Asheville in 35

April 12 2015

Cities are all too often reduced to icons: yellow taxi New York boulevards, pretty Paris Cafés, London tube stations. On a recent trip to Asheville, NC, we discovered why the bustling mountain town is casually referred to as the Portland of the South.

We headed down on a Friday, a six hour drive from Richmond, threading the Blue Ridge mountains on Interstate 40. We watched Father John Misty play at The Orange Peel with its giant propellor ceiling fan. We caught the last few flurries of early spring snow. We drank champagne and ate corndogs from Cook Out, the South’s ubiquitous fast food chain, in a giant Airbnb bathtub. We met Jack and Wren from Old North, the best clothing shop in town and traded war stories over cocktails at MG Road.  One of us met a kind stranger while grabbing coffee at Old Europe. We drove the open leg of the Blue Ridge Parkway with popping ears until we got car sick, then ate wontons and drank sake at Ben’s Tune Up. We walked all over town, bracing against the mountain wind. When we drank beer, it was strictly local. When we ate brunch, it was strictly delicious. We tried lavender french toast at Over Easy on the recommendation of a friend. One of us went on the best date of their life, the others adventured with two brand new friends. We stopped in for a weekend, but we wanted to stay. We fell in love with a tiny city in the mountains.

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