Beat From the Street (Feb. 9, 2016)

Many stories lurk throughout Asheville, whether they are behind the Vaudevillian jazz-folk played by buskers around Pritchard Park, the colorful businesses decorated with funky, hand-made crafts or the laughter echoing from a patio as locals and tourists alike enjoy delicious beer. 

Annie Eodice, 23, waitress at Woolworths, originally from New Rochelle, NY
If you were to describe your style in three words, which three words would you choose?
“To be honest with you, I really don’t know. I wear a lot of black because that’s what I have to wear at work, and I actually really like it.”
Black is great. 
Photo by Aymeric Assemat. 
If you could go back into any decade, just solely for the style and the lifestyle, which one would you choose and why?
“Huh. That’s a tough one. Maybe the 50’s because trouser pants were in for ladies and my ass looks great in trouser pants. So maybe that. Maybe the ‘90s because it’s super easy to just wear a flannel and look cool, really it’s sort of pajamas.”
“I don’t know. I really don’t. I’m sorry.”
No, it’s okay. Literally almost everyone who’s interviewed says that. 
“Yeah, I actually don’t know. I don’t have, like, one thing that I like to wear. I just buy shit that I think is cool at the time, and I end up not thinking it’s cool in like two months. I just did some online shopping last night. Mistake. Because I spent a lot of money, and now I’m not gonna like this shit in a couple months.”
Yeah. It’s like the illusion’s gone. Once you buy clothes, they get there and you’re like, ‘Oh yay!’ and then it’s like, ‘I wanna buy more clothes!’
“Yeah. Why did I do this?! Why? I don’t particularly think I have one style though. I wish I could give you a better answer in a way.”
Oh no, it’s fine. So, you’re inspired creatively by shoegaze and a lot of other different types of music and art and film, obviously, right?
“I do dig shoegaze music.”
Yeah. So, what would you say your biggest artistic influences would be?
That’s a tough question.
“Like, musically?”
Everything. Art, music, literature, anything that comes to the top of your head.
“That’s a really hard question. Hmmmm. Probably my favorite visual artist is Basquiat. Love him. Favorite band…that’s fucked up. That’s a fucked up question.”
Sorry. Just a band you like, or that you’re digging right now. 
“A band I like, that’s really stuck with me for a long time is Sonic Youth, one of my favorite bands. It’s just hard. I’m sorry. But this camera is freaking me ooooout.”
Don’t apologize. This is a new component of this as well.
“Yeah, I always liked Sonic Youth, The Velvet Underground is a big band that I like. I don’t know. I’m sorry.”
And if you had a personal motto–
“Beeeenny and the Jeeets!” 
This is a beautiful song. If you had a personal motto that you wake up and say to yourself every morning that you live by, what would it be?
“Okay, everyday, I wake up and I say to myself, haters make me famous. Apparently, I’ve heard I’ve have a mean face.”
A resting bitch face?
“So I love projecting that mean face on people, but secretly I’m super nice. Let everyone know that. I’m a really nice person.”
As she throws the cigarette into the snow. If you were to say one thing you like about Asheville and one thing you hate about Asheville, which things would you choose?
“Uh, I like my job. I have fun at my job. I hate the fact that we don’t have subways.”
“It’s annoying. Um, that’s really it.”
Cool. That was really good. 
Mauro Nieto, 37, handyman/aspiring teacher originally from Guadalajara, Mexico 
Photo by Aymeric Assemat. 
What would you like to teach?
“I am devoted to teaching environmental science. 
Are you going to teach in Asheville or some other place?
“It would be tricky because it’s very competitive here. People with style don’t get to teach. It’s probably going to be more in the outer areas somewhere here.”
Did you here recently, or…?
“I moved here when I younger looking. No, just kidding. I moved here 10 years ago, 12 years ago. Yes, when Asheville was cool.”
Yeah. Now it’s getting a little bit overrated.
“Well it’s still cool. It’s just not as cool.”
Yeah. How would you describe your style, like how would you describe this look?
“I like to think, I never think about that stuff. Oh my god. See the funniest thing is that, the interesting thing is that I don’t have time to wear different things and to look for things to wear, and so I just find something cool. I have many of these brown pants, like, many corduroy brown pants. I have, like, five of them and I have a few brown scarves. I have a few brown sweaters and I two of these.”
So your favorite color is orange. Just kidding.
“Well, most of the time I don’t think what to wear so I just wear…”
–What you have?
“What I have, everyday, just like go to closet, put it on. In summer, it’s just like wear jeans and white shirt because I don’t have time to think about it. I really like the Einstein idea of, you know Einstein?”
“He would just wear the same thing everyday. Like, not the same thing, but, same clothing.”
Yeah, the same type of clothing…
“So, that’s kind of what happened to me because I just don’t like to think about it and I think it’s just a good thing to just create your own image so people know that you’re not dirty and you’re not nasty and you don’t try to wear the same stuff. I don’t know. Generic. 
Not generic. 
“For me, for my own.”
Ah. For yourself?
“Yes, but just very, I think not to think about what I’m going to wear. I decided a few years ago that that’s what I needed, you know, like, corduroy brown pants, boots, and that’s it.”
It’s done.
“It’s done. You don’t have to think about it for years.”
Yeah, no, that eliminates a lot of worrying. 
If you were to say a personal motto that you have, that you live by day-to-day, what would you say?
“I’m not quite sure. That is a really interesting one because that’s where everybody gets stuck, probably. I’m not sure, and I’m really careful about what I say so, like, I’m not…I can’t answer that. I haven’t thought about that. Thank you though.”
No, that’s a really good response.
“Thank you for letting me know that. You’re awesome.”
Thanks! You’re awesome too. 
“No no, thank you.”
And, yeah, that’s pretty much everything.
“Love you guys! Thank you.”
Amy Irene, 37, manager of The Bywater, originally from Gainesville, Florida
Photo by Aymeric Assemat. 
If you were to describe your style, how would you describe it?
“Pretty, like, changing and random, probably, with my mood, like, more effort some days. I’m wearing old, funky shoes right now because it’s cold and they’re my warmest shoes, and my friend actually gave me this jacket for Christmas with this coat, which I love.”

Yeah, that coat is beautiful.
“The coat is awesome. So, um, yeah, it’s getting me through winter without worrying too much about what’s underneath. (laughs) I have like total Jane Fonda gear underneath. But yeah, it really ranges depending on where I’m at and the weather. It’s pretty simple. If I can go barefoot and it’s warm, I do, and, uh, yeah."
That’s a very Asheville philosophy. 
“It’s very, probably, like, even more Florida.”
“Mmmm. You’re near water all the time.”
So, do you have any artistic inspirations, creatively, musically? 
“Um, musically, I do play violin.”
That’s awesome.
“I started out classically but I haven’t played that style in a long time. I’m not playing very much right now. But, I mean, it’s really hard to nail down like everything that’s quality and good. I guess like the most important thing about music for me would be that it really seems sincere and felt. Um, ability to improvise is a big thing musically. Art wise, pretty far-ranging situation.”
And what is one thing you like about Asheville and one thing you hate about Asheville?
“Hmmm. I mean, I originally was attracted here because of like, the mountains and the landscape. There wasn’t so much of a scene when I moved here, I guess. My grandmother is from around here so I kind of had a childhood impression. So, I love the landscape. I love that there now is a bus lane little city and that also I can be at the parkway in ten minutes. It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever lived and I love the people here.”
Yeah. They’re great.
“Yeah. It’s a really good community. Um, I don’t really hate that much. I kind of hate trying to park downtown most days right now. It’s a little frustrating and, uh, I hate, you know. I’m not really hating on too much as far as Asheville.
And if you had a personal motto that you live by each day, what would you say it would be?
“I’d say I probably change a little bit day-to-day too. Um, that, you know, tell the truth as much as humanly possible, at least tell the truth to yourself as much as humanly possible. Be nice. Actually love people, and, um, that’s, you know, something along those lines.”
Fantastic. Thank you!
“Thank you, guys.”
Nicholas Erik Whyte, 25, junior accounting student, originally from Chapel Hill
Photo by Aymeric Assemat.
How would you describe your style?   
“Goodwill. I mean, I don’t really know if this is a style. I just wear what I wear.”
What kind of colors do you primarily like to wear?
“I like grey, brown.”
So like basic neutrals kind of?
What would you say in terms of creative inspiration like music or art, what do you enjoy or look up to?
“Well, I like music a lot, just like underground. I like classical art, like Monet, and, I don’t know. I like a lot of stuff.”
What would you say in terms of a personal motto, if you have one everyday that you wake up and say to yourself in order to get through the day or a philosophy you live by?
“Do whatever I want.”
Do whatever you want. What is one thing that you hate and is one thing that you like about Asheville?
“I hate how built up it’s gotten. I feel like there’s not any locals left really, and if there are, all my friends are moving out, and what I love about Asheville is all the breweries, just like there’s a lot of shit to do in a small-ass town, a lot of cool bands.”
What’s your favorite venue?
“I like The Mothlight, and probably, The Grey Eagle used to be, but I don’t really like bluegrass that much though.”
Yeah. Yeah. It’s gotten a little, eh, iffy. 
Multimedia for this column was created by Eli Choplin. It was originally published in The Blue Banner