar is a senior at Palmetto Scholars Academy. While in high school, she traveled to Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic.

of ourselves so others can be comfortable,” Myles expounded. Rather than showing women how to ignore or avoid those words, Myles will share her story on how she overcame the fact that some people simply don’t like her. Henrietta Woodward, a local community planner, will speak on how her life has been changed by laughter, which has been scientifically proven to be the best medication for many ailments. “I was able to overcome obstacles

NICHOLE MYLES


“The event is meant to draw in women looking to  be inspired and intrigued by new ideas offered by the speakers. Berry’s desire was to work with the committee to gather a group of diverse presenters who embodied the spirit of women in the Holy City.” through the use of laughter,” Woodward said. “If taken and used on a regular basis, it provides a brighter outlook on life and can literally heal emotional and physical maladies.” Dr. Heather Collins, a cognitive neuroscientist, knows that women are underrepresented as leaders in the legal profession, medicine, academia, financial services and technology, with 30% or less earning a living in each of these important professions. By understanding the neuroscientific principles under-

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lying the process of being bold, Dr. Collins said that women can achieve success. “Women are just as qualified for these jobs but are often not quite as bold as men,” Dr. Collins remarked. “Our brains didn’t come with user manuals, but women will benefit from being bold.” As a women’s advocate, Patrice Witherspoon works to empower women through access to health care and education. Through her work with the health initiatives of

YWCA Greater Charleston and her involvement in She Strong, a young women’s empowerment and leadership program, Witherspoon is able to work toward her belief in the power of intergenerational influence and that women of all ages and walks of life can empower each other. “Empowering women not only betters the quality of life for individuals and families but creates leaders that develop equitable communities,” Witherspoon said. “Empowered women create em-

PATRICE WITHERSPOON

powered communities.” Feeling proud of her team and grateful for the sponsors who have supported TEDxWhitePointGardensWomen, Berry is ready to tackle the job of planning and executing future TEDx events. With an overwhelming level of community support, it’s apparent that local women do indeed support local women.

skirt . | december 2019  9


men

Family Pearls of Wisdom Bowens Island’s Robert Barber has put love and labor into the iconic eatery By Robin Gibson • Photography Erin Turner Sarah May Chaplin Barber Bowen, the matriarch behind the iconic Southern eatery, Bowens Island Restaurant, is the reason for this month’s “Skirt Men” feature—Robert Barber. He is her paternal grandson without whom her legacy and famed restaurant might have disappeared. But he fulfilled his promise to keep it alive before turning the reins over to two other strong women: his daughter and his granddaughter, both with the first name Sarah. Can you describe for people who don’t know about Bowens Island what and where it is? Bowens Island is a 14-acre island with a causeway to it about two miles before you get to Folly Beach. We have a Charleston mailing address and off one side of the island we see the back of Folly Beach and off the other we see James Island. The restaurant serves seafood and is known for its local oysters. What is your relationship to it? I grew up in it. My paternal grandmother, May Bowen, bought the island and built a road to it. She had a restaurant on Folly Beach, and, when my dad came back from World War II, he took that over and went to The Citadel as a veteran student. She moved to a one-bedroom house on Bowens and built a little concrete building on the ground and started a fish camp. She had a dock, and, initially, she wanted out of the restaurant business but ended up with fishermen—she had lights on it so you could fish all night—and they would bring in what they caught and she cooked it. So she started anew with another restaurant named after the island, which is named for her second husband, my step-grandfather—and granddaddy to me—Jimmy Bowen. So they called it Bowens Island. Many view your grandmother as a pioneer and a visionary. Do you see her that way? What do you think she thought about what she set out to do? I don’t think she thought it was a big deal because that’s how she was. Comparing her to other people, I wouldn’t say she was eccentric—but different. Most people would have put a few thousand dollars into a pretty, little house in a new subdivision after World War II. Instead, she bought this island and paid to put a causeway out to it. They lived modestly in a wooden one-bedroom house with a different perspective of the world. She enjoyed people but was kind of grumpy and short with them. And she was a businesswoman before many women got into business, and, certainly, before they started their own.

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What motivated her? Was it her business sense? Was she wired to think if she wanted something to do it herself? Obviously, she felt empowered. She had to have felt that way. Her first husband, my biological grandfather, was from Pennsylvania. They met during the war and she went back with him, but, within a year or so, she returned without him. She and her older sister moved to Savannah to be hairdressers, and she met Jimmy Bowen, an accomplished trombonist who was in the Marine band in World War 1. They moved back and he worked in printing while she did family members’ hair. For family that didn’t have much, she made dresses out of printed feed sacks, the stuff chicken feed came in. My mother’s family didn’t have a lot of money, so she helped them out. You left and then you came back. Did you always know you would? My dad got a job in Columbia when I was ten years old, and that’s where I met Lanelle. She lived a few blocks away and close to her was a fellow in my class whose daddy died. Two years later, he moved in with us. So I got a good-looking wife and brother out of the deal. I finished high school, went to Wofford College, Duke Divinity School and law school before returning to Charleston. I worked in restaurants from college through seminary and law school. My grandmother’s restaurant wasn’t busy, but a dozen people would walk in and she’d ask for help. I tended the counter taking food and drink orders and it worked out. Did you feel compelled to take over? Did you consider it continuing her legacy? Absolutely. The restaurant was unique, and, in the 1970s and 1980s, we

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were being written up in The New York Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer. This was before Charleston was a food destination, and, aside from some curious folks from afar, the clientele was 90% locals. Before she died, we talked about it, and I told her I would keep it going. This past July, it’s been 29 years since she passed. Under your leadership, you won the James Beard Award. Well, we did. But I attribute 90% of that to what she created. Do you think she would be impressed by the award or embrace it? She would be proud but wouldn’t have made too much about it. My mother and dad remarked many times that my grandmother would be proud and overwhelmed by the number of people that have come here. Your daughter, Hope McIntosh, whom you named after your grandmother, is now running things. Did she express a desire to step in? Was that always the succession plan? She expressed a desire. She has two daughters, a senior and sophomore in college, and, when they went off to school, she became full-time manager. What do you think the future holds for Bowens and your granddaughters? Will they carry the legacy forward? I have no idea. I assume it will go another generation. And I suspect the only reason it would be sold—in fact, my only concern and it’s not going to be in my lifetime—is if global warming continues, the water’s going to keep rising and somebody’s going to make an executive decision. But that’s down the road.

skirt . | december 2019  11


That’s a Wrap! Looking back on the highs and lows of 2019 in Charleston By Grey Arnau

The more holiday lights we see tangled around the trunk of a Palmetto tree, the more we wonder where 2019 went and what new additions were brought to the city. Prosperity has become our calling card, with each year demanding expansion and progress. From highs that graced the tallest steeples in our Holy City to lows that plunged to sea level, it was definitely a year to remember.

JANUARY

APRIL

Super Blood Wolf Moon The New Year filled the sky with a large, reddish-orange moon. This occurs when Earth moves between the moon and the sun, causing sunlight to bend toward the moon and result in a red hue. The timing coincided with the full moon and the moment in orbit when it’s closest to Earth, causing it to appear 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter. The “wolf ” part hearkens to the indigenous name for a January full moon, beckoning the hungry wolf ’s howl.

Grand Reopening of Cypress Gardens After being closed almost three years due to storm and flood damage, Cypress Gardens officially reopened after a $2.1 million renovation. The 170-acre-preserve updated their Swamparium and butterfly house, as well as made necessary flooding improvements so families can get back to outdoor adventures.

JANUARY AND FEBRUARY Miller Gallery Two Top Exhibit Rachel Nerney and Julia Deckman debuted an exhibit at the Miller Gallery dedicated to Charleston’s culinary community and the artistry of food. The exhibit, called “Two Top,” was a series of vibrant portraits, showcasing shared experiences in the kitchen and portraying numerous local culinary hot-spots.

FEBRUARY The Final Folly Gras Next year, you might have to venture to New Orleans if you want to go all out for Mardi Gras because the Folly Gras Festival organizers decided this beloved Folly Beach festival would be the last. Sniff.

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JUNE Jeongeun Lee6 Wins at US Women’s Open History was made when South Korean golfer Jeongeun Lee6 shot a 1 under 70 to win the Women’s Open and earned the first $1 million women’s winner’s check ever handed out by the USGA. Lee6 has the number in her name because she was the sixth player with the name on the Korean LPGA, and she embraced this with humor and a new fan club called “The Lucky 6,” building a platform for women in golf. Miss May the Great White Shark A 10-foot Great White Shark named Miss May pinged off the coast of Charleston, alerting marine research group Ocearch of her arrival. She traveled 2,112 miles from Ferdinand Beach, Florida in 103 days. Upon arrival, the Twitter page for Miss May let Charleston folks know she was enjoying her journey. Ocearch tags Great Whites in hopes of increasing the sample size of

this species as well as understanding their movements and life history.

JULY Rare Albino Alligator of Aquarium Passed Away The summer was a sad one for the SC Aquarium upon the death of Alabaster, a rare albino alligator who lived at the facility for the past decade. He was one of only fifty surviving albino alligators in the world. RIP.

AUGUST Hurricane Dorian The second most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic hit the coast of Charleston in early September. The eye passed within 55 miles of the city, and residents returned to some flooding and damage from 80 mph winds. Hundreds of thousands were left without power, but we were fortunate compared to the Bahamas, which were battered with 187 mph winds for three days, prompting local aid efforts. Blessed Sacrament Church Received New Spires This West Ashley church was gifted new spires by an anonymous donor after thirty years of being without—the original spires were flung across the highway in 1989, when Hurricane Hugo


10th Anniversary of Charleston Pride Rainbow Row stretched throughout Charleston with men and women celebrating the local LGBTQ+ community. The mission was to promote the visibility of the community while highlighting the diversity of the culture. This was the 10th annual celebration, and everyone came to show up and show out in their finest colorful couture, including Broadway star and Youtube sensation Todrick Hall.

OCTOBER spun through the city. This year, two fiberglass and steel spires stretching 70 feet were added back to the church, while community onlookers shared stories of these uplifting symbols of faith.

SEPTEMBER Big Belly Bins in Charleston This year, Charleston took the newest solar-powered, smart technology trash cans to the streets. Big Belly Bins are filled with automatic sensors that measure capacity, a compactor that presses trash down to accept eight times more than the standard bin, and reporting technologies that alert Environmental Services when bins are full. This will save the city $200,000 a year in garbage cans and services.

Shem Creek Pedestrian Bridge Phase III of the Shem Creek Park Project provided new additions to the beloved and iconic Mount Pleasant scenery. This project was consistent with the comprehensive plan to enhance Shem Creek, making a safe and connected place for pedestrians and an increase of public access to water. Lowcountry Rapid Transit The US Department of Transportation approved a $360 million project to move into the developmental phase and provide the city with dependable and quick transportation. This will benefit not only commuters but the environment, thanks to vehicles that reduce emissions. The 26-mile bus system through Summerville, North

Charleston and downtown is expected to begin service in late 2025. Nurdles Wash up on Charleston Shores In late October, South Carolina environmental officials announced intention to sue under the Clean Water Act after a July spill of plastic pellets, or nurdles, from a local packaging company. The company allegedly hasn’t made any moves to prevent them from flooding the local waterways, including Capers Island, Sullivan’s Island and the Charleston Harbor. If there’s anything 2019 taught us, it’s that we must take charge in keeping our natural resources clean.

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skirt . | december 2019  13


wellness

Time to Feel More

“PRESENT”

Take a break from the holiday frenzy with a restorative treatment at area spas It’s the most wonderful stressful time of the year! As stress levels begin to rise the closer we get to the holidays, take this as a reminder to practice self-care with some much-needed R&R. Check out some of these area spas for a respite from the madness and the perfect antidote to the holiday hustle! By Dena J. DiOrio

THE SPA AT THE SANCUTARY

EARTHLING DAY SPA AND PILATES STUDIO 245 East Bay St., Charleston earthlingdayspa.com; 843-722-4737 “Don’t forget to breathe (this holiday season),” advised Earthling’s owner, Aby Cass. Celebrating 31 years, Earthling sets the benchmark for wellness on the Peninsula as one of Charleston’s oldest day spas, offering a full spa menu, nail services by an expert nail technician, a fully-equipped Pilates studio and an extensive wellness boutique. Here you’ll do more than just breathe the aromatic scents of essential oils. A local favorite, Earthling draws inspiration from global beauty and wellness rituals as highlighted in the robust spa menu, particularly in the Around the World treatments. THE WOODHOUSE DAY SPA

Best results: For those in need of a relaxing detour to any Charleston itinerary or for a well-deserved staycation. Unique treatment: Thai  Detox Ritual—a body scrub and body mask, followed by a full-body banana leaf wrap to which a “steam canopy” is applied. A soothing one-hour massage concludes the session. This treatment improves metabolism and circulation. Two hours/$300.

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THE SALT SPA & YOGA

THE WOODHOUSE DAY SPA 725 Johnnie Dodds Blvd., Mount Pleasant woodhousespas.com; 843-203-1772 Mount Pleasant’s Woodhouse Day Spa, a franchise brought to Charleston by businesswomen and entrepreneur Kimberly Powell in 2015, provides luxury day spa services to the Lowcountry “without the resort.” Sip on a complimentary mimosa or visit the expansive wellness boutique as you await one of the 72 treatments ranging from anti-aging facials to sleep treatments to bodywork and massage. Woodhouse aficionados will rejoice; the new downtown location is slated to open later this month. Best results: Anyone, couples included, will enjoy being pampered here for an hour, two or more. Unique treatment: Have trouble sleeping? Try one of the spa’s sleep treatments, such as The Shirodhara, an ancient ayurvedic practice of pouring warm oil over the forehead to release stress and anxiety and to improve sleep patterns and respiration. A head and neck massage using lavender, chamomile and jojoba essential oils follows. 50 minutes/$120; series of six/$600.

THE SALT SPA & YOGA 703 King St. A, Charleston saltspacharleston.com; 843-974-4435 Just over three years into the Charleston spa scene,

this charming wellness boutique and yoga studio offers an extensive menu of bodywork, reiki energy healing and training, massage, organic facials, mud wraps and yoga for all levels. Inside you’ll be greeted by the warm glow of Himalayan salt lamps that adorn the building. Said to attract air pollutants and release negative ions, the therapeutic use of Himalayan salt lamps eases asthma, headaches and sinus issues, while aiding in sleep, respiration and blood circulation.  Best results: For the wellness guru, enjoy a holistic, all-natural approach to self-care. Unique treatment:  The Migun Massage Bed— using far infrared rays that promote caloric consumption and jade crystals that provide a deep tissue massage, the effects are said to reduce stress and chronic pain, lower blood pressure, improve circulation and increase lymphatic flow. One session can burn 600 to 2,400 calories. (Not recommended for expectant mothers.) 60 minutes/$40.

SOCA DAY SPA 5070 International Blvd. #110, North Charleston socadayspa.com; 843-529-9500 A hidden gem now in its 16th year, SoCa offers organic body treatments, skin care, massage, waxing, sugaring and all-natural sunless tanning, making it a great all-around day spa option. Upon entering, you’ll be greeted by a warm and knowledgeable staff. Two calming relaxation rooms follow, one of which can be reserved for large groups. Check out their wellness boutique featuring prodSOCA DAY SPA


ucts from the spa’s two organic skin care lines, Eminence and Epicuren. Best results: An intimate day spa that’s great for groups and for those wishing to have a more private spa experience. Unique treatment: The Sinus Massage—a deeply relaxing treatment that will alleviate sinus issues and help you breathe better. This cold and hot treatment uses soothing eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree oils and ice, and gentle massage strokes of the sinuses along with the neck, shoulders and scalp. 30 minutes/$55.

from locals. Spa services include massage, facials, waxing and bodywork, and their salons offer full haircut, style, keratin and coloring. Best results: Urban, chic and unapologetic, you’ll feel good just by being here. Check out the downtown location in the former stables of the Wentworth Mansion for an extra dose of cool. Unique treatment: Coco Shea Butter Wrap— you’ll start with a dry brushing to increase circulation followed by a body wrap of hydrating cocoa shea butter. The experience ends with a relaxing massage. 60 minutes/$92.

URBAN NIRVANA

THE SPA AT THE SANCTUARY

Multiple locations West Ashley Spa (flagship location) 8 Windermere Blvd., Charleston urbannirvana.com; 843-720-8000

The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort 1 Sanctuary Beach Drive, Kiawah Island kiawahresort.com/the-sanctuary-spa 843-768-6340

With 14 locations throughout the Lowcountry, Columbia, Lexington and Greenville, Urban Nirvana, now in its 20th year, offers an unparalleled experience that consistently receives top votes

One of 31 Forbes five-star spas in the country, The Spa at The Sanctuary offers a full-service menu with an emphasis on anti-aging treatments and total well-being. The resort’s natural surroundings

THE SPA AT THE SANCUTARY

inspire the spa’s decor and treatments. Spend some quality time in the aqua retreat, with its nourishing vitality mineral whirlpool, sauna and steam room, or unwind and recharge in the women’s or coed solarium relaxation rooms and let any lingering tension melt away. Best results: Go for a full or half day and indulge yourself in a luxurious spa getaway. Unique treatment: Always a classic, the Deep Tissue Massage is otherworldly. Choose from three essential oils to relax, revitalize or recover, which will be placed in an enchantment bowl below your head for an aromatherapeutic escape. Breathe deeply while being whisked away to meditative bliss by your therapist’s vigorous hands. 60 minutes/$190-$205; 90 minutes/$285-$305.

30th Annual

HOLIDAY FESTIVAL OF L I G H T S

M E R R Y. M A G I C A L . M E M O R I E S .

NOVEMBER 15 - DECEMBER 31, 2019

C H A R L E S TO N CO U N T Y PA R KS.CO M Want more? Visit us at skirt.com

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essay

O CHRISTMAS TREE

One woman who grew up without December holidays discovers her festive spirit By Esther Curry

I

never experienced the thrill of waking up on the morning of December 25 to discover what Santa brought during those hours of peaceful childhood slumber. Of course, the old saying “You can’t miss what you never had” rings true—I didn’t have the notion to care. I did wonder to myself, if Santa did come to our house, how would he get inside? Our mobile home had only a wood burning stove with a very small pipe that let the smoke out. I knew it wouldn’t work for Santa Claus, even if we had a tree and all that stuff. The holiday was just not meant for us. At the age of 30, I only have three Christmases under my belt, and I still struggle to fully engage in the holiday. As a child, I never dreamed of meeting Santa or getting a gift from him. I remember thinking he seemed like a nice enough guy when I saw his face on a Coca-Cola can, but mostly, whenever I saw him in retail stores with the other kids, I wondered what the point was. When you are raised without holidays, the calendar is labeled a bit differently. I was raised in Florida where there are two main seasons: summer and winter. We didn’t plan or look forward to any holidays, and we didn’t buy holiday outfits. We only needed coats in the wintertime and swimsuits in the summer. Other than perhaps a passing comment because the bank was

“...as I was sitting on the couch with my feet up, admiring the tree, my husband stood up and placed a shiny ball ornament onto its branches. I knew at this moment he had accepted the tree as his own...” closed or the mail was not delivered, Christmas was never mentioned. I was fully detached from the celebration, but I was OK with that. When you grow up in a small religious community, fear stops a lot of thoughts and ideas. When I try to dig up any Christmas memories from the past, my mind searches fervently for something with red and green or Santa Claus, and nothing much comes up. I do remember one time my two best friends and I found a Santa Claus photo area in the mall, and we pretended to be involved with the festivities, taking a silly picture of ourselves for a photo album. But that’s as far as our holiday spirit went. All three of us knew that when we got home, there would be no wrapped presents underneath a tree. In

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fact, there was no tree at all—it was just a winter month, nothing special. Buying my first Christmas tree a few years back was more complicated than I imagined. I decided I wanted a traditional tree—not a snowy white one, or a brightly colored one, but a simple tree, reminiscent of what I never had. When I got to the store, I realized there were more options than I had imagined. I didn’t know if I should get the pre-lit tree or buy a string of lights. If I got a tree that was not pre-lit, how many strings of lights would it require? Luckily, I brought my older sister along, who had celebrated Christmas several years back after she moved away from home. She advised me to get a pre-lit tree and helped me pick out other decorative ne-

cessities. The world of holiday cheer and possibilities opened up to me, welcoming me into its colored glow. Back at the house, I was amazed at how easy the artificial tree was to put together. It was like playing with a Fisher Price stack toy: the biggest branches went on the bottom, and the smallest ones went on the top. And placing the ornaments was just like it was in the movies; you just stood there and decorated the branches gracefully— there is no wrong way to do it. The large red bow topper finished off the tree’s traditional feel, but the sweeping ribbon strands were tricky to get right. Finally, the work was done, complete with a fluffy skirt to hide the unsightly cords and stand. The whole time I was setting up the tree, my


“All three of us knew that when we got home, there would be no wrapped presents underneath a tree. In fact, there was no tree at all—it was just a winter month, nothing special.” husband didn’t have any interest in the process. You see, he also didn’t grow up with Christmas, and, like me, he had no emotional attachment to the holiday. He observed with skepticism as I worked, but once the tree was bathed in its glow of lights, he admitted it was pretty, and he even seemed to enjoy it. When you marry someone who came from the same strict environment and explore the new world together, you don’t get much outside influence. That said, it can be a slow process to change your ways. But as I was sitting on the couch with my feet up, admiring the tree, my husband stood up and placed a shiny ball ornament onto its branches. I knew at this moment he had accepted the tree as his own, and we started our new journey as people who celebrate Christmas, with the obvious evidence of a tree. That first Christmas, the only plan was to

make breakfast and coffee, then open presents. I didn’t have childlike excitement while opening my gifts; but all the same, it was special and sweet. I will never experience that magic young kids feel on Christmas morning, but that’s all right—I am a fully grown adult with the gift of freedom to think and do what feels right. Today, anyone who comes through our door in December would assume we are just like everyone else. We no longer need to explain that we didn’t grow up with Christmas or the reason we don’t have a tree. Some years we celebrate the day with friends, and some years we are traveling. Christmas is a wild card every year; I would not say we have traditions. But when I do have Christmas at home, with my very own tree, it feels cozy and right. It feels like my Christmas spirit coming alive, one tree at a time.

ThankYou You to the generous community sponsors and supporters who Thank made this event possible! Platinum Level Sponsor:

F

Linda Ketner

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As aut ac Ke leg tin and ver off sio

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Every year we feel pressured to find that perfect holiday gift for our loved ones. Yes, all of us have access to everything they might want or need at the click of a key, but how can we go beyond ho-hum and become this season's best Secret Santa? Skirt has compiled a list of ideal gifts, from chic household touches to stylish accessories for him and her—even exciting experiences, sure to inspire quality time. Best of all, these gifts are all locally sourced right from our Lowcountry. Talk about being on the nice list.

2019 Gift Guide Photography by: Taylor Jarvis Pale Girl Photography

Skip the North Pole—Go Lowcountry

Styling: Andrea Serrano

Assistant Stylist: Jonaton Guerrero Ramirez Hair by: Lauren Michelle Makeup by: Laura Pascazio Silhouette on Site On Christie: Dress: Molly Goddard from Worthwhile; Boots: AGL from Shoes on King; Earrings: Rhodes Boutique; Bow: Julia Pagan Balloons: Boom Balloon Shot on Location at Pixel Studios


Hausful

hausful.com An updated Danish version of the traditional alarm clock design, it's round-faced clock sits atop a round bottomed brushed brass base and must be turned over and positioned face down in order to silence the alarm. Tumbler Alarm Clock - $199

Well watering can is a thoughtful and functional design piece. The most prominent feature of the watering can is its softly shaped corpus with a slightly concave top surface, guiding the water into the vessel. $219

Emily Daws

emilydawstextiles.com Hand-drawn silhouettes of the shells common to this Southern beach town. Custom sizes available. Made from our 100% linen collection. $124-$164.

Nellie Studio at V2V

Home crystalnelliestudio.com Gallery Wrapped Canvas. Acrylic with thick resin finish $45

Deciding what to give your sister, mother-in-law or that hostess with the mostess? You can’t go wrong with a thoughtful gift that feathers the nest.

Estelle

estellecoloredglass.com Hand-blown colored glass made by glass artisans in Poland. Set of 6, Dimensions: 9.5 inches tall x 3.9 inches wide. Estelle Colored $175

Well Furnished shopwellfurnished.com Wall mounted gilded cast aluminum mouse. 10.5” w X 5.5”. $68


Galante

galanteboutique.com Alice in Wonderland Silk Scarf, $275

Style

Lina Rosa

at The Community linarosajewelry.com Stella hand beaded earrings, $225

Give them the gift of style this season with an array of fashionable finds so good, you won’t even need a gift receipt! But fair warning—you might want to borrow these later.

The Finicky Filly

thefinickyfilly.com Feathered belt in mustard, $198

Bindhi & Brutus Brackish Bowties

brackishbowties.com Mary Ann Wide Cuff, Crafted with peacock feathers. Cuff is 1.5” wide and adjustable. 24k Gold Plated hardware. $195

etsy.com/shop/ BindhiAndBrutus Metallic Geometric White, Rose Gold Leather and Black Faux Leather Clutches, $50.00


Toadfish Outfitters

toadfishoutfitters.com Put ‘Em Back Oyster Knife, $30.

Worthwhile

shopworthwhile.com Christian Lacroix playing cards, $35.

For Him

Jordan Lash

jordanlash.com Dreidels and Christmas socks, $25.

Save yourself the time of deciphering what the man in your life wants this year. Whether you’re shopping for a brother, father or husband, we’ve picked gifts every man will love.

J. Stark

Starkmade.com In an effort to offer a crossbody bag that wasn’t a briefcase, we set out to design the Fulton. Fulton Crossbody, $195. A travel pouch for the traditionalist, the Clark is our streamlined version of the Dopp kit. Clark Dopp Kit, $95.

Henry & Eva

henryandeva.com The Salty Old Bastard Noble Flask. 6 oz stainless steel with etched embellishments atop classic patina. $65.


Kim Graham

kimgraham.net Teaching one-on-one photography classes to those interested in taking their photography skills one step further. 1 hour session, $50.

Experiences

Not the best at wrapping boxes and tying bows? Surprise family and friends with a Holy City experience. Whether they’re nature fanatics or blossoming artists, these gifts keep on giving.

Holy Spokes

charlestonbikeshare.com Whether you are a Charleston local who commutes, a frequent visitor, or just in town for the day, Holy Spokes is perfect for you. Spend a day riding around town, indulging in Charleston’s beautiful scenery. Yearly bike membership, $69.

Jahde Leather Atelier

jahdemade.com During this workshop you will learn how to sew and assemble your own leather keychain with your choice of colors. All workshops include your custom item, light bites and drinks. Leather Fringe Keyring Workshop, $85.00.


Season’s

COCKTAILS (AND MOCKTAILS) THAT WON’T MAKE US REGRET THE NEXT DAY BUT STILL LOOK AND TASTE FESTIVE

CRANBERRYROSEMARY COOLER

“I love sangrias, especially with rosé,” commented Patrick Denny, beverage director. “It’s a nice wine to use because rosé is fresh and bright.” To make, simply mix up a little rosé wine, a hibiscus tea blend—which Butcher & Boar makes in-house—lychee juice and citrus, a touch of light rum and a topper of soda water. “There’s clove, cinnamon and a good amount of green cardamom. You’re getting a good amount of those Christmas baking spices without beating anyone over the head,” said Denny. The additional use of lychee and fruit juices is the perfect way to add sweetness without the heavy sugar content. “I try and balance sugar and acid ratios. A sangria is something you want to drink plenty of, so I make ours light on the sugar,” he added.

Too Many Desserts Will Make You Feel Gluttonous This Time Of Year, But How Can You Say No To Continuing The Party After Dinner? Instead Of Stuffing Your Face With Rich Chocolates And Pastries, Try Sipping On These Cocktails And Mocktails That Are Every Bit As Sweet—Without All The Refined Sugars That Leave You Feeling Bloated And Hungover The Next Day.

Merry Margarita

MEX 1 (VARIOUS LOCATIONS) A beachy cocktail with a holiday spin, the Mex 1 Merry Margarita is a mix of 1.5 oz. Lunazul Tequila, 0.75 oz. Cathead Hoodoo Liqueur, 0.25 oz. Creme De Mure, 0.5 oz. Pomegranate Juice and 1 oz. Margarita mix (Mex 1 uses homemade). Garnish with a cinnamon-sugar rim, lime and blackberry. (You can also serve it “Naughty” with a floater of jalapeno). “When you bring the cocktail together, it has a half rim of cinnamon sugar, so when you take a sip of it, you get the full taste of the margarita with a deep complex flavor—it’s almost warming,” said Shannon Standhart, head mixologist and manager at Mex 1’s Sullivan’s Island location. “This a Christmastime margarita. The flavors remind you of the holiday season.”

Winter Sangria

BUTCHER & BOAR (MOUNT PLEASANT)

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Hen 75

FAT HEN (JOHNS ISLAND) The Hen 75 is a take on the classic French 75, its inspiration stemming from the savory, delicious scent of holiday cooking. “Rosemary tends to be everywhere this time of year,” said Austin Lee, bar manager. “We take a lemon and rosemary gin—with very light lemon simple syrup—shake it, and stir it into a martini glass. We float it with champagne and then garnish it with a rosemary sprig and a lemon twist.” Following the style of the French 75, Lee loved the idea of topping the Hen 75 with a champagne floater, giving it an effervescence. “It’s almost like you can hear the corks being popped when you taste it,” he said. “The lemon adds that crisp, bright freshness to the cocktail and the rosemary provides the herbaceous notes,” he added. “Also, by infusing the gin with lemon and rosemary, it cuts down on the crazy bite but keeps the pine flavor.”

Champagne Cobbler

HANDCRAFT KITCHEN & COCKTAILS (MOUNT PLEASANT) A homemade cobbler on a cold day feeds your heart, and a homemade champagne cobbler from Handcraft Kitchen & Cocktails feeds your happiness. Inspired by one of the first cocktails ever recorded in America (thanks in part to Jerry “The Professor” Thomas’ “Bartenders Guide 1862: How to Mix Drinks), Handcraft puts a holiday spin on the drink, incorporating pears and honey. It even starts with a julep cup, one of the most classic cocktail cups. “I’m a big believer that the glass is just as important as the cocktail,” said Tyler Rothenberg, beverage director and general manager. To make, drop a slice of lemon and orange into the cup. Then add the syrup, which Rothenberg makes from scratch, and include black peppercorns cracked in the oven, diced pears and local honey. Muddle the ingredients, add ice and fill with a sparkling wine, such as prosecco. Swizzle the drink to combine the ingredients and top it off with seasonal berries—Rothenberg prefers blackberries, raspberries and a mint sprig. The drink is light, delightful and embodies the holidays. “It’s easy to drink, and easy to make at home,” remarked Rothenberg.

MERRY MARGARITA


Sippings BY TERI ERRICO GRIFFIS • PHOTOGRAPHY BY ERIN TURNER

Bikinis for Christmas

PROOF (DOWNTOWN) You may long for that hot toddy while watching your snowy, scenic Hallmark movies, but let’s be real—we live in the South. Heck, we might have the air conditioner running during the holidays. (Anything to get that chill in the air, right?) For Craig Nelson, owner of Proof and a born Southerner, he remembers holidays filled with adults drinking mimosas and daiquiris outside. “The only hot drink was we served was when the kids wanted hot cocoa,” he said. “That’s why we love this holiday take on a beachy classic. It’s bright and fresh, with very little sugar.” Bikinis for Christmas, named by Proof bartender Caroline Woodruff, has an island feel, “but it tastes like Christmas. Becherovka has 26 herbs in its secret recipe and is like Christmas in CHAMPAGNE COBBLER

a bottle. You get all those favorite spices—the clove, the cinnamon,” Nelson explained. The simple recipe combinesWINTER 1.5 oz. of BeSANGRIA cherovka, 0.5 oz. of Batavia-Arrack, 1 oz. of freshly, squeezed lime juice and 0.25 oz. of simple syrup. “Shake it, strain it and serve it in a coupe with a twist of lime and then garnish,” said Nelson.

Cranberry Rosemary Cooler

BASIC KITCHEN (DOWNTOWN) “This is a seasonal sipper that is refreshing and well-balanced, between the lemony-pine rosemary and the zing of cranberry shrub,” said Nate Wentworth, general manager. “With soda water to keep it light, it will have you coming back for sip after sip.” At the base of the mocktail is Basic’s cranberry shrub, which they make with fresh fruit.

“It’s packed with vitamins and antioxidants, and is good for detoxification and easing digestion,” Wentworth pointed out. To create the shrub, in a pot combine 6 cups of water, 6 cups of cranberries, 6 sprigs of rosemary, 1.5 cups of white wine vinegar and 1 cup of sugar. Bring everything to a boil, stirring occasionally. Let it simmer for 15 minutes, then steep for at least 72 hours before storing the container in the fridge. Once you’re ready to drink up, mix 2 oz. of the shrub and ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain it into a Collins glass, top with 4 oz. of soda water and garnish with a single rosemary sprig. The tart cranberries play off the woodsy aroma and lemon-spruce flavors of rosemary, and Wentworth hopes festive party-goers find the cooler “delicious, refreshing and something they can enjoy throughout their meal.”

Naked & Famous

STEMS & SKINS (NORTH CHARLESTON) This drink is classic, but also simple, since it’s all equal parts. Mix up Del Maguey Vida mezcal, yellow chartreuse, Aperol and lime juice for a cheerful, bold red cocktail. “It’s all about the balance of flavors,” said Matt Tunstall, co-owner at Stems & Skins, noting the drink was made famous by Joaquin Simo in New York City. “The mezcal is a deep, smoky spirit. Yellow chartreuse has these herbs and flowers, and almost an alpine, mountainous aroma. Combine it with Aperol, which is a red bitter, and fresh lime juice for acidity, and you have this citrusy, refreshing drink. I find the palette is infinitely pleased.” With everything else you’re consuming over the holidays, you’ll enjoy that there’s no “junk” in this cocktail. Serve in a coupe and enjoy naked or fully clothed.


table

Matters of Taste A conversation with culinary legend Nathalie Dupree on local food and legacies BY HELEN MITTERNIGHT

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“I don’t know that I’ve ever considered anything like legacy. We didn’t use those words about women’s cooking either; we didn’t know.” Others, however, are more confident about Dupree’s legacy. Writer John T. Edge, director of Southern Foodways Alliance, talks in his book, “The Potlikker Papers,” about how she courageously hosted a publication party for author Salman Rushdie when the Ayatollah in Iran issued a fatwa ordering him killed—then turned around and defended the Muslim protesters who objected her decision. She brought this subversive egalitarianism to women as well. “To women in the 1980s and 1990s, Nathalie Dupree communicated a subversive feminism. Less than a decade after Julia Child swanned into living rooms …Dupree emerged as a second-wave women’s libber … Dupree taught the South to cook again,” Edge writes in his book. To commemorate Nathalie Dupree’s milestone birthday, her publishers have issued a special limited version of “Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking,”—an eight-pound tome—as well as the shorter “Nathalie Dupree’s Favorite Stories and Recipes.” Still thinking about her legacy, Dupree said, “I just like to give people permission to get in there and cook. I don’t have an agenda. I love teaching people to get dominion over what they put in their

“When I started out, hardly any women were cooking, and few were doing what I did.…There weren’t many women teaching cooking and certainly not supporting themselves as I did from the time of my divorce…onward.” say she was my mentor. I can’t think of anyone who was, not that people weren’t kind to me,” she said. “When I started out, hardly any women were cooking, and few were doing what I did. There were women’s cooking schools, but very few had full participation cooking, except for professional ones— but there weren’t many professional ones that even wanted women. There weren’t many women teaching cooking and certainly not supporting themselves as I did from the time of my divorce… onward. Most of the women who were teaching cooking had a secondary person who was paying the rent,” she added. She remains skeptical of what her legacy will be.

bodies. It’s so freeing to be able to cook for yourself and your family. That’s what I want for people: to cook and to make mistakes. It’s perfectly all right to make mistakes, and I like for people to know that— that they can correct them, and that if a recipe is difficult, they can find an easier one that is satisfying. If they want to take up a challenge, they can, but if it’s a personal challenge, do it as a personal challenge. If you have to have a dinner, choose something you can prepare, and don’t experiment on the guests.” She smiled mischievously. “Of course, I do that all the time. I usually tell my guests that they’re my guinea pigs. I give them that courtesy, anyway.”

HÉLÈNE DUJARDIN

W

hen Nathalie Dupree was around 10 or 11 years old, she made the hasty decision to run away from home after a particularly bad day. She prepared her bicycle for the long voyage ahead, along with a peanut butter sandwich topped with sliced banana. Soon after she was on her way, however, the plan was foiled; it was the culinary doyenne’s first lesson that good food is about control. “I realized that if you put a banana in with a peanut butter sandwich, the bread tastes terrible, and if you ride with a Coke on your bicycle, it gets hot, and you have to find out where you are getting your next meal, so you have to go home,” Dupree said, curled in a chair at her own sunny home in downtown Charleston. Dupree is something of a legend here in the Holy City. She had seven cooking shows on PBS and was the first woman since Julia Child to have more than 150 episodes on the network. She’s been featured on The Today Show; Good Morning America; CNN Good Morning; The Food Network; and The Learning Channel. Before moving to Charleston, Dupree ran a cooking school in Atlanta and is widely acknowledged to be a Southern cooking pioneer, thanks to more than 14 best-selling cookbooks. She taught Pat Conroy how to cook, and she started numerous Southern chapters of Les Dames d’Escoffier, an international organization of wom-

en in food, beverage and hospitality. She was also a founding member of the Charleston Wine & Food Festival, Southern Foodways Alliance and the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Dupree has been in the Lowcountry for 20 years. She made the move from Atlanta with her husband, journalist and civil rights scholar Jack Bass, when he was offered a project with the College of Charleston. She left behind her business contacts and friends but says she quite easily found a tribe in Charleston, many former students she had taught to cook. She has definitely seen Charleston cuisine evolve in the last two decades. “Very few people are cooking Lowcountry anymore,” she commented. “It seems to have shifted away in the last five years, with food trucks and ethnic restaurants. You don’t find a lot of straight Southern or straight Lowcountry cooking. It’s kind of too bad. I think it will swing back. Food in Charleston is always going to be a mixture of trying to accommodate the tourists and represent the Lowcountry but also serve what people want.” Dupree turns 80 this month, and the conversation soon turned to mentors and legacies. “I didn’t really have a mentor. They didn’t have such a thing as women mentors when I was coming up. Julia [Child] was very nice to me, but I wouldn’t


table

NEWS OPENINGS & CLOSINGS

Another concept by Queen Street Hospitality Group, owners of 82 Queen and Swig & Swine, Jalisco will feature tacos prepared in an open kitchen, showcasing the vertical rotisserie of marinated pork for Al Pastor. The space vacated by Tradd’s on East Bay Street is becoming a Brazilian steakhouse

known as Galpao Gaucho. There’s no firm opening date for the steakhouse, which has successful locations in California and Texas. Fans of Pink Bellies who have followed the restaurant from its pop-up days will now be able to enjoy Vietnamese food in a more permanent spot. The owner has signed a lease at 595 King Street.

Top Chef alum Jamie Lynch and the team behind 5Church Charleston are opening a seafood restaurant on North Market Street in Spring 2020. Tempest will serve upscale seafood from Lowcountry fishermen, oyster farmers and other purveyors—including Lynch’s own farm near Charlotte.

BLACK MAGIC CAFÉ

The sun has set for SOL Southwest Kitchen & Tequila Bar on Meeting Street. The Mount Pleasant and Summerville locations will stay open, but the downtown edition “lacked the volume of customer traffic,” according to owners. King Street shoppers and College of Charleston students are going to have to get their gyros somewhere else— Taziki’s Mediterranean Café has closed its downtown location, although the Mount Pleasant café is still open. Black Magic Café has closed its doors at Folly Beach and reopened in West Ashley.

EVENTS

PINK BELLIES

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Mount Pleasant’s Handcraft Kitchen and Cocktails is turning itself into a “Winter Wonderland” with a pop-up cocktail bar concept

called “Miracle.” The pop-up will run through December and include festive cocktails, glassware and decorations, all set to a soundtrack of beloved holiday songs. Visitors to the Wonderland will also enjoy holiday movies and “Christmas Karaoke.” It’s time to figure out where you’re spending New Year’s Eve. The Cedar Room has announced a James Bond inspired bash, featuring live music, lots of food and an open bar. Tickets are $160 and are available at Eventbrite.

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community

Setting the Table—and the Standard How East Cooper Meals on Wheels has a heart for the community’s homebound By Helen Mitternight

“Jenny Ladd, business and operations manager, reported her days to be full of heartwarming stories from volunteers who are a lifeline for the people they visit.”

I

LEFT TO RIGHT: KELLEY CHAPMAN, KIM LEGERE, MARGARET BUCHER, AND JENNY LADD

magine that you are not able to go out and buy groceries whenever you want to—or visit a restaurant with a friend—because you are homebound due to illness or injury. Now, imagine that you are unfortunately by yourself, without someone there to do the food shopping on your behalf. How thankful would you be to discover a friendly face at your door, bringing you nourishing meals to eat? That’s the premise of the East Cooper organization Meals on Wheels. Being homebound is the only necessary stipulation to sign up for the service—you don’t have to be elderly or impoverished; you just have to be unable to leave home. “We serve daily meals: every day of the week, Mondays through Fridays, and on Fridays, we deliver meals for the weekend,” said Jenny Ladd, who serves as business and operations manager for the organization. “We do this regardless of age or income. If you are homebound and can’t prepare a meal because of a physical or mental

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disability or even something as simple as recovering from surgery, we’re there,” she added. The nonprofit covers Mount Pleasant, Sullivan’s Island, Daniel Island, Isle of Palms and parts of Wando and Cainhoy. MOW serves more than 3,000 meals a week and 158,000 a year. Unlike the chapter of the organization covering the Charleston Peninsula, East Cooper is funded privately, which, Ladd said, takes away the necessity to screen by age or income, as is required by federally funded affiliates. Dinners are purchased by the organization from the Lowcountry Food Bank, where a local chef creates the food and ensures it arrives fully prepared. Food also is purchased from Senior Catering in St. Stephen, South Carolina. “Our volunteers pack them in little trays. They look like little TV dinners,” Ladd said, adding that the group has only seven staffers, but 450 busy and dedicated volunteers. In addition to dinners, East Cooper distrib-

utes about 65 or 70 bags every week containing the most important meal of the day—shelf-stable items such as fruit cups, raisins, cereal and juice boxes. As Ladd pointed out, “If you can’t go to the store to get stuff to prepare meals in general, you’re probably not eating breakfast, either.” Due to sheer volume, East Cooper Meals on Wheels does not offer individualized meals to accommodate special diets, though Ladd pointed out all the meals are diabetic friendly and meet the health standards for seniors set by the National Institutes of Health, including proteins, fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Ladd added that volunteers do often interview people who sign up to find out about their allergies and will point out ingredients in meals that the recipient can’t eat. Another part of that initial interview is to ask about evacuation plans, something essential in storm-prone South Carolina. Even in the midst of a hurricane, the organization does all it can to ensure people have food to eat. “This last hurricane was over Labor Day weekend,” Ladd recalled. “We were closed on Labor Day and had handed out extra meals for the holiday. But when we found out about the mandatory evacuation, we all came into the office, and we called every recipient. A lot of them don’t pay attention to a weather event, so we had to ask them, ‘Are you going to stay or go?’ We had


four or five volunteers who were able to come in, and they did all 21 routes on their own. We took the people who were staying four or five days’ worth of food at once. Some of these recipients will never leave the house, and you can’t force them. Most of our recipients have family members who do make arrangements for them to leave, but about a third of them aren’t going anywhere or don’t have anyone. If they do want to leave— but none did during Dorian—we find a way to get them to a shelter. If they don’t, after the storm passes, we let emergency responders know to go and check on them,” she explained. Ladd reported her days to be full of heartwarming stories from volunteers who are a lifeline for the people they visit. It’s a safety check; volunteers sometimes find recipients who have fallen and lain there for hours until Meals on Wheels showed up. Ladd also recalled one woman who sank into depression after her husband died—then the volunteer gradually coaxed her into eating again. Another elderly man, a gunshot victim, couldn’t descend the steep stairs from where he lived. After the volunteer found

LEFT TO RIGHT: KELLEY CHAPMAN, KIM LEGERE, MARGARET BUCHER, AND JENNY LADD

out the man hadn’t been outside in months, he hoisted a chair onto the tiny upstairs porch and gave him a way to enjoy the fresh air. “You would think we’d given him a million dollars,” Ladd shared. “Now he’s out there all the time, and he says hello to everyone.” She admitted it is stories like this that keep her at the organization. “This population is really forgotten,” she said.

“These people are hidden in their homes, and they don’t ever have somebody who comes to visit them. If you go on a route, you probably get more out of it then they do. Sometimes, you might be the only person they see all day. It’s so heartwarming and fulfilling to know you have helped someone have a better day.” The organization also accepts donations at its website, ecmow.org.

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forward

CHARITY

BEYOND THE HOLIDAYS Why we should look beyond seasonal goodwill and work year-round on battling hunger

By Kris De Welde

W

asted food makes me anxious. I grew up, like many of you, with television images of emaciated children in faraway parts of the world that seemed wholly unlike my world. My parents reinforced these messages about “starving children,” and, as Cuban refugees, they piled on dispatches from Cuba about the lack of basic food staples plaguing every household there. Older and wiser now, I realize those hungry children could have been my neighbors—they were sitting next to me in church and we likely played together in the parks and public pools around Miami, where I grew up. While unnecessarily dramatic, those commercials allowed me (and you, perhaps) to imagine that such depravity only existed elsewhere. This all has me reflecting that, during this time of abundance for many families, “the holidays” should also be a time to reckon with the realities of poverty and hunger. This reckoning is not about serving a meal one day per year; that kind of approach is more self-serving and does not change

year’s “CofC Sustains/Solves” theme is food (in) security. We develop courses, co-curricular initiatives and advocacy campaigns. We invite speakers and show films to challenge ourselves and examine this complex and concerning issue. Todd LeVasseur, Director of CofC’s Sustainability Literacy Institute explained: “The production and distribution of food items has the biggest per capita impact on global soils and supplies of freshwater, and is a significant source for CO2 and methane greenhouse gasses in the global atmospheric commons, thus driving rapid human-caused global warming.” These environmental crises have social consequences. The pressures placed on food systems result in inequitable access to food; those who have the most (like many in the U.S.) take the most, thus producing and deepening inequality globally and locally. For example, reduced food security is experienced by those living “food apartheid,” regularly found in communities of color subjected to decades of disinvestment. It’s corollary, food inse-

Seek opportunities to create lasting impacts in our community and a yearround commitment to social change.” the power dynamics that create the need for charitable acts themselves. Charity won’t address pervasive inequalities instilled into our systems of housing, work, education, health care and so on. At the College of Charleston, we are instead examining and working to change systems of inequality and inequity. SACS, our accrediting body, mandates that we develop five-year cycles of widespread emphasis on a topic. Our current focus is sustainability: “Train Your Brain to Sustain.” This

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curity, is an obvious (though not inevitable) outcome. This unduly affects LGBTQ+ persons, with trans youth as most vulnerable, including students at CofC. Our Riley Center for Livable Communities documented this in a sobering 2018 study. CofC’s Center for Civic Engagement’s 10th annual commemoration of the national Hunger and Homelessness Awareness week offered comprehensive “systems thinking” approaches to these topics. Katya Caleca, the Center’s Reducing In-

equality Fellow, explained that the week is packed with “education, advocacy, and service events, with various opportunities for students to access food over the course of the week.” Participants learn about cooking sustainably, earning a living wage and participating in climate change activism, while accessing a farmer’s market, learning about urban gardening and eating (for free) at different places on campus. Through the work being done at the College, we aspire to cultivate understanding about what food security looks and feels like and how to advocate for solutions. “We believe this week has the potential to enact positive social change on our campus, in our community and in the lives of our students,” said Caleca. This means letting go of the fantasy that charity is the solution to poverty and food insecurity. I’m not advocating that we close soup kitchens and food pantries and refrain from charitable giving. We are not yet at that point, and perhaps we never will be there. But, we can engage in charitable acts while simultaneously thinking across economic, social and environmental systems to reduce the conditions under which that charity is needed. That means we can take action for a universal living wage (see the Fight for $15 campaign!), we can support local farmers, we can eat fewer animals and more. The anxiety, guilt, or pity that is produced when faced with the enormity of social, economic or environmental problems can produce a paralysis that serves those benefiting from systems of inequality. Social action mobilizes those feelings for change. Yes, support our local charities however you can during the holidays. But don’t stop there, and don’t limit your advocacy to this season. Seek opportunities to create lasting impacts in our community and a year-round commitment to social change.


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calendar

events DECEMBER

12.01

12.04 - 12.15

Charleston Tree Lighting Ceremony

Disney’s The Lion King

This annual Charleston jubilee is sure to brighten your spirits with the lighting of the official city of Charleston Christmas tree in Marion Square. The festivities will begin with a musical performance featuring classic holiday melodies, as well as local art organizations congregating in

Experience the circle of life coming alive right before your eyes with a vibrant production of the beloved “Disney Broadway Spectacular” in North Charleston. The African savanna is journeying to the Lowcountry, and, for more than a week, you’ll have the chance to experience inspiring visual artistry, unforgettable music and

DISNEY’S THE LION KING

ELF THE MUSICAL

Center, 5001 Coliseum Drive, North Charleston. For more info, visit northcharlestoncoliseumpac.com.

12.04 - 12.22 Elf The Musical

Based on the beloved and hilarious 2003 Will Ferrell film, “Elf The Musical” tells the story of Buddy the Elf, a human who spends most of his life believing that he’s an elf after crawling into Santa’s sack one Christmas morning as a baby. At this musical production, you can embark alongside Buddy on his journey to the Big Apple to find his true identity. This Santa-centered story is fun for the whole family. Tickets range from $29 to $70. 7:30 p.m. 135 Church St. For more info, visit charlestonstage.com.

12.04 - 12.06 2nd Annual Women’s Wellness & Recovery Conference

The Willows at Red Oak Recovery has partnered with Bradford Health Services to facilitate an opportunity for the connection, collaboration and education on women’s issues as they relate to substance abuse, mental health, trauma and recovery. This conference will provide a chance for the industry to come together and bring to light the empowerment of today’s woman. Tickets range from $275 to $375. Courtyard by Marriott, Charleston Historic District. For more info, visit eventbrite.com and search “women’s wellness and recovery conference.”

XXX

the glow of the Christmas tree light. This is the perfect event to kick-start a month of holiday cheer. Free admission. 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Marion Square. For more info, visit charlestonarts.org/programs/ holiday-magic/.

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unmatched theatrical storytelling. This breathtaking spectacle – the world’s No. 1 musical—will bring audiences together from all over the state for one big Hakuna Matata. Ticket prices may vary. North Charleston Coliseum & Performing Arts

holiday cookie decorating, a photo booth and a letters to Santa station. Everyone is invited to compete in the ugly Christmas sweater contest, and the Charleston Model Yacht Club will set sail boats on the lake. Food trucks, holiday music and Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg will be present, and attendees will have the option to donate to Toys for Tots. Free admission. 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Colonial Lake.

12.07 29th Annual Reindeer Run

You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen. … and they were all present at the annual Reindeer Run. This family-oriented, pet-friendly 5k run/walk has grown significantly over the years, hosting more than 3,500 runners in its past. This year, funds will go to the new MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and to the Charitable Society of Charleston. The race winds through Downtown Charleston

12.06 Light the Lake

If you’re looking to celebrate the holiday season lakeside, Publix is presenting this annual tree lighting ceremony for all festive families and friends. Bring the kids for

LIGHT THE LAKE

LEFT TO RIGHT: DEEN VAN MEER; CHRIS ROGERS/CHARLESTON IMAGE WORKS; CHARLESTON PARKS CONSERVANCY

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, so take advantage of it with a bevy of festive opportunities to jingle and mingle, from musicals to tree lightings to holiday markets. After all, you can sleep in January. Oh, and don’t forget to plan a few things for the kids during winter break so the house doesn’t end up feeling, well, crowded. (And so your crafty little ones don’t have time to open closet doors!)


alongside the stunning backdrop of The Battery walls. $35 for adults and $25 for children. The race starts at 9 a.m. near the corner of East Bay and Queen streets. For more info, visit reindeerrun.org/#intro.

TEDxWhitePointGardensWomen

LEFT TO RIGHT: DEEN VAN MEER; CHRIS ROGERS/CHARLESTON IMAGE WORKS; CHARLESTON PARKS CONSERVANCY

Charleston’s first TEDxWomen event is here, combining the knowledge and wisdom of a cognitive neuroscientist; a museum executive director; a business leader and community activist; a physiXXX a cian and NASA-funded neuroscientist; singer-songwriter; a children’s anti-bully advocate and educator; a high school senior; a women’s advocate and a community planner; and a certified financial planner. These bold and brilliant women

will be giving talks that are intended to inspire. $75 admission. 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. West Ashley Theatre Center, 1401 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. #11. For more info, visit tedxwhitepointgardenswomen.com.

12.06-12.08

PROVIDED BY CHARLESTON GAILLARD

Phish

The beloved jam band Phish is returning to Charleston for a three-night run this December, and, if you love feel-good music and extended guitar sessions, you definitely will want to be in attendance. Known for their exciting live concerts and their diehard fans, Phish has been spreading psychedelic, funky vibes to crowds for more than 30 years, and they’re prepared to wow Charleston during their 2019 tour. Only a few tickets are left and prices vary. 7:30 p.m. North Charleston Coliseum. For more info, visit northcharlestoncoliseumpac.com/events/detail/phish-fall-tour.

12.08 Mount Pleasant Christmas Light Parade

The locals have heard of this one—the 24th annual Mount Pleasant Holiday Pa-

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rade features an array of brilliantly lighted floats and community groups marching together down Coleman Boulevard to delight thousands of residents and visitors. Grab a group and a few lawn chairs and post up on the edge of the boulevard to catch the best glimpse of this beloved Lowcountry tradition. The show will kick off with a pyrotecnico fireworks show at 5:30 p.m. and will be immediately followed by the start of the parade at Mill Street, traveling South. For more info, visit experiencemountpleasant.com/events/ christmas-light-parade.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL

12.13 Beary Merry Christmas Party

Have a Beary Merry Christmas; it’s the best time of the year. This rustic-chic spot known for its craft beer and pour-yourown-taps is hosting its annual Christmas party with holiday-themed food and drink specials and live music. It’s time to break out those ugly, tacky Christmas sweaters and bring your holiday cheer to Bay Street Biergarten, where there will be bins set up for Toys for Tots. Entry is free and everyone of all ages is welcome. 8 p.m. Bay Street Biergarten. Visit their website for more information on Biergarten’s very first Christmas Market, Christmas Movies Trivia night and the Howl-iday Puppies & Pints at baystreetbiergarten.com/happenings.

12.13 Pohoho Holiday Night Market

The Pour House will be transformed into a holiday wonderland, filled with live music, top-notch artisan vendors and great food delivered by local food trucks. Don’t miss the opportunity to shop local this holiday season! Over 30 vendors will be present for you to knock out all of your last-minute gift shopping. Get there at 4 p.m. to see Heal with Heart: Kids Drum Circle on the Pour House deck. 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The Charleston Pour House, 1977 Maybank Hwy. For more info, visit charlestonpourhouse.com/show/pohohoho.

12.14 Lights on the Harbor: A Boat Parade Viewing Party

All aboard! Join Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum for Lights on the Harbor, a Charleston holiday boat parade viewing

party on the historic USS Yorktown. Admission includes access to the flight deck holiday party, the opportunity to jive to live holiday music, scrumptious hot cocoa and the chance to take in some of the best views of the Charleston Harbor, alongside Santa himself! $20. 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum.

12.18 A Christmas Carol at the Gaillard

This celebrated Charles Jones adaptation from The Nebraska Theatre Caravan will provide a rich take on this classic tale, with thrilling ensemble music featuring moving renditions of holiday songs. This dreamy storyline is set to express this enduring tale in a manner that people of all ages will enjoy. Featuring a cast of 23 performers, live musicians and Broadway-style scenery and costumes, the magic of Christmas will come alive. $16 to $65. 7 p.m. Charleston Gaillard. For more info, visit gaillardcenter.org

12.22 12th Annual Chanukah in the Square

This is the largest annual Jewish event in the state of South Carolina, a family-friendly, festive party for everyone. Bring an appetite and your dancing shoes; there will be hot, traditional Chanukah food, live music and dancing and the lighting of the

9-foot menorah by Charleston’s Holocaust survivors. Visitors can enjoy crafts, face painting and potato latkes. Free. 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Marion Square.

12.31 The Garten Gala: The Future is Now NYE Party

The year 2020 is upon us, and many of us are wondering what the future will have in store. Biergarten’s NYE “Future is Now Gala” is a fresh take on the Met Gala – an elite event held every year in New York City, featuring unparalleled fashion taste and A-list celebrities. The Bay Street Biegarten Gala’s futuristic theme provides the perfect opportunity to consider your resolutions for the new year. Tickets are $100. 8 p.m. 549 E. Bay St. For more info, visit baystreetbiergarten.com/happenings.

Snyder Grand Ball

This annual black-tie event is arguably the finest ball in town, aside from the one we’ll be watching drop during the last few seconds of 2019. You can treat yourself to an open bar and heavy hors d’oeuvres while gazing at the colorful sea life swimming by in the Great Ocean Tank, the deepest tank in North America at 42 feet. Live music by Midnight City and DJ Natty Heavy will have you dancing into the new year. GA is $164. 8:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. South Carolina Aquarium, 100 Aquarium Wharf. For more info, visit snydergrandball.com.

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spirits

It’s Always

DARKEST BEFORE THE DAWN Understanding and honoring the Winter Solstice and its history By Karen Briggs Updyke

WINTER SOLSTICE IS THE DARKEST NIGHT OF THE YEAR. On this day, the North Pole reaches maximum tilt away from the sun. It is both the longest night and the point in the year when our days begin to lengthen, little by little, incorporating longer and larger swaths of light. Winter Solstice has been celebrated across many cultures for thousands of years. This time offers a powerful opportunity to better understand the energy of darkness while celebrating the light. In fact, most rituals and practices we now associate with Christmas actually tie back to Winter Solstice and Yule celebrations from our pagan ancestors. Ancient Romans celebrated the Winter Solstice on December 24. In 274 AD, Emperor Aurelian established December 25 as the birthday of Sol Invictus, or the Unconquered Sun, the official Sun God of the Roman Empire. On this day, Sol Invictus was celebrated as the conqueror of darkness, his victory realized as days grew steadily longer after the passing of the Winter Solstice. These celebrations honored the rebirth of the Sun God, who was thought to have died each winter. The return of the solar new year was welcomed with practices of gift-giving and feasting, left over from the even older festivals of Saturnalia. Soon after Aurelian’s decree, the Christian church also chose December 25 to represent Jesus’ birthday. By 336 AD, the Festival of Sol Invictus had been fully Christianized. In old Europe, the Winter Solstice was known as Yule, derived from the Norse Jul. In the dead of winter, the slaughtering of animals was necessary to survive the barren days ahead. In this way, Yule was a time of sacrifice, just as it was of feasting and merrymaking. It was a time of rejoicing in the promise of longer days and shorter

SATURDAY, DECEMBER

21

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“Winter Solstice has been celebrated across many cultures for thousands of years. This time offers   a powerful opportunity to better understand the   energy of darkness while celebrating the light.” nights. In celebration of the coming light, bonfires would be lit, homes would be decorated with candles and Yule logs would be burned. Whether you feel called to celebrate the Son of God, a Sun God, or a symbolic return of longer days ahead, the Winter Solstice is a time to celebrate the return of light while being present in the dark. We are conditioned from a very early age to fear what we cannot see, to disregard what we

cannot explain and to run from things that are uncomfortable. On this longest night of the year, I invite you to investigate your own shadows by sitting with the energy of the dark. To do this, you will want to sit quietly or meditate in the darkness. Begin with your eyes open and downcast. As you begin to settle into being present in the dark, see if you can notice, without judgement, what comes up. Are your thoughts racing or calm? Are you feeling any emotions? You may scan your body, taking note of any physical sensations. See if you can simply observe everything that arises without engaging. When you feel the process is complete, you may choose to light a single candle or small piece of incense. Continue your meditation, again with eyes open and downcast, focusing on the single point of light. Do your thoughts, emotions and physical body now feel differently? What comes up for you now, focusing on this light? While initially daunting, the more I have journeyed to the dark, the more I have come to understand that it is not synonymous with our shadows. I have found the darkness instead to be an energy of compassion, an energy that lovingly holds that which we cannot bear, that which we do not want to see, and that which we do not understand. Darkness is not our shadow, but she holds them for us until we are ready to birth them into the light for healing. Darkness is also the realm of ultimate potential. In darkness are our unborn ideas, loves, hopes and dreams. This is the realm before manifestation, where things begin to grow and take shape. This December, while we celebrate the coming of the longer days and the growing of the light, know too that there is beauty and love in the darkest of places, if we have the courage to open our eyes.


don’t

the issue

{A column where we can safely discuss issues that previously were swept under the skirt.}

MIND THE GAP

Find the inspiration to ask   for what you deserve By Paula Dezzutti

@D.VELASCO

M

ind the gap is a common phrase used on the Underground in the UK  to alert passengers to use caution getting off the tube, as there is a distance between the train and the platform. Today, it is also a phrase commonly used to recognize the gender pay gap between men and women, which has existed in most industries in some shape or form. For instance, while publishing is a predominantly female-driven field, men in the industry are often paid more, promoted faster and receive higher senior bonuses. Hachette Book Group, headquartered in New York, is a leading US trade publisher and a division of the third-largest trade and educational book publisher in the world, Hachette Livre of France. In 2017 alone, the company had 167 books on the New York Times bestseller list, 34 of which reached number one. In a recent study, the bookseller revealed that Hachette Ltd. has a “median gender pay gap of 24.71 percent, a mean gender pay gap of 29.69 percent, and a median bonus gender pay gap of 62.64 percent.” Being told there is a significant gender pay gap in the publishing industry is one thing, but seeing data proves these findings need to be addressed. And employees in the publishing industry aren’t the only ones experiencing this gender disparity. While several female authors have revolutionized book publishing and have done exceptionally well, including Toni Morrison (African-American winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and Nobel Prize in Literature), Ursula K. Le Guin (American who presided over science fiction for half a century) and Margaret Atwood (a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, inventor, teacher, feminist and environmental activist), many female authors throughout history have been forced to write under male pseudonyms. Even J. K. Rowling, the ninth-best-selling fiction author of all time (estimated 500 million copies sold) felt the need to take on the pseudonym Robert Galbraith when she published The Cuckoo’s Calling prior to publishing the Harry Potter series. As a publisher, I am not only frustrated with these results but discouraged. Although we can raise awareness, I am not sure how we change this problem in the short run. We definitely can’t take this sitting down!

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That said, I want to share a story of inspiration from a December many years ago, about a woman who actually did make a difference sitting down. December 1 marks the anniversary of Rosa Parks’ decision 64 years ago, at age 42 in Montgomery, Alabama, to hold onto her bus seat for a fast track to equality and the legal end of segregation in the USA. Not only was this a brave statement for racial equality, it was a testament of how we, as women, must band together even today for the changes that are necessary. We must express our own voice and differing viewpoints without the fear that we will be reduced in the workplace or suffer consequences such as being fired, passed up for a promotion or sexually harassed. Parks was arrested on December 1, 1955, after she broke the law by refusing to surrender her seat on a crowded bus to a white passenger. She was jailed and fined—then became the public spokesperson, along with 26-year-old Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., for the NAACP to organize the Montgomery Improvement Association and stage a successful boycott of buses. Parks lost her job and King’s home was attacked, but a united African American community kept the boycott in place for 381 days. With about 75% of the public transportation customers in Montgomery being black, the boycott crippled revenues for the bus line, and, at the same time, the segregation fight made its way to the Supreme Court. On November 13, 1956, in the case of Browder v. Gayle, segregation on buses operating within Alabama’s boundaries was ruled illegal, upholding equal protection under the 14th Amendment. Victory! When she passed away at the age of 92 in 2005, Congress voted to have Rosa Parks honored with a public viewing at the Capitol Rotunda. At the time, she was the first woman of the 30 people ever accorded that honor, and her coffin sat on the catafalque built for the coffin of Abraham Lincoln. Rosa Parks did Mind The Gap—And then she closed it! Put that in your holiday cocktail glass and sip on it a while. Cheers, ladies, and keep pressing forward.

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Local jewelry designer, Missy Newsom, created J. Melissa Designs with the "Made on Purpose" mission of providing a global connection to empower underprivileged children. Each sale of her hand-wired designs and statement gemstone rings is helping to build a school in Mengo, Uganda, inspiring hope here and across the globe.

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GOLDBUG is a coastal lifestyle shop located in a sunlit nook on Sullivan’s Island. Mostly known for their inhouse line of jewelry, made on the island by owner Ashley Reid Martin, GOLDBUG has also fast become a go-to spot for standout resortwear and swimwear, as well as curated gifts for the modern beach lover.

At CorePower Yoga, studio manager Jackie Skinner leads a team of passionate and encouraging certified instructors teaching the incredible, life-changing things that happen when an intense workout is rooted in the mindfulness of yoga. Through a variety of classes in spa-like studios, our students experience CPY’s unique form of fitness.

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DR. STEPHANIE ZGRAGGEN,

DC, MS, CNS, CCN

I am a chiropractor, certified clinical nutritionist and female hormone expert. My mission is to help women reclaim their hormonal health and feminine vitality naturally so you feel sexy, energetic, and balanced. I teach you that your hormones don’t have to ruin your life and I'll show you how to take back control of your health, hormones and body. .

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PAID ADVERTISING

locals

BELLELINA SKINCARE/

THE EXCHANGE

HERMOSA JEWELRY

CHARLESTON FINE

MAKEUP STUDIO

Empowered Birth. Empowered Women. Empowered Families. We are The Exchange. We are your resource for holistic care to better your mind, body, and spirit - before, during, and after pregnancy. We offer acupuncture, chiropractic care, energy work, herbal medicine, massage, pelvic floor physical therapy, emotional support and so much more.

Haley Keisler Holzworth, owner of Hermosa Jewelry and a native to Charleston, SC, is influenced by her Southern lifestyle and the coastal landscapes of the Lowcountry. Located in the heart of Mt. Pleasant, Hermosa sells handcrafted jewelry and local Charleston gifts. Guaranteed to turn heads, Hermosa Jewelry is the ultimate accessory for any occasion. Haley also specializes in jewelry for the whole bridal party.

CABINETRY & INTERIORS

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WHITE LEAF

AFM DESIGNS

THE POWER-FILLED

TRICIA PETERSON

PROVISIONS

WOMAN

ISLAND HOUSE REAL

White Leaf Provisions believes that healthy food starts with healthy soil. They have created the first Biodynamic baby food in the USA. All of their products are 100% Demeter BiodynamicŽ, Organic, NON GMO and Regenerativelyl Farmed™. They are helping to heal the Earth that our kids will inherit.

Amy Moore is a South Carolina based interior designer and textile designer. Her work is eclectic and lovely, while staying true to comfort, function, and beauty. Well defined and understated, she works with old and new memories when designing your interior space. Her extensive collection of original textile designs are fresh, sophisticated, and unpretentious.

Kenya Dunn is a coach, motivational speaker and writer. She believes every person has undiscovered power within. Kenya created the Power-Filled Woman to offer you a pathway to success on your own terms. She offers masterclasses, personal coaching, and meeting facilitation.

ESTATE

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Elina Mille is a premiere makeup artist and master esthetician. She runs her own downtown skincare and makeup boutique style studio and offers exclusive oneon one beauty services from customized facials and skin resurfacing to airbrush makeup and tanning in an intimate, cozy atmosphere.

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Want more? Visit us at skirt.com

Cristina Swinney is a Charlestonbased kitchen and interior designer who takes pride in her ability to transform spaces by marrying conceptual and uniquely designed ideas that is exclusive to each of her clients. Her concept is to create "chef inspired" kitchens with budget, functionality, and time frame in mind.

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Tricia Peterson is the owner/Brokerin-Charge of Island House Real Estate. Because real estate is more than a "transaction", Island House is a curated multi-faceted boutique company striving to simplify every aspect of the process. Real estate can be fun and elegant, it doesn't have to be stressful! Let us help!

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December 2019 "Happy Holidays To You!"