One of the things I love about Asheville is that things are so accessible. It seems like we have the best of all worlds: our city is big enough to attract top acts and personalities while it is small enough so that you actually have a chance to get good seats to these events. About three months ago,WNC Magazine (that’s Western North Carolina for the uninitiated) announced that Anthony Bourdain would be appearing for one night at the Asheville Civic Center. At the time I was of two minds about going. While I love cooking shows, travel shows, even if they are about food, are just OK with me. I know, that’s odd when you consider how much we have traveled but I guess I want to go not just hear about someone else’s travels!
But we booked the tickets and last night James and I went to see the star of “No Reservations“.
It was a clear, brisk evening so James and I opted to walk from the Carolina Bed & Breakfast in to town. Some of the trees are still holding on to leaves of brilliant color, although many are bare, and we passed the squirrel-nibbled remnants of Halloween pumpkins on porches and in gardens on the way. (For pictures of Halloween in Asheville check our Facebook page) As we reached the bridge over the highway, the sun was just setting and the mountains were aglow with light. The show didn’t start until 8PM so James and I decided to go to one of our favorite restaurants, Cucina24 , where we sat at the bar and shared two of their amazing brick oven pizzas. It’s hard to say which was better, the Wild Mushroom, Truffle Oil and Tallegio pizza or the Apple, Fontina and Bacon!
Once we were appropriately warmed up with good food and wine, we made the short walk over the Civic Center for the show. So, how was it? Well, it was pretty good. What do you expect? The man makes his living out of being entertaining! I was surprised however that it was so disjointed. I was expecting a series of commentaries and stories but I was also expecting there to be a common thread–his show?–his travels?–his life?
He began with a riff on the Food Network and, if you know anything about Anthony Bourdain, you can imagine his stand on most of what they do. But from there we moved to vegetarians and why he doesn’t like them. It seems to be very much centered around his feeling that if you are in someone else’s house you should eat whatever they put in front of you. I kind of wonder what his childhood was like! The we had some clips of accidents from his show, a diatribe on why one should always show up on time and finally questions from the audience. We were surprised that he talked so little about his travels and his show but enjoyed the evening all the same.
|The Carolina and one of the photos Julie worked from|
On to other things! About the same time we bought the tickets to Anthony’s show, I received an email from an artist who wanted to trade a drawing of the Carolina for a two night stay at the inn, as an anniversary present for her husband. Her request was timely as James and I have commissioned a drawing of each home in which we have lived around the world and I was looking for someone who could draw the Carolina. I looked Julie up on the internet and liked what I saw on her website: Bezalel Pen & Ink House Portraits. She is a very interesting person, having lived in Jordan and Taiwan among other places. Not only does she do house portraits but she also does wall murals and mosaics. It’s not always easy to find an artist to do this kind of work in the manner which we like. But Julie’s picture is clean and representative without being “cute” as they too often are. She is based in Charlotte and, if you are looking for an artist I suggest you take a look at her website.
|Julie and Her Husband|