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Old Posted Jan 23, 2009, 9:56 AM
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Asheville neighborhood of the month: Assorted hideous beasts, attractively arrayed

I'm going to apologize for this thread in advance. The basic idea here was to showcase a different city neighborhood each month, with an emphasis on the parts of town the tourists don't usually get to when they're here. Downtown, where every tourist goes however, was still the logical place to start but I meant to head out and grab the angles of downtown that usually don't make it up here whenever someone posts an Asheville thread.

That didn't quite work out as well as I'd wanted, unfortunately, because the friend I brought along only had three hours to spare. We spent the time running -- literally -- around downtown trying to get every picture we could, and what we ended up with was tired and sunblasted look at downtown Asheville. Somehow, it manages to be both sunny and dreary all at the same time.

I guess it can't be helped... I'm running out of January here and unfortunately, one of my roommates' snarky suggestions (let's just run by the grocery store and pick up a pound, then) won't work. I'd been waiting for it to snow, and it just refused to do so until the other day when we got a couple inches of powder that blew away the next day.

And so, without further ado, here's a half-assed look at a lot of stuff you've already seen before, with the added bonus of the ugly, winter-weary side of downtown Asheville.

This is January's Asheville neighborhood of the month: Downtown

In Asheville, today...



Yes. They are in fact being fattened for slaughter, and are henceforth to be referred to as Hideous Beasts A-D. Keep looking if you don't believe me.



This building tends to... loom. Keep looking if you don't believe me about that either. You really are a skeptical cuss, aren't you?





My friend and I got into an amusing argument about feeling like dirty tourists going around with our cameras in plain sight like we were. This caused a hostess at the nearby cafe to start giggling. She didn't have much else to do. It was about 45 degrees out, so nobody was dining out of doors today.



Speaking of outdoor noshing, this alley is used for that purpose in warm weather.



Contrast is what downtown architecture is all about. Romanesque, meet Brutalist.



See, I told you they were being fattened up for a sinister purpose. This hawk, to be referred to as Hideous Beast E is rumored to live in one of the B's on the BB&T Building.











It's time for a jaunt down Church Street.











And back up the street...



A quick look inside an abandoned building across the street from that grey stone church.



Looming...







We occasionally try to temper our Brutalist Wachovia buildings with public art.





Brutalist, meet Art Deco.

























Here's a picture you've seen a million times before.



Here's another picture you've seen a million times before, featuring Hideous Beasts F and G.



Late last week and earlier this week Asheville was basking in single-digit temperatures, with windchills of 20-something below. Today was positively blistering at 50 degrees, but it was windy and so not many people were out -- and nobody wanted de-icing salt blown into their veggie granola organic whatever, and so they all wisely stayed inside to eat.



Hideous Beast H











Why would anyone take a picture of this, I ask you? Now you see the depths of my desperation to get something, anything, on film while my friend insisted on browsing at a gift shop that was going out of business.





Arte Nouveau? Arte Moderne? You make the call.



Arte Moderne? Arte Nouveau? You make the call.



Arte... Okay, that joke's been used up, I think. I'll stop it now.



Va va voom? Ooh la la? You make the call.

Okay, so I lied.





This picture looks familiar because you have in fact seen it before. The problem with being small and exquisite and urban is that you're still small. People do tend to snag the same shots all the time.











I'm vaguely reminded of how much I like M.C. Escher.











I would make some kind of smartass comment here, but really... it speaks for itself, doesn't it?



Hideous Beast I



Hideous Beast I with Hideous Beast J in the foreground.





Hideous Beast K. Rawr.























Visible on the right is Hideous Beast L. Look closely. The entire reason this sculpture is up on a pedestal is because when it was originally installed on the sidewalk, people kept tripping over the little rotter.









This is the booty-end of the old JC Penney building, in case you were wondering, which you weren't, but I know these things so just smile and nod politely and pretend like you were paying attention. That strokes my ego and makes me feel like a valued member of society. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.



Ever notice how streets in movies and on TV shows always terminate at a T-intersection with more buildings at the end to block the view?





You weren't expecting that one, were you? Yeah... we hustled up eight floors of stairs to get to the roof of the Civic Center parking deck. Good stuff up there, man. Good stuff...

The 500-plus room Grove Park Inn is there on the mountainside off to the left.



See that dome?



Yeah. That one. That's First Baptist Church.



There was still a little snow in the shady spots.













Please note that this fence will not stop a slasher movie villain.







I did this on purpose. Can you tell? I mean, is it obvious?



Left of center, actually.









Still looming.





Just add water.

















Loomage.

















Architecture? Art? You make the call.

So I lied again. Sue me.





Hideous Beast M



A clown that someone had glued to the windowsill. Hideous Beast N by default.







Here are some little Buddhas with the shadow of my head. If you have ever seen that sentence in print anywhere else before, I will pay you a dollar.

















You've seen this picture before too. It's a popular door.



Downtown is waiting for spring.

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Last edited by hauntedheadnc; Jan 23, 2009 at 10:31 AM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2009, 3:27 PM
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Great shots; lots of cool details to look over. Asheville looks like a charming place with an artistic bent, even with all of those hideous beasts .
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Old Posted Jan 23, 2009, 3:59 PM
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def.. some different angles pictures..interesting shots
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Old Posted Jan 23, 2009, 6:22 PM
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Very nice photos, Asheville looks really fun. Some good friends of mine who live in Knoxville want to take me there in May when I visit. Now, I can't wait!!
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Old Posted Jan 23, 2009, 8:22 PM
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Man, I love Asheville. If I ever move back to NC I may end up there.
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Old Posted Jan 23, 2009, 11:17 PM
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Thanks for taking the time to look and comment!
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Old Posted Jan 24, 2009, 2:43 AM
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Love this City I must visit again.
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Old Posted Jan 24, 2009, 3:52 AM
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on the south side
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jibba View Post
Great shots; lots of cool details to look over. Asheville looks like a charming place with an artistic bent, even with all of those hideous beasts .
You nailed it!

Asheville is a charming place with an artistic bent!
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  #9  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2009, 11:26 PM
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Hauntedhead, don't be so tough on yourself, those photos are awesome!
You managed to find some amazing angles and perspectives!

Indigo is going up fast, btw.. from the picture there, it looks like they only have one more floor to go before topping out.

60 N. Market turned out so beautifully!

... and, some (most) may call it ugly, but I just absolutely love the looming BB&T building.
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Old Posted Jan 25, 2009, 2:01 PM
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... and, some (most) may call it ugly, but I just absolutely love the looming BB&T building.
Truth be told, I like it too. I especially like the way the height is enhanced by its position on top of a hill. Downtown swirls around it like dancers around a maypole.
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Old Posted Jan 26, 2009, 6:11 PM
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I would really like to see a thread on West Asheville if you can get around to it. I have only visited that part of town once but loved the vibes I got.
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Old Posted Jan 26, 2009, 6:14 PM
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Awesome photos, as always. Are you taking suggestions for February's neighborhood of the month? Might I suggest West Asheville?

(edit: I swear, we didn't plan this! ^^^)
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Old Posted Jan 26, 2009, 10:47 PM
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Great angles!
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Old Posted Jan 27, 2009, 1:27 AM
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Impressive. The topography is very beautiful also.
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Old Posted Jan 27, 2009, 1:46 AM
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Beautiful job. I want to go back there so bad. Got a taste of the place back in October, but I need to spend some real time there again it seems.
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Old Posted Jan 27, 2009, 4:00 AM
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I would really like to see a thread on West Asheville if you can get around to it. I have only visited that part of town once but loved the vibes I got.
Quote:
Originally Posted by orulz View Post
Awesome photos, as always. Are you taking suggestions for February's neighborhood of the month? Might I suggest West Asheville?

(edit: I swear, we didn't plan this! ^^^)
I don't know what part of town I'll concentrate on next month, but West Asheville is definitely in the pipeline, along with the Medical District and St. Dunstan's, Montford, Biltmore Village, Oteen, Norwood Park and UNC-A, Grove Park and Albemarle Park, Charlotte Street...
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Old Posted Jan 27, 2009, 4:49 AM
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Great photos, I'll have to check back for the other hoods. Thanks for sharing!
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Old Posted Jan 27, 2009, 2:03 PM
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hauntedheadnc hauntedheadnc is offline
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Thanks again everyone for looking. I appreciate it, and I have to admit that these photos are kind of growing on me.

However, just for kicks this morning I wandered around downtown by myself and had the entire district to myself from 4am until about 5:30 when the joggers woke up and started doing their thing. The entire time, I saw one homeless person asleep under an umbrella and a pile of bags, one guy carting around a tripod, and a woman who asked the time. Not to mention the usual police and garbage trucks.

I wished I had my camera the entire time, because I got to mosey around looking at all the angles I meant to capture with this thread. It rocked.
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Old Posted Feb 15, 2009, 7:25 PM
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awesome. and to think, i went through SC through Atlanta 2 days earlier to avoid snowy crap in the mountains...

anyway, i can't wait to visit asheville again.

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Old Posted Feb 15, 2009, 11:09 PM
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Very nice.
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