The groove is gone, and history is small consolatio­n

I truly enjoyed the last edition [Sept. 3] of Mountain Xpress. There was the sense of history, “been-there-done-that” and what it was and what it has become, but that is where my enjoyment ended. Asheville has become its own worst nightmare, becoming the land of wealthy bank accounts and Land Rovers. Although the aforementioned won’t realize it […]

How Asheville became (and continues to be) the most exciting small city

Does anyone remember the early 1990s in Asheville, a time when Bill Clinton was president, Jim Hunt the governor of North Carolina, and there wasn’t a parking or traffic problem at all? Mountain Xpress wouldn’t come into being until 1994, the year before Gannett Co. bought out the Asheville Citizen-Times. Fine cuisine? Mark Rosenstein had […]

Asheville groove, part 3: Cherishing our sense of place

For well over a century, Asheville has attracted creative people. So, whatever good deeds have been done in the recent past should be seen as growing out of the incredible mountains around us and as gifts from prior generations, the Cherokees and hard-scrabble Southern Appalachian settlers and Asheville’s new urbanists from the mid-19th century onward. […]

PEOPLE POWER: So many people showed up to hear about (and say something about) Asheville's first proposed nondiscrimination ordinance in 1994 that City Council's meeting was moved to the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium. Ron Lambe's in the front row, center, wearing a brown suit and a tie. (Photo courtesy of former Asheville Mayor Leni Sitnick)

Making a difference­: a decade of activism

The ‘90s in Asheville were definitely a decade of activism — of all sorts. One of the earliest projects was the revitalization of downtown, which took courageous leadership. The Green Line (precursor of Mountain Xpress) was publishing; Asheville-Buncombe Discovery was promoting downtown; the LGBT community was awakening; the environmental movement was fighting back with protests and demonstrations. I was involved in several of these activities, so know of them first-hand.