The groove is gone, and history is small consolation

I truly enjoyed the last edition [Sept. 3] of Mountain Xpress.

There was the sense of history, “been-there-done-that” and what it was and what it has become, but that is where my enjoyment ended.

Asheville has become its own worst nightmare, becoming the land of wealthy bank accounts and Land Rovers. Although the aforementioned won’t realize it as such, rents are astronomical and pay is low … very, very low.

Asheville has a definite ego problem. The city of Asheville and its business tax base seem to turn a cheek to those who make Asheville … well, Asheville.

They do nothing to support a “Certified Living Wage” nor do they control the rent prices of homes or apartments. Low wages and $680-$1,000 rent a month for a crappy studio?

For me, the groove is gone, and I am leaving, like so many of my friends and acquaintances.

Silly City Council. High rents and low-paying jobs are for no one.

Asheville was “boarded-up” in the early ’90s and years prior. Today, business is booming. There is no stopping the city of Asheville, but do we really need another restaurant?

Goodbye, Asheville. If things do not change for the better, Asheville will have a Gap store  on one of its downtown street corners in the near future.

P.S., Asheville. You are not San Francisco, nor will you ever be the “Paris of the South.”

Robert Tankersley


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10 thoughts on “The groove is gone, and history is small consolation

  1. John

    “Low wages and $680-$1,000 rent a month for a crappy studio”

    Unless you have a skill, wages are low throughout the country. Asheville’s rent is actually a lot less then places like Philadelphia and Miami (1, 750 1 bed per month). In San Fran it is even higher. The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco is $3,100 per month.

  2. Asheville Native

    I read Mr. Tankersley letter and couldnt help but laugh. Poor guy……still whining about the lack of affordable housing and pay. Those of us who have been here for the several years can attest to the rise of this marvelous city. It is still exciting to watch us grow. Nothing anyone can say will dampen my love for the town. What I want Tankersley to know is that 35 years ago we were in the same boat. We couldnt afford to live in this town and the pay was sub standard in comparisson to the rest of the country. So what did we do? We rented places with groups of friends, we car pooled and we did whatever it took to stay here. We didnt ask the town to make it easier on us, we simply worked at it until finally doors began to open. Its called persistance Mr Tankersley. So if you dont have the nuts to get up and do whatever it takes to stay (like work 2 jobs, finish your degree, ) then this isnt your place. Don’t blame your problems on the folks who have already paid their dues. I love San Francisco and yes there are some similarities here, I love Paris too and yup….there are some definite comparissons. You need to get on out and taste some of the real world and odds are, you will rue the day you ever left. Adios muchachos!

      • slavetoagarden

        Yes, semantics usually are. I believe Mr. Tankersley has a point. Obviously Asheville Native loves his town dearly. Mr Tankersley, (I know him personally), has 2 BA degrees and Masters Degree and knows how to spell the word “comparisons” correctly. We do need to correct our ideas on past/present. Asheville is a great town, we need to make it an even better city.

        • Curious

          What kind of jobs did Mr. Tankersley pursue here in Asheville, with his two BA degrees and his master’s degree?

    • boatrocker

      Oh my ‘Asheville Native’, your words kow-tow to the tourists.
      Tell me ‘Asheville Native’, are you a %100 Cherokee?

    • mg massey

      sad that reply..after all the insularity of the natives(as an ancestral one) I can attest to how difficult it is to join up with others .Sure, some folks can work two jobs and get degrees, yet, we all know some options are not afforded to all people in this town.Insularity is the least of the reasons for this.

  3. chuck giezentanner

    Mr. Tankersley, my people have a saying for people like you.


    Need help packing?

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