Sunday, October 10, 2010

American road trip to Asheville (our 50th post and longest lived blog)

It's fall break at Emory so Lilly and I took advantage of the time off to get out of Atlanta. We made the short road trip to Asheville in North Carolina. Besides seeing a new city we also wanted to attend a conference at UNC Ashevill about the history of Black Mountain College.

Black Mountain College was an experimental college started in 1933. It's founding members believed that the study of the creative arts was central to the liberal arts. Their novel approach which put painting, poetry, music and dance at the core of a collegiate education attracted some of the most important artists and thinkers of the time.

A few notable participants were: Joseph Albers (pictured above instructing a painting class), Robert Rauchenberg, Merce Cunningham, William Dekooning, John Cage, Buckminster Fuller, and last but not least John Dewey. It was an important meeting place for the American avant garde . Sadly the school shut down in 1957, but has left it's mark on American culture and Lilly and my imaginations. The conference was enlightening and I was able to make contact with people who will be very helpful as my research on Dewey progresses.

Besides research we of course made time for sightseeing and southern food. Of particular interest is Asheville's many early 20th century skyscrapers.

I really like the red brick art-deco city hall.

But the most striking feature of Asheville is not the skyline but the street life. The downtown was bustling and on every corner was a new street musician. Like this drum circle...

or this old-timey folk group. You can just make out the washtub base behind the guitar.

With this old-timey music we were able to find old-timey candy (sold by the pound at Mast general store

With such forgotten confections as Horehound drops.

We were also thrilled to find Blenheim Giner Ale. This Ginger Beer is brewed in South Carolina and in unusually tasty and unusually spicy. (

We rounded out the weekend with some proper Carolina bbq. This dinner was at Willy's BBQ in Franklin NC on the Highway outside of Asheville. ( . It was our kinda place. No frills with rolls of paper towels on each table.

Lilly got pulled pork.
John got baby back ribs.
I got a catfish sandwich.

A delicious meal and a fun weekend.

p.s. I didn't know how to fit this image in but I feel compelled to do so. This sign was pasted at a gas station we stopped at just before the Georgia state line. My favorite part is the punctuation.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. That sounds an awesome adventure guys! And btw, I love to try the foods you ate there. Hehehe