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Photo: Star Lights in Chevron Beads and Trading Post, Lexington and Walnut in downtown Asheville.

Discover Asheville's Unique Charms

"...Asheville is rich with layer upon layer of the most exquisite quality of life just waiting to be discovered ..."

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Discover the Bliss of Asheville's Music Stores.

Asheville has a wonderful tradition of making music... and making musical instruments.

They also have an interesting mix of new and used CD and Vinyl shops.

Traditional and Old-Timey Musical Instruments

Acoustic Corner
".... is a different kind of musical instrument shop. In these days of large corporate chain-stores and impersonal internet sales, Acoustic Corner offers an array of unique acoustic instruments in a hands-on, relaxed, helpful atmosphere. We feature guitars, mandolins, basses, bouzoukis, banjos, violins, lap dulcimers, and other instruments popular in Celtic, Old-Time, Bluegrass, Jazz, and other acoustic music styles. Most of our instruments are hand-made or manufactured by hand in small factories. We also carry a full array of accessories, books, recordings, and instructional materials...." Located in Black Mountain, less than 1/2 an hour's drive east on I-40.

Celestial Mountain Music
".... purveyor of fine stringed instruments, with an emphasis on folk, old-time and world music....We're a hometown music store, located in the heart of downtown Brevard, North Carolina. As a family owned business, Celestial Mountain Music is a warm, comfortable shop where local musicians gather. Our Tuesday night jam sessions bring folks from all around Transylvania and the surrounding counties. We offer exceptional products, including instruments from Martin, Weber, Cort, Fender, Johnson, Gibson, Cedar Mountain Banjos and so many more quality craftsmen..."

Darveaux Dulcimers
"... I greatly enjoy the peace in my shop and take great pride in the handcrafted workmanship of each instrument I build. I strive to make each model as similar to the next to insure the quality of sound in tone and volume. These instruments reflects my deep appreciation for the folklore of the dulcimer and is built with the earthy feel I have come to value from my travels throughout Appalachia. Coupled with my contemporary styling I offer two fine instruments to the dulcimer world...."

Explore the Bliss of Asheville ...
Via
Eric Weiner's new book
The Geography of Bliss

The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World: ".... Asheville, North Carolina, with its idyllic mountain setting and proliferation of good restaurants and New Age healing spas, is enjoying a vogue as a happy place to live. As one newly arrived resident puts it, "A lot of people spin the globe and their finger stops on Asheville."

"....the author is correct, nice weather, affordable housing, lovely scenery, and a slower pace of life, yet an active cultural scene..."

From Rolf Potts' Vagabonding blog:

I've never been one of those uptight literary types who thinks that you have to have actually read a book in order to recommend it to others. So I feel no trepidation in suggesting Eric Weiner's new travelogue-slash-memoir The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World The premise of the book is simple but intriguing-- here is Amazon's description:

Part foreign affairs discourse, part humor, and part twisted self-help guide, The Geography of Bliss takes the reader from America to Iceland to India in search of happiness, or, in the crabby author's case, moments of "un-unhappiness." The book uses a beguiling mixture of travel, psychology, science and humor to investigate not what happiness is, but where it is. Are people in Switzerland happier because it is the most democratic country in the world? Do citizens of Singapore benefit psychologically by having their options limited by the government? Is the King of Bhutan a visionary for his initiative to calculate Gross National Happiness? Why is Asheville, North Carolina so damn happy? With engaging wit and surprising insights, Eric Weiner answers those questions and many others, offering travelers of all moods some interesting new ideas for sunnier destinations and dispositions.

In the imaginary Netflix queue of books-that-I'm-planning-to-read, this one has just jumped to the top. By the way, why has no one started a Netflix for books? This question, and many more, I'll leave for another day.

Keyboard Instruments

Piano Emporium
"... Restoring pianos is our specialty. Everyday we make old antique pianos like new again. Antique Pianos that have aged and can be brought back to their original beauty, sounding and looking much better than ever before, would be a terrific addition to any home... If we’re not doing a tune-up, refinishing antique cases, or repairing chipped ivory and broken strings, we’re out looking for vintage and antique pianos. We buy, sell and trade them...." They are also a first rate piano mover! Located in Tri City Plaza in Weaverville, about 15 minutes north of Asheville.

New and Used CD's and Vinyl LPs

Harvest Records
".... is a new & used cd,vinyl,dvd shop located in West Asheville, North Carolina. WE BUY CD'S & VINYL -- you can sell for cash OR trade for 20% more than the cash value for store credit. You can use store credit for anything in the store.
In addition, we have local art on the walls and we host openings to celebrate this art every few fridays. We also book & promote concerts for international, national, regional, & local touring artists in various venues around Asheville....." Their MySpace Page Hours: Monday-Saturday: 11am-9pm Sunday: Noon-5pm

Static Age Records
According to their MySpace page "... is part of the very scenic downtown of Asheville, NC. Here you can enjoy the exquisite sights of brown buildings; grey buildings; weird bronze statues; cigarette butts; strange "splashes" in the middle of the road, and many, many dogs! Also, commune with our local color. Receive a friendly, 'What the hell are you looking at yuppie /hippy/ creep/ tourist.' Or, a 'Gimme a dollar!' People-watch folks more able-bodied than you waste away in the street! Then, step into our store... We specialize in BELOW Top 200 sellers of all genres, we aim low 'cause that's where the good stuff is.
Inventory includes a modest, but excellent selection of new Vinyl, CDs, and DVDs; all the best Indie bands; Hip Hop; Electronic; Punk - Hardcore; a growing Experimental - Jazz - Noise - Psychedelic section; and, the largest Metal selection in Western North Carolina. Maybe the state.
..." Located at 82-A N. Lexington Ave, Asheville, (828) 254-3232 Monday - Thursday : 11am to 8pm, Friday & Saturday : 11am to 9pm, Sunday : 12noon to 7pm
WINTER HOURS Through Febuary (we will close 1 hour ealier than normal, except for Sunday)

Discover the Bliss of Asheville ...
through These Books and Videos.

Finding Your Way in Asheville is ".... a different kind of guide book. Instead of offering glossy photos and paid insertions from big bucks advertisers, it gives you the kind of information you'd get from a best friend who moved to Western North Carolina twenty years ago. "I've discovered the greatest place for a romantic dinner," she'd say. "Just around the corner from Pritchard Park. Here, let me draw you a map." It's a selective guide in that the authors share the places they've come to love while living, working, dining out, partying, biking, hiking, canoeing and raising children in the "Paris of the South."
America's Castles: The Biltmore Estate "...the grandest of all American homes... Biltmore dwarfs all the mansions built by his illustrious forefathers... . a remarkable top-to-bottom tour of the largest home ever built in America. With its 255 rooms, the Biltmore is a monument to the extravagance and eccentricity of its owner. See footage of its construction, and go behind the scenes with the men and women who work there to learn the secrets of this incredible mansion. Get a privileged tour of rooms that are off-limits to the public, and marvel at the magnificent treasures that Vanderbilt collected....."
Biltmore Estate: The Most Distinguished Private Place "... Few people realize what effort it took to design and construct the largest private residence in the United States, but this book details it all from the breaking of the ground to the designing of the curtain rods. This book is one of the best written and most appealing architectural history books ever. The photographs and drawings in it are also to be commended. Many of the pictures offer breathtaking views of the mansion and its grounds as well as showing many vintage photographs taken at various times throughout its construction and times of residence...."

 

American Express



There are many blissful activities in Asheville! To locate them, go to Google.com and search on "Asheville activities".

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