Overheard on Haywood Road, Part 1

One of the first places I visited the first time I visited Asheville was Battlecat Coffee on Haywood Road in West Asheville. I recently dug out a notebook I’d utilized on that visit. Two observations stand out:

  • “Why are all the girls here dressed like Squeaky Fromme?”
  • “One of the girls dressed like Squeaky Fromme is telling her friend (also dressed like Squeaky Fromme) that she’s starting to ‘explore anti-capitalism.’ Before she left, she purchased a Battlecat tee shirt.” 

“That all tracks,” I thought to myself, just over three years later. West Asheville is Asheville’s hipster epicenter, and Haywood Road is its main thoroughfare, filled with shops, breweries, coffee shops, and restaurants that use words like “bespoke,” “mixologist,” and “kimchi” to justify a $28.00 burger. 

While I’m poking fun at West Asheville, I do it good-naturedly. I genuinely like the neighborhood, and some of my favorite spots to frequent—The Burger Bar, Archetype West (a particular favorite), Pizza Mind (another particular favorite), Cellarist, Itto Ramen, the U-Joint, my new favorite Halloween tradition, and the aforementioned Battle Cat, just to name a few—sit along Haywood Road. I’ve been spending more time in West Asheville lately, and I’m slowly learning it’s a rather insular place, which has led me to hypothesize that many of the people of West Asheville don’t realize that they’re verging on parody—it’s truly tremendous.

I was telling a friend how, inspired by those old West Asheville soundbites, I’ve been trying to jot down overheard recent snippets that make me chuckle…when it dawned on me that I was onto something, and poof: the first series of this blog was born! 

I’d like to officially welcome you to the first installment of “Overheard on Haywood Road,” which I’ll update whenever I get enough fodder. I’ll try my best to present these snippets in their purest form, that is to say, with zero context. Enjoy the inaugural “Overheard on Haywood Road.”

  • “I just felt so at home at Joshua Tree. It’s like I belong there.”
  • “I’m really passionate about diversity. I’d love to be a director of diversity somewhere.” Editor’s note: This one deserves some context to be fully appreciated, as the speaker, shockingly, was a white woman. 
  • “I’m incapable of not having deep conversations, so it’s hard for me to connect with most people.”
  • “I used to live here and come up every few months to visit all my old haunts. I don’t have any friends left, though. I’m driving back to Durham this afternoon.” Editor’s Note: This quote itself isn’t super notable, but it was notable that the woman who said it had consumed several PBRs and Jager shots before what Google Maps tells me is about a four-hour drive…I guess this one is more dark than funny, but it’s a real grab bag out there.
  • “We’re trying to decide if we should go ax throwing or get best friend tattoos.” 
  • “The city eventually shut things down because they realized there were about fifty of us living on the property in school buses and yurts. It violated some code.” 
  • “I want to sell my art, but I don’t want to, like, sell my soul.” 
  • “I keep telling her the worst person to date is a cop. Josh is a voice artist.”
  • “I started brewing kombucha but haven’t gotten a good batch yet.”
  • “Oh my god! My cat is a Pisces!”

I almost finished this with, “you truly can’t write this stuff,” but, like, it’s so on the nose, you definitely can—West Asheville is truly a living, breathing satire. I look forward to sharing Overheard on Haywood Road, Part 2, as soon as I get enough ammo.

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