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Humans have recycled materials since ancient times, turning waste into new products. But nature is also a master recycler, especially when it comes to glass objects that have been discarded into the oceans. The abrasive action of water and sand, manipulated by currents and tides, and the chemistry of the ocean environment can create unique textures on the surfaces of glass items that human technology would be hard-pressed to create. And exposure to sunlight often results in color changes in the glass itself, turning once-clear glass to subtle and unique hues. Collectors prize these nature-made works of "sea glass," and delight in the quest to identify their origins. Nationally known photographer Celia Pearson was commissioned to produce 150 images of the sea glass collection of Marylanders Richard and Nancy LaMotte - comprising some 30,000 pieces for their 2004 book Pure Sea Glass. Since then these small treasures, including collections from Italy and Spain, have been an enduring inspiration for Pearson. A selection of her intriguing photographs is featured in an exhibition titled Celia Pearson: Glass Transformed, A Photographer Explores Sea Glass, opening Oct. 1 at the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum. The exhibit runs through Dec. 29 with gallery hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays. A reception will be held on Oct. 16 at 2 p.m. with the artist as special guest to give a talk followed by a book signing. Seating is limited, and reservations are required. Produced with archival inkjet technology, Pearson's photographs can be as large as thirty inches in size, offering the viewer a surprising and surreal view as tiny pieces of colored glass assume the appearance of massive sculptures. Pearson observes, "I came to experience sea glass as a photographer rather than a collector. I have always been compelled by its physical beauty. Part of the beauty of sea glass is that it has its own light. Light makes these bits of sea glass come alive." Observing her own images, Pearson adds that they are often about order, balance and harmony. "I see this glass not only through the lens of my camera but also through the lens of my own particular passions. Regardless of how they came to be, you will see these images through the lens of your own particular passions, and thereby this glass will be, once again, transformed." The Art Museum is located at 3100 S. Ocean Blvd. Admission to the Museum is free at all times, but donations are welcomed. For further information, call 843-238-2510 or visit www.MyrtleBeachArtMuseum.org.
Cuban-style burger. The best ever!
So Bobby Flay came over to grill burgers last night...No, he didn't...He came into my bedroom one morning with a big...No, not really! I mean his show came on TV one morning as I was waking late. The resulting recipe for his Cuban-style burger turned out to be the best burger I ever ate. Swiss cheese, ham, dill pickle and all layered onto a well-done lean burger with more cheese and smashed on a fat onion bun. I must admit that I used the correct ingredients, but not his preparation at all, for the mayo-mustard-garlic spread which is also a tasty addition to almost any sandwich.
Thanks, Bobby! Bring it and Mitch can grill it. What are we doing next?
Our new travel app Myrtle Beach's Best is now available for download via iTunes for iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. It's $1.99 with free updates forever. As you might expect, it's written in our two strong and opinionated voices. You wouldn't want any less than honest reviews and opinions of locals when planning your trip, right? It includes more than 130 insightful entries, richly visual slide shows with 1120 views and a Google map for each entry; one-touch phone calling to that business; one-touch access to the establishment website; relevant hours and pricing information and immediate access to some YouTube or user reviews. You can add your own comments too. These categories are offered: Attractions, Beaches, Best Dinners, Day Trips, Easy Lunches, Entertainment, Festivals, Golf, Shopping and Top Hotels. An alphabetical listing of everything is shown, and it can be sorted by city, by distance from wherever you are, by price or by category: The introduction to the golf listings offers a slide show of some beautiful Myrtle Beach National courses: Sutro Media is a new kind of app publishing company, one that bridges the gap between traditional print media and new media outlets. It’s amassing the world’s largest collection of indie travel writing voices to create new products on the exciting and versatile mobile platform. If you travel, you will find it easy and fun to explore the world using a mobile phone. You may be standing on a street corner surfing for a reliable restaurant or lying on the couch planning a tour, and the app will lead you by the hand. No need for a phone book, a map or even the Internet to find where to shop, dine or play in Myrtle Beach when you have the app on your mobile device. Sutro Media currently has more than 60 apps for sale on iTunes and another 175 in the pipeline. Let us know what you think.
Panini's has been our favorite Beaufort, SC restaurant for years. There's no better view of the sunset over Waterfront Park and no comparable pizza for sure. Always trying to top their own success, they're serving new specialties this weekend for the Beaufort Shrimp Festival. The People's Choice winner for so many years we all lost count, and we'll see some serious competition again. The historic bank is a lovely building, easy to find downtown on the corner of Bay Street and within walking distance from any of the bed and breakfasts and a couple of hotels. Or walk up from the park to the back for casual outdoor dining during almost any season . The pizza and pasta have been my favorites, although the big salad and crusty focaccia have kept me happy for about a hundred lunches. Of course the panini needs no explanation -- plenty of varieties on the menu. Hoagies are on the new fall menu, and I'll be tasting the blackened flounder hoagie with caper remoulade sauce on my next lunch visit. The new menu features even more local seafoods with Nick's special touches. His heritage is Italian, and his thinking is Italian albeit with South Carolina lowcountry accents. My small plate order of peel and eat local shrimp, lager steamed with old bay, was a big meal for me. Nothing small about it. Plan on plenty of napkins and cold beverage too! It's spicy and just right. As an experienced critic of all things shrimp, I can promise the shrimp bisque on the starter menu is some of the best ever. The Italian taste is pepperoni. What a great combination! Any of the seafood tapas are tasty too, with more variety and unique presentation that you will find anywhere in town. Our friends who eat calamari everywhere they go will be right at home with the almond crusted dish and spicy aioli plus fra diavolo sauce. For dinner, everyone loves the Mediterranean Shrimp and Grits. It's simply made with pancetta polenta which is an improvement over many traditional recipes. One of my personal favorites is the new Flounder Francaise with lemon butter and almonds, plus pancetta polenta. If you crave paella, this is the right place -- the only place to fall in love! Know about my favorite dessert? Well, two or three actually, and they're here! Creme brule, tiramisu or chocolate panini, just for me. Yummmmmm Guess we'll be here a lot to sample more new dishes, but never too far from a mac and cheese (5 imported cheeses) or a Mediterranean pizza fresh from this brick oven. Hope we'll see you too!
Luckily, we did find Girlieman Chic’s doors open year round. Girlieman Chic is a women’s consignment store that packs a ton of bargains into a tiny space and is opening in a new larger location down the street October 1. I would highly recommend starting from the back and working your way to the front since I discovered a Chico’s brand dress in the Final Clearance room in the back for only $3 that fit me like a well worn glove and was in like new condition! In addition to clothes they have a very funky collection of shoes and handbags and some rather amusing buttons, cards and trinkets. The owner’s sense of humor shows through in her store, a trait we greatly appreciate! Additionally, the Life is Good store: At Home with Style is open year-round and is full of all the neat items that make that brand so fun. They also have a variety of upscale home decor items that would make planning for your next cocktail party a blast! Another section of the retail shop includes pampered pet specialty products like bowls, leashes and outfits for your 4-legged companion and carriers for the smallest of the species deigned to resemble couture handbags. After checking out a few other beachy shops, some open and some not, and making notes of the ones we hope to explore on the inside during our next stop over in sunny, (and HOT!) southwest Florida, we decided to make a stop in a local eatery for a snack and cold libation. It was late afternoon and as they say “five o’clock somewhere!” so we decided a cerveza and some chips and salsa might be a nice snack. We had spotted Compadre’s Mexican restaurant when we first arrived on Dearborn Street and thought the front porch there looked like a beckoning spot to sit and take in the scenery while cooling down with a cold one. The staff was friendly and we enjoyed the authentic chips and salsa along with a couple of Coronas and decided that while Englewood is certainly on the sleepy side, it was a very relaxing stop in our tour around South Florida.
WaterScapes at the Marina Inn at Grande Dunes reflects Executive Chef James Clark’s emphasis on sustainable foods. He’s particularly proud of the eggs. An omelet, scrambled or fried egg at WaterScapes is made with a hormone free and truly free ranged egg. The weekly delivery of 30 dozen from Travis Hughey’s farm brings a rich flavor to breakfast dishes as well as desserts. The Hughey’s Red Star chickens are a breed famed for big brown eggs. One breakfast entrée specialty is the Shrimp & Crab Omelet which combines sweet bay shrimp, jumbo lump crab, scallions and roasted red pepper coulis. Another tasty treat is the Bananas Foster French Toast with butter- and brown sugar-caramelized bananas glazed with dark rum. The chef’s favorite on the breakfast menu is Biscuits with Andouille Sausage Gravy. Andouille is a bold flavored sausage which lends an interesting twist to sausage gravy. WaterScapes serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with indoor or terrace seating facing the poolscape and marina. Marina Inn was recommended as a luxury choice in our book Myrtle Beach: A Guide to South Carolina's Grand Strand published by Channel Lake in the 2010 Tourist Town series. The restaurant was not covered, but it's a fine choice with the breakfast of special note plus lunch and dinner entrees also being fresh sustainable choices such as the Seared Grass Fed Beef Tenderloin or the Wood Grilled Pork which is accompanied by Carolina Barbecue Sauce. The fresh fish board changes daily with such features as mahi mahi or a Whole Crispy Black Bass. The wine list is equally impressive. Be sure to save room for the dessert specialties created by Pastry Chef Tina Spaltro. She's Italian American, and her passion for food combining Italian and American flavors is reflected in her work. My favorite just might be the Trio of Creme Brulee. Dining is possibly surpassed by the view of the marina on the Intracoastal Waterway. What do you think?
Here's Jack mingling and keeping things in order.After taking our seats we began to check out the place more carefully. There on the wall were articles from various magazines that had written about Jack’s. Among the most notable was an article that had been in Southern Living. I didn’t catch the date, but we all know that if it was in SL it has to be right, right? We continued reading the menu. If dogs are not your thing, you can always order a tofu dog with any of those same trimmings, or a fried carrot or Mercury Meat Loaf. So Jack’s is just not for dog lovers. It was then that we noticed that we had arrived at Jack’s at the right time. The line that I had started no more than five minutes ago had grown to six other parties of various sizes. Someone yelled out “Mitch” and I stepped up to pick up our order. Neither of us was disappointed. In fact, we were downright impressed. Maybe the best dog I have had since high school, when I really was a dog lover! Our time had been well spent in Jack’s Cosmic Dogs. We got a great meal, and the traffic was now back to its normal Talladega Speedway pace. Slightly half a mile up US 17 we saw the reason for our full stomachs and new experience. A van with a crunched front end had tried to climb up a telephone pole and only made it about ten feet up. Two other cars must have been looking at the van’s attempt to get to the top because they each had bashed-in doors, trunks and hoods. We kept our eyes on the road and continued north -- better for our experience at Jack’s. Now we’re planning when we might be passing that way again.