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Auld Lang Syne

The HillVille HQ is on holiday this week, so please enjoy the stories we’ve posted in our first two issues “Defining Urban Appalachia” and “Home for the Holidays” and we will see you with piping hot, straight from the oven content on Monday, Jan. 2, 2012. Happy New Year!

Box Full of Letters

The HillVille has been live for ten days and we’ve already heard from many citizens of the HillVille  out there in highrises in near-Appalchian cities and from far western outposts and from—bless-your-heart—very flat places. We’ve shared a few of the comments and e-mails we’ve received so far. Read more

“A New Look at Appalachia city”: The HillVille’s Niki King featured on

Co-publisher Niki King talks urban Appalachia, stereotypes, and urban planning of smaller cities with reporter Josh Flory of the Knoxville News Sentinel. Check-it out, and let us know what you think of urban life in Appalachia or ask questions of Niki about urban planning and Appalachia in the comments below.

Stock Your Pantry

By Beth Newberry

Whether you’re driving or flying home to the mountains for the holidays—pack an extra bag. You don’t want to have to relegate those jars of your mamaw’s homemade preserves or that box of MoonPies to the corner of a suitcase with socks and dirty clothes. Nope, that’s no way to treat regional delicacies you can’t find in the flatlands. Here’s a short list of staples some of our readers will hoard on trips home this year. Read more

Holiday Reads

by Beth Newberry and Niki King

Winter’s here, yins. And in case you were trying to ignore the chilly weather, the gray skies or the tail-end of college football season— a sure sign winter has come to stay—the year-end holidays are your final warning. Winter’s the best time to settle in and snuggle up with a good book. We’ve curated a list of regional-themed Christmas books and top picks of Appalachian literature and community development from 2011 to keep you engaged and entertained until the first bulbs start to bloom. Read more

Holiday Cooking the Lard Way

By Tonia Moxley

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. – Surely two 40-plus women enjoying a glass of red wine and some Trader Joe’s cocoa truffles late on a Saturday should not giggle so loudly. But the tinkling sound of two dozen canning jars full of hot, honey-yellow lard sealing themselves sent us into paroxysms.
“Oh, there went another one. And another one! He He!”

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Ice Skating: Downtown by Design

By Niki King

If you’re headed home for the holidays, consider brushing up your axel and lutz. Several Appalachian and near-Appalachian cities have recently opened outdoor ice-skating rinks in their central downtown areas, channeling the urban spirit of New York’s Rockefeller Center.

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Home for the Holidays: Great Places to Stay Along the Way

By Niki King

The holidays can be stressful, especially if you’re having to travel far to get back home. Fortunately, there are some prime places tucked away in the mountains where the wearied traveler might find some serious respite. If you can squeeze an extra day or two into your holiday schedule, treat yourself. Stop off at one of these fine establishments for rest, good eats, drinks and merriment. You’ll feel refreshed when you show up at your families and you can go back to work after the holidays feeling like you actually had a little vacation.

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Creating West Virginia: Through poetry and action Crystal Good builds community

by Beth Newberry

Crystal Good’s poetry readings aren’t for a lazy listener. They are a patchwork of history lessons, current-events coverage and literary word play all sewn-up with an electric and provocative performance. If you’re asleep, she’ll wake you up. If you’re sitting down, she’ll get you on your feet. If you are already standing, she’ll get your hand in the air while you’re yelling, “Amen.”

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The HillVille Is Featured in The Atlantic Cities

The HillVille is proud to have been featured by Nate Berg in The Atlantic Cities today.  The site, well-respected in the design, architecture and planning industries, explores innovative ideas and issues facing global cities and neighborhoods through news, analysis, data and trends. Its senior editor is Richard Florida, who famously penned The Rise of the Creative Class.

Co-publishers Niki King and Beth Newberry both have a journalism backgrounds, so being on the other side of the interview is a little disarming. Nonetheless, we’re proud The HillVille and urban Appalachia has gained this national exposure. We hope you agree and think we represented our region well. Let us know what you think!