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South of Broad is a novel by Pat Conroy, which I read years ago. The book is set in Charleston, in the popular and historic part of the city situated south of Broad Street. Like all of Conroy’s books it focuses on an interesting cast of characters, but the title of the book stuck with me.
The area south of Broad is located between the Ashley and Cooper Rivers and is a residential neighborhood filled with beautiful antebellum homes dating back as far as 1721. The real estate of the neighborhood is pricy, it being unlikely you could purchase a home here for under a million dollars (repeated beatings by future hurricanes are thrown in for free). It’s a charming area …
As we walked down Truman Avenue on our way to Duvall Street — around which you’ll find the main sites of interest in Key West — we came across this pretty church. It’s the Basilica of St Mary Star of the Sea, one of the oldest parishes in Florida.
The first Catholic Church in Key West was constructed in 1851 and was dedicated as “Saint Mary Star of the Sea”. That church was destroyed by fire in 1901. Construction of the present church began in 1904 and was completed the following year.
The church is built directly onto the island’s coral limestone and is made of concrete blocks containing crushed limestone and sand. It’s exterior design is considered “American Victorian”. The church …
Late one afternoon while we were heading towards Mallory Square to enjoy Key West’s nightly celebration of the setting sun, my brother and I came upon this Memorial Sculpture Garden, which remembers and pays tribute to some of Key West’s most famous residents.
The Sculpture Garden opened in September 1997 and there are nicely made busts of 36 men and woman who lives impacted the history of Key West. Most of these are of local people unknown to most of us, but there are several that are easily recognized. These include Ernest Hemingway, President Harry S. Truman, and Tennessee Williams.
All of these busts were crafted by artist James Mastin. The Sculpture Garden was privately funded (Friends of Mallory Square, Inc), and …
We were walking the streets of Key West after dinner — a beautiful warm winter night — and I was impressed with how nicely lite many of the older homes were. Admittedly it was December and this may have been something special for the Holidays, but I suspect it is part of the normal ambience of the city.
Yet another thing I enjoyed about our visit to Key West.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)
Circular Congregational Church is one of the many interesting and historic churches in Charleston, and is home to one of the oldest community of worshippers in the USA. The church was originally founded in 1681. It is located on Meeting Street, the street named for the gatherings at this church.
The church you visit today is the fourth building housing this congregation. Records of the early churches have largely been destroyed by past hurricanes. The third church was the first circular structure the congregation used, and it was destroyed by fire in 1861. As the area was devastated by the Civil War and it took some time for rebuilding. Bricks from the burned down church were used in constructing the present …
A highlight of my last visit to Florida was a trip to its Keys. It’s a road trip I’d wanted to do for some time and wish I’d done sooner. The drive is a journey to a place that’s unlike any other in America. Looking at it on a map, it seems like you’d be floating across water, rather than driving a well-engineered roadway.
A trip down the Overseas Highway (US-1), the only road connecting Miami with the Florida Keys, covers only 113 miles and can be driven in as little as 4 hours. But the point of the journey is to stop when possible, linger, and enjoy the beautiful scenery and ambience of the Keys. The drive takes you across numerous …
Sloppy Joe’s Bar is located on Key West’s main business street, Duval Street. The bar opened in 1933, the day prohibition ended. It was to move locations and have a name change or two before it ended up being at its current site in Key West. The name finally chosen was borrowed from the original Sloppy Joe’s bar in Havana, Cuba, although today the name has really stuck to the Key West location.
Local legend has it that Joe Russell, the original owner, was a friend of author Ernest Hemingway who lived in Key West at that time, and that Joe provided Mr. Hemingway with some illegal hooch during prohibition. It seems likely that Hemingway would have visited the bar when …
In a city filled with a lot of memorials, including some grand ones named after men like Lincoln and Washington, this memorial seems tiny in comparison. I didn’t even know it existed until I came across it while making my way from the Reflecting Pool to the newish Martin Luther King Memorial. It was built as tribute to the 26,000 residents from the DC area who served in the First World War.
The site occupies 2-acres and is surrounded by a deciduous trees. At the center is the circular memorial designed to resemble a small Greek temple, with 12 Doric columns supporting a domed roof. The white marble used to build it was quarried in Vermont. It is …