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Ten Quirky Little Things That Make Us Love Asheville

Zoom Tour Character

Sister Sin from the Zoom Tour

In Asheville you’re likely to see bumper stickers that quote philosophers and literary figures. A recent citing: “Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd. Voltaire”

In Asheville, a trip to the local grocery store includes buskers serenading you and chair massages, along with the ubiquitous organic offerings.

In Asheville, a car trip downtown may involve trying not to hit a nun in drag weaving through traffic on a souped up bicycle. Meet Sister Sin, a character on the Zoom Tour.

Speaking of sin… In Asheville, our local public radio station gives T shirts to donors emblazoned with “Welcome to Asheville, Cesspool of Sin” for donating to the station. A NC Senator opposed to gay marriage dubbed Asheville a “cesspool of sin” and Ashevilleans embrace it! They even got the host of NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me to do the promo.

White Guitarist Statue

Guitarist “Statue” may come to life!

In Asheville, lunch at an outdoor café may involve viewing the white guitarist statue, periodically “come to life” and play his guitar for a moment, only to freeze again into a statue mid tune. Variations on this theme abound. Watch for the peasant girl statue holding a planter, the drummer girl statue and even a junior duo flower girl statue.

In Asheville, getting to the top floor of the 8 story Westall Building involves going next door to the Jackson Building, Western North Carolina’s first skyscraper, to use their elevator! The slender neogothic Jackson Building opened in 1924 and was built on an amazingly small 27 by 60 foot lot. The same architect stuffed the Spanish Revival Westall Building on the even smaller lot next door in 1925, but had no room for an elevator.

Friday Night Drum Circle

The Friday Night Drum Circle

In Asheville, a summer Friday evening kicks off the weekend with the pulse of 100 or more drums that you can literally feel throughout downtown. Bring a drum and join this quirky, fun tradition in Pritchard Park.

In Asheville, one of the most traveled corners in downtown is home to, no, not yet another Starbucks, but a wig store! Multicolored wigs adorn dozens of mannequin heads in the storefront windows in a dazzling display.

In Asheville, there are no McDonald’s downtown. Chains of all kinds are discouraged. But the neighborhood of Biltmore Village has the most unusual McDonald’s you’re likely to see. No golden arches here. The village elders ensured that the architecture of the fast food restaurant fit in totally with the historic, bricked pathways and tree-lined streets. They even have a player grand piano and fireplaces!

In Asheville, on a stroll through the city’s historic Montford district you are likely to come across some interesting yard décor. One stately home sports an ever changing installation of Barbie dolls in varying poses and in and out of costume. Another porch hosts a giant polar bear.  And is that a giant turtle on their roof?

That’s our home- not the one with the turtle. I mean Asheville! We love it!


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