Humans of Charleston

Taken by: Liz Hipes

Title:  “It’s amazing. The people are nice, the architecture is nice, the history is nice, the weather was nice. Beaches aren’t as good as Long Island though.”


“It’s such a double edged sword to have history. It’s good to have history but it’s also bad because you’re old. As I get older I can’t go from point A to point B as fast anymore I don’t know why. Six and seven years ago we had two horrifically bad snowy winters on Long Island. I had a long gravel driveway. The plow couldn’t come in because if they did–it wasn’t blacktop smooth–it would rip up my driveway. So, for the most part, I get a guy just to do it off the top and there was ice. One of those which was over two months. I couldn’t get any of my three cars out of the garage and everytime I try to get out and walk on my driveway I’d slip and fall. You know the older you get the more brittle your bones. Ad two years before that we had two storms; we had Sandy and we had Irene. Blew off my boardwalk into the water. $35,000. And the government wouldn’t help me out because you know, rich person. So that was building up. Then I gave my music business to my children. Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas. It’s a double-edged sword; take my business, I’m sorry kids. Because business is tough. When that happened I stopped taking a salary, we still have a store in Patchogue, Long Island. When I stopped taking a salary I couldn’t pay my taxes anymore. My house taxes was the most highest taxes you could ever imagine. I’m not gonna tell you what they were, It’s embarrassing. So at that point I said, “I’m out”. Florida: warmer weather. My daughter was gonna come with her husband and the grandchildren. They don’t wanna go to where the old people are, see but I’m old! California: love it. But taxes are too high, too expensive to live. We read that Charleston was the number one city in the United States. So we got on a Jetblue flight. Two hours right? Landed here, stayed at the French Quarter Inn. Wow this is a cool place! Second time we stayed at the Marriott at the corner of Market and East Bay with the pool on the roof. My daughter brought her kids. She said “Wow this is a cool place! We’re moving here!”. Come back one more time without them, I stayed in Mount Pleasant in one of those motels by the bridge. I bought a house. Couldn’t sell my house in New York for one and a half years so I was caring millions of dollars worth of houses. Move down here, I love my house, I love Mount Pleasant, it’s amazing. The people are nice, the architecture is nice, the history is nice, the weather was nice. Beaches aren’t as good as Long Island though. But the restaurants a world-class and the bars are great if you want to drink. I played tennis with the club and da-dee-doo, went to dinner, went on vacations. I always liked this little stuff here. I remind me of Greenwich Village in New York. Eight or nine months ago I saw a “For Rent” sign here and said “Janet (my wife, we were driving to a restaurant of course) I gotta do this”, she said, “you do this I’m divorcing you.” I did it. So seven months ago we started setting this place up and here I am. And now I work seven days a week like a schmuck…But I don’t take any salary I’m just here to talk to you and him and him and him.”

-Bruce Berg, owner of Record Stop Charleston and New York

46 John St.


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