I drove to Asheville today. I didn’t have any real reason to do so, other than the fact that I needed a change of scenery and it needed to be something close but also something other than the Triangle or Charlotte. I also had a vague notion of perhaps meeting up with an old friend I hadn’t seen since about 1993, but that wasn’t to be.

Some part of me really wants to like Asheville, but another more powerful part of me never actually does. Mind you, it’s not that I dislike the place. The hippie granola factor is a little annoying, but there are enough beautiful and photogenic buildings there to make up for the fact that it feels way too much like Berkeley. Asheville has a downtown that reflects its relatively large population in the 1920s (as opposed to its relatively small population today) and a nice collection of neon motel signs. And there are mountains, too.

The problem, I think, is that there’s no specific and compelling destination there for me–no special restaurant or bookstore or junk shop or whatever–so I end up just sort of driving around town all day and not stopping much of anyplace. Which gets a little tiresome.

I did have marginally good thrift store luck today, at least: