Savannah

We are truly ecumenical, and don’t discriminate. Today, it being Sunday, we attended services at the First Baptist Church of Savannah. Well, I must say, the church goers here were not quite as fashionable as their counterparts in Harlem; the band was a duo, and the choir was a sextet, yet the spirit was strong, man, real strong! Bodies were moving to the beat, hands were clapping, eyes were rolling… “DO you feel it it your soul?” howled the paster. “Yes,” – we howled back as one. “Do you really feel it in your soul?” howled the paster louder. “Yes,” we wailed, “yes!” while rocking our bodies back an’ forth and lifting our palms up toward the sky…
True story…
The pastor then announced that there were visitors at the church today and that the visitors have to be warmly welcomed. There was a movement in the ranks of the congregationers, and they started generously dispensing handshakes and hugs to the unsuspecting visitors most of which, incidentally, stood out in this crowd like sore thumbs.
Then the services continued with active audience participation.
Very spiritual, indeed.
On a serious note, the church was once part of the underground railroad. You can still see the holes made in the floor to supply air to the fugitive slaves hiding below.
The services over, we walked out into the blazing sun. In the sunlight, Savannah still looked pretty good. The most beautiful area is the one near the synagogue. In fact, the synagogue sits across a square from the palatial mansion where the infamous murder in “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” took place. In fact, every edifice around the square is a miniature palace. Well…some are not exactly miniature…
One block from the square is Jones Street – a leafy brick-lined alley of stately houses. One block from Montgomery park is the grandest of them all, Forsyth Park, with its famous (and rather crude) fountain that was also featured in the “Midnight…”.
As a matter of fact, Savannah has 20 some parks – a stroke of genius by the the city architect. They are homes to giant oak trees whose branches and Spanish moss weave an artful canopy providing a much needed shade and an artistic touch to the area.
In addition to many stately houses, the architectural Savannah College of Art and Design buildings are omnipresent. There are many artsy stores and galleries in the city, but too few coffee shops. In fact, it’s hard to find decent coffee here – don’t understand that! The two cups I had today were equally awful!
Aside from lousy coffee, you can have yourself a very good meal here.
It’s a cool city really, in daylight also. The parks are lovely, many houses are gorgeous, there is a modern museum building designed by Moshe Safdie, the street life is vibrant, there are galleries and restaurants. Why, if they only could get some good coffee here, this would be an ideal tourist destination!

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