Sunday, January 30, 2011

Asheville: Bill Walker’s World of Hitches

The only thing I loose when I spend time looking at a map is time.
I do not loose my way.
I do not loose my marbles.
I do not loose my mind.
I do not loose sleep... wait, I guess I do sometimes.
And, retrospectively, looking at the first sentence I realize that I might actually save time sometimes in looking at a map because I do not spend time being lost in the urban-wilderness-jungle-things of America.

Maps do the same thing for my brain as biking does for my body. It gets me excited, intrigued, and I can do it for hours. I get hooked.

I love going to Google maps and turning off the labels and turning on the satellite. I love looking at patterns in the geography and, eventually, zooming in on a location and learning about it.

Today's explorations brought me to a delightful village I've heard about over and over through the Contra-muniity: Asheville.

I found it on the map and zoomed around the different areas of the town.

Is this place for real?

I hop on my imaginary bike in this ever so real town (I checked) and start to picture life there. Sounds cheesy, I know, but this is what I enjoy doing for kicks when I've got time to kill and am feeling like a good exploration.

A certain area caught my eye as I saw what looked like a bunch of parked trucks. What was it? It looked like a town of mobile homes with the main roads being Louisiana Ave and Brickyard Road.

To get there, you drive a ways down Emma Rd. You pass by Jaminson Street - street with empty lots on both sides that look like they used to host an array of mobile homes. After a bit you reach Louisna ave. At this intersection there are a few lovely shops you can go to such as…

Bill Walker’s World of Hitches

Grizzley’s Truck Service

And Fisher Flooring.

Taking a right on Louisana brings you to Quick Trip (convenience store?). I went into street view (Google Maps) and looked at the place… and there’s a guy doing a wheely on his… vespa? To see the guy, you have to be at the right place at the right time to see him. It's the photo that opened up this post. Check it!

As you go down Louisiana, you cross streets with names like Goodwill St and Hopedale Circle. This takes you to Blueberry Hill Mobile Home Park. Here there are more classy streets that have picturesque names like Mossy Log Lane and Misty Day Court.

What's with non-classy areas having classy names? It almost is enough to make me want to live there just so I can say, "Oh. You want my address? It's Margaret at 42 Pretty Honey Flowers Lane!" Yeah. That'd be cool.

Other streets in the area make me laugh. Chicadee Lane. It’s right next to Wood Duck Lane and Wren lane.

This leads to more and more curiosity.

The kids who live in this neighborhood go to Emma Elementary – a school of 500 students. Guess what. They pretty much have no students of Asian ethnicity. I set out to compare to my elementary school (although these are stats from these days, which are around 3 times more diverse than when I attended Menkore Elemenary School).

While Menkore, WA was 60% white, Emma was 41%. They were winners with their black population, 21% and 36% Hispanic. At Menkore it was only 3% black and 17% Hispanic (as of 2007-08, since then, those numbers have increased).

76% of their students qualified for free or reduced-lunch! This is huge! At Kenmore, we have the highest in the area at 36% which blows my mind, but there, it’s even more.

And, in case you were wondering, they had a snow day on Monday, the 24th. We did not.

And that's what I do in my free time...


  1. A friend of mine studied for a semester in Asheville...or near Asheville. When she came back I went contradancing with her. So much fun. :)

  2. I'm thinking about moving to Asheville. I found this randomy through a Google search for 'Asheville blogs.' Thanks for this. :)


Your words make me grin.

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