Release and relocate: The metaphysics of clutter

I had my carpets cleaned the other day, and it shook up my life like a snow globe. There were reminders of who I was at 2 years old (plastic jack-o’-lantern), at 7 (kids’ books), at 13 (journals — all right, I'm keeping those), in high school (jeans painted with peace signs and shout-outs to Joplin and Hendrix — decades late, but still felt it, man), and who I was some months ago (letters, bank statements, numerous prescription-refill bags). Why all this stuff hanging around, pulling me down?

Small-business snapshot

Four years after the economic collapse we’ve dubbed the Great Recession, how is the Western North Carolina economy doing? Mountain BizWorks checked in with some local Chamber of Commerce directors to get their big-picture take on the past year and their predictions for 2013.

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Uneasy answers

The Dec. 5 cover story, “No Easy Answers: Lexington Avenue’s Uncertain Future,” which explored the state of affairs on the last, northern block of the street, proved to be aptly titled. Many readers responded. Here are their letters, along with Xpress’ response, links to the original story and a report on the followup meeting with Lexington Avenue retailers. (Photo of North Lexington Avenue by night by Max Cooper)

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Keeping the faith: Historic Asheville churches confront religion’s changing role

At a time when growing numbers of Americans have abandoned traditional religion, Asheville residents still fill the pews in Church Street’s three historic sanctuaries every Sunday. Clergy from Central United Methodist, First Presbyterian and Trinity Episcopal tell Xpress how they’re responding to sweeping spiritual change. (Cover design by Emily Busey)