I moved from New York Metropolis to North Carolina nearly 2 years in the past. Listed below are 7 issues that stunned me most.

  • My accomplice and I left New York Metropolis and moved to Asheville, North Carolina. 
  • I used to be stunned our price of residing did not drop an excessive amount of, however I like having easy accessibility to nature.
  • The liquor legal guidelines within the metropolis are very advanced, however there are many native breweries to take a look at.

I moved from New York Metropolis to Asheville, North Carolina, nearly two years in the past with my accomplice and our three-legged canine. Earlier than deciding on Asheville, we thought-about over 100 cities.

We had been capable of whittle down our record by assessing every metropolis by sure standards. There have been some issues we cherished about New York: excessive walkability, various inhabitants, LGBTQIA+ communities, and good meals. After which there have been the issues that we needed that New York lacked: entry to nature, a slower tempo of life, a smaller metropolis measurement, and a rental market that included single-family houses.

We discovered all of that in Asheville — and extra. 

Nearly two years later, I repeatedly say y’all, and I am used to the town’s quirks. However our first yr on the town was filled with surprises that even our intensive planning spreadsheets could not predict. 

I truly know my neighbors

I lived in three buildings over the course of 4 years in Brooklyn. In every constructing, I knew possibly one neighbor, and even then, most interactions had been restricted to move nods of recognition within the elevator or laundry room. 

There have been exceptions, after all. In March 2020, one among my constructing mates collected our emails so we might keep in contact throughout these first scary days of lockdown in New York. However I nonetheless discovered that the majority New Yorkers lived as much as the busy and barely residence stereotype — myself included. 

When my accomplice and I moved into our place in Asheville, we had been stunned when our neighbors approached us to say hiya. Now as individuals have moved out and in, we all the time make sure that to supply that very same welcoming.

To be candid, the exchanged names and pleasantries right here did not flip into friendships, however they did create a way of group on our tiny dead-end avenue. After I broke my wrist, a neighbor knocked on our door to verify in and provides me some plastic wrap so I might bathe with out damaging my forged. 

New Jersey is not the one US state I’ve lived in with scary driving situations

Rising up in New Jersey, I used to be all the time terrified of driving on the eight-lane Backyard State Parkway — or worse, over the George Washington Bridge into New York Metropolis.

After we moved right here, everybody assured me that driving in North Carolina would really feel like kid’s play. However on condition that Asheville is nestled within the mountains, the driving right here is not precisely clean crusing by way of flat lands. 

The Blue Ridge Parkway is understood for particularly scenic views within the fall, however the street is definitely windy. Although the pace restrict is 45 miles per hour, of us usually pace down the small street, which does not have guard rails. 

That stated, with a succesful driver behind the wheel, the views are properly price it.

I’ve discovered some superb vegan meals

Asheville is residence to some actually good meals and significantly gifted cooks. In 2022, Yelp even referred to as it a high US foodie vacation spot.

The meals right here is nearly as good as everybody says it’s — from the biscuits and gravy at Biscuit Head to the seasonal menu at Chestnut. However actually, my favourite meals I’ve had have been at vegan eating places.

Plant is hands-down the very best restaurant on the town, and it simply occurs to be vegan. Some vegan spots put meat substitutes heart stage, however greens are (fittingly) the principle attraction right here. Begin with the cheese plate, which options the native plant-based cheese model Darë, and save room for scratch-made desserts.

The Trashy Vegan is a meals truck-turned-restaurant with a small menu that consists of plant-based cheeseburgers, rooster sandwiches, and fries together with a weekly, progressive particular — like “corn ribs.”

Rosetta’s, a vegan soul-food spot, is one other standout. The wide-spanning menu has one thing for everybody, from Buffalo cauliflower to a mind-blowing veggie burger. It might be remiss to speak concerning the restaurant with out mentioning its pay-what-you-can, slide-scale meal, which consists of a plate of brown rice, pinto beans, and tortilla chips for $3 to $6.

Meals entices individuals to go to the town, however the costs at a few of Asheville’s most acclaimed eating places are deterrents for a lot of locals. In keeping with US census information, 12.4% of parents in Asheville fall beneath the poverty line. This menu merchandise is de facto an act of group care that exemplifies how mutual-aid efforts maintain the town’s most weak populations afloat.

The price of residing is excessive right here, too

asheville north carolina

Issues aren’t essentially less expensive right here than they had been in New York.

MilesbeforeIsleep / Shutterstock.com

Dwelling in New York, I turned accustomed to excessive costs. See a film for $20? Certain. Hire a windowless bed room that does not have actual partitions for $900 a month? Signal me up. Seize a happy-hour beer for $10? A discount.

I assumed that leaving NYC would imply getting a decrease price of residing, however I wasn’t fairly proper. Asheville truly has the best price of residing in all of North Carolina, in response to Citizen-Instances. That very same 2021 report stated rental prices have elevated by over 58% since 2010.

We additionally ended up in a rental market that was nearly as aggressive because the one we left behind in New York. 

The Asheville liquor legal guidelines are past complicated

North Carolina has some fairly strict legal guidelines round booze. For starters, you possibly can solely buy liquor on the ABC Retailer. The shops are instantly recognizable with neon inexperienced signage and are operated by North Carolina’s Alcoholic Beverage Management Fee.

I used to be used to purchasing alcohol at grocery shops and nook outlets in New York Metropolis.

Whether or not you are out to eat or shopping for a six-pack together with your groceries, North Carolina has strict guidelines round buying alcohol. From Monday to Saturday, alcohol may be bought between 7 a.m. and a couple of a.m. Beforehand, liquor might solely be offered after 12 p.m. on Sundays, however the “brunch invoice” in 2017 amended the regulation so liquor gross sales at eating places might begin at 10 a.m. ABC shops are closed on Sundays.

There are additionally guidelines associated to alcohol pricing in bars and eating places. Comfortable hours are prohibited as are any specials that give away “free” drinks — like buy-one, get-one offers. That stated, institutions are allowed to advertise drink specials that final all day quite than one hour.

What the town lacks in bars, it makes up for in breweries

In some cities, there is a Starbucks on each nook. In Asheville, that is true for craft breweries — there is a purpose they name Asheville Beer Metropolis, USA.

Town is residence to a minimum of 30 breweries, all of which put their very own twist on grain, hops, yeast, and water.

Craft beer has been a serious a part of the town since 1994 when Highland Brewing first opened. From native spots like Depraved Weed and Archetype to huge names like Sierra Nevada and New Belgium, there is no scarcity of spots to seize a chilly one.

The mountain air is therapeutic

Asheville, NC

We love having the ability to spend extra time in nature.


After we moved to North Carolina, we had been intoxicated by the concept of getting personal outside house and the power to spend time in nature, particularly after residing in New York Metropolis by way of 2020.

Whereas in New York, it was a battle to search out outside house price spending time in. Taking a noon break on a hearth escape above a dumpster or on a residential roof the place neighbors let their canines pee wasn’t precisely enjoyable. 

In the course of the 1900s, Asheville was a well being vacation spot for these with tuberculosis, as medical doctors believed the mountain air and gentle local weather had been therapeutic, in response to USA Right this moment. Town had quite a few “sanitariums” and boarding homes for many who had been sick, and a few officers even pushed for the development of a nationwide tuberculosis therapy heart.

This therapeutic property drew in Edwin Wiley Grove, a millionaire who made his fortune on prescription drugs, whose physician urged that the mountain air might assist his well being in 1888. By the late Nineties, Grove, impressed by the Biltmore Property, broke floor for the luxe Omni Grove Park Inn. The craftsman-style resort boosted tourism and remains to be in operation immediately.

Even when it is simply the power to step exterior and take a deep breath that does not odor like rubbish, I believe the mountain air positively has some therapeutic properties.