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