Keep Asheville Weird

Oh My Heck, I Love!

A while back I was asked to be a part of Kelby Carr’s Type-A Mom Conference this September.  I was excited and honored, to say the least.   Surely  it’s the validation and recognition for doing what I do here in the blog-o-sphere that makes the honor so great.   Then Kelby kicked it up a notch and asked me how I felt about doing half of my session in a room (like a traditional panel) and the other half on the streets of the host city.   The photowalk through the funky streets would give the attendees of my session a chance to get some hands on experience as well as give me a chance to do what I do best;  mixing my photography and people skills together in a big pot and pouring it out on the streets of Asheville.   Weird they want to keep it and I have no problem with that what-so-ever.

Kelby told me that the Crown Plaza was willing to have me spend the night as their special guest.  So, I planned and took off last Saturday for Asheville. The trip was just under four hours and I was to meet up with Kelby and her family around noon.   While I waited for them to show up I talked with Pauline on the phone and guzzled another iced Americano.    Once they got there I hopped in my van and followed them to our first destination:  LUNCH!

Coca-Cola Look Up! (always look up) The Sun by: @panicbooks

We ate at the Mellow Mushroom, much to their eldest daughter’s dismay.  Even the promise of coloring pages couldn’t help her erase the frown.  That is until the pink lemonades were cracked out.    Lunch was fun.  Kelby’s husband Mike picked up my camera and hence began our efforts to try to get each other in portrait.  Photographers aren’t too into getting their own picture taken by others.   I think Mike and I felt the same way, making this game of cat and mouse even more fun!

6/6: Seriously My Fave

Once we were done with lunch we headed over to Izzy’s coffee shop to get some caffeination, then over to Malaprops bookstore where Mike found a book for me, Journals by Kurt Cobain. I see how easy it is to get lost in a place like that.  When I was checking out there was some comical banter between myself and the guy behind the counter.  Oddly enough it was about a plastic bag.

I didn’t stop snapping once and I imagined how it would be to lead a small group of women through the streets.  Early on I started to devise a plan of attack for the conference.  Then I just forgot about the plan because I was having way too much fun.   There was so much to see and take in; I felt right at home.  I wonder if I could get Michael to move us there?

She Sat Down Picked Up Some Reading Material and I Did What I Do Someone's Paradise

Kelby and Mishi When Pigs Fly, Dood

Kelby took me in some great shops and we even got to stop at something called the Bizarre Bazaar, where many local artists were showing off and selling their work.  Everywhere I looked was a nugget of amazement.   I armed myself with my business card to give to the artists that I photographed.  I wanted to make their images available to them here on the blog and/or at my flickr stream.   [If you are one of the artists that I met on Saturday, please let me know by leaving me a comment.  Remember me?  Dark hair, big lens, pretty smile, long white skirt!]


Kinda Posed, Kinda Not (Ok, Kinda Posed)

It's Perfect On You!

We walked on towards Grove Arcade and Battery Park Apartments.   Mike paused to tell me some stories about both buildings.   He told me of how a young woman was brutally murdered in the Battery Park Apartments and how people have committed suicide by jumping off.

As I Snapped He Told Me Stories

The Battery Park Hotel is now an apartment building.  It is said to be haunted by the spirit of a woman who was brutally murdered.  On the morning of July 17th, 1936, Helen Clevenger was discovered murdered in room 224.   She had been savagely beaten, her face slashed, and she had been shot.  An employee, Martin Moore, eventually confessed and died in the gas chamber.  The Battery Park Hotel also has been the scene of a number of suicides committed by jumping from the roof.  On stormy nights Helen is seen wandering the halls of the old hotel.  People have reported seeing bodies falling from the roof.  A tragic suicide being replayed over and over?
–Sarah Harrison, Founder and Lead Investigator for Asheville Paranormal Society

Afterwards Kelby, the twins, and I strolled through Grove Arcade, looking at all the shops and gabbing non-stop while Mike and their eldest daughter scattered to another book store.  Inside I was totally lost in the architechture and the symmetry.  It was so beautiful and the way the light was coming through the sky roof was incredible.

Light and Reflections Part I

I had the best time talking to Kelby and learning more about her.  I was grateful that I had the chance to meet her like this.  After we found the bathroom and cheered her boy twin for going potty in the public bathroom, we headed out to wait for the book hound and daughter.

Then I was introduced to Ben and Roger.  This is Ben:

This is Ben (Roger is his Twin)

We then walked on to Pritchard Park where we encountered a Salsa dancing troupe and an accompanying group of musicians.  I scoped out a space on a bench and had myself a seat.  The  sun was beating down on me, but I didn’t care.  The moment was perfect.  I could feel my body sway to the music and a huge smile spread across my face.

Guitars and Dancing = Love Love

Thin Strapped Summer Shirt

I Covet Her Sandals

Delighted I turned to the man next to me and was all, Don’t you wish we could go down there and dance?  And he was all, Oh yeah–I live for this stuff.   As he leaned in closer to gab some more I smelled the beer on him.   I don’t know why I love to smell beer on men, but I do.  Then he leaned over to the lady on the other side of him, to talk about Ft. Lauderdale.  Talk about random!

I sat down next to this man and we struck up a convo about how cool it would be to go

Our last stroll for the day was through the Wall Street area.  This street has such a European feel to it that you can’t help but want to photograph it.  I could have stayed there all day photographing little details like the brick lined sidewalk, the beautiful people, the store fronts, the animals hanging out in the store fronts, all of it.  It was all so perfect that I was even able to ignore the blister on my toe!

This Sidewalk Makes Me Want to Kiss Someone Right There EAT

I Cat Called Her (and she liked it) I'm Seeing Stars

Sitting on the Bench I Captured This Guy

After this we hopped into the comfort of our air conditioned vehicles and took a drive through the Montford area that is reminiscent of the Garden District in New Orleans.  We quickly took a tour of Riverside Cemetary, too, planning to come back the very next day to walk it some.   The cemetery is the final resting place for Thomas Wolfe and O. Henry (William Sydney Porter) and has much interesting and historical meaning.  I anticipated walking around the next day, but we were spent.

WSP TOM and his OfferingsO. Henry A Fork in the Road

It was time to head to my hotel so that I could check in, rest, and get ready for the night ahead.   Later that night I would be attending a walk through of The Haunted Woods (also known as The Body Dump) with the Asheville Paranormal Society.  But first, I needed to shower and relax.  The big day had caught up to me and when I crashed into my bed (the bed I have nicknamed Heaven) I fell asleep for a solid 25 minutes, but it felt more like 3 hours.   I woke up ready to go and tackle the ghosts in the woods.

Oh and being the VIP that I was/am, Crown Plaza sent me a little gift.  How did they know that I love chocolate covered strawberries?   I can’t wait to go sleep there again.

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25 Responses to “Keep Asheville Weird”
  1. 06.11.2009

    I cant wait to hear all about the Paranorma Society trip!! Wish I could’ve been there! I seriously need to get on a haunted tour! *G*

  2. Li0n

    This is beautiful. Thank you!

  3. 06.11.2009

    Simply fabulous! Your photos make me want to visit Asheville.

  4. Oh, it looks even weirder and better than the last time I’ve seen it.

  5. 06.11.2009

    Dude, you rock.

  6. 06.11.2009

    OMG, Mishi, this was wicked awesome… just stunning!

  7. Yeah. I really really wanna go now.

    Like bad.

  8. SO awesome!!

    You’re an inspiration babe!!! I LOVE it.

  9. 06.11.2009

    LOVE your blog!!

    Who was the yummy artist drinking coffee… MEOOOOOW!

  10. 06.11.2009

    You know I love you and have built a shrine to um . . . do things to !!

  11. 06.11.2009

    Glad you had a great time…Asheville is one of my favorite places on earth! We’re only about 2.5 hours from there, but we don’t make it up there nearly often enough!

  12. 06.11.2009

    You are just so awesome good. Great stuff, Mishi.

  13. 06.12.2009

    OMW Mishelle, I love this!! what an experience, love the setting and the people and the buildings and the mood and the entire thing!

  14. You have some awesome pics! You and the family need to get back up here…..I hear you babysit

  15. 06.12.2009

    you are a friggin’ rock star!

  16. 06.12.2009

    Your work is amazing.. I never ever get tired of your talent.. Your eye is like no ones.. brilliant

  17. Yea…so when ya moving up here??? My bday is Sept 1, you need to make a trip up so we can go wine tasting and I take you to Chocolate Lounge so you can have an orgasm…uhm….I mean slice of cake.

  18. 06.12.2009

    What fantastic phots of Asheville!!

  19. 06.12.2009

    Those photos are astounding! Great job Mishi!

  20. 06.12.2009

    Asheville is like a whole different world, isn’t it! I love the fact that the “Asheville Paranormal Society” exists! It’s the only place I’ve eaten a gourmet dinner in an alley, and had a latte on a double decker bus.

    Your photos are exquisite!

  21. 06.12.2009

    This post has everything I need to intrigue me to want to visit! I’m only a few hours away in Charlotte, and we’ve been talking about making a day trip over there. I’m going to make a point to now!

  22. IMHO true art makes you feel something. Every time I visit your blog I am moved. Thank you. Your photos are truly beautiful and inspiring.

  23. What an awesome, amazing, spectacular trip!

  24. 07.20.2009

    Thank you so much for this post. I have to tell you that I’ve seen your name in many of the blogs that I follow raving about your site and for some reason I’ve never taken the chance to stop by before now. Boy, this has been perfect timing. I’m so in love with your photos of Asheville! I just recently moved from living in Sylva and was a frequent visitor to Asheville because there was nothing in Sylva. I love Asheville. I love it with all my heart, and miss it with all my heart. It brings tears to my eyes to think about how much I miss it. The beauty of the Smoky Mountain area is just indescribable. Thank you for bringing me back to my peaceful place. I am looking forward to following your blog now! It was so perfect that the very first page I saw from your blog had a picture on it with the caption of something to the effect of “at the local watering hole” and I thought to myself…. “No freakin way! Is that Sliding Rock?!!!!” Love it. Love it. Love it. Thank you.

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