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Opinion I’m a stranger in my own town

"Travel and Leisure" magazine has named Charleston, S.C., the best city in the United States. The city's population has grown by 30 percent in the last dozen years, to north of 150,000. "When is too much really way too much? With the next apartment building? The latest boutique hotel and rooftop bar? This city has lost something much more valuable than its new economic drivers. Charleston’s muse was always a sultry soul full of longing and lust, a penchant for sin and an appetite for redemption. It lost its relationship to its artistic self. Charleston was a very different place then, still showing the scars of its past and suffused with a palpable but indefinable sense of mystery.

Charleston’s once-shabby inner beauty — the lush, smoldering mystery, secret passageways that led to deeper mysteries, the lusty Lowcountry nights and the shimmering spirits that brushed your shoulder as you entered certain houses. Everything is over-polished (and overpriced) now. Developers can replicate Charleston side-entry