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Mark Bloom

Mark is a freelance writer, editor, and videographer who has spent his life playing with words and pictures. He used to think tourists were “endlessly entertaining,” but lately their driving habits have tested his patience. He writes on every subject from parking in Asheville to choosing SEO keywords. He edits fiction and nonfiction. He produces website content, including video. He’s lived in Asheville for ten years, which means he’s a third of the way to being considered a local. You can reach Mark at markhenrybloom@gmail.com or through his professional website at rayaccess.com.

Dining in Asheville … with Friends

Dining in Asheville with Friends

Welcome back to Insider Asheville, a monthly feature here at AshevilleBlog. In this post, I examine the inherent problem related to dining on the town with friends. Actually, the inherent problem involves the types of friends you’re likely to have in this town and the chances of choosing a restaurant everyone will accept. In this true story, I’ve changed the names to protect the guilty.

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How Locals Survive the Local Economy

Insider Asheville: How Locals Survive the Local Economy

In this issue of Insider Asheville, I shine some light on what the locals do to survive week to week when the minimum wage job isn’t enough to put food on the family table. You might think it involves government assistance or shoplifting, but you’d be wrong. Ashevillians are a proud bunch. We don’t just talk sustainability, we live it too.

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Socialism in Asheville

Insider Asheville: Socialism in Asheville

In this era of “personal responsibility,” we’re all constantly vigilant for the coming socialist incursion, the conquering forces of the U.N., and the unbridled greed of schoolteachers. Well, one of those threats has slipped through the cracks, and it’s up to us to bring it to light.

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Keep the Blue Ridge Parkway Open!

Keep The Blue Ridge Parkway Open

Where would Asheville be without the Blue Ridge Parkway? Of course, the answer is that it would be exactly where it is now. You can’t magically move an entire city, vortex or no vortex. But that’s not the point, is it?

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Traffic in Asheville

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When I first moved to Asheville from Southern California, I could not believe how easy it was to get from one side of town to the other. After the standstill traffic of LA, Asheville seemed like downhill skiing: you’re almost always on the move. It often takes less time to drive from West Asheville to the Asheville Mall than it did to go fifty yards on Pacific Coast Highway on a summer day.

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Where Locals Drink Beer

Where Locals Drink Beer

The answer, of course, is: anywhere. Anywhere there’s beer. In the kitchen, the living room, even in the bathroom. Ashevilleans love their beer, and with good reason: it’s fresh and tasty and makes a persuasive case for moving here.

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The Best Reason to Go to Cherokee NC Or: My Money’s on the Other Guy

The Best Reason To Go To Cherokee NC

Cherokee, NC, is a small town nestled in a beautiful valley and surrounded by mountains. It’s an easy, scenic drive from Asheville, especially via the Blue Ridge Parkway. It sits at the eastern entrance to the Smoky Mountain National Park. It’s home to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. So why did no one want to visit until recently?

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What to Do in Asheville in Winter

What to do in Asheville winter

Whenever there’s snow on the ground, Asheville seems to go into hibernation. No one dares drive on thevsalt-caked roads, the stores and restaurants empty, and the schools, government, and banks all close up for the day. Only the post office remains open. If you do catch sight of a solitary figure trudging down the street in his parka, the only thought that comes to mind is: “Poor soul.”

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Secrets To Parking Downtown Asheville

Secrets To Parking Downtown

Welcome to a Insider Asheville here at AshevilleBlog.com. In this monthly post, I’ll spill the local secrets, and what better place to start than where to park when you’re heading downtown?

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Top 10 Reasons To Avoid The Asheville Mall This Holiday Season

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In this issue of Insider Asheville, a monthly feature here at AshevilleBlog, I drop a deuce on the corporate entities that feed off the good people of Asheville. Don’t get me wrong; the big box and little box stores at the Mall aren’t all bad. Most aren't even evil. The Mall employs a lot of people, even if they are mostly minimum-wage jobs, and the Mall management only occasionally practices racial profiling.

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