Stories and profiles for alt-weeklies and glossy magazines, from local news to national publications.
I've written about heavy metal cats and talked with Garth Brooks about progressive politics in country music. I've asked "This American Life" creator Ira Glass what he thinks of Donald Trump. I once spent two months researching a story about energy drinks. In 2016, I was awarded First Place in Feature Writing by the North Carolina Press Association for a story about a really tiny neighborhood. Here are a few of my favorite stories.
A breezy April evening promises favorable weather for opening night at Wake County Speedway. As dusk settles, drivers run practice laps, wriggling side to side to warm the ties. They're all getting ready to race on one of the shortest, fastest, most intense tracks there is—a quarter-mile, banked oval just outside of the city.
I partnered with photographer Jeremy Lange to capture the final days of a historic Raleigh neighborhood known as Tiny Town before it was demolished to make way for a slew of half-million-dollar homes. This story won 1st Place in Feature Writing from the NCPA.
If there's such thing as a public radio star, Ira Glass is it. Each week, This American Life, the program Glass developed in 1995, garners more than two million radio listeners before being downloaded another 2.4 million times. I spoke with him about Twitter, Donald Trump, and what it's like to be one of a generation's most influential storytellers.
Rapsody's spot on Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly was hard to miss, as the only other rap feature belonged to Snoop Dogg, who barely rapped at all. Interview requests from major outlets like MTV, XXL, NME and Spin poured in. Who is Rapsody, where did she come from, and how she landed on one of the biggest hip-hop releases of 2015?
Caroline Morrison and Siobhan Southern knew they were on to something. Despite a cool reception from lenders, the two knew that Raleigh was ready for a purely vegetarian restaurant. Less than two years later, it’s clear not just that their instincts were right, but that they may have tipped off a full-bore trend.
The balance between music and food is the defining relationship of Kumar's life in 2015—or perhaps it's the imbalance that's most important. During the last decade, the serial hobbyist has produced and engineered records, built high-fidelity amps, tinkered with fussy tour vans and managed bars at The Rockford, Kings and Neptunes. She is one of the most accomplished, versatile musical minds in the state.
What started in Tatiana Birgisson's dorm room took the top prize at last year's Google Demo Day. She is using a $100,000 personal investment from AOL cofounder Steve Case to open a thirty-thousand-square-foot production facility in Clayton, N.C.
You might assume that your local meteorologist believes in climate change. Without a doubt, if your weatherman was the first AMS-certified broadcast meteorologist in the United States, who then chaired the board that developed the 100-question exam used for broadcast certifications, he'd have to embrace the overwhelming scientific consensus. Right? For INDYweek.
For urban designer and activist Matt Tomasulo, who is rethinking the ways we interact with city spaces, the reasoning is simple: "Paris has a beach. Detroit is working on one. Why can't we have that in Raleigh?"
Doing things well, even if it takes a lot longer, seems to be the Standard Foods maxim—really, the entire reason it exists. That's also why, when Standard Foods finally opened at the end of last week, it was a full year late.
The zigzag of Capital Boulevard is often crowded, sometimes bumpy, and never particularly pleasant. But behind the brick walls and large wooden gates is a retreat of swaying palm trees, crystal blue reflecting waters, and tufts of sweet jasmine curling their way up toward a terra cotta-tiled roof. It’s completely removed from the hustle and bustle of Raleigh’s main artery, and everyone is invited.
A Charlotte native and graduate of the N.C. State College of Design with degrees in architecture and industrial design, McConnell, 43, has been building some of Raleigh’s most iconic sculptures since 2001.