Monday, June 12, 2023

First Thursday on Main

First Thursday on Main of June 2023 in Columbia, SC was filled with amusement! Each month, this is a celebration of art, music, food, local businesses and so much more that the city has to offer!

We stopped for a snack and coffee at Sound Bites Eatery at 1425 Sumter Street where I munched on the most delectable avocado toast of my life. We are talking fresh avocado, goat cheese spread, peppadews, chopped pistachios, micro greens, evoo, salt and pepper on a multi grain bread!

This is also one of the Jasper Galleries where the fantastic artwork of Steven White was on display which features cultural icons and immortalized figures. The use of negative and positive space in his work creates striking images!

Then we stopped at Smoked at 1643 Main St for its patio party.

This restaurant houses a microbrewery for Peak Drift Brewing. On First Thursdays, a new brew is revealed on the charming patio out back.
This restaurant has such beautiful decor inside too with multiple seating areas and vibes.
Then we stopped at the rooftop bar of Hendrix at 1649 Main St for a local craft brew.

Next it was time to walk of some of the beer drinking so we popped into the historic Pastor's Study to view the beautiful artwork of Maya Smith who was present to talk about her art.

The rustic finishes in this building created a perfect backdrop for the artwork.

This site is a venue for intimate events.

Walking down Main Street, there are multiple spots to enjoy live music.

The Columbia Museum of Art is free on First Thursdays. A great opportunity to pop in and see the latest rotating exhibits. Bullets and Bandaids was showing. A somber, powerful example of artists portraying the stories of those directly affected by war.

Here is In Our Minds, Hearts and Actions by Susan Lenz. This tells the story of Ana, a Ukranian who has been helping out in Ukraine and in the US any way she can as the war continues to ravage her home country.

My favorite part of the evening was seeing Flat Out Strangers. These guys play gypsy jazz which is one of my favorite styles of music to listen to when passing the work day. It is so lively and cheerful!

I would recommend locals in the Midlands check out a First Thursday on Main for an added connection to where you live. We find it draws us into businesses we never visited before. Hearing and seeing local artists makes it even more special!

Thank you for stopping by! ~Val

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Boyd Island Sanctuary

The Boyd Island Sanctuary is located at the end of the Saluda Riverwalk in Columbia, SC.

Situated between the Saluda and Broad Rivers that come together to form the Congaree River, one hears the soothing music of nature.
Previously only accessible by kyakers, a bridge was recently added so pedestrians could also enjoy this sanctuary.

Nature inspired sculptures greet visitors.

The artwork was unexpected and such a treat like this inspiring quote "When I rise up, let me rise up joyful like a bird. When I fall, let me fall without regret like a leaf".

A paved walkway runs through the perimeter of the 4 acre island.
There are cool concrete and steel seating areas by local artist/welder Chris Styke to relax at.
Once on the island, you forget that you are in the city. The sounds of the river take over, drowning out the sounds of the traffic.
A soon to be completed picnic pavilion is located near the center.
The details are gorgeous!

With a stunning sculpture in the center ceiling.

Adorable lily pad tables dot this area.

The scenery includes copious turtles sunning themselves on rocks along the river.

There are pathways leading to the water. Great for the dogs who want to cool off on those hot summer days! Perfect for fishing too.

The most stunning bench I have ever seen is on the island.

The plant and animal sculptures on the island were created by Chicago artist, Renee Bemis.
This bobcat sculpture has probably spooked a few visitors since these cats do live in the region.
Other cute sculptures includes this trunk with a squirrel and owl peaking out.
A sea otter, which we occasionally spot in the rivers here, is reaching for a snack.
For real critters we spotted a skink.

A Carolina Anole.

The coolest spotting was a first for us. A water moccasin at lunch time. It came up on a rock and was wrestling with the fish waiting for the venom to take effect. Then it was back in the water to enjoy the meal.

I highly recommend visiting the island if at the Saluda Riverwalk section starting at Candi Lane in Columbia, South Carolina. We found it was approximately a 4 mile walk from the parking lot, to the island and around it, then walking back.

Thank you for stopping by! ~Val

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Public Art of Charlotte

 Here is some of the public art to appreciate in Charlotte, NC.

My favorite was at The Green. 

This is a park with a literary themes.
The children are climbing all over the book. So fun and unique!

There are plenty of murals.

Sculptures are throughout.

These sentiments are on the steps of the Mint Museum.

This one below resonates with me.

Many of the sculptures are gigantic!

Since we were only here for a day/night I am sure we missed many other pieces of art. There is always next time to find more!

Have a marvelous day/evening (wherever you are on the clock)! ~Val

First Thursday on Main

First Thursday on Main of June 2023 in Columbia, SC was filled with amusement! Each month, this is a celebration of art, music, food, local ...