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September 2006

August 2006

"Shopping. Inside Out?" Indeed.

Friday marked the day the butterfly started to wriggle out of the cocoon that is Northgate Mall, with the opening of the "Phoenix 10 on the Plaza" stadium-seating movie theater.  (A bird rising from the ashes?  Right on.)

I've been watching the reconstruction of Northgate's east side for about a year.  Amidst the successes of downtown Durham's revitalization in the past few years--the opening of American Tobacco, the kick-off of Phase 2 of the West Village project, renovation at Brightleaf Square, and so on -- Northgate's own renewal has at times seemed to be the red-headed stepchild of the bunch.

Continue reading ""Shopping. Inside Out?" Indeed." »

Bull City. Rising.

Let's be honest--in the gallery of Triangle towns, Durham has a tendency to be the Rodney Dangerfield of the bunch.  The Raleigh daily rag buries good news about the Bull City deep in Section B, but in the event of a shooting, hold the presses--the N&O shoves news about the latest Wal-Mart below the fold and puts Durham at the top of page 1.  Or witness the anecdotal reports of Realtors steering new residents to live anywhere, just anywhere, except Durham.  (Hey, Clayton's got... um, farms?)  And this is all to say nothing of the misconceptions about Durham aired in the national press during the Duke lacrosse coverage.

When those who love her look past the it-bleeds-it-leads coverage in the news, we see Durham fundamentally as a town with a genuine and deep sense of place, something all-too-rare in a homogenized America bloated with cloned strip malls and numb townhouse "communities." From the cool waters of the Eno, through historic neighborhoods to Brightleaf and the home of the Bulls, down the American Tobacco Trail towards RTP and Jordan Lake, Durham is a patchwork of textures and colors that together create a complex and rich place to call home.

But for many of us who've chosen to make this our home, Durham is not an afterthought in our lives, and it is no accident of geography that brought us to this hilly, clay-filled town.  We chose to live here--not in spite of itself, but because of the unique beauty, character, and soul of the Bull City. I could name a dozen things I love about Durham without pausing for breath; fortunately, others have complied ten times that number already.

To many, the places that comprise Durham--a town rich with historic tobacco warehouses, Civil War sites, and Tobacco Road relics--point to a city firmly rooted in its past. But Durham is moving forward at a breakneck speed with a redevelopment and renewal that's creating new retail, residential, and commercial spaces around every corner. 

Although this blog will touch from time to time on all manner of things Durham, it's primary focus will be covering the changes and evolution of the Bull City... the "Bull City Rising."  I'd love for this to become a parallel to the great Raleighing blog from our I-40 neighbor to the southeast.  And to make that happen, I'd love your help.  Have an interesting piece of news to share?  A tidbit of information of interest to the Bull City?  Email me and let me know.