Editors' Picks: Our Favorite Charlotte Magazine Stories of 2015

PICKING OUR favorite stories from 2015 wasn't an easy task. This year, we took to the clouds with the greatest female skydiver in history, reflected on what we expect from our city, and mourned tragedies with our neighbors. Below, revisit the best feature stories and essays from Charlotte magazine and www.charlottemagazine.com in 2015, as chosen by our editors and writers. These are stories that, whether you're reading them again or discovering them for the first time, will have you hanging on every word.

1. Grounded 

Cheryl Stearns was on a mission to collect her 20,000th skydive, until things down on earth got complicated

By Michael Graff

2. Can Charlotte Make You Happy?

The lead essay from November's Happiness Issue

By Richard Thurmond


3. First and Last Words 

A writer, a hermit, and Oreo cookies: The strange and sad tale of Cole Waddell's first magazine story

By Michael Graff

4. My Month Off Social Media

14 followers gained, 8 pounds lost, 0 regrets

By Matt Crossman

5. We Still Have a Race Problem 

Why are we so afraid to talk about it?

By James E. Ford

6. Charlotte vs. Raleigh: Are We Rivals or Friends?

North Carolina’s two largest cities have grown up and become peers now. Cohorts! Friends! But sometimes old rivalries rise again

By Scott Huler

7. Behind These Masks: Hinds' Feet Farm

Why the family that built Lance crackers is now on a mission to help people with traumatic brain injuries on a farm in Huntersville

By Matt Crossman

8. Heirloom: The Story of a Meal

A raw nut, a chef, and a vision that could transform Charlotte’s food scene

By Leigh Ann Henion

9. Why a Black Pastor Feels Called to a White Church 

From the September issue

By Lisa Rab

10. On the Fourth Day in Chapel Hill

A portrait of a reeling college town in its most difficult week

By Mike Ogle

11. Last Land on 485: The Oehler Family Farm

One farming family watched Interstate 485 creep closer to them from both sides for nearly three decades, until their land was the last link in the loop. They never protested. They never tried to stop it. But when they saw the road open in early June, a piece of their family was lost

By Stuart Watson

12. Steve Smith Has Something to Say

As he begins his final season in the NFL, the former Panthers star has more than a few words about icing up, carpool duty, and life after football

By Adam Rhew

And one more you have to see:
The Scars of Charlotte Chefs

By Kristen Wile