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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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March 11, 2017

Asheville - part II

Okay, moving right along...

Yesterday we went from #9 through #14 so today I'll start, strangely enough, with #6 which is a beautiful bower honoring Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, who worked to advance care for women and Children.  She also founded the world's(!) first four-year medical college for women.  Go, Elizabeth!!!


And below is just a building, but I loved the ornate decorative moldings on it...


The plaque below honors O.Henry.  The bronze items symbolize the theme of his "Gift of the Magi" story which I read as a young person and just loved.  It is the braid of hair the young wife cut off in order to pay for the the watch chain she gave him and he had sold the watch to pay for a beautiful hair comb for her.

Below is #3, "Stepping Out" which "recalls the theaters and Grand Opera House that once made Patton Avenue the center of commerce and culture".  Makes me start humming "Steppin' Out With My Lady"...

I love these pigs!  This display is #2 - "Crossroads" which illustrates the 1827 Buncombe Turnpike used by travelers, native Americans, and drovers with their pigs and turkeys (and cows - how come they don't have a bronze cow??)  And if there is a #1 (which there is on the map) all I can assume is that it's Pack Square itself.  

And the plaque below is #1 "Walk Into History" which we have now done in reverse from #14 through #1.

 This is an old Kresge store that is now a gallery-type place.  And while we're at it, below is an old Woolworth store that is filled with various art-type galleries.  There was a group of musicians outside that morning having a chilly jam session.

Oh, and below is another non-Trail building that I just loved.  I think it was Asheville's first skyscraper


Below is #15 - "Marketplace" which ties in with the fact that this area once "housed produce markets and livery stables".

Another building with artwork that I enjoyed. I like how they tied the actual window and door into the street-side scene.

This next one, #16-"Legacy of Design" was so strange that I wasn't sure it was really what I was looking for.  But the map said "a bench and a visionary young boy" so I guess it is.  However, the visionary young boy to looked so much like Ronald McDonald that I was a little puzzled.  Also, for a "boy" he was very big.  But...artistic license, I guess.
 It's on the grounds of The Mellow Mushroom, a restaurant (the building in the background) that must have a wild and crazy owner because the grounds outside are pretty wild and crazy.  But fun.

 The stone wall that surrounds the property had balls stuck into the stones every several feet.  I had even touched one to see if it could possibly be those balls they sell in grocery stores in the summer but it was hard.  The next one I came to was this one and I realized they were all bowling balls!

Now we move on to "The Time of Thomas Wolfe (1900-1938).  The photo below is of a metal sculpture which "merges the skyline of today with the early buildings of this era".  There's no way you can figure out from the photo what they're talking about because it's all see through and so you're seeing bits of the sculpture and things behind it.


And here, in a very poor photo, is a bronze replica of his shoes (#19) which is in front of his mother's boarding house and where he spent a good amount of his young years.

 And the boarding house - very pretty and very big.


 These two are metal sculptures represent #20 - "Curtain Calls".  There are 4 or 5 of them and they "remind us of Asheville's vibrant theatrical presence and portray human struggle through an abstract man."  He doesn't look very happy in either one of these, does he?

And here is a horrible picture but I put it in anyway because I think this is a copper roof in the process of achieving a patina.  The top was quite green and encroaching on the orange-ish bottom of the dome.

A glorious tree...

This was a neat one, I thought.  And very findable!  It is #21 - "On the Move" and represents the history of transportation.   And the one below is just more building art that I thought was fun.

 Not sure how I managed to cut off the top of this.  #22 - "Civic Pride".  The bell is similar to one that hung in the 1892 City Hall.

The little girl below is #26 (I tried but could never find #'s 23, 24, and 25).  #26 is sweet with the little girl and a replica of an actual horsehead fountain on a gas lamp post that once stood near here.

 Above is #27 - "Monument Corner" which displays bronze carving tools and a carving in progress which represent Tom Wolfe's father's tombstone shop which stood across the street where the building below now stands (the one I like so much - it's the Jackson Building and was Asheville's first skyscraper).


Below is #28 - "Brick Artisan" which recognizes African-American craftsman James Vester Miller, chief mason for the Municipal Building (1925) across the street.  I had to look hard for a cornucopia and suddenly noticed the two above this doorway.  They're in the side of the very long brick building which follows this picture.



And this very large and not-too-visible even in person wall sculpture commemorates the historic African-American community and business center.  The figures and buildings etched into the metal represent "the collective memories of former residents who recall the days when Eagle Street was a place to shop, go to a doctor, or meet friends after school.

I also had to look real hard to see #30 (finally!) and it doesn't show up well in the photo either but it was kind of odd to plant a bushy tree right next to it.  The eagle "overlooks an early hotel district and is similar to an ornamental one that stood as high as the second gallery of the Eagle Hotel...

And I'm pretty sure this is the Asheville city hall.  The map explains that the granite etching I couldn't find showed Douglas Ellington's "original architectural concept of a pair of complementing city-county buildings.  The county decided to construct its building in the more formal Federalist style, but the city's building was Ellington's art deco design..."  And of the two (the county building is what you see a bit of on the left), the city building wins the attractive award hands down, IMHO.

And finally walking back to the garage I came across this tricycle covered in knitted/chrocheted patches.  It is parked outside a yarn store!

So that was Wednesday in Asheville.  I got to my car, climbed in, and headed home.  And I just realized I never mentioned my birthday at Bouchon Restaurant and won't tell about it now - I'm worn out from doing the trail again! :)  Suffice it to say, it was wonderful in every way.


1 comment:

Christopher Budny said...

How neat - I never knew Asheville had this interesting treasure hunt / trail to find all these markers and monuments... Might have to ponder a trip back there sometime -- it HAS been awhile since I saw Biltmore, afterall ;) -Chris

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