Monday, May 9, 2005


I just got back from a weekend getaway to lovely Savannah, GA. I had only been there once before, on a very brief and wholly unsatisfying trip to the riverfront where rancid ice cream was purchased and not much of an impression was made.

Granted, the riverfront can be a bit of a zoo, albeit a zoo with wonderful candy shops (no rancid confections to be found) and cafes that have fabulous fried oyster po' boy sandwiches. The real draw of Savannah is beyond the riverfront, where the city is laid out in a series of lovely squares surrounded by gorgeous gothic houses and trees with Spanish moss. Many of the houses are open to the public as museums, including the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Lowe, founder of the Girl Scouts. So you often see a packs of Brownies traveling about the city as well as people in period costume and drunken college kids (open containers are oh so legal there).

It's a bit of a spooky city, and has a lot of ghost-story-oriented tours and histories which seem to drive a substantial amount of the tourist industry there. How much of it is real and how much is hype is unimportant. At the risk of sounding a bit morbid, they have brilliant cemeteries. We went to Bonaventure Cemetary overlooking the river (free tours on the second Sunday of the month!), which is a great park filled with really beautiful statues and an interesting combination of, er, inhabitants: Confederate soldiers, Pulitzer-winning authors, a healthy representation from the (surprisingly) robust Jewish community, Irish Catholics and Oscar-winning lyricists.

Aside from the spooky factor, I was also most taken by the chow. Savannah being a Southern port city, they specialize in fried fare and seafood. One establishment, The Lady and Sons, requires you to put your name in three hours in advance -- but has spectacular fare. We ate ourselves silly on this trip, which is a fine thing indeed.