ode to the holy city
For my birthday, I requested and happily received Pat Conroy's new novel South of Broad, in which I have been immersed (when possible) for the past two weeks. I love Conroy's Prince of Tides for many reasons, but it struck a particular chord in me as a South Carolinian reading with familiarity as a transplant to New York. Reading this most recent ode to the Holy City while actually being here has been quite a juxtaposition, if not more of a palimpsest, and though I find the same familiarity when reading, it has become somewhat of a distraction. The penultimate master of name-dropping, Conroy made this book for blue-blooded Charlestonians who will recognize, appreciate, and best him in the category. With this undisguised social and physical context, I feel like I could be reading about people I know and thus am currently having quite the heightened experience of this city.
Add to that the general Charleston-y weekend that I had, and I'm sure you will all understand the complete and eerie confusion that I am experiencing between the fictional and the real. Friday marked the first French Quarter Art Walk of the season; the weather was perfect, the wine was good, and we had a wonderful time! I awoke early on Saturday with the french doors to my screen porch wide open and headed off on my bike to the Farmer's Market in Marion Square. I managed to fit in a little more reading time before making my way to the first of two weddings downtown, which were appropriately located S.O.B. and/or sufficiently near by. I found myself moving between St. Michael's, St. Philip's, Society Hall, and Hibernian Hall all in the space of a night. I'm not sure if I would call it irony, but I was definitely feeling something like it, while imagining characters with names like Worth Rutledge circulating around the cheese table with me.
I've been known to get a little too involved with the books that I'm reading (I thought at one point in college that my life was The Odyssey), but I thought it was only appropriate, in light of the circumstances, that I reveal what has been consuming my mind as of late! I've also been thinking about an allora tribute to the Holy City, which is full of such rich, deep colors and textures that I can't help but want to translate into a chair. Be looking out for the Charleston signature collection; you heard it first here!