Ft. Jackson's Basic Training Graduation every Friday.
Fondest memory: Columbia Charlotte Shuttle is becoming increasingly popular. It's a van service that will pick you up at your house and bring you straight to the Charlotte Airport. It only costs $49 per person, each way. Kids are half price. With the price of gas, this service makes it much easier to get between Columbia and CLT. www.columbiacharlotteshuttle.com
Greyhound is another inexpensive option to get to CLT. It takes a little while to get there, but if the timing works out, it is very reasonably priced.
Favorite thing: On April 12, 2000, the South Carolina state senate passed a bill to remove the flag of the former Confederate States of America from the top of the statehouse dome by a majority vote of 36 to 7. Placed there in 1962, according to one local news report, "the new bill specified that a more traditional version of the battle flag would be flown in front of the Capitol next to a monument honoring fallen Confederate soldiers." The bill passed the SC House, but not without some difficulty. On May 18, 2000, after the bill was modified to ensure that the height of the flag's new pole would be 30 feet, it was passed by a majority of 66 to 43, and Governor Jim Hodges signed the bill into law five days later after it passed the senate. On July 1, the flag was removed from atop South Carolina statehouse and placed on a monument on the front lawn of the capital. Current state law prohibits the flag's removal from the statehouse grounds without additional legislation. Police were placed to guard this flag after several attempts by individuals to remove it. Some regard the flag as easier to see in that location than when it was atop the State House Dome.
Favorite thing: The South Carolina state flag, together with the one from Maryland, are my favourites of the lot. It has white emblems of a half moon and a palmetto tree on a dark blue background. You may have seen the Palmetto and moon emblem on the unwashed cap of a certain ClarkRB.
Fondest memory: Mark and I toured Columbia, South Carolina together on 27 March 2004. The photo was taken by Candice, the waitress at the Liberty Tap Room and Grill. No, Richie hasn't convinced me to become a beer conoisseur. Mark was the only one to have beer. I did, however, have some water. Richie might like this place.
Favorite thing: On a hot day, the falls would certainly be tempting. Oddly enough, the picture was taken in late March when we had temperatures more befitting early June. There were kids who climbed up the steps into the waterfall for a little relief. It should be noted that just two days later, it cooled down dramatically.
Fondest memory: The University of South Carolina has been an institution of higher education for over 200 years. The architecture of the academic and dormitory buildings has more character than at UNCC or my alma mater George Mason University. The University of South Carolina is a member of the Southeastern Conference and the home of the Fighting Gamecocks.
Favorite thing: Columbia's downtown has potential but lacks the money evident in Charlotte's uptown. There are plenty of vacant slots along Main Street. If the rich folks that live in Charlotte had set up shop here, the downtown would be more gleaming and vital than Charlotte is today, with all the shiny buildings plus the State House, the river, the parks, and deeper sense of history. Columbia still has old-fashioned five and dime stores that one would think would only exist in small rural towns- if even there.
Fondest memory: Dr. Sims was the founder of gynecological medicine. I approached the monument not knowing this. I wanted to get this monument at a corner of State House grounds for reasons of architectural contrast with the buildings across Gervais Street. On finding out Dr. Sims' field of practice, Mark was laughing like a hysterical hyena wisecracking and teasing me about it halfway down the road.
Favorite thing: If there is a fire hydrant that big, I would hate to see the dog looking to use it! Seriously, I never will understand modern art, but some of it is so humourous that it merits a general tip. For tourist purposes, it can be used as a meeting place or a landmark.
Favorite thing: The skyline of Columbia is not as impressive as that of Charlotte, Richmond, or even Arlington. There are several tall buildings- primarily banks, the State House, and the First Presbyterian Church steeple. The main drags are Main and Gervais Street. Not far from the State House is the University of South Carolina campus.
Favorite thing: Like all other state capitals, a wide range of advocacy groups strategically position their offices somewhere between the State House and Governor's Mansion. These groups advocate their cause and try to influence the state legislature and the governor to enact laws favourable to it. This featured advocacy group on mental health is located near the governor's mansion, really convenient to South Carolina's previous governor in need of their services. Everybody knows Mark "acemj" is dotty bonkers and this is his advocacy group. Maybe Mark will have better luck with the mental health facilities in South Carolina than he has had in North Carolina.
Favorite thing: Columbia is a very political town being the state capital. Pictured is the headquarters of the dominant party of the state. My guess is the counterpart for the Democrats is a broom closet or a phone booth somewhere across town.
I'm not going to claim that Columbia is one of America's great centers of art, but the city does have some surprisingly interesting attractions for anyone interested in the arts.
In addition to the Columbia Museum of Art and the State History Museum, there is the McKissick Museum on the USC campus and other interesting pieces of public art like this one in front of the art museum.
For a list of local art galleries, check this out.
Favorite thing: Columbia became the state capital in 1786 and to this day, the State House (that's what they call the capitol building and grounds), is one of the most lovely places in town. I usually park at a meter (free on the weekends) along the Senate Street side of the grounds, where you'll find this sign and many monuments and shady spots to relax.
Favorite thing: On my most recent trip to Columbia, b1bob and I made our first stop in downtown to snap this photo of . . . well, I don't really know what it is (other than the obvious . . . a giant silver colored leaning fire hydrant)! I guess some might call this modern art. Some might call it a sculpture gone terrible wrong. And still others might call it a dog's fantasy!!