Monday, April 09, 2007

Parking on the Edge

Here at the Edge of America, Folly Beach, SC, its popularity has reduced available parking considerably. Even on a cool, somewhat blustery Easter Sunday, Folly still draws a crowd. While it appears that we have parked in the sand, at the water, on the edge of the Edge of America, we are next to a delightful mural painted on the wall of The Terrapin Restaurant. The No Parking sign is no more real than the Palmetto trees reflected in the hood.

Every square inch of buildable beach sand along the coat has become extremely valuable. Folly was a bit slower to appreciate, but once the other beaches were fully built over, Folly caught on in a very big way. The new houses are huge, often garish and frequently overdone in design and ornamentals. We saw one beach mansion which boasted an elevator on its FOR SALE sign. We have never imagined much less seen evidence of an elevator in any dwelling which we'd recognize as a legitimate beach house.

A quick tour of Folly confirmed the impact which development is making on the island. We did, however, notice that many of the modest idiosyncratic cottages have held on, dug in as it were, and defied the developer. Whether the owners are the remnants of the classic Folly rugged individualist or just new folks who fell in love with the funky little places, we can't say. We are glad to see a considerable number of holdouts. The fact that we can still find colorful, inventive murals suggests that preserving some of Folly's character might even be commercially viable.


Anonymous Elizabeth said...

Folly is still better than the IOP where just about every large house has an elevator. I once had someone who lives in one of the "gate within a gate" communities on IOP tell me that she thought it was a scene from the movie "Deliverance" when she visited Wadmalaw where I live. I'm hoping that all those gates keep those people locked in and away from places like Wadmalaw.

11:32 AM  
Blogger Windviel said...

Right you are, Elizabeth. Folly is our last honest beach and we hope that it can retain some of its priceless character. Unfortunately, Hugo opened the door for the construction of absurdly large monuments to vanity on the Isle of Palms. IOP has, however, been exploited from the very first development.

Instead of gates they should have a large neon sign reading "WE ONCE WERE CRACKERS, BUT NOW WE RICH".

As to Wadmalaw, the last not fully spoiled sea island in these parts, we hope against hope that it can be saved. As you know, some of the pressure for development has come from within over there.

We would like to give developers the same greeting which the actor Ned Beatty received in the movie, "DELIVERANCE".

11:52 AM  

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