Asheville has always been on the back burner for me. I first went when I was 18 for some of the niche nightlife events, and I met a large community of fascinating people. Mostly I knew the city at night and as a hub for shared subcultural interests.
I spent a remarkable amount of time in my 20s driving back and forth for concerts, cabarets, and other events my friends and I performed in. Back then most of the appeal was for the people I knew there, not the city itself. But the more I visited, the more places I found, and the longer I wanted to stay.
Last weekend I went for a tourist trip (I was not performing) and decided to write a little about it from that perspective. This will be the first in a series of entries about Asheville.
The Crow & Quill is my favourite spot in Asheville, owned by a friend who hosts themed parties and art+maker nights each week. C&Q also hosts live music (my band included) and serves all the fancy cocktails that dreams are made of. Dreams of Gorey, Poe, and Lovecraft, in a sea of three hundred whiskeys.
Battery Park Book Exchange and Malaprops are my favourite bookstores, both great places to let your yellow smoke rub its muzzle on the window-panes.
Asheville has a lot of interesting art installations and sculptures. Usually there is a band busking nearby with an open suitcase, should you feel led to drop a few dollars in.
Breweries are all over the place in Asheville. A friend took me to the Sierra Nevada brewery for the first time and I was thrilled to try their new brew called Sidecar, part of my band’s name.
We ordered lunch and sat outside listening to live music and people watching.
Highland Brewing was a lot of fun too. My friends had a show there that night, and before sound check we stopped by Troy & Sons next door.
Check out Skunk Ruckus live!
My friend also took me for Favilla’s balsamic chicken pizza, and the next day to Another Cracked Egg for beignets & omelettes.
This restlessness with my current city could be greatly satiated if I relocated to Asheville, I’m sure, but it remains on the back burner. Even with the hyperinflation of rent and sprawling suburbs, the ever-lingering wafts of body odor and patchouli, and the blur of buskers that almost sound as good as that one band they remind me of. I really love it.