Discovering Lexington Ave.

Today I meandered down Lexington Avenue; a street I pass frequently, but rarely take the time to explore.

It wasn’t planned or anything, I was just wandering about, wondering where I should go when my feet found my way there.

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I absentmindedly scanned window displays and popped in and out of stores perusing the various merchandise each shop offered.

You might think that if Asheville was assigned a single word to describe it, it would be “quirky.”  Which would almost do it, but not quite; somehow, “quirky” falls short of the mark.  A better word would be “original” — this is much more encompassing of the uniqueness and flavor Asheville contains:  From its shops, to its events, to its people, Asheville is original.

The great thing about this originality is that you’ll never know what you’re going to find. Who knew, for example, when I pushed open the funky, red door to Downtown Books & News, I’d meet Luke Skywalker among the bookshelves (haha), DSCN1242or that in Write On, I’d discover journals with pages made of recycled elephant pooh. Yes, you heard me right: RECYCLED. ELEPHANT. POOH. It’s a thing. Apparently.DSCN1244.jpg

I finished off my adventures on Lexington Ave. by following the delicious, curry smells wafting through the air until I reached Mela, a local Indian restaurant.

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One lunch buffet later, I was stuffed with delicious food — in particular this amazing, and I mean AMAZING, kale salad. (Can I just take a moment to tell you how heavenly it was? Citrusy, fresh, crunchy, sweet, zesty, cashews, raisins…I’d go back solely for that salad.)  After that I went home, fully satisfied with great, and original, day of adventuring.  🙂

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Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate!

Centrally located in the heart of Asheville’s Downtown, the French Broad Chocolate Lounge is a favorite spot for locals and tourists alike.  Walk in, and your mouth will immediately start watering.
0614161840 (1)And what’s even better, is that all these chocolates are made in-house, and the business is committed to ethical enterprise and fair trade.

And while I’m fairly convinced I would love everything ever made by this café, here are a few of my favorites:

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chocolate mousse

Chocolate Mousse, Almonds Dragee,  Flourless Chocolate Cake, Coffee-n-Nibs Ice Cream….And let’s not forget their amazingly, wonderful liquid truffles — truffles melted down into a thick, delicious, hot drinking chocolate.

Are you convinced yet, that a visit to the Chocolate Lounge is absolutely necessary?  😉

 

 

 

A Day for Farmer’s Markets

Today was the day for Farmer’s Markets. It’s not that I haven’t been to these Farmer’s Markets before, but it’s been so long, it’s almost like a new adventure. And this was one of those summer days that makes you happy to be alive — blue skies, sunshine, and just enough breeze to keep you cool.

My first stop was the West Asheville Farmer’s Market where you can find an abundance of fruits and vegetables, and then I headed Downtown where the artist’s booths were filled with wonderfully, amazing handmade art — pottery, wood art, jewelry, and art of every other medium.  A true festival of color, creativity, and happy faces.

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Earrings and blackberries…great finds!

Of course all this exploration makes a girl hungry, so I crossed the street to the Chocolate Lounge for some ice cream.  Then, settling down at one of their outside tables, I watched people stroll by and flipped lazily through a copy of the Mountain Xpress.

(Side Note: The Mountain Xpress is a great local resource of articles and happenings around Asheville as well as the location of a challenging crossword.)

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“Coffee and nibs” ice cream

After an hour of savoring sunshine, ice cream, and crosswords, my rumbling stomach dictated I needed something more substantial.  As I wandered back through the park, my eye caught the Twisted Laurel.  Perfect.

I had never eaten at the Twisted Laurel, but I loved Greek food. Besides, on such a gorgeous day, it was a great place to sit at their outside bar tables and watch the world go by.  Today, there was also the finish line for a bike race nearby, so my meal was periodically punctuated by applause and cyclists gliding in past the flurry of flags.

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Gyro platter with greek salad…delicious!

DSCN1198My food was delicious, my conversations with various strangers pleasant, and the time spent simply delightful. These are the kind of days that possess a magical quality in which not much is accomplished, but everything is enjoyed.