This story is part of our 10-year-anniversary issue. To find all of the stories in the issue, go here.

There’s something unique about the kinds of stories that altweeklies can tell. They tend to be off the beaten path and center people, places and phenomena that traditional media wouldn’t touch. These are some of our favorite pieces that fit into that category.

No pain, no gain: Kinky fitness comes to High Point 

This piece delved into a very niche community operating out of an unassuming space in High Point of all places. Centering the work of Candace Liger, known to her trainees as Coach Feline, the piece explored how Liger’s marrying of kink and fitness taught students — adult students, to be clear — the importance of consent, bodily autonomy and strength. “You’re consenting to fitness, consenting to [your] body going through this experience,” Liger said.

The incomplete Bartsy

When the anonymous graffito known only as “Bartsy”started tagging Bart Simpson all over Winston-Salem, we knew it was our duty to track and map the work. The resulting effort was this piece that listed out all of the places people could go to find a Bartsy. While the piece had the unintended consequence of allowing one asshole to cover up the pictures, we stood by the story and even put it on our cover at the time.

The Man Behind the Counter: Charles Bess remembers the Greensboro sit-ins

While many people are familiar with the four Black men who sat at the Woolworth counter in Greensboro at the start of the sit-in movement, much less was known about the fifth figure in the now famous photograph. In 2020, on the 60th anniversary of the sit-ins, TCB sat down to profile one Charles Bess, who was working as a busboy at Woolworth’s on that fateful day. This was his story.

Abigail Textor-Dobbins has been working as a death doula for the last decade. (photo by Carolyn de Berry)

‘End of life guides’: Death doulas advocate for compassionate care for the dying

People are familiar with birth doulas, but much less is known about the work of death doulas who work with dying members of society and their grieving families. This piece took a look at the tight-knit community of death doulas in the state, focusing on the intimate care they provide to their clients. “We are filling the holes in that care paradigm,” said death doula Abigail Textor-Dobbins.

One Hot Minute: An oral history of the Flying Anvil

Years before Mellow Mushroom, the International Civils Rights Museum and before the brewery boom downtown, there was a music venue in Greensboro called the Flying Anvil, “which flourished, floundered and finally gasped its last during a nine-month stretch in the halcyon year of 2006,” as TCB wrote back in 2016.

Carolina Kennel Club’s dogs on parade

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Brian Clarey always laments how all he wants to do is be a sports columnist. And this piece from 2015 shows how any subject, even a dog show, can be turned into a piece of narrative journalism in his hands. 

It Just Might Work: De-sexualizing Sexual Chocolate

When former staff writer Lauren Barber wrote this opinion column back in 2018, it caused quite a stir. Arguing that the Foothills beer, Sexual Chocolate, was racist and a fetishization of Black women, Barber had a point but was met with criticism from people who said that she, as a white woman, had no place to call for change. But her opinion foreshadowed changes that Foothills themselves made in 2019. Whether Barber and TCB made it happen, who knows? 

Breadwinners: A complete guide to panaderías of the Triad

This piece by Luis H. Garay won an honorable mention in the Best Food Writing category at the 2023 Altweekly Awards. A robust piece of work by Garay, the story outlines and documents all of the Mexican bakeries — or panaderías — one can find in the Triad along with a nifty guide on the different types of breads, plus the etiquette involved when purchasing the goods.

Thanks, I Hate It: That Frida Kahlo mural

For a long time, this was Managing Editor Sayaka Matsuoka’s most famous piece of TCB writing. The punchy opinion piece from 2019 took aim at a new mural that transposed Frida Kahlo’s head onto a white woman’s body much to the chagrin of community members. Matsuoka used her art history degree to delve into Kahlo’s history to argue the point that if the artist were alive, she probably would have hated the mural, too. A few days after the piece was published, the artist went back and painted over the piece, covering Frida’s head for the white model’s instead.

Greensboro has its own meme Instagram and it’s fkn hilarious

We at TCB love inside jokes. And memes specific to a city, whether it’s Greensboro or Winston-Salem are peak humor. So when we caught up with the creator behind the popular Greensboro meme Instagram, it was as expected, hilarious. 

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