Letter: In praise of downtown Asheville

Steven Hawkins

Downtown Asheville is a quaint little place. I got to ride through it and see all of the attractions there when I went to a restaurant near downtown a few months ago. And I look forward to going back and exploring the downtown area more so.

The downtown business district of Asheville is riveting with exciting things to see and do. The Basilica of Saint Lawrence is in downtown Asheville, and it was designed by Rafael Guastavino. Downtown Asheville has a great art deco city hall, which is located at 70 Court Plaza. Also the Buncombe County Courthouse, a beautiful government building, is located at 60 Court Plaza.

Downtown Asheville has a vibrant banking center, which includes the Bank of America Financial Center at 162 College St., and also the First Bank building at 11 Church St. The Asheville Art Museum is a beautiful building as well. In downtown Asheville, it is highly unlikely to see any ducks or geese walking near your car in the city center, because they are mostly to be found in the waterways and rivers of rural Buncombe County.

Riding through downtown Asheville is a beautiful experience. They have beautiful things to see and do. And they also have wonderful nightlife, shopping district and many restaurants.

— Steven Hawkins
Greenville, S.C.

Editor’s note: Hawkins reports that he is a newspaper freelance writer who started writing letters to the editor in 2014. His letters have appeared in newspapers in both North and South Carolina.


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9 thoughts on “Letter: In praise of downtown Asheville

  1. Lou

    Be careful though, people of color have been known to get roughed up while being black in Asheville. Also, watch out for those potholes everywhere, since the city refuses to fix the streets in all but the wealthiest neighborhoods. Lastly, don’t try to rent here unless you already have a job making plenty of money, since you will need at least 15-1800 per month to rent a two bedroom apartment or a tiny shack that probably won’t allow your pets.

    • Jay Reese

      Name us a city that isn’t plagued with potholes and racism.

      Deteriorating infrastructure is a result of underfunding not willful neglect. Plus NCDOT is responsible for many of the streets and roads in and around Asheville.

      If people would drive less the roads wouldn’t get so tore up.

      • Sam

        We currently live in a driving community dude you need to accept this. Not everyone has a lifestyle that enables biking. Plus asheville drivers are all drunk or on their cell phones – you couldn’t pay me to cycle in this city! And I’ve cycled in some very big cities and urban areas in my time.

        • Jay m reese

          I accept the proven fact that many people could make the necessary changes to reduce the amount they drive. Cycling, walking, car pooling or the bus are all good alternatives to driving alone in a car. I too have been a bike commuter in other Cities and find Asheville to be one the best cycling communities I’ve lived in. It’s very rare for a driver to yell or honk at me in passing or to drive irrationally around me. I’m also encouraged by the City Councils dedication to reducing the need to drive in Asheville. There are many changes coming to our transportation infrastructure that will improve access to active transit.

          To say that all Asheville residents are drunk and on their cell phones invalidates your perceptions about the safety of cycling in Asheville. Just because we have a thriving craft beer industry doesn’t mean everyone is driving around drunk. This is an oft repeated comment on the local social media news sites that reflects an ignorant bias.

      • Lulz

        Love the reasoning here. City charges fees on top of property taxes for cars. Money is diverted away and misspent. And in all of that not once do you contemplate tourism’s impact on the roads. And the taxea collected are not being used to offset any of the resources they use. Instead you put it on the NCDOT and absolve local government of any responsibility. Get real.

  2. Enlightened Enigma

    Steven, if you had any idea of all the corruption that runs the city, you would not be so enamored, but please DO come and spend your money!

  3. Johnny to the A

    What a wonderful book report. I bet young Mr. Hawkins was given an A for his effort but sadly a C- for content.

    The middle school paper awaits!

  4. Bright

    Cute report on Aville, but methinks he just wanted his picture in the paper.

  5. Karen Ramshaw

    Thank you so much for taking time to write a letter letting us know that you liked our downtown. I hope you get a chance to come back and enjoy more of our city.

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