CHRIS BATTAGLIA

Thoughts

Charleston, SC

Perhaps it was the elegantly designed home - exquistely historical for the quiet of a Downtown Charleston - as setting for a work weekend. Or, perhaps it was the way two friends turn into colleagues and business partners for a day. Make no mistake, a weekend of lookbook photography in Charleston, SC turned out new friendship, successful work, and a new appreciation for an incredibly easy-to-love American city.

Beginning the tour with an illustrious cold brew at Black Tap Coffee and fine meal at Xiao Bao Biscuit set a postive tone for the weekend. Amanda Greeley (AG), a recent transplant to Charleston, has been finding the spots to eat, drink, relax, work, and daydream for several months now. Xiao Bao had her favorite Asian/southern comfort food - not surprising, also was its refurbished gas station setting and wildly creative cocktail menu. XBB was the meal that supplied enough energy to scout locations for the following day's shoot with gusto and excitement through each new setting and potential backdrop.

AG tells me later in the first evening of arrival that we needed to procure a marble pedestal table for the shoot. One that she didn't own, of course. But rather, housed at Bin 152 down King Street in the French Quarter. This is a wine bar that sells wine, cheese, art, and the tables on which you might be dining. Knowing this, AG and I approach the owner, politely ask to borrow a table from the back for 24 hours, and walk out the door with this 100+ lb prop in tow, a half a mile from home. Incredible (already I've noticed) is the character of the general population of a Charleston local.

Dinner and Moscow Mules at The Rarebit, the launch party for Charleston's own Merman Supply Co. at the enticing King Dusko shop. Would love to have a shop akin to this one day, a place where gathering, eating, drinking, and the community are championed. En route home from the launch, we encountered a dude named Black Dave. Energetic and conversant, he gave his time to chat with us passersby through the storefront at which he was working. His website is shotby.blackdave.org. Incredible. Happy to have had enlightening and worthwhile chatting for no good reason besides general interpersonal interaction that should happen more often.

Saturday brought an early morning, and a host of lovely ladies from the College of Charleston, volunteering their day to model, produce, and facilitate the Tink + Tiger lookbook shoot. It After a full morning and afternoon of work, a successful shoot meant celebrating properly. New friend and Southern spirit animal, Josh Allbritton, AG and I relocated the pedestal table all the way down from Queen to King.

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After meeting at the notorious Li'l Cricket on the corner (you know, the seedy Li'l Cricket that one always meets at), we ate shrimp and grits, tomato pie, and cooked a bounty that evening for the crew who so willingly gave their day to AG's fashion cause.

By Sunday, we covered ground on foot and in AG's stylish convertible from the Charleston Police headquarters to Folly Beach. At the end of the weekend, we made good things, I broke in some damn good work boots, and Charleston was a great reason to make a strong drink and celebrate me home, back to New York.

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