While walking around, or driving around in this case, in Downtown Asheville; you never know what you will find. As we were looking for a parking spot yesterday, we thought we were having a Halloween flashback. But no, it is just another day in Asheville North Carolina with folks dressing up however they want and being whoever they want to be. As we were passing by Pritchard Park, I told the driver to pull over. I jumped out of the car and took this photo of a dressed up Pokemon crew walking around downtown. I do not know if they were playing the game, or if they were just having fun; but either way I wanted to keep them and take them with me.
We live in a wonderful community. Asheville North Carolina is known for many things including food, beer, mountains, and fun; but the community aspect pretty much encompasses them all. Sometimes when visiting you get a little taste of what it means, but you really have to be here for awhile to completely see and understand how strong it really is. It is not something that we drum up, or force to happen. First it comes naturally, and then people live, work and play together. From that, the synergy of community comes to fruition.
Foreword by AskAsheville: Barbie Angell has been a part of our lives for many years. Not only is she a wonderful person, but she is a huge part of our community as a whole. On the outside, she is an Asheville staple to say the least. Behind the scenes she works tirelessly to support the local scene, help others who need a friend to talk to, and be a mom – all at the same time. I know she does not realize all that she does, nor how important she is to all of us; because she is just being herself, which is a beautiful soul. She is family and Asheville would never be the same without her.
Nobody likes to talk about rape, but silence is violence all in itself. Recently, while our community was protesting a couple of misogynist coffee shop owners, Barbie was on the front line with us helping a lady who was drugged and raped by another business owner on the west side of town. It happens everywhere, it’s happening right now as you read this, and there is so much more we can do to help. You can start right now by supporting Our Voice and Walk A Mile. Please read what Barbie has to say below…
Recently, I recorded a series of videos of my poetry. My photographer, Rodney Smith of Tempus Fugit Design did an amazing job on all of them. We chose to launch this project with two videos about sexual assault and victim blaming. (They are “The Car Accident” & “How To Stop Rape“.) I am sad to say that I would be unable to count how many times I have physically been a victim of sexual predators. From being molested as a child, to weekly assaults while I was in a home for children, to the two “normal” rapes and my relationship with a violent alcoholic… there’s just too many attacks to even count.
For reasons still unknown to me, I have found myself in a position of some notoriety in our little town of Asheville, NC. I suppose it’s less to do with my being voted the Mountain Xpress’ 2015 Best of WNC poet, and more to do with my odd outfits, emcee work, and making people laugh on social media. That tiny bit of “celebrity” has put me in an unique situation. If people know who I am, and I am not ashamed to say that I have been raped multiple times, then maybe, just maybe, it will help someone else. Maybe they will see that no matter what they were wearing, or if they’d been drinking, or even if they were dating or married to the person who attacked them… they are still not to blame. They did nothing wrong.
On Saturday, May 7th, a lot of my male friends will throw on a pair of high heeled shoes and walk (or even run) a mile through downtown Asheville. They’ll be hot, tired, sore, blistered, & everyone of them will be my hero. Each team raises money for Our Voice &, of course, my favorite guys are Greg Garrison’s “Team Hop Ice Cream.” Greg has actually walked for me twice… the small act of wearing a sticker with my name on it had an immeasurable impact on me.
Walk A Mile raises money & awareness to help stop rape, gender violence & sexual assault. If I’m lucky, my poem can do a little of that as well.
The Asheville Mardi Gras Parade started at 1:00 with folks lining up on Wall Street in Downtown Asheville. Then at around 3:20, the parade kicked off and everyone was celebrating. G Social Media stopped by and took several GoPro videos of this event.
Asheville has many cultures and personalities. In other words, Biltmore Village folk do not act like River Arts District people. And folks from north Asheville do not act like folks from south Asheville. You can enter the suburb communities in any direction from downtown, and visit a different vibe and theme somewhat. On the eastside of west Asheville, another sub-community is getting established on their own. B&B Pharmacy welcomes as you enter. If you know the area, I-240 separates east west Asheville from west west Asheville. In addition to the walkability factor, this area has a lot to offer. I recently took a walk on this part of Haywood Rd with my daughter.
The West Asheville highway intersection.
The Mardis Building is home to King Daddy’s Chicken & Waffles, Second Gear, and Rhetorical Factory.
Love me some King Daddy’s!
You can walk to several great shops in the area. The Rhetorical Factory features recycled clothing, and Second Gear sells outdoor gear for hiking, rafting, running, sports and more. Then you have Asheville BookWorks inside the Universal Motors Building, along with more shopping spots.
We stopped by Whist and found some great items including this “I Love Asheville” cup, and a book on human anatomy that is a must for mankind.
The Circle offers glass, fashion and art. Flora is flower design studio and florist.
From custom glass and repair shops, to custom screenprinting at Image 420, and you can even get a tattoo at Hot Stuff! Of course there is the vintage Gas-Up store on this corner. Lots of development planned for this end of the community, which then connects to Asheville’s Sweet Slope featuring Short Street Cakes, Hole Doughnuts and The Hop Ice Creamery; before heading down to Clingman Ave and the River Arts District.
The Admiral serves delicious cuisine spot that everyone loves. Walk is also a great place to grab lunch and dinner. Battle Cat Coffeehouse is a funky and hipstery coffee shop on Haywood Rd. Tip: park your Benz a few blocks away and walk here.
Harvest Records on the eastside of west Asheville is music heaven!
Haywood Road is also bikable. And Carrier Park is right down the street!
Art, graffiti and creativity line the streets. When coming over to west Asheville, talk a walk on the eastside!