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Brian Boggs, Master of the Chair

Brian Boggs is a fine furniture maker in Asheville, N.C., and he just can’t seem to leave a good idea alone. The result has been a lifetime of tinkering and experimentation, leading to a line of innovative woodworking tools, and some of the world’s finest, and most comfortable, hardwood chairs.


Watch “Master of the Chair”

In this short video, we watch Boggs use (and discuss) his wood rail bender, which does the work that normally requires two or three people. After the bending, he moves the wood to “the hot room”: 116-120 degrees, 16 percent humidity. (He also uses the hot room to dry mullein and stinging nettle for tea.)

The Quarantined Country Musician

Undaunted by masks, social distancing, and sheltering-in-place orders, Jonathan Byrd continues to draw large audiences. They gather online to watch his band perform all by themselves, from a small stage at The Kraken, a North Carolina dive bar.


How Does a Truly Communal Coffee Shop Survive?

I did a lot of interviewing for my article “The Soul of Community” at a trio of Durham coffee shops called Cocoa Cinnamon. While coffee houses are an increasingly common sight in American cities, these shops feel different. To me, the owners, Areli and Leon Grodski de Barrera, represent how small entrepreneurs can put community at…

The Soul Of Community

Like many American cities, Durham, N.C. has been turning once-abandoned factories into tech hubs and microbreweries. Over the decades, it has also been building a shared commitment to the poor, the disenfranchised, and people of color. Barry Yeoman, a veteran journalist who has lived in and loved Durham since 1985, digs into the city’s soul. And he discovers an architecture underneath this community with some unusual layers.

Photography by ALEX BOERNER

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