Letter: Will Asheville go the way of Greenwich Village?

Graphic by Lori Deaton

[Regarding “Can Asheville Stay Weird? Businesses Try to Maintain Uniqueness Amid City’s Rapid Growth,” May 24, Xpress:]

Having grown up in Greenwich Village in the ’70s, full of quirky little family-run shops, I see Asheville heading down the same road. Now when you go to the Village, it’s a Starbucks, bank and drugstore on every single street. How many of those do you need? Where are the fun record shops, the cozy restaurants and the Italian family grocery store that I grew up frequenting? All gone, in the name of “progress.”

Money talks, so none of this is a surprise in what’s happening to Asheville. What does surprise me is how openly the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority rushes headlong into grasping for the new and shiny, instead of supporting and encouraging the delightfully unique that is already there.

We still have time to change things, but it will take a focus on building on what we have, not tearing down the old for the new. Will we ever learn?

— Lisa Wagoner


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6 thoughts on “Letter: Will Asheville go the way of Greenwich Village?

  1. Taxpayer

    No, we will not learn. We’ve had every chance in the world over the last few years and on we roll. We will be Charlotte Jr in no time. Our leadership is not advocating for residents. Only money (ballpark) and the homeless get their attention.

  2. Bright

    Asheville is being groomed to be the runoff for effluent from Charlotte. Observe, it’s 3/4 of the way there, and has no infrastructure to support the sewage.

    • indy499

      LOL. If you’ve actually been to both you’ll know they have very little in common.

  3. RG

    It’s fairly futile and not really that helpful to compare Asheville (past/present/future) to New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago or Miami. While those cities may face some of our challenges, they happen to be major cities with major ports and far more significant ties to the world economy. Asheville’s profile and reality are quite different: a mountain town (constrained by a river and topography) that can’t quite figure how big it should get and/or how to proceed. If we want to compare ourselves to New York, for instance, then we should be thinking about flattening all of downtown and several neighboring neighborhoods and creating a grid with sky scrapers as was done with Manhattan in 1811 when leaders there got a glimpse of the future. That’s not my hope for our city (I’m more closely aligned with the Lenapes), but it’s a far more reasonable example for how to create a significant supply of housing with a smaller footprint than the hodgepodge often divisive approach plaguing us now.

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