This must be the place

art theplaceEditor’s Note: On Feb. 9, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders won the Democratic primary in New Hampshire. Garret posted a photo of him and Sanders on his Facebook page with a few thoughts on Sanders, who is a longtime popular politician in Garret’s native Champlain Valley (Upstate New York/Vermont). To which, hundreds of people clicked “like” on the post, with many commenting on this image and the man himself.

art frIt all started in a boat. “Dan [Elliot], Jon [Bowman] and I were fishing on Wolf Lake,” Doug Weaver said. “And we started kicking around the idea of having our own place, and here we are today.”

Sitting around a desk in the basement of Tipping Point Brewing in Waynesville one recent morning, the trio laughs and reminisces like a band of high school chums at a reunion. They’re longtime friends, and they’ve created something special in this flourishing downtown of arts, small business and culinary delights.

This must be the place

art theplaceIt ain’t so bad.

Getting older. Tomorrow is my 31st birthday, and as I reflect on my first year of this new decade in my life, I’m finding myself more centered and alive than ever before.

This must be the place

art theplaceThat song — you know that song — came over the stereo and I felt my shoulders relax.

This must be the place

art theplaceThere are singers, there are performers, and then there’s Laura Reed. 

Wandering the numerous floors and stages of New Mountain Asheville (a wild, freewheelin’ venue) last February, I eventually found myself downstairs in the main room, immersed in a sea of joyous faces, all eager to boogie down to legendary New Orleans funk-n-soul group Dumpstaphunk (featuring Ivan Neville).

This must be the place

art theplaceThe alarm went off on my phone. Monday morning. 6:45 a.m.

This must be the place

art theplaceThrowing my father’s old Dodge Dakota into park, I stepped out of the truck and felt the crunch of snow and ice beneath my feet.

This must be the place

art theplaceI cracked the foamy Sam Adams Boston Lager and relaxed into my seat. Christmas Eve. Red-eye flight. Charlotte to Burlington, Vermont. All in an effort to be in the living room of my parent’s farmhouse in the morning to watch my year-and-a-half old niece open her mountain of gifts.

art frWith each impending New Year, we tend to take a look back and reflect on just what made the last 365 days unique to the folks of Western North Carolina. Just when you think you couldn’t top the past and its special moments, another year of unknown beauty and milestones is revealed.

And for 2015, it was another banner year in the world of arts and entertainment. From brewery expansions to national music awards, and everything in between, we all once again either witnessed or participated in the glorious essence of Southern Appalachia — a region as magical and mesmerizing as the people who inhabit it.

Cheers to 2015. Onward and upward in 2016.

This must be the place

art theplaceShe grabbed for my hand and held it up.

“No ring, huh? You should meet my daughter sometime. Single. Beautiful. I think y’all would get along pretty well.”

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