Charleston, Charleston

streets-wm2I arrived last week in Charleston, South Carolina to begin a semester teaching as the Arnold Distinguished Visiting Chair in Jewish Studies at the College of Charleston.

It will be an adventure, as I have never taught a course before…. I’ve taught my first two classes and so far, it seems to be going well: engaged students (a mix of undergraduates and community auditors), interesting discussion.

Meanwhile, I’ve been exploring Charleston — where I have never been before. So far, I have not been off the Peninsula, or old town; but I’ve spent hours walking around the streets. And, of course, stopping off in some of the excellent restaurants….today I had my first “she-crab soup” and “shrimp and grits.”

As it happens, I love grits. I often bring them back from the states to Europe with with me. Oddly enough, the first time I remember eating grits was not in the south — but on the French Line ocean liner the SS Liberté, sailing from New York to France, when I was about 12. We had them for breakfast; it seemed a rather exotic dish.

Today, I visited the Slave Mart Museum, whose small exhibition space was quite crowded with visitors (I’ll be writing about this more); also I made a second visit to the central market, a sort of covered crafts market non unreminiscent of the Sukiennice in the main market square of Krakow, though of course with different merch.

And I took pictures of the paving.

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