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Old Posted Feb 15, 2009, 5:12 AM
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Asheville neighborhood of the month: Boobs, squid, and the Blair Street witch project

Well, here we go again. New month, new neighborhood. Might as well get started.

Speaking of getting started, everyone knows that all good photo threads begin in Subway restaurants. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying.



If the Subway adjoins a failed upscale menswear shop, more's the better. Nothing improves the taste of a chicken-bacon-ranch flatbread quite like a staircase crowded with headless, armless, naked shirt dummies.



Once you're done with your sandwich of course, before setting out you'll need to check the newspaper. Today in Asheville...



Then you'll need to go to the library, where you will be compelled to view a portrait of the man for whom the library is named.



Be sure to contemplate the context in which the portrait is displayed for a full understanding of the situation.



But where are we even going, you ask.

Over there.



But first you'll need to make your way through downtown...



...and then you'll need to pass beneath the I-240 overpass at Lexington Avenue.













But still you have no idea where we're going.

Well, I'll tell you. There are five main streets leading north from downtown Asheville. Montford Avenue leads northwest through the Montford neighborhood. Broadway leads northwest also. Merrimon Avenue and Charlotte Street go north, and Town Mountain Road heads northeast. Old residential neighborhoods are arrayed like a fan between each of these routes. Montford is a large Victorian district to the northwest and, heading east, next comes a tiny wedge of a district called Five Points, then Chestnut Hill, and then you get into a fuzzy area where Chestnut Hill gloms together with Grove Park, Town Mountain, and Albemarle Park.

This month it's a twofer. We're exploring Five Points and Chestnut Hill.

Five Points is up first, and as you can tell, it needs some love.





Before the recession kicked everyone's asses, some developers were beginning to show this area some love. Some were even thinking of making a definite move in the direction of Second Base, as we can see here.





Meanwhile...





If anybody remembered January's jaunt through downtown, the BB&T Building looms. Bitch looms like a cholo in fact, and yes, that is indeed the BB&T lurking the background. As if you had any doubt.







There is always a sad story attached to a house that has acquired a wheelchair ramp at some point in its history.



If the house with the ramp has gone abandoned, you may rest assured that the sad story turned tragic.







Five Points occupies the triangle bordered roughly by Broadway, Hillside, and Merrimon. Once you cross Merrimon, you're in Chestnut Hill.











Chestnut Street is, perhaps unsurprisingly, the main east-west street in Chestnut Hill.



















The WhiteGate Inn and Cottage is beloved of vacationing Californian SSP forumers everywhere. Just ask Plinko!













I have this terrible affliction where my eyes are drawn to the sidewalk, and I walk along as though shrouded in shame. On the one hand, I look like a derelict. On the other, I avoid most of the piles of dog crap, plus I get to look at these groovy patterned bricks.



























Like Merrimon Avenue, Charlotte Street is mostly a commercial artery.













But once you get away from Charlotte Street, you're back in a residential realm.





Chestnut Hill occupies land that slopes gently up to the east. Once the land begins to rise sharply, you're among the fancy people up on Town Mountain.



























Here is a witch. Note that she is standing at the corner of Charlotte and Blair. How do I know she's a witch? She told me. She also gave me an enchanted necklace.

And if you think I'm making any of that up, you've obviously never been to Asheville.







Isn't this cheery?







In Asheville, as elsewhere, there is a strong correlation between your altitude and your tax bracket.



You just know there's a story behind this.



And this.



And this.





































I could not agree more!





We'll now take this opportunity to break away from Victorian, Queen Anne, and Craftsman architecture and enjoy a short Art Deco intermission.











We now return you to your regularly scheduled thread.







This house is being attacked by a giant squid.



This house, across the street, is not being attacked by a giant squid.













Do you have any idea what the hell this might be? I sure don't.











I think this might be a cow. Not sure.







What's mysterious about finding this pin on the sidewalk is that there isn't a Waffle House for miles.











It is no coincidence that this is painted on a wall...



...across the street from this. Yes, your arteries will flow as smoothly as a peat bog after consuming just one of their breakfast biscuits, but by God you'll go with a smile on your face.















Naturally, the only thing left to do after walking what I would estimate to be about three miles, is head back downtown. Go by City Hall and visit the magnolia tree that had witches dancing around it and casting spells on it all summer long to protect it from a developer who wanted to cut it down.

And again, if you think I'm kidding, you've never been here.



And after you've hugged a magic tree, go here:



Why? Because you want a cookie of course.



And when you're done with your cookie, which was the size of a largish saucer and weighed as much as a cat's head, look up and see this.



Then, as you're walking back to your car and you pass a salon closed for the weekend, look in and see this.



And then from the top of the parking deck, look out and see this. Captured in this picture is one of the largest gay bars in North Carolina. Can you spot it?



Then, on your way home, pass through Pack Square and see this.



And finally, come back next month for another Asheville neighborhood of the month.

Hey... Weren't you here earlier this year?

Downtown in January: Assorted hideous Beasts, attractively arrayed
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Last edited by hauntedheadnc; Feb 15, 2009 at 5:36 AM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Feb 15, 2009, 5:28 AM
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Another wonderful Asheville tour.
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Old Posted Feb 15, 2009, 8:20 AM
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Mmm...bojangles
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Old Posted Feb 15, 2009, 11:37 AM
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fascinating expose'
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  #5  
Old Posted Feb 15, 2009, 12:55 PM
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Thanks for your comments, everyone. I always appreciate you taking the time to look and leave your thoughts.
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Old Posted Feb 15, 2009, 3:59 PM
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WOW!!! Very dreamy post!! Asheville is such a cool city!!
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Old Posted Feb 15, 2009, 6:20 PM
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awesome. i need to check out this area.

i can see the hotel i stayed at in this shot:



-
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Old Posted Feb 15, 2009, 8:02 PM
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^I too stayed at that hotel, last time I was in town.

Hauntedheadnc, yet another AMAZING photo thread! Thanks for posting! I have never really explored the areas north of downtown, but you have made me want to very much. Lots of great looking houses, derelict commercial buildings, old churches and old apartment buildings!

As far as the gay bar, yup, I sure did spot it. Scandals (love that place) is in the brick building to the right of the Downtown Inn. (Has that hotel gotten so nasty they can't even call it a Days Inn anymore?)
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Old Posted Feb 15, 2009, 8:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlguy33 View Post
As far as the gay bar, yup, I sure did spot it. Scandals (love that place) is in the brick building to the right of the Downtown Inn. (Has that hotel gotten so nasty they can't even call it a Days Inn anymore?)
Thanks for your comments (you too, LSyd!), and to answer your question, yes it did get so nasty that Days Inn stripped it of its franchise, although in its defense it has a nice fountain out front. Also, I see maids roaming the building all the time so I assume they're keeping it clean. I think the main problem is that its become the defacto hooker hotel. Any young man you happen to see lounging out on the balconies is not out there taking in the fresh air, in other words. He's advertising.
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Old Posted Feb 15, 2009, 11:00 PM
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Awesome!! Asheville is so cool!!
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Old Posted Feb 17, 2009, 4:54 AM
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Very interesing tour!! Thanks for showing us a side of Asheville we dont get to see!!
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Old Posted Feb 17, 2009, 6:15 AM
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Neat tour!
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Old Posted Feb 17, 2009, 7:05 AM
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A nice look at Asheville, and an enjoyable thread. Thanks.
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Old Posted Feb 17, 2009, 9:44 AM
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cool tour.

i think i've only ever heard of asheville through you, hauntedhead.

i wonder if i'll ever end up there for some reason or another..
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Old Posted Feb 17, 2009, 2:15 PM
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Thanks for looking and leaving your thoughts, everyone.
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Old Posted Feb 17, 2009, 3:23 PM
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Good looking structrues in this neighborhood.
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Old Posted Feb 18, 2009, 3:24 AM
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Awesome thread as always hauntedheadnc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hauntedheadnc View Post
Well, here we go again. New month, new neighborhood. Might as well get started.

SNIP

Wow, I don't remember that building on the corner ever looking so rough. It's really gone downhill. It used to be the original location of Kostas menswear (the place downtown with all the mannequins at the top of the thread). In my memory, there was a yellow awning, the windows weren't boarded up, and the bricks didn't look so shabby.

Or, is it being renovated, and that why it appears that it's fallen on hard times?

With these neat historic buildings on this corner, it makes me wonder what used to be where Fuddruckers is now (across the street.) Whatever it was, was torn down sometime in the 80s. I have fond memories of going to Fuddrucker's as a kid (Fudd's and Taco Bell are about the only place we ever went out to eat - and we only went to Fudd's because they had Kids Eat Free night on Mondays.)
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Old Posted Feb 18, 2009, 3:30 AM
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George Pack. His name is everywhere in Asheville. I miss Asheville every time I see it. Thankfully I don't have to stay in a hotel on my visits. I can enjoy home cooking when I'm in Asheville too. Thank you for the construction update. The last time I saw this building, it was nothing more than a frame: http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/b...tnutHill13.jpg
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Old Posted Feb 18, 2009, 2:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orulz View Post
Wow, I don't remember that building on the corner ever looking so rough. It's really gone downhill. It used to be the original location of Kostas menswear (the place downtown with all the mannequins at the top of the thread). In my memory, there was a yellow awning, the windows weren't boarded up, and the bricks didn't look so shabby.

Or, is it being renovated, and that why it appears that it's fallen on hard times?
It's being renovated. If you look closely in the background, you can make out he construction dumpster and a pylon. There's also a trench dug across the sidewalk that they've placed a bridge over. As I recall, the King James Apartments in the building next door are scheduled for a rehab as well.
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