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In 1733, shortly after the colony of Georgia was founded, an epidemic (thought to be Yellow Fever) started killing off the settlers. Because Savannah’s only doctor died early on, a ship carrying Sephardic Jews was allowed entry on the condition that a doctor onboard, Samuel Nunis, would treat the sick.

Soon after their arrival, the Jews organized what would later become Congregation Mickve Israel, one of America’s oldest Jewish communities. Robert Haas, Mickve Israel’s current rabbi, explained to me that at one point as much as 35 percent of Savannah’s population was Jewish. (Today the number is closer to 2.5 percent.)

Savannah has had several Jewish mayors and judges; Jews have been involved in prominent social clubs, and helped found the city’s Rotary Club and Girl Scout troop. Savannah’s Jewish Education Alliance had several competitive athletic squads.

Tags: Savannah
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To follow up on earlier link about “the go cup,” worth noting that it is not a uniquely New Orleans objects.

Savannah enters the picture via a sidebar: “Savannah: Charleston’s younger, drunker sister.”

The piece establishes Savannah as plenty nice, too, despite having “more ‘purdy’ real estate you can’t afford,” but then turns an appreciative eye to the ordinance allowing drinking outdoors in most of downtown.

“It’s a revelation: a bar crawl without the finishing up,” Hemming writes.

The author advises visitors to avoid the “waterside tourist trap” of River Street and to start an informal pub crawl at the Crystal Beer Parlor. Next up, Pinkie Master’s Lounge, and then down to West Congress Street for stops at a trio of diverse local favorites — The Rail Pub, The Jinx and Hang Fire.

Sometimes I read travel articles and am left wondering if the writer even came to Savannah, but this pithy sidebar sure feels authentic.

Some folks around town don’t want Savannah to be known for its to-go cups, but they are undoubtedly part of the city’s being.

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The mass production and relative affordability of the automobile in the early 20th century resulted in considerable changes to our nation’s infrastructure and the need to intersect highway systems with urban neighborhoods. As a resident of Savannah, I am fascinated by the rich history and historic architecture of the city. However, there is a stark division between the restored and legally protected buildings within the central National Historic Landmark District and the struggling, run down neighborhoods that surround it. I am specifically interested in the at-risk neighborhoods along Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and the ways in which they have been impacted by the construction of the Interstate 16 flyover. (via Ashley M. Jones)

More here and here.

The mass production and relative affordability of the automobile in the early 20th century resulted in considerable changes to our nation’s infrastructure and the need to intersect highway systems with urban neighborhoods. As a resident of Savannah, I am fascinated by the rich history and historic architecture of the city. However, there is a stark division between the restored and legally protected buildings within the central National Historic Landmark District and the struggling, run down neighborhoods that surround it. I am specifically interested in the at-risk neighborhoods along Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and the ways in which they have been impacted by the construction of the Interstate 16 flyover. (via Ashley M. Jones)

More here and here.

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Tags: Savannah Bats
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(via Unclaimed Freight Productions)
Fake Ramones walk through modified downtown Savannah.

(via Unclaimed Freight Productions)

Fake Ramones walk through modified downtown Savannah.

Tags: Savannah
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If there’s something that Paula Deen loves more than butter, it’s black waiters serving wedding guests “Southern plantation style.” At least that’s the takeaway from the unedited transcript of her deposition in the $1.2 million discrimination lawsuit filed against the First Lady of Finger Lickin’ Food and her brother, Earl “Bubba” Hiers. In her testimony, Deen admits to using the N-word, reveals her ambivalence towards people watching pornography at a place of work, and—the arguably racist, definitely bizarre bit that’s made headlines Wednesday—details the Southern plantation wedding of her dreams, in which black waiters serve guests slave-style.

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savannahartwalls:

@j_carlson taking the final shots for #walltowallsav | Thank you @converse & @juxtapozmag | #savannah #109mlk

savannahartwalls:

@j_carlson taking the final shots for #walltowallsav | Thank you @converse & @juxtapozmag | #savannah #109mlk

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Not that cruise ship passengers worry too much about the impact their vacations have on local communities. Battles over local or federal legislation, like the Clean Cruise Ship Act, which died in Congress in 2010, are not as interesting as which name-brand chef is going to open a restaurant on board.

“Our audience doesn’t really respond to the municipal-level battles or the environmental stuff,” said Dan Askin, senior editor at cruisecritic.com, a consumer Web site dedicated to cruise ships.

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So. Numbers 5 and 4 are on River Street. I generally steer people away from River Street but perhaps these are worthwhile?

5. The Warehouse: 18 E. River St. 912-234-6003

4. Chuck’s Bar: 305 W. River St., 912-232-1005

I’m more interested in #3, Long Branch, which is news to me: 

Chances are you aren’t going to find Long Branch unless you’re looking for it.

Off the beaten bar path on Skidaway Road, Long Branch is an old postal service station turned bar, which means there’s lots of space. Space enough for pool, darts and poker leagues, karaoke nights, a DJ on Friday nights, a full kitchen and more.

Owner Joey Ruiz frequented the 15-year-old bar long before taking it over seven months ago, says his top priority was to keep the same grungy “neighborhood bar that makes everyone feel welcome.” One thing he did change, though, was the menu. It now includes burgers, chicken fingers and, according to Ruiz, “the best steaks in town.”

Best value drink: Happy hour is 10 a.m.-7 p.m., with $2 domestic bottles and $3 wells

Long Branch, 2411 Skidaway Road, 912-232-6175

No 2 is The Rail Pub, 405 W. Congress St., which we’ve walked past but never entered. Seems a bit frat-y, but can’t really say for sure. 

No 1 is Pinkie Master’s, which is fine.

Tags: savannah
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CHARLESTON, S.C. — The cautionary tales came Thursday from our neighboring port city, but they were shared by others from Alaska and British Columbia and from Norway, Cozumel and Venice.

Once big cruise ships come to a city, they can overwhelm a community’s resources — crowding streets, jamming sidewalks and attractions, contributing to pollution and generating far less in spending and tax dollars than is usually anticipated.

For several Savannah residents, the message was coming through loud and clear at a conference called Harboring Tourism, an international symposium on cruise ships in historic port communities.