By Chris Damgen
“Why’d you move here?”
I remember that sharp, poignant question made by a grumpy waitress nearly four years ago at a restaurant that shall not be named. I had just moved to Beaufort. I had my first conversation with a local of my age.
“What do you mean?”
“There really isn’t much going on. What’s there to do?”
Apparently lots of things, if last week’s calendar was any indication.
On Friday night, I stepped into a downtown restaurant with two good friends and another gal who came into town from California. We treated ourselves to award-winning tapas dishes and sampled some memorable wine (with a memorable price tag).
The next day, I strolled down to the boat landing in my neighborhood, Pigeon Point, to watch the world’s most famous aerial acrobats perform across a river dotted with Sea Rays and Chris-Crafts. On Sunday, I stumbled onto the Air Station for an encore performance.
On Tuesday evening I was returning home from Publix, cursing loudly at the crash of cars that were creeping across the Woods Bridge, wondering what on earth was going on. I had forgotten already — the Beaufort Memorial Cycling Classic was under way. I parked the car and spoiled my milk in order to watch these amazing athletes hurtle down our narrow streets at breakneck speeds, with hundreds of onlookers lining the sides of the course.
On Thursday, I received a call asking if I was playing dodgeball that evening behind the cemetery. I unfortunately didn’t have the time to play for one of the teams, which are dominated by 20- and-30-somethings like me who live out their major league fantasies in a minor league amusement. No, I was hosting trivia that night and enjoying my interaction with the 15 or so tables of teams that play each and every week at Bricks on Boundary.
I had barely gotten into the second round when in came two Vaqueros and their Chiquita. They slapped a sombrero on my head and demanded that I go out to karaoke with them after trivia. The four of us and some other trivia regulars ran over to a hotel and mingled with locals and visitors alike. I believe it was after 1 a.m. when I found my pillow and mattress after a night of “La Bamba” and “King of Pain.” I did get up and go to work on Friday though.
On Saturday, I got back my sleep but missed the Port Royal Farmers Market (a favorite weekend morning activity). I headed to A Taste of Beaufort in Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park instead for an assortment of foods and music at the annual festival. Passing by the Pigeon Point Park on the way downtown, two birthday parties were in progress. People were out with their dogs under the live oaks. Runners were waiting impatiently to cross Boundary Street. Kids were riding their bikes throughout the Old Commons and Northwest Quadrant. What a busy day, I thought. No, what a busy WEEK.
But I suppose there really isn’t much going on here.