Experiences

Moonlight Movies in Greer

I love watching movies in the great outdoors so Moonlight Movies in Greer is definitely my kind of event.  Every Thursday, beginning tonight and ending August 2, lovers of movies and the outdoors can find the perfect blend of both at Greer City Park (301 East Poinsett Street).  The first two films are geared toward older audiences but the film schedule is perfect for the whole family once school is out for the summer.  Bring blankets, bug spray, lawn chairs, and the people you love for a fun community event every Thursday.  Movies start at dusk and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.  Feel free to pack snacks or enjoy the concessions available.    Even if you cannot make it every Thursday, try it once.  I think you’ll be hooked.

The Moonlight Movies schedule is as follows:

May 24 – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part Two)

May 31 – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn (Part One)

June 7The Lion King

June 14Tangled

June 21The Muppets

June 28Kung Fu Panda 2

July 5Smurfs

July 12Happy Feet 2

July 19Hugo

July 26Aladdin

August 2Cars 2

Categories: Entertainment, Experiences, Family Fun | Leave a comment

First Friday

12 Andrews Street, Greenville, SC

I had another post planned for today but then I celebrated First Friday at Artistry Workshops and Gallery last night and felt compelled to write about how incredible the arts community is in Greenville.  For those of you who have never heard of First Friday, it is a celebration of visual arts that happens on the first Friday of each month.  25 galleries and venues throughout downtown Greenville open their doors from 6 pm – 9 pm and invite the community in to meet the artists, explore the creative process, and enjoy spectacular works.

Last night was the first time I have thoroughly enveloped myself in the First Friday experience.  Despite my best intentions, I am not often able to keep that First Friday night free each month.  But this month I marked it on my calendar a couple weeks in advance and I could not be happier that I was able to enjoy the evening surrounded by so many amazing Greenville neighbors.

I arrived at Artistry Workshops and Gallery at 7 pm and meandered around, making conversation with other lovers of visual art.  I examined the striking and beautiful work of Adam Schrimmer featured in the gallery.  It’s obvious to see through his work and his conversation that Adam is an artist who believes that individuals should celebrate the uniqueness and creativity within themselves.  It was truly a pleasure to meet him and have an opportunity to view his artistic expressions of passion and soul.

Ryan Calloway

Ryan Calloway

After a walk-thru of the gallery, I took time out to watch Ryan Calloway show off his blacksmith skills in a demonstration that was informative and entertaining.  Then, I met Alix Bernard whose glasswork practically begged to be brought home with me and I happily obliged.  I also met Mary Kathryn and Norm Pizzello, artisans at Artistry who will celebrate their 6th year in Greenville and their 15th wedding anniversary this month.

Beyond the inspiring art and passion of the artists, First Friday was enjoyable because of the fascinating individuals I met who were at Artistry to indulge their own First Friday fix.  Taking part in conversations with fellow appreciators of all Greenville offers was a perfect way to end the night.  Making connections with my neighbors is something I am passionate about and I am grateful for the opportunities that arise where I am able to meet more and more of them.

So, why am I telling you all of this?  I am telling you in the hopes that you will begin to make your own First Friday memories on April 6th and continue to do so each month thereafter.  With 25 galleries and venues, you are pretty much guaranteed to find an artist or work you enjoy and an interesting stranger with whom you can talk about it.  Those of us who live in or near Greenville are very fortunate to have a fantastic downtown and a plethora of insanely talented individuals who reside within our community.  First Friday is just another example of why loving local is so rewarding.

The glasswork that now graces my home.

Categories: Entertainment, Experiences, Family Fun, Leah's Favorites, People | 3 Comments

Local Love for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day can be a stressful holiday.  There’s the societal pressure to be romantic, the wondering what gifts to give, and the hassle of reservations on the night when it seems like everyone is trying to wine and dine their significant other.  But this Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be stressful for you.  Why?  Because I’m going to do my best to help you find the perfect gift for your sweetie.

Do you love a person who appreciates the gift of adventures and experiences?  Today’s gift ideas are for you.

Do you love a lover of theatre?  Present your one-and-only with tickets to one of the productions at The Warehouse Theatre, Centre Stage, Café And Then Some, or Greenville Little Theatre.

Do you love a lover of sports?  Your honey might like a night of hockey courtesy of the Greenville Road Warriors.  If baseball is more in line with what your lover likes, you can purchase full or half season tickets to the  Greenville Drive games.

Do you love a lover of new experiences?  Many of the local shops offer classes to help your sweetie learn something new.  For jewelry lovers, Liz Daly Designs offers a variety of classes to help creativity flow into artistic pieces.  Culinary enthusiasts will enjoy the classes and events at The Cook’s Station.  If your special someone enjoys craft beers The Community Tap offers weekly tastings to expand the palate and enhance understanding of all things craft beer.  Is your honey funny?  Sign them up for classes with Alchemy Improv Comedy.

Do you love a lover of music?  Bring your darling to one of the performances at The Handlebar or Smiley’s Acoustic Cafe.  For jazz lovers, a night of music at The Brown Street Club is a perfect gift.  Pick up a record or CD at Horizon Records and treat your sweetie to a romantic night in filled with fantastic new music.

The Upstate area offers many opportunities to give incredible experiences to the one you love.  If you need more ideas, ask me on Facebook or Twitter and I will do my best to find something that will suit your sweetheart.  Here’s to a happy, stress-free Valentine’s Day!

Categories: Entertainment, Experiences, Gifts | 2 Comments

A Few of My Favorite Things

This will be my last LLL post for 2011 since I will be traveling and enjoying the last of the busy holiday season with my friends and family.  I plan on having many local adventures, though, between now and my first 2012 post so I will have more wonderful local treasures to share with you in January.  I will still be sharing local tidbits on the LLL Facebook, so be sure to like the page to stay in touch.

Before I sign off for a couple weeks, though, I want to leave you with a few local organizations that could benefit from some tangible Christmas cheer this year.  I hope you will consider giving a gift to these amazing organizations that do so much to benefit our local community.

Pendleton Place Children’s Shelter:

Many abused and neglected children have found love, comfort, safety, and a place to beginning the healing process at Pendleton Place Children’s Shelter after being removed from their homes by DSS.  The staff here cares deeply for the children and nurtures each one from the moment they step in the door.  Pendleton Place Children’s Shelter tries to provide the children and teenagers in their care with as many “normal” childhood experiences as possible.  They need the assistance and support of the community to do that.  Whether it is providing the items on a child’s Christmas wishlist or planning a fun field trip or party, Pendleton Place Children’s Shelter relies on the generosity of community  members to keep providing excellent, loving care to children who need it most.  Visit the website or Facebook page to find out how you can help.

Project Host:

If you’re reading this right now, chances are that you have a warm home and plenty to eat.  There are many in Greenville who are not so fortunate.  Project Host seeks to help the hungry in the community by providing a nutritious, fulfilling meal each day to anyone in need.  Beyond meal provision, Project Host is home to a culinary school that trains unemployed/underemployed individuals in culinary arts in order to give them an opportunity to gain steady employment.  Driving down Academy Street it is easy to miss the nondescript building that houses this wonderful organization but, for those in need, this organization is an oasis in the midst of a difficult and lonely journey.  To find out how you can help Project Host continue to perform these much-needed services for some of our neighbors, visit the website or Facebook page.

Meals on Wheels of Greenville:

For many home-bound individuals, the deliveries from Meals on Wheels mean more than just a nutritious meal.  A delivery from Meals on Wheels means a visit from someone who cares about them and a connection with a world in which they can no longer freely move about.  Meals on Wheels of Greenville is supported in its entirety by the generosity of the community through individual and group donations.  Everything from the packaging of the meals to the handing out of routes and the delivery of the meals is done by volunteers.  Visit the website or Facebook page to discover ways you can help continue this vital service to home-bound members of our community.

Categories: Experiences, Philanthropy | 1 Comment

Climb@Blue Ridge

Climb@Blue Ridge Indoor Rock Climbing

Each year, on my birthday, I try something new.  It’s my way of reminding myself that leaving one’s comfort zone is a good thing and should be practiced regularly.  So, Friday afternoon found me clumsily scaling the walls of Climb@Blue Ridge, an indoor rock climbing facility located in Taylors.

Striking a pose with my "fierce" face.

Nervous about climbing and belaying for the first time, I was very pleased with the patient instruction of Barry Gwynn, one of the owners of Climb@Blue Ridge.  From assisting me with putting the harness on correctly to instructing me on proper belay techniques so that my husband did not plunge to the ground whilst climbing, Barry was extremely helpful and informative.  The climbing routes were clearly labeled and rated according to difficulty which enabled me to pick a route that I was capable of climbing to the top of the wall.

A couple of the walls

Climb@Blue Ridge offers climbing clinics, group rates, and memberships as well as great rates on all-inclusive climbing and bouldering.  Want to go climbing but don’t have the gear?  No problem.  Climb@Blue Ridge will rent shoes, a harness, and chalk to you for only $3.  What Climb@Blue Ridge does is make indoor rock climbing enjoyable yet challenging for the novice as well as the more experienced climber.  Rock climbing at Climb@Blue Ridge was a fantastic way to spend my birthday afternoon and I will definitely be a repeat climber.

Climb@Blue Ridge is located at 301 Bulls Road, Taylors, SC 29687 

For hours and information on rates and special events, visit Climb@Blue Ridge online or on Facebook.

Categories: Experiences, Family Fun | Leave a comment

The Community Tap

The place for beer, wine, and awesome people.

Anyone who knows me knows that I like my beer and wine but what brought me to The Community Tap for the first time was my love of Magners Irish Cider.  I walked out of the store with a growler of Magners and an appointment to sit down with one of the owners, Mike Okupinski, to discuss how this great source of craft beers and hand-selected wines came to be a part of the Greenville community.

Craft Beer Goodness

It did not take more than a few moments with Mike to realize that the word community in the store name is more than just clever branding.  When the notion to open up a store focusing on craft beer first came to him nearly three years ago, the first community member to support it was Anna, his wife.  While it was not an easy journey from idea to realization, he found support along the way from friends, local business owners, and his business partner, Ed Buffington and Ed’s wife, Kim.  Ed brought his love and knowledge of wine as well as his willingness to work hard and dream big to the business.  The great relationships Mike and Ed have built with their distributors and the other businesses in the neighborhood also add to the sense that The Community Tap really is about bringing people together.

Fill up a growler with one of ten tap brews.

The Community Tap contributes much more to the community than just a fantastic beer and wine selection.  Works for sale by local artists are displayed in the shop and tasting room and the store served as an in-season site for those with CSA shares from Greenbrier Farms to pick up their farm-fresh food.  Mike and Ed also enjoy sponsoring and participating in various local events.  The Trifecta IPA that you might see on tap at other local restaurants and bars is just another one of the many contributions Mike and Ed have made to the Greenville area.

Meet new friends while enjoying excellent beer and wine.

With the vast array of high quality craft beers, 60 hand-selected wines, ten taps pouring a variety of different brews, locally made Sweeteeth chocolate bars, and an event board filled with information on fun local happenings, it is no surprise that the door to The Community Tap never stays closed for long.  Weekly tastings in the tasting room allow wine and beer lovers to enjoy delicious offerings along with the knowledge and expertise of Mike, Ed, and guest hosts.  Private tasting sessions are also available.  Mike and Ed are more than happy to answer any and all questions and offer personalized recommendations based on a customer’s palate.  Mike, Ed, Whitney, and Daniel make even the quickest visit a pleasant experience.

Hand-Selected Wine Goodness

The Community Tap became my go-to place for beer and wine not simply because of the variety and quality of the offerings but because I am thrilled to support a marvelous local business that truly strives to build and strengthen our community.  Whether you are stocking up for holiday parties and guests or just want to have craft beer or a bottle of wine on hand for the end of a long work day, visit The Community Tap and discover why it truly is a Greenville treasure.

The Community Tap is located at 205 Wade Hampton Blvd. in Greenville. 

Visit The Community Tap’s website or Facebook page to find out more about hours, tap offerings, tasting dates, local events, and more.

Categories: Experiences, Food & Beverage, Leah's Favorites, Products | Leave a comment

Loving Local

The 3/50 Project

Since beginning this website, I have had many opportunities to converse with others about the importance of supporting one’s local community.  People are quick to ask me how I make an income with this site and most are surprised when I tell them that I do not get any income at from it.  One man even asked me why I put in all the time and effort each week if there is not a paycheck at the end of a post.  I told him the truth.  I simply love my local community.

To me, each local shop or restaurant is a physical manifestation of the dreams and determination inside my neighbors.  The charitable organizations in the community are made up of people trying to impart strength, resources, and knowledge to others and doing their best to build a strong, vital, and healthy community.  Local events are ways for people to truly connect with each other and make offline friends.  Attending a performance at a local theatre or listening to a band play at a local venue is more than just entertainment to me.  It is a way for me to support and encourage the dreams and hard work of my fellow community members.

Loving local is more than just a catchphrase to me.  It is a lifestyle based on the idea the best way to occupy Wall Street is to buy from the stores on Main Street.  The best way to build community is to engage in the community.  The best way to grow is to have strong roots.  This week I encourage you to check out the 3/50 Project and show your love to a few of the many fantastic local offerings in the Upstate.

Categories: Entertainment, Experiences, Family Fun, Food & Beverage, Gifts, Leah's Favorites, Philanthropy, Products | Leave a comment

Greenville County Museum of Art

Greenville County Museum of Art

I have a confession.  I have always envied those who can creatively express themselves through painting, sketching, drawing, sculpting, and photography.  While my talent lies in other directions, I am grateful for those who can begin with a blank canvas, scrap metal, or a camera and create something that takes my breath away.  I am also grateful for Greenville County Museum of Art which makes inspiring works of art accessible to everyone in the community.

Admission to the museum is absolutely free which means you can enjoy its offerings with your children, friends, and out-of-town guests without emptying your wallet.  My favorite current exhibit, Golden Legacy: Original Art from 65 Years of Golden Books, is a perfect way for parents and children to enjoy art together.  With an “Eye Spy” activity within the exhibit, children are able to actively engage with the artwork on the walls.  For those with different tastes, the museum offers an impressive collection of works by Jasper Johns.  My favorites were Fragment of a Letter and Painting with Two Balls.  Also featured are paintings from Helen DuPré Moseley, an artist from Spartanburg.

The Museum Shop

Head to Greenville County Museum of Art on a Sunday and you can enjoy Sundays@2.  Events for the remainder of the year include a special tour of Helen DuPré Moseley’s art, sketching with Michael Marks, and a variety of musical offerings.  Visit the museum in December to get in the holiday spirit with family-friendly events.  On your way out of the museum, make sure to stop by the Museum Shop and pick up an art book, note cards, prints, or one of the many other items they offer as a memento or a gift.  With free admission, family-friendly exhibits and events, and excellent artistic displays, visiting Greenville County Museum of Art is an excellent way to enjoy an afternoon.

Visit Greenville County Museum of Art on Facebook or the website for more information, hours, and location.

Categories: Experiences, Family Fun | Leave a comment

The Recycled Reader

Books, books, and more books.

My sister taught me how to read when I was about four years old and I was hooked.  I adore books.  I also adore buying books at bargain prices.  That is one reason why The Recycled Reader is my favorite place for books in the Upstate.  I can easily purchase seven books in one trip and keep the total price under $10.  While the promise of inexpensive books drew me to The Recycled Reader for the first time, it is Jill and Anne that keep me coming back.

Jill and Anne are charming bibliophiles who simply want to share their love of literature with others.  With thousands of books filling the shelves and no computer system to track them all, you might think that they could not possibly know which books they do or do not have at any given time.  You would be wrong.  They will eagerly help you find the exact book you are looking for or provide recommendations if you are not sure what to read next. If they do not have a book you want in stock, they will happily take your name and number and then hunt for it at book sales for you.  Browsing through shelf upon shelf in search of a book on your own is made simpler by the time and attention Jill and Anne spend to ensure that each book is properly placed according to genre and author.

Lucy and her baby.

In addition to the astonishing array of inexpensive reading material at The Recycled Reader, one can enjoy the animal life on the property.  Lucy and Radar, the two resident adult llamas, are the proud parents of a three-week old llama.  Jill and Anne love to show the llamas and goats to anyone who is interested in seeing them.  With the goats, llamas, cats, dogs, and the Happy Cow cows relaxing in the pasture across the road, The Recycled Reader is a place children love to visit.

 With books ranging from South Carolina history to baking, classics to popular fiction, and children’s books to adult nonfiction, The Recycled Reader truly has something for every reader.  This local bookshop is a must-visit for anyone who enjoys books, bargains, or friendly conversation with truly delightful people.

The Recycled Reader is located at 321 McKelvey Road, Pelzer, SC just down the road from Happy Cow Creamery.

Hours: Monday – Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Categories: Experiences, Family Fun, Gifts, Leah's Favorites, Products | Leave a comment

Welcome!

Welcome to Leah Loves Local!  Take a moment to read more about me by clicking on the Meet Leah tab or find out about the mission of this website by clicking on Why Local?

I’m so excited about sharing my first local favorite with you on Saturday, October 22!  Like Leah Loves Local on Facebook and share this site with your friends.  After all, building strong community is what Leah Loves Local is all about.  See you Saturday!

Categories: Experiences | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.