I don't live in a big city by any means, but I do live in a significant one which has some measure of national fame. It's like a big city but lacks many of the hassles of a big city -- although unfortunately, big-city crime is not one of the things we lack in Asheville. Frankly, I wish the news media would do a better job of reporting what's going on around here.
Asheville is kind of a strange city in that it practically has its own mythology attached to it, and that there are numerous weird legends that have swirled around the land Asheville sits on since before it was even founded. Many of these legends, if you were to take them seriously, would make you think you were in danger in this area from things both human and non. It's very much like living in Stephen King's Derry, that sinister small city plagued by curses and doom of all kinds including "It." Of course, there's nothing so dramatic here, but still. Things are fairly strange around here -- and a lot of it never gets in the paper or on TV, and that makes me uncomfortable.
For instance, a few years back a man had his throat slashed with a broken bottle in the mens department of JC Penney in full view of dozens of witnesses. The attacker was arrested, but no news about this incident appeared in the paper. I know it happened, because my mother worked at that store and I personally saw the bloodstains on the carpet. They were the size of dinnerplates.
And people practice black magic openly in Asheville-Hendersonville, at various locations all over the metro area, such as at World's Edge and Pinnacle Mountain in Henderson County and at Helen's Bridge in Buncombe County among many others. People's pets often disappear en masse right around Halloween, and many folks believe ritualistic sacrifice connected to that practice is the reason.
And people disappear in this city. And passions flare up and thus people are killed, often in public, here. Weird things happen, but you'd never know unless you lived here. I find that unsettling.
“The railroad has penetrated it in every quarter, cities having sprung up, splendid hotels have arisen, an exotic semi-metropolitan watering–place life has been transplanted into these mountains. The most perfect climate, both in winter and summer, which can be found east of the Mississippi River has attracted (to Asheville) the hordes of fashion..." -- Courtenay De Kalb, January 30, 1892