Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Durham Art Guild Receives 2011 Best of Durham Award

The arts are alive and well in Durham, and they have been for decades as is evidenced by this award that the Durham Art Guild earned for excellence in their practice.

The organization has been honored with the 2011 Best of Durham Award in the Art Galleries category by the U.S. Commerce Association (USCA).

The USCA "Best of Local Business" Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country. Each year, the USCA identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2011 USCA Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the USCA and data provided by third parties.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Strengths and Threats to Resident Attachment to Durham

For nearly two decades DCVB has used scientific polling to annually track things like community pride and satisfaction among residents. It has provided indisputable confirmation of the passion Durham residents feel about their community.  This is important to destination marketing because residents make emotional connections with visitors, and their engagement is key to delivering a successful Durham experience.

Durham was an early pioneer of this type of assessment as a means to monitor the resident attachment and engagement which is so important to the strength of a community.  In fact, there were no benchmarks to compare to except on the few occasions DCVB would sample opinions about similar communities in North Carolina.

Recently, though, the Knight Foundation and the Gallup Poll conducted a similar series survey of 26 areas of varying sizes across the nation over a three-year period ending last year.
  • Passion and loyalty turn out to be the most important indicators of resident attachment to their communities or connectedness which correlates with economic health. 
  • Compared to the overall passion benchmark of barely 1 to1 nationwide and in North Carolina, Durham passion among residents for the community is nearly 15 to 1.
  • In the measure of loyalty to community, which includes how likely residents are to stay and recommend it to others and the outlook for the future, Durham residents are three times higher than the benchmark. Overall attachment to Durham was more than double the next highest community in the benchmark.
The Knight/Gallup analysis also revealed something that threatens to erode resident attachment to Durham if not remedied. With only one glaring exception, among the dozen or so attributes that drive attachment, Durham was above or at the benchmark.

The three most important drivers for the benchmark were identified as 1) social offerings, which includes nightlife, restaurants, arts and culture, and caring about one another etc. 2) openness to different groups and 3) aesthetics, in that order.
  • In the area of social offerings Durham residents ranked the community 2.3 times higher than the benchmark.
  • In the area of openness Durham residents also ranked the community 2.3 times higher than the benchmark.
  • However, in the area of aesthetics, which by 4 to 1 Durham residents rank a as a high community priority, Durham ranks more than 4 times lower than the benchmark.
While by a ratio of 5 to 1 Durham residents rank the community high for availability of parks, playgrounds and trails, by 3 to 1 they disagree that roadsides and public areas are attractive and litter free. By 2.5 to 1 they disagree that Durham has good signs and way-finding to help people get around. And the longer people live in the community, the more they disagree with Durham’s standing on these last two measures.

Clearly Durham residents believe that if officials want to protect and improve the attachment and connectedness among residents then the element they most need to improve is the overall upkeep and aesthetics of the community.

Improving aesthetics will also help improve other drivers of attachment. Experts conducting regression analysis predict that if officials can engage in activities that improve resident perception of aesthetics from the current 2.45 on a scale of 1 to 5 or to 3.45, it will also improve the perception of education by 25% in the perception of overall basic services by 51%.

Durham Getting Friendlier for Bikes

Developing and fostering alternative forms of transportation is a priority for The City, County of Durham, Downtown Durham, Inc. and the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau - organizations charged with the mission of making Durham an even greater place to live, work and visit. With an influx of improvements to road conditions, Durham will soon be an even friendlier city for both recreational and commuting bicyclists alike.

The City of Durham Transportation Department continues to take steps to improve bicycling conditions in the city. Last week, the department began installing the first bike “sharrows” on Chapel Hill Street between Kent Street and the bridge over N.C. Highway 147.

Bike sharrows, also called shared lane pavement markings, consist of a large chevron and bicycle symbol. The pavement markings are used to improve bicycling conditions on roads where bike lanes are desirable, but roads are too narrow to stripe bike lanes. 

Sharrows are a simple, visible indication that motorists and cyclists should share the travel lane. The markings reinforce safe cycling habits and can help reduce wrong-way bicycling. Cyclists should ride through the center of the sharrow to ensure safe positioning in the lane. Motorists are expected to slow down and wait for the cyclist to turn off the roadway or wait until they can pass the cyclist safely. The sharrows are located at regular intervals in both directions. View an image of the new sharrows, also available on the City’s website.

According to the City’s Transportation Department, sharrows are approved for installation on Lakewood Avenue, between Duke Street and Roxboro Road. Additional locations are recommended for sharrow installations in the Durham Comprehensive Bicycle Transportation Plan, which can be found on the City’s website. In the past few weeks, Duke University has also installed sharrow markings on several campus streets.

With its compact urban core and miles of scenic roads, Durham is evermore the place where great cycling happens.

Monday, December 19, 2011

DCVB to Host Second Family Reunion Workshop

At their most basic, family reunions present an opportunity to reconnect with relatives. A great family reunion will be remembered long after the event has come to a close and family members have returned to their respective homes. For those looking to host a great family reunion in Durham, NC, the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau is there to help.

The DCVB will host its second Family Reunion Workshop on Saturday, January 7, 2012 from 8am-1pm at the Marriott at Research Triangle Park.  The seminar is open to family reunion planners looking to Durham as the host city for future reunions.

The workshop includes breakfast and lunch, as well as opportunities for attendees to meet with vendors and attend instructional sessions. The workshop is free but requires advance registration.  Exhibitors will include Durham hotels, attractions, printing companies and more.  Those interested in exhibiting should contact DCVB.

In Summer 2011, family reunions brought over 5042 attendees and 1683 hotel room nights to Durham.  Since these figures represent just the reunions DCVB worked with, they are only a percentage of all reunions occurring in Durham, and their resulting economic impact is even greater.

As Durham's official marketing agency, DCVB works to get the destination on the list for consideration for visitation and meeting, and these seminars are part in parcel of the fulfillment of that role.

Friday, December 16, 2011

2012 Annual Tribute Luncheon Theme Announced

Durham's Annual Tribute Luncheon is a celebration of an aspect of Durham's unique sense of place...and Durham has a lot to celebrate.

Durham's attributes are well covered by media, but this annual event is about digging deeper into understanding and appreciating how the place became that which it is...and this year's theme, Great Families Make Great Things Happen, will explore exactly that in a very complete way.

Years past have seen chefs, architects and civic leaders honored. This year the McKissick, Rand and Teer families will be honored for the contributions that generations of their families have made to Durham. Their roles in developing Durham—particularly as a visitor destination—have been long-lasting and significant.

Being held at Bay 7 on April 25th, 2012 at 11:30 AM, the luncheon is always an event to remember.  Tickets are on sale here and those with them will get to enjoy the event first hand and be part of one of Durham's great events at which to be seen every year.  Those interested in sponsoring the event can email for more information.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

2010 Crime Comparative

It's official.  Durham's crime rate in 2010 was...average.

Here is some FBI data that shows Durham in relationship to its benchmark (peer) cities in the Southeast and in the U.S.  It's part of the 2010 Crime Comparative.

This report is not meant as an apology or an excuse.  It in no way suggests that Durham lessen the intensity of its law enforcement efforts.  In fact, there have been many community conversations recently that indicate we should consider increasing our efforts. 

This is simply a tool that is helpful for residents and non residents working in Durham-based businesses and organizations, who are often asked by newcomers and visitors, “Is Durham safe?”  Safety is a relative term that means something different to each individual, but this report gives the actual data that shows Durham’s crime is, well, average.

Over the past 10 years, Durham's crime rate has decreased by anywhere between 24 and 30%. The Durham Police Department has--and will continue to--work diligently with the community on a variety of programs to help drive the rate even lower.  

The Crime Comparative is compiled by DCVB on behalf of the Durham Public Information and Communications Council, a group of 18 organizations working together to facilitate news coverage that is balanced and accurate and to eliminate communication that is confusing or misleading.  The data is provided by the FBI through its Uniform Crime Report.  

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Semi Pro Hoops in Durham

Durham is a City of Champions in many sports, but most notable are the baseball and basketball wins - and most rabid are the basketball fans.  In sporting circles, Durham is Bull, Devil and Eagle country.  Well, it's time to add a new mascot to the menagerie - the Jaguar.

The Carolina Jaguars are a professional basketball team located in Durham who play their home games on several area courts including NCCU's McLendon-McDougald Gymnasium. Having not suffered any delays during the NBA lockout, their season is underway.  Currently their standing is 3-4 having most recently lost to the Lynchburg Legends 111-103.

The team has a strong community focus and most players are alumni of local schools.  Playing in the American Basketball Association's (ABA) Mid-Atlantic Conference, the team is part of a trio of Carolina teams including the Rocky Mount-based Cheetahs and the Greensboro-based Cougars.  Founded in 1967, the ABA merged with the NBA in 1976.  One of the most significant contributions the ABA has made is to help bring professional basketball to the college athletics dominated markets in the Southeastern US.

Jaguars tickets can be purchased online where their schedule can also be found.

Increased Demand Drives New Hotel Openings in Durham

Durham's hotel room inventory is on the rise.

Coming in January 2012, a new Hampton Inn & Suites at Gregson Street and I-85 will open adding 137 new rooms to the existing 7,644 rooms in Durham and becoming the 66th hotel here.  The hotel will feature a complimentary hot breakfast, free Wi-Fi, state of the art fitness center and an indoor pool.

"Of course, all new hotel rooms open with their rooms empty, so marketing the destination is critical to fill these and other hotel rooms," said Shelly Green, DCVB President & CEO. Currently there are a total of nine lodging properties under development in Durham representing 1,462 rooms, which would bring the total rooms available to slightly more than 9,700 in 74 properties.

"Like most other destinations in the Southeast, additions to Durham's hotel supply have been somewhat slow the past two years during the recession," said Green.  "But as lodging demand increased, hotel developers remained very interested in Durham, particularly in and around Downtown Durham," Green added.

An inventory of all Durham lodging properties is available online, as is a detailed list of other hotel projects in the works. Overnight visitors to Durham spent $113.5 million in 2010, representing about 16% of all spending by visitors which totaled $704.7 million.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Durham Farmers' Market Weekly Report

Tomorrow the Durham Farmers' Market's WINTER HOURS begin!!  From this Saturday through the end of March, the Market will be every week from 10am to Noon - market will be open on Saturday Dec. 24th & Dec. 31st!  With the new winter hours notice that a few other things change, too.

First, the Market starts with the Opening Bell.  The bell will ring promptly at 10am. Vendors can start selling their goods when the bell rings, but not before.  Early window shopping is encouraged.

Second, during the winter all of the vendors are in the Pavilion (there may be some in the gravel to the north of the Pavilion).  There are no vendors in the street during the wintertime and the street is open -- except this week, see below.  Some vendors are in new spaces during the winter.  If you have any trouble finding your favorite vendors, go to the info table and they'll point you in the right direction.

Finally, because this is an all local Market, the selection of products is a little different in the winter.  Meats, eggs, cheeses and crafts will still be abundant, but the produce selection is different than the selection in the summer.  During the winter, look for lots of greens - cooking greens, salad greens, Asian greens, LOTS of greens; root vegetables - like carrots, sweet potatoes, beets, turnips, radishes;  Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Kohlrabi, Fennel will be abundantly available in December and March;  special winter vegetables and vegetables that can be stored well, including winter squash, pumpkins, Jerusalem artichokes, dried herbs; and a few green house grown specialties like tomatoes, cucumbers and green beans! 
Eating locally, supporting farmers and the local economy means changing menus with the season.  Favorite winter recipes will be shared throughout the winter. 

Tomorrow, the Durham's Parks and Recreation Department will hold its first annual Holiday Fun Fest, the replacement for the Holiday Parade.  The Fun Fest will take place in Durham Central Park from 2-6pm.  In order to be ready to start the fun at 2pm, Parks & Rec will be working on setting up the Fun Fest during the Market hours.  They will be setting up in the other side of the park & in the street.

So, for tomorrow only, Foster Street will be CLOSED from Hunt to Corporation during Market hours.  The street closure will be exactly the same as it is during our regular summer hours.  After this week, Foster Street will be open every week while winter hours are in effect.

Fresh this Week....

Fruit: Asian Persimmons
Vegetables:   FENNEL! Asian Greens (Tatsoi, Bok Choy, Mizuna), Arugula,  Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Chinese Cabbage, Cress, Collards, Cucumbers, Dried Herbs, Dried Shiitakes, Garlic, Ginger, Green Onions,  Gourds,  Jerusalem Artichokes, Mustard Greens, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Leeks, Peppers (sweet & hot), Potatoes,  Pumpkins, Radishes, Salad Mix, Sweet Potatoes, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes (red and green), Turnips, Turnip Greens, Vitamin Greens, Winter Squash (Butternut, Spaghetti, Acorn)
Meats: Cornish Game Hens, Beef, Bison, Chicken, Duck, Goat/Chevon, Lamb, Pork.  Look for whole cuts, sausages, hot dogs, jerky, liver pate and more!
Flowers & Plants: A few Anemones - come early!, Holiday Greenery and Wreaths, Landscaping Plants
And: Raw Honey, Pecans, Chicken and Duck Eggs, Flour, Yellow & White Cornmeal, Grits,  Wines, Fresh and Aged Goats and Cows Milk Cheeses, Baked Goods, Pasta, Beer, Wine, Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Preserves, Raw Wool,
Crafts: Jewelery, Yarn, Pottery, Hand-printed Cards, Woodwork, Photographs, Hand-dyed Clothing and other items, Handmade Clothing, Soaps and much more...

Research Triangle Park - As Vibrant as Ever

It doesn't take a lot of digging to realize that Research Triangle Park (RTP) is always growing and evolving as a great place for business to locate.  That it is the leading and largest high technology research and science park in North America, certainly doesn't hurt.

Many changes have taken place over the years, and quite a few of them have been recent, including the announcement of a new CEO, Bob Geolas, and several new companies and expansions in recent months.  The Research Triangle Foundation keeps an up to date site announcing all such activity.

Founded in 1959, this 7,000-acre, namesake for the entire Triangle region is two miles wide and eight miles long, based in Durham with an extension now spilling into Wake County toward Cary and Morrisville.  Most of the businesses and employees working in the park are in the Durham portion which contributes to the nearly 100,000 people who commute into Durham to work every day.

Just four miles from Downtown Durham and encompassed on three sides by the City of Durham, RTP was originally named for its affiliation with three major research universities: Duke University in Durham, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University in Raleigh. This part of Durham is approximately equidistant between Raleigh and Chapel Hill.

Originally envisioned by UNC’s Howard W. Odum and fostered by the administration of Durham native Governor William Umstead, the Park was developed by the Research Triangle Foundation in 1959 and now includes over 170 companies, 42,000 full time employees, and 10,000 contract workers.
The three original universities are joined by Durham’s North Carolina Central University (located less than two miles from RTP) playing a major role as home to the Biomanufacturing Research Institute & Technology Enterprise (BRITE) Center for Excellence.

Today, RTP is surrounded by a variety of other Durham business and corporate parks populated by pharmaceutical, microelectronic, biotechnology, telecommunications, and textile businesses to name a few.  Research Triangle Park is not a city, but it has a special Durham postal substation—Research Triangle Park, NC 27709. It exists in a special county district, serviced by Durham utilities.

Start to Finish - Entrepreneurialism in Durham, NC

Imagine a community welcoming to people with ideas, passion and the desire to start a business; a place where when people hear the ideas of others they respond with “How can I help?” instead of “Good luck;” a place where even failure is ok as long as the road there is lined with integrity.
That place is Durham, NC.
Durham, a city with deep entrepreneurial roots, has been garnering national attention for its progressive and innovative nature for hundreds of years. Durham is home to Research Triangle Park (RTP), the largest high-tech research and science park in North America.  In addition, Downtown Durham is home to over 60 startup companies employing more than 500 people.
The startup culture is hardly new. Durham has always been a hotbed of entrepreneurialism - the Great American Indian Trading Path ran through here; a route that was an early manifestation of entrepreneurial activity.  In the 1860s, Washington Duke started what grew into the mega-giant American Tobacco Company from pocket change.  Businesses like Durham-based Cree and Quintiles grew from a handful of employees 25 years ago to their current status as multinational companies with thousands of employees.   
More recently, in 2011, Durham was the first stop on the US Small Business Administration’s national tour of roundtable discussions called Startup America: Reducing Barriers. In other words, entrepreneurism is an essential part of Durham’s DNA. 
With the startup landscape flourishing in Durham, the future looks brighter every day.  An influx of small business incubators and accelerators has drawn entrepreneurs to Durham from around the world, all of whom have a dream and the drive to succeed.  Organizations like JoyStick Labs, LaunchBox Digital and Bull City Forward, to name a few. 
Much of the success of these small businesses can be traced to organizations and programs that help entrepreneurs thrive.  The Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Durham Inc. have hosted The Bull City Start-up Stampede, a competitive initiative matching start-up companies with free office space and technical assistance.  CED, the regional council for entrepreneurial development located in Downtown Durham also provides entrepreneurs with the necessary resources and tools to start and grow their businesses.  
Duke University recently launched a major campus-wide initiative in innovation and entrepreneurship led by Kimberly Jenkins.  A Duke alumna, Jenkins’ resume includes working with Microsoft’s Bill Gates back when it was a start-up company, leading the marketing department for Steve Jobs at NeXT, as well as stints advising companies such as Sun, Oracle and Cisco.  This effort will help keep bright graduates close by and further expand the societal impact of Duke innovations. 
Turns out, Durham is also a great place to be to work on stepping away from a business that has grown to great success, too.  Two of Durham’s entrepreneurs, Jess Eberdt and Doug Townsend, did exactly this and maneuvered away from the daily operations of their hugely successful business Parata Systems.  They started Tempus Durham, a firm that helps successful entrepreneurs do exactly as they have done, devise an exit strategy from a successful business to have freedom to pursue other things. 
Durham has myriad stories of dreams that became ideas that became realities that grew into great successes.  It’s really a city to be reckoned with when it comes to starting a business, routinely being named in the same breath as Silicon Valley.
Considering that more than 80% of relocating executives visit a location first before deciding to move their companies, the success of Durham as a visitor destination can only further encourage the natural evolution and current momentum that made Durham such a highly sought-after business climates in the U.S. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Durham Storefront Project Brings Art to Downtown

Durham is a creative and innovative place where diverse and passionate people come together to shape a better community. This sentiment is clearly apparent through Durham’s expression of community through the arts as exemplified by the Durham Storefront Project.

Center Studio Architecture Storefront
The Durham Storefront Project is a collection of 14 art installations in the windows of historic buildings throughout downtown. Each installation features the work of a local artist in collaboration with business and property owners.

Started in late 2010, the Durham Storefront Project evolved out of a desire to increase the vibrancy in Downtown Durham while connecting artists and businesses in a meaningful and collaborative way. The Project is made up of an independent group of artists and art enthusiasts. The Durham Storefront Project has also enlisted the support of two arts organizations at the core of the Bull City's thriving arts scene: The Scrap Exchange and the Durham Arts Council.

The Durham Storefront Project opened during the Durham Art Walk Holiday Market and will remain up through January 2012. To explore the full line-up of artists and locations or download tour information, visit the Durham Storefront's website.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Shop Independent Durham for the Holidays

Support Durham and give locally-owned businesses the gift of your patronage this holiday season. The Bull City is home to a number of one-of-a-kind boutiques and shops stocked with unique finds and local products. These shops contribute to Durham's unique sense of place.  Sustain-a-Bull Durham's Shop Independent Durham Week has begun and will run through the weekend. Get in the spirit and head to Durham's Brightleaf and Ninth Street shopping districts or any of the Bull City's galleries, antique and collectibles shops, and specialty gift shops!

The "shop local" mantra is far more than a message of community boosterism. A number of researchers in recent years have taken a look at the impact of keeping money circulating in the local economy. One study by the Michigan State University Center for Community and Economic Development found that for every $100 spent at a local business, $73 stayed in the local economy as compared to $43 when the purchase was made at a non-local store. Even modest changes in consumer spending can have substantial impact on local economies.

For a closer look at local shopping, check out this video featuring many of Durham's one-of-a-kind shops.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Pre-Thanksgiving Farmers' Market: Tuesday, Nov. 22nd 2-5pm

Durham Farmers' Market is expecting at least 25 farmers and vendors at Tuesday's Pre-Thanksgiving Market. The following vendors will be in attendance from 2-5pm to help with Durham's Thanksgiving shopping needs:

Abanitu Farm, Architectural Trees, Bluebird Meadows, Bill Pope Photos, Benjamin Vineyards, Bonlee Grown Farm, Catbriar Farm, Chapel Hill Creamery, Cheek Road Grown Produce, Ever Laughter Farm, Fickle Creek Farm, Fullsteam Brewery, Harlands Creek Farm, Hurtgen Meadows Farm, Lyon Farms, Little Tree Farm, Loaf, Meadow Lane Farm, Maple Spring Gardens, Pine Knot Farm, Roberson Creek Farm, Scratch, Sunset Farms, Sweetwater Pecan Orchards, Sunset Ridge Buffalo Farm, Speckled Bird Farm and Tiny Farm

Market Closed - Saturday November 26th

Winter Hours Begins Saturday Dec. 3 and will continue every Saturday throughout the Winter from 10am-Noon, including Dec. 24 and Dec. 31.

Fresh this Week
Vegetables:   Sweet potatoes, Collards, Kale, Asian Greens (Tatsoi, Bok Choy, Mizuna), Arugula,  Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Cherry Tomatoes, Cress, Collards, Garlic, Ginger, Gourds, Green Beans,  Green Onions,  Herbs (Cilantro, Oregano, Parsley, Dill, Chives, Mint), Jerusalem Artichokes, Mustard Greens, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce,  Onions, Peppers (sweet & hot), Potatoes, Pumpkins, Radishes (Cherry, French, Daikon, Watermelon), Salad Mix, Shiitake Mushrooms, Sweet Potatoes, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes (red and green), Turnips,  Vitamin Greens, Winter Squash (Butternut, Spaghetti, Acorn)
Flowers: Anemones
Meats: Beef, Bison, Chicken,  Goat/Chevon, Lamb, Pork
And: Honey, Chicken  Eggs, Dried Beans, Pecans, Wines, Fresh and Aged  Cheeses, Baked Goods, Beer, Wine, Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Preserves,  Landscaping Plants
Crafts:  Photographs and greeting cards, Wooden Cutting Boards, Gourd Birdhouses, Hand sewn items, Soaps and much more...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thanks for Another Great Season at Durham Farmers' Market!

Before the Durham Farmers' Market clicks over to abbreviated winter hours, all of the markets' vendors would like to extend a huge 'Thank You!' the wonderful and devoted customers that made the 2011 Spring/Summer season a success.  The vendors always appreciate that no matter what the weather might be - from scorchingly hot to cold and rainy to down right scary - customers still come out to the Market and shop from them.  Thanks for supporting local farms and helping to make farming and home based businesses a viable profession.

Next Saturday, November 19 will be the Durham Farmers' Market's Customer Appreciation Day.  Ten lucky customers will receive a $10 gift certificate to use with any vendor at the Market.  Come to the Market Info table next Saturday to enter your name in the drawing!

Saturday November 19th marks the last day of the Market's Summer Hours (8am-Noon).  That doesn't mean the Market will be shutting down for the winter.  The Market will be open all winter long with fresh veggies, meats, eggs, cheeses, baked goods and more.  In preparation for Thanksgiving, the Market will be open on Tuesday Nov. 22 from 2-5pm.  The Market will be closed on November 26th.  Then on Saturday December 3rd, the Market will change to our Winter Hours - 10am to Noon and will be open every single Saturday this winter (including Dec. 24 & Dec. 31).

Upcoming Events
Great Collard Cook Off - November 12th, 10am  Chef Shane and Sous Chef Kyle Wilkerson from Four Square Restaurant both swear that they have the best recipe for cooking collards.  So, they will be facing off and having a collard cook off at the market. Love collards or hate 'em, this showdown will be a blast. And you can vote for your favorite collard cooker! You'll also have a chance to take home a collard recipe.

Fresh this Week
Fruit: Asian Persimmons, Scuppernong Grapes 
Vegetables:   SPINACH, JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES, CABBAGE Asian Greens, Arugula,  Beets, Broccoli, Butterbeans, Cauliflower, Cherry Tomatoes, Cress, Collards, Cucumbers,   Garlic, Ginger, Gourds, Herbs,  Mustard Greens, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce,  Onions, Green Peanuts, Pea Shoots, Peppers, Potatoes, Popcorn, Purple Hull Peas, Pumpkins, Radishes, Salad Mix, Shiitake Mushrooms, Sweet Potatoes, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips,  Winter Squash
Flowers:   Asiatic Lillies,  Dahlia, Lisianthus, Sunflowers, Zinnia
Meats: Beef, Bison, Chicken, Duck, Goat/Chevon, Lamb, Rabbit, Pork
And: Fall Vegetable Seedlings, Honey, Chicken and Duck Eggs, Flour, Yellow & White Cornmeal, Grits, Pecans, Wines, Fresh and Aged Goats and Cows Milk Cheeses, Baked Goods, Chocolates, Pasta, Beer, Wine, Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Preserves, Wool, Landscaping Plants
Crafts: Hand-dyed Clothes, Jewelery, Baskets, Pottery, Stained Glass Art, Woodwork, Photographs, Soaps and much more...

Marsalis Honored with The North Carolina Award

Durham resident Branford Marsalis was honored last night with North Carolina's top civilian honor - The North Carolina Award.  The North Carolina Awards ceremony was held at the Museum of History in Raleigh.

Marsalis was honored for his volunteer work and for his accomplishments as a musician.  He is among the world's best known saxaphone players who shot to fame for his work on Sting's Dream of the Blue Turtles album and then went on to be the band leader on NBC's Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Other recipients were sculptor Vollis Simpson, Charles Hamner Jr. and former U.S. Rep. Martin Lancaster for public service; Dr. Trudy Mackay for science; and Ron Rash for literature.

Marsalis' move to Durham was an effort to live in a genuine and real community - something he's said often.  He teaches at North Carolina Central University and occasionally performs with his students around town without billing - it's not entirely unheard of to be out listening to a live jazz performance and suddenly be watching a world-renowned star join in unannounced. Such instances usually create an instant sensation in local social media channels.  Most recently, such a performance occurred at Whiskey in Downtown Durham.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

DPAC Gets Ready to Celebrate 3 Monumental Years

The Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC), will celebrate multiple achievements during the month of November.  DPAC ends the third quarter once again in the top 10 Theater Venues in America, plans to hail the one millionth patron during Radio City Christmas Spectacular, and will be celebrating its third anniversary on November 30, 2011.

“It is hard to believe that only three years ago, B.B. King was taking the stage and christening this building,” said Rachel Gragg, Director of Public Relations, “from a gravel lot and hard hat tours, to seeing the joy WICKED brought to the Triangle for the first time, and witnessing daily a community of patrons and staff that truly embrace live entertainment.  It has been the biggest thrill to watch from the beginning.”

Pollstar, the only trade publication covering the worldwide concert industry with tour schedules and sales results, named DPAC #3 in the U.S., and #4 internationally in their recent report "2011 Q3 Worldwide Ticket Sales - Top 100 Theater Venues,” based on attendance at DPAC.   In the U.S., DPAC is on the heels of the Coliseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas- a theater often referred to as the home of the greatest entertainers of the world, and the legendary Fox Theatre in Atlanta.  Trailing DPAC is #4)  Nokia Theatre L.A. Live , LA, CA #5) Beacon Theatre, NY, NY #6) Broward Ctr. Au-Rene Theater, Fort Lauderdale, FL,  #7) Radio City Music Hall NY, NY, #8) Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie, Grand Prairie, TX,  #9) Orpheum Theater, Omaha, NE and #10) Dreyfoos Theater, West Palm Beach, FL.

DPAC is going to celebrate its third anniversary by welcoming their one millionth guest during the month long performance of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.  The one millionth guest is expected to walk through the doors around Thanksgiving and will be presented with a unique prize package.  The lucky patron will receive a 4-pack to SunTrust Broadway at DPAC shows Memphis, The Addams Family, Bring it On, West Side Story, and the most anticipated return of WICKED.  They will also receive VIP parking and a 4-Pack to any DPAC concert of their choice.

“DPAC is reaching these heights by offering something for everyone throughout the year.”  In a recent article, The New York Times Travel section recognized the Durham Performing Arts Center as “an integral part of the city of Durham's continuing success,” said Bob Klaus, GM of DPAC. “DPAC’s mantra this season has been ‘something for everyone’ and I feel that we did not disappoint. Where else could you see legendary performers including Al Pacino, Diana Ross, Carol Burnett and B.B. King perform in the span of one year?”

To date, DPAC has greeted over 325,000 guests for the 2011 calendar year with the help of SunTrust Broadway at DPAC, where the best direct from New York Broadway staples grace the stage.  Last seasons’ offerings included successful sellout runs of Disney’s The Lion King, Blue Man Group, and Monty Python's Spamalot, and our current season has had a successful start with Tony© Nominated hits Come Fly Away and Rock of Ages.

DPAC's 2011 concert highlights incorporate a veritable Who's Who of today’s finest entertainers: renaissance man Steve Martin with the Steep Canyon Rangers was a crowd favorite, combining his trademark deadpan comedy with exceptional banjo picking for one of the most memorable nights of the season; jazz-rock ambassadors Steely Dan returned for their second sold-out performance; Dolly Parton made her DPAC debut, playing old favorites and new in a performance that only the country diva could deliver.

DPAC sold out nineteen one-night concert and comedy attractions, including Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Neil Young, everyone’s favorite R&B party band Earth Wind & Fire, country legend Willie Nelson and comedians Ron White and Louis C.K. it's easy to see why sold-out performances and satisfied audiences have become the standard at DPAC.

Sold Out Performances for 2011:
•    Disney’s The Lion King  (32 Shows)- January 4-30, 2011
•    The Temptations & The Four Tops- February 9, 2011
•    Ricky Smiley with J. Anthony Brown- February 11, 2011
•    Jerry Seinfeld (2 Shows)- February 12, 2011
•    Brian Regan- March 3, 2011
•    Erykah Badu- March 4, 2011
•    Diana Ross- March 11, 2011
•    Blue Man Group (7 shows)- March 15-20, 2011
•    Wanda Sykes- March 22, 2011
•    An Evening of Laughter and Reflection with Carol Burnett- April 2, 2011
•    KEM- April 14, 2011
•    Neil Young- April 15, 2011
•    Steve Martin-  May 21, 2011
•    Spamalot (2 shows)- May 24 – 25, 2011
•    BB King- June 3, 2011
•    Martin Lawrence- June 19, 2011
•    Dolly Parton- August 2, 2011
•    Steely Dan- August 4, 2011
•    Ron White- September 10, 2011
•    Earth, Wind and Fire- September 18, 2011
•    Willie Nelson- October 20, 2011
•    Louis C.K.- October 21, 2011
•    John Oliver- October 22, 2011

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

26th Annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference in Durham This Weekend

The 26th Annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference happening in this weekend in Durham at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel will bring together over 1,100 farmers, gardeners, foodies, and agriculture professionals to learn from the experts about how to meet the demand for local, organic food.

The Conference is the largest of its kind in the Carolinas and offers over 60 classes on sustainable horticulture, livestock, soils, mushrooms, permaculture, bees, and food, as well as pre-conference farm tours and skill-building workshops. Beginner and advanced classes will be taught by the country’s top sustainable agriculture experts.

The conference keynote speaker is world-renowned local food advocate and best-selling author of This Organic Life, Joan Dye Gussow. Joan will be speaking during the sold-out Local Foods Feast on Nov. 11 at 6:30 PM.

All conference meals will be made with only the best in-season, sustainably grown ingredients supplied by local farms. NC micro-brewery, The Weeping Radish, will debut the first NC-malted, NC-brewed beer made from organic NC hops and organic NC barley at the Saturday night reception.

The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA) is a 32-year-old non-profit with over 1,500 members that advocates for fair farm and food policies, builds the systems family farms need to thrive, and educates communities about local organic farming. Their vision is the creation of a regional food system in the Carolinas that is good for farmers, good for consumers, and good for the land.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Shirley Caesar Honored with BET's Living Legend Award

Shirley Caesar, who started her singing career in Durham, is being honored by BET - The Black Entertainment Network with their Living Legend Award.  In her career as a gospel singer, Caesar has won 11 Grammy Awards and released over 30 gospel albums since embarking on a solo career in 1966 and is considered the "First Lady of Gospel."

Currently Caesar splits her time pastoring a church and traveling to speak professionally.  Her BET honor is another accolade in a long line of career and life achievements. Caesar embodies what it means to be a living legend with her grace, poise, class and what has been described as "the voice of an angel." Her career spans over five decades and she has sold of over 2 million records. Some fifty years after she began her recording career, the legendary singer and songwriter continues to stir the souls of millions of faithful fans with classics like “Sweeping Through the City” and “You’re Next In Line For A Miracle.”

Caesar is in good company in Durham's musical history.  Grammy award winning Nneena Freelon is among the world's most famous jazz vocalists, and hip hop artist 9th Wonder also hails from the Bull City.

Pauli Murray Honored With North Carolina Historic Highway Marker

Pauli Murray’s significant contributions to North Carolina history will be memorialized when her official state historic marker is unveiled Sunday, November 20, 2011. The ceremony will take place at 3 p.m. at the corner of Carroll and West Chapel Hill Streets. Pauli Murray was a nationally and internationally known advocate for human rights and social justice who was reared a few blocks from the marker site in the home of her grandparents Richard and Cornelia Fitzgerald.

Mayor Bill Bell will proclaim Pauli Murray Day in Durham and he will be joined by members of the Fitzgerald/Murray family, Southwest Central Durham neighbors and representatives of the Pauli Murray Project to dedicate the marker.  “Pauli Murray is well deserving of recognition by the state of North Carolina as a tireless champion for human rights,” says Barbara Lau, director of the Pauli Murray Project. “Placing this marker near her childhood home makes it a source of pride for her neighborhood and a beacon for young people who want to make a positive impact on the world.”  

Coinciding with Murray’s 101st birthday, a party will follow the dedication at the Center for Community, Family Life and Recreation at Lyon Park, 1313 Halley Street. Winners of the Youth Prophecy Poetry Contest will share their winning entries and refreshments will be served. The public is also invited to help create a Proud Shoes labyrinth with artist Bryant Holsenbeck out of recycled shoes at Murray’s childhood home, 906 Carroll Street beginning at 1 p.m.

Pauli Murray (1910-1985) grew up in Durham's West End neighborhood and graduated from Hillside High School in 1926. Murray was the first woman to graduate at the top of her class from Howard Law School. She advised First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt on civil rights and co-founded the National Organization for Women. Before her death in 1985, Murray was the first African-American woman to be ordained as an Episcopal priest and offered communion for the first time at the Chapel of the Cross Episcopal Church in Chapel Hill.

Pauli Murray Day in Durham is sponsored by the Pauli Murray Project at the Duke Human Rights Center, the Resource Center for Women in Ministry in the South, the Southwest Central Durham Quality of Life Project and the Duke-Durham Neighborhood Partnership.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Photography Exhibit Highlights African-American Resistance

A diverse community of passionate citizens, Durham has a long and proud history as a civil rights center. Durham was the site of North Carolina's first sit-in and three years later, was the place Dr. Martin Luther King launched a new battle cry in his “Fill The Jails" speech. Some of the same civil rights leaders who pushed for advancement in Durham, NC are portrait subjects featured in a new exhibition to come to North Carolina Central University  by way of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture.

Angela Davis
A stunning collection of photographic portraits, “Let Your Motto be Resistance: African-American Portraits,” will open at the North Carolina Central University Art Museum on Sunday, Nov. 6, at 2 p.m. The collection reveals the nation's history through an African-American lens, using the lives of well-known abolitionists, artists, scientists, writers, statesmen, entertainers and sports figures.

Originally presented as the inaugural exhibit of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington, the exhibit includes 69 prints that highlight individuals whose passion, determination and talent played an influential role in shaping notions of race and status over the past 150 years. Among the featured photographers who employ a variety of strategies to create their powerful images are Mathew Brady, James VanDerZee, Doris Ulmann, Edward Weston, Gordon Parks, Irving Penn and Carl Van Vechten.

The exhibit’s title was taken from a speech to the National Convention of Colored Citizens in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1843, by celebrated abolitionist and orator Henry Highland Garnet. In the speech titled “Call to Rebellion,” Garnet challenges the American slaves to rise up and emancipate themselves, arguing that armed unrest would be the most effective way to end slavery. “Let your motto be resistance,” he exclaimed, “Resistance! Resistance! No oppressed people have ever secured their liberty without resistance.”

“The need to resist, to challenge race-based assumptions, laws and practices that sought to limit black life, has always been a central tenet of African-American culture,” said Kenneth Rodgers, director of the NCCU Museum of Art.  “This resistance has many faces.  While some African-Americans demanded change at any cost, others chose nonviolent confrontations.”

African-Americans found many strategies to challenge, to struggle and to resist. From the image of “Gordon,” a formerly enslaved man whose whipped and scarred back speaks volumes about the strength needed to survive, to the sheer beauty of dancer Judith Jamison, whose creative expression calls into question notions of supposed racial inferiority. Portrait subjects were selected by photography historian and Smithsonian guest curator Deborah Willis.

The NCCU Art Museum is on Lawson Street across from the Farrison–Newton Communications Building. The Museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. The exhibit will run until Jan. 15, 2012.

First Frost for Durham Farmers' Market

"The first frost lets us know what we will have to undergo"

The first frost has finally fallen over much of the Triangle.  Here in Durham, there's been a light frost almost every morning this week. Out in the countryside, especially to the north of Durham, the Durham Farmers' Market farmers have experienced much heavier frosts.  Heavy frosts usually mean the end to many summer vegetables - squash, green beans, cucumbers, eggplant, tomatoes. 

But not completely the end, just yet.  The Market's farmers are craftier and more creative than that.  In the last few weeks, farmers have harvested all of the green tomatoes and peppers from their fields.  Both of those are able to store very well under the right conditions.  So, expect to see more tomatoes and peppers of all colors in smaller amounts in the weeks to come.  Farmers also have other ways of extending the season through the use of high tunnels and greenhouses.  High tunnels are unheated greenhouses or hoophouses.  They keep the night time low temperatures just high enough in the fall that farmers can plant a late crop of tomatoes, cucumbers or beans, for example.

Another thing that the first frost hearkens is the exciting winter holidays.  For Thanksgiving, Durham Farmers' Market will be holding a special Pre-Thanksgiving Market on Tuesday November 22nd from 2-5pm.  Then on the first Saturday of December, the Market switches gears into our Winter Hours, which are 10am-Noon. Saturday Market is open YEAR ROUND - there will be veggies, meats, eggs, cheeses, crafts, baked goods and confections all winter long.  The Market will be open every Saturday this winter, including Dec. 24th & Dec. 31st.

Upcoming Events
Chef in the Market - Chuck Hayworth, Worth It Cafe
Saturday November 5th, 10am
Chef Chuck will be taking on fall Greens!  He'll demonstrate 3 of his favorite ways to use fall greens - Quick Asian Green Stirfry, One Hour Collard KimChi and Green & Legumes with Pasta!  Chef Chuck will start cooking at 10am under the Blue Tent on the lawn (if its raining look for him under the Pavilion), there will be tastes and recipes available.

Fresh this Week
Fruit:   Asian Persimmons, Scuppernong Grapes 
Vegetables:   SPINACH, JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES, CABBAGE Asian Greens, Arugula,  Beets, Broccoli, Butterbeans, Cauliflower, Cherry Tomatoes, Collards,  Cucumbers,  Dandelion Greens, Eggplant, Garlic, Ginger, Gourds, Herbs,  Mustard Greens, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce,  Okra, Onions, Green Peanuts, Pea Shoots, Peppers, Potatoes, Popcorn, Purple Hull Peas, Pumpkins, Radishes, Salad Mix, Shiitake Mushrooms, Sweet Potatoes, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips,  Winter Squash
Flowers:   Asiatic Lillies,  Dahlia, Lisianthus, Sunflowers, Zinnia
Meats:   Beef, Bison, Chicken, Duck, Goat/Chevon, Lamb, Rabbit, Pork
And:   Fall Vegetable Seedlings, Honey, Chicken and Duck Eggs, Flour, Yellow & White Cornmeal, Grits, Pecans, Wines, Fresh and Aged Goats and Cows Milk Cheeses, Baked Goods, Chocolates, Pasta, Beer, Wine, Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Preserves, Wool, Landscaping Plants
Crafts:   Hand-dyed Clothes, Jewelery, Baskets, Pottery, Stained Glass Art, Woodwork, Photographs, Soaps and much more...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Experience Duke Performances' Schola Cantorum de Venezuela in Duke Chapel for $5

Durham's cultural diversity yields many benefits for residents and visitors alike.  Performers and artists from around the world come here to share their talents - a fact driven in part by the two universities that call Durham home, Duke and NCCU.  Periodically, those benefits are placed more within reach for everyone.  Just such an occasion is upcoming with Duke Performances presentation of the acclaimed Latin American chorus Schola Cantorum de Venezuela. .

In an effort to bring out the biggest audience for this wonderful and important 40-voice ensemble, Duke Performances is making all tickets to the concert available for only $5. 

The reduction in ticket price comes with the intent to give a broad range of the Triangle community the opportunity to experience world-class singing amidst the soaring Gothic architecture of Duke Chapel.

Schola Cantorum is Latin America's finest choir and one of the most in-demand vocal ensembles in the world. The program for Nov. 9 — Agua Y Fiesta — features music by composers from Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Spain, Cuba, Mexico, and the USA — amongst them Eric Whitacre, Osvaldo Golijov, and Astor Piazzolla.  Every Schola Cantorum concert is a vivid cultural and musical experience — the ensemble brings infectious passion to everything they sing.

The show is on Wednesday, November 9, at 8 pm and tickets are available online, or by calling 919-684-4444 or at the Bryan Center Box Office.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Local Favorites Winners 2011

Well, it was quite a year for the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau's Local Favorites Survey.  A record number of people perused the questions, the answers were quite varied and, in some cases, rather entertaining.  DCVB would like to thank its respondents for their generous sharing of preferences.

Visitors are always in pursuit of information about what residents think.  For years, DCVB has conducted this survey to deliver exactly that sort of feedback, and this year's list is a great example of why Durham is where great food and dining happen.

"Coming out on top in this survey is pretty important to some of the local restaurants," said Shelly Green, DCVB's President and CEO.  "We promote Local Favorites on our website and in  the Official Visitors & Relocation Guide, our highest volume print piece that is dispensed to both those considering visitation and relocation."

"Given the impact of our distribution channels, and sheer visitation traffic, a place on this list is worth more than just bragging rights," added Sam Poley, DCVB's Director of Marketing and Communications.  "Past winners are also listed on a dedicated web page, so the value continues over time.  This is not a very perishable ranking - that's one of the reasons those on the list get a plaque to accompany their victory.  We've seen folks post those for years...they consider it quite an honor."

So, on to the 2011 list...

Favorite Beer from a Durham Brewery: Triangle Brewing Company Golden Ale

Favorite Lunch Under $5: Chubby's Tacos

Favorite Dinner Under $10: Broad Street Cafe

Favorite Local Food Product: Baked Goods from Scratch Baking

Favorite Place for a Healthy Meal: Tie - Toast and Whole Foods Market

Favorite Durham Dining Experience: Watts Grocery

Favorite Place for a Grown-Up Night Out: Broad Street Cafe

Favorite Place to Get Your Food Truck Fix: Rigsbee Street in front of Fullsteam Brewery and Motorco Music Hall

Favorite Place for a Midnight Snack: Cosmic Cantina

Friday, October 28, 2011

Durham Farmers' Market - Get Cooking for Fall!

It's Halloween weekend! That mean jack-o-lanterns, costume parties and trick-or-treating. Like many holidays, Halloween's (and its related holidays - All Saints Day, Day of the Dead, Samhain) timing has its origins in the changing of the seasons.  Oct 31/Nov 1 is the approximate mid-point of Autumn.  It marks the half way point between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice.   Cultures around the world hold festivals and holidays on almost all of the season changes (solstices & equinoxes) as well as the mid points of the seasons.

Early celebrations of mid-fall included Celtic cultures observance of Samhain, a harvest festival.  It marked the end of the "lighter half" of the year and beginning of the "darker half" of the year.  As they moved into the darker half of the year, they had huge bonfires in celebration.  It also had element of a Festival for the Dead.  Many cultures around the globe held Festivals for the Dead around this time of year to honor and recognize family and community members who have died.  These festivals all have different elements that show up in our current version of Halloween.  Lights are lit, candies and treats are given, effigies are made and costumes are worn.

As we move into the darker half of the year here in Durham, you'll notice some subtle changes here at the Market.  As the first frost looms in our farmland, we'll start seeing fewer and fewer summer vegetables like okra, field grown tomatoes, eggplant, beans, squash, cucumbers.  But, don't let that keep you from the Market this fall and winter, there are lots of exciting things in season during this time of year.... innumerable varieties of greens, sweet potatoes,  cauliflower, broccoli, beets, carrots, winter squashes, pumpkins, and persimmons, just to name a few!  Another change to be aware of is that during the winter, the Markets hours change.  Starting December 3rd, the Market will be open from 10am-Noon, every Saturday through the end of March.

This weekend, you'll find lot of pumpkins, big and small, round and oblong, smooth and bumpy, orange and green and white and more!  There will also be lots of Halloween themed treats from our bakers and food artisans. 
Fruit: Asian Persimmons, Asian Pears, Scuppernong Grapes  
Vegetables:   CAULIFLOWER, BROCCOLI, KOHLRABI, Asian Greens (Tatsoi, Bok Choy, etc.), Arugula, Beans (green, yellow, Roma, filet, purple), Longbeans, Beets, Butterbeans, Cherry Tomatoes, Collards,  Cucumbers,  Dandelion Greens, Eggplant, Garlic, Ginger, Gourds, Herbs (Basil, Cilantro, Oregano, Parsley, Dill, Chives, Mint),  Mustard Greens, Kale, Lambs Quarter,  Lettuce,  Okra, Onions, Green Peanuts, Pea Shoots, Peppers (sweet, hot, Padron), Potatoes, Popcorn, Purple Hull Peas, Pumpkins, Salad Mix, Shiitake Mushrooms, Sweet Potatoes, Swiss Chard,  Summer Squash,   Tomatoes (red and green), Turnips,  Winter Squash (Butternut, Spaghetti, Acorn), Zucchini 
Flowers:   Asiatic Lillies, Celosia, Dahlia, Gomphrena, Gladiolus, Lisianthus, Sunflowers, Tuber Rose, Zinnia

Meats: Beef, Bison, Chicken, Duck, Goat/Chevron, Lamb, Rabbit, Pork

And: Fall Vegetable Seedlings, Honey, Chicken and Duck Eggs, Flour, Yellow & White Cornmeal, Grits, Pecans, Wines, Fresh and Aged Goats and Cows Milk Cheeses, Baked Goods, Chocolates, Pasta, Beer, Wine, Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Preserves, Wool, Landscaping Plants

Crafts: Hand-dyed Clothes, Jewelery, Baskets, Pottery, Stained Glass Art, Woodwork, Photographs, Soaps and much more...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Leap Forward For Intra-Neighborhood Communication

Part of what makes Durham a great place to live is its strong neighborhoods, whose residents epitomize so many of Durham's brand values.  Durham residents are caring, activist in nature, passionate about where they live, unpretentious, and community-spirited.

DCVB has always had an interest in neighborhood communications because residents make Durham such an inviting place for visitors; they are the ones on the street helping people locate landmarks, giving people directions, or just offering smiles, nods and cheery good mornings.  With about 80% of executives who are looking to relocate their businesses also experiencing Durham first as a visitor, the neighborhood experience is one of high importance.  

This blog, written by Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau President Emeritus and Durham blogger Reyn Bowman, showcases a new intra-neighborhood communication tool.  The entrepreneur (another one of Durham's brand values) who created it was a former owner of one of Durham's celebrated cuisine restaurants (Guglhupf).  He made contact with DCVB to get assistance weaving Durham's overarching brand into the new site.  Take a look and see if your neighborhood has its website set up.  If not, submit it!

Leap Forward For Intra-Neighborhood Communication
Bull City Mutterings
Reyn Bowman
Durham entrepreneur Hartmut Jahn has created the next generation in neighbor-to-neighbor or intra-neighborhood communication. Years ago Durham neighborhoods jumped on listservs as a way to communicate but now Neighborship takes listservs to a new level.
The new platform offers everything a listserv does and so much more including:Rockwood Neighborhood Website
  • A website for each participating neighborhood
  • The option of a personal inbox and a method of sending emails for each participant
  • A chat option in addition to email or digests for quicker exchanges
  • A way to enlist and post recommendations for vendors and service providers
  • A means to communicate alerts or information to immediate neighbors rather than the entire neighborhood
  • The ability to get immediate notifications or digests of exchanges
  • A map of the area covered by each neighborhood etc.
For an example of a neighborhood page, I’ve put a snippet of my Rockwood Neighborhood page as an image in this blog. You should be able to click on it to enlarge. Other neighborhoods will be visible after registration.
To register to use Neighborship, click here. To request that your neighborhood be added to the drop-down, email
I haven’t heard back yet from the administrator for my Rockwood listserv but I know the emails can be pre-loaded to any neighborhood added to Neighborship to make the transition easier. Understandably, although ironically, some neighborhood that that were early-adopters of listservs may feel some reticence, even inertia when it comes to change.
That’s natural but the new platform is a great leap forward and Neighborship is rolling out to communities across the nation making it yet another reason to believe Durham is indeed where great things happen!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Planning for Durham County’s Future

Help us build a strategic plan. Your strategic plan.

With your input, Durham County Government has been moving ahead on its Strategic Planning Process. We’ve heard your voices in community surveys, discussions and interviews. You told us loud and clear what you want the County to focus on in the years to come.

Now we want to share with you the early stages of our Strategic Plan. Please come to one of our four community Town Hall forums in November to learn more about where we have been in this process and where we are heading. Come offer your suggestions on how we can make things even better.

This is YOUR plan. Help us build a great plan for Durham County.

Strategic Plan Town Hall forums:

• Monday, Nov. 7 (NORTH FORUM): Northern High School auditorium 110 Tom Wilkinson Road – 7 p.m.  to 9 p.m.

• Thursday, Nov. 10 (DOWNTOWN FORUM): Durham Convention Center
301 W. Morgan Street – 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

• Thursday, Nov. 10 (SOUTH FORUM): Parkwood Elementary School gymnasium
5207 Revere Road – 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

• Monday, Nov. 21 (EAST FORUM): East Regional Library meeting room
211 Lick Creek Lane – 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.


Call Michael Davis at 560-0000 or email at

Friday, October 21, 2011

Celebrate National Food Day With Durham Farmers' Market

This Saturday, the Durham Farmers' Market will celebrate the first ever National Food Day which is coming up on October 24th. Food Day was conceived and is sponsored by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The purpose of Food Day is to bring together people from all walks of life to push for healthy, affordable food the is produced in a sustainable and humane way. These principles are all in line with the spirit and mission of the Durham Farmers' Market.  So, in the spirit of Food Day, bring a friend with you to the Market this week.  Show them where you shop to buy fresh, healthy, locally grown food from the farmers who grow it.  To learn more about Food Day, visit   

The Durham Farmers' Market is a proud sponsor of the Bull City Coop Tour which is this Saturday, from 9:30-3:30. The event has been put together by Bull City Chickens; maps and information will be available in the blue tent on the Market's main lawn. To learn more about backyard chickens in Durham and healthy and sustainable eggs, check out these articles: Durham City Council votes to allow backyard chickens with in the city limits from the Independent Weekly and Gourmet's Egg Economics by Andrea Reusing

Fresh this Week
Fruit: Asian Persimmons, Asian Pears, Scuppernong Grapes 
Vegetables: Cauliflower, Broccoli, Kohlrabi, Asian Greens, Arugula, Beans, Longbeans, Beets, Butterbeans, Cherry Tomatoes, Collards,  Cucumbers,  Dandelion Greens, Eggplant, Garlic, Ginger, Gourds, Herbs,  Mustard Greens, Kale, Lambs Quarter,  Lettuce,  Okra, Onions, Green Peanuts, Pea Shoots, Peppers, Potatoes, Popcorn, Purple Hull Peas, Pumpkins, Salad Mix, Shiitake Mushrooms, Sweet Potatoes, Swiss Chard,  Summer Squash,   Tomatoes, Turnips,  Winter Squash, Zucchini
Flowers: Asiatic Lillies, Celosia, Dahlia, Gomphrena, Gladiolus, Lisianthus, Sunflowers, Tuber Rose, Zinnia
Meats: Beef, Bison, Chicken, Duck, Goat/Chevon, Lamb, Rabbit, Pork
And: Fall Vegetable Seedlings, Honey, Chicken and Duck Eggs, Flour, Yellow & White Cornmeal, Grits, Pecans, Wines, Fresh and Aged Goats and Cows Milk Cheeses, Baked Goods, Chocolates, Pasta, Beer, Wine, Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Preserves, Wool, Landscaping Plants
Crafts: Hand-dyed Clothes, Jewelery, Baskets, Pottery, Stained Glass Art, Woodwork, Photographs, Soaps and much more

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Home Grown, Home Made

One of the quickest ways to reach a Durhamite is with good food and drink shared with their community.  With that recipe, Home-Grown, Home-Made: A Celebration of Localism was conceived and is coming up on Thursday, October 27th.

The event is being produced by Durham Community Media, Durham's only local nonprofit community media center and public access TV station which provides its services through public financial support.

Hoped to become an annual event, attendees will enjoy tastes of local food, brew, wine and desserts and an evening of culinary and social celebration. Held at one of  Durham’s newest local breweries, Fullsteam Brewery, the event will bring  residents together to learn about the importance of localism.

The main goal of the event is to highlight local businesses and organizations that do good work and add to the charm and sustainability of Durham. “As we see it, local media and access to local information is just as important as having access to locally produced food and entertainment,” said Chad Johnston, Executive Director of Durham Community Media and The Peoples Channel. "We’re all interested in creating a healthy community.  This will be an evening where we can all come together and celebrate how unique and strong we are when we support one another.”

Home-Grown, Home-Made attendees will have a chance to sample local vendors while learning more about Durham Community Media. The Cookery, Kukia’s Cookies, Reliable Cheese, Vimalas's Curryblossom Cafe, Coon Rock Farm, and others will be at the event. Tickets are available online and at the door with all proceeds supporting the ongoing mission and operations of Durham Community Media. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Basketball...with Benefits

Duke Men’s Basketball and the Emily Krzyzewski Center in Durham will team up once again and allow basketball fans to get a rare glimpse inside Duke's four-time national championship program with proceeds benefiting the Emily K Center. It's a hoops lover's dream come true.

Ticket holders will have floor side seats in Cameron Indoor Stadium as Coach K leads the 2011-2012 Blue Devils in a preseason practice, while former team captain and 2001 national champion Nate James offers insights as the team goes through its paces. 

The practice is followed by a catered dinner in Scharf Hall with Coach K and the men’s basketball coaching staff.  To cap off the evening the coaches will answer questions and share basketball stories. 

Event proceeds benefit the Emily K Center, a non-profit organization in Durham serving academically-focused, low-income students in out-of-school programming designed to help them achieve in school, gain entry to college, and break the cycle of poverty in their families.  

The event takes place on Tuesday, November 8, at 5 p.m.  Tickets and additional information can be found here.

Monday, October 17, 2011

World Cask Ale Festival Returns to Trotter Building

Now in its the World Cask Ale Festival (WCAF) returns to the Trotter Building, October 22nd, 6:30 to 10:00.  One of the leading fundraisers for Durham Central Park (DCP), the WCAF gives beer lovers and DCP fans a chance to taste beer presented in a classic fashion with definitely unclassic flavors.  In addition to the twenty plus casks, festival attendees will get to enjoy food samples from eight of Durham’s favorite restaurants and watering holes.

“We started this years ago with the vision of creating one of the more distinctive cask ale events in the Southeast,” says Daniel Bradford, Publisher of All About Beer Magazine. “We partnered with DCP because the Park has become such an epicenter for that classic sense of community that also lies at the heart of English cask ale.”

The sign of a good English pub, cask ale is the traditional English method of preparing and serving ales.  Unfiltered, it still continues to evolve while in the cask.  Although this could lead to cloudiness in the ale, special attention is given to the presentation, going to great lengths to make sure the ale pours beautifully.

Furthermore, most cask ale is given an extra dosage of hops, through dry-hopping, which gives the ale an added spicy flavor.  Finally, through experienced cellarmanship techniques, the casks are presented with just the right balance of carbonation, producing a soft enjoyable flavor.

“Serving cask ales correctly is a labor of love and a work of art,” adds Bradford.  “At the WCAF we aspire to perfect presentation by putting the casks into stillage with enough time to drop bright and using a glycol system to maintain correct cellar temperatures.”

Durham Central Park is an exciting downtown destination that offers a venue for cultural activities and is part of a 24-hour, authentic, walkable neighborhood for arts, recreation, and locally-owned business.

Located adjacent to the DCP, 30-year old All About Beer Magazine educates the public about beer appreciation and beer quality, hosting the celebrated World Beer Festival in both Durham and Raleigh.

Participating restaurants include: Dos Perros, Pop’s, Back Door Pizza, Rue Clair, Bull McCabes, Tyler’s Taproom, Alivia’s, and the Federal.  Several food trucks have committed to showing up during the night.

Tickets can be purchased through eTix, who is waiving the ticket fee as an event sponsor.