Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Searching For The Real Charleston

The Charleston City Market sits on land ceded to the city of Charleston in 1788 by Charles Pinckney. His only stipulation was that the land be used only for market space in perpetuity. And so it remains a market to this day.

Originally the city market housed vegetable, meat, and seafood vendors. Today, the market caters to the tourist trade, with vendors selling mainly souvenir-type products. For the most part, a better grade of souvenir can be had here, but the market is mainly an oversize souvenir outlet nonetheless.

Just outside the market, however, I found a vendor who I think is more in the spirit of the original market of agricultural products, Tony The Peanut Man. Evidently, Tony cannot afford one of the high-dollar stalls inside the market, so he sets up his table on a sidewalk just outside one of the market entrances. Here he can take advantage of the large crowds of tourists while keeping his overhead low. The American entrepreneur is alive and well in Charleston, and I thought this vendor was much more interesting and worthy of a photograph than any of the t-shirt and seashell jewelry hawkers inside the market.

Tony The Peanut Man, Charleston, SC  -  2013
(Click on photo to enlarge.)

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