|Sorry, little buddy.|
Years ago, a high school friend who now lives in Charlotte heard I was going to Asheville.
B: Asheville...the whole town smells like incense.
Me: What? No town smells like incense.
Then Little brother, Kias, and I got out of the car there the next day. I turned to them in amazement: "This whole town smells like incense!"
I remembered loving Asheville. An artsy little enclave with good food and a hippie heart. This time I left a little confused. In the back of my mind, I'd always thought I could live here if I left New England. Now I'm not so sure. But I only spent an afternoon, so maybe it was just the assault on my senses. At one point, I texted my brother:
WHO AM I??? Three days in NC and I'm saying things like this? But seriously. I watched three dirty, dreaded guys sitting on the sidewalk asking for money and then calling out after people, "C'mon, man. Anything would help. A dollar to buy some food. You know, just anything, man." And I thought, "You're able-bodied. Get a job."
The second thing that tells me I'm too old to live here is the pawn shop window.
Beautiful instruments likely mostly sold by dummies who aren't taking care of their business.
So the problem for me is that I straddle the line here. I have a good job with a good salary and work ethic. But I'm also socially liberal, dig music, and respect local movements. So I watched well-to-doers shopping and I watched grubby musicians, and I didn't feel I belonged to either camp. It made me sad. So I went drinking.
Tupelo Honey Cafe is as good as the guidebooks say. It's loud and a little tight inside, but I sat at the bar and received star treatment from Darien, who called me Miss Kelly the whole time and told me I looked happy digging into my grits.
So, you know when you're out and you order an app and it's all small and stuff and you wish you'd ordered more? That's not the sitch here at Tupelo. The apps are BIG. Oops. But I was happy to try a couple different things, both delicious.
|cheesy grit cakes with hot sauce and a nice cool cucumber salad|
|pulled pork egg rolls with bbq dipping sauce and salad|
One thing I love about Asheville is all the art. The old Woolworth's building has been transformed into an open art space, with a series of booths featuring different artists. I didn't realize until I was leaving that taking pics was not okay. But if I don't show you how cool it is, why would you just take my word for it?
|Susan Stanton's photos on stretched canvas. I love the chair and shoes.|
|Walter Arnold prints photos of abandoned places on metal. It's stunning, and a little creepy.|
Okay. I guess I really just took a lot of pictures of odd things. Oh well. Now off to hit the mountains and enter Georgia!