The New York Times in particular has been a persistent fan of the area this year, from a story calling out Scratch Bakery as one of the hot new places for pies and other fresh goods, to a NYT Style piece on things to do in the Triangle ("North Carolina's axis of cool") that included a number of Durham-specific entries, including the local food truck obsession and downtown's Merge Records.
Now comes Durham's appearance in another way in The Gray Lady: the Bull City and its downtown made their list of the 41 places to go in 2011, a travel story full of global destinations that is currently the number-1 story on the Times' web site. And not surprisingly, food's at the top of the list of reasons to visit. From today's paper:
A decade ago, downtown Durham was a place best avoided after sundown. But as revitalization has transformed abandoned tobacco factories and former textile mills into bustling mixed-use properties, the city has been injected with much-needed life. In the heart of downtown, a crop of standout restaurants and cafes has recently sprouted around West Main Street, where low rents have allowed chefs and other entrepreneurs to pursue an ethos that skews local, seasonal and delicious.
The farmers’ market favorite Scratch Bakery has a brand-new storefront for its seasonal homemade pies that include chestnut cream pie and buttermilk sweet potato pie. At the cafe-cum-grocery Parker and Otis, the menu features sandwiches made with freshly baked bread from nearby Rue Cler and locally roasted java from Durham’s Counter Culture Coffee. And at the sophisticated Revolution, squash tamales, mascarpone gnocchi, and tuna with wasabi caviar rotate through the seasonal menu.
Durham was one of just a half-dozen US destinations on the list; two Washington state spots, Miami, and Park City, Utah also made the cut. Oh, and so did Oahu, Hawaii.
Let it not be said that we here at Bull City Rising aren't committed to increasing the worldly opportunities for cultural interchange. So consider this an open invitation to the residents of Oahu: hey, let's celebrate our common recognition together. I hereby offer a house swap for one week (beachfront properties only); offer expires February 28. And come soon, it's, er, beautiful in Durham this winter!
Update: NBC 17 has a video segment on the news--