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Old 09-16-2011, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Savannah GA
13,708 posts, read 18,287,846 times
Reputation: 9968

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After living in this area for several years but visiting Charleston briefly only on occasion, I recently spent some extended time up there on two occasions and came away with a much better understanding of how these two cities are alike ... or rather how they are different.

In fact, I am now convinced this whole "sister cities" thing is a bunch of croc perpetuated by either welll-intentioned or naive (or both) travel writers and the tourists, because certainly no one who knows either city well -- especially politicians and residents -- would say such a thing.

What they DO express is a desire to be more like the other, more often than not from Savannah toward Charleston (cruise terminal, upscale shopping, aquarium). They love the laid-back party vibe on our River Street, we are drawn to the quiet beauty of their Battery overlooking the open sea. Both cities are historic port towns with great architecture and famous restaurants, but in vastly different ways too. And that was my most eye-opening impression:

Savannah, for all it lacks, is a MUCH larger tourist city than Charleston, with a much bigger historic district that completely envelopes a busy downtown core where real people live, work and go to school. Charleston's historic district on the other hand is relatively compact and defined not by boundaries but PROPERTIES deemed historically significant (most of Bay Street and even parts of King Street aren't considered "historic" in Charleston).

The flip side is, historic Charleston is only a dot on the pennisula of a MUCH larger and busier metro area. Due to geography alone, most all of the jobs, stores, and people have always been out in the areas surrounding Charleston, which kinda makes the city itself feel quaint and slow but gives a real hustle-bustle to North Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Goose Creek, etc. The upscale stores, fine restaurants and botique hotels of Charleston cater to a very narrow but affluent demo. As a necessity, Charleston's freeway system is just incredible for a city it's size -- especially with the new bridges and widening projects going on.

In Savannah the oppposite is true: A dense core city that just happens to be home to a thriving MAJOR historic destination, surrounded by lesser dense inner suburbs bordered by countryside (or rather, water and wetlands). While improvements have been made to get from Point A to B inside the city (Truman, Veterans) the freeway network around Savannah leaves much to be desired. I-95 does nothing to encourage people to pull off and visit (just keep going to Disney y'all) while I-16 does nothing to help local residents get from home to work and back again. Just look at the limited number of exits, not to mention the dated and dangerous cloverleafs at both 16-95 and 16-516. On the other hand, a 20-mile stretch of I-26 heading west out of downtown Charleston toward Summerville is like something out of Atlanta: Modern, urban, big.

WHAT I CAME AWAY WITH: While we like to say Charleston and Savannah are "twins" (and they do share many of the same qualities), Savannah's historic district is by far the larger (and greener) of the two, while Charleston's metro region is without fail a much more dynamic and affluent region than Savannah can ever hope to be (new Boeing plant just opened). It's really a trade off and personal preference which is best: Larger inner city, weaker suburbs or vice versa. But I personally would like to see more regional thinking when it comes to development around here. The recent news that Koh'ls is going smack dab on Abercorn -- yawn! -- rather than out in the suburbs is a good example.
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Old 09-19-2011, 12:13 AM
 
Location: Metro Atlanta & Savannah, GA - Corpus Christi, TX
4,524 posts, read 7,722,968 times
Reputation: 2313
Excellent post! Couldn't have given a better example myself! One can only hope that some day these yokels on this side of the Savannah River will finally get it together. Or better yet, be replaced by REAL leaders.
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Old 09-19-2011, 06:28 AM
 
Location: St Simons Island, GA
23,120 posts, read 37,200,007 times
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The difference that I discern between the two is that Savannah seems to be more relaxed and less self-conscious than Charleston. Old-line Charlestonians have never forgotten that the city was at one time one of the wealthiest and most important port cities on the Eastern Seaboard. Blood lines are nowhere more important than in the "Holy City".
What's the old adage? In Charleston they ask you who your people are. In Atlanta, they ask you what you do for a living. In Savannah, they ask you what you want to drink.
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Old 10-09-2011, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Summerville SC
61 posts, read 187,277 times
Reputation: 54
I live in Summerville, near Charleston and about 5 days of the month I have to work In Savannah. My wife on the other hand has to go to Savannah 3 days of the week.

We both agree that people are far more laid back and friendlier in Savannah rather than Charleston. Don't get me wrong, I like Charleston, It's a unique city in certain ways and I love the historical side of the place.

The only real pet hate I have with Savannah, is that it's surrounding areas are so spread out and that puts the gas mileage up. As for traffic, Charleston is worse by far, I hate driving through West Ashely, It takes so bloody long.
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Old 11-10-2011, 03:04 PM
 
249 posts, read 733,043 times
Reputation: 519
Kohls ? on Abercorn ? where ? why didn't someone tell me ?
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Old 11-10-2011, 08:13 PM
 
Location: Metro Atlanta & Savannah, GA - Corpus Christi, TX
4,524 posts, read 7,722,968 times
Reputation: 2313
Quote:
Originally Posted by carmelita189 View Post
Kohls ? on Abercorn ? where ? why didn't someone tell me ?
This is OLD news. It was in the paper & on local news stations, what, 2 months ago? Way to keep up with your community!

Also, this thread is about differences and similarities of Savannah and Charleston. There are two threads ALL about Kohl's if you keep looking.
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Old 11-25-2011, 05:38 PM
 
Location: Savannah GA
13,708 posts, read 18,287,846 times
Reputation: 9968
Meant to add this a long time ago, but the Charleston Post & Courier really puts the Savannah Morning News to shame ... and this has not always been the case. For years, the P&C was probably one of the worst papers in SC but is now not only the best, but the largest -- and growing! A true testament to the growth of Metro Charleston overall. Meanwhile, the SMN -- which 10 years ago was the best paper in Georgia -- gets more and more pitiful by the week.

Interesting thing about TV news is, both cities are pretty similar -- though Charleston's 3 stations are far more evenly matched in the ratings department, the fact that two of them share ownership with Savannah stations (Media General and Raycom) makes their products look like carbon copy clones. Channel 2 in Charleston and Channel 3 in Savannah might as well be done out of the same studio!
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