Even by the less-prolific standards of blogging that 2011 has brought as I've been helping a parent through some health issues, the last week at BCR has been, well, crickets, save for a nice contribution by Matthew Milliken. I've had some nice emails from friends and readers asking what's going on, so I thought I'd make a quick pitstop for an update.
In this case, it's actually (for a change this year) nothing bad at all. Darlene and I have been renovating a historic house on Gloria Ave. this past year, and that work's been wrapping up frantically in recent weeks, with painters and plaster and punchlists flying.
Since the beginning of April, we've started the long process of moving in, which has included three moving trucks; 1,800 miles of driving (don't ask); a great and professional crew from TROSA Moving; and enough contractors to make a passable version of the chorus line for the song "Solidarity" from Billy Elliott.
Of course, having moved in ourselves over this past weekend, we're suddenly living in the midst of a tornado of cardboard, cellophane, appliances requiring set-up, and bulldozers in the back yard about to dig twelve feet into the ground over a good chunk of the yard. (Remember when I said don't ask? Well -- don't ask.)
Adding to the intrigue, our existing house on Duke St. went under contract over the weekend after just two weeks on market, a process very ably shepherded by our realtor, Courtney James of Urban Durham Realty. Courtney and UDR are long-time BCR advertisers, but we ended up using them not for that reason, but because in a past for-sale-by-owners effort, they were the most professional, courteous and communicative of any of a dozen realtors in town.
All of this, of course, has meant precious little time for blogging. But fundamentally, I couldn't be happier with how both of these life events are ending up.
On our part, Darlene and I have wanted to live even closer to downtown than we already are for years. I've loved the weekend walks to Brightleaf Square and the city center, but knowing I'm now close enough to walk or take the Bull City Connector to work is exactly what I've wanted.
Or to be able to catch a City Council meeting downtown and to walk or bike home afterwards, for that matter.
It's peculiar that this year's life events have left me at times feeling a little more unplugged from life in Durham than I'd like, particularly given the call of weekend travel for family matters. But on the flip side, when I'm around town, I see more people than ever (or so it feels) at events like this weekend's Art Walk, or supporting local restaurants.
I think back sometimes on what downtown Durham was like when I first moved to town in 2005. American Tobacco and the ballpark were awesome -- but I'd also drive up the pre-streetscape Blackwell/Corcoran/Foster on the way home from work, and see what looked like a ghost town.
This past weekend, we decided to take a break from unpacking boxes and try Beyu Caffe for brunch, but we had to abort the plans; downtown was too busy with people out for dining and art walk, and we had to go somewhere quicker and get back to unpacking.
Now that's a change.
Which is all to say, central Durham is becoming a more and more exciting place to be all the time.
And I'm so glad to be moving even closer.
Thanks to all for your support and patience while I gear-shift through some of these transitions. Matthew is working on some new stories for the site, and I expect to be back to a somewhat more normal posting rate in the next week or so.