Travel to Asheville, North Carolina
I'd like to welcome the show music journalist. Bill Kopp who come to talk to us about Asheville North Carolina Bill. Welcome to show. Thanks for having me on to treat. I've learned a lot listening to previous episodes well and I was telling bill before we started recording that I about a week ago had a trip plan to Ashville. That's gotten trumped by some other opportunities. That have come up. But why should someone plan a trip to Asheville? Ashville is really ECLECTIC and Funky. It's it has food. Music Arts Performing Arts something for everyone in Asheville in one of the things that it's really remarkable about it. Is that not a big city? It's got very humid scale. Outside of the day trip. Everything here is either walkable or a few minutes drive. And it's a lot more artistic and cosmopolitan than one might expect of a city nestled in the on the Blue Ridge. Mountains excellent. Well what are you gonNA recommend for us to do? When we come to Asheville North Carolina a one week itinerary for example. I would suggest three days downtown two days on the outskirts and then potentially two or three days worth of day trips because in an hour of here by car. Of course there's a quite a bit of things to see and do that are different from the experience of being in Asheville proper. We started as downtown. What are we going to do downtown? When you're downtown Nashville. My suggestion would be to take as much local color as possible. Try to do and see and do the things that make Ashfield. You need that means skipping stuff that you could do elsewhere like golf and chain restaurant Golfing. We obtain restaurants those great but experiencing those doesn't really play into the things that make Ashville different from any other place will and when you say downtown. I assume we're downtown there amidst the skyscrapers. Not Not really okay. I haven't actually counted but I would say the number of buildings we have their over ten stories. Kp More than a dozen skyscrapers definitely not. It's Not New York City when you're walking down the street and you're in a canyon with giant tall buildings on either side. You could actually walk from one end of downtown to the other assuming you don't stop and there's plenty of reasons to stop in about twenty minutes about a mile across at the most. And what are we doing? Big thing to do here is to park your car and get out and walk around. People Watch dig into our local history which includes figures like Oh henry quote unquote favorite son. Thomas Wolfe Robert moog pretty much the inventor of the Synthesizer Buckminster Fuller Scott Zelda Fitzgerald. All those people have significant parts of their history. Spent living working and creating Nashville. So there's all kinds of things connected with them. Asheville has more art deco architecture per capita than any American city except Miami which is a little unusual the reason it does is because the city was in such dire financial straits after the depression that for many many many years the city was mired in debt and couldn't afford to knock down the old buildings so when things improved. Those buildings were renovated and fix back up. Now we have all these beautiful old buildings that we otherwise have and that you are likely to find in another city our size opinion down to be a little more specific here so if I want to see some of the best of our DECA. Let's say where am I going to start walking? In what direction. GonNa head start at City Hall. Which looks like a wedding cake okay. It's an unusual looking building there. A couple of their buildings right around but it started there and that's pretty much on the east end of downtown and so from there block West towards the mountain manager in every direction Ashville. Is it about twenty two hundred feet above sea level but if you go in any direction where South East or west. You're going to get to mountains in a little bull. If you go west about forty five minutes you drop out of the mountains down into the the Piedmont you drop a good thousand feet elevation. So we're right on the edge of the out range but we are in a valley so we're surrounded by aunts and you say go and People Watch best place in Ashville for people watching a place called Pritchard Park. Which when I moved here twenty years ago was a bus terminal and now it's a city park a triangular park probably nowhere near acres quite small. But it's a great place to people watch. There are permanent. Chess sets set up for people to play on and on Friday nights. One of the most quintessential Ashville things of all the drum circle. I saw pictures of this. Okay good people from every walk of life. Young old doesn't matter what show up. Some of them are serious poly rhythmic percussionist. Others of the May have never hit a drum in their life before. And they all come together and beat the heck drums and it's a communal experience. And it's not one of these sort of things. Where if you walk up with tambourine or a drum that you've just bought or borrowed or something you're not gonna get dirty looks from the local saying who are you. It's a very open welcoming thing and it's like nothing else and it's loud but in a good way and when you say drum circle I. Emily think there's a little bit of a hippy. Culture left Nashville. Am I way off base here? There's more than a little bit. Yes ashville is unique in that. I've been here twenty years and I moved here from Atlanta Bailey because I really wanted to make a lifestyle change. I wanted to get out of the rat race. A little bit and my story is far from unique almost everyone. I know who is a transplant here? Maybe not most of the people but it's quite a few of the people they've moved here because of quality of life issues. They didn't move here because they for some corporation that transfer the here. There's not a lot of work here. It's not that kind of the city so it's very very laid back. It's very Bohemian. And there are a lot a lot a lot of seventy year old hippies. Okay well and you mentioned some of well known people who have lived in Nashville including I think he's mentioned Moga and Henry and Fitzgerald there. Zelda actually died in a fire here in Nashville isn't it? It's not a lovely story. Scott and Zelda spent a good bit of time here and Thomas Wolfe who look homeward angel in fact. His novels are about Ashville. They're classified is fiction but they're really nonfiction. You've changed the names and he pretty much got almost got run out of town because there was a little too much truth in them. Perhaps so yes. We're talking quite a number of years ago. Celebrated novelist and his greatest work is from here. Enough time has gone by all is forgiven. Thomas Wolf House downtown is a popular tourist attraction. I can relate. I grew up in John Steinbeck's hometown who is much more popular. Now that he's dead kept writing about all the wrong people the struggling and up and coming and not the right people so wasn't as popular as my impression in his time.