“Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. That is not our business and, in fact, it’s nobody’s business. What we are asked to do is to love, and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbors worthy.” ~ Thomas Merton
My colleague Laura Whayne retired last week. At her reception, I asked what she’d be doing in her retirement. She said she’d travel some, and perhaps she’d even go to Asheville. Naturally, I told her I’d just come from there and I began to sing it’s praises. The downtown is vibrant with unique shops, restaurants, and art. Yes, there’s the Biltmore, but downtown really has a lot to offer anyone with all sorts of tastes. If all anyone went for was the food, they’d not leave disappointed.
One of our favorite places is the old Woolworth’s store. Very smartly, Asheville did not tear it down, but instead transformed it into an art mall. There are two floors of artist booths offering gorgeous paintings, mixed media, photography, woodwork, and a host of other works. Perhaps coolest of all, however, is the soda fountain. Not only did they not take it out, it’s still a functioning soda fountain. I was trying to diet so I avoided a malt, but the next time, I won’t. I might even order two.
Just a block from Woolworth’s is a great restaurant called Tupelo Honey. They don’t make anything awful – exquisite shrimp and grits – and as you can see, they make a Stacy-approved Arnold Palmer. I told Laura about both Tupelo Honey and Woolworth’s, and I told her about much more of Asheville’s coolness. I hope she goes and I hope she enjoys it as much as Stacy and I do.