Archive | August, 2012

At the Edge of America: Wherein I make excuses for a pathetic lack of photos

3 Aug
charleston house

A photo of a house in Charleston. I did not take this photo. I “borrowed” it.  Source

Earlier this week, I spent 36 hours in what is arguably the most beautiful city in the South. I ate grouper and key lime pie and grilled crab cakes. I navigated my rental car through downtown Charleston’s maze of one-way streets, all spilling over with fanny-packed tourists in pleated shorts. I saw the dusky sky over the low country, brightened by a lightning storm. With every blink I saw something begging to be photographed– canopies of live oak trees dripping with Spanish moss, and rows of Charleston’s signature single houses, all rimmed with piazzas. In case you’re curious about these houses, here’s one I’m considering purchasing… once the price drops by $8 million.

So, yeah. I’m not the first person to ramble on about how photogenic Charleston is, and I certainly won’t be the last. I say all of this simply to note that, despite the beauty here, I took only six photos during my stay. Six.

Why?

Well, because I am the worst photo-taker you know (the word ‘photographer’ doesn’t even apply here). It never matters how amazing my photo subjects are, I manage to produce the most dreadfully boring photos ever. The angles are all wrong, the lighting is unfortunate, my hand starts to shake, and a sunset becomes one big pastel smudge. It’s bad. So, I choose instead to let my memory stand in for the photos that never seem to accurately depict my surroundings. Thank HEAVENS for the talented photographers who will be shooting the photos for this book!

“How bad are these photos, really?” you ask.

Here’s one of the six:

This photo is not fair to this crepe. It was really really good. Getcha’ one! Head to Folly Beach, SC the next time you start jonesing for the ocean. Destin has been done to death, anyway!

Yeah. THAT bad. Cloudy day at Folly Beach, nondescript snack– poorly executed iPhone photo of said snack. As always, I am totally overachieving here. HOWEVER, the people who made that snack truly ARE overachievers. Yukari Yada and John Baker have been serving up an enormous menu of Tokyo-style crepes for the past four years, out of their food truck, Tokyo Crepes, at Folly Beach (about 15 miles outside of Charleston).  Maybe I’m missing the mark here, but South Carolina just might be the last place on earth I would have expected to find Tokyo-style crepes.

I suppose I oughta first tell you what a Tokyo-style crepe is, eh? Well, to be perfectly honest, I had no idea until a few days ago. I think we’re all probably familiar with traditional French crepes, which are usually rolled with fillings and served on a plate. Tokyo crepes, on the other hand, are sold cone-style and they seemed a little thicker and fluffier than their paper-thin French counterparts.

In the spirit of thorough research, I ordered two. The picture doesn’t really convey the size of these things, but they were enormous and packed full of fruit, chocolate and ice cream. I ordered the Sweet Devil and the Crunchy Apple.

That Sweet Devil was packed full of strawberries, sweet red beans (frequently used in Japanese confections), caramel sauce, vanilla ice cream.

Tokyo Crepes: A little bit of Japan, on the “Edge of America” (as Folly Beach is knowncream, whipped cream and poki (thin chocolate-dipped cookie sticks). Those sweet red beans, indeed, taste like beans. I didn’t pick up a whole lot of sweetness; in fact, that were kind of earthy, which I liked. It really cut the sweetness a bit

The Crunchy Apple was filled with ice cream, whipped cream, freshly chopped apples, caramel and Frosted Flakes. Both crepes were delicious and perfect for a muggy beach day– like ice cream cones, but so much better.  And if you’re wondering, the answer is no, I did not eat them both myself. I’m shared them with my darling mother, who is accompanying me on this trip. She was a huge fan of those crepes!

More updates coming! I’ve already moved on through Atlanta. So much to say about that one. Ceviche! Lobster mac ‘n cheese! Kale waldorf salad! Traffic! Madness! Food trucks EVERYWHERE.