One Man and His Horn: Asheville

I arrived in Asheville a little after noon time.  I scoped out a couple of places to play as I drove through town.  By the time I got there, they were taken.  Asheville seems to be a busker’s haven.  I already knew permits were not an issue here, but I did ask a couple of officers if they could direct me to a decent spot, as the parks were taken.  They really didn’t have any suggestions, so I asked them about sidewalks.  The ordinance is- sidewalks are fine as long as you don’t don’t block foot traffic and you have to move every 30 minutes.  I saw there was a festival of sorts, happening so I went to check that out.  I found  the HQ and asked if I could play there.  They had paid entertainment coming in soon, as I walked a little more I saw the stage.

I saw a place that looked good, plenty of space, so I set up there.  It went well for the time I was out there.  I actually stayed in that spot for almost 45 minutes.  I am not sure how enforced that rule is, but I didn’t want to push it. It was the middle of the day and it was time to do my work.  I went to place called Old Europe.  It was a nice little place across from the garage I was parked in. All of the desserts were made there and they all looked delicious.  There was also beautiful artwork on the walls.  I didn’t get any names there, but one of the baristas told me of a good spot.

I could not find the spot the barista told me about.  I did find another place that looked good. I hung out there and played for just over 30 minutes.  Walking around Asheville, one sees many buskers- both performing and/or looking for a spot.  They are not all musicians either, there were a couple  specialty jugglers, and I was told about a magician.  I saw 2 women, one played violin and the other played upright bass.  I walked by and got about half way down the block and I heard them play Pachabel’s Canon.  It was awesome, it got me to turn around and go put a tip in their case.  I crossed the street and listened to the rest of it.

In Pritchard Park last night, there was African Drumming.  From what I heard, that goes on every Friday.  I watched them for a few minutes and it looked like fun. They were just getting started and it was already starting to fill up there. You could here them from blocks away.

I saw another officer and asked him about that ordinance, just to make sure I understood it right.  He told you can be on the sidewalk for an hour, unless they hear complaints.  That gave me hope, it would be a long night if I had to break down every 30 minutes and lose momentum.  That officer told me about the same spot the barista did. He said the magician that was usually there, wasn’t.  I found it this time and found a singing and dancing fiddler.  I kept walking.  Finally, I found a business that was closed with inset doors.  I would not be blocking the sidewalk.  It was a great location, plenty of foot traffic.  I was going to stay there as long as I could.  I was there for just over two hours.  I finished, and just as I did, a man on the 3rd floor of condos across the street had hooked up his guitar and a mic through a PA and started sing from his window.  I though it was nice he waited until I was done.

I found Asheville to be a great city, with a lot of interesting shops and nice restaurants.  It seemed as though there was always something going on.  The people there were great too.  I am not staying a second day though, I went to Charlotte.

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