a charleston reconnaissance… king street

When we left the City market, we crossed Meeting Street, and then entered the Shops at Charleston Place. This is a long hall of indoor shops, with the Charleston Place Hotel at the center of it. From Gucci and Louis Vuitton to Godiva Chocolates, Brighton, and Brookstone, these shops are fun to look at, but mostly, we stayed out of them. We were just using this for a shortcut to King Street.DSC_0570

DSC_0571Reaching the main atrium of the hotel, with the double staircases flanking the large chandelier (I thought I took a picture, but the lighting was dreadful, so I must have deleted it), couldn’t immediately tell how to get through to King Street. The other hallway of shops was almost hidden, in the corner. So, we exited by the main hotel entrance, and enjoyed looking at the fountain in the Charleston Place Hotel’s courtyard.DSC_0575

DSC_0576The lighting was fantastic and the flowers were beautiful, with the rippling water behind them. I haven’t seen foxglove in quite some time, so I really thought these were lovely. The poppies, now, I was shocked at how fake they look. The breeze was blowing, so I had trouble getting a clear shot of them, but every poppy I saw in Charleston looked like it was made out of plastic. Is it always like that? If someone told me that the children of Charleston had planted plastic poppies everywhere, I would believe it, because they do not look real.DSC_0578

DSC_0579At this point, the road was clear, so I stepped back to take a picture of the Market Hall, in the distance, and the courtyard of the hotel. Now, I wish I’d taken a picture of the roof, because I got a look at it from King Street, later, and it looked like some fascinating architecture. I stepped off the road and into a parking lot driveway, trying to get more of the courtyard in the shot, and then almost got hit by a car that was turning into the lot. So much for paying attention to my surroundings.DSC_0580

King Street is known for its many shops, but I’ve only been down there a time or two. So, I hadn’t recalled how old some of the buildings look. It’s a striking contrast, when they also contain normal stores that you would see in any mall (like Rack Room Shoes). We turned left, when leaving the Charleston Place Shops, and found ourselves passing lots of antique shops, art stores, the Charleston Library, and a smattering of other more artsy places.DSC_0582

DSC_0584One of these was the Savannah Bee Company, a honey shop that sold everything imaginable, made from honey or beeswax. We didn’t actually sample any of the edible honey, but there were numerous flavors to try. There were lotions, candles, chapstick, shampoos, and even cleaning products for everything in your home. I tried on some of the hand lotion, and then had to work it in really well, so I didn’t get it on my camera.DSC_0585

DSC_0586As we walked down the other side of the street, I occasionally stopped to look at the flowers that were planted in large pots, outside of the stores. I especially liked these purple and white daisies (?). Right behind them, was a men’s clothing store with an arrangement of ties that made me think of a certain cousin of mine who collects vintage ties. I was thinking that she could sew some of them together like this, and wear them as a crazy looking scarf.  : )DSC_0587

DSC_0588When we reached Charleston Place again, and then walked past, we found ourselves among the more “mall-like” stores, though they were housed in buildings that were never intended for them. Some of these buildings are in a state of disrepair, needing their outer facade to be repainted and have appropriate trim attached to the windows.DSC_0591

DSC_0598And then, some of them had these awesome looking wrought iron rails around the windows, which I found particularly eye-catching, above the pineapple designed door lintel. There is beauty in the little details, for certain.DSC_0593

DSC_0594We hadn’t gone very far up this street before I spotted a Starbucks, and since we were on vacation, I’m sorry to say that I made quite a few more coffee stops than usual. But this was also in one of the King Street buildings, so I was curious to see inside.DSC_0592

It must have been the home to a bank for many years, judging by that metal door in the back. I was very patient, and then finally asked some customers if they’ve step back so I could get a picture. Then I made a quick run upstairs, where they had a whole second level of seating, to see how it was all designed. I thought it was a very interesting blend of the new and the old, with the moldings at the top of the high ceiling giving it an old-world feel, and the new black railings making it seem more like a Starbucks.DSC_0604

DSC_0606As we walked back to Charleston Place, I got a better look at the top of the hotel and the clock tower over the neighboring shops. There are definitely some lovely buildings, both new and old, in this area of Charleston.DSC_0607

DSC_0608Lastly, we passed the old Riviera Theater, which is no longer in use, but half of it is used for a shoe store. Or, half of the theater sign is used to advertise it. At first glance, I was shocked that someone could put such a blatant misspelling on that sign. And then I realized that the shoe store was named Harleston. Interesting.DSC_0610

We headed back into Charleston Place, in order to get back to the Market, follow one of the Market Streets back to East Bay, and then eventually reach the waterfront. When we had almost reached the doors to Meeting Street, a lady flagged us down (it took her a little while to get my attention). She immediately told me she didn’t mean to act like a stalker, but they had come inside looking for a Starbucks. And then I walked by with a Starbucks cup in my hand, so they were determined to figure out where it was. I directed them to the location on King Street, and then had a good laugh with my mom, as we exited the building.DSC_0612

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