South by Wendy Nilsen Pollitzer…

Wendy Pollitzer, author, Mom, Charleston native and friend has written an amazing compilation of essays on the South appropriately named South.  Her love of Charleston and the surrounding area comes through so clearly that you feel like her experience is that of your own.

I was fortunate to run into Wendy this past weekend and she generously agreed to answer my silly little questionnaire.  Here goes!

South-Wendy & The book

CG:  Why writing?

WP:  My Mom was a writer, though never published.  She encouraged creative writing at an early age.  I’ve always loved to write, especially personal journal entries about my life experiences; although, i went to school for something totally different.  My major at Clemson was Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management.  I worked as the Naturalist at Hunting Island State Park in Beaufort County after college.  One of my favorite parts of the job was writing descriptive material and newspaper articles about the coastal environment.  I had a passion for both…writing and teaching others about the Lowcountry.  Additionally, I had a passion for local history!  I wanted to continue my career, but also had the wish to engage in other projects that would combine all three of these.  After publishing Isle of Palms and Port Royal, I had the urge to publish again; but this time, I wanted to create a book that would capture the heart and soul of an entire region…I guess my fourth passion…The South.

CG:  What inspires you to write about the South, the Lowcountry?

WP:  I asked myself that very question not too long ago.  Is it the climate?  Is it the landscape?  Is it the people, the state of mind?  Honestly, I was raised the way I want to raise my daughters…and it’s simply about enjoying company in nature.  I grew up in the most majestic place…under live oaks and close to the ocean.  When I was in high school at Wando, I remember my Marine Biology teacher saying, “The sale marsh is the heartbeat of our ecological system.  When seen from the air, our creeks look lik the arteries they are, pumping life into our precious islands”.  From that moment, I equated Lowcountry ecology to my heartbeat of life.  I can’t exist without it.  I love picking crabs.  I love shucking oysters.  I love buying my fishing license every year from DNR.  I love a Piping Plover on the beach, and I love a Great Egret in the marsh.  I love to see the dolphins feed in a creek and I love to see them chase shrimp boats.  I also love the Windjammer.  I love the washout at Folly Beach.  I love camping at Capers.  I love Darius Rucker!  What’s not to love about the Lowcountry!  It is what inspires me…Life in the South and live in the Lowcountry.  Simple fun with good friends.

South on the WaterSouth-Wendy & Us

**with Wendy at Wine Under the Oaks, Boone Hall

CG:  How do you find subject matter?

WP:  I wanted to choose essayists who had a sincere appreciation for their communities first.  I didn’t want those folks who made it big and forgot about how they got there.  And, I wanted a diverse group…of profession, race, culture and socioeconomic status.  I carefully researched each contributor’s character and their involvements in their communities.  To be honest, I had an intuition about most people I contacted…like most of us do. You kind of know who people are.  All of the contributors were so appreciative of this project.  They were excited to write about their personal journey of life in the South.  And to be fair, I think there are many more contributors out there…it’s just a matter of finding the right email:).

CG:  Who would you love to work with if you could choose any author, photographer, editor and publication?

WP:  Publication-Garden and Gun…hands down!  They have inspired me to go for this!  I credit G&G for the surge in Southern Spirit.  I think they are truly the cheerleaders of the South!

Author:  I am already working with three of my favorite authors…Mary Alice Monroe, Patti Callahan Henry and Pat Conroy and two Poet Laureates…Marjory Heath Wentoworth (SC) and Kathryn Stripling Byer (NC).  They are my mentors…period.  Just knowing them makes me want to write more.  There are so many more of course, but I am so humbled by their enthusiasm for this project.  I wish I could have met Maya Angelou before her passing.  She inspired so many writers and thinkers!

Photographer:  Jody Horton, a Lowcountry native and a professional that is rising to the top…fast!

Deceased I wish I could host at a dinner party:  Daniel Boone and Elvis

South-The girlsCG:  It’s Christmas…what is your favorite Holiday Tradition??

WP:  Of course, decorating the tree with my girls (Abbie, 11 and Julie, 10) is my favorite holiday tradition.  Every year they remind me of the story behind each ornament and wear their “Santa’s Little Helpers” aprons.  Those three hours of the year are my absolute favorite!  My other cherished Holiday tradition is sending Happy New Year’s cards instead of Christmas cards, simply because friends and family aren’t expecting mail that week.  It’s nice to give a message of well wishes for the new year to those who have made a difference in your life.

CG:  Have you written your letter to the North Pole??!

WP:  Well…my daughters certainly have!  I’m just wishing for some slippers (cheesy but true).  Most of all, my wish is to someday come back to Charleston…my home.

CG:  Any upcoming events where you will be featuring South?

South-WendyWP:  I will be at the Mt. Pleasant Holiday Market on Saturday, December 13th from 11am to 4pm at Moultrie Middle School.  I’ll be at many other local events after the holidays.

**Please visit for more information.

Purchase South at our favorite local retailers:

Royall Hardware
Patina Blu
Sweet Olive
Sewee Outpost
Boone Hall Farms
Preservation Society of Charleston
I purchased my copy at Patina Blu in Mount Pleasant.  It was pre-wrapped and ready to go!  My Dad is going to love it.  Wendy’s amazing content encompasses all that he loves about the South.  Happy Holidays Friends!  XOXO,  Catherine

Ladies Who Lunch…

I am definitely one of those ladies! One of the many things I love about Charleston is its cuisine. There is never a shortage of new places to try. Minero and The Artisan Meat Share  are the latest finds…both absolutely delicious!

IMG_4626IMG_4629The Artisan Meat Share on Spring Street is the ultimate sandwich shop. I noshed on the hot Tuna Nicoise sandwich.
~oil cured tuna, garlic aioli, herbs, black olives, chopped egg, tomato, greens with a red wine vinaigrette on ciabatta~

IMG_4628~Red Velvet Whoopie Pie~  Really??!

If you are going for lunch during the week, go early…it gets packed!
Artisan Meat Share
33 Spring Street
Charleston, South Carolina 29403

Ans and I took it to Minero this past Saturday for leisurely catch up sesh.  Super cute, super small on East Bay Street Minero is the latest offering from the Neighborhood Group.  It is a fresh take on authentic Mexican-soooooo delish!

Minero 2Minero 3Minero 4Minero 1We started the meal with a very low-cal Queso Fundito with roasted poblano and chorizo served hot with mini homemade tortillas.  I had a Hotdog Comfit (yes, hotdog) and Deli Ham torta with avocado, tomato and poblano chipolte mayo.  Ans went for the veggie burrito and we had grilled Carolina Gold Corm with arroz rojo!  YUM!

The drink list was fantastic…my sangria was cool and crisp and I can’t wait to try the Dragon Rojo-tequilla, watermelon, jamaica tea syrup and kombucha.  Heaven!

Minero Restaurant
155 East Bay Street
Charleston, SC 29401

Our next Ladies lunch is going to be at 167 Raw-also on East Bay Street.  I can’t wait!  I hope everyone is having a great Monday!  XOXO,  Catherine

Southern Charm (ish)…

I’m pretty sure the biggest thing to hit Charleston since Sherman’s Army is Bravo’s portrait of the “genteel” south, Southern Charm (insert eye-roll here).  Though we all know it is purely for entertainment purposes,  there has been much debate about the picture it paints of the south and our beloved Charleston.

Although I have not watched a whole episode (I literally can’t-my TV automatically shuts off) what I have seen looks forced, insincere, self-serving, extremely boorish and so far from anything having to do with anything that makes Charleston Charleston.  Hats off to Bravo for the phenomenal background shots.  Maybe the upside to this debacle will be an increase in tourism dollars for the Lowcountry??!

What gives Charleston its “Southern Charm” is The Peanut Dude, the Pitt Street Bridge, The Spoleto Festival, Saturday’s on the IOP with friends, early morning surf at The Washout, Sunday dinner with the family, your fella’s pick of 100 stunning local golf courses, loyalty, friendship, a love of the ocean and a sense of heritage that brings you closer to your neighbor-not sets you apart.  Boo-hiss Bravo, boo-hiss!

Do you have an opinion of this carpet-bagging faker??!  I’m shuwa that you do dawlin’!!!  xoxo, Lavie