All Hippies in Asheville are NOT created equal! What is a Hippie anyway? According to the Wikipedia, “The early hippies inherited the countercultural values of the Beat Generation, created their own communities, listened to psychedelic rock, embraced the sexual revolution, and some used drugs such as cannabis, LSD and magic mushrooms to explore altered states of consciousness”
Well the Hippie of today is a little different, some are a lot different, and hey, this is Asheville… some are still the same old stereotype. Here are 5 types of Hippies you will most likely find in the area:
The Retired Hippie: Pictured below is my mom. I kept the wild and crazy pics private, for her sake lol. This was taken in the Summer of 64 in Brooklyn New York and she was sporting her Beatles shirt. My mom was a Hippie, then she went to college, then she joined the FDNY. She is now retired to the mountains of Western North Carolina. She has chosen not to continue the legacy for some time now. I am not saying that she does not get caught up in a song on the radio, but she is not rocking day and night. She is a retired Hippie. You say “once a Hippie, always a Hippie” and that may be the case for you. Or maybe she still is. Who knows what she is up to nowadays.
The Relocated Hippie: Hippies come from many different areas and they are still Hippies. Does it mean they are homeless, or jobless, or that they “got some weed” .. I think not. Dreads? Maybe, maybe not. New York City, San Francisco California, Austin Texas, Portland Oregon are some areas you may see those of the Hippie tribe. Asheville is becoming Hippie City USA. Many relocate here.
The Neo Hippie: Evolution hits all areas of our lives and things change, many times for the better. The new generation of Hippies you will find around Asheville are of many shades. Think about a joint, a dread, some funky music, some great beer, peace, some hipster fashion, a few tattoos, some art, a party spot, a couple piercings… mix that in a blender and that may be the beginning of the Asheville Hipster Hippie.
The Local Hippie: This is sometimes a strange animal. Some of our local Hippies moved here 20-30 years ago. Some were born and raised here, and got a Hipster / Hippie balance over the years, with lots of local influence of course. Most local Hippies in Asheville are old school and cool.
The Homeless Hippie: Some Hippies are homeless, just like some white people and black people are homeless. Some Hippies are Dogless. Some have a dog with them at all times. Some will ask you for money constantly, and others will be kind and your best friend for a few minutes while passing. People are different. Asheville cares a little more about their Hippie population; so it is kinda like an unspoken rule that Hippies are cool most of the time, so be nice to them and everyone else. When I was walking up Broadway the other day, I saw a gang of Hippies talking to an elderly couple. I watched for a minute and the couple crossed the street toward me and asked “Are those your friends?” I started laughing and asked what happened. The lady said “The tried to take my food. They were blocking the sidewalk and told us that we had to give our food (leftovers in a box) to them.” We all laughed about the situation and went our separate ways.
Some people look like Hippies, but they are really angels, I heard something like that in the Good Book. Some take showers and baths, and some are allergic to water so they cannot 😉 Some Hippies look homeless to you, and they are millionaires. Hippies are a big part of the Asheville Beer Scene. Beer City USA and Beard City USA have many Hippie loyalists. And Hippies love that we are “Asheville – Weed City USA!” Comment after comment on Twitter about the Marijuana in Asheville being the best in the Nation, and possibly world. These Mountains have stories to tell!
But when it comes down to it, a Hippie is more of a mentality and lifestyle that sought to free themselves from societal restrictions, choose their own way, and find new meaning in life. Maybe we all have a little Hippie in us. Or a lot.
Where can you find Hippies in Asheville NC?
1. The Drum Circle: Friday nights in downtown Asheville from 4pm – 9pm and sometimes until 10pm.
2. The Patio at Tallgarys Cantina in downtown Asheville. Sit outside and get a free show.
3. Wall Street / Battery Park area, near Early Girl Eatery and Frock Boutique.
4. The Emerald Lounge on North Lexington Ave.
5. Asheville Festivals such as LAAFF and Bele Chere.