Chicken Alley, Asheville, NC

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In town for the Bele Chere festival, I awoke early to take advantage of the morning light to photograph whatever seemed to deserve having its picture taken.  Fortunately, digital pictures are cheap to shoot.

My wife and I had passed Chicken Alley the day prior, and I returned to explore the lane. 


It’s said that the ghost of Dr. Jamie Smith ago haunts the alley to this day.  He was killed in 1902 at Broadway’s Tavern, which burned a year later and presumably a block away.  There was no sign of a ghost, but there is ample evidence of other spirited residents who pass through both day and night.  For many of the photos, I’ve left comments if your mouse hovers over them.



Perhaps the below will inspire some area resident to write horror novels.  Or children’s books.


This sorry piano is suffering from weather exposure, but appears to have been an alley resident for many years.  The painted garage door to the right is a nice touch.



I have no idea how the tiny hobbit door came to be placed where it is.  I didn’t try opening it.  I’d be disappointed to find that real hobbits are so vertically challenged.


Asheville is well known for it’s liberal bent.  I had no idea about its butterfly hives, though.


I really, really should have seen if anything was in the dispenser.  It’s not a place where elementary school girls sell lemonade.


Seeing the opening in the roof and other lapses of modern maintenance, I can’t help but wonder how the alley has survived for so long.


By far my favorite graffiti.


As it turns out, the “artist” who painted the skull and the series that follow also creates more portable art which are virtually identically and for sale in a local gallery.




Really, there should be more female galactic bounty hunters.


New to Animal Planet: Octoskull Week.


The sign at the bottom indicates the area is under 24 hour video surveillance.  A slight edit is needed to specify that the area is under a 24 hour video surveillance camera, just to be truthful.


Made to look like an accident, yet intentional.  The police are still investigating the shocking murder of the Crayola Watercolor set.


This was a prototype Geico campaign beaten out by the Gecko’s smooth Aussie accent.  Also, the company wanted more nudity in its ads.


There’s a story here, but no clues.


I’d rather imagine inventing about anything else. I’m certain it would pay better:


And so it is that we come to shots of the alley which have not yet been artistically enhanced.  I have a fondness for old buildings with advertising painted on the brick.  It’s curious that the Printing Business below opened to the alley.  The buildings on both sides of the alley open formally to N Lexington Ave and Carolina Lane, generally 2-3 story buildings that are an eclectic mix of retail, restaurants, or vacant, presently.  It must have been a cheap printer.


The electric chair.


Truly, the wiring in the alley is a mess.


The view standing 3/4 of the way into the alley, back towards its main entrance.


Other photo posts of Chicken Alley indicate that its walls are regularly re-invented by whoever has both an industrious nature and access to paint.

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