Local Bajan Color

For some reason, Blogger has been down the past couple of days and deleting previous posts and sending out old posts (My old Oscars post? Really, Blogger? Could ya make me look any more dated?!).
So, I’m re-posting this one…and, by the way, for Jeannie, Bay-jjun, as it’s pronounced, is the name of the people, the culture, the British-West African language…and, here we go again….
I know I promised a fashion wrap after the trip, but this is the style, as I saw it. There were purchases made, though, and more about those at a later post.
Please feel free to comment directly to the post, if you like, don’t like, want more, etc. I would love to hear from each of you!
 Talk about “southern” hospitality. 
And naturally there’s a connection to Charleston; the sun-bleached hues of the Caribbean colors on homes, buildings and shops reminded me of Rainbow Row, while in the 1600s, seven of Carolina’s first 21 governors were from Barbados decent. FYI, this 166 square mile island ranks in the top 20 of the world’s smallest countries.

 Apparently, the long, narrow side porch, most often associated with Charleston homes and the need for catching the breeze, was brought from Barbados. Cited is the Arlington House Museum in Speightstown, although we did not tour that landmark.
 Wow, acid rain. I thought the only blistering would be coming from my sunburn!

Okay, I guess I’ll have a Caucasian????

 So pretty in pink.

It’s rum, right?! Cuz rum is the local product.
All I want is a white picket fence. Sigh. At the water’s edge. Double sigh.

 Time stood still for us. It was noon the entire time we spent lunching on the waterfront downtown Bridgetown.
 Reminded me of our beach wedding seven years ago. Honestly, I kinda was thinking of this trip as a honeymoon addition to our initial mini-moon in Montauk.

 Local sea flora.
Local seaside fauna.
We kept seeing these huge, beautiful caterpillars around the hotel grounds, first stage to lunar moths, I believe.

He’d rather be surfing. Or at least jet skiing!
 The view from our balcony at Divi Southwinds…after we changed rooms. Initially we were over the front parking lot and the busy main highway. Our second room was a little smaller, but definitely felt like a vacation destination. After all, we have a street right outside our window at home!

And, as our pilot quipped when we landed,
“now back to reality.”

Charleston, SC: Chilly Today, Hot Tamale

Pedro’s South of the Border is our “almost-there” spot when we drive home for the holidays. You start to see the silly, ironic, possibly very un-PC signs pop up on I-95 as soon as you cross the border. The North Carolina border, that is. We always stop to use the facilities ~ they even have a doggie loo for Mignon! ~ and relish in the fact that it means we’ve only got about two more grueling hours left til Mount Pleasant.
Funny as it seems, I don’t often make it to downtown Charleston when I get back home. I miss seeing the historic architecture, shopping the Market and especially driving further out to Folly Beach for oysters at Bowens Island, but I prefer just being with my family, helping out at my sister’s homestead, cooking and walking on the beach at Isle of Palms if we get the chance.
Happily, this year we did get downtown, and for multiple occasions. Once for lunch at Taco Boy (great expansive décor typical of another south of the border). The snow morning (yes! snow in Charleston, SC!) P and I drove down and tried to map out a reader’s tour correlating to the streets and areas mentioned in the Pat Conroy book, “South of Broad” that I had just finished. Another time we hit King Street to boot shop for Allie. And then again on New Year’s Day when we brunched with my brother-in-law’s family at the haunted Poogan’s Porch. Yes, haunted. Two carriage tours passed by while we took pictures outside the restaurant and I heard both of them tell the tale!

I love walking along the restored King Street, which is home to many a top designer shop, including this Billy Reid boutique at the intersect of Queen and King. It’s Reid’s fifth store in the South and opened about three years ago. Reid, who won Best New Menswear designer in 2001 from the Council of Fashion Designers of America, sort of personifies for me what King Street, and indeed, even Charleston since we moved there in the ’70s, has become today ~ a modernized, sophisticated and gracious southern cosmetroplis made in America.

Spring cleaning

Refashion + Rethink = Renewal.

I’m talkin’ fresh, new start for everything + everybody.  I’ve been pondering this change all week, for me + for the blog (see my new profile pic). Time to spring-it up! White it out. Soak in the sun. Toss on a romantic straw hat. Bring on the light.

Which reminds me of this:

Found this vintage Laura Ashley white paper straw hat at an adorable antique store in Charleston last year with my sister + my mom and nabbed it, along with a great vintage wicker picnic basket and a darling blown glass wine bottle stopper, in anticipation of a friend’s upcoming Five-Oh-No. Call it a non-botox youth injection.

The hat’s a little wrinkled from the road trip back, and it may have gotten a titch burned from sitting on top of our “sun” light (can I call it tanned?!), but once I add the other ingredients (which, of course, include a bottle of red from Discovery Wines + a goat or cheddar from Saxelby Cheese), it’ll be perfect.

Have a great almost-springtime day!


Permanent Brunch

Brunch is absolutely our favorite meal of the weekend. No. Let’s re-phrase that…it’s THE favorite meal of the DAY. Okay, actually, any meal is the favorite, any time, ANY day, as long as it’s great food, delivered by sincerely sweet servers and sent out by seriously devoted and inventive chefs. Permanent Brunch seems to promise all of the above.

Permanent Brunch
is a concept restaurant I’ve been waiting for what seems like years so far to open. Can we say baaaaaa-con?Artisanal bacon BAR, no less? The city seems to be going through a true pork-out phase these days, especially the EV ~ with the charcuterie platters from Cure and the Bourgeois Pig and the pork sammies from Porchetta just down my block on E7th , David Chang’s pork-based Momofuku Noodle Bar on First Ave and Ssam and Bakery on 2nd Ave, plus Georgia‘s on Orchard Street. Other BBQ spots city-wide, like Hill Country and Daisy May’s, turn out a nice Texan touch.

I am a true lover of pork ~ don’t forget, I’ve got those Southern roots from SC. One time, an ex-boyfriend accused us of creating a mirepoix of pork for southern breakfast at my sister’s ~ I think our recipe called for bacon, sausage and bits of ham. Oh yeah, and scrambled eggs throughout. Barbequed, pulled, fried, cured, chopped. Falling off the bone, sliced off the bone, gnawed from the bone. I loves me some pork. Years ago, we served pulled pork BBQ at our Isle of Palms wedding party, arranged just-so on the piglet’s cracklin’, crispy carcass. Piggly Wiggly (well, at least its name is pork-themed), Bessinger’s Barbeque and Maurice’s Piggy Park in Columbia (you can order for shipments anywhere in the country from their 800 number!) were high school and college haunts.

Even now, when we drive down to Charleston during holidays, my husband, P, and I are always on the lookout for the best ‘Q joints we can serendipitously come upon once we cross the Virginia border (you Southerners know what I’m talkin’ about…). Can we say, “beater Beemer with South of the Border bumper sticker?” YESSSS!
In fact, when we found out about the two guys who “invented” bacon salt, we used to joke that we were going to open a full-on bacon boutique in the EV and call it “To Die For.” That joke died a cruel death itself after my doctor suggested I might want to start taking a statin. Anyway, I digress…as often.

For months, since reading of the anticipated permutation of Lesly Bernard’s pork-bar and ’round the clock brunch menu restaurant opening somewhere near First Ave and 6th Street, we’d been taking bets on which just-closed, recently being-renovated, or nearly newly-opened foodie place was going to be the awesomely-awaited Permanent Brunch. Now we know. We walked past Permanent Brunch last week while running hardware store errands and saw the door open, the name on the awning (aha! no mistake now!) and spoke with a guy who informed us the restaurant we’d been dying for would be open starting this next Sunday, April 2nd. The venue is 95 First Ave, west side, just below Little India’s 6th Street ~ they’re even open ’til 3 a.m. on Thursday, Friday & Saturdays!

Check out their menu: the fare looks tantalizingly taunting, with your obvious and my favorite usual brunch order of steak + eggs entré, but with a “PB Steak Sauce” (might this contain BACON?!) A starter of smoked salmon rillette sounds tres intriguing. There’s a drool-inspiring, open-faced omelet accommodated with 3 fillings (let’s see, does avocado offset bacon lardons + pork sausage?), but, honestly, I may just have to pork-belly up to the artisanal bacon bar, with choices as far ranging as from Texas, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois & Kentucky, in as many different manners of makings ~ sugared, peppered, smoked. We can’t wait to try as many mouthfuls of consulting chef Meg Grace’s southern inspirations.

I’ll be working the FAME fashion trade show at the Javits this Sunday for Nick & Mo(Booth 2218, if you’re in the biz!), repped by our friends Joni + Linda P at Orange Domino, so P and I’ll miss the first day. But, NEXT weekend, we have friends in town from Seattle and Boston and I have a feeling we’ll be waiting ~ yes, VERY impatiently! ~ to partake of the new Permanent porkness. My left arm is tingling as I speak! Cholesterol be damned!

P.S. If you’d like to find out WHY most of us are so drawn to bacon, please visit http://www.sogoodblog.com/2009/04/15/bacon-lovers-chemistry-nerds! Thanks www.sogoodblog.com!


don’t f**k with Mother Nature

the calm on the marsh before the storm

the 4th of July fireworks had nothin’ on last thursday night’s exhibition and explosions of light and sound in Mount Pleasant, SC. it was the MOTHER of all thunderstorms i’ve ever experienced. south carolina, charleston in particular, when we first moved here, had the most hellacious thunderstorms every afternoon. coming from the midwest, we were accustomed to only the cold white stuff drifting into high mountains in the middle of the thin, crisp seasonal air of winter. in the Lowcountry, rained poured thick through the humidity, viscously over the edges of struggling gutters, intersections flooding with cars whose motorists were stranded up to their knees, lightening shooting from heaven to hell and back and thunder rumbling the very ground beneath your feet.

filmed from my sister and brother-in-law’s back porch, with the lights of the house across the creek where my niece and her girl friend were to have been attending a party, there were times the fire-y streaks thoroughly lit the night sky, invoking daylight, with rolling thunder that shook the floor boards we stood upon. at one point, it looked like the house across Hobcaw Creek had been struck. thankfully, both my niece + her friend made it back soon and safely and we all felt blessed until one major bam of bass shook us to our very soles. i think my sister was hiding under the bed with all the dogs! all i could think of was ~ how did my family stay in Charleston during Hurricane Hugo and live.

i flew out the next morning, praying SC’d get back to that sun-surf-and-sand weather in which i so love + adore to fly back to NYC. my thoughts that night before were to have everyone please send prayers, love and hope to little Touille to make it through the night. he really needed all the good karma he could get and i hoped he’d still be hanging on for me when i walked into the apartment that day. Unfortunately, he couldn’t and wasn’t. He’s home now in little ratty heaven + so am i ~ back to pick up the pieces of a life as shaken + scary as Thursday night’s stormy aftermath. check it out here. xoxokimmie