I’ve said it before, but this is my recurring soapbox: Downtown Asheville needs a variety store.
Yesterday afternoon I realized that what I really needed was a patron saint candle. St. Expedite, specifically, but my point is that after more than an hour searching downtown’s many gift and novelty shops, I came up empty handed.
People bemoan the passing of Vincent’s Ear; what I miss most is Dollar General. Vincent’s may have had ambiance, but when it came to flower pots, pot holders or patron saints, forget it.
Here’s what I did come across on my search:
• A magnetic dress-Jesus-in-drag kit
• Soy candles in every possible earthy-muted hue
• Arch-angel bracelets
• Carved African masks
• A grow-a-new-husband kit (not unlike Sea Monkeys)
• Enough Nag Champa to supply a small Indian village for a month
In Asheville you can get a Shiva or a Buddha statue as easy as snapping your fingers, but (despite the looming visage of the Basilica of Saint Lawrence) good luck finding a Papally approved deity.
Help me out. Where can I find a St. Expedite candle? And (more importantly) what do you think downtown needs more than, say, another sushi bar?
—Alli Marshall, A&E reporter