Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Asheville North Carolina to Buffalo New York - Oliver's Restaurant

When we wanted to get a gift for some extended family in Buffalo New York, the first thing we did was hit Google to see what was available in the area. Recently, one of our affiliates had gotten in touch with her Dad, who she has not seen in 8 years. She was looking for the perfect gift where she could create a great Christmas memory for her loved ones. After about 10 minutes, we kept reading great things about this restaurant called "Olivers" in Buffalo New York. So we called, and the phone courtesy and arrangements by Chris was just as good as their website face. Yes! I was many States away and it just may work out perfect!

And it did. We just got the call today of how wonderful a place Olivers really was. They said the food, drinks, music, and atmosphere was superb. They bragged about many things at Olivers, but the best compliment we got out of it was "Everything was Great!". That is exactly what we needed to hear. They told us that it was the best Christmas gift they have gotten in a long time. Thank you Oliver's for making dinner and the whole evening great. We will definitely stop by some time in the future to see this great place on our own.

Winds in Asheville hitting hard

Many Asheville and Buncombe County residents are without power and internet at the moment as high winds have crept up on the area knocking down trees and damaging several properties. Workers from several utility companies are now on dispatch and working to make the necessary repairs to revive power in some parts of Asheville.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville - Almost Done

The Grand Bohemian Hotel in Asheville North Carolina is almost complete and has added a spice to the Biltmore Village area. Here are some updated photos during the last week of December 2008.

Battery Park Apartments Asheville Welcomes New Business

The Battery Park Apartments in Asheville had undergone some serious exterior renovation in the past several years and now is attracting lots of business and clientel. Hector & Bonnie own the Havana Cuban Cuisine, which is a cuban/spanish restaurant with some really tasty options. Now, on the other side of the building, a new Champagne Bar in Asheville along with a Bookstore. Can't wait to see it!

Broadway & Merrimon Connector in Asheville

When cruising around downtown Asheville, Broadway Avenue turns into Merrimon Avenue when heading North. Here is the intersection where I-240 runs through Broadway Avenue. Businesses have it somewhat hard here because there is not much foot traffic on this side of the street. There is a guitar shop, the rear entrance to Broadway's bar and pool hall, the entrance to Rosetta's Kitchen, and the Asheville Mural Project below under the highway.

Volunteer for Asheville's RiverLink! First Session 1/14/09

ASHEVILLE – If you’ve ever thought you’d like to volunteer for RiverLink, the organization has expanded its volunteer information sessions.

Sessions will now be offered at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. the second Wednesday of each month. Volunteers will help make the French Broad River watershed a healthier place to live, work and play. The first volunteer information session of 2009 will be Jan. 14.

Learn how to participate in a river cleanup, mark storm drains and take part in other outdoor volunteer opportunities. Or learn how to assist or lead an environmental education indoor program. RiverLink has a variety of volunteer programs indoors and out.

To attend one of the sessions or to learn more, contact or 252-8474, ext. 118. Article taken from the Asheville Citizen Times. Also, check out their website at

Monday, December 29, 2008

Wyndham Resorts, not too good

I have to blog on this... finally... after months of frustration, forgetting about it, and hoping for a better vacation next year. Every year, thousands of people from Asheville & Western North Carolina vacation at Wyndham Resorts and have good and bad experiences. Ask Asheville went to Cypress Palms this past summmer, and spent most of the time trying to get comfortable in the place. The internet, that you had to pay additional for, would work for several minutes, click off, and we would spend another 30 minutes trying to reconnect. The staff said they were having problems, but other people at the resort said it has always been bad.

One of the things that amazed me is that when we brought anything to their attention, they quickly bragged on the "other two" places in and around Orlando. One was only 5 minutes away, but you could not use the amenities that they had. So our overall rating of Wyndham's Cypress Palms is a 5 on a scale of 1 - 10. Of course simple little things could be done like getting new sheets that could actually fit the beds, or using new microwaves that work instead of the leftovers from the "better" resorts. We were evauating 3 condo suites in which us or our friends occupied, so we did not unfairly judge by only using one.

Here are some other items:

1. No sheets for pullout couches, 2. Ceiling fan lighting old and inadequate, 3. DVD player not working in one room, 4. Stove burner problems in 2 out of 3 rooms, 5. Had to call front desk at least 3 times to make something happen, 6. Doors into other suites to the side were unlocked in 2 of the 3 rooms, 7. Showers did not have any grips so child fell pretty hard 3 times, 8. Lobby, elevators, and reception personnel were great, especially Beverly.

Asheville's Buddha Lounge, Internet Cafe, Bookstore, & Great Food!

Stopped by the Buddha Lounge today on Merrimon Avenue to have lunch and do some work in their new Asheville Internet Cafe. Sitting here right now on my laptop and Blackberry, and there are several people working and relaxing. Nice environment here with some soothing music and a giant Mac available for guests.

Buddha Bagels, which recently changed names and owners from New York Bagels is better than ever before. You can order your lunch which is made usually of premium "Boars Head" meats and cheeses, visit Mystic Journeys through an inside entrance and find some inspiration, options, and direction while your sandwich is being custom built. My favorite is "The Monster" sub wth Muenster cheese.

But the lounge is really cool. I asked one of the owners for details and he mentioned the free wifi, getting some bands on the weekends, great seating, and awesome people! Very nice work guys! Thanks you for making a hot spot on Merrimon Avenue in Asheville North Carolina.

Hours are Fri & Sat till 11pm, other days till 10pm. Opens at 7am every morn. Breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, snack, quick bite... and with these hours... a great place to grab my midnight snack on the way home, lol.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Santa & Dancing at the Asheville Grove Park Inn

I Stopped by the Grove Park Inn in Asheville NC on Christmas Eve with the family and had a great time. Santa Claus for the kids, live band, food, drinks, great people, such a nice place... need I say more? Everything we needed for a quick Christmas celebration. Thank you GPI! Here is some video that we took. For more videos of the Grove Park Inn, please visit Thank you.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Christmas Wish.....

Regal, Carmike, EPIC, and Beaucatcher. To you, I beg this favor. I REEEEEEEEALLY wanna see "The Wrestler" starring Mickey Rourke. It's out now in limited release, and it's directed by Darren Aronofsky. Apparently, it's pretty awesome. Mickey Rourke made his first threat of a comeback when Sin City came out, but he has seemingly kicked down the door with this flick and I glad he's back :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Asheville New Years Eve Party 2009 - Rankin Vault Cocktail Lounge

Posted By: Rankin Vault Cocktail Lounge

Hosted By: Rankin Vault Cocktail Lounge

When: Wednesday Dec 31, 2008at 3:00 PM

Where: Rankin Vault Cocktail Lounge 7 Rankin Ave Asheville, NC 28801 United States
No cover - free champagne toast at midnight... but remember, if you want to be there when the ball drops, come early and stay (our capacity is 49). Party in the new year like you should!

You can RSVP or contact them at or go to

Christmas Shopping by Asheville City Bus

Not everyone in Asheville North Carolina has a vehicle. Many people use public transportation including the Asheville City Bus lines, and taxi cab services from Your Cab 2, Blue Bird Taxi, and Metro Cab.

Here is a photo of the "bus stop" right in front of K-Mart on Tunnel Road and across from the Asheville Mall. There are only a few days each year that this corner is packed like this. Some are standing right on the curb edge and even stepping into the street as we watched, waiting for the bus to arrive.

Accident on Hendersonville Road 12-23-08

Tuesday 1:45pm - 2 vehicle accident in South Asheville delays traffic for an hour. Rice Towing of Asheville was called to remove the vehicles.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Asheville Z-Lounge Salsa Party 12/24/08

The Red and Farewell Party Last Salsa Party at Z-Lounge by Mangos productions & Dj Latin Factor

Time and Place Time: Wed Dec 24 from 9:30 pm to 3:00 am Venue: Z-Lounge 41 N. Lexington Ave Contact Info 828-216-1452

Description Come and celebrate our last christmas at Z-Lounge for the Red Salsa Night. This will be the last Salsa Night at Z-Lounge because we will be moving on Wednesdays Nights to the Club Nashwa. Start your year right and catch the Salsa Fever on January 14th. Get ready for the New Year's White Salsa Party at Oriental Pavilion with free Champagne at Midnight, Dec 31st. Must call or RSVP!

Photo taken from

Asheville... Watch Your Vehicles

From the Asheville Citizen Times: ASHEVILLE – Two men were arrested Sunday on charges of obtaining property under false pretense due to illegally towing vehicles.

The Asheville Police Department set up decoy vehicles that were legally parked, according to police warrants, and they were towed, “claiming the vehicle had not paid, when it fact it had.”
Both men are employed by All Safe Towing, the warrants said. Trevor Kyle Ballinger, 25, of Nebraska Avenue, and Leonard Tobias Best, 32, of Buffalo Street, were both charged and held on bonds of $500 each. ***End of ACT Story***

I wrote a blog a few weeks ago how some tow truck drivers in big cities (and many other places) are being used for car thefts, if there is no other way to get the car. These Asheville guys may have just been illegally accruing charges, and not actually stealing the vehicles. Let's look at some of your security options for a vehicle:

1. The Club - It came out and everyone loved it, until thieves simply started taking a hacksaw, sawing the steering wheel, and removing the club in 30 seconds.

2. The Column Lock - The column lock is great unless the thief has bolt cutters or any type of cordless drill with some type of metal cutting attachment. In that case, the lock is cut and the car is gone.

3. The Alarm System - The old "alarm system" is probably the most popular but there are many ways to disarm. For one, thieves know they could go under your car, reach up and disconnect your siren wire. Then when your doors are open, just the lights start blinking, they pop your hood, disconnect the full alarm system, steal the car, and have a nice security system to sell for a bonus.

Out of everything, the two main ways to steal a vehicle is by towing it or by having the keys. Watch those tow trucks and watch where you leave your keys, and never leave your house keys on the ring with them. (Even at dealerships!). It only takes a few seconds to make a copy of any key and then simply match it with your home address on your "work order". Be careful! If you have been burglarized and there was not any forced entry (and you actually lock your doors), please think of where was the last few places you had left your full set of keys. The culprit should not be too far from there. Don't get all paranoid. Just keep your eyes open a pay attention a little more.

Edmunds also has a list of the "Top 10 Ways to Steal a Car, and How to Prevent it". You can read more on this by clicking HERE.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Hey, TWILIGHT-fans, GUESS WHAT ?!?!?!

You probably have already seen the movie and found this out for yourself, but the TWILIGHT movie SUCKS, so instead, I offer to you an alternative with a near-identical story-line and more "vampiric" vampires to boot. It's called "Let The Right One In" and it's playing at the Regal Hollywood Cinemas RIGHT NOW !!! It's about a little girl and her father who move in next door to a young boy somewhere in Sweden and as soon as they do, dead bodies, drained of their blood, start popping up all over the place. Boy meets girl, they fall in puppy-love, and what follows is one of the sweetest love stories i've ever seen :) If u spiralled into a suicidal depression when the TWILIGHT movie came out, put the gun down and get over to REGAL on Hendersonville rd. right by ZAXBY'S and BOSTON MARKET. Your faith in the world will be restored :)

Pasture of Love

Marc & "Harpo"
On Saturday, I was surprised to see a horse and old fashioned cart parked on the grassy area next to the parking lot of Greenlife Grocery on Merrimon Avenue. I wandered over to visit the beautiful animal and met his "steward" (as he calls himself) Marc Stuetzel. Marc and his 5 other equestrian com padres live in Candler. He has stewarded the horses for 7 years, but can no longer afford the pasture that they graze on. He is raising funds to keep the pasture and the horses or he says he'll have to take them all on the road with him.

If you are feeling generous this holiday, and want to see these horses keep their pasture, you can contact Marc at I hope Marc and his animal friends find the help they need. Good luck Marc!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Asheville Arrest off Merrimon Avenue, Asheville's Worst Street

Saw three APD police cars next to GreenLife off of Merrimon Avenue. This street is the "shortcut" when walking from Merrimon Ave to Broadway Ave. This strip right here used to be one of the worst streets in Asheville. Prostitution on this sidewalk and in the bushes, drugs, robberies, and anything else you can think of. GreenLife grocery came in and produced a lot of traffic, the Asheville Police regularly patrolled, and this block cleaned up. Then on the right, a little behind me, is the new Pioneer Building which is building #1 of the new 5 Points Village that Mr. Kevin Kerr and his inspired team have been planning on for years. Now, the history of this street is exactly that... History. The future of this street is very bright. This place is exploding and every inch will soon be accounted for. At least 6 more nice development spots right around this little village in Downtown Asheville, and that is besides the 5 Points property. and

Asheville Police Blotter 12-20-08

Student charged with making bomb threat

ASHEVILLE - On Dec. 15 at about 2:45 p.m., a false bomb threat was called into Asheville High School. This incident caused a distruption that resulted in a brief evacuation of the school. APD Master Police Officer Mike Godwin, of the School Resource Officer Unit, has charged one juvenile male in the incident. The investigation is continuing and may result in further charges. Asheville City Schools and the APD collaborated fully on this matter, for which both entities have a zero-tolerance policy.

6 charged in prostitution sting

ASHEVILLE - Vice officers in the APD's Drug Suppression Unit conducted a Street Level Prostitution Operation on Dec. 18, in which six people were charged with soliciting undercover officers for prostitution. The operation was conducted in the areas of South French Broad Avenue, Haywood Road and Coxe Avenue.  Charges are still pending on two other people for prostitution and drug related charges. DSU conducts these operations periodically and at random times in an effort to suppress and deter prostitution activity. Those arrested in Thursday's operation were: Ronald Worley, of Asheville: Solicit for Crimes Against Nature Kevin Eugene Smith, of Alexander: Solicit for Crimes Against Nature Stacie Ramsey, of Asheville: Solicit for Prostitution Kashif Grant, of Swannanoa: Solicit for Crimes Against Nature Boyce Layton, Jr., of Asheville:  Solicit for Crimes Against Nature Mary Myrick, of Asheville: Solicit for Crimes Against Nature Teri Gentry, of Asheville, was served during the operation with a warrant for Second-Degree Trespass.

APD charges man with multiple B&Es

ASHEVILLE – APD Detectives this morning arrested Jamaal Antwan Connelly, birth date 5/25/1981, of Charlotte, on five felony Breaking and Entering charges and one charge of Felony Larceny of a Motor Vehicle. Mr. Connelly is charged in multiple incidents of breaking into businesses and vehicles to steal property and credit cards that he used to obtain gift cards and merchandise. He has a history of such incidents and he is currently wanted in South Carolina. Criminal Investigations Division Detectives have information linking Mr. Connelly to other incidents in Asheville and in Winston-Salem, and additional charges are pending. He is in the Buncombe County Detention Center under a $60,000 secured bond related to the following cases: • Dec. 15, 2008: UNC Asheville. A victim reported that someone stole her wallet from her office in the Justice Center. The wallet contained a credit card belonging to the women's basketball team. The suspect tried to use the card to buy American Express gift cards at a local CVS.• Dec. 13, 2008: 79 Woodfin Place. The exterior door to the business office suite at this location was open and an interior door had been kicked in, causing damage to the door and doorframe. The suspect stole cash and a tool bag from the business.• Dec. 10, 2008: 64 Peachtree Road. The suspect broke a window, entered, and stole a pressure washer and construction tools. The suspect stole a vehicle that was parked in the basement and was still in possession of the vehicle at the time of his arrest. • Dec. 9, 2008: 64 Peachtree Road. The suspect entered a business, possibly with the use of a key card, and once inside pried open desk drawers, stole keys from two wall-mounted key boxes, as well as a small amount of cash.• Dec. 5, 2008: 84 Peachtree Road. The subject broke into a business by unknown means, kicked in an office door and stole cash and credit and debit cards from the office.

Man pleads guilty in July 4th homicide

ASHEVILLE – The man Asheville police arrested this year in the July 4th homicide of another man has today pleaded guilty in Superior Court. Steven Gordon Shultz, birth date 6/16/1960, pleaded guilty to the Second-Degree Murder and Robbery With a Dangerous Weapon of Fredrick Garfield McLeod, birth date 8/21/1975. Shultz received a 12-year minimum sentence. The stabbing happened in the parking lot outside the Beaucatcher Cinemas at 321 New Haw Creek Lane. Mr. McLeod was stabbed multiple times while seated in his vehicle and later died at the hospital. During the course of the investigation, APD detectives discovered that Mr. McLeod was a crack cocaine dealer and that the stabbing took place during a drug sale to Mr. Shultz. At least 17 APD detectives, detective supervisors, and forensic services technicians worked that entire holiday weekend, interviewing more than a dozen people and expending more than 465 man-hours to bring the case to a successful conclusion.

Friday, December 19, 2008

T-Mobile comes to Asheville to battle Verizon and US Cellular

T-Mobile had a nice stronghold in the nearby Greenville South Carolina and have moved some operations to Asheville to join in on the great market after buying SunCom out. If you use T-Mobile in the Asheville WNC area, let us know how the service is, do they pick up everywhere, and what are their plans like? I know how SunCom's service is, but is it still the same?

SunCom bought out T-Mobile, but kept the T-Mobile name. Here is the info they released this past February.

"T-Mobile USA, Inc. (“T-Mobile”) and SunCom Wireless Holdings, Inc. (“SunCom,” and together with T-Mobile, the “Applicants”) have filed a series of applications pursuant to Sections 214 and 310(d) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the “Communications Act”). In these applications, the Applicants seek Commission approval of the transfer of control of SunCom’s wholly-owned, indirect licensee subsidiaries – SunCom Wireless License Company, LLC and SunCom Wireless Puerto Rico License Co., LLC (the “SunCom Subsidiaries”) – to T-Mobile. To effectuate the transfer of control, Tango Merger Sub, Inc., a newly formed, wholly-owned subsidiary of T-Mobile, will merge with and into SunCom. Upon merging, SunCom will continue as the surviving corporation. The SunCom Subsidiaries will remain indirect, wholly-owned subsidiaries of SunCom and will become indirect, wholly-owned subsidiaries of T-Mobile."

Asheville Books at Books-A-Million

Books-A-Million and Joe Muggs Coffee on Tunnel Road in Asheville is one of my favorite places to stop by to check out some books and make purchases. I guess I prefer the layout of this store compared to the others in the area. Plus, you do not have 10 cameras watching you while you are hanging out reading (unless I am there with my Flip of course). Sale items and great gifts are available at any time and the atmosphere is perfect.

Asheville Hallmark in the Asheville Mall

Some talking gift bag. Cashier was trying to sell the last one so she could stop hearing it all day.

Stopped by the Hallmark yesterday to grab a "Baby's First Christmas" tree ornament for some friends, and they only had one more. I grabbed it quickly. Hallmark has almost anything you need when it comes to a quick gift and card. Of course Greeting Cards are their main focus, and those are great memories if used wisely. I love when people put life into their greeting cards. My Aunt used to always write a little paragraph on what I mean to her and why she thought this gift was appropriate. I know, I was spoiled... but you need to use that empty space on those cards and give the ones you love something to read and read again one day if necessary. I know I have several cards that people have given me over the years that help me so much. I read over them and simply remember love, peace, and friendship... and reach out for it once again.

Asheville Police respond to small fender bender

The rain has been coming for the past week, and many accidents have been reported in Asheville. Here is a small accident that happened under I-240 where Merrimon Avenue and Broadway Avenue connect in downtown Asheville.

Asheville Federal Building Monument

Picture of the Monument on the side of the Federal Building in Asheville North Carolina.

Beautiful Asheville Skyline

Stopped by behind the Asheville Federal Building to look at the skyline, clouds, and the Western North Carolina mountains in the backround (Smoky Mountains).

Asheville Civic Center Dec 20th, 2008 - January 7th, 2009

Here is a quick pic of the events going on at the Asheville Civic Center for the rest of 2008 and the first week of 2009 here in Asheville North Carolina.

Asheville has a Church for Teenagers, Trinity Teens

Trinity Teen Church uses the old Trinity Baptist Church Sanctuary which was built by Jerry Payne Construction under the direction of Ralph Sexton Sr.

Years ago, a youth Pastor named Tim Brady created a church in West Asheville designed with teenagers in mind. Trinity Teen Church was formed under Trinity Baptist Church and Dr. Ralph Sexton Jr. The teenagers got heavily involved in the community with outreach projects going on from downtown Asheville to the dangerous housing projects in New York City. The did everything from balloon animals, to puppet shows, to street evangelism, to church events. One of the churches they frequent when they go to NYC on "mission trips" is The Brooklyn Tabernacle led by Pastor Jim Cymbala and The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.
There are many places a teenager can hang out, and with balance, I would not mind my kids being around this crowd. Seems like they have a great time and assist the next generation with keeping and passing on "the faith". Asheville has many churches and a wide religious diversity. Trinity Teen Church is under the Baptist denomination, but welcomes teenagers from any faith to join them and to sample the group. This church takes care of their teenagers.

I remember years ago, after teenager Crystal Davis was found dead in Enka Lake (now Biltmore Lake), Trinity Teen Church was the supporting group during this time of tragedy. A Youth Pastor named Jonathan Brown from Merrimon Ave Baptist Church, Tim Brady the Youth Minister of Trinity at the time, Officer Alan Scroggs, and Principle Nesbitt scrambled to assist the students of Enka High School during this time of grief and loss. From what I was told by Mr. Alfonso Lorenzo of Trinity Baptist Church, Crystal was a Marilyn Manson follower who recently had commited to Christianity, and was killed by her mothers boyfriend soon after. Trinity worked hard to help this family during this crisis.

For more information on Trinity Teen Church in Asheville North Carolina, please click HERE.

Asheville Jewelry at Overstrom Studio

I remember walking into this place and seeing a red pendant on a silver chain and it was beautiful. I immediately told the lady I would take it and she told me "the pendant is $17,000 and the chain is $6000". She then explained that that was a Ruby of rare form and the chain was Platinum. I had $500 to spend, so they pointed me to the normal gold. Very nice selection in here with some crafting and jewelry making going on while I was in there.

Asheville's River Ridge Marketplace

I have been shopping at the River Ridge Marketplace in Asheville North Carolina regularly for many years. Great stores including Kitchen & Company, Hallmark, Dress Barn, Rugged Wearhouse, AC Moore, a new CVS, and several more. Kind of mad when Laser Tag left awhile back, but getting over it.

Food establishments include J&S Cafeteria, Fat Buddies Ribs and Barbeque, McDonald's, and KFC. There is also a shopping establishment across the street that features Babies R Us, Golf USA of Asheville, Bilo, Advance Auto Parts, Subway, and Burger King.
All of these stores are only 5 minutes away from the Asheville Mall and 2 minutes away from the Asheville Wal-Mart.

Asheville's Thirsty Monk Bar is growing

Passed by and saw that Thirsty Monk has some seating out front like College Street and Jack of the Wood, both of which are right across the street. So add Athena's, which is about 300 feet up the street, and The Yacht Club, and you have 5 really cool bars and places to chill within 2 minutes of each other. Lots of action going on in Downtown Asheville. Come check it out! 828-254-5470

Asheville Community Theatre Monument, ACT and 35below

Night pic of the rotating monument in front of the Asheville Community Theatre in Downtown Asheville North Carolina.

"Asheville Community Theatre is located in historic downtown Asheville, North Carolina at 35 East Walnut Street one block northwest of City Hall. Neighbors of ACT are: The Thomas Wolfe Memorial and Visitors Center, the Renaissance Asheville Hotel, and Magnolia's Raw Bar & Grill.
Downtown Asheville is booming and parking can be difficult to find. We have several spaces adjacent to the theatre that are available on a first come, first served basis. The closest street parking is found on Spruce, Walnut and Market streets (meters run until 6:00 pm Monday-Saturday, but are free on Sundays). The closest parking garage is located on Biltmore Avenue, approximately 2 blocks from the theatre."

Here is the info from their website...

"35below is the newest addition to Asheville Community Theatre. Designed by Fisher Architects PA and funded by a grant from the Janirve Foundation, it consists of a black box theatre (meaning it has flexible staging and seating options) with a capacity for 49, a lobby and bar, dressing rooms, and restroom facilities. The facility is outfitted with state of the art equipment donated by Scott Shannon. The Constance M. Cramer Teaching Theatre is named in honor of Mr. Shannon’s late wife, a devoted supporter of community theatre.

Asheville Community Theatre will mount several full productions each season in the new intimate performance space, with the intention of building and nurturing a more adventurous audience. Our inaugural production is David Sedaris’ “The Santaland Diaries,” opening November 29, 2002. 35below will offer more affordable ticket prices and later show times, often running multiple performances on the same evening.

35below is committed to supporting works by local playwrights through full productions, staged readings, or developmental workshops. Tanglewood Youth Theatre classes will be taught in the complex, as well as an array of other ACT-sponsored educational workshops.
35below is available for rental by performance groups, classes, and other community organizations."

Asheville Pizza at Mellow Mushroom

Mellow Mushroom Pizza has been the main pizza establishment in Downtown Asheville for a long time now. I remember trying their "non-traditional" pizza and wondering why pizza has been around for so long and no place I have been to has been so creative. They run a simple operation with a mixed group of clients. When I went to eat there a few weeks ago, they had 3 large groups eating outside, the bar inside to the left was packed, and there were only 4 booths/tables available. Pretty relaxed environment and very enjoyable. Right in the heart of Downtown Asheville on Broadway Ave, just one street away from Pack Square Monument and the BB&T building.

Downtown Asheville CVS become a stageshow

Here is a little bit of the Asheville streetlife right across from Pritchard Park and Wachovia Bank in downtown Asheville. CVS has just recently moved out and this store remains vacant with nothing covering the windows. Some musicians are playing in the entryway and some others talking on the side, one dressed as Santa. I have seen people sleeping in this hole, peddling, and much more. It is a free platform and they are quick to make use of it. I wonder if you have to reserve it, is it first come first serve, can you pay someone to use it, or is there a time limit? Maybe it is a "free for all" and you have to fight for the spot? This is Asheville, who knows. These two men were into in, and as I waited for this long light, I watched them jam out together!

Asheville Nightlife at Magnolia's

Magnolia's has been one of the main nightlife scenes in downtown Asheville North Carolina for some time now. We used to go, hang out, eat, and dance at Mag's. Then we would crash Cynjades, hip hop for a few, and afterwards we would wind down back at Magnolia's. I remember on one occasion when I went with a friend to eat at Magnolia's and somehow got drafted as one of the test dummies in this bachlorette party for this nice lady who used to work at Old Europe. I guess one of her "orders" at this party was to pick a man in the building and kiss him. They were about 20 of them and they were having an awesome time. I was embarrased, but could not resist.

Sometimes when it used to get about 1am at Magnolia's, there would be an apache line of "Jocks" standing firm from the front door to the dance floor. I just raced through it with my crowd to the dance floor and danced like mad. They had a bouncer named "Big John" and when the clock hit 2am, he was no longer your friend. "Time To Leave, Get Out Now" was his last words, lol. I believe this establishment is owned by Chris Peterson and it a great place to unwind and have a good time. Big age variety in this Asheville club, from 21 to 45 and even to 60 yrs old or so, and everyone just got along great. We had a limo driver with us one time and he ate that floor up with every dance you can think of with one of our private investors.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Grand Bohemiam Hotel in Asheville

Quick pic of the new "Grand Bohemian" hotel in Biltmore Village currently under construction. This is the view from the Biltmore House side (on the right). The Biltmore Village McDonald's is on the left here.

Ross Clothing in Asheville, Security Decoy?

Following this guy around Ross Clothing on Tunnel Road. He looked kind of suspicious. I think he is the store decoy while the undercovers pick up the thieves keeping an eye on this guy, lol. Saw him also walking in front of Books-A-Million.

Manna Food Bank at The Asheville Mall, feed 25 for only 10 bucks!

Stack and Stacks of Canned Goods at the Asheville Mall for the Manna Food Bank

Donate only $10 to Manna Food Bank and provide 25 meals! Most of us are lucky to get 1 out of that $10, and sometimes that is 3 times a day. $10 is nothing. Go ahead and give $100 if you have it. Maybe you cannot afford thousands of dollars of gifts for everyone, but you can feed 8 people 3 meals for a full day with that $10. Stop by the Asheville Mall and give a little!

Manna Food Bank's cart is overflowing, but the people that need help is really overwhelming sometimes. Let's give together and fight hunger with the Manna Food Bank!

The History of Asheville North Carolina


***Got this information from Have it as some of my permanent "Great Asheville Info" and wanted to share it.***

Asheville is located at the confluence of the French Broad and Swannanoa Rivers. Buncombe County rests in a central area of a high plateau bordered by the Blue Ridge, Great Craggies and Black Mountains on the east and the Great Smokies chain of the Appalachians on the west. Recorded history began with the visit of Spanish explorer Hernando DeSoto to Western North Carolina In 1540. Trade was first established with the Cherokee Indians In 1643. Early trading paths followed established Indian routes which crossed at Asheville's present location. At the time of the revolution, the English had established the limits of colonial expansion westward to the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This assurance of territorial Integrity aligned the Cherokee with the British. Cherokee raids on colonial settlements brought a force of colonists headed by General Griffith Rutherford Into Western North
Carolina In 1776, He destroyed Cherokee villages and broke the power of the nation.

Early settlers were largely Scotch-Irish Immigrants from Ulster in Northern Ireland, where restrictive British tariffs had ruined the wool and weaving industries. Samuel W. Davidson and his family were the first to settle in Buncombe County on Christian Creek In the Swannanoa Valley in 1784. He was later killed by Indians. He is buried on Jones Mountain. A permanent settlement was established there in 1785 in what was then known as 'Eden Land.' In later years Davy Crockett courted and wed Elizabeth Patton, a member of a leading Swannanoa family.

The County of Buncombe was established on December 5. 1791 by an act of the legislature, initiated by William Davidson and Colonel David Vance. A log courthouse was constructed in 1793 at a point which is now Pack Square. A year later John Burton obtained state grants of land for the establishment of a settlement he called Morristown. He laid out 42 half-acre lots which sold for roughly $2.50. Three years later, In 1797, it was incorporated and renamed Asheville In honor of Governor Samuel Ashe.

Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian circuit riders brought religion to the settlers of the Southern Appalachians In the early 1800s. Methodist Bishop Francis Asbury was the most noted of these. In 1840 Asheville's population was 500; to 1860 - 1,100; 1880 - 2,610; 1890 - 10,237; 1900 - 14,694; 1930 - 50,193; 1970 - 57,681. The 1980 U.S. Census showed Asheville's population to be 60,500. and the population of Buncombe County to be 162,000. In 1828 a road following the French Broad River was completed to East Tennessee. With It wagons of settlers moving west began coming through Asheville, while droves from Tennessee and Kentucky moved herds of cattle, sheep, hogs and turkeys through to the population centers of South Carolina.

The town's growth was further stimulated by the completion of the "Asheville and Greenville Plank Road' in 1851. The wealthy and favored began to come ~o Asheville aboard four and six horse stages. The city's reputation as a health resort began to grow. When the War Between the States broke out. Asheville became a major Confederate military center. The Buncombe Rifles, first company organized west of the Blue Ridge, marched forth on April 18, 1861, with a flag made of silk dresses of the belles of the town. Captain Zebulon Vance organized shortly thereafter the Rough and Ready Guards. Of the ten companies of the 6Oth North Carolina Regiment, seven of them were Buncombe County men. An early and flourishing industry was the making of Enfield Rifles, prized by Confederate soldiers for their accuracy.

In 1878, Asheville and Western North Carolina acquired the descriptive phrase "The Land Of The Sky" which derived from a well known book by Mrs. Frances Tiernan of Salisbury, writing under the name of Christian Reid. The nickname quickly caught the attention of thousands and spread Buncombe's fame more widely than ever. When the railroad broke through the Eastern continental divide in 1880, a new era was launched for Asheville and Western North Carolina. Elaborate hotels were built, including the Battery Park In 1889. From its vantage point on "Stoney Hill," George W. Vanderbilt discovered what he described as the most beautiful spot in the world. He purchased 145,000 acres and began building one of the great country houses of the world, Biltmore House. Great religious assemblies were established In the area. A grand opera house was built, and a convention auditorium followed.

In 1900, a newly organized chamber of commerce, the "Asheville Board of Trade," launched national advertising, and proclaimed the city to be one of the "leading convention cities In the country." A new wave of luxury hotel construction began: the Langren in 1912, the unbelievable Grove Park Inn In 1913, the new Kenilworth Inn in 1918 ... and with Battery Park. The break of the land boom, followed by the great depression of the early 1930s brought financial ruin to Asheville, from which It was slow to recover. However, during this period two great natural attractions were in the making: the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway, which were to make the Asheville area the most visited recreational area in the country.

At the present time Asheville enjoys a broadly based economy supported by a thriving travel industry, conventions, widely diversified Industry, forestry and agriculture. In 1980, Buncombe County's industries Include BASF, Square D., Gerber, Ball Corporation, Beacon end Sybron/Taylor. Asheville is the junction point of two Interstate highways, 26 and 40. It is the hub of five federal highways, two Appalachian development highways, five state highways and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Southern Railway serves Asheville. The modern Asheville Airport is served by Piedmont Airlines, plus commuter airlines. The Asheville-Buncombe Consolidated Water District reservoir holds 6 billion gallons, and is centered In a remote timbered watershed covering 24 square miles. Buncombe County was served by a new $10,400.00 sewage disposal system. In 1970, Asheville earned the designation "All American City." A
new Civic Center was completed In early 1974. Asheville's most famous native son is author Thomas Wolfe, whose boyhood home is open to the public as a memorial. Evangelist Billy Graham is Asheville's most world renown citizen. - The Historic News, Feb. 1999

LOL... I have talked to people that really got upset when I told them that "Southern" is not a nationality, but some locals knew their history and family tree for a hundreds of years. Nice! I think... Maybe the older I get, the more interested in history I become? The photo above is by Ben Pierce on

*To see the future of Asheville, please see

Skinny Legs and All and WSNB rock the Westville Pub

Last night, the Southern Fried Blues Society sponsored a fundraiser for the bands to help them travel to Memphis, TN in February to attend the International Blues Challenge. WSNB won the local SFBS competition to be in the competition, Skinny Legs and All is the nominated band to attend the Youth Showcase. The Westville Pub was filled with music lovers, friends, and family - and they enjoyed a fantastic show put on by both the bands. The silent auction displayed beautiful art, clothing, and jewelry. Those who donated money to the fund were given raffle tickets and took home t-shirts, Cd's, gift certificates, and even a bucket of Moon Pies! Everyone who came out to support the bands had a great time - and the servers and bartenders at the Westville Pub kept the beer and food flowing. Thanks to Peggy Ratusz and everyone at the Blues Society for planning the event! There will be another fundraiser in January - so keep posted and please come out and see these fantastic bands!

Asheville's Carolina First Bank, brand new downtown!

Carolina First came into the Asheville area and took it by storm, building several large structures in key areas such as here. This is right across the street from the Buncombe County Courthouse in Downtown Asheville North Carolina. As with the other branch on Merrimon Avenue, Jersey Mike's is their second line tenant.

Salvation Army at the Asheville Mall

This lady was wondering "why is this guy filming me?" and then we talked, got some clips, etc. The Salvation Army is everywhere, and I have met a lot of great people donating their time to collect funds to help during the Season. Thank you to all of the volunteers working Asheville and Western North Carolina... and all around the World of course.

Asheville Carwash, brand new right near Wal-Mart

New car wash just about finished on Swannanoa River Road in front of the Super Wal-Mart right off of Tunnel Road in East Asheville. I believe I saw "Buchanan Construction" trucks out in front.

Victoria's Secret in Asheville, something for the ladies (and the men too)

I kind of think this is an awesome idea for the guys to stop by stores like these and invest in something that will benefit the both of you. I know on "According To Jim", he bought his wife a flat screen tv with a sports channel subscription as a gift, and that is a little too inconsiderate. Do not know her size? Go in, pick someone there, and say she about like her size, etc. I have done it plenty of times, lol. Or skip the "clothing", and check out their perfumes, make up, and other bath products that I am sure your significant other would love to try. Great section in there featuring the "Pink" teen and young lady line (or feeling young, lol), another featuring the "Angels" line (pajamas, bras, underwear, pastel colors, soft materials), also the "Very Sexy" line which leans more toward lingerie, sexy clothing, etc, and then "Body By Victoria" which is sportswear and activewear. This store has 6 sections, while the Victoria's Secret at the Biltmore Square Mall has 5.

Asheville's Chick-Fil-A, inside the hut

Quick pic of workers in the Chik-Fil-A on Tunnel Road in Asheville North Carolina. This place always looks clean and workers at this establishment have always been great. I believe the same owners have the Chik-Fil-A in the Biltmore Square Mall and also on Hendersonville Road in South Asheville. | AskAsheville Youtube | Follow AskAsheville on Twitter |