January ended with a trip to Charleston to perform LinkUp: The Orchestra Moves with the Charleston Symphony. Below is the Sword Gate on Legare Street, a spot I walk by on my trips from my Dad's townhouse on Queen Street to the Battery. It is always good to go home: to eat some oysters, visit with family, and then eat some more oysters.
The new opera house auditorium, the Gaillard Center, is beautiful, and when the lights went down for the show, the kids were just as excited as they are in Carnegie Hall.
Charleston is at an interesting crossroads. After Mayor Joe Riley's 40 year tenure, there is new leadership. His farewell speech, which you can watch here, is more Zen meditation than political speech. Truly, we were blessed. John Tecklenburg will most likely continue many of the former mayor's policies, but as the people who worked under Riley begin to retire, the city of Charleston will eventually have a new cast and crew. The influx of new people and the amount of growth in the surrounding areas is testing (and changing) the city's character. Still, I am impressed with Charleston's relative economic and cultural health, even as it struggles with change. And every time I am able to steal into a hidden corner of the city that is just as I remember it from childhood, it is nothing short of miraculous.