Sunday, March 15, 2020

Music To My Ears!

Asheville, N.C.- As the nation and world cancel major events amid the growing coronavirus pandemic, rock music throbbed through a thousand fans at the Orange Peel.

Alesia and I saw one of our favorite bands during my Spring Break this week. Silversun Pickups was as good as hoped (even better!) March 11 at this venerable venue.

At the show, we met David Booth (left) from Radford, Va. Alesia and I both attended Radford University where she (and David) graduated. I would transfer to VCU where I earned my bachelor's degree. Here's a clip from the concert taken with my iPhone and put on my YouTube channel

The AC Hotel Downtown Asheville is where we stayed during our Tuesday-Thursday trip. 

Rooftop at the AC Hotel
We were fortunate to have some very nice weather. The sun on my face felt great! 
Located at 10 Broadway St., the AC Hotel was a great pick (by Alesia).  We parked our car in the garage and didn't need it until we left. 
We were able to comfortably walk around downtown Asheville from here, including to the Orange Peel concert venue, which was just several blocks away from the hotel. 
Within minutes of checking into the hotel, I went on our fifth-floor balcony and spotted this pair across the street in a tree. They were eye level from our room. I quickly set up my camera and took several shots.  
These are House Finches, the red male, and the female finch. It was pretty neat to have such an unexpected bird encounter from my hotel room!  

We had some great views from the hotel rooftop restaurant. 

(Above) The tall Vance Memorial obelisk was erected in 1896.
Asheville has a flatiron building that was constructed in 1927. It's in the process of becoming a hotel.  That would be a cool place to stay when that happens! 
Asheville's downtown has a number of interesting and unique looking public sculptures like these two. 

This old Woolworth five and dime store is today a really nice art gallery with a lunch counter restaurant. 
The lunch counter reminds me of the Civil Rights integration efforts that I talk about in my media law and ethics class at South Carolina State University. A 1960 sit-in at the Woolworth store in Greensboro, N.C. is well known historically. I'm not sure if Asheville had a similar protest back then. 
Grove Arcade (below) is another downtown Asheville spot with a rich history. Today on the first floor it houses several high-quality retail shops of different types. 

The Wicked Weed Brewery, located next to where we saw Silversun Pickups, was a fun place to stop by for a late-night (for us) local beer.  

Great Eats! We had some very good breakfast, lunch and dinner dining experiences, especially at the Curate and Strada Italiano restaurants, both of which we highly recommend and plan to return next time in Asheville. This was actually our second visit to Curate, a fine Spanish tapas place. 

Strada Italiano is literally right across the street from the AC Asheville hotel.  My stomach is growling as I look at the dinner photos!  

Offbeat Advertising! 
Asheville is a funky town, for sure. The main downtown streets like Broadway and Biltmore have such a local feel. They have not been overtaken by national chains of stores and restaurants. I got a kick out of some of the clever advertising at various shops and restaurants. 

It was a great getaway to a fun place. And the concert was fantastic. The Silversun Pickups are, from left to right: Joe Lester (keyboards), Christopher Guanlao (drums), Brian Auburt (guitar and vocals), and Nikki Menninger (bass). 

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