Navel gazing

Smile at your belly, and your friends will smile with you. “We’re in this together,” insists Lisa Sarasohn, the local author behind The Woman’s Belly Book: Finding Your Treasure Within (Self-Health Education, 2003). As a yoga teacher and health educator, Sarasohn speaks out against unhealthy rivalry and self-defeating body images. “Women are sometimes set against […]

Vital signs

“I was never a gym girl,” insists Nicole Bookman, one of the four partners who own Namaste Yoga & Healing Center. Like many of us, Bookman was raised on the intimidating “feel the burn” philosophy of fitness. “The first time I went to a yoga class, they talked about nonviolence,” she recalls. “About going into […]

Sure shot

“I’m the only person in my town other hustlers would come to beat, except that it doesn’t happen anymore. There are so few of us left.” “And do they, would they beat you?” “No,” Cassie said. “No, they wouldn’t.” So explains Cassie Claiborne, the unforgettable force of Haven Kimmel’s latest novel, Something Rising (Light and […]

Playing war

David DelGrosso, actor/stage manager with Aquila Theatre Company, knows that some audiences will be drawn to The Man Who Would be King because of the popular movie version of Rudyard Kipling’s short story. The film, which starred Michael Caine and Sean Connery in what were arguably the best performances of their careers to date, inspired […]

Long, blithe trip

“We played in the Western section,” remembers Larry Keel. “We had cowboy boots and hats. “We played ‘Red River Valley’ and ‘Wildwood Flower’ — songs they thought people would recognize,” reveals the Larry Keel Experience’s flat-picking front man of his first job as a professional musician — a seven-month contract at Tokyo Disneyland. “My brother […]

Gifts that keep on giving

“People realize that if they don’t help the organizations they believe in, no one else will.” – Pat Smith, executive director, Community Foundation of WNC “Mostly I did this because I’m incompetent,” jokes local philanthropist Rob Pulleyn. “Really, they keep better records than I do.” He’s talking about the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. […]

Rabid ambition

Charles F. Price writes excellent imagery — gruesome enough, in the local author’s latest novel, to rival his characters’ own increasingly cruel lives. Blatant racism, mistreatment of animals, harsh living conditions — each section of Where the Water-Dogs Laughed: The Story of the Great Bear (High Country Publishers, 2003) festers with the ugliness of disharmony. […]

Chain reaction

Downtown Asheville is at a crossroads. The city’s thriving central business district is enjoying a full-blown renaissance driven by an eclectic, ever-shifting mix of boutiques, restaurants, galleries and clubs. It wasn’t always so. A mere two decades ago, downtown Asheville was home mainly to boarded-up buildings. Scarcely anyone who had other options lived downtown, and […]