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Old April 12th, 2009, 09:47 PM   #1
LSyd
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Asheville, North Carolina, USA

Asheville's a great small American city; the downtown's walkable and vibrant, good old housing stock in various conditions, and the city has a very...interesting vibe. hippies, transplanted retirees, conservative types, and hillbillies all living together in (mostly) harmony.

pics from late january. i hope forumers are mature enough not to come in here with the "all american cities look the same" or "look at the run down industrial area" crap.

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Biltmore Estate - largest privately owned home in the U.S.

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Old April 13th, 2009, 06:27 AM   #2
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nice pics but it looks like a depressing place to live
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Old April 13th, 2009, 10:34 AM   #3
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nice pics but it looks like a depressing place to live
I wonder why someone would get that impression. I live here and I can honestly say that I've never been happier. I have a friend who will be moving soon to the other side of the state. I drove her around town today on our way to a coffee shop she likes and all she could talk about was how much she'll miss this city.

People really want to be here, and they'll put up with an awful lot to stay here -- low wages, a poor job market, and ridiculously high housing costs. Why? Because it's a delightful city in a gorgeous area, it has beautiful eclectic architecture, the nightlife is great for a city this size, there's always something to do, and it's fun and wild and weird, especially during tourist season.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 12:55 AM   #4
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[QUOTE=LSyd;35032814]Asheville's a great small American city; the downtown's walkable and vibrant, good old housing stock in various conditions, and the city has a very...interesting vibe. hippies, transplanted retirees, conservative types, and hillbillies all living together in (mostly) harmony.

pics from late january. i hope forumers are mature enough not to come in here with the "all american cities look the same" or "look at the run down industrial area" crap.
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LOVE this shot LSyd, and my wife and I LOVE Asheville. We've been there twice over the past couple of years and we are headed back in a couple of weeks. This time we are going to check out the Great Smokey Mountain park and probably the Biltmore (we wanted to check out the city more than the Biltmore the previous visit's, we were limited on time). We love the artsy/laid back atmosphere, the food is great (mmm... Greenlife) and you're surrounded by beautiful mountains (a paradise in my eyes). I guess lkm373 was referring to the "industrial" shots, when they gave it the "depressing" label, but it's a nice little retreat for me. Looking forward to taking some pics when I get down there.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 02:38 AM   #5
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Great photos!!!

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I love this building, the tiles are amazing. Do you know the name of it?
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Old April 14th, 2009, 02:41 AM   #6
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Love me some Asheville, thanks!
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Old April 14th, 2009, 04:08 AM   #7
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Great photos!!!



I love this building, the tiles are amazing. Do you know the name of it?
That is First Baptist Church. It dates from the late 1920's and was designed by a local architect named Douglas Ellington, who studied at L'Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and was inspired by the art deco and art nouveau architecture he saw there. He brought those styles back to Asheville, and in addition to this building, he is also responsible for the City Building (city hall), Asheville High School, and the S&W Cafeteria Building (a dazzling structure with blue and gold tiles), along with several others that are all still standing.

What's really interesting about First Baptist Church, though, is the fact that at first glance, all that green toward the top of the dome looks to be oxidation leached down from the copper cupola. It's not. Those are green tiles, each placed just so to give the dome exactly that look. And yes, in case you were wondering, that dome is in fact modeled on the dome of the Florentine duomo.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 03:57 PM   #8
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J&S Cafeteria...





or is it the S&W Cafeteria?
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Old April 14th, 2009, 04:03 PM   #9
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J&S Cafeteria...



or is it the S&W Cafeteria?
I can't imagine why I had J&S Cafeteria on the brain. I've eaten there once and thought it was vile, while I think the S&W Cafeteria building is one of the nicest in town. Thanks for pointing out that little faux pas.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 05:39 PM   #10
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I can't imagine why I had J&S Cafeteria on the brain. I've eaten there once and thought it was vile, while I think the S&W Cafeteria building is one of the nicest in town. Thanks for pointing out that little faux pas.
So I guess you wouldn't recommend the joint. The pic is from our trip last June, it looked like a fairly new restaurant (few years old), even looked kind of nice on the inside (looking through the window). It is a Beautiful building. Ever eat at the Vegetarian restaurant on Wall st. (Laughing Seed I think?). We were looking forward to trying it this year as it was closed the day we went last year. We did eat lunch at an Indian buffet that was excellent (forgot the name), Mexican (also forgot the name, maybe salsa's?) that was very good as well, and Greenlife ( which had a wonderful prepared food section, better than Whole Foods IMHO). We plan on returning to all three for food this year. We're always open to suggestions if you have any fav. restaurants to recommend. Can't wait to get down there.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 07:07 PM   #11
christos-greece
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Looks nice city, very colorful
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Old April 14th, 2009, 07:11 PM   #12
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I think the city has a lot of character, and it is such a gem in the otherwise rural western NC. I love the Biltmore, went there right before Christmas a couple years ago. It was so beautifully decorated I couldn't imagine going any other time of year. It's also funny because the climate is so different around that area compared to everywhere else in NC and Tennessee. Tons and tons of Floridians go to Asheville every year and a lot of people at the hospital I work at own property up there. In fact if I'm not mistaken I think west NC/east TN has the # of Floridian tourists than anywhere else in the world. Must be the cool weather :-)

My only criticism is that the city seems like it has passed its "hayday." Seems from the pictures and from walking around (just like in jacksonville) that the city used to be an even bigger deal than it is. Is this true?
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Old April 14th, 2009, 07:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D.E.L.Soul View Post
J&S Cafeteria...





or is it the S&W Cafeteria?
This building btw looks one of the most very nice buildings in town, at least from the front...
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Old April 15th, 2009, 01:32 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by D.E.L.Soul View Post
So I guess you wouldn't recommend the joint. The pic is from our trip last June, it looked like a fairly new restaurant (few years old), even looked kind of nice on the inside (looking through the window). It is a Beautiful building. Ever eat at the Vegetarian restaurant on Wall st. (Laughing Seed I think?). We were looking forward to trying it this year as it was closed the day we went last year. We did eat lunch at an Indian buffet that was excellent (forgot the name), Mexican (also forgot the name, maybe salsa's?) that was very good as well, and Greenlife ( which had a wonderful prepared food section, better than Whole Foods IMHO). We plan on returning to all three for food this year. We're always open to suggestions if you have any fav. restaurants to recommend. Can't wait to get down there.
Well, I certainly wouldn't recommend J&S unless you've got some fierce nostalgia for your old high school cafeteria food and want to relive the heartburn. As for Steak and Wine in the old S&W Building, I don't know. Haven't tried them because most of their entrees are in the $30 range, and that's a bit too rich for me.

I have eaten at the Laughing Seed. The food was good but you don't get quite enough for your money.

If you want suggestions, the best Mexican food in town can be found at Papa's and Beer. They don't have a branch downtown, but there's one on Brevard Road next to the almost-derelict Biltmore Square Mall, and a new branch has opened on Tunnel Road just on the other side of the tunnel from downtown.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 01:37 AM   #15
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My only criticism is that the city seems like it has passed its "hayday." Seems from the pictures and from walking around (just like in jacksonville) that the city used to be an even bigger deal than it is. Is this true?
During the 1920's, Asheville was one of the most famous resorts in the country, and everybody who was anybody stayed here. It's mentioned in the Great Gatsby if you want an example. Those kinds of people packed the place during tourist season.

Once the Depression hit, Asheville incurred the highest per capita debt in America and couldn't afford to tear much of anything down for the next fifty-odd years. That's why it's so well-preserved. We didn't pay off our last Depression-era debt, in fact, until sometime in the 1970's.

Downtown and neighborhoods such as Montford were largely abandoned until the late 80's, when hippies and artists began to move in. In due time, they resuscitated the city and here we are. Before the economic crash, rich people were beginning to notice us again -- and the hippies and artists don't like that one bit.

And that's our story in a nutshell. We're not past our prime, I wouldn't say, but we're definitely different. We're still thriving, and I guess you could say that rather in addition to being a posh place for rich people to play (which we are, again), we're dirty, gritty, and run down, and that's how we like it.
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Old April 16th, 2009, 04:32 PM   #16
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thanks y'all.

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