Neighborhood Spotlight: North Central

Emily:

Downtown Charleston is divided up into over a dozen neighborhoods. North of the Crosstown hosts Hampton Park Terrace, Wagener Terrace, West Side, and North Central, to name a few. Last week, I listed a newly renovated home in the North Central neighborhood and thought it would be helpful to highlight what makes this area so desirable:

History
Developed mostly in the early 1900s, from farmland, many of the homes in this neighborhood are two story with front porches made for catching a breeze and enjoying an evening cocktail. Seen on the map below, it is bounded by Mt. Pleasant Street to the North, Interstate 26 to the East, and Rutledge Avenue to the West.

Eat & Drink
North Central Delicatessen
Charleston deli with bagels, Taylor pork roll, hot dogs, sandwiches, and salads. This place gets packed around lunch time with area employees.

Huriyali
Nourish your mind, body and soul with the freshest organic ingredients combined with the best of what the world has to offer; juices, raw bars, sandwiches, Acai bowls, and more. Their back courtyard is a refreshing open space for meeting with friends or enjoying a few moments of solitude. 

The Park Cafe
Neighborhood cafe for breakfast, lunch, dinner, Saturday/Sunday brunch, and daily specials. Their interior is filled with clean design and a greenery wall that will make you want to go home and water your plants.

Moe’s Crosstown Tavern
Popular watering hole for locals that serves a large menu with great food. Voted City Paper's 'Best Pub Food' for 8 years in a row. Brunch is a must here on Sundays, but arrive early with your whole party to get a table.

Rodney Scott BBQ (coming soon)
Whole hog smoking barbecue by acclaimed pit-master, Rodney Scott. A lot of press will accompany this opening before the end of the year.

On the cusp, but still walkable/bikeable:
Rutledge Cab Company | Lewis Barbecue | Home Team BBQ | Edmund's Oast | Butcher & Bee | Tattooed Moose | Santi's | Leon's Oyster Shop | Taco Boy | The Royal American | Palmetto Brewing | Revelry Brewing | Cooper River Brewing

Get Involved
North Central Group
This Facebook group stays active with updates from local businesses and groups that culminate in the area. On a larger scale, the Upper Peninsula Initiative also keeps you up to date with happenings and community planning efforts.

Romney Urban Garden
Community garden that hosts garden bed rentals, volunteer workdays, back to school bashes, movies, composting tutorials, and so much more.

Dart Library
Originally Dart Hall, this library, now part of the Charleston County Public Library system, was started as an African American Reading Room in 1927. This active library branch hosts story times, career fairs, book discussions, movies, and other community events.

Enough Pie (Vat Shack)
A catalyst for inclusive and inspiring community engagement in the Upper Peninsula through dynamic partnerships, artistic collaborations and creative placemaking. The Vat Shack, located in Joseph Floyd Manor Park, explores the history, culture, science and art of indigo with 'Community Dye Days'.

The Vinyl Countdown
Independent record store, specializing in new and used, vinyl, and turn tables.

The Faculty Lounge
Blink and you'll miss it. This neighborhood late night spot is good for meeting up with friends, making new friends, and getting sweaty on their compact dance floor.

On the cusp, but still walkable/bikeable:
Hampton Park | Kickball League | Riverdogs Games (you can most likely see the Friday night fireworks from your front porch) 

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Up and Coming
Not much is known on the new-builds coming up on what used to occupy 373-379 Huger Street, other than they're working on the sites daily that will likely feature eight, 2 and 3 bedroom homes around 1,400 square feet, all with drive under garages. Stay tuned!

Do you live or work in the area? What's your favorite spot?

Trick or Treat Lowcountry Style

Children, adults, and pets alike can all agree that Halloween in the Lowcountry is packed full of fun! In honor of the spooky holiday ahead, we decided to break down some of the many events happening around our area this weekend.

For the Kids:

Trick or Treat in the Park (Friday, 10/30, 4-6 p.m., FREE) Join the City of Charleston Recreation Department at Hampton Park in an exciting afternoon of trick-or-treating, pony rides, hayrides, games, jump castles, and a costume contest for kids 12 & under.
(Photo: @charlestonsc)

Family Fright Night at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens (Friday, 10/30, 6-10 p.m., FREE under 6, $10 ages 6+) is perfect for the family looking for pirate stories, monster games, and haunted train rides

Halloween under the Oaks (Saturday, 10/31, 6 p.m., FREE) in the James Island neighborhood Riverland Terrace is one of the largest trick or treating events on the island. Wappoo Drive will be closed to traffic to allow for pedestrians only starting at 5:30 p.m.

Visit your community library branch (All week, FREE) for Halloween events like; Afternoon Adventure in Goulish Makeup, and Friday Night Fright Halloween party at the Main Library.
(Photo: @edhirst5876)

If you’re searching for that last minute costume for your kiddo, these are some of our favorite costume spots when you’re on a budget:
Tiny Tadpoles  -  James Island
Consign Charleston - West Ashley
Once Upon a Child  - West Ashley
Angels & Rascals - Mt. Pleasant

For the Pets:

Kia Boo and Bark (Saturday, 10/31, 10 a.m.- 2 p.m., FREE) is the best Halloween Pet Party in town.  There will be a pet costume contest with all proceeds benefiting the Charleston Animal Society's Pet Food Bank.

Fall Festival and Trick or Treat at Towne Centre  (Saturday, 10/31, 12-4 p.m., $10 to register your pet) in Mt. Pleasant is a great place participate in the Annual Pet Costume Contest benefiting Pet Helpers- and the kids can trick or treat through the center.

For Adults:

Black Cat Halloween Dance (Saturday, 10/31, 6-11 p.m., $5) Join the Charleston Swing Dance Association for a night of costumes, dancing, and donations to help Pet Helpers at the Knights of Columbus located at 143 Calhoun Street.

Taco Boy Halloween Party (Saturday, 10/31, 6 p.m., $5) in our opinion, has one of the best group costume contests in town. (Side note: Emily and a group of friends won the group contest last year!)

Last year's Taco Boy Group Costume Winners (Photo: Taco Boy Facebook)

Last year's Taco Boy Group Costume Winners (Photo: Taco Boy Facebook)

The Charleston Symphony Orchestra presents Frankenstein Live (Friday, 10/30, 7:30 p.m., Prices vary), a night of fright with the 1931 classic Frankenstein movie with orchestral accompaniment featuring an all new score.

Ohm Radio's Halloween Fest (Saturday, 10/31, 12:30 p.m., Prices vary) will feature an entire day of live music to benefit Charleston's non-profit, commercial free radio station, hosted at Palmetto Brewery.

The Coastal Carolina Fair (10/29- 11/8) is also a great way to spend All Hallow's Eve!

There are plenty more happenings than even we could list; check out these links to other useful resources:

Bonus Halloween Treat:
We're happy to announce that the Lowcountry Love Letters family is growing and that loyal pup, Tater Wicke is going to be a big brother. The Wicke's are expecting the arrival of a Baby Girl in Spring 2016!


Charleston Junior Woman's Club

The Lowcountry is known for it's scenic views, history, food, and more, but do you know about it's propensity to give back? Today, Janeen Vosseller and Frances Deschenes talk to us about how joining a civic organization changed their lives for the better and how you can get involved in helping your own community- all while making new friends.

Janeen:
As a College of Charleston student, turned full-time Lowcountry resident, my closest friends here were from my college days. However, after graduation those close friends one by one all moved throughout the country for amazing, new opportunities. I remained in the Lowcountry with the perfect job and a wonderful boyfriend, but no particularly, close friends. I decided to turn to a civic organization to help me get out there and make new friends. The Lowcountry offers a plethora of activities and clubs that anyone can participate in, but with a heavy work load six months out of the year and not liking any activity that involves a ball or frisbee being thrown at me, which to join? I sought out my mom for advice and she suggested what she did at my age: the Junior Woman’s Club. I decided, "Why not?". At the very least, I'd end up volunteering for a few charities that support our community. Luckily for me, I knew someone who was in the club already, so I reached out to her about information on Charleston’s chapter. The response back was nothing but praise and encouragement to join. From my first volunteer event, I knew I had made the right decision. This club is made up of ladies who want to help their community become a better place, while opening up a window to meeting new people. The members are a wonderful representation of Charleston; women who are from Charleston and out-of-state, work in all different industries from health to education to business, and in all different stages of life. Everyone is ready to welcome you to the club and treat you like a friend. Bonds are made quickly in the club, while you are getting your hands dirty and stepping outside your comfort zone at volunteer events. The social events where we catch up are just the cherry on top of it all. The Junior Woman’s Club is a wonderful club where life-long bonds are forged while making the Lowcountry community a better place.

About Janeen:
Janeen is an audit associate at Johnson Lambert, LLP in downtown Charleston. She is originally from Cranford, NJ, but now resides in Mt. Pleasant where she enjoys exploring the local parks with her dog Dori and grilling out with her boyfriend, Michael.

Janeen with her boyfriend, Michael, and their dog Dori

Janeen with her boyfriend, Michael, and their dog Dori

 

Frances:
For the past five years of living in the Lowcountry, I have seen it receive many accolades; from the top travel destination in the world to friendliest city in the U.S. There is one other title the Lowcountry deserves to be acknowledged for, and that is being the most GIVING. Maybe I never noticed it until the summer of last year, but the people of Charleston come from a giving culture. Last year, I needed a change. I had a sports injury involving my ACL and couldn't participate in the athletic and active things that I had grown accustomed to doing here in the Lowcountry. Luckily for me, a last minute invite to a charity event opened my eyes to a group of women that I would not ever be able to replace. I joined the Charleston Junior Women’s Club after only meeting 2 members.  Their willingness to give back to their community and amazing personalities led me to attend a member meeting at the Main Library, a decision that I am glad I made. In that year, I have seen these amazing women volunteer at Lowcountry Orphan Relief, Race for a Cure, Florence Crittenton Programs of SC, and multiple occasions for the PlayToday Foundation.  Although the main focus of the group is to give back to the community, they also know how to have a good time and bring the best out of everyone they interact with. Through social events on the Palmetto Breeze, to happy hour at Taco Boy, and the occasional Cypress burger night after our monthly meeting, these women truly invest in each other and the community.  I loved being a part of this group so much that I encouraged two other close friends to join with me. I have grown and changed for the better thanks to these ladies and am excited to go into this new club year as a board member.

About Frances:
Frances is a Corporate Sales Manager at the DoubleTree Charleston Airport. Originally from Charlotte, NC,  she has lived in Charleston for 5 years. She can be found Sunday's during the fall cheering on her beloved Carolina Panthers with friends. 

Frances and her boyfriend Steven

Frances and her boyfriend Steven

About the Charleston Junior Woman's Club:
The Charleston Junior Woman's Club (CJWC) is a civic, nonprofit organization, founded in 1966. All members of CJWC are united by dedication to community improvement through volunteerism. The CJWC leadership stresses community involvement among its members, who in turn donate their time and talent to numerous organizations. 

Frances and Janeen volunteering at Lowcountry Orphan Relief

Frances and Janeen volunteering at Lowcountry Orphan Relief

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a member of the Charleston Junior Women's Club, visit the membership page or email info@cjwc.org.

Bonus:

Janeen beating Frances out for the bouquet toss at Emily's wedding (Photo: DreamPop Media)

Janeen beating Frances out for the bouquet toss at Emily's wedding (Photo: DreamPop Media)