Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Savannah, the good ,the bad...

Back from 3 nights in Savannah. Great weather, lots of fun. Thoughts...

First of all Savannah is a funny mix of very old and very new. Loved the silver haired gent we spotted the first day wearing loafers,navy blazer, stripped tie, a bowler hat and plaid shorts. But Savannah is also home to SCAD, the Savannah college of Arts & Design, a very respected art school which floods Savannah with 1000s of college age aspiring artists in ripped jeans and t shirts, piercings and purple hair. Throw in a few hundred girls scouts from all over the county in town for the 100th anniversary of the girl scouts and you have quite a street scene.

We spent our days in the old; mostly touring homes built in the 1700s, walking the cobblestone streets and dodging the horse and buggies. We spent our nights in the new. The Savannah Stopover, a 4 day music festival made up of 70 bands on their way to South by SouthWest was in its second year and we got to enjoy some great music. One night we saw 3 terrific bands playing in an outdoor courtyard under a star filled sky and a full moon. Amazing.

My biggest complaint? Savannah seems determined to hide its most interesting history. Its not just the way the house tour guides refer to the War between the States or insist on calling the slaves 'enslaved servants'. It took forever to find the Civil Rights Museum which despite being one of the highlights of the trip was not to be found on any tourist map, not mentioned by the multiple on off sightseeing trolly companies, and even the tourist bureau didn't have a brochure or any information besides, 'its a few blocks down that way'. Turns out Savannah's civil rights history is fascinating and the museum while small was terrific. They were very happy to see us!
The other highlight was equally difficult to visit. The First African Baptist church, built and run by slaves in the 1700s, was part of the Underground Railroad and is still an active church today. It was beautiful and the young man who took us around was terrific.
All in all a good trip, even for a Yankee.

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