Apologies for the delay but here is the long awaited (and quite embarassing) video of me doing my best Ted Lewis impression and singing "Sunny Side of the Street." Many thanks to all who contributed and voted.
This is my third trip to Asheville, NC. The first was 16 years ago for a national poetry slam. I spent half the time in darkened halls listening to verse that ranged from the morose to the preachy to the stunningly good, and the other half driving with my girlfriend (now wife) thru the surrounding countryside. We ended up visiting a "ghost town" that was a tourist trap, a restaurant where you could order trout caught fresh from the stream below, and at a tattoo parlor run by a Cherokee family.
This trip, as was the last, is for the Type-A Mom blogging conference. Thanks to Chevrolet, the whole family is travelimg in style, in a new Chevy Tahoe Hybrid--which is a lot like driving a rolling hotel room that gets great gas mileage. The amenities are many, including computer navigation and OnStar. We've named the navigation voice: Rita. She's very polite and not pushy like some other computerized nav systems, tho she does tend to state the obvious (e.g., noting that we should "stay on current roadway" when entering an interstate).
The conference is at the Renaissance hotel this year, which is right in the center of town and has kickass wifi (essential for blogging conferences). Since my presentation isn't until 2 days after check-in, I've decided to do some walking explorations of the downtown area. Asheville is known for its buskers, and for good reason. There are some truly fine street musicians here. And I don't mean just a guy wit a cup and a guitar. You'll find blues, folk, bluegrass, jazz, and country with dozens of subtle variations between. Truly worth a listen, and a contribution.
But I went looking for something more. The grit, if you will. So far, however, it seems that Asheville has little in the way of winos, junkies, hookers, or even just panhandlers trying to get by. There aren't even many trash-strewn alleys. It's boutique by day and hipster by night. And the businesses are very green (i.e., environmentally conscious). Today I sat in a coffee shop called the Green Sage. Where most would have a trash can, it had a "recycling and composting center." I shit you not. And plastic stirrers were nowhere to be found. Bad for the environment. It's the kind og place where you might hear someone ask, "Did you grow that shirt yourself?" There was even a street sign outside the window that read: "Eat better, move more."
Needless to say, me and my size 14 carbon footprint felt out of place. But I managed to refrain from being a complete bastard and lighting a cigar. Tho they do sell some fine cigars at the Carolina Cigar Co. I guess I'm not an "every little bit helps" kind of person. I'm more of a "curtail population growth and call me later" kind of person. But the town is attractice, and the people are friendly--almost to the point of being slightly unsettling to a person with my Northeastern urban sensibilities. I guess I'm not comfortable unless at least one persongives me the finger. But it's easy to strike up a conversation with a stranger. I talked with a brista who admitted being "cranky" with trainees, a woman who'd owned a dog grooiming business in Atlanta for years, and a cigar seller who described the process of flaviring thir tobacco.
So Asheville is definitely the New South: computer savvy, environmentally conscious (if not overly so), and free of the "believe or else" Christianity that seems to characterize the highway towns. So come on down. Just don't expect Bo and Luke Duke. And don't be afraid to wear that old tie dye.
OK, this is why I don't use PC products. The HP video camera doesn't talk to our Mac iMovie program and there's no SAVE AS option. Additionally the file is too big to email to my PC-using friends. And the one PC laptop we have, has lost its power cord. So am pushing back the Sunny Side video to Oct 1.
If there's one more cockup, I'll re-shoot on my Canon.
The song is sung, the raw video is shot, now we just have to overcome some tech difficulties in getting the HP camera to talk to our Macs. Best case scenario: the video will go up Monday. Worst case: we have to re-shoot with the half-broken Canon. Back-up plan: Get someone with a PC AND the right video editing software to work with us on producing the final cut.