Grove Arcade Vendors

One of the drawbacks of living in Asheville for an extended period of time (or in my case, your entire life), is that there is the danger of taking for granted the artistic community thriving here.  For example, I have grown so accustomed to seeing the vendors tending their booths outside of the Grove Arcade (the area is formally called the "Portico Market") that when I walk past these days, I hardly pay them any attention. However, last weekend as a friend and I exited the Grove Arcade, a display of beautifully painted T-shirts caught our attention.  Although we were not necessarily interested in the more "usual" wares offered by some of the vendors (magnets, jewelry, tie-dyed garments, etc), the unique images from this particular seller stood out.  We approached the vendor and chatted with him about his designs and the process behind creating his merchandise.  In the end, we bought two shirts at a slight discount.  The artist told us that the shirts can be washed like any normal shirt, and that the design will last for many years.  I love the simplicity of the designs and the colors used to create them!  What do you think?  

Interested in visiting the Portico Market and seeing what its vendors have for sale?  Check out the official webpage of the Grove Arcade for more information. Weather permitting, the market should be open every day of the week.  

Want to see more shirts like the ones we bought?  You could check out artist Jordy Williams's Etsy shop here, but I recommend taking a trip downtown!  There's nothing like the comfortable atmosphere of the market to brighten your day.  

Read more »

Bulldog Nation

If you've been following Bullogs basketball, you may know that the men's season has officially ended.  In light of the hard work our team has put not only into their athletic, but academic lives, a friend shared this reflection with me.  Although I am disappointingly out of the loop when it comes to school athletics, this message made me feel proud of our team for such an amazing season, and our school for supporting them regardless of game outcome.  Thanks, Bulldogs, for all that you have accomplished!  We can't wait to see what you'll do next.

7:40am. The school cafeteria doors are about to open.  A handful of students wait outside. Wearing sweatpants and sporting fancy headphones, some alert and grooving, while others look like they are ready to roll back into bed, the students are not your typical early-morning breakfasters. These students are members of the UNC Asheville basketball team.

Every morning of the school year, the UNC Asheville basketball team eats breakfast together. It doesn’t matter if the season is about to start, or if it is the last day of school; the players make the early-morning trek to grab an omelet or some cereal with their teammates and their coaches.  During breakfast they joke around, do homework, or chat with incoming students, as Coach B.’s cell phone gives off a cheery whistle every few minutes. This is just one example of the camaraderie and connection this team consciously works to develop.  In the afternoons, one is likely to see the seniors in the gym shooting hoops and scrimmaging long before practice begins. After practice, the players walk through campus, chatting with classmates and friends outside the team, but everyone knows that the basketball team is a tight-knit group.

UNC Asheville’s men’s basketball team has a lot to be proud of.  With a new basketball arena and high expectations going into the season, the team delivered. Their chemistry and exciting play drew students and the community to each new game. They dominated conference games and packed the stands for the conference tournament. Asheville students became accustomed to twenty-point leads.  When the team was selected for the NCAA tournament, the school and community celebrated with the team.

But, basketball is not the only thing that Asheville’s team can be proud of.  Representing such a small school, the players battled snide remarks about being “inconsequential” or an easy game for other “great” schools to run over. They dealt with this while simultaneously practicing hard and maintaining their academics.  Few in the world of the NCAA or ESPN recognize how strong players from small schools must be to prove themselves on a national level.

Here are some reminders:

UNC Asheville athletes succeed because of talent, not height.

UNC Asheville athletes attend and participate in class, they do not have tutors to complete their homework, or lenient school officials that allow them to fudge their academic record. Class work at a small school is difficult!

UNC Asheville athletes don’t receive benefits from boosters or even have guaranteed fans, this year’s team earned each new fan with good play.

UNC Asheville athletes fought for every minute of TV time by spending time on and off the court with one another.  Congratulations to the Bulldogs for an amazing season! 

Read more »

Guest Blogger

Because I write about myself so much on this blog, I thought it would be useful to share a glimpse into the lives of some other UNC Asheville students.  So, I have decided to periodically invite students to share a description of their daily routines or interests, to be posted here.  The inaugural guest blogger is my friend Nicky.  Nicky is also a senior, and majors in marketing.  Here is what her typical day at UNC Asheville looks like.  

"A typical day for me includes waking up around 7 am. I am a marketing major so I usually have a few business classes in the morning. I just finished my last season on the university’s tennis team so I like to find other ways to stay active. Right now I am taking ballet and modern dance, which I love; and I also regularly attend the Sherrill Center’s group fitness classes.
Part of the reason why I chose marketing was because it is very interrelated with the fashion industry. I find the field to be very inspiring and creative so I would like to become a professional fashion stylist. Last year I started my own personal blog on that I try to update regularly. This week, in light of the recent one-year anniversary of the massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan, I blogged about a picture of myself in this beautiful pink silk kimono that I hope will remind people of what a significant moment this was for Japan and what we can do to help resolve these challenges of humanity.
In the afternoon, I may have another class or work. I am a Spanish tutor for UNCA, I work for the Athletic Department as a videographer, and try to volunteer with local magazines and photographers as much as I can. This usually keeps me pretty busy but on weekends I love to walk around downtown, take some pictures for my blog, and get a bite to eat with my family and friends."

Have any questions about the marketing program here?  Leave a comment! 

Check out Nicky's awesome fashion blog here

Read more »

Salsa's and Spring Break

For most college students, Spring Break is just around the corner, but here at UNC Asheville, it's already over.  Today is the first day back, and Spring Break couldn't have gone by more quickly.  Some of my friends went to the beach, others explored big cities, and a few simply returned home to take a much-needed break from school and work.  As boring as it may seem, I had a nice time just staying in town, going to work, and meeting friends.  Although my break was not accompanied by any major events or adventures, it was wonderful to be able to clear my head and think about something other than school.  Regardless of the fact that I am taking my lightest course load in my college career, I have been the busiest this semester, and homework is always eating away at my time!  So, sleeping in and pushing thoughts of school to the back burner was a real treat.   
Since the weather has been so nice lately, it was fun to walk around town this weekend and bid farewell to Spring Break over dinner at a popular restaurant downtown.  Yesterday, a friend and I checked out Salsa's, a restaurant that's always teeming with customers, but which neither of us had tried before.  As this was seriously the high-point of my break, I thought I'd include it on the blog.  Salsa's serves Mexican-Caribbean food and has a warm and colorful atmosphere that is perfect for lively conversation and relaxation.  Although we have a lot of Mexican restaurants around Asheville, Salsa's fusion menu is unique, and for me, pretty unexpected, since I’m not used to eating this kind of cuisine.  All told, it was an exciting excursion into a world of new food, and a nice way to end my otherwise quiet Spring Break.  During this last month and a half of the semester, look forward to learning about some local coffee shops and hiking spots, new residence halls, student activities, and even more good stuff to help acquaint you with life here at UNC Asheville! 
PS: Check out Salsa's website here!

Read more »