By Jesse Hamm Folly Beach, S.C. is not only the official beach destination of most of Asheville, but the home of Americana roots-rockers Dangermuffin. According to the trio’s bio, their sound “encompasses ska, calypso, and even Southern rock, often within the same song.” And Relix wrote, “Just like many a funny named band before them […]
A 76-year-old structure is bound to have stories to tell.
For most people, their sense of “history” begins when they arrive somewhere. So, here is my history of the French Broad River and what has evolved along it since 1986, when I started working for RiverLink When I arrived in Asheville, I didn’t even know there was a river. The downtown was dead and scary, […]
Mountain Microenterprise Fund began in 1989 as a small demonstration project to a shortage of financing for small businesses, particularly those owned by women and minorities. MMF started out as part of Warren Wilson College’s Black Swan Center, which some may remember for its “Green Pages” directory of small businesses in Swannanoa/Black Mountain (the area’s […]
I was scrounging for a master’s in history from Western Carolina and buying beer at Cullowhee’s Speedwell General Store when there it was on the checkout counter: Green Line … a newspaper that, a few years later, became Mountain Xpress. Finally, here was a paper based on the environmental principles of the Green Party! It […]
I moved to Asheville — well, technically, Black Mountain — in the winter of ’83. It was pretty rough. The night I moved into my little no-insulation cottage, temps plunged to minus 50 with the wind chill. The pipes froze, the toilet cracked, and I tried in vain to stuff newspaper in places where the […]
Thank you for allowing me to share a bit of true Asheville history, at least my recollections of the origins of Asheville’s drumming and how the Pritchard Park drum circle came about. I was born and raised in Asheville. I was taught percussion at South French Broad Middle School. My love for percussion instruments has […]
I moved to Asheville in 1996 from Santa Barbara, Calif. We had a great drum circle community out there. Every Sunday at a park, down by the beach, from early afternoon until late in the night, we would gather and drum and dance and enjoy all the beauty there. I really missed the circle when […]
Remember when Stone Soup was the happening place to be seen eating lunch and the Gilberts greeted you with a smile every day with their homemade bread and soups? Remember when Wall Street was deserted (no foot traffic)? Self -Help Credit Union, with the help of Julian Price (and other donors) helped to rehab the […]
Moving from a wasteland of vacant, dirty streets, partial demolitions, lifeless buildings, and adult bookstores and theaters to the “top 10” lists in just about every category is truly a miracle. But we did it.
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 […]
It was my first prescribed burn. After weeks of training, and months of anticipation, I was finally on the ground – drip torch in hand – ready to apply fire to restore the mixed pine-hardwood forests at the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains, on the Grandfather Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.
by Paul Clark The biggest challenge to making a movie about the busking scene in downtown Asheville, says Erin Derham, was knowing when to stop. New buskers cycled through town all summer, giving the filmmaker endless possibilities to flesh out her story on the subculture these musicians inhabit. Super-organized and deadline-oriented, Derham gave herself six months […]
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.
Downtown Asheville in the 1990s had a small-town America feel reminiscent of my own rural upbringing. You could count the chain stores on one hand, and quirky, lost-in-time businesses seemingly held dark, mysterious secrets ripped from the pages of a Southern Gothic novel.
In 1994, Asheville was just a weekend place that I escaped to from Greenville, S.C., with my then husband, Blane Sherer. I thought it was just a getaway; I did not know I was looking for something, but I found it: Poetry.
I’d often arrive to open the building and have to step over a homeless man, curled up with his bottle, in the entrance vestibule.
From the level of scrutiny this project received, you’d have thought we were planning a neurosurgery facility instead of just a metal shell on a concrete pad in an industrial zone.
In late 1976, Asheville was quiet and downtown was mostly boarded up. We lived in Swannanoa and I got involved with the folks trying to close the Chemtronics plant. That was the start of my political activism.
A year ago, I happened upon a young father with his wife, two children and in-laws on the sidewalk on the corner at the Haywood Park Hotel. Standing behind them, I heard him share the history of the Flatiron Building. He pointed as he explained and they looked up in fascination.
The Mountain Xpress was born in a decade — the 1990s — that produced major challenges new to Asheville and Buncombe County. First challenge: Two large construction projects — a new jail and landfill — had been neglected because of their cost and unpopularity. Second challenge: A new source of drinking water was needed to […]