Dazed and confused? Not me. I’m just Lost in the Cheese Aisle.

Monday, August 6, 2012


S&W Building
A fine example of Art Deco architecture in downtown Asheville.

It was the last weekend before She Who Must Be Obeyed had to be back at the Educational Salt Mine, so we ran off to Asheville, North Carolina for a long weekend with our friends Gary, JoAnn, Houston Steve, and Debby.

We’ve been to Asheville several times before, but this was different, being a combination Boys’ Golf Trip and Girls’ Shopping Expedition.  So it was that on Friday morning, Gary, Houston Steve, and I traipsed off to Black Mountain, there to enjoy the best $27 round of golf money could buy.  Sure, the course was not much more than a glorified cow pasture... but at least it was set amongst the green, mountainous landscape of western North Carolina, where you could admire the scenery if not our miserable play.

Hole 17
The infamous seventeenth hole at Black Mountain, an eyeball-popping 747-yard (!) par 6.

The course did have one outstanding feature: a par 6 hole measuring 747 yards from the tips, at one time the longest golf hole in the United States.  It has since fallen to number five on the list, but I’d nominate it for the post of the ugliest par 6 on the planet.  Yeef.

Aside from the scenery, Asheville has several other outstanding features.  It’s a mecca for artists, with everything ranging from the lowliest big-eyed-clown street art to amazing high-end creations in paint, ceramics, and glass.  Throw a rock at random and you’re likely to hit an art gallery... and in the River Arts District you can probably clock a few patrons at the same time.  We happened to be there on the weekend when the Biltmore Village Art and Craft Fair was being held, so that gave us an opportunity to see even more of the stuff the local artisans and craftists were turning out.

Chicken Alley
Wall art at (where else?) Chicken Alley.  No actual chickens were harmed in the making of this mural... we think.

It’s also home to Tops for Shoes, among the biggest and most beloved discount shoe outlets on the eastern seaboard.  Nothing - nothing! - gets the ladies quite as excited as the prospect of spending a few hours shopping for shoes and handbags at Tops.  No matter how many of the fucking things they already own, there’s always the desire for more... but I guess I can’t complain, since I’m the same way about Bottles of Strong Drink.

In addition to being an Artists’ Colony, Asheville hosts an ever-growing number of eateries, many of which have become particular favorites.  We hit The Market Place, Carmel’s, and Kubo’s the three nights we were there... and then we compounded the evil by going to the French Broad Chocolate Lounge for afters Saturday night.

Pot de Crême
Chocolate Pot de Crême at the French Broad Chocolate Lounge.  I would be ashamed of myself if I were capable of feeling shame.

All I will say about the Chocolate Lounge is that they make a stupendous Coconut Macaroon Brownie... and that it is actually possible to suffer from chocolate overload.  Oy.

Alas, it was all too soon that it was time for us to pack up our luggage, golf clubs, and other purchases - wait, where the hell did all these shoes come from? - and head back home to Georgia.  But not before engaging in a bit of Signature Narrischkeit...

Colandrical Elisson
Elisson does what he does best... finds a colander and sticks his head in it, the better to appear ridiculous. (Photo credit: Houston Steve)

Yes, it’s a colander.  Yes, it’s firmly attached to a vertical wall.  What of it?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Actually, Tops is not a DISCOUNT shoe store at all just an awesome one...sorry.