Get an exclusive peek into the world of Patrick Properties — we share a few of our favorite moments from recent events and happenings.
I love my creative pals. Was just watching my friend Joe, photoshop genius, tweak a top-secret PP photo. Earlier, I spoke with my friend, empress of creativity, Amy Reed, about writing, designing and jungle gyms. Yes, really.Fish is gearing up for the Richter Wine Dinner tonight. Oh sweet wonderful, private stock wines, we adore thee! Wine legend on the premises. Update next week.And, on the Lowndes Grove front, I learned a bit about mindful, preventative landscaping today. Our Managing Partner told me that part of keeping the majestic live oaks that line the property by the river healthy is to thin out the crown (tops) so that any strong winds move through them more gently.
I had a particularly long and busy day yesterday. As I neared the end of it, my mind was still racing with all of the "to-do's" for today bouncing around. I was annoying myself. So, I did a little in-place meditation. Basically, I breathed more deeply, thought about each action as I was doing it and repeated them in my head as I did them. (I'm walking now. I feel the pavement under my foot.) I know this might sound hokey, but it totally worked. So today, I'm reading the Food + Wine blog and came across this great bit about the Slow movement, as in Slow Food, knowing where your food comes from, cooking it with care, mindfulness. Then, I found another cool website: In Praise of Slow. P.S. It's also a book. By the way, the whole idea is less about the word slow and more about the words thoughtful, careful, mindful. Good stuff.Now, guess who's sleeping over our house during the Charleston Food + Wine Festival? Why, none other than Master Sommelier Bob Bath. For those of you who don't know, Bob Bath is one of only 79 Master Sommeliers in the U.S. and one of only 150 in the world. We're thrilled he'll be spending some time with us, and I hope I get to be the one to put the mint on his pillow. Please, Randall!By the by, if you haven't yet purchased your tickets for the Charleston Food + Wine Festival, you must. Fish is hosting a Chardonnay tasting on Saturday, March 1. Carolyn Wente from Wente Vineyards, Jed Steele from Steele Vineyards, Sarah DeLoach from Hook & Ladder Vineyards & Winery, David Whitehouse from Trefethen Family Vineyards, Susan Lueker from Simi Winery and Stacy Clark from Pine Ridge Napa Valley Wines will all be on hand.
Was re-perusing the "Summer 2008" edition of Charleston Weddings today, and can I just say? We counted at least 5 references to events at The William Aiken House and Lowndes Grove, from editorial to photographers' ads. Too cool! Thanks to all of our friends and vendors who help make us look so good.The City Paper had a nice little write up today about the Richter Wine Dinner coming up this Friday. Remember? Friday? You promised to make reservations? Richter Wine Dinner? Wine legend sharing his private stock only with us. Yes, THAT wine dinner. I'll wait until you make the call: 843.722.FISH.Random story: Yesterday, while out at Lowndes Grove looking at the new bluestone, I had this thought. Well, several actually. First of all, I thought how cool would it be to draw in chalk all over this new bluestone. (I know, childhood dreams never properly realized.) Then, I had this flashback of one of my first weeks here at PP when I thought how cool it would be to do chalk messaging near the restaurant. It went over well...until the second time when one of our city's finest "caught" me, chalk in hand and asked me if I realized that what I was doing was considered "defacing property." Um, no? She gave me a paper warning, thank goodness. Nothing says "I love my new job" like an arrest, huh? It became the running joke my first weeks here, and actually served as a nice little ice breaker. (I know, you have a story just like this, right?)
70 degrees and sunny today in Charleston, so my trusty photographer and I made a quick trip to Lowndes Grove to scan the progress. Please look at this finished ceiling and medallion. The bright beautiful white against the cool and soothing blue. LOVE IT. By the way, if you haven't visited the Lowndes Grove website lately, you need to. Our new brochure is out and ready to be oohed and aaahed over.Had lunch today with the one and only Mitchell Crosby of JMC Charleston who was kind enough to let me pick his brain on marketing, positioning and branding. Then we got to the real fun: parties, art, jewelry and of course, the stories! Turns out we know a lot of the same people, which isn't too surprising because Mitchell knows everyone, ok? Not only did Mitchell share some great insights and a wealth of knowledge from his experiences, he "introduced" me to internationally acclaimed designer and artist, Tony Duquette's work. You must check out this photo from one of his parties. Too cool. Thanks for a wonderful afternoon, Mitchell.
Happy news: Sarah, one of our fabulous event managers, got engaged in Asheville this weekend. I just stopped by The William Aiken House office to hear about the proposal and, of course, take a peek at her beautiful ring. It's really funny to see a roomful of event managers, who have seen it all, talk about the upcoming nuptials of one of their own. The news seems to have reenergized the entire office. Congratulations, Sarah!Buffalo wing cooking tip: Had dinner with some friends right near Lowndes Grove this weekend. Besides having a lovely view of the river, we also had some killer wings made by our host. His secret? Slow cook the wings in a crockpot, then finish them on the grill. Amazing. Best wings I've ever had.The City Market: Read an interesting article on the rather nebulous future of the City Market in the Charleston Regional Business Journal. It seems that in April, all of the vendor leases expire as the market's management company, The Christopher Co., also reaches the end of its contract.A few weeks ago when Randall, Chef Nico and I attended the SC Department of Agriculture's "Fresh on the Menu" program, there was some discussion about the Charleston City Market returning to its local, agricultural and farm-based roots. According to the Business Journal article, in the 1940s the market was a popular meat and produce market. Sadly, by the 1950s, the market and the surrounding area had fallen into ruin. Then, in 1974 The Christoper Co. leased it from the city and a rejuvenation followed. From the sounds of the many local farmers, producers, chefs and restaurant owners at the "Fresh on the Menu" meeting, there is great support and enthusiasm for a return to more local products: produce, meats, fish.Then, in today's Post & Courier, I read that the city collected 3 bids from management companies. The most interesting to us here at PP is the one from the City Market Preservation Trust. You can call it the team of Steve Varn and Hank Holliday, who owns The Planter's Inn, Peninsula Grill and Hank's, among others. The team proposed a two-year development plan. Plans include a concept based on some of the country's great public markets, like Seattle's Pike Place Market or Boston's Faneuil Hall.We at PP could not be more excited. As supporters of local, sustainable products and producers, we love the idea that chefs, citizens and visitors alike could find what's fresh and unique at a truly local, truly Charleston market. Who knows, maybe one day you'll see Nico down there slinging fish fresh off the boat. (He likes that.)