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Old December 31st, 2011, 02:15 AM   #21
hauntedheadnc
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I actually left the city name out on purpose. Nobody's ever heard of this city, so they always passed up the threads I used to post about it. At least this way, with the ambiguity, there's a chance I'll luck out on someone's curiosity alone.
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Old December 31st, 2011, 03:48 AM   #22
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great photos on this thread and reaaly nice videos too...thanks for sharing.
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Old January 1st, 2012, 07:06 AM   #23
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I did not intend to go to Riverside Cemetery today. Rather, I'd planned to go and kill some time photographing a newly-built shopping district that has fast become the answer to downtown in my area of the city. However, when I stepped outside and saw how harsh the light was today, I considered that when photographing buildings you're all too often aiming the camera upward and often into the sun. I thought perhaps a better idea would be to go someplace where you would be aiming the camera down. And off I went to the graveyard.

Located in a Victorian neighborhood called Montford, Riverside is Asheville's largest cemetery, and the remains of more than 13,000 people are interred here. The graves tell so many stories. I saw a monument to a woman who had outlived at least three of her children. Their graves were next to hers. I saw entire rows of graves belonging to people who died in the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918, which hit Asheville especially hard; that must have been a terrifying time to live here and see the whole city around you sick and dying. I saw -- and photographed -- graves of people from other states and other countries, and wondered how they'd come to sleep beneath the ground here in Southern Appalachia, hundreds (sometimes thousands) of miles from their homes.

Shall we explore?



First off, let's consider the irony that a big cemetery is located at the end of a dead-end street.













































Thomas Wolfe was one of the authors who helped put Asheville on the map. Others were short story writer O. Henry (aka William Sidney Porter), Carl Sandburg, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. In recent years, authors such as Gail Godwin, Charles Frazier, and Ron Rash -- among many others -- have lived in or worked in Asheville.



There were a lot of people in the cemetery tending to graves, seeing the sights (including a couple of tourists who stopped me to ask where some of the more famous graves were located), mothers pushing strollers, joggers, and even what appeared to be couples out on dates. I can relate to that. My boyfriend and I came here on one of our first dates and went for a stroll.

What -- you don't go to cemeteries when you're out on a date?



















I'm going to guess that someone either threw something at this mausoleum, or slung paint on it that had to be scrubbed off. Vandalism seems to be a problem in Riverside, after a long and peaceful hiatus. I noticed quite a few gravestones toppled over, and they didn't get that way without help.

However, once upon a time, Montford -- the neighborhood where Riverside Cemetery is located -- was once an extremely bad neighborhood and thugs would regularly wander in to do some damage. The result nowadays is that most of the statues are missing their heads or limbs or, in the case of one, was broken off at the ankles and carted off altogether.







This was a bit strange. This gravestone was dedicated to two men with differing last names who had both died in the 1950's. I couldn't help but wonder if perhaps they had been a couple.









For a little Southern city in the Appalachian Mountains, Asheville's Jewish community has a long and proud history.









































































































There's a veterans' cemetery inside Riverside Cemetery. Most of the gravestones are marked with the state the veteran was from. If the veteran was foreign, the country is marked. There were several Austrians buried here, and people from most every state. This begs the question of why, and how they ended up here, of all places. Most of them died young and in the 1920's. If I recall my history, there wasn't much going on war-wise in the world in the 1920's, but I'm no expert.



















When I was a kid, my mother and I loved nothing more than to visit cemeteries and go off in search of gravestones that told how the person had died. And my mother wonders how I managed to grow up so morbid.



















Those are the tall buildings of downtown off in the distance. Back to the land of the living...



And in case you found this collection of pictures to be depressing, let me cheer you up with a picture of a cat sleeping on some Montford resident's front steps.



And also with a picture of a fat squirrel encountered in a tree in the cemetery.

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Old January 1st, 2012, 01:23 PM   #24
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I don't find graveyards depressing; in fact, I love them, and the one you have pictured looks very picturesque.
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Old January 1st, 2012, 04:12 PM   #25
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I've also always found them to be peaceful. Apparently the city of Asheville agrees, because Riverside is maintained as, and is used as, a public park. As I mentioned, there were joggers and mothers pushing strollers through the cemetery when I was, plus couples on dates. There's also a marathon that runs from the cemetery to downtown, which means that every year there are pictures in the paper of runners trotting past the tombstones.
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Old January 2nd, 2012, 09:12 PM   #26
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Love it!!
I've attended a college just 30 minutes away from Asheville!! You should show asheville surrounding areas.. the mountains are stunning!!
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Old January 3rd, 2012, 12:00 AM   #27
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Once again, great photos!
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Old January 3rd, 2012, 01:37 AM   #28
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Thanks to you both.

Joao Pedro - Fortal -- I'm planning to get at least one photo thread out at the arboretum or the botanical gardens once spring gets here. That ought to show off the mountains pretty well.
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Old March 7th, 2012, 06:17 AM   #29
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When you're in Asheville, you never forget that you are in the heart of the mountains -- not when three mountain ranges and two rivers converge in the city. However, Asheville is an old (by American standards) city, and even though it's small, it's most definitely a very urban sort of place. It's had time to settle itself and build itself up, and that can lead to a disconnection between your life in town and the nature that surrounds it.

This is why it's so important to get out of town now and again, and there are few places better than Asheville that offer such great opportunities to get out and enjoy the scenery so close to town and all its amenities.

Dupont State Forest is such a place. Just forty minutes away from my front door, here's a wonderland of waterfalls, trails, woods, lakes, and a river, all of it preserved by the state of North Carolina for the enjoyment of all. It almost wasn't that way, though. In fact, Dupont Forest almost became yet another gated community but public outrage over the developer's plans prompted the state to step in. The developer has since gone bankrupt thanks to the grinding Great Recession, and it could not have happened to a nicer guy. I hope he burns in hell.

But let us talk of more pleasant things. Welcome to Dupont State Forest.



Dupont Forest is so named because the land belonged to the Dupont Corporation, originally. Dupont operated a facility, since leveled, at the heart of their property and when they pulled up stakes and departed, that was what opened the door for their property to become what it is today.



The Little River runs through Dupont Forest, giving rise to its most noteworthy attractions... six waterfalls.






This is Hooker Falls.











Every year -- and I do mean every year -- tourists die from falling off the waterfalls here and elsewhere in the region. We who live here don't know how to make it any plainer: respect the waterfalls. Respect them, look at them, enjoy them, love them, but do not do anything stupid in them or near them because they are as dangerous as they are beautiful. If you slip and fall, over the edge you will go. Hooker falls is perhaps the only one you would survive a fall over -- and if the water is especially high, not even then.









This plant is called "turkey paw." It's a traditional Southern Appalachian Christmas plant.



To acquire its property, the Dupont Corporation purchased dozens of farmsteads and homesteads. This meant that occasionally, someone's heritage got left behind. In the forest now and again you'll see a chimney to mark where a house once stood, and there is also a large fireplace and chimney still standing to mark the spot where there was once a large hotel. Also, deep in the forest a handful of cemeteries remain, remnants of the communities that once thrived here. This is Moore Cemetery.







































As beautiful as it is, something terrible is going on in Dupont Forest, as well as all across Western North Carolina. Our trees are dying -- particularly the hemlocks that provide so much shade to mountain streams. This kind of thing has happened before, with the chestnut blight that wiped out the "redwoods of the East," and it took decades for other trees to take the chestnut's place. It will take decades for something to replace the hemlocks and in the meantime the ecosystem will be thrown into turmoil. Throughout the forest, you'll see the ghosts of the hemlocks.













Triple Falls.



Would you care to guess how many steps there are to take you down from the trail to the falls themselves? 101. I counted.

















For a little perspective, note the size of the people there -- including that lady with her baby -- against the waterfall behind them.





Here's the river above Triple Falls. Deceptively calm and peaceful... and yet another reason to remember to respect the mountains should you find yourself out in them.











High Falls.





Oh yes, I forgot to mention there are two parts to High Falls. Silly me.







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Old March 7th, 2012, 06:40 AM   #30
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Beautiful pictures and good commentary
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Old March 7th, 2012, 07:54 AM   #31
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nice updates...informative and entertaining.
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Old May 21st, 2012, 07:31 AM   #32
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My boyfriend and I had nothing to do this afternoon after waking up from a nap, and we didn't want to just sit around at home all day. So, on a whim we headed over to the North Carolina Arboretum on the southwest side of Asheville.

There was an especially enlightening exhibit about poisonous and otherwise dangerous plants, but unfortunately we had to rush through it because we got there so late. And on top of all that, I didn't have time to charge my camera battery, which died not long into our visit.

This means I will have to return when I'm better prepared. Thankfully, this place is only about ten minutes away from my apartment so that ought not to be too difficult. I'll be sure to charge the camera next time.

In the meantime...







This is the Quilt Garden, planted with colorful flowers and plants in patterns that mimic traditional Appalachian quilting patterns.













This leads to the arboretum's bonsai collection, which is one of the best in the South, and among the better collections in the nation. Unfortunately, it was already closed for the day.









There was a wedding going on. If you want to get married outside, Asheville offers a bevy of choices, including here, the botanical gardens, and the gardens at Biltmore Estate.







The arboretum maintains a small sculpture collection. This one is nice, despite his out-of-whack proportions, but my favorite sculpture is a large metal depiction of a black widow spider. It's called "Lover Girl."

























Years ago the arboretum hosted a conference for representatives from botanical gardens and arboretums from around the world. At that conference the North Carolina Arboretum was voted to have the most beautiful natural setting of any such facility in the world.



























Lest we forget that this is an urban issues forum, here are some photos from downtown taken a while back that just didn't fit into any other thread. Might as well use them before they go stale.



















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Old May 21st, 2012, 09:06 AM   #33
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thanks for the great pics...
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Old June 30th, 2012, 09:46 PM   #34
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Hot n' Gritty

As I sit here in the air-conditioned comfort of my kitchen, listening to youtube music while I post these pictures, it's 93F outside. The heat index makes it feel like 96. This is why I joined fellow SSP forumer LSyd much earlier today, and he, myself, and my boyfriend ran around downtown Asheville taking pictures while the day was still merely uncomfortable and not yet unbearable.

I regret to inform you that there are no photographs of LSyd because he is a vampire and is therefore incapable of being captured by a camera. Likewise there are no photographs of my boyfriend because he has developed cat-like reflexes and can get his hand up to block the shot nine times out of ten.



We had arranged to meet in Pack Square by the bronze pigs, and if you think about it, "Meet me at the pigs," is just not something you get to hear someone say very often.





The pigs are very popular for posing.



And once they're posed on the pigs, you take their pictures.



There is a certain irony to a person a jogging past a cupcake bakery.







































































































Don't you wish you were the donut queen?













Someone had abandoned their egg drop soup, and for good reason. Egg drop soup is revolting.



Considering my and LSyd's predilection for grit, I figured it would be a good idea to visit downtown's largest respository of such: an alley called Carolina Lane with a smaller alley called Chicken Alley branching off it. The only better place to see graffiti in Asheville is the River District with its derelict factories and warehouses.





























In case there was some dispute about the matter:










































































































Tourists in their natural habitat.











Even in the heart of downtown, you're not far from the natural charms of the city.











Goodbye and thank you for visiting. Please exit to your left.

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Old June 30th, 2012, 11:30 PM   #35
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It's great to see some updates from Asheville. Thanks.
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Old July 1st, 2012, 01:38 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by openlyJane View Post
It's great to see some updates from Asheville. Thanks.
And thank you for looking around and leaving a comment.
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 12:19 AM   #37
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Still very interesting, looks like a nice place to live
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Old October 22nd, 2012, 07:20 AM   #38
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My plan yesterday was to go out and...



...But this turned out to be more difficult than one might imagine because there is just so very much art in downtown Asheville. I didn't realize just how much there was, in fact, until I tried to go around and capture it all. My boyfriend and I spent about three hours walking around trying to get it all and still didn't manage to get everything. I know I missed a few things, and as a result I've even had to recycle a few pictures to show you what I know that I missed. I do hope you'll be forgiving.

By the end of it, I was experiencing art fatigue, and I've only had that happen to me once before. It occurred when I went to Seattle and spent so much time wandering around museums that if I had to go look at one more beautiful object I was going to run screaming into the street -- but that wouldn't have helped yesterday because all of this art was out on the street. There was no escape.

So very, very much art.



We couldn't park downtown because of a giant craft show going on at the civic center, plus hordes of tourists out enjoying the pleasant fall weather. We had to park in Montford, north of downtown and walk in.

This mural decorates the side of an old Piggly Wiggly grocery store that now houses a convenience store and a couple of restaurants.









Just across I-240 from downtown, this mural adorns the side of a clothing and sporting goods store.



Meanwhile, downtown, the gardens in front of the Basilica of St. Lawrence are lovely in any season. We couldn't go inside the church because a wedding was going on, and that was a shame. The basilica is arguably Asheville's grandest church and is absolutely filled with art -- including German stained glass windows, a 17th Century altarpiece purchased from a Spanish cathedral, paintings from the 1700's, and statues and tilework from the 1300's.







Here are a couple of old photos I've taken in the church to give you an idea of what sorts of lovely things lurk inside.





Out behind the church stands a monument to aborted children.







En route to downtown, this tile is set into the sidewalk in front of the Kress Building. Tiles just like this decorate the building. Asheville's architecture is one of its best features, and in recognition of that fact there are several works of art downtown that either echo or draw attention to various architectural features.



That's Pack Square up there. It's where Asheville was founded at the crossing of two Indian trading paths, and it's where the beating heart of the city has been located ever since. One of Pack Square's most noteworthy features is the Vance Monument obelisk, which honors the Civil War-era governor of North Carolina. Zebulon Baird Vance was born near Asheville and went on to distinguish himself as, strangely, both a virulent racist and a staunch advocate of tolerance for Jews.



This restaurant features some art on its windows in this picture I took back in June.



An artwork depicts a bit of Asheville history. As the physical heart of town, people have always passed back and forth through Pack Square. In the town's early years, drovers also used to drive enormous herds of animals, including pigs and turkeys, through the square.





An artwork decorates the outside of the Asheville Art Museum.



This staid memorial to author Thomas Wolfe was commissioned in retaliation of the city's first purchase of a piece of public art back in the 80's. The city bought a piece of modern art and a group of citizens found it distasteful. They commissioned this angel, a very bad copy of the marble angel that inspired the title of one of Wolfe's most famous books, as a counterpoint to the modern art.



A better view of the Vance Monument.



In Asheville you may experience art in many different ways. Here at the art museum you may pay to view it.



Away from the square, this bronze top hat, cane, and gloves mark the site where the opera house used to stand. It's a parking lot now.



So many buildings are so richly adorned.



This artwork honors short story writer William Porter (alias O. Henry) who lived and worked in Asheville for a time. Porter is buried here.



Down on Church Street, the churches boast peaceful courtyards, some with fountains.

This is the remembrance garden at Central United Methodist.







First Presbyterian sprouts strange flowers.





And a remembrance garden of its own.



A lovely gate at Grace Episcopal, which also boasts some significant stained glass windows. What makes them significant is that they were created by Mary Tillinghast, a female contemporary of Louis Comfort Tiffany.





A mural decorates the side of the Craggie Brewing Company.











Ornate stonework on the Drhumor Building.



The artist who created these lovely carvings had a sense of humor. That face up there is a depiction of a florist who had a shop across the street, who liked to stand in this doorway and watch the stone carver at work.



The monument to Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman awarded a medical degree in the United States, who began her medical studies while working as a music teacher in Asheville.



This artwork draws attention to a nearby Art Deco masterpiece.



This is the Art Deco masterpiece to which the artwork draws attention.



A market was set up in Pritchard Park. What could you buy there? Art -- what a surprise!



This artwork stands on the other side of the park, and is a modernistic portrayal of some of the Art Deco decorations on nearby buildings. I took this picture in November a couple of years ago.



You may listen to art, if you wish...



This large flatiron draws attention to two things: the Flat Iron Building at whose base it stands, and the old flatirons used in the Asheville Laundry that once stood nearby. The iron is very popular with buskers.



A pottery shop on Wall Street boasts a very artistic awning.



One of the winged rams atop the Public Service Building.



A caravan compels you to buy beads.



More buskers...



A sculpture group makes note of another quirk of Asheville history. Wall Street takes its name from the wall built to hold back Battery Hill, and catwalks once connected the first floors of buildings on side of the hill to the second floors of buildings built at the base of the hill. Eventually, the gap between the two was filled in and Wall Street was born.

Catwalks, hence "Cat Walk."







The cats' attention is rapt on a couple of bronze rats. Why? Because the alley that runs underneath Wall Street is known as Rat Alley.





Other cities have yarn bombers, and while we have them too, we also have the flower bomber who leaves hapless trees and sculptures draped in chains of flowers under cover of darkness. This is what remains of her attack on a Wall Street gingko tree.



A last look up at the Public Service Building.



Up by the Grove Arcade, the city's loveliest shopping mall, this sculpture notes the fact that the Grove Arcade was originally planned to have a tower atop it.



Inside the arcade. All of that stonework is handcarved.



The building is decorated inside and out with dozens of carved faces, no two of which are exactly alike.







A bronze replica of the registration book from the old Battery Park Hotel (as well as its "new" incarnation) records some of the famous signatures collected by those hotels over the years.



The "new" Battery Park Hotel still stands, and is now an apartment building.







More stonework at the Grove Arcade.









A sculpture group outside the civic center (recently renamed the U.S. Cellular Center) honors Asheville's long history as a center for music and dance. Asheville has been a resort city practically since its founding, and dances and concerts were held by the hotels to entertain their guests.









There was also a saxophonist entertaining the crowds coming and going from the big craft show inside.



A blacksmithing demonstration outside the U.S. Cellular Center. You may watch art being made, if you like.



Bronze ivy marks the old Ivey's Department Store building. It's an upscale boutique hotel with shops on the first floor now.



Speaking of department stores, Haywood Street used to be lined with them from end to end. These bronze shoppers note Haywood's history as the city's prime shopping street.







Over on Lexington Avenue the art is a little earthier. Here's a depiction of Chik-Fil-A Chief Operating Officer Dan Cathy as the famous drag queen Divine. The artist didn't care for Cathy's stance on same-sex relationships.



Yet another Lexington mural, photographed back in June.





Turns out that behind this door is the Static Age music store. The door was up, so here's a picture from June showing the door in all its glory.



You've seen these murals under the I-240 overpass before because they're perhaps my favorite works of art downtown. I can't help myself.





















On the other side of the overpass lies the Moog synthesizer factory.





And back under the overpass we go.















Chicken Alley, naturally.

























An artist at work up past the point where Chicken Alley hooks around to connect with Carolina Lane.

















A bronze basket of apples and bonnet on a bench near the corner of Walnut and Lexington. It honors the farmers who once brought their goods to town to sell them.





A bronze boy on stilts on Broadway. Somehow, this is supposed to honor the architect who designed the biggest house in America, which stands a few miles south of downtown Asheville.



The yarn bombers have been here, I see.





Mural on Broadway.



A ceramic depiction of the Woodfin House that once stood on Woodfin Street.



Thomas Wolfe grew up in this neighborhood and the forced perspective of this artwork shows what the area would have looked like when Wolfe was growing up.











Up at the Thomas Wolfe House there's a pair of -- very large -- bronze shoes in Wolfe's size.



Sculptures on the side of the Asheville Community Theatre. You may watch art being performed if you like, and I did just that when I attended a performance of Hairspray here a few weeks ago. Theatre thrives here.







An artwork depicts the various ways that travelers have come to Asheville over the years, from canoe to bicycle, horse, train, and plane.







An impromptu concert featuring piano, tuba, and trumpet near the corner of Broadway and Walnut.







Remember that angel? This is the artwork, called "Continuum" that pissed people off enough to buy it. It stands on a little scrap of lawn in front of a county office building.



Here's a lovely garden with a depressing purpose...







Why is it depressing? This is being built for the Department of Social Services and will serve as a peaceful, pretty place for children to meet with their caseworkers and talk about daddy touching them.





The Confederate memorial, tucked away under a tree beside the courthouse.



Art decorates the city's central park, including this performance stage that stretches before the courthouse and city hall.



The veterans' memorial.







This shows how the city hall and county courthouse were originally supposed to look. When the county got a look at city hall's design, they found it far too daring and hired another firm to design a reserved neoclassical tower instead.









This marks the spot where Thomas Wolfe's father once ran a gravestone shop.







Even more art for sale in Pack Square.









This sculpture honors a downtown neighborhood called The Block, which was once the commercial heart of Asheville's black community. Today, decades after urban renewal devastated the area, The Block is the last part of downtown that still awaits revitalization.



Change is afoot in The Block. This building, for instance, is one of a group that will be refurbished as part of a project that will include new commercial and office space, as well as almost 70 desperately-needed units of affordable housing.







Elsewhere, in a little scrap of green space called Triangle Park, this amazing mural depicts the long and storied history of Asheville African-American community.





The neighborhood that once supplied The Block with customers was called the East End. Here's how it looked in 1891. It was largely destroyed thanks to urban "renewal" in the 1960's.









The mural is still a work in progress.

















You can sit in the dark and watch art here, if you want to.



A bronze eagle marks the site of the Eagle Hotel, from which nearby Eagle Street (main street of The Block) takes its name.



More buskers!



And now a bit of performance art. That is, in fact, a man dressed as a nun riding a tall bike.



Here he comes...



...And there he goes.



Edit: I told you I knew I'd forgotten some art. Here's one of the works I missed. This iron tree, pictured a few years ago, stands outside the Federal Building.

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Old October 22nd, 2012, 08:57 AM   #39
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It's nice to see some updates from Asheville; it really is a city of art - in every way. Fantastic.

Have you been cataloguing all of the city's public art?
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Old October 22nd, 2012, 09:07 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by openlyJane View Post
It's nice to see some updates from Asheville; it really is a city of art - in every way. Fantastic.

Have you been cataloguing all of the city's public art?
This last addition to the thread was my first attempt at going out and trying to capture everything there was to see. I'd just never realized how much there was! I was always aware of it all, I suppose, but when you go out and try to track it down piece by piece, the sheer amount of it is amazing -- and remember that I didn't even capture all of it.

In addition to downtown, by the way, there are fountains and public art at the hospitals, in the banks, and there is public art to be found in at least three other neighborhoods that I can think of. One neighborhood, West Asheville, is almost as thickly blanketed with art as downtown. West Asheville features murals, sculptures, and even a scrap metal garden.

I'm going to have to recover before I can even think about going out and trying to get pictures of all of that... I just can't deliberately expose myself to any more beauty right now.
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