There is no bliss quite like waking up to an early alarm and realizing not only that you can hit the snooze, but that you can turn it off completely! I spent a moment thinking of the early morning WC Running Club before I faded back into dreams.
Sunday means brunch, and tenors Kyle Van Schoonhoven and Johnny Wilson and my fellow alto Mary Hewlett went for a roommate brunch at Husk. This restaurant boasts some pretty outstanding features: a James Beard Award-winning executive chef (Sean Brock), a relentless purveyance of regional ingredients (there is a giant blackboard on the wall by the host stand that lists every single ingredient in house and from where it came), and in my opinion, one of the loveliest locations (in a restored historic Charlestonian home).
The menu changes twice daily, and so, to be honest, I felt a little worried ordering, since everything looked interesting and everything would be gone the next time I ate here. I eventually narrowed it down to the chilled strawberry soup with pickled shrimp, crème fraîche, olive oil, and compressed pepper relish, or the maple glazed pig ears with pain perdu and sweet marinated strawberries with house –made chocolate ricotta, or the shrimp and geechie boy grits with wood-fired fennel, ramps, sweep peas, and poached celeste egg (is your mouth watering reading this? Because remembering these dishes is making me quite hungry.) I eventually went with the pigs ears, which were quite extraordinary, and I enjoyed this strange, thought-provoking food with interesting, thought-provoking people on a porch that caught the early afternoon breeze.
Black Tap greeted me in the later afternoon, and I spent a couple of quiet hours writing and reading. Other choir members were out on the town, shopping, at least one car-full went to the beach, and another to see the new Star Trek movie. After writing, I took a few minutes to walk alone, to process what it means to have graduated, to appreciate my current locale, and to imagine what my future in Florida might look like. I passed one of the gardens off of King Street, made public by a Unitarian Universalist Church, and outside the front gate is a quote by Mary Oliver that reads “What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
I walked back with a bounce in my step knowing that I didn’t yet have the answer, but that my time at Westminster has made my options really exciting.
We had an opera rehearsal with the orchestra at night, a Wandelprobe without costumes. There were a few tempo issues to work out, and we did complete runs of both Mese Mariano and Le Villi. There is nothing quite like the full color palate of an orchestra to fill up the energy on stage.
After the rehearsal, some of the choir members headed to Burns Alley, a little dive bar whose entrance is sort-of hidden – it is a spot for locals and a favorite of the tech crew. I was introduced to Burns Alley last year by Stephanie Council, last year’s Westminster Choir graduate assistant, who is now pursuing her doctorate at Texas Tech with Dr. Rick Bjella. We played some pool and hung out with the crew, and were back to our lodgings relatively early – Westminster Choir rehearsal in the morning.