Community Travel

Asheville in October

Under the slow slope of snowy rhododendrons

the forest has taken leave

I am along for the ride

a passenger taking notes

driving down a frozen road

the fog is pierced by the black mountains

the frozen ground is purple

Asheville’s watershed holds bright yellow trees

the double falls in Linville Gorge

capture light for a  few minutes before sun down

we glimpse the light green fungus on the fir trees

and listen to the rushing pools

Our first day in Asheville is spent on an urban hike. We have a path through the city which we frequently turn off to stop in an art gallery, find a bookstore, eat lunch or drink a beer. But the path is our direction. I wonder if our trips into the forest are more pleasing because of the direction, and am inspired to create a psychological experiment by following  a trail in the city. I think it worked.

Asheville is where the south meets the mountains. Artists in the Woolworth Walk gallery are incredible with renderings, photo layering, and 3D Painting on cabinet doors by Deona Fish. Deona Fish describes the inspiration of meeting artists and how they have enhanced her own personal work, meeting them and getting into discussions at different art shows over the years.

This amazing work above is by Cynthia Decker, at Curious 3D . The piece below is by Red Head Press, Megan Stone who makes journals and collage books. I think I like her for a few reasons!

And now…

~The Battery Park Bookstore at The Grove Arcade~

Asheville shops are full of estate furniture and heavy framed portraits, and this book store was not an exception. We stopped for a while in the Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne bar where women, book clubs and group dates get together and discuss poetry, home schooling, adoption and dogs.. This place also caters to dogs. I see a man holding his poodle while looking through the shelves. Bookshelves and all types of lamp lights, spot lights, track lights, and pendants help to make each velvet chair space spectacular. Most books are $1. I leave here feeling like any 10 x 10 space making homemade clothes would make you a living here in Asheville, and the feeling of destiny control is overpowering.

The above and below photos were found on their site.

That night we took a pub crawl tour lead by Chris of Better Tours of Asheville. We met at Treasure Keepers -a small antique shop at 12 Church Street. There were trays of old jewels, a plush love seat pushed against the wall, four floor to ceiling portraits of men in armor that bear modern signatures, and in the back, a wine bar.  (Lots of businesses offered a tap in the back!) A pale girl with black hair and red lipstick asked us if we’d like to try a glass of red wine and we sat down to take her up on it. She was a little antique-ey herself.

Down the street a one room comedy club held a show in the small light of an interior bricked building. Open steps led down to a hidden stage. Outside, on the dark street, there wasn’t a soul to be seen, except for the five in our tour group party, listening to the ghost stories of Church Street.

We ended the night hearing historic tales through the Yacht Club tiki bar, The Vault cocktail lounge, and trying by the end to listen on while sipping one of the thousands of brews offered at the Bier Garden. It was a good night-cap, the discussion with new people over the course of an evening,  listening to the different lifestyle choices and resulting circumstances. A honeymooning couple had tried every tour Asheville had to offer, and that shed new light on the city. Our guide was one of the few local Ashevillilians working here. He suggested hiking Pisgah, which we did do the next day, and trying the Wedge Brewing company in the River Arts District.  Saturday’s plans were set.

Cotton Mill Studio, River Arts District, Asheville, nc

Cotton Mill Studios, photo taken from this site.

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