RIDING THE RAILS: A Frieght rider waves from the front of a passing car just north of Marshall, North Carolina. He is one of an untold number of men and women traversing the country in the shadows of rail cars — despite substantial  legal and personal risks — in search of adventure, work or a new horizon. Photo by Max Hunt

Off the beaten track: Freight trains, freedom and the traveling culture

Americans love to celebrate the iconic “hobo” lifestyle, yet we’re often quick to stereotype or judge the modern-day iteration of the traveler. Despite the risk of legal repercussions and personal injury, contemporary traveling culture continues to attract people from all walks of life to the rails and the road in search of the next horizon.

STREET SOLIDARITY: Andrew Fletcher addresses a collection of buskers and busking advocates outside of the U.S. Cellular Center prior to the city's Public Safety Committee meeting and forum. Photo by Max Hunt

Council members defer busking regulation­s at Public Safety Committee meeting

Asheville city staffers, downtown stakeholders and local buskers turned out in force for the city’s monthly Public Safety Committee meeting Wednesday afternoon to discuss a city proposal for a pilot program regulating downtown public space. The meeting, which was preceded by a community forum with downtown stakeholders, came amid tensions over pilot program, which would add regulations to several […]

MUDDY WATER’S TAKEN ALL: The Great Flood of 1916, the result of more than a week of rain and two hurricanes, ravaged Western North Carolina and its inhabitants, destroying infrastructure, stripping farmland of its topsoil and driving the sides of mountains down into the valleys. With the centennial anniversary of the flood approaching, filmmaker David Weintraub looks back on the devastation, the fortitude of WNC’s communities and why we must heed the lessons learned back then. Photo of South Depot St., Asheville, by William H. Barnhill; via Pack Memorial Library Special Collections

Rememberin­g the Great Flood of 1916

With the Great Flood’s centennial approaching, filmmaker David Weintraub has produced a documentary, Come Hell or High Water, exploring the catastrophe through descendants’ memories, historical photos and contemporary accounts. Xpress sat down with Weintraub to talk about the film, the flood’s impact on the region and the lessons to be learned.

Bike to Work Week is May 16-20 and each day a local brewery will host a fundraising event. At the end of the week the money will be awarded to local nonprofits Asheville on Bikes and Friends of Connect Buncombe.

Breweries help fuel Bike to Work Week

National Bike to Work Week kicks off Monday, May 16, and the initiative is getting a boost from a slew of local breweries. Each night, from May 16-20, a different brewery will host a bike-centric bash, culminating with proceeds from all events being presented to local nonprofits Asheville on Bikes and Friends of Connect Buncombe.

THE LONG VIEW: “It’s a real treasure — for Buncombe County, for the city of Asheville, for the state of North Carolina," says Sandy Mush Farm owner Dave Everett of his historic, conserved property in northwest Buncombe County. "If we’re successful in ruining these vistas, it will be a truly sad turn of events.”

Buncombe County’s Farm Heritage Trail supports an agricultur­al legacy

Out-of-towners who flock to Asheville for mountain views, world-class dining and a taste of Appalachian culture probably don’t often make a point of including a drive to northwest Buncombe County on their travel itineraries. Sparsely populated rural communities like Sandy Mush, Leicester, Newfound and Alexander tend to be pretty far off the radar for tourists — and even for […]