colby caldwell

Sebastian Matthews - Day Five

colby caldwell
Sebastian Matthews - Day Five
5 New River Arts District.jpg

Down River Road

Thursday, 1pm to 3pm

River Arts District

Turn your head for a minute and everything changes. 

Just last year—or is it two years?—the compound behind the old French Broad River Academy was a deserted mishmash of graffiti-covered buildings. I used to sneak back there after dropping off our boy and take photographs, joined by the occasional curiosity seeker. But driving back there today, I find a bustling center of cars, bicyclists, amateur photographers. There’s a café, the new 12 Bones—with the same old line out the door—and even a new brewery, complete with food truck parked outside. It takes me a moment to snake through all the traffic and head back out. Though I’d heard it was coming, I don’t know how to feel about the transformation. Good for the economy, but another small bit of “old” Asheville retrofitted and gussied up for the crowd.

When I arrive at the old Wedge, I am shocked to read on the chalkboard that they have a 10th anniversary brew. Has it been that long? I grab an Iron Rail and fade over to my favorite shot in the shade. Without even realizing it, I am waiting for the next train to appear; and it arrives soon enough, emitting that time-honored whistle shriek and rattling slowly through the sun-drenched intersection like it has no doubt for decades.