Lifestyle

THREE THINGS

I took off my belt, rummaged for my keys and waited to pass through security at the courthouse. This was my first time serving jury duty, and I didn’t know what to expect. Holding too many metallic items, I dropped my keys and turned around to pick them up when I saw him. I gasped. Did I just see a ghost?

CURRENTS

Here’s a fast rundown of this year’s highlights: The Festival’s new production of Salome, Richard Strauss’ 1905 opera, based on Oscar Wilde’s play of the same name, opens the season. Shakespeare’s Globe theatre returns with a rotation of Twelfth Night, the Comedy of Errors and Pericles. The 2019 Wells Fargo Jazz Series will celebrate the Afro-Cuban jazz tradition in the United States as well as three generations of female jazz artists—pianist and composer Carla Bley, drummer and vocalist Terri Lyne Carrington, and bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding.

JEWELRY FIT FOR CLEOPATRA

Odds are, if you’ve spent any time in the Holy City, you’ve strolled through the Charleston City Market. It’s one of our nation’s oldest public…

CARRYING ON THE GULLAH TRADITION

Spirited and diverse, the South Carolina Sea Islands’ musical masala of West African rhythms, gospel, children’s rhymes and dance tunes come together with a contemporary spin in the band Ranky Tanky, named after the Gullah phrase meaning “work it” or “get funky”!

GARDENING TIPS FROM A PRO

British horticulturist and garden designer Gertrude Jekyll once suggested that any garden can be tamed into an “impression of beauty and delight.” If she had…

THE NEW ACTIVE LIVING

Retirement living isn’t what it used to be. In the past, the idea of a “retirement community” might include a golf course, maybe a swimming pool, and a few amenities to keep residents occupied. Such a concept may have worked fine then, but today’s 55-plus home buyers want so much more.

OF THE SEGREGATED SOUTH

Novelist Anna Jean (A.J.) Mayhew, originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, now lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina, with her Swiss-born husband. Her writing reflects her vivid memories of growing up in the segregated South. Mayhew’s first novel, The Dry Grass of August, won the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction. The novel was also a finalist for the 2012 Book Award from the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance.

THE MAESTRO

Hermina (Hermine) Barbot managed something few other Charleston women of her day could even imagine: She was famous in a good way. In an age when “ladies” were warned that their names should never appear in the newspaper, Madame Barbot made headlines on a regular basis and always received star billing.

THE KINGS OF QUEEN STREET

Of all the arts, theater is the most democratic. Advanced education is not a prerequisite, nor even literacy. And, as a rule, emotion carries more weight that intellect. Not to say that having a certain sophistication won’t enable a patron to appreciate literary allusions, historical references, in-jokes and subtle jabs of wit.

CURRENTS

What’s New, What’s Happening, What’s Now

GARDENING UNDER GLASS

While I’ve always found terrariums enchanting, I used to associate them with folksy macrame crafts. Both were frequently displayed together in artist co-ops during the 1970s. Somewhere along the line the crocheted rope craze faded, and terrariums became as obsolete as 8-track tapes. I’m glad these miniature glass gardens are making a solo comeback, but please don’t assume that Baby Boomers “invented” them.

THE FRENCH TOUCH

Women in France, it is said, invest in facials and other beauty treatments more often than women in the United States. They believe that taking care of their skin is a small but important luxury, so they regularly get facials, says Jean Baudrand, a Frenchman who is bringing the French skin care industry expert Guinot Institut Paris to the Charleston area. Now local women will have the opportunity to similarly indulge.

MIRACLE WORKER

Steel Magnolias rejoice! Master medi-clinical aesthetician Stephanie McChesney will be opening a new location in Charleston this spring and sharing her beauty secrets with Lowcountry clients. A leader in the clinical skin care industry, her beauty roots run deep.

WIND TRAVELER

The wandering albatross, a loner that flies in the winds above the world’s oceans, has always captured my imagination.

A MODERN EDUCATION

You might spot them on a warm winter day as you stroll down King Street—young women in purple-and-white plaid skirts and white polos. They are high school students conducting research, interning in the community or enjoying a break from their studies at Ashley Hall, the only all-girls college preparatory school in South Carolina.

THE LANGUAGE OF TEXTILES

As the name adopted for an international movement founded by Susan Hull Walker, ibu could not be more appropriate, for it also suggests the value that should be placed on the work of female artisans. From its showroom on King Street to online sales and trunk shows, ibu offers exquisite textile wares and other handmade items whose sales help support women in 38 countries.

EASY CHARM

Fashion can come from anywhere. Award-winning designer Billy Reid is proof of that.

CHARLESTON’S LITTLE WOMEN

Six stair-step sisters, born two years apart—Alice, Fay, Beatrice, Carlotta, Belle and Laura Witte—were the envy of Charleston. They lived in the antebellum mansion that is now the centerpiece of Ashley Hall School, and their bank president father firmly believed that they should have “whatever they cried for,” from jars of rock candy on long strings to twin doll houses large enough for small children to crawl inside.

WINES TO TRANSPORT YOU

Groucho Marx once said: “I shall drink no wine before its time. OK, it’s time!” If the old comedian were alive and kicking around the Holy City today, he’d find his way to Uncork Charleston.

MY CUP OF TEA

When autumn comes, the advice of writer Robert Brault rings true: “Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” Maybe we just need a little more autumn in our lives.