After leaving the Biltmore Estate on December 12, 2014, I went to downtown Asheville and visited Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar. I knew my vintage postcard book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, had been available there since the week it was released in August.
Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar is an intriguing combination of old and rare books and hot-off-the-press books shelved and otherwise displayed on and around interesting pieces of furniture. There are cozy little areas where friends can meet for drinks and quiet conversation and chairs in corners where readers can sit and escape into the pages of a good book.
Seven copies of my book were on a shelf in the Western North Carolina section, a copy was on display on a table with several other Arcadia Publishing books, and one copy was on display on an end cap across from one of the bars! Wow!
Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar is located in the Grove Arcade. I included a postcard of the Grove Arcade in my book. It has quite an interesting history. It was built by Edwin Wiley Grove, who also built The Grove Park Inn. He made his fortune selling Grove’s Tasteless Chill Tonic.
The Grove Arcade fills a city block at 269,000 square feet. It opened in 1929 with shops and offices. The federal government took over the building during World War II, but in 2002 it was restored to it’s original beauty and elegance and is again home to a variety of shops and offices. After researching it while writing my book, it was a thrill last Friday to get to see the building and enjoy several of the stores there.
As the sun was setting over the Blue Ridge Mountains, we (my sister/trusty photographer and I) returned to Lake Junaluska for the night and a performance of Handel’s “Messiah” by the Lake Junaluska Singers and an orchestra.
We arrived at Lake Junaluska late on Thursday afternoon. Lake Junaluska is a conference center of the United Methodist Church. My vintage postcard book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, includes many images from the conference center. After checking in, we visited the bookstore in Harrell Center.
I was pleased to find copies of my book on the shelf in the bookstore.
We had tickets to attend the Christmas portion of “The Messiah” that evening in Stuart Auditorium. It was a thrill to see the auditorium after researching its history for one of the vintage postcards in my book. The auditorium was originally green, so I was surprised to discover it is now a white building.
The Lake Junaluska Singers performed with back up from other singers and an orchestra that was made up of musicians from Asheville, Black Mountain, and Appalachian State University. It was a wonderful evening and a relaxing way to end a very busy day of traveling and visiting bookstores.