To migrate is to blend

I guess this problem has replayed itself on much larger scales concerning migration of a mass of people to another land. The problem here in Asheville is on a much smaller scale, but a scale nonetheless.

What I see here seems to be a multitude of rich, ultra-conservative and often snobby people infiltrating our artsy streets and small-business dreams. When they come and walk our streets and complain about homelessness, and call the cops to do something about our drum circle downtown making too much noise—do they realize that if they don’t approve, they could take some of their multimillion-dollar retirement fund and build vocational facilities for impoverished people?

They drive around in their Bentleys or Lexus coupes and can’t seem to grasp the idea that they may be the reason why rent is so expensive and jobs that stress servitude are many times the only form of employment for our younger and less-well-financed citizens.

And don’t they realize that they could be the reason that the developers strip our precious mountains of their natural beauty to build a redundantly overpriced home that no native of North Carolina could afford on this city’s average wage?

When I lived abroad in Brazil, I accepted their culture, their ways of living, their methods of celebration among their cities’ flamboyant roads and alleys. So why should it be any different for these transplants, who shy away and cross to the other side of the street when they see my 230-pound, tattooed frame? This ain’t the Hamptons, folks. Get used to it—and know that even though I’m a big fella covered in tattoos, this military veteran would be the guy who would stop a purse snatcher from robbing you.

— Ryan Bolton
Asheville

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10 thoughts on “To migrate is to blend

  1. travelah

    Ryan, how did you determine that the liberal “drum circle” community you call Asheville was ever considered to be native? Secondly, I have seen one Bentley in the area recently and of all things, it had a steal my face sticker on the back bumper. As for the big equity money being ultra-conservative, guess again. They are an eclectic mix from a variety of places, California, New Jersey and Florida being particularly represented. A lot of folks are following the advice of other recently transplanted souls who make up much of the “artsy” community you refer to. They are moving here not for the native culture but for the culture that has been created here at the expense of the local Carolinians.

  2. Hopefully

    And good for them, we need some fresh blood! Travaler, you may be doing your best to represent the local peasantry in all their ignorance, but I believe most people are glad to welcome the newcomers with their money and new ideas. Asheville is not wingnut central, as you might wish it to be! The winds of change are blowing, get used to it!

  3. travelah

    l&h;, yes I realize you find the locals ignorant and those usurping them to be wise but in the bigger scheme of things, it doesn’t matter.

  4. an actual local

    I remember the good old days when Rolling Stone called us the Freak Capital of America and people were still talking about how commercialized Earth Fare had gotten since they moved from Broadway….

  5. Hopefully

    Not all of the locals are ignorant, nor are all the newcomers wise. Don’t be so sad travelah, change is the only constant. Whether we like it or not…

  6. dickyfauge

    Well, thats mighty nice of you to allow that hope. Just kidding! Dont be so patronizing!

  7. Nam Vet

    Well he has made quite an assumption that rich = conservative. I’ve noticed most of the monied transplants here have liberal bumper stickers. My favorite was a new Volvo Cross Country station wagon with a “Live simply so others may simply live” bumper sticker….parked at the Westgate Earthfare. As if the driver is too dense to realize that driving a $50,000 car is not living simply? Typical of NE yankee transplants. Talk one way,but live another. :)

  8. Rob Close

    I do see one good point here. The drum circle might not be native, but it’s clearly a very popular, long-standing community event. That and the silent movies redeem pritchard park – and yet, soon as rich people moved in across from the Flat Iron Building, they’ve been doing their best to end that drum circle. Sorry, but if you choose to live downtown in a city, you should expect it to be noisy. And if you didn’t that we (well, a lot of us) REALLY enjoy the drum circles, then you didn’t live here long enough before moving downtown. Your mistake. We’re not going to pay for it by giving up our fun.

    Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. So silly how often we ignore happiness. Some of us like to dance & drum when it’s dark out in public spaces, and quite frankly, we were here first (vs those apts, anyway). Nobody said the drummers were native, though lame try there Traveleh. We’re saying we were doing this first, and now some transplants want to rip apart that community. Too bad. Can’t handle the noise – leave the city.

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