9/3/14 Mountain Xpress Cover Image

Asheville Memories

/ Issue

Cover Design Credit:

Megan Kirby

Cover Photography Credit:

Nick King
Everyone in Asheville seems to march to their own drum, yet, in the city's last 20 years or so, we've come together as a community and, among many accomplishments, revived what was once a boarded-up downtown. In this issue, Xpress shares the memories of some of the people who were part of the transformation.


  • Smart bets: Julie Armbruster

    -by Kat McReynolds
    Painter Julie Armbruster uses mixed media to create human-animal hybrid characters . Armbruster's latest show, Puddles and Projections will be featured in the F.W. Front Gallery at Woolworth Walk for…
  • Dual local exhibits examine the Gee’s Bend quilts through prints

    -by Kyle Sherard
    It’s been 12 years since the art world first heard about Boykin, Ala. — better known as Gee’s Bend. This small, unincorporated community tucked deep within a river bend is…
  • Smart bets: Mutual Benefit

    -by Alli Marshall
    Mutual Benefit are currently on tour in support of the re-release of the 2011 EP, The Cowboy's Prayer, and will appear at the Mothlight on Friday, Sept. 5.
  • Smart bets: Dan Rice

    -by Kat McReynolds
    Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center is proud to demonstrate its artistic legacy by presenting the work of alumnus and former teacher Dan Rice. According to the exhibit’s press release,…
  • Smart bets: Creepoid

    -by Kat McReynolds
    If you’re going to check out Creepoid at the band's Odditorium show, plan to spend at least half of the concert attempting to identify all of the '90s rock icons…
  • Get lit: Carolina Mountains Literary Festival returns to Burnsville

    -by Rich Rennicks
    Unlike larger book festivals, the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival deliberately sets out to create a “festival of ideas.” As anyone who has attended a previous festival knows (the gathering is…
  • Outside voices: New Mountain hosts an outdoor stage through October

    -by Alli Marshall
    Labor Day is behind us, but there is still plenty of fair weather ahead. In fact, it’s easy to make the argument that October’s crisp air and bright foliage make…
  • Brown Bag Songwriting Competition begins a new season

    -by Alli Marshall
    The Brown Bag Songwriting Competition is held every Monday for 11 weeks, starting Sept. 8. New and seasoned musicians showcase original songs in front of an audience and panel of…


  • The long hello: Permitting issues drag on for South Slope ventures

    -by Jonathan Ammons
    Driving by the old Standard Paper Sales building, you can see construction workers carrying equipment in and out and hear the sounds of loud machinery. Vortex had originally planned to…
  • Small Bites: The return of CiderFest NC

    -by Gina Smith
    A bigger and better CiderFest; expanded hours at Dough; A-B Tech's Harvest Moon fundraiser and the date for Taste of Asheville 2014.
  • Beer Scout: Clips is coming

    -by Thom O'Hearn
    A stop-motion movie featuring a banana, a taste of Coconut Curry Hefeweizen and donating money to Asheville on Bikes: It’s all part of New Belgium’s Clips Beer & Film Tour,…


  • Why I grow: Downtown rooftop gardening

    -by Carrie Eidson
    More and more of Asheville’s downtown dwellers are finding creative ways to use their urban spaces for growing food. Russell Thomas, owner of the Flatiron Building, tells Xpress how he…
  • Building the palace of the medicine Buddha, Asheville-style

    -by Jordan Foltz
    Perhaps you’ve seen footage of Tibetan monks creating a sand mandala, or even have had the opportunity to see the ritual in person. If you haven’t, then attend Urban Dharma’s…


  • Stones and bones: Volunteers help resurrect local African-American history

    -by Jake Frankel
    A revitalized volunteer push is underway to rescue Western North Carolina’s oldest known African-American cemetery from the ravages of neglect and obscurity. The effort includes a new website that features…
  • Welcome fall with Eliada’s annual corn maze

    -by Hayley Benton
    The return of Eliada’s annual corn maze, the largest in Western North Carolina, marks the return of the fall season — reminding Ashevilleans to head outside and enjoy the (so…
  • Statehouse candidates debate: Ramsey vs. Ager

    -by Cameron Huntley
    There wasn’t much tension between Nathan Ramsey  and John Ager at the Council of Independent Business Owners’s early-morning debate, Friday, Aug. 29 perhaps because of a personal history. “John’s my neighbor,” said…
  • Asheville Council sends legislative wish list to Raleigh

    -by Jake Frankel
    Opposing priorities between Asheville and state government took center stage Aug. 27, as Asheville City Council heard an update on recent actions by the General Assembly and approved a list…
  • Asheville Council approves RAD Lofts incentives

    -by Jake Frankel
    Asheville City Council helped pave the way for major growth in the River Arts District Aug. 26, approving a roughly $764,000 incentive package for RAD Lofts. The mixed use development…


  • County Grounds

    -by Molton
  • How did Asheville get its groove?

    -by Jeff Fobes
    Given that everyone in Asheville seems to be marching to the beat of their own drum, how did we come together to form such a vibrant community? Are our individualistic…
  • Asheville’s culture grew out of its public spaces

    -by Xpress Contributor
    It’s no surprise that downtown Asheville was the birthplace of Mountain Xpress. In the 1990s, downtown was an incubator for alternative media and independent voices. I moved to an office…
  • The rise of Asheville’s literary scene

    -by Xpress Contributor
    In the 1980s, Asheville was a sleepy little town with not much going on — parking was free, there weren’t coffee shops on every corner, and few people were to…
  • Proving the naysayers wrong, one property at a time in Asheville

    -by Xpress Contributor
    The early ’90s was an interesting time. So much work had been done in the ’80s, particularly by the city, trying to bring downtown back, but it was still pretty…
  • Oh Asheville, my Asheville

    -by Xpress Contributor
    Almost 25 years ago, I rode a Greyhound bus from Jackson, Miss., to Asheville with nothing but two suitcases of clothes and a plastic pink flamingo.
  • Growing up in Asheville

    -by Xpress Contributor
    Congratulations on 20 years! It seems Green Line and Mountain Xpress have been a big part of the community far longer. I suspect that comes from my political side, though.…
  • Avoid campaign push polls

    -by Letters
    During the primary, someone called me to ask if I’d be less likely to support Commissioner David King if I knew he had taken a “vacation to France paid for…
  • Asheville Disclaimer 9/3/14

    -by Xpress Staff
    Asheville Citizen-Times changes job titles of editors to 'writing coaches'
  • It was rough, it was a ghost town

    -by Xpress Contributor
    I moved to Asheville in 1973. Here’s some of what I remember: Most of downtown was boarded up.
  • Getting from then to now

    -by Xpress Contributor
    Haywood Street was virtually empty two decades ago. In 1990, we (the members of Earth Guild) bought the old Bon Marché building. We renovated the Haywood Street level for Earth…
  • The view from the county commission

    -by Xpress Contributor
    Downtown Asheville was largely boarded up in 1994 but starting to show signs of life. I had purchased my law office building on Church Street eight years earlier and was…
  • Un-a-peeling

    -by Brent Brown
  • Citizens saved downtown Asheville

    -by Xpress Contributor
    I’ve always thought that the turning point for Asheville, especially downtown, was when the downtown Strouse-Greenberg mall project was voted down in November 1981.
  • About the right to bare breasts in public

    -by Letters
    Excuse me, but what’s the beef here (no pun intended)? Women want equal rights to bare their breasts in public because men can walk around without wearing a shirt? The…
  • Why do Asheville and Buncombe County dislike each other so much?

    -by Webmaster
    Anyone who has watched the recent Mc-struggles between the city of Asheville and Buncombe County over such issues as zoning and annexation surely must come to the same conclusion that…
  • Up against the curb

    -by Webmaster
    Hello, Asheville — it’s me again. This time, I am mildly annoyed. (This is a good sign, since it is a fact that, when I get irked, I have a…
  • Letters to the editor

    -by Webmaster
    Thanks for the open forum I want to compliment you on your editorial courage in publishing the letter from Ginny Godfrey [Dec. 15] strongly expressing disappointment regarding her unfortunate experience…