I came back to Asheville, North Carolina for a one week visit after several years away. In the time since my last visit in 2012, the city has continued to evolve. My son is active in the River Arts District, which is adjacent to the French Broad River a little bit south of downtown and there's been numerous changes down there. The working studios have spread out and are now being joined by other neighbors such as massive breweries. Touchstones from prior years such as a mural at Cotton Mill Studios are now gone, but other sights have replaced them. Here's some new outdoor art that is decorating walls and a water tower near the western edge of the district.
As I write this, my streaming Pandora station is playing a jazzy rendition of the song You Can't Go Home Again, which is the title of the last novel by Asheville's most famous writer, Thomas Wolfe. Serendipity, a wonderful notion, sometimes realized.
Another major change is the emergence of Asheville as a leader in the brewing of craft beers. The other night, we checked out the Burial Brewing Company on the South Slope of downtown. This area, a former bastion of warehouses and empty buildings, is now rapidly expanding to include a variety of different options for one''s beer drinking pleasure. On that evening, I tried a Kolsch and a Pilsner from local brewers, and these were some of the less exotic choices; the ever changing menu included information about size options -- 8 oz is a good tasting size, particularly if you want to try multiples -- as well as alcohol content.
Happily, Asheville is still a go-to spot for finding wonderful bookstores, a wide variety of cuisines and much more. I'll write more about that in my next post.