Beer? Food? Next subject!

I used to like you guys a lot more. Back in the old days, I could read very informative articles in Mountain Xpress that dealt with the issues that confronted either a small portion or a big slice of Buncombe County, or Western North Carolina as a whole.

I felt like you grabbed onto a theme that had been in the Asheville Citizen-Times the previous week, and explored it in more depth than the C-T was able to.

Now, as far as I'm concerned, you're a local beer-and-food rag that is disinterested in, like, front-page exploration of the themes and occurrences that are swirling all around us! What happened?

Beer's great, I drink it … next subject! Local food's great, yeah, I eat it. One hundred years ago, that's all folks ate! Next subject!

There are things, human survival/type things, that are circling like buzzards around our fair mountain aerie, and Xpress is strangely mute or muted at best.

I don't grab the newest edition of Xpress with the same enthusiasm I used to. Y'all burnt out?

— Rob Stimson
Swannanoa

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One thought on “Beer? Food? Next subject!

  1. boatrocker

    Sadly, I’d have to agree with this letter though it raises some disturbing questions about Asheville in general.

    As a disclaimer, I’m fresh out of solutions and I’m just riffing on my observations here.

    Is Asheville in general bound to become merely a way station for tourist dollars a la beer and restaurants or will any other local businesses be able to grab the attention (and share of $) from both locals and tourists?

    I know it’s always been a tourist based economy, but it saddens me to think that all we’re known for is beer and restaurants.

    Just as our housing bubble burst a few years ago, what happens when the beer bubble bursts?- I’m picturing a Brent Brown-esque cartoon of some sort to illustrate this point.

    Brewery workers, food service industry types, live entertainment types and health care providers for the elderly are the new silent majority here.

    Who hasn’t joked about not being able to afford health care, local beer and/or a meal in their own home town? Ah, the irony.

    Gentrification, changing population dynamics(aka retirement) and of course local politics are discussed as both the problem or solution, but sometimes to me it seems that we who work here locally are being told:

    “Let them eat hummus/crepes/olive oil/tapas”-

    Local papers depend on local advertisements, so there’s going to be a rose-colored glasses view of things to pay the bills. Cast thy memory back to a negative view of a restaurant a few years back that drew the wrath of the owner- his argument was “How dare anyone say anything bad about a local biz in a small town? We all need the money!”

    Front page articles about the plight of the working poor will of course scare away tourist $, so you won’t be reading a weekly series of articles about that here either. I’ve seen a few editorials in the Mtn X addressing this, but many will of course skip over those to get to “meatier” articles like which new restaurants have opened this week.

    The only ray of sunlight I can offer would be “Geeeez! Have you read the Asheville Citizen Times recently? Now there’s some watered down journalism!”- see, it could always be worse.

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