“Why Asheville?” was the question a Facebook friend asked me earlier this afternoon. I thought about how to answer that in as honest and realistic way possible.
The one and absolutely redeeming quality is the location of the town being of course in the wonderful mountains of Western North Carolina. The challenge is how to preserve this beauty and save it from greedy developers who destroy it in the name of profit. Sadly Asheville City Council has never met a developer it did not like!
The second and important aspect of life here is the prevailing openness of Asheville. Your as likely to see and hear a man playing a flute whilst waiting in line at a retail store as you are to see a limo with who knows who reclined in the back. You may see two men or two women holding hands or even giving each other a kiss as they go fairly unnoticed by the crowds on the street. But Asheville is in the middle of “militia country” and it may be a good to remember that as you travel in the more western areas of the area.
Thirdly Asheville is very “art, theatre and music” friendly if that is what you are into to borrow from the parlance of the day. It has both free concerts and plays as well as very pricey productions.
But Asheville has its very serious problems and not least of these is affordable housing. Whether rental properties which have outrageous rents or family homes that are way overpriced there is a severe shortage of housing for “middle America”. But if you are not “bound to downtown” and are willing to be further out in the city or even and especially outside of the city you can and will find what you are looking for.
Lastly there was a time when downtown had the feel of an “artsy fartsy” small collegiate like town but those days are gone. Parking is horrendous and in short supply, traffic snarls daily, and the overwhelming majority of businesses are tourist trap rip offs. But still downtown can and does host peace rallies and art fairs, ethnic festivals, and free concerts.
Public transport is limited and for most of well to do Asheville it is thought to be only for the poor, the elderly and the mentally deranged, an assessment most folkes agree with but only say privately.
UBER so I hear is taking over the taxi service which has been in real need of positive change and my experience with UBER, infrequent as it has been, was very positive.
Asheville has wonderful potential. Its choice is whether to be a haven and fiefdom for the 1% or an inclusive and affordable community for everyone who wants to live here can in fact do so.
- Posted in: Uncategorized