Thursday, December 31, 2009

World Coffee

World Coffee is a great place to sit back with some coffee and a book and listen to some good music. Their desserts are delicious and varied as well as their clientel...

The coffee shop is connected to an import store and showcases many items from around the world - quite funky.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Asheville Sunset

When I lived in Nebraska I was always struck by the presence of the "big sky" and the awesome sunsets of the plains. Of course sunsets are somewhat universal in their appeal no matter where the particular place is located where one is viewing this moment. Jamaica, Hawaii, Barcelona or Asheville all seem to equally capture that moment when we are truly in awe of nature's colours.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Small House - American Standards

The big buzzword today in housing is sustainability followed by Green building. In the USA the 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 2000 square foot house is considered a standard. For some areas of the country it is labeled as a "starter" home for the first time buyer.

This house fits into its site very well and its site footprint is very small. The total floor area is probably about 1500 square feet. Compare this to housing in Japan or New York where homeowners live in much smaller spaces. Living smaller is less expensive, respects the environment by cutting down on urban sprawl and forces you to think before buying more "stuff."

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Alley Views

I have always been fascinated by alleys - those narrow, utilitarian, back of the building accessways that take care of garbage, deliveries and electricity lines. Some alleys take on a special character of their own and compete with the "regular" streets in terms of interest and variety with bars, stores and housing that is an exciting facet of the city.

In this alley a car has been parked close enough to the building to allow traffic to pass. The door to the right of the car could be to a shop, a studio or an apartment. In further posts I will be looking at other housing choices that people make - from downtown to McMansions.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Wall Street

Wall Street is a short (about 3 blocks) street in Asheville that is pedestrian in character. The sidewalks are wide and the street narrow and textured. It is anchored by the Flat Iron Building (see an earlier post) and is comprised of shops, restaurants and offices. This year it was also the site of the Octoberfest celebration.

The Laughing Seed Cafe, voted Best Vegetarian Restaurant in Western North Carolina eight years in a row.

The courtyard dining area of Mayfel's, which has its "front door" on College
Street, and features good, wholesome food.

An artistic rendition of signage at the gate at the top of the stairs leading down to the courtyard dining area.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

River Arts District Studio Stroll

Every second weekend of June and November the studios in the River Arts District have an open house - Studio Stroll. The recent stroll had all the elements for a great day - sunshine, lots of lookers and some good art for all. Jewelry, ceramics, sculpture and painting are just a few of the genres present in this lively area down by the French Broad River. The Clingman Cafe did a roaring business with people lined up for service. Many of the studios are open year round, see the link for more information
Is it a sculpture, a chopper, or a ......... It's a piece of art.

A close up view of the fuel scource for the "chopper" - rubber chickens.

One section of a fence/sculpture using found objects.