Should Asheville eat the rich?

I’m appalled at the sheer bitterness the Xpress allowed Hanna Rachel Raskin to parlay in her sad excuse for a food criticism on Vigné, the newest and chicest dining addition to downtown Asheville. I’m sorry she hates skinny people that dress nicely. I’m even sorrier that they intimidate her. And I wonder, as a renegade food writer, whether she thinks the Mountain Xpress would exist as a forum in which she could publish her jabs at the wealthy, if the venues they frequented didn’t pay for all of the ad spaces that support its existence.

I’m glad this article was written, however, because it is the epitome of the attitude I keep running into among those who feel like the “have-nots” in Asheville. People who take pride in their appearance and weigh an ounce less than Raskin should not be scrutinized for liking finer things and supporting different forms of progression in Asheville. The arts scene cannot continue to grow or thrive without the lustful eye of the affluent. Last I heard, there was already a year-long waiting list for artists [wanting] to show their art on this upscale restaurant’s walls. It’s laughable to believe that tourists will keep fueling our economy to the beat of the downtown drum circle. 

Chavarria has done the city a favor by beginning to buff what was once considered a “seedy” part of the city, and from what I can tell, attracting a curious and cultured clientele to downtown’s batch of regulars. Old and new, rich and not-so-rich, plump and svelte; it must all co-exist, which is what I hoped Asheville was trying to be all about, and the Xpress was trying to promote.

Fashionably yours (and unapologetic).

— Milly Lark

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9 thoughts on “Should Asheville eat the rich?

  1. sonjia

    it’s true,

    I, for one, am so glad that a restaurant like this one exists, and has blessed such a formerly unappealing area with it’s benevolent gentrification wand.

    Oh! what Asheville will soon be when the silly, under-employed quirkyness that made people move here in the first place is finally and thankfully replaced by such necessities as $350 bottles of wine. Oh! Bless us divine fairy of middle-class standards, we give praise at your alter of ever-changing hipness.
    Prepared are we to join the masses, as we become yet another unrecognizable once-small town filled to the brim with movie-stars and third and fourth home-owners.
    We the uncultured await patiently for the glorious trickle-down effect of Biltmore spillover, pouring untold riches down on local artists lucky enough to show their art on the walls near these moneyed (and therefore cultured) restaurant-goers.

    Thank You for making Asheville a ‘better’ place!!!

  2. I for one eagerly await the takeover of new money cocaine using beautiful people.

    Anything to get rid of the pot smoking, two job having dreadlocked crowd is fine with me.

  3. frederick

    “I’m glad this article was written, however, because it is the epitome of the attitude I keep running into among those who feel like the “have-nots” in Asheville. People who take pride in their appearance and weigh an ounce less than Raskin should not be scrutinized for liking finer things and supporting different forms of progression in Asheville.”

    Clearly, you know nothing of Hanna, personally or professionally. Therefore, you clearly have no idea of what you write. I always read the columns and appreciate having the opportunity of reading the reviews of an educated and knowledgeable person before choosing to dine at a certain restaurant. I have found the majority of her reviews to be not only spot on in judgement, but entertaining and informative as well.

  4. Carrie

    sonjia: Why do you hate the rich? I continually hear (read) you talk about them like they have personally wronged you. You have spoken of entitlement, like the rich feel they have some. It isn’t the rich speacking like they’re owed something, it’s you. Look, the fact that you do or have lived Downtown entitles you to nothing except an opinion. The way you’d like it, the longer you’ve been here gets you better land and Pumpkins tickets. You hate the gated communities but would love to put a big, fat gate around Asheville. “No Outsiders” Right? Maybe you want to be one of those multiple home owners you hate. I don’t know. And, in case you haven’t noticed, WE don’t live a small town anymore. It’s a city.

  5. sonjia

    uhhh, are you sure you’re commenting on the right posts?

    hate the rich? i was just saying how happy i am that more hip, fashionable people are improving dowtown with their coolness.

    honestly, i just hope some of the coolness will wear off on me as i’m washing their dishes and taking their order.


  6. sonjia

    and, for the record, i never wanted or received smashing pumpkin tickets.

    couldn’t go anyway, i was too buys washing dishes most of that week.

    so, are you sure you’ve got the right gal?

    i maintain that ‘the rich’ as you call them, are vastly improving our lives on a daily basis, making us foolish, backwoods hicks see that asheville can one day be just like boulder, burlington, western mass. most of the bay area, and park slope in BK.

    if only we could get over our ugly-duckling phase.

  7. kmjohn

    I don’t know if we should eat them they sound a little stringy and gamy to me, not very plump and tender. But maybe if we inject them with more wine we can sell to the Japanese as gourmet rich people and make a nice little profit off of them.

  8. jessica

    It is apparent by reading any of Raskin’s articles that she is not quite as knowledgable as she ought to be. But then again, I did see her at Long John Silvers just a week ago. Maybe this is why she feels the need to take her misery out in her writing.

  9. Super Rich

    I went to Vigne a couple of times. First time, the staff was surly even when I attempted to engage them. Second time, although it looked like a dozen people were drinking at various tables indoor and out, the bartender said they were “closed” It turns out, the dozen or so people were staff. I probably won’t go back. I don’t mind paying extra for nice atmosphere, but I won’t pay extra for bad service.

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