Stop Drawing So Much Attention To Charleston—It Can't Handle It

Stop Drawing So Much Attention To Charleston—It Can't Handle It

How many tourists can the city take without losing that special charm that has made it such a unique destination?

For the fifth year in a row, readers of Travel + Leisure magazine have named Charleston, SC the number one city in the nation, as well as number 2 in the world.

Readers were asked to rate cities based on sights/landmarks, culture/arts, restaurants/food, people/friendliness, shopping and value. Now, you’d expect the locals, college students and business owners to rejoice at the recognition that their beloved city is receiving, right? WRONG. We actually HATE all of the attention, the same way we hate the sight of the big, ugly cruise ships sitting in the harbor. I guarantee that many people were filled with a sense of dread when they scrolled down to that headline, myself included. This is because for years there has been one question on everyone’s mind: how many tourists can the city handle without losing that special charm that has made it such a unique destination?

First of all, with all the hype surrounding the city, living costs inevitably rise. It becomes more and more difficult to find a house or apartment that is even close to being reasonably affordable and close to where you need to go. People are left with no choice but to either leave this beautiful city full of culture behind or to move to one of the surrounding communities, which makes rent prices there more competitive as well. After the arduous commute in rush hour traffic on roads that aren’t built for it, there are still the issues with parking. With all the outsiders coming in, on-street parking in the most urban areas is almost impossible to come by, and the parking garages aren’t that much better of an option for many people. As college students, when we tell someone that we live in Charleston, we are often told how lucky we are to spend most of the year in such an amazing city. However, what they don’t realize is that life here is not cheap, which makes it difficult for us.

Not only has it become expensive to rent housing in the city, it has also become more and more difficult for small businesses to keep their doors open due to rising leases. So many of the little shops and eateries that gave Charleston its charm have been taken over by larger department stores and hipster-style restaurants that are marketed for tourists. Though we may love having a Starbucks every couple of blocks, this only adds to the influx of tourists to the area. Without the unique experience that small businesses owned by friendly people provide, going out on the town in Charleston has started to feel like going to any indoor mall in any other city. The Preservation Society does what it can to keep the old-fashioned facades intact; however, on more than one occasion, they have lost out to the large corporations such as Apple who want to provide their customers with the same shopping experience in every one of their locations across the world. Those who remember the streets the way they used to be often long for the old days when the name shown in faded tile on the sidewalk in front of the stores matched the name on the front of building.

As college students, we get a unique perspective. The many of us that only live in Charleston for the duration of the fall and spring semesters get to see the city both as a local and as a tourist. We may gravitate towards the tourist-y things that the city has to offer, such as the farmer’s market and King Street shopping, but we also feel the pain of the locals when we see new hotels popping up in the skyline and have to deal with the confused drivers who don’t know how to handle all the one-way streets and other quirks that the city has to offer. The part of me that thinks of Charleston as my home away from home love the city and doesn’t want to see it change, and I know that there are many others who feel this way. USA Today perfectly summed up what we all want to say to everyone who tells us how lucky we are to be living our daily lives in such a beautiful destination in one sentence: “We’re flattered, but please stop.”

Cover Image Credit: Performance Impressions

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7 Walt Disney World Secrets You Have Never Heard Before

Shhhhhh! Top Secret!!!

When you go to Disney World, it feels like you've been transported into another world. Here are some secrets about how cast members and imagine-ers keep Walt Disney World so magical.

1. The smell of Main Street U.S.A.

When you walk into the Magic Kingdom, the first thing you see and smell is Main Street U.S.A. The scent of freshly baked cookies fills the air and many wonder how does Disney do this? It's actually piping that pumps the smell throughout the street.

2. Liberty Square's Authenticity

When you walk into Main Street U.S.A., not only will you smell cookies but you'll see a lot of patriotic spirit. The street is filled with American flags, but have you noticed that they are never at half mast? All the flags in Disney except the main flagpole American Flag are either missing a stripe or a star. This is to avoid having to raise and lower every single flag when the government says to have all flags at half mast.

4. The Haunted Pickle Jar

So the story goes as follows. Back when Tower of Terror was being built, apparently the imagine-ers had a joke about a pickle jar. It kept showing up when they were working and one person brought it in on the wrong day. They put the pickle jar on the table and it was gluing day. Because it was permanently stuck to the table, it is still a part of the ride to this day.

5. Tower of Terror's shape

There is a reason why the monorail doesn't stop immediately at the front of Epcot. Originally, Epcot was supposed to be two separate parks, Epcot's Future World and Epcot's World Showcase. The monorail was going to make two separate stops, but because of the marshy swamp lands in Florida, the ground wouldn't support the second station. If the monorail would've had two stations in Epcot, there would be five Disney parks throughout Walt Disney World.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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25 Things Everyone From Montgomery County, MD Knows Too Well

There is no place like home.

Other counties in Maryland may claim that they are the best county. However, I disagree with that statement and would argue that Montgomery County is one of the- if not the best county in Maryland. Here are 25 things all MoCo people will recognize and appreciate.

1. We're home to several famous people.

Logic, Wale, Daniel Stern (the dude from Home Alone), Joan Jett, Giuliana Rancic, and so many more.

2. The insane bag tax.

5 cents for a plastic bag? No thanks.

3. We have some pretty great high schools.

While we all complain about our school, you have to admit that they're nicer compared to other schools. In fact, the top five high schools in Maryland are all Montgomery County Public Schools.

4. High school football.

Friday night football is NO JOKE here in Montgomery County. We have some fierce rivalry (Quince Orchard vs. Northwest, Wootton vs. Churchill), some insane fanbases (Quince Orchard's Red Army), and some intense games.

5. No final exams.

Recently, Montgomery County Public School's took away final exams. Now, they replaced finals week with just regular unit tests at the end of the marking period.

6. Intense competition.

The competition between sports teams, classmates, and schools is insane. It is drilled into our heads that we have to do well and that we have to beat out other classes and schools for high test scores.

7. Edline

While MCPS did take away Edline this year (#rip), I will always remember the struggles of checking Edline and getting emails about updates in grading at the worst possible time.

8. Moco Snow

Whenever there is reports of snow, every student is checking Moco Snow. If he predicted 4 or 5 pencils, you know there isn't going to be school tomorrow.

9. Snow Days

Just a light flurry? Snow day. Seven inches of snow on the ground? Schools are open on time today.

10. Disney World!

LOL jk, it's actually a Mormon Temple (check it out here).

11. Washington D.C.

Since we are so close to D.C. (I mean we're "literally right outside D.C."), we've all definitely seen all the monuments in Washington D.C. and have probably done every possible touristy thing there is to do in D.C..

12. Montgomery Mall

The best place to shop in my opinion. We probably all hung out there as middle/high schoolers as well.

13. We have the best hangout spots.

You probably hung out in Kentlands (or what used to be known as Midtown), Rio, or Rockville Town Center growing up.

14. Yoyogi Sushi


15. Potomac

Want to see some beautiful homes? Take a drive down to Potomac- they have some huge homes.

16. The Billy Goat Trail

Want to go get some fresh air in the beautiful outdoors? Go take a hike (and an Instagram picture) at The Billy Goat Trail in Potomac!

17. Traffic

The traffic around Moco is INSANE. We are named #4 for the worst traffic in a city.

18. Speed Cameras

Watch out for those speed cameras, they're on every corner and will get you if you're not careful enough.

19. Everything is near each other.

Want to go get Chipotle but your friend wants Chick-fil-a? Don't worry they're probably right next to each other.

20. Slang

You're not excited over something, you're geeked. You haven't seen someone in a while, you haven't seen them in bricks. You don't know something, you're hip. This slang has gotten me some very confused looks outside of MoCo let me tell you that.

21. Real Housewives of Potomac

I've never even seen the show but when I found out that this was a thing, I had some real Moco pride.

22. So big, yet so small.

Everyone seems to know everyone in Montgomery County. It seems so tiny but in reality, Moco is huge (think of how far Damascus, Poolesville, and Clarksburg are).

23. College Park

When it's time to chose where to go to college, tons of MoCo people decide to go to College Park which sort of makes College Park like a MoCo Junior.

24. We've grown up in a pretty diverse community.

We've been exposed to several different cultures in MoCo which is something that is so unique to our county. We are also ranked in the top ten most diverse cities in all of America.

25. No place like home.

No matter where you go to college or where you end up living, Montgomery County will always have that special place in your heart.

Cover Image Credit: Wikipedia Commons

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