Food, drink, film and other random thoughts from The Lone Star State.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Savannah

My parents "retired" to Savannah 5 years ago. I use the word retired loosely since "retirement" lasted 6 months then they both started new businesses. My mom migrated from interior design to full-time watercolor artist and created a line of jewelry. My dad migrated from oil company exec to Tim Allen, he now remodels homes. Both spent 15 years looking for the perfect location for "retirement". My mom had to be in warm weather and close to a large art scene. My dad required a nearby golf course and proximity to water. Savannah had it all.



They bought this lot 15 years ago and sat on it until they were ready to leave New Orleans. It took 2 years to build and another 2 years for my mom to decorate to her liking. Southern Living photographed the inside a few years ago, my mom really outdid herself in every possible way. My dad and his golden retriever were banished to the basement for the majority of the "decoration era", they were much happier there :)


Fountain and walkup


Christmas table


View from my room


The city has a very interesting history. It was founded in the 1730's by James Oglethorpe who was on charter from the King of England, its purpose was to act as a buffer for South Carolina to prevent the Spanish from advancing from Florida. Oglethorpe was responsible for developing the city around 24 park-like squares, 21 of which have been preserved.

While initially slavery-free, Savannah began participating in the slave trade arena in the late 1700's. Cotton and shipping dominated commerce for them in the early 1800's and Savannah grew in reputation to be the New York City of the South.

In 1820 a fire devistated over half the city, followed by an outbreak of Yellow Fever later that year, which killed 10% of its population. The city rebuilt and more people arrived but only to be devistated once again in the 1860's by the Civil War. Savannah eventually fell to General Sherman but he was so captured by the beauty of the city that he ordered it untouched. Today it is one of the few cities in the South where you can see architecture from the 1700's.

Present day Savannah thrives on tourism and a booming real estate market as people discover its value in contrast to its overpriced neighbors in Florida.

Talk to anyone living in Savannah and they will tell you it was the first and it will be the last city of Georgia. While Altanta leads the state in income and industry, they will all tell you there is no Georgia without Savannah.



6 Comments:

Blogger Brian said...

Nice pics! I never visited Savannah even when growing up on the other side of Georgia, but my friends who have been there loved it. I can see the appeal of living there - I find warm, beautiful places so attractive.

3:04 PM

 
Blogger Adam said...

Wow! I have always wanted to visit there. Thanks for the info on the city. Its really amazing. I wonder if it really was necessary to burn all the southern cities to the ground.

8:48 PM

 
Blogger The Persian said...

What a beautiful home, your mother is quite talented!! (you of course have inherited this yourself, ive seen your place). Thanks so much for sharing those amazing shots.

:)

8:28 AM

 
Blogger Jim said...

Exactly Brian, I find it attractive for the same reasons. I think I could retire there too.

9:29 AM

 
Blogger Jim said...

Definitely visit, Adam. Its an amazing city, particularly if you are into art, history and architecture.

Yeah, burning those cities was truly evil, all that history up in smoke.

9:30 AM

 
Blogger Jim said...

Any time Jim :) Yep, I think I did absorb a little of mom's artistic talent. Growing up in the interior design palace meant we knew color, texture, persective, contrast and composition by age 5, lol :)

9:32 AM

 

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