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Asheville NC....tell me about it.


rictus58

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Beautiful scenery. If you are going there I hope it's for an outdoor type trip. Tons of waterfalls and great hiking in that area, blue ridge parkway is a great drive, too, if you like that sort of thing. It's a small craft town with a large hippie community in a quite picturesque landscape. I like it there.

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The Arts & Crafts movement started with the construction of the Biltmore Estate, when the Vanderbilt family brought in thousands of artisans and skilled laborers for construction in the late 1800s.

The arts & crafts vibe is still very strong in Asheville. It's a fun town to poke around all of the different shops. Lots of glassmakers, pottery makers, sculpturs, and other assorted craftsman. Lots of surprisingly good restaurants with casual atmosphere but a very serious approach to food... everything from carribean food to soul cooking is there.

There is some confusion because in the 1960s and 70s hippies muscled their way onto the arts & crafts scene. And while many of them moved to Asheville, that's not what the town is really about, even though many people think that. The hippies could all leave and the arts & crafts vibe would still be very strong.

I would suggest just walking around Asheville and poking around shops and stopping to eat at whatever place looks good. If you're into outdoor stuff, DCSFan is correct, there is tremendous hiking in the area. And the Biltmore is just as impressive as everyone says it is, you won't be dissapointed.

....

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Thanks for the suggestions everyone.

Any bars to steer clear of? We're mostly interested in live music, with good craft brews. I don't want to end up at the Blue Oyster.

We're only going to be there for about 24 hours. I don't know if we'll have time to see the Biltmore or not.

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Thanks for the suggestions everyone.

Any bars to steer clear of? We're mostly interested in live music, with good craft brews. I don't want to end up at the Blue Oyster.

We're only going to be there for about 24 hours. I don't know if we'll have time to see the Biltmore or not.

If guys are wearing assless chaps, don't order a beer. Go to the next one.

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Thanks for the suggestions everyone.

Any bars to steer clear of? We're mostly interested in live music, with good craft brews. I don't want to end up at the Blue Oyster.

Are you afraid of being prison raped in a gay bar?

---------- Post added April-20th-2011 at 09:15 AM ----------

And the Biltmore is just as impressive as everyone says it is, you won't be dissapointed.

....

I have a cousin who is a florist in Johnson City. He is some kind of "Friend of the Biltmore" and goes to special events there. I think he has even worked on decorations for some of the events. He got my family a special private tour once that was kind of amazing.

I've been to The Biltmore and to Newport.

You leave those places with two feelings:

1. That level of artistry simply no longer exists when it comes to large-scale projects and

2. Thank Christ for the income tax.

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And the Biltmore is just as impressive as everyone says it is, you won't be dissapointed.

....

I have a cousin who is a florist in Johnson City. He is some kind of "Friend of the Biltmore" and goes to special events there. I think he has even worked on decorations for some of the events. He got my family a special private tour once that was kind of amazing.

I've been to The Biltmore and to Newport.

You leave those places with two feelings:

1. That level of artistry simply no longer exists when it comes to large-scale projects and

2. Thank Christ for the income tax.

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I've been to The Biltmore and to Newport.

You leave those places with two feelings:

1. That level of artistry simply no longer exists when it comes to large-scale projects and

I had the same thought. If you wanted to build a modern-day Biltmore' date=' never mind the cost... would it even be possible to do? Could you find 200 stone masons capable of carving gargoyles out of a solid hunk of granite, and 300 master wood-crafters capable of hand-carving a fireplace out of one solid piece of mahogany?

I suspect those people exist today, but in such small numbers that they've been deemed "national treasures" by some society of artisans and their limited work is shipped straight to the Smithsonian.

2. Thank Christ for the income tax.

I had a similar thought after doing the Urban-Plantation tour of Charleston. All of this unbelievable wealth and excess wasn't enough... they couldn't even see their way to actually paying for their help, they had to use slave labor. Unbelievable.

Actually, my exact thoughts were "thank God these sorry ****s got their asses kicked by the North".

What a con-job. That Southern aristocratic class duping hundreds of thousands of poor-white southerners to go fight for their disgusting way of life under the guise of Southern Pride.

I think much the same can be said about the Republicans today. The most outspoken about tax increases on the rich are ultra-right die hards that are making $35k a year. Just take a small sample of this board. It really is impressive if you step back and look at it.

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I had the same thought. If you wanted to build a modern-day Biltmore, never mind the cost... would it even be possible to do? Could you find 200 stone masons capable of carving gargoyles out of a solid hunk of granite, and 300 master wood-crafters capable of hand-carving a fireplace out of one solid piece of mahogany?

I suspect those people exist today, but in such small numbers that they've been deemed "national treasures" by some society of artisans and their limited work is shipped straight to the Smithsonian.

I had a similar thought after doing the Urban-Plantation tour of Charleston. All of this unbelievable wealth and excess wasn't enough... they couldn't even see their way to actually paying for their help, they had to use slave labor. Unbelievable.

Actually, my exact thoughts were "thank God these sorry ****s got their asses kicked by the North".

What a con-job. That Southern aristocratic class duping hundreds of thousands of poor-white southerners to go fight for their disgusting way of life under the guise of Southern Pride.

I think much the same can be said about the Republicans today. The most outspoken about tax increases on the rich are ultra-right die hards that are making $35k a year. Just take a small sample of this board. It really is impressive if you step back and look at it.

Well now I WANT to go see the Biltmore.

Also, IMO, taxes should be raised on everyone. Rich and poor.

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What a con-job. That Southern aristocratic class duping hundreds of thousands of poor-white southerners to go fight for their disgusting way of life under the guise of Southern Pride.

I think much the same can be said about the Republicans today. The most outspoken about tax increases on the rich are ultra-right die hards that are making $35k a year. Just take a small sample of this board. It really is impressive if you step back and look at it.

The Any Rand thread this week went nowhere fast for some reason, but I can't help but think of the Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, Mellons, Carnegie, Frick, etc when an Ayn Rand fan starts to go off. The theory behind her philosophy was that these godhead captains of industry were better than the rest of their fellow man and deserved their wealth.

I've been to the Frick home and museum in Pittsburgh and while its opulent - it's not on the scale of anything the Vanderbilts or Rockefellfers did because he was not in the class of wealth. He was basically Tom Hagen to Carnegie's Michael Corleone. Still, he lived in unimaginable opulence - which he earned by having Pinkertons murder striking steelworkers.

I've mentioned before that I have a fetish for books about large scale disasters - Chicago Fire, Hartford Circus Fire, Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, etc.. The one I recommend for non-morbid people is David McCullough's "The Jownstown Flood," primarily because he is such a great writer. The moral of the story is that 3000 people died and a valley was wiped out because a dozen rich men wanted to be able to fish near their weekend cabins.

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Well now I WANT to go see the Biltmore.

Also, IMO, taxes should be raised on everyone. Rich and poor.

The really cool thing about the Biltmore is the technical innovations, for the time. 1890, and it has an indoor swimming pool. Did they even have choline and filters then? How did THAT work? They even have primitive exercise equipment. 100 years before Nautilus

Also, central heat. Many homes don't even have that today. I think it also has something like 50 bathrooms, at a time when indoor plumbing was still experimental.

And it even had a primitive form of refrigeration. Forget the physics behind it... but 50 years ahead of its time.

There are also frescos literally ripped out of churches in Italy and brought over and re-assmembled on ceilings. Furniture that belonged to Napolean, etc.

The gardens are unbelievably impressive... and I'm not sure its place on the national rankings, but I would imagine that the greenhouse there is the most impressive private greenhouse in the country. It is amazing.

Spring is a beautiful time to see it. Right now in particular with the azaleas, phlox, dogwoods, dianthus, wysteria, etc. all in bloom

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The really cool thing about the Biltmore is the technical innovations, for the time. 1890, and it has an indoor swimming pool. Did they even have choline and filters then? How did THAT work? They even have primitive exercise equipment. 100 years before Nautilus

Also, central heat. Many homes don't even have that today. I think it also has something like 50 bathrooms, at a time when indoor plumbing was still experimental.

And it even had a primitive form of refrigeration. Forget the physics behind it... but 50 years ahead of its time.

There are also frescos literally ripped out of churches in Italy and brought over and re-assmembled on ceilings. Furniture that belonged to Napolean, etc.

The gardens are unbelievably impressive... and I'm not sure its place on the national rankings, but I would imagine that the greenhouse there is the most impressive private greenhouse in the country. It is amazing.

Spring is a beautiful time to see it. Right now in particular with the azaleas, phlox, dogwoods, dianthus, wysteria, etc. all in bloom

Unless I am mistaken, it also had an automated bowling lane.

Have you ever been to Longwood Gardens in Delaware? It's a Dupont Estate that is essentially one large garden. I wonder how the size of the greenhoues compare. Longwood was a lot more experimental though as that Dupont was an actual botanist

That's the amazing thing about the Vanderbilt and Dupont estates. The people who built weren't even the "rich" relatives most of the time. The Biltmore was built by a 26 year old grandson of Cornelius. Imagine if Paris Hilton decided to build the world's largest castle in the North Carolina mountains with the caveat that no one can use trucks to transport the supplies..

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How long would it take to tour the estate?

Also, I will never subject myself to "hannibal" again. What a mess. Feeding a guy his own brain? Stupid.

The book was just outstanding. The best of the Hannibal Lector series from Harris by far. It's hard for me to judge the movie objectively because I enjoyed the book so much... and Harris goes into unbelievable detail in the book that is missed in the movie.

I've been to Biltmore 3 times. Never timed it, but I think you could plan on at least 3 hours. You could spend all day there if you wanted.

---------- Post added April-20th-2011 at 12:07 PM ----------

That's the amazing thing about the Vanderbilt and Dupont estates. The people who built weren't even the "rich" relatives most of the time. The Biltmore was built by a 26 year old grandson of Cornelius. Imagine if Paris Hilton decided to build the world's largest castle in the North Carolina mountains with the caveat that no one can use trucks to transport the supplies..

too lazy to look up the history right now, but if memory serves the Biltmore only functioned as a private residence for something like 15 years because operating costs were so outrageous before they opened it up as a museum

Descendants of the Biltmore family still live there, sure, but closing off a room in the attic while tour groups walk around your house doesn't really count for me.

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too lazy to look up the history right now, but if memory serves the Biltmore only functioned as a private residence for something like 15 years because operating costs were so outrageous before they opened it up as a museum

Descendants of the Biltmore family still live there, sure, but closing off a room in the attic while tour groups walk around your house doesn't really count for me.

I don't think any Vanderbilts actually live in the house, do they? I know it is still in the family - which is unusual for these Gilded Age estates. Most of them were impossible to keep in the family beyond 20 years. It was either the cost to repair the roof or the fact that it was inherited by 26 grandchildren who had to figure out what to do with a castle that none of them could afford to live in.

A friend of mine from college has a family home near Cooperstown, NY. It's small-scale as far as these things go, but he had a great great grandfather who made money on Wall Street. The only real wealth left in the family is this ten bedroom "cottage" in upstate New York. Something like 25 family members own a piece of it. A few years ago, they had to repair the roof and the only way they could afford to do it was getting the National Historical Society involved.

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I don't think any Vanderbilts actually live in the house' date=' do they? I know it is still in the family - which is unusual for these gilded age estates. Most of them were impossible to keep in the family beyond 20 years. It was either the cost to repair the roof or the fact that it was inherited by 26 grandchildren who had to figure out what to do with a castle that none of them could afford to live in.[/quote']

They do. Their last name is something different though... I think the property was transferred in a marriage somewhere along the way.

The Biltmore's claim to fame is "America's largest private residence"... because, technically, the family still lives ther

---------- Post added April-20th-2011 at 12:41 PM ----------

one other random thought... usually I think of this nation's upper-crust and old money in terms of WASPs, especially families from the 19th Century. But many of them were Dutch, including the Vanderbilts, Roosevelts, etc.

I think it goes to show that the Dutch don't have much of an identity, lol. I mean, if these people were Greek or Italian you'd KNOW IT.

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