Residential Space A creative outlet during residency, turned ongoing virtual soap box

Yes, Mom, I like Charleston  1

Posted on September 28th, 2005. About Ramblings.

Previously posted on September 28, 2005 at: http://spaces.msn.com/members/jodidodds/Blog/cns!1p1a54g1PSNkhyBLLbfi4i8A!109.entry

I was raised in South Carolina and studied for my MD at the Medical University of South Carolina, which is in Charleston. This morning, I spoke with my mother, the assitant principal for instruction at Dutch Fork High School in Irmo, SC, who was concerned that I posted in my running blog that my favorite cities were London, New York, and Seattle. She believes I am forgetting my Southern roots. Before I moved to Seattle my mother showered me with South Carolina-esque gifts – Palmetto tree wine glasses (which are beautiful, by the way) and Palmetto pajamas, to name a few.
So I will correct myself here – yes, I love Charleston for many reasons:
1. The city is beautiful – I really enjoyed running past the old mansions on the Battery as the sun rose over the Ashley/Cooper Rivers. It’s breath-taking. It’s refreshing. Few experiences can compare.
2. It’s seldom cold in Charleston. During my second year of medical school some snow flurries were spotted, and everyone immediately abandoned the library to observe them. They were gone within minutes. This was my experience with snow in Charleston.
3. The islands around Charleston are fabulous, particularly Edisto, where my aunt and uncle live, and Kiawah Island, where I would really like to vacation someday (as soon as I have the salary to make this happen).
4. I earned my medical degree there. The good people at MUSC believed in me enough to give me the chance to become a physician at their school.
5. I met some of the most wonderful people in Charleston – I am forecasting life-long friendships with several of my medical school cronies. Plus, in general, the people of the area are quite friendly.
6. The food is SPECTACULAR. Okay, I said few experiences can compare to watching the sunrise while running down the Battery. One of them is savoring shrimp and grits or she-crab soup at 82 Queen or Poogan’s Porch¬†or especially The Old Post Office (actually located on Edisto Island). Don’t forget the Coca-cola cake!
7. Charleston is a semi-liberal haven in an otherwise fiercely conservative state. I actually met people there who voted for John Kerry.
8. Beaches! The Charleston-area beaches are very nice – clean water and a cool breeze that keeps the temperatures from becoming too much.
9. Charleston is nicknamed “The Holy City” because of its history of religious tolerance. One can find a vast number of denominations there – for example, it hosts the oldest Hugenot and Unitarian churches in the South. I like tolerant cities.
So there you have it – I do like Charleston. My husband works in technology, and unfortunately this is one area where Charleston is lacking, so staying for residency was not even an option for us. It’s a small city, so opportunity is limited in some fields. However, I love the idea of having a vacation home there at some point, so that my children, even if raised elsewhere, can return to the place I called home for so long and understand the culture that molded their mother into who she is.
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