The weather here in Virginia makes me miss the warm, sultry, and year-round hot weather of Columbia, South Carolina, where we lived for three years. I didn't think I'd miss the place as much as I do now, but the cooler Virginian weather is making me crave one of my favorite cities in the country. I don't think I ever did an in-depth review of the place, now that I think of it. It's sort of difficult to, considering that there's so many wonderful aspects and places around Columbia, I don't think one piddly little blog post could describe what I love about the city. Anyway, I'll just start with downtown Columbia.
Home to the University of South Carolina, you'll find a whole lot of downtown digs that cater to college students, such as bars, clubs, and coffee shops, but you'll also find some unique clothing and candy shops and restaurants with owners so friendly, it feels as though you've known them your entire lives. That's basically what I love about Columbia---it's genuine sense of friendliness and warmth. When we first moved to the city, I couldn't figure out why the city's motto was "famously hot," but after surviving our first summer, I found out it had to do more with the weather than its Civil War history with General Sherman. A brief history tidbit: General Sherman was the Union soldier who burned a handful of cities in the South during the American Civil War (1861-1865). South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union, which prompted other states to secede and start the Civil War (among other things). Still, the burning of Columbia is controversial with some saying that the fire wasn't intentional, but others in the area, especially Southerners say otherwise. Anyway, I still think that their city's motto has something to do with the weather, Civil War history be damned.
Ever heard of Hootie and the Blowfish? A musical band with a string of hits popular around the 90's? Songs like "Only Wanna Be with You" and "Time" are some of the hits that come to mind when I think of the band. The band was formed when its members were attending the University of South Carolina back in the mid 80's. Once in awhile, Darius Rucker, their lead singer, will head back to Columbia and play at the State Fair or at impromptu sessions at some of the bars. If you walk around the Five Points area of downtown Columbia, you'll run into a neat little homage that includes a sculpture for the band.
Some of the great points of downtown Columbia summarized:
Once I find my external hard drive holding the stash of memories from Columbia, I'll put up more posts and pictures from Columbia.