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"The Bull-et List" -- what would you do if you had one year in Durham?

With little fanfare, my radio show co-host Barry Ragin and I wrapped up this season of "Shooting the Bull" tonight, closing out what's turned into a two year run thanks to the kind folks on WXDU. (We're on hiatus for the summer; back, perhaps, come fall.)

Our guest tonight was Phil Marsosudiro, of longtime local blog The Archer Pelican -- and the first person to come to mind as a season-ending guest. And Phil didn't disappoint, bringing with him an intriguing question, one I'll play on by hijacking the non-popular idea of the "bucket list," albeit it in a less-morbid fashion. The "Bull-et List," let's say.

As Phil put it, imagine that you have a friend in Durham for one year. A post-doc, perhaps, or an internship brings them to town. What would you do to help them get the sense, the meaning of Durham in that time?

Phil came up with most of these. Barry and I each added a few. What'd we miss?

Go to a School Board meeting, a City Council Meeting and a County Commissioners meeting.

Go to an NCCU football game and an NCCU step show. Visit the NCCU art gallery.

Eat dinner and catch jazz at the KNOW. (Sadly, no longer possible with its recent closure -- though perhaps back again someday.)

Go somewhere using DATA and TTA -- wonder why it took so long.

Swim in the Eno or at the Quarry.

Attend the Beaver Queen Pageant.

Play the Mystery Photo game at Endangered Durham, and do a Preservation Durham walking tour.

Volunteer at Urban Ministries of Durham.

Walk or bike the American Tobacco trail.

Get your car fixed at Ingold Tire.

Bike RTP on a weekend or after hours.

Go salsa dancing at Cuban Revolution on a Thursday night, or at dancing at Club La Maraka almost any night.

Go to a Duke men's basketball game.

Grab brunch at Foster's Market.

Enter yourself and your friends in the Durham holiday parade -- or at least watch the parade.

Visit the Butterfly House.

See a Bulls game from the lawn seats in the outfield.

Get into a flame war on one of the Durham blogs and/or Chowhound.

Eat at Current's cafeteria in Bragtown.

Shop at the Durham Farmer's Market. 

Gaze out upon downtown from the conference room at the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce.

Visit both Dillard's BBQ and Bullock's BBQ, then write about it.

Drive US 501 all the way to the Person County line and back. Bonus points for side-trips to Bahama and Rougemont.

Join a neighborhood listserv and make a new friend.

Catch a Duke women's basketball game.

Volunteer and/or Contribute to the Coalition to Unleash Dogs.

Hang out in Cleveland-Holloway and talk to both old-timers and newcomers.

Compare the tacos at at least three taco trucks (not counting the Indian and Korean).

Bring LocoPops to a potluck.



For any of your readers who are not familiar with the Beaver Queen Pageant, here's a link:


Erik Landfried

Walk around Duke Gardens in the spring.

Tour the art studios at Golden Belt, get invited to an event in the Cotton Room.

Go to the Lemur Center.

Play a game of pool at the Green Room.

Eat at Watts Grocery, Piedmont, Nana's, or one of the other great restaurants in Durham.

Hang out with John Edwards at The Federal.

Visit the Duke Homestead.

Wander through the American Tobacco campus.

Attend the Full Frame Film Festival.

Walk down Watts St. from one end to the other.

Take photos dowtown.

Hang out with a bunch of people who also used to live in Boston.


Attend the Eno Festival. (better yet, volunteer.)
Attend a Democratic Party Executive Committee meeting.
Attend a People's Alliance meeting.
Attend a Durham Committee meeting.
Take a full moon paddle on the Eno River.
Attend an Eno River Association picnic.
Take a bird walk along the Eno.
Take a wild flower hike along the Eno.
Attend an author event at The Regulator.
Take John Schep's tour of Old West Durham.
Visit the Scrap Exchange, including Gallery, and make something from what you find.
Examine closely a crape myrtle tree bloom.
Go swing dancing at the Armory.
Stand on free speech corner (Gregson and Main) with a sign - and friends.
Attend music event at:Duke Gardens, American Tobacco, Bull square, local park.
See something at Reynolds Theater, Carolina Theater, and DPAC.
Water a street tree.
Take a tour of ADF classes, eat at Cosmic Cantina while all the dancers in town surround you, and attend an evening ADF dance concert.
Sit on a porch and drink beer with neighbors as a hot summer's day ends.

Nathaniel H. Goetz

Take a tour of the Hayti Center with Skeepie Scarborough

Attend the Bull Durham Blues Festival and share a beer and stories with the musicians

Stroll along Parrish Street visiting the sculptures dedicated to Black Wall Street

Attend National Night Out events, particularly in Old West Durham

Visit with Rep. Mickey Michaux about his memories visiting with Dr. Martin Luther King on his parent's porch on summer nights

Go on a motorcycle tour of the Bull City with Reyn Bowman (a new gig for Reyn perhaps?)

Eat one of Joe Bushfan's famous hot dog's at Joe's Diner

Have breakfast at JC's Kitchen

Visit the Seeds Educational Garden on Gilbert Street

Take a tour and then stay for the beer tasting at the Triangle Brewing Company

Rob Gillespie

Pick wild blackberries on Pettigrew behind Sam's.

Not for the faint of heart: Tour D'urham-- starting with a late lunch at The Fed, stop by every watering hole until you make it to a late show at The Pinhook.


"Hang out with a bunch of people who also used to live in Boston."

HAHA...I used to live in Boston!!!


Have some rum grog and fried catfish with curry sauce at the Fishmonger.

Go to Cary and tell someone that you live in Durham and regard their reaction with disdain.

Write and talk about what makes Durham so great and act puzzled over why non-Durhamites just don't get it.


@ JC Ha Ha funny!

Visit Bennet Place, attend a Sunday Service at Duke Chapel or the annual blessing of the animals. Go see the Native American Powwow at NCSSM, take a walk around their campus. Go on a Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tour. Take in just about any show at the Carolina Theatre. Buy some local made cheeses and fresh baked bread! Take in a show at manbites Dog Theater or Common Ground. Visit the Tuba exchange.

Pistol Pete

"Bull-et List" ?? Given the perception of violence our city enjoys, especially recently, an unfortunate name for such a great idea. See Washington Wizards.


Grab a kid and go to the NC Life and Science Museum.
Go to a couple of FREE lectures at one of the schools on Duke's campus
Go and/or volunteer at Bimbe' Festival


Quick correction and related shout-out for the Coalition to UNCHAIN Dogs, who are having a big fundraiser tomorrow night. Fashion Unchained at Marbles Museum (in that not-bull city). See unchaindogs.net/fashion.shtml

Scott Jennings

I know the lawn at Bulls games has a long and storied history, but oh man, is it miserable. The slope is excruciating, the grass is a thick thatch of insects, and heaven help you if you're sharing the space with a family of kids who don't care about the game. If you have to mark that one off the list, bring a blanket you can fold into a bag, and plan to snag a seat by the second inning. (I swear I'm not as big an a-hole as this post makes me seen.)

Also, we need to add the American Tobacco Trail to the list - on foot from downtown to Southpoint is a great way to watch the landscape change. And you can take a pit stop at Dillard's if needed.


Great list, Phil!

Catch one of the outdoor concerts at Duke Gardens in the summer.
Drag Bingo!
Finagle an invite to the Faculty Club during the summer

Kaferine De Nerve

We had to buy off a judge to get the Beaver Queen Pageant in the list. Thanks, so many wonderful & wacky things to do in the Bull City.


"Volunteer and/or Contribute to the Coalition to Unleash Dogs"

So people can google to find the group and volunteer and/or donate - can you please correct the name? It's the Coalition to Unchain Dogs. Don't have a problem with leashes, just with tethered and chained dogs. : )

Lori Hensley

Coalition to Unchain Dogs says, Thank you!! Even though we now have chapters in eight cities, we love our hometown city of Durham the most! There's no other place like it.


dont forget to take part in a Zombie lurch ;)

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