Category Archives: Film

All that Lowcountry Jazz

Kick off your pre-Labor Day weekend with some live Jazz Performances at the Lowcountry Jazz Festival

Kick off your pre-Labor Day weekend with some live Jazz Performances at the Lowcountry Jazz Festival

Another year rolling on by and another late summer/early fall Charleston and Savannah
Jazz Festival in two big time coastal destinations along the Heritage Corridor, Charleston South Carolina and Savannah Georgia coming at you one more time. Time is running short to snag your tickets for the sixth annual LowCountry Jazz Festival at the North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center, August 28th through the 31st. This year’s opening act Bobby Caldwell promises to set the tone right from the jump on Thursday night with his long line of jazz favorites including his renowned “What you won’t do for Love”.

Make sure you secure your ticket for any of the four nights you plan to be in attendance at the Lowcountry Music Festival.

Free form outdoor jazz concerts in Forsyth Park every September

Free form outdoor jazz concerts in Forsyth Park every September

On completion of the Charleston Jazz fest, just follow Highway 17 in a southbound direction on past the outskirts of Charleston apiece until you cross the Savannah River a few hours later if you are thinking about taking in the sights and sounds of these two sister cities, Savannah and Charleston. You can always count on the granddaddy of lowcounty Jazz Festivals to take place as usual in Forsyth Park later this month. For over thirty years, the very best musicians have been delivering every jazz genre known to music lovers everywhere to be found exclusively in it’s low country habitat every September under the auspices of the Savannah Music Festival.  This year’s event runs for six nights starting September 21st and ends on September 27th and features our personal favorite, “Steady Rolling” Bob Margolin in the prime time spot on Thursday night, September 25thon the outdoor stage under the band shell at Forsyth Park.

Day and Night, free outdoor jazz concerts during the Savannah Jazz Festival

Day and Night, free outdoor jazz concerts during the Savannah Jazz Festival

Just another late summer early fall in music paradise where you can boogie like a local to our always tasty low country musical fare.

Lucky 7th Savannah CraftBrew Fest

Swigging with 5000+ beer lovers

The beer will be flowing freely on Hutchinson Island this coming pre-Labor Day weekend as the seventh annual Savannah Craft Brew Fest get’s well under way. If past coastal Georgia craft brew fests are any indication, you can expect 5,000+ cold brew lovers to raise tasting glasses in approximately 30 days as they seek their favorite brewery product line at this popular tasting event.

As a past spokesman said in years past from the Savannah Convention and Visitors Bureau “I think as long as the weather holds out for this up until now highly successful Savannah Craftbrew Fest, great crowds will continue to come in increasing numbers to what is becoming a great Savannah Tradition year after year.” Check the video below to see remind you of why it is you likely want to be in attendance.

Plan your Savannah weekend getaway if you expect to be there for the kick-off of this year’s Saturday event on August 30th. Last chance to receive 20% off (save $10) on the price of admission to this 150 brewery beer tasting event, so buy your tickets online today before the end of the day on July 31st, 2014!

The Art of Cooling Off In The Hostess City

Escape the dog days of Summer at the Jepson Cafe during their Art on Tap craft beer fest.

Escape the dog days of Summer at the Jepson Cafe during their Art on Tap craft beer fest.

As the dog days of summer reach ever higher temperatures, here is a tip to keep you both cool and informed while touring the Hostess City known as downtown Savannah. Check out an extraordinary collection of modern day renderings in the cool, cool Jepson Center while cooling off in the Hostess City. Dedicated to the always relevant art of the day, the modern Jepson Center completes their namesake’s trifecta by connecting the future with its past through unifying the museum’s three unique artistic destination sites, two of which are found on Telfair Square and the third off of Olgethorpe Square. The crown in the jewel of the Telfair Museum complex, the Jepson Center was designed by Moshe Safdie, boasts a modern 7500 Square feet striking facility that was initially opened to the public in 2006.

 

Moshe Safdie designed Jepson Center fronting Oglethorpe Street from the north side of the district.

Moshe Safdie designed Jepson Center fronting Oglethorpe Street from the north side of the district.

The Jepson Center is home to one of Savannah’s favorite son’s, art historian Kirk Varnedoe and the collection contemporary with his life, a mainstay of the rich collection of the museum’s holdings. Hitting the highlights on other modern era works, discerning art lovers will find art in a paper medium by some of the most important artists of the past half century. From Jasper Johns, and Chuck Close, all the way through to Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, and Richard Avedon, the museum’s diverse contemporary collection also features important works by William Christenberry, Helen Levitt, Sam Gilliam, James Brooks, and many notable Georgia artists. When you consider the Jepson hosts a variety of traveling art exhibits and live exhibitions as diverse as Flamenco Dancing

to Tibetan Monks creating Mandalas out of sand, the summer time is the right time to get out of the heat and into the cool at the Jepson.

Tibetan Monks create mandalas within the Jepson Center as art lovers look on

With that in mind, the Jepson’s popular Art on Tap series promises to be timely for the month of July. The Jepson has partnered up with Athens, Georgia brewery favorite Terrapin Beer in this rotating series of art, wineries, and breweries. Nurture your artistic side as you knock back a cool one during the dog days of summer from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Jepson Café on Thursday, July 17th.

Memorial Day

Military_branches

DziadekI was 12 when My grandfather, Stanley Kiefski, passed away. A Navy veteran who was lucky enough to be on a boat returning to California shortly before Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor. I may have never met him. I don't remember a whole lot of the funeral, the day, or the weather. I think it was cold. What I do remember was taps playing, guns firing, and a folded flag.  

It wasn't until I moved to Savannah that I began to recognize what "duty, honor, country", meant. More than words General MacArthur gave. It was real and whole. It has mass and body. Mass, of the many that hear the call to join our armed forces. Body, of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. 

 

 

Savannah is military. Past, present, and future.

We have:
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Hunter Army Airfield, in Savannah, is home of the Army Rangers 1st Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment.

Fort Stewart, 20 minutes south of Savannah, is home of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division and is the largest military base east of the Mississippi. 

Parris Island, 40 minutes north of Savannah, is a Marine training facility turning out nearly 17,000 recruits a year.

Kings Bay Navy Submarine Base, 100 miles south of Savannah, is the U.S. Atlantic Fleet's home port for the Navy's ballistic missile nuclear submarines.

FLETC (Federal Law Enforcement Training Center) ,70 miles south of Savannah, serves as an interagency law enforcement training organization for 91 federal agencies, partner organizations along with state, local, rural, tribal, territorial, and international law enforcement agencies.

All this, combined with Savannah's amazing military history, makes it hard not to notice the non-stop effort it takes to provide our nation's freedom. 

 Just about anywhere in Savannah you can find reminders, markers, and monuments honoring Savannah's importance to the very life of this nation. A visit to Bonaventure Cemetery you can find markers to veterans of the American Revolution, Civil War, Spanish American War, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, and nearly every military skirmish in between. 

For those visiting Savannah interested in honoring our military, I would suggest:

Bonaventure Cemetery. Go to the visitors center for a free map to find the military plot and also the somewhat hidden plot of the dead from the Spanish American War. I can't say enough of this cemetery. It's a must do!

The Mighty Eighth Museum. Located 1 exit south of the Savannah airport on I 95. It is a fitting place to honor this prestigious group of airmen and their place in military history. 

Ww2savmemorial

 

Savannah's World War II memorial is a spectacular addition on the west side of River Street. Called "A World Apart" and shows a globe cut in half portraying the European and Pacific theaters. It features names of locals who lost their lives in that war. It's bigger than I imagined it would be, and rivals monuments in our nation's capitol. 

 

 

locals insider tip … Kevin Barry's Pub located on River Street. The second floor of this local and tourist favorite is called the Hall of Heroes and is a moving tribute to our military. I had the privilege to walk through this with one of the survivors of a little battle you may know as Black Hawk Down. He was visibly moved by this place as am I. I personally knew several soldiers that are on these walls. Can't believe they are gone. Guys I knew downtown. Drinking buddies. Friends. Immortally heroes. 

Mason

I dedicate this blog to Sgt. Mason Lewis. A friend, a co-worker, an employee. Killed in Iraq on November 16, 2007 while helping train members of the Iraqi military. Mason was the first person I knew die in Iraq or Afghanistan.  Remembering, honoring, memorializing. It's simply not enough for our bravely fallen, but it's all I can do today. I'm drinking a beer for you today Mason. 

 

 

 


 



 

 

 

It’s always GOLF season!

I remember as a child, watching The Masters
Masterson the television with my family in Pennsylvania. It was as much an art and nature spectacle as it was a sporting event. It was nearly impossible for us in central Pennsylvania to comprehend a place so green, so lush, and so fully in bloom anywhere in North America, seeing as we were still very much stuck in winter.

 

 

5tt56y66yThis is the primary reason I moved south nearly 20 years ago. I have zero interest in ice skating or skiing. I lived less than 10 miles from a ski resort and never went skiing there. ZERO INTEREST. I fish. I golf. I do neither in the snow. I often get asked why I moved south and my number one answer is, "golf year round".

There is just something about being out on the course, any time of day, any day of the week. Like so much of Savannah, golf here is so laid back. Probably because of the fact that we can play year round, we don't have tee times that start at 5:30am, and we don't have 5 months out of the year where our courses are closed.

Between Savannah and Hilton Head there must be thirty plus golf courses open to the public, all within a 45 minute drive of downtown Savannah!
Savannah is the home of many "firsts". Here is one many don't know. It's the birthplace of golf in the United States!
Savagolf
The Savannah Golf Club started in 1794! Civil war fortifications on the property were left in tact as part of the design of the course. Unfortunately this is a private course, but there are so many public and "semi-private" courses to choose from in the area.

For quality courses close to downtown, your best bets are The Club at Savannah Harbor, Wilmington Island Golf Club, and Southbridge Golf Club. Other good choices in the Savannah area include Henderson Gold Club and Crosswinds Golf Club.

For a little longer drive out of Savannah, the Bluffton/Hilton Head area is a virtual mecca of golf. While there are great choices on Hilton Head itself the best deals are located "off island" in Bluffton. My absolute favorite course in the area is Hilton Head National. Located Off island it rivals the quality of any of the semi-private resort courses on Hilton Head for much less money.

Insider tip: Use Golf Now to book your tee time. It's free to use and can save you over 50% on tee times.

The quality of golf in the Savannah area is recognized by the PGA Tour and the Champions Tour by back to back tournaments here in the area. The PGA's RBC Heritage visits Hilton Head the week after The Masters and the following week the Champions Tour visits Savannah with The Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf. This is a great time to be here as many of the professional golfers play both tournaments and stay in the area for both weeks. (Many can be seen in our restaurants and local watering holes)

Alligator-golf-ball-300x200With our warm climate and plethora of great golf courses, Savannah is a great place to visit for thegolfer and golf fan any time of year. While playing, keep an eye out for alligators and bald Eagles during your round. They can be found around the area year round!

Some local golf trivia:

PGA Tour Pros Brian Harmon and Gene Sauers hail from Savannah.

The movie The Legend of Bagger Vance was filmed in parts of Savannah.

Boys of Summer

IMAG0476_BURST015It’s springtime in Savannah! It’s just a glorious time to be here. With our St. Patrick’s Day event, Savannah Music Festival, pro golf visits, endless flowers in bloom, not to mention PERFECT

WEATHER! Springtime also brings one of my favorite Savannah activities …
Savannah Sand Gnat baseball!

2407839335_977e74687b_zThe history of the Sand Gnats in Savannah dates back to 1904! Historic Grayson Stadium , the Savannah Sand Gnats home, was constructed the year Marilyn Monroe and Andy Griffith were born, 1926. A year that saw the first flight over the north pole, the first transatlantic phone call (from London to NYC), and the passing of Annie Oakley 

After a hurricane leveled much of the original structure in August of 1940, a rebuliding effort began on the stadium in 1941 spearheaded by it’s namesake, Spanish-American War veteran, General William L. Grayson. Though the United States entry into World War II delayed the completion of the metal roof, play continued during the 1941 season as the rebuilding progressed.

Joe-jackson

Historic Grayson Stadium, like it’s home of Savannah, has seen history and made some along the way.
It has had legends such as Shoeless Joe Jackson, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle and Jackie Robinson play on it’s turf. It also saw the South Atlantic League color barrier break in the with Al (Izzy) Israel and Junior Reedy in the 1953 Opening Day line up.

Since 1996 the Savannah Sand Gnats have placed 62 players into “the show” (the major leagues)! It’s what I love about seeing minor league ball. The chance to see someone play that, in a few years, will be building a hall of fame resume.

The opening day game for the Gnats this year is April 4th and the regular season runs into September. That gives us plenty of opportunities to enjoy a day at the park. Different days mean
different things at Grayson and my favorite, “Thirsty Thursdays”, appeal to many Savannahians need for beer and drinks. Nearly every night features some sort of promotion including many nights of fireworks! Enjoy a day at the park during your visit! Watch the future visit the past during the present!

(insider tip) Bring bug spray!
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Evidently actual sand gnats enjoy warm still nights and baseball fans of Savannah. Also, enjoy the antics of Gnate the Gnat! of sports BEST mascots! Gnate has his own Facebook page and has been featured on ESPN!

 

Ghost Hunting in Savannah

Savannah has been rumored to be the most “Haunted City in
America” and 3-D Ghost Hunters is
here to prove it.  Originating in
Savannah in April of 2010, this young group is quickly gaining local popularity
and national recognition.  They recently
negotiated being a regular feature every few months on WJCL/Fox 28 News, in a "Spooky Town" segment and one if its’ founders, Ryan Dunn, was also
included on My Ghost Story on the
A&E Biography network where he discussed their findings at The Savannah Theatre.  (October or November air date to be
announced.)  
Savannah Theatre

They have also caught the
attention of some national production companies and recently met with one to
show them around some well known haunted places in Savannah for consideration
in two episodes of their 2013 line up. 
The details can not currently be discussed at this time, but the team is
extremely excited for the opportunity.
Everyone in the group
has always had an interest in the paranormal, having encountered unexplained
experiences themselves prior to its’ forming, and each of them are always eager
to share their stories.  The group is
dedicated to learning more about these phenomenon and sharing their findings
with those who have also had other worldly experiences of their own.
Having investigated several places in Savannah, their main priority is to ensure all information when
conducting an investigation is as accurate as possible, including a full
historical time line of every location. 
Using scientific methods and equipment, they will always try to find a
reasonable and rational explanation as to why something is happening or
occurring.  The evidence that they share
in video, EVP’s and photos are, of course, open to interpretation and a
paranormal explanation is their last conclusion.
Colonial Markers
They are hosting a Haunted Scavenger
Hunt
this Thursday (September 27th), where teams of five will
work together to answer clues along a pre-determined route that will include stops at some of Savannah’s most
famous Haunted Places like Savannah Theatre and Colonial Cemetery; along the way will be included some haunted
Savannah history and a lot of fun.  The first Team to submit their entry – with the most
correct answers – will be locked down with 3-D Ghost Hunters in Moon River Brewing Company for a
Paranormal Investigation.

To learn more about the Scavenger Hunt – or if you are
interested in having 3-D Ghost Hunters investigate your location – please
contact them at threedghosthunters@hotmail.com.  

 

Summer Time and the Living’s Easy

Summer has officially arrived so grab the kids and head outside this weekend to enjoy the long, lazy days before it gets too hot!
Pick up locally grown, organic goodness at the Forsyth Farmer’s Market every Saturday morning on the South end of the park.  Fresh fruits and veggies, breads, meats and icy treats; all fresh from local gardens and farmers, are perfect for those summer picnics and grill outs with friends.  After you’ve stocked up, let the kids run off some energy at the playground, then cool off in the water jets at the band shell.
Forsyth Farmer's Market

If you haven’t started your own garden already, you’ll want to soon, and tomorrow you can learn all about gardening at Groovy Garden Day.  From how to plant a container garden or raised beds, to the benefits of composting and rain barrels, there will be plenty of demos for you to learn from.  Browse the different booths of crafts while the kids have fun with the bean bag toss, bubble games, story teller and face paintings.  Leopold’s Ice Cream will be there – and Quantum Catering will also have some tasty treats.  The best thing – it’s FREE!
Container Garden

You can beat the heat at the beach on Sunday at the Market at Tybee Island Lighthouse.  Take a dip in the ocean then stroll over to the Lighthouse where you can listen to live music while you browse and buy unique art, collectibles, fresh produce, gourmet foods and more.  Take a tour of the Tybee Light House and climb to the top for a breathtaking view of Tybee Island. 
Now through August, you can take advantage of the Summer Movie Series where several of Savannah’s movie theatres will be featuring morning movies on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for $1 or $2 – a great way to start the day with the little ones!
Savannah offers so many fun (and free) things to do; no wonder we were ranked #3 in “Best Affordable US Destinations” by U.S. News Travel.  If you haven’t visited Savannah yet – what are you waiting for?

Savannah Leg of the Tall Ship Challenge

Tall Ship Peaehmaker

Up to 15 tall sailing ships are expected to be visiting along River Street in the Port of Savannah on the weekend of May 3 through 7 with opportunities to go aboard these impressive wind powered monarchs of the sea from yesteryear or maybe even take a three hour harbor cruise. Thanks to a lot of planning by the Savannah Waterfront Association and the Convention and Visitors Bureau according to a recent article in the Savannah Morning News, this much anticipated event is a timely stop between Jacksonville and Charleston for this sailing event held every year.

Tall Ship Le Belle Poule

Planning that began six years ago will culminate May 2012 when Savannah becomes a stop for tall sailing ships racing along the Atlantic coast. Up to 15 tall ships will dock in Savannah May 3-7, 2012, as part of the “Tall Ships Challenge 2012, Atlantic Coast” race, Kenny Hill, executive director of Savannah Riverfront, said Monday.

Tall Ship Dewaruci

The schedule calls for the race to start in Jacksonville, Fla., in late April, come to Savannah, for the Savannah Tall Ships Challenge leg then move on to Charleston S.C., , followed by stops in Greenport, N.Y., Newport, R.I. and Massachusetts Outports before winding up in late July at Halifax and Nova Scotia Outports.

Tall Ship Pride of Balty

Hill said Savannah Riverfront and Visit Savannah each have pledged $100,000 in seed money and will be working in coming months to raise another $200,000 from private sponsors. Joe Marinelli, president of Visit Savannah, said the goal is to bring 15 of the tall ship challengers to the City of Savannah. A number of viewing opportunities will be offered at a variety of price points, Hill said, with discounts for children. Visitors will be able to board the ships for $10 and go for two- or three-hour sails for about $50, Hill said. One of the big goals is to educate youth, he said.

The Savannah Black Heritage Festival

Black History 1

The 23rd Annual Savannah Black Heritage Festival kicks off its celebration on February 1, 2012, and will continue through Thursday, February 16th with a smorgasbord of festival events. Each year, the festival presents programs and activities in the performing and visual arts for every age and every interest in school settings and in the public domain. A strong commitment to family and fun are featured in Low Country Savannah in the traditional Black History celebratory month of February.

Black History 1_1

This year’s event is no different with a strong emphasis on Black cultural activities including dance, music, visual art exhibitions international and local in scope, culinary arts activities, crafts workshops and much, much more. Plan to be in attendance on the gala Grand Festival Day on February 11th in Savannah’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Center from morning on into the evening. The theme of this year’s festival is Journey’s, Passages, and Transitions.

Black History 3

Attend the 23rd Annual Savannah Black Heritage Festival and enjoy the rich cultural contribution of Black Americans in Coastal Georgia’s Destination Savannah. Plan your trip around the posted schedule and secure your free tickets online as some events require these seating arrangements. The Festival is sponsored by the City of Savannah and Savannah State University.