Paradise: If you have to ask …

I needed a water bottle. I wound up contemplating the price of paradise.

Packing for a week of backpacking last night, I could only put my hands on one Nalgene bottle. My MSR water filter screws into Nalgene water bottles, making an otherwise annoying task – pumping water from a stream – slightly less annoying. Since I was leaving town early this morning, I’d have to pick one up on the road. Which put me standing in front of the somewhat new REI in Asheville late this afternoon.


It wasn’t just the REI that wowed me, but the fact that within a block of the store in Asheville’s new hip-and-urban Biltmore Park development you could also workout at the Y, get decent coffee and eat Chinese or Italian. As far as I could tell there was no compelling reason to ever get in a car. (Well, other than to go hiking in the nearby Pisgah, mountain biking at nearby Bent Creek or paddling on the nearby French Broad River.) A place where you could eat well, get properly caffeinated, work out and meet all your basic retail needs? This was my kind of place.

At least I thought so until I tried to find the price of living in this paradise and discovered that if you have to ask, you have to fill out a form just for the privilege of being able to ask.

Reckon I’ll stick with the ‘burbs.

One thought on “Paradise: If you have to ask …”

  1. Yes, while I do like the idea of an REI store in Asheville, I’m not that keen on how the developers have taken an (until recently) pristine section of woods, adjacent the Blue Ridge Parkway, and blasted it away into a giant mega-shopping center and housing complex. I’m always a little sad to see that happen.

    On the other hand, it’s adjacent to the exit ramp of I-26, and development around Interstates is bound to happen. And the developers have done a nice job in making the area an interesting walkable residential/commercial mix.

    That is, once you get into it. Unfortunately, the traffic flow around the whole Biltmore Park area could use some work. There is only one entrance/exit to the entire area — and it’s less than a block from the I-26 exit ramp. At rush hour, the traffic jams at the signal lights are awesomely bad! And it’s only going to get worse as more people move in and more stores open.

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