11.04.2011

He Biltmore, and more, and more...

Technically, only 1% were protesting...
Flashback to last week: I failed to update anything because I was on vacation, exploring North and South Carolina. In the North we saw a monument to the One Percent of old. In the South, the streets were overrun with protesters.

Now, I'm going to go out on a limb and postulate that only members of the 99% are reading this blog. If you are in the top 1% and you're reading my blog for fun, you should probably consider becoming a patron of the arts. Artists with grants turn out work much faster.

But even if you are in the top 1%, you've got nothing on the old Robber barons. Namely Vanderbilt. This, The Biltmore, was his house:

Notice that the ants are actually people.
So we toured the Biltmore (located near Asheville, aka Beertown USA 2-3 years in a row). This tour was no small thing. In fact, the house is the largest private residence in the US. It's big. At 2,000,000 square feet, containing roughly 500 rooms, of which 43 are bathrooms (only one was visible on the tour). The banquet hall really should count as a multiple rooms, because it's seven stories high and could swallow certain presidential homes with room to spare.

Conservatory
This is the .00001%. Didn't see any protesters, though. But the house is so fancy that its influence spreads out into the places it touches in town. Even the neighboring McDonald's has vaulted ceilings and a grand piano. It was rumored to be Vanderbilt's favorite eating establishment. All in all it was enjoyable, and an insane display of wealth from another age. My biggest regret is that I didn't approach visiting the house with plans for a day of live-action clue.

They didn't have a waterfall, so they built one.
But further into the city, Asheville became more fun with its own unique flavor. It was full of hippies, headshops, beer, chocolate, and art galleries. The art galleries were fun, cocolate cookies delicious, and the Expresso Stout even lived up to the storeperson's claims of being "only the best thing ever." In one of the art places, I came very close to buying a tiny tophat, but I realized I need to make sure my fashion choices do not significantly overlap with Helena Bonham Carter.



Now back in the cold winter of Virginia, and frozen hands. Hobo gloves are going to be a fashion staple this month for NaNoWriMo.


But their boat house was pretty much just a waterfront gazebo.
Poor Vanderbilt, didn't even have the money to put in windows!

Post a Comment