“I kinda wish I was cool….Well If you’re looking for an answer it’s gonna be found on your own. And if you’re looking for disaster you’ll find it not being alone” Johnny Delaware – Charleston Singer/Songwriter
Hidden behind the Southern class, slow spinning fans cooling the hot humid air, historic cobblestone roads and plantation mansions, pleasant palmetto landscape, whispering sails on the harbor and traditional polite demeanor lies a part of Charleston sweating in color and life. It is a canvas of creativity, individualism and an expressive independence you might find in the urban havens of New York and Los Angeles. It is a place where fashion reigns high, sangria flows into the soul and social and economic status have no place. This is the part of Charleston you need to know about.
In a Charleston minute, you will feel something rich and rewarding. In a Charleston minute, you will find a friend in a corner you never thought to look. In a Charleston minute, you will share a story with a homeless man and forget they will be sleeping under the stars later on.
This is one of those stories.
It was a perfect autumn Saturday in Charleston. Spring Street was alive with its eccentric population. Still considered taboo by some and a thriving cultural awakening to others, you can always count on a unique sighting at each street corner. From Wild Flour bakery to Sweet Radish to cans of malt liquor and cigarettes, Spring Street has an iconic feel no matter what side you are on. On this morning, Red Rose Vintage Clothing, who shares a space with Wine Awesomeness, was hosting a Sangria and Vintage Clothing Sale. At 9:30 in the morning, what better time to discover yourself in outfits that transcend the ticking clock and indulge in a fruity alcoholic delight.
Several outfits later behind a single black curtain and slimming mirror and a number of toasts to warm weather, wonderful friends and moments you never want to end, we had to depart. Not without a smile and gracious thank you for the owner Amy Rose.
I returned several hours later, at the request of Amy Rose to share more sangria. It was refreshing and the sun was still shining.
As I returned, I saw two girls leaning against the brick wall, with their trendy sunglasses, shirts and leggings and a look that screamed, “It will be alright. It will all be alright.” Kayleigh, with her tights, short skirt, hat, glasses, short hair and freckles stole the introduction as if she walked straight off the set of Perks of Being a Wallflower. It didn’t take more than a few minutes to determine we would be BFF’s and eternal intellectual enemies for life. As the best friend of Amy Rose, the two perpetrated the perfect odd ball relationship with one as the conservative business woman knee deep in business best practice books and the other the self proclaimed wild girl. The third was a new addition to girls gone wine. Lucia was found on the street wearing long black leggings and at that point enjoying a number of cocktails. She was very proud of her boyfriend, local singer/songwriter Johnny Delaware as well as being a talented keyboardist. After she changed and prettied herself up, she pranced out the door to Spring Street in her 3 inch heels and happily walked home. We are sure later on she would lay in bed and be serenaded by her boyfriend and an acoustic guitar.
While taking in the sun in the outdoor patio area with a slight elevation made perfect for the setting of a band and dance party, we were greeted by an artist who designs and sketches names in 3D. Whether he was homeless would not be determined. We offered the gift of wine and company. He declined as he had no money, but money would not be accepted here. While he showed his works to Amy Rose, I examined Elton John vinyl and discussed the virtues of music, clothing and dreams.