Outbuilding image with color palette.

This is the view out the kitchen door of my rental house. Like my home-in-progress, it’s not quite four miles from downtown Asheville. The grey cinderblock building on the left was the very first Ingles supermarket (it now houses an ABC store and a couple of other small businesses). The green building with vine traces is an outbuilding that is not in use. In the background, you can see the neighbor’s riding mower and some other stuff.

One of the oddities for me about Asheville is that it blurs my idea of what a city is. This residential neighborhood doesn’t really feel urban to me at all. A few of the neighbors treat their front porches like storage lockers or dumping grounds. There are way more outdoor dogs than anywhere else I’ve ever lived, and way fewer communal amenities like restaurants, cafes, and bookstores within walking distance. It feels weirdly rural in demeanor, despite the proximity of commercial enterprises and short distance to the city center.

This particular view is not one I’d choose to live with for any length of time. My home-to-be will have much nicer outlooks. But I do enjoy the pattern left by vines since removed from the shed wall, and the faded denim and earth tones of the winter landscape.

Asheville is a small city set in a very rural area. Parts of West and North Asheville feel more like the urban environments I’m used to, but on a much, much reduced scale. But the rest of it is quite different in look and feel, and—for me—it’s taking some getting used to.

A Year Ago: 771.8 Miles

Vespa dials with color palette.This Vespa is chained outside the Chinese chancery…
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