Getting the flavor of...
America’s largest romantic-style garden
It’s azalea season again at the South’s oldest public garden, said Matt Blitz in Smithsonian.com. But something’s always in bloom at Charleston, S.C.’s Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, home to “three centuries of beauty and history.” The plantation itself dates to 1676, and produced rice for generations before the Civil War ended slavery and the estate’s heir, a trained minister, “did something few had done before”: He opened his gardens to visitors, creating the region’s first tourist attraction. A friend of John James Audubon, the Rev. John Grimké Drayton had fallen in love with romantic-style gardens while studying in England, and was the first American to use the azalea and camellia in outdoor landscaping. Today, tours of the plantation house and slave cabins are available, but visitors mostly come for the Eden-like atmosphere, including swamp gardens where egrets and herons “cavort among the cypress and tupelo gum trees.”
Sully’s grounded plane
The movie Sully didn’t win any Oscars last week, but its hero’s plane is still drawing crowds to a Charlotte, N.C., aviation museum, said John Bordsen in the Chicago Tribune. Chesley Sullenberger, the humble pilot played on screen by Tom Hanks, was flying an Airbus A320 out of New York City eight years ago when the plane struck a flock of Canada geese, disabling the engines and forcing Sully to make an emergency landing on the Hudson River, saving all 150 passengers. That storied airliner is now the centerpiece of the Carolinas Aviation Museum—“an appropriate resting place,” given that the flight was bound for Charlotte. Monitors stream contemporary newscasts, and docents fill you in on the whole story, “but your attention keeps returning to the unrestored Airbus.” The left engine detached on impact, and dents scar the lower fuselage. Look closely and you can even see dried “snarge”—the goose guts that crippled the engines.