It is obvious that Jonathon Flaum didn't give us all the details of his downtown small-business walk last week in the small-business edition of the Mountain Xpress [Commentary, "A Walk on the Wild Side," April 14]. Please allow me to fill in the gaps of his stroll.
Apparently he must have meandered up into Chicken Alley where he proceeded to score and smoke a fat one. I surmise this because as he walked back up Lexington Avenue, he failed to notice the most significant renovation in the street's history in the form of a multimillion-dollar brewery called the LAB. How he missed the multiple 1,000-gallon vats of beer is somewhat baffling.
Then, as he was cruising back down Lexington, he failed to mention that his paranoia set in, as a group of gutter punks changed his course, and he completely circumnavigated and avoided the corner of Lexington and Walnut. In skipping this corner and hopping over to the courtyard, he passed up Cornerstone Minerals, one of Asheville's best educational opportunities, and one of Lexington's greatest highlights. Granted, it is down below in the "cave," but what he passed up surely would have surprised him. It is technically a gallery, but essentially is a museum. Cornerstone boasts a massive 30,000 year old cave bear skull in the back that is not to be missed. In addition, there are thousands of stones in every variety, a diversity of meteorites, and a fossil collection that would make a paleontologist drool. Not to mention a great selection of jewelry and prices that are highly competitive.
The owners at Cornerstone travel the world to dig and purchase their offerings from the farthest corners of the globe. For a portion of the year they exhibit some of the world's finest gems and minerals at the most prestigious mineral shows in America. The gallery has been open for 5 years, 7 days a week, 362 days a year.
I know that not all retail establishments can be mentioned in such a small highlight of locally-owned businesses downtown. But for Jonathon to miss so many of Lexington's major highlights warrants a second thought to a pit stop in Chicken Alley before going on his stroll.
— Nicole Bassett