This Journal Post is part of our series of different city reports. Through our continuous observations of local and global shifts in the socio-cultural sphere, we are able to provide insights from a variety of creative perspectives.
Everyday in July, around three o’clock, the clouds roll in. Billowing high into the sky, it seems like all of Charleston could fit inside it. The dark bottom weighs closer and closer to the ground, heavy with water. It only takes ten minutes for it to empty on us, turning our streets into rivers that rush into drains. The drains disappear into the harbor, the harbor to the sea. Summer in Charleston is extreme: extremely hot, extremely wet, and extremely humid. It’s an extremely ridiculous time to visit, but still the tourists come in droves. No one told them to pack for the Amazon, no one told them about the monsoons. They come because they have heard that Charleston is the best city in the world, but no one told them how still and heavy the air is after the rain.
Last year, Conde Nast Traveler reader’s choice voted Charleston, South Carolina the Best City in the World, with Cape Town and Florence pulling second and third place — yeah, we thought it was weird too. This year, Travel + Leisure has named Charleston the 10th Best in the World and number one in the U.S. and Canada, beating San Francisco and New York. If all of these accolades aren’t going to our heads, we have also shamelessly collected awards for America’s Most Attractive City, Friendliest City and second Best-Dressed City. It feels like, all of a sudden, the entire country — and apparently the world — is watching Charleston. And for an old Southern town steeped in good manners and tradition, it’s a lot to handle.
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