Thursday, March 31, 2011

Another Four Diamond Property in Durham, NC

Durham's The King's Daughters Inn, awarded the Green Plus Sustainable Enterprise of the Year award in 2010, was just named a four diamond property by AAA. Stay tuned for more details as they become available.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's Official...Google's Going to Kansas

In an official announcement made this morning on their blog, Google reports they have inked a deal with the fine folks in Kansas City, Kansas for their ultra high-speed broadband network.

Nearly 1,100 communities put applications in, Durham being one of them, over a year ago to lure the world's most used search engine company to bring internet speeds 100 times greater than what most in the Durham enjoy to the home...every home.

"I always believed Durham to be a top contender in this race," said Sam Poley, Director of Marketing and Communications at the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau who led the application committee's community engagement efforts.  "I'm confident that Durham put its best foot forward on the application, and so did every other location.  The competition was stiff." 

So, hats off to Kansas City.  You won.  This time.  Now, wait until we get you on the basketball court.  This will NOT hold back Durham, the place where great things happen, though.  Stay never know what might be coming down the pike.

Just 96,240 Acres Remaining!

Durham blogger and President Emeritus of the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau shares his thoughts on the Durham Tree Alliance...

Just 96,240 Acres Remaining!
Bull City Mutterings
Reyn Bowman

Durham County lost just less than 2% of its tree canopy moving from 98,000 acres down to 96,240 acres in less than a decade.  About 51% of the County remains covered in hardwood and evergreen forests including nearly 40% of the City of Durham.

Continue reading this blog post...

Monday, March 28, 2011

Go Scvngr Hunting in Durham

Nope, that's not a typo up there in the's correct. Scvngr is a social gaming application for smartphones that is free to download and play. 

Social media is beginning to fill a variety of roles in society. Obviously, it is a great way to connect with others. It is also used to share information, opinions, and images. Scvngr is being used by destination marketing organizations to provide itineraries of things to do along with some fun ways to interact at those places. Think of things like looking for clues or facts, taking a picture of something, or even meeting a person at the location, and you'll be on target for what this application is all about. 

"We're really excited about the ways that this new tool can enhance the visitors' experience," said Sam Poley, Director of Marketing and Communications at the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau. "This gives us a great entree into the smartphone app arena that really provides great user service - the itineraries are going to be fun, informative, and engaging."

Poley further indicated that when the DCVB publishes its contributions to the application, a privilege for which the organization pays, the treks, as Scvngr calls them, will be fairly broad based and overview in nature. Future offerings will be more targeted to season, events, and even have the possibility to have some hyper-focused opportunities for conventions and meetings. He noted that use of the service for professional visitor meetings is on the rise.

There will ultimately be a way for local businesses to sponsor parts of this application, but Poley indicates that the offerings won't be ready until late summer. Local businesses will be alerted when opportunities come available.

"We expect to launch this in the second week of April," Poley said.  "We think it would be really great to have it live for Full Frame," he added referring to the documentary film festival that calls Durham home.

Durham’s Bull City Cruisers Walking Club Begins Tomorrow

Got walking shoes? Want something to do that will improve your health, can include your family, and provide an opportunity to make new friends? For Durham residents looking for an easy way to get heart healthy with neighbors and friends, then the debut of the Bull City Cruisers Walking Club is the place to make it happen.

On Tuesday, March 29, 2011, members will mark the official start of the Bull City Cruisers Walking Club at noon, with a walk beginning on the north side of the R. Kelly Bryant, Jr. Pedestrian Bridge between Sowell and Amber streets. From the bridge, the walk will follow the trail that leads to Alston Avenue then continue along Alston to E. Main Street, N. Goley Street, and Eastway Avenue ending at Long Meadow Park. Interested walkers should sign-up prior to the beginning of the walk at the R. Kelly Bryant, Jr. Pedestrian Bridge and be ready to leave promptly at noon.

At 6 p.m., two walks will also take place for anyone who is not able to participate in the noon walk. Both walks will start at the intersection of Eastway Avenue and Taylor Street, with sign-up beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the corner of Eastway Avenue and Taylor Street. Participants may then take the 1.9K route that leads to the R. Kelly Bryant, Jr. Pedestrian Bridge and back, or a shorter 1.2K walk from Taylor Street and Eastway Avenue to Driver Street, ending at the intersection of Driver Street and Angier Avenue and then returning along this route.

Water stations will be set up along both routes and free water bottles will be given to the first 10 participants who complete each of these routes. Gift bags also will be given to all signed-in participants. A self-check blood pressure station will also be available to participants in the lobby of the Holton Career and Resource Center, located at 401 N. Driver Street. The station is free and open to the public during the center’s normal operating hours.

Tuesday’s walking club launch is being coordinated by the City of Durham’s Neighborhood Improvement Services Department in partnership with community members who serve as team leaders on four committees of the Northeast Central Durham (NECD) Livability Initiative. The initiative is a sustainable communities project that encompasses community needs, availability of qualified resources, and a healthy living environment. It reflects the livability principles set forth by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the North Carolina Department of Transportation. The initiative is receiving resources from all three agencies and also includes City, County, and State government partners.

For additional information on this walking club or to volunteer to assist with the kick-off event tomorrow, contact Robin Dixon with the City’s Neighborhood Improvement Services Department, at (919) 560-1647, ext. 34245 or via e-mail at or Wanona Satcher, community leader with the NECD Livability Initiative, at (910) 528-0916.

Friday, March 25, 2011

REPOST: Factoid

No Surprise – Duke is the Nation’s Favorite Men’s College Basketball Team

Regardless of your looks like Duke wins - at least according to this poll:

Source: and Harris Interactive Click to enlarge.

Bull City Mutterings


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Two Durham Festivals Announce 2011 Lineups

Just announced! Two of the largest, nationally known festivals in Durham have announced their 2011 schedules!

This year’s Full Frame Documentary Film Festival will run from April 14-17 and will feature nine World Premieres, nine North American Premieres and seven US Premieres. Over all there will be 66 selections for the NEW DOCS program, 43 feature films and 23 shorts from all over the world.

Click here for a film schedule and film descriptions and visit their website for ticket and festival information.
Once Durham has caught its breath following the festivities of Full Frame, the American Dance Festival will take over Durham for six weeks in June and July.

“Something New, Something Treasured” is this theme for the 2011 American Dance Festival and the performances, to span from June 9 – July 23, have been announced. Mark your calendars to take part in this very treasured Durham festival.

For additional information about the 2011 American Dance Festival, ADF community programs, performing companies/choreographers, and to purchase tickets (starting May 9), visit their website.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dine out for Kids Durham TODAY

Wear red and dine out at one of the 23 participating restaurants who are graciously donating a portion of their day's sales to benefit CIS of Durham! Simply by treating yourself to a good meal and wearing red, you will help empower at-risk youth to succeed in school and in life.

Mark your calendars! Make lunch dates with co-workers! Or make it a fun family night! Come out and show your community support!

“This meal can help make a difference for some of Durham’s most vulnerable students,” said Bud Lavery, Executive Director of CIS of Durham. “We’d like to see everyone go out and have dinner – and dessert – on March 22nd to help out kids.”

Wedding Bells Sounded Like "ChaChing!" for Local Charities

Aside from being an occasion to show community pride, Saturday's Marry Durham event was also a fund raiser - and raise funds it did. The event asked attendees to make minimum donations of $5 per person; however, larger "wedding packages" could be purchased for those who would/could donate more. The packages included things like logo cow bells, wedding certificates, and t shirts, too.

Five Durham non-profit organizations are the recipients of the funds, and the hope was to raise $12,000. That goal was missed, missed because it was exceeded by over $13,000...missed because it was shattered by the generosity of those in attendance which was estimated at 2,500 people. The opportunity to give has not passed--donations are still coming in--so the total is likely to continue to rise.

This event smacks of Durham as a place. Often lauded for being open, accepting, and entrepreneurial, Saturday's gathering of citizenry to appreciate one another and the community they create is precisely the type of thing that makes Durham so, well, Durham. 

"The event was produced completely by a local group," said Shelly Green, President and CEO of the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau. "That sort of organic outpouring of community engagement is one of the many things that make Durham such a great place to be."

"The Royal Couple (William and Kate, ya know, THE Royal Couple) have asked that all their wedding gifts be donated - they might have been following the example we set here in Durham. In Durham, when we combine good deeds and good times, people will give," said Katherine O'Brien, one of the event's "wedding" planners. "The event was about many things, but one that we can all look back on with pride is the generosity of the folks that make this place great," she added.

See images of the event herehere, and here.

Businesses and Visitors Win With Durham Deals - OP/ED

This is an opinion/editorial from the desk of Shelly Green, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau.

As Durham's official marketing agency, the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau is charged with making available to visitors all manner of information about Durham from the basic to the intricate.  That information is presented in a variety of formats and contexts, but the ultimate goal is to make sure Durham is on the list for consideration as people look for places to visit, and once here, that they have access to a wealth of information with which they can make good buying decisions.

Destination marketing organizations (DMOs) like DCVB are in the economic development business, although rather than building things so people will come, DMOs get people to come--and spend money--so eventually, more things will need to be built.

In an effort to encourage local spending by visitors and local residents alike, DCVB launched the website last year.  The site is a free service for all Durham businesses to post special offers for consumers.  It is a simple tool to use.  Specials can be posted by dates available or made visible only during select dates in the future, so the convenience to local business owners is immeasurable. 

The entire tool is run through the My Durham Info portal that DCVB launched five years ago.   There are only a handful of portals like it nationally empowering local stakeholders a level of proaction in marketing their businesses within the visitation and tourism sectors.

More than 95 deals have been posted since its inception, but there is tremendous potential for additional businesses to participate.  Those Durham businesses wanting more information can click here to enquire. is the result of much work, and the end product is powerful, useful and valuable to the community.  It is not quite at full utilization as of yet, so if you are a seller, do take a look and post an offer.  If you are a buyer...let's go shopping!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Companies Selected for Bull City Startup Stampede

The Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that 11 companies have been selected for the Bull City Startup Stampede to be held in downtown Durham April 1 through May 31.

The Bull City Startup Stampede is an initiative of the Chamber, Downtown Durham, Inc., and their economic development partners that is geared toward attracting and scaling more startup companies in downtown Durham. The Stampede offers 60 days of completely furnished, free space at 201 W. Main St., a Self-Help building. Participating companies will have access to technical assistance from startup experts as well as opportunities to network with founders of successful Durham startups. In total, 78 applications were received for the Stampede.

“We were overwhelmed and thrilled by the response to the Stampede,” said Adam Klein, the Chamber’s Director of Strategic Initiatives. “The applications were wide-ranging and inspiring. It made the selection process difficult, but we are thrilled to bring these 11 startup companies and 30 employees downtown.”

The companies that were not selected for the Stampede have already been connected to the many business resources available in Durham such as Bull City Forward, N.C. Institute for Minority Economic Development, Durham Technical Community College Small Business Center, CED, LaunchBox Digital, Joystick Labs and the Small Business and Technical Development Center.

“We want to make sure all the companies that showed interest in the Stampede are engaged in Durham and the business opportunities here,” Klein said. “We have a wealth of resources and partners who can help these companies start and grow in Durham.”

About the Bull City Startup Stampede participants:

AcuMedSoft – revolutionizing healthcare delivery with secure cloud based web applications.

Appuware – provides a cloud-based suite of tools and services that enable mobile publishers to offer trial and subscription based pricing within various app marketplaces.

Blink Coupons - customer loyalty cards for small businesses. Blink aims to become the Google of the collegiate market and their ultimate goal is to make the collegiate experience more enjoyable for college students, professors and advertisers, alike.

Bound Custom Journals - delivers uniquely customizable journals for travel, sketching, writing, planning, anything--because only you can create the perfect journal.

Clinical Ambassador – a cultural attaché that connects science and minority communities to advanced medical discovery and reduces disparities through cultural competence, research literacy, outreach strategy, community-driven, creative marketing and patient recruitment in clinical trials.

Finger Puppet Games, Inc. - develops 3D games with cutting-edge technology that are social, tactile, and collectible; built for mobile devices and monetized through microtransactions.

Fitsistant - a service of on-call physical training coaches & scheduling assistants combined with personally tailored fitness software.

Haiti Hub - a for-profit social enterprise dedicated to providing the highest quality Haitian Creole e-language learning solutions to native English speakers invested in Haiti’s future.

LearnVC – (operated by LearnVC) simplifies raising capital by modeling investment scenarios to educate entrepreneurs and collaborate with potential investors.

Little Green Software - develops apps for smart devices including smartphones, tablets, game systems, and the web.

Rippple – an online platform that empowers communities to support entrepreneurs in building successful businesses.

Tourism Sector Representatives Stunned By New Proposed Statewide Billboard Threat!

Durham blogger and President Emeritus of the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau shares his thoughts on the proposed statewide billboard legislation...

Tourism Sector Representatives Stunned By New Proposed Statewide Billboard Threat! Bull City Mutterings
Reyn Bowman

There were a lot of stunned looks on the faces of representatives of North Carolina’s $17 billion tourism sector, meeting last week in Asheville at the Governor’s Conference, when news circulated that a car dealer from Jacksonville was justifying legislation filed on behalf of the Outdoor Billboard industry as “business-friendly.”

Fueling outrage across the state is the risk that the bill signals to the scenic beauty, historical and cultural features central to tourism as the state’s second or third largest economic sector and relied upon now by 40,000 Tar Heel businesses.

Continue reading this blog post...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Image Bank Bursting with Great Photos

In all things, there is beauty...and that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Trite perhaps, but nonetheless true. There are many people who find great beauty in Durham, NC. Be it an interest in architechture, diversity, nature, or a host of other things, Durham has something to offer. For so many, enjoyment of these things throughout the day can be challenging. So, now there is a solution.

Photo by Chris Barron 
Download it at: is a website filled with images of Durham that are there for citizens and media to download, and they are completely free*.  So, as Durham's citizenry begins to see the seasons unfold outside, they can do so similarly inside on their computers, as well.

"The Image Bank was developed several years ago as a forward-thinking service to media," said Sam Poley, Director of Marketing and Communications at the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau who manages the resource. "We are now informing fans of Durham about it because there is an increasing groundswell of support and coverage of Durham.  The images on this site are there for folks to have easy access to a way to enjoy the place they live (or are fond of) in a more immediate manner. Many are using these images as desktops on their computers," he added.

Images in the bank were generated by DCVB as well as photographers in the area who have willingly contributed them for use. Currently there are several hundred images from which to choose. There are thousands more slated for addition in the coming months and years. "We're fortunate to have more content than we can handle at the moment," Poley said.

*Note that these images cannot be used for commercial gain, as stated in the terms of use.

Durham Farmers' Market Newsletter

Durham has one of the most popular farmers’ markets in the country. The popularity of the Durham Farmers' Market shows the importance of local agriculture to Durham as chefs and residents alike shop the market each week.

Durham Farmers’ Market produces a weekly newsletter with information about the market, market vendors, and recipes. Each week the newsletter will be posted on the Durham News Service but you can also have it delivered to your inbox by signing up.

Tweets Show North Carolina’s Civil War Home Front, 140 Characters at a Time

Over the next four years, North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources historian LeRae Umfleet will use new technology to tell an old story. Through a Twitter account she is tweeting the words of North Carolina civilians who witnessed the triumphs and tragedies of the war. An accompanying blog will contain the full citation for each Twitter message.

"This is of particular interest given Durham's broad involvement in so many pivotal areas of the war," said Shelly Green, President and CEO of the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau.  "Visitation by Civil War enthusiasts has always been steady in Durham.  The largest troop surrender of the war--which essentially ended the war--took place here at Bennett Place, so Durham figures large in this ongoing remembrance and anniversary," she added.

“This is a great tool to understand the impact of war in their words, not ours,” said Umfleet, who is the Collections Management Chief for Cultural Resources. “We hope that students, history buffs and cultural travelers will sign up for the tweets and the blog as the stories unfold.”

A tweet from the first week of the project, “I fear there will be civil war,” comes from the diary of Mary Jeffreys Bethell, which is part of the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The corresponding “CivilianWartime” blog entry helps put the tweet in context:

March 11, 1861
“I have just received a letter from my daughter Mrs. Williamson in Ark, says they are all tolerable well, she wrote a very cheerful letter it done me good. Mr. Bethell wrote that he would be at home in a few days, he left here the 5th. of Feb. I have just seen the President’s message, Mr. Lincoln, I think he intends to coerce those seceding States. I fear there will be civil war, and our happy and peaceful Country laid in desolation and ruins, every Christian should unite in fervent prayer to God, in behalf of our Country.”
The Twitter account and blog are extensions of the work of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources to observe the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. For more information about the sesquicentennial commemoration, visit  For more information about Durham's role in the Civil Ward visit

The Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau will be working with Bennett Place and other Civil War-related features in Durham as well as the NC Departments of Cultural Resources and Tourism to commemorate the sesquicentennial.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bull City Burger and Brewery Opening Willy Wonka?

Durham is soon to welcome it's third brewery, and another farm to table restaurant - just not yet. 

Originally scheduled to open on Monday, March 21st, Bull City Burger and Brewery has had to delay the opening due to "Wangdoodles, Hornswogglers, Snozzwangers and rotten Vermicious Knids," according to a statement on the restaurant's social media. The new date is set for Friday, March 25th.  Owner Seth Gross has weaved language from the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory through out the businesses materials, obviously again going to that well for this release again.  Gross is something of a kid at heart.

Really, the delay is a permitting matter regarding some lighting issues according to owner Gross.  "On the positive side, this gives a little more time for preparation when we do open," he said in an interview on Thursday.

The brewery will begin brewing beer upon its opening and therefore will not have its own product available on tap when the doors open.  "We'll open with NC beers to support our brothers and sisters while we brew our own," Gross added.

To generate buzz about the restaurant, Gross launched a contest to get the word out about the opening by hiding five brass bulls around Durham and then releasing clues as to their locations on the company's social media.  "That seemed to be very successful - we started that process with about 100 fans on Facebook and now we have lots more," Gross added.  A check of their Facebook page at this writing showed 905 fans.  The contest also generated its own hashtag on twitter, #goldenbull, which will likely get continued use as the contest will be revisited in the future with additional opportunities to win.  Gross was cagey about providing more details on that.  However, given the clever way information about this venture has been distributed so far, the contest will likely get plenty of attention when it is restarted.

Upon BCBB's opening, Durham will have three breweries.  Fullsteam opened last August and Triangle Brewing Company has been brewing in Durham since July 4, 2007.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Durham “BULLDOG” Wins 2011 Clash of the Concessions Contest

The Durham Bulls in conjunction with Centerplate today announced the Durham Bulldog is the winner of the 2011 Clash of the Concessions Contest. The entry, submitted by Felice Bogus of Raleigh, is a Bright Leaf all-beef hot dog wrapped in bacon and cheese and blanketed in soft pretzel dough. It was chosen from over 125 submissions as this year’s winner.

“I always felt there should be something called the Bull Dog,” Bogus said upon hearing she had won, “It needed to be all beef, bacon makes everything taste better, and a pretzel is perfect ballpark food that keeps it all together so it isn’t too messy at a ballgame.”

A team of Bulls officials whittled down the original 125 submissions to 12 semifinalists. Those 12 were then voted on by fans on the Bulls’ Facebook page to determine three finalists. The three finalists were created and sampled by several hundred people at the team’s annual Fanfest who then submitted their vote for a winner.

“It was a pretty thorough process,” Durham Bulls General Manager Mike Birling said, “We were impressed with all the interesting submissions. I’m looking forward to eating my first Bulldog on Opening Night.”

For submitting the winning entry, Bogus receives a season’s worth of complimentary Bulldogs at the ballpark in 2011. The Bulls open the season on Thursday, April 14th at 7:05 PM.

Duke to Host Celebration for Late Author and English Professor Reynolds Price

Duke University will host “A Long and Happy Life: A Celebration for Reynolds Price,” at 2 p.m. May 19 in Duke Chapel. The event honoring the acclaimed author and longtime Duke English professor is open to the public.

A celebrated writer of fiction, poetry, memoirs, essays and plays, Price died Jan. 20 at age 77 after more than 50 years as a member of the Duke faculty.

“For half a century, Duke University was fortunate to have Reynolds Price in our midst to teach, inspire and challenge us,” said Duke President Richard H. Brodhead. “We are honored to celebrate his life, and we invite the community to share in our remembrance of our beloved teacher, colleague and friend.”

The celebration will consist of readings, performances and reminiscences by colleagues, former students and friends of long standing. A reception will follow in von der Heyden Pavilion in Perkins Library.

Also, an exhibit featuring manuscripts, photographs, letters and rare books from the Reynolds Price papers will be on display in the Mary Duke Biddle Rare Book Room in Perkins Library from 1-5 p.m.

“Reynolds combined his love for Duke and its students with a sharply honed sense of the values to which we need to aspire and our sometimes failings in reaching them,” Provost Peter Lange said. “Whether teaching his beloved students or speaking to us as colleagues, he always raised our sights and lifted our spirits with a resonant tone, striking eloquence and great, generous good humor.”

Visitors may park in the Bryan Center parking garage off Science Drive on Duke’s West Campus. In addition, parking will be available in lots along Duke University Road near Chapel Drive. People with accessibility needs may be dropped off at the chapel, but their drivers must park in general parking. Traffic is expected to be heavy because of multiple events on campus that day.

For those unable to attend, Duke will provide a live webcast of the event at
For more information and updates, visit

Durham documentary filmmaker Wil Weldon is a former student of Price's.  He produced a feature film on his former professor and friend called Pass It On.  It is now in festivals.  Price saw the film upon its completion and said that it was "exquisite and makes me proud."

Reynolds Price was a native of Macon, N.C. and graduated summa cum laude from Duke in 1955, where he studied creative writing under influential professor William Blackburn, whose other Duke students included noted authors William Styron '47 and Anne Tyler '61. Tyler was also Price’s student. He was a Rhodes Scholar and studied in Oxford, England. He returned to the United States and, in 1958, took a three-year teaching appointment at Duke that turned into 50 years. At the time of his death, he was the James B. Duke Professor of English. In 1962, his novel “A Long and Happy Life” received the William Faulkner Award for a notable first novel. Price published numerous books after that, including the novel “Kate Vaiden,” “Letter to a Godchild,” and his third volume of memoir, “Ardent Spirits: Leaving Home, Coming Back,” which was published in the spring of 2009. Per his wishes, there was no funeral or memorial service.

Durham’s Lakes Open for the Season this Week

On Thursday, March 17, Lake Michie and Little River Lake will officially open for the season on the following schedule:

• March 17 - May 29 (open four days per week)
Thursday - Sunday, 6:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Open Monday, April 25 and May 30
• June 3 - August 28 (open three days per week)

Friday - Sunday, 6:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Open Monday, July 4
• September 2 - November 13 (open three days per week)

Friday – Sunday, 6:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Open Monday, September 5
Lake Michie offers some of the finest large mouth bass fishing in the Piedmont. Participants may rent a city boat or launch their own boat for a relaxing day of fishing. For more information call (919) 477-3906.

Little River Lake includes boating and fishing facilities and offers bank fishing as well as electric motor and rowboat rentals. The facility is located at the intersection of Orange Factory Road and Blalock Road in Northern Durham County. For more information call (919) 477-7889.

Special Note: Little River is a primary water supply for the City of Durham. For this reason, Durham Parks and Recreation may limit and/or control recreational activities at the lake. Privately owned boats and motors are not permitted on the lake.

For more information and rates, call (919) 471-1623 or the lake boathouse (919) 477-7889.

Durham Parks and Recreation provides opportunities for the Durham community to “Play More.” The department strives to help citizens discover, explore and enjoy life through creative and challenging recreational choices that contribute to their physical, emotional and social health. For more information call (919) 560-4355 or visit

Confirmed - Dillard's BBQ, Durham Stronghold, Closing Friday

The Durham News Service has confirmed in an interview with Wilma Dillard that Friday is the last day of business for Dillard's BBQ.  When asked why, now, after decades of success, the restaurant was closing, she offered only two words, "the economy."

The restaurant opened in 1953 at their current location on Fayetteville Road and has served countless patrons meals of Southern fare in the 58 years the restaurant operated.

Ms. Dillard, a former school teacher, took over managing the restaurant in 1997 after her father's passing.  Samuel Dillard operated the restaurant until that time.

The family plans to restructure, reorganize and watch the economy. 

Dillard is a well-known to be a woman of strong faith and appreciation, two traits that shine through even now as she faces a very challenging turn of events.  "We just want people to know how much we appreciate them - their years and years of support.  We could not have made this far without their good will," she said.  "We provided a service for them and they provided us the opportunity serve them and to be a blessing.  We made friends.  This business has always been about people," she added.

The restaurant is Durham's second oldest BBQ operation bested only Bullock's, which began operations in 1952. 

Bullish on St. Paddy's Day Celebrations

There are no rivers to dye green but Durham knows how to put on a party so there are several options for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow, Thursday, March 17. Named after Saint Patrick, the most commonly recognized of the patron saints of Ireland, this religious holiday has gradually become more of a secular celebration of Irish culture. So choose your celebration, wear green, and enjoy the luck of the Irish.

Durham's Irish pubs, James Joyce and Bull McCabe's, are great places to start but there are other options as well.

Dain’s Place: Live music starting at 2 pm, going till midnight.

Casbah: Local bands covering Irish rock bands all night

The Federal: Ain’t Paddy’s Day celebration with southern food and music

Nasher Café: Irish-themed dinner with St. Patrick’s Day party favors

West 94th Pub: St. Patty’s Day Party – all day

Even Locopops is getting in on the celebratory action with a special popsicle for the occassion...made with stout beer and chocolate.

Food blog Carpe Durham contributed to this list and is a blog worth following for those interested in Durham's food scene.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Duke's Graduate and Professional Schools Highly Rated in Latest U.S. News Rankings

Duke University’s graduate and professional schools continue to rank among the top institutions in their disciplines, according to the latest rankings from U.S. News & World Report.

Duke’s medical school tied for fifth for research, up from a tie for sixth last year; the nursing school tied for seventh, its highest ranking ever; the law school remained 11th; and the Fuqua School of Business rose two places to 12th.

For the second consecutive year, the Pratt School of Engineering rose two places in the rankings, to end up in a tie for 31st.

Medical school deans and faculty selected the best medical specialty programs, and Duke was recognized in geriatrics (fourth), internal medicine (fourth), women’s health (fifth), AIDS (eighth) and family medicine (10th). It tied for 41st in primary care.

Under health disciplines, Duke’s physician assistant program was rated first. The School of Nursing’s pediatric nurse practitioner program was rated fifth, its adult nurse practitioner and gerontological nurse practitioner programs were each ranked 10th, and its nursing-anesthesia program was tied for 11th.

Within the business school ratings, Duke was ranked third in marketing, fourth for executive MBA program, fourth in international (up from a tie for sixth last year), ninth in management and 12th in finance.

Within engineering, Duke ranked fourth for biomedical and bioengineering, 21st for environment/environmental health, 24th for mechanical engineering, 28th for computer engineering and 31st for electrical/electronic communications.

In a new category, U.S. News asked the people who do the hiring at the nation’s top law firms to rate the academic quality of each law school, and Duke finished in a tie for eighth. Within the law school rankings, Duke was rated 11th for intellectual property law.

In addition, the magazine republished older rankings for numerous other doctoral programs and health fields, including the social sciences and humanities.

According to U.S. News, the magazine’s methodology is based on two types of data: “expert opinion about program excellence and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school’s faculty, research, and students.” The magazine said its data came from surveys of “more than 1,200 programs and some 13,000 academics and professionals, conducted during the fall of 2010 and early 2011.”

Monday, March 14, 2011

Marry Durham on Saturday

Brides and grooms across the Bull City have less than a week to work through those pre-wedding day jitters. On Saturday all – including brides, grooms, guests and yes even wedding crashers – are invited to gather on the 700 block of Rigsbee Avenue, between Corporation and Geer streets, to witness or participate in what appears to be the first mass wedding ceremony between residents and a city.

Gates open at 3 p.m. for the 4 p.m. wedding ceremony, which will include Mayor Bill Bell and other elected leaders, NPR’s Frank Stasio, Wool E. Bull and music by Justin Robinson and the Bulltown Strutters. “Preacha’ Man” Carl Kenney will officiate.

Marry Durham Wedding Planner May Alexander, MAYDNEW dj and event planning, said attendees should expect a homegrown wedding that will be both unique and traditional.

“They can expect a joyous celebration of civic pride,” Alexander said.
Marry Durham is a light-hearted event intended to celebrate all things Durham, including its unique history, its diverse and creative community, and its community’s unrelenting passion to improve via innovative and grass roots initiatives. The ceremony’s vows promote citizen engagement, shopping locally, electing responsible leaders, and supporting arts and community organizations.

The event also seeks to support five nonprofit organizations that help make Durham a better place to live: Eno River Association, Genesis Home, Latino Community Development Center, The Scrap Exchange, and Walltown Children’s Theatre.

Sponsors include Vaguely Reminiscent, Reverbnation, MAYDNEW dj and event planning, and GR8MUSICROX.

A parade around the block will follow the ceremony. From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. a block party-style reception will unfold on Rigsbee Avenue with live music in four venues, a Kids’ Zone, food trucks and special wedding cupcakes. The reception entertainment includes performances by The Beast, the African Dance Ensemble, Triple Fret, Jumbalaya Soul, and Justin Robinson & the Mary Annettes. Robinson was a member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, which recently won a Grammy Award for best traditional folk album.

“I have been all around the world but I still choose to call Durham home,” said Robinson, a Durham resident who is building a chicken coop in his yard.

Walltown Children’s Theatre will hold hip hop lessons in the Kids Zone, which will be followed by performances by a variety of community groups. Corn and the Colonels plan to lead a “roots jam” at Fullsteam Brewery. Band member Aaron Greenhood encouraged residents to bring their instruments and participate.

“It’s more than a performance. It is a happening. We are bringing people together to celebrate and make joyful sounds,” Greenhood said. “We have been inviting all of our acquaintances to bring their instruments. We are just going to have a get down. … I would love to have anybody come and play whatever they want.”

Seven Stars Cycles will be on Geer Street next to Motorco Music Hall to provide a free valet service for bike riders. Adrian Fletcher, who is working to open Seven Stars Cycles in the downtown area, said he hopes the bike shop’s service will encourage people to ride their bike to the event.

“We will give them a ticket that identifies their bike,” then we will wheel it to a secure area, Fletcher said. “I just saw an opportunity with this event to remove the concern that someone is going to mess with their bike as an excuse to not ride down there.”

Need more information? Want to volunteer, or buy a wedding package? Go to

Friday, March 11, 2011

The State of Durham's Economy 2011

It’s not too late for those interested in an update on Durham’s economic performance to purchase tickets to attend the presentation-only portion of the 2011 State of Durham’s Economy Breakfast.

This annual event shares news about the progress made in 2010 to strengthen Durham’s economic performance amidst the economic downturn. Issues such as employment, tax-base growth, high-growth industry activity, retail sales, commercial real estate markets, and wages will be discussed.

This year’s event will also feature a panel discussion with representatives from companies and organizations who will share their perspectives on Durham’s global marketplace and how businesses, students, and residents can prepare themselves to be globally competitive in 2011 and beyond.

To register for the presentation-only portion of the event beginning Tuesday, March 15, visit Presentation-only online registration will close Friday, March 25.

On-site ticket purchases for the presentation-only portion of the event will also be available in the lobby of the Durham Performing Arts Center on March 29 beginning at 7:45 a.m. at $25 per ticket. Checks will be the only method of payment accepted for on-site, presentation-only ticket purchases.

Durham Farmers' Market Newsletter

Durham has one of the most popular farmers’ markets in the country. The popularity of the Durham Farmers' Market shows the importance of local agriculture to Durham as chefs and residents alike shop the market each week.

Durham Farmers’ Market produces a weekly newsletter with information about the market, market vendors, and recipes. Each week the newsletter will be posted on the Durham News Service but you can also have it delivered to your inbox by signing up.

Winning Tradition in March

March Madness in Durham is synonymous with winning. For example, the sixth ranked Duke Women’s Basketball team just won their second straight ACC regular season title and their second straight ACC Tournament championship. Given these recent victories, they expect a high seed in the upcoming NCAA Division I Women's Tournament.

Continuing the winning tradition, the men’s basketball program at Duke is looking to defend their ACC Tournament title this weekend during the men's ACC Tournament in Greensboro. Duke won the last two tiles – in 2009 and 2010 – which vaulted them past North Carolina for the most titles in ACC history. The Blue Devils now have 18 league championships, one more than the Tar Heels.

The defending NCAA Division I Champions are currently ranked fifth in the country and expect a high seed in the upcoming NCAA Division I Men’s Tournament. If the past is any indication, the men will make it deep into the tournament. During the 12 years in which the Devils have won nine ACC titles and gone 30-3 in ACC Tournament play, the Devils have won two national titles, played in four Final Fours and 10 Sweet 16s. Not a bad record in March.

Duke plays Maryland tonight at 7pm in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament. Their play through the weekend will determine their seed which will be assigned during the selection show on Sunday, March 13 at 6pm. The women will receive their seeding during the selection show on Monday, March 14 at 7pm.

It’s not just the Duke teams taking part in tournament play this year. The N.C. Central men’s basketball team will play its final basketball game of the season as a guest at the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament on Saturday. The Eagles transition to the MEAC will be complete with full membership next year, at which time their games in the tournament will count.

If you are itching to see March Madness basketball in person you’re in luck because for the second straight year, Duke will host first and second round action of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament. Games will be played March 19 at 11:00am and 1:30pm and March 21 at 7pm at Cameron Indoor Stadium. To purchase tickets, stop by the Duke Athletics Ticket Office, call 919-681-BLUE, or visit

Performance Summer Camp for Youth

The Oscars have come and gone, but Durham’s young people can hone their acting skills at the Durham Family Theatre Summer Performance Camps. Each 3-week camp session is designed to enhance participants’ skill at acting, directing, costume design, set creation, and theatre sound and lighting.

But, more importantly every participant is guaranteed to play a part, have a great time, and come away enriched with new friends. At the end of each session, the student play will be shown to the public for two performances. Visit the Durham Family Theatre website for more information.

There are many other interesting summer camp options in Durham.  For a glimpse at a few of the other options, check out Durham Parks and Recreation, Piedmont Wildlife Center, Elodie Farms, and the soon to be completed Levin Jewish Community Center which accepts children from all faith environments.

The Time is Now - Annual Tribute Luncheon Almost Sold Out

Good things come to those who…act now! The African American Dance Ensemble, the American Dance Festival and the Bull Durham Blues Festival have all enhanced Durham’s reputation as a center for the arts; now it’s your chance to celebrate them for all they’ve done.

Tickets for this year’s Annual Tribute Luncheon, Great Rhythm Great Blues, to be held on April 27th at American Tobacco’s Bay 7, are going fast! Order now, before they are sold out, and and join Durham in honoring these organizations that are an important piece of the tapestry that comprises Durham’s unique sense of place.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Spring into Action

Daylight saving time starts this Sunday and that means one thing, it’s time to spring forward in the Bull City. As daylight expands and the weather gets warmer, make your way to the Pavilion at Durham Central Park to visit the Durham Farmers’ Market, an all local, producer-only market.

Durham Farmers’ Market has 64 vendors that are all located within 70 miles guaranteeing fresh goods. Currently the farmers’ market is open from 10am until noon, but starting in April the market will open at 8am.

This year, to compliment the farmers’ market, Vega Metals is starting an art market at 214 Hunt Street in the Central Park District of Downtown. The Art Market at Vega Metals will feature all kinds of local art including: jewelry, woodwork, metalwork, paintings, home goods, fabric arts, pottery and apparel.

Although the art market will be open every Saturday in March and on April 2, it will celebrate its grand opening on April 16 following a week off due to the Durham Art Walk. Artists interested in participating can visit their website for more information and to learn how to apply.

Speaking of Durham Art Walk, this twice annual art event showcases the work of over 200 artists at sites all over downtown Durham. The Durham Art Walk features visual and performing artists in both traditional and unexpected sites throughout downtown Durham. All sites are within easy walking distance around downtown but walkers are encouraged to take advantage of the Bull City Connector.

So, this spring get out and take advantage of all the creativity Durham has to offer at these three events.

Beyond the Deadlines

The Durham Arts Council (DAC) and the Independent Weekly present Beyond the Deadlines: Independent Weekly photography by D.L. Anderson and Jeremy M. Lange, March 18-May 15, 2011 in the Allenton and Semans Galleries of the Durham Arts Council.

Anderson and Lange, staff photographers for the Independent Weekly, present photographs that go beyond the assignment to offer a deeper view of the region. Anderson has worked for many clients including MERGE Records and The Wall Street Journal and specializes in editorial and portrait photography as well as video and multimedia productions. Publications such as The New York Times and Rolling Stone have featured Lange’s work, which includes portrait and editorial photography.

The artists’ reception on March 18th from 5-7 PM is part of downtown Durham’s Third Friday gallery tour and will feature food, music and an opportunity for the public to view the exhibit and meet the artists. The exhibit and the reception are co-sponsored by the DAC and the Independent Weekly and are part of the DAC’s year-round exhibits program. An artists’ talk will take place in the gallery at 6:30 PM and Heplicity, a jazz duo composed of James Wallace and Jeff Crawford, will be performing live from 5:30-7 PM.

Anderson and Lange are producing a limited edition, signed catalogue for sale with an introductory essay by Tom Rankin, director of the Center for Documentary Studies. Rankin praises the artists’ work stating that, “they look and work to find an angle, a human dimension that engages, reveals and brings us meaning through their imagery, showing us the day-to-day where mere words would be insufficient.” Sherry Devries, Director of the DAC, agrees saying, “These two photographers are incredibly talented and this exhibit as a whole is exciting for the DAC because it features images of people and events in our own regional community and highlights photojournalism as a medium.”

The artist’s reception is free and open to the public and will be held at the DAC’s historic downtown building at 120 Morris Street, Durham, NC, 27701. For more details visit the DAC Facebook page at, visit our website at, phone (919)560-ARTS or contact Barclay McConnell, DAC Artist Services Manager at The exhibits are open to the public during DAC building hours: 9 AM-9 PM Monday-Saturday, 1-6 PM Sunday.

Nasher Museum Celebrates Five Years

In celebration of its fifth anniversary, the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University presents an exhibition of the museum’s most important contemporary works acquired since 2005, with an emphasis on global, emerging artists of color.

“Building the Contemporary Collection” features work by more than 40 artists, including Barkley L. Hendricks, Christian Marclay, Hank Willis Thomas, Mickalene Thomas, Kara Walker, Kehinde Wiley and Fred Wilson, among others. The exhibition includes painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, video and installation. It is on view March 10 through Aug. 14.

In some cases, the works reflect relationships the Nasher Museum has built with artists through exhibitions. Most of the artists are living, and many have achieved global reputations or gone on to greater recognition.

“These are exciting works by some of today’s most significant artists,” said Trevor Schoonmaker, Patsy R. and Raymond D. Nasher Curator of Contemporary Art, who organized the exhibition. “The exhibition also reflects our interest in and commitment to the art and culture of the African diaspora.”

“Building the Contemporary Collection” will be complemented by programs at the Nasher Museum, including free Family Day events, a gallery talk, teacher workshops and other programs. These include an opening event on March 16 with artists Barkley L. Hendricks and Mickalene Thomas and art collector Jason Rubell, a 1991 Duke graduate, and an artist talk on March 23 with Carolee Schneemann.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Peter's Pajama Party

At first glance, it doesn't seem to all fit, then it becomes clear that this is a pajama a bookstore. There are quilts and pillows...and kids in pajamas, a dude with a guitar in pajamas, robe, and a stocking cap, and socked feet. He's reading, playing and singing...and the kids are in various states from enthralled to out-of-control giddy. It's quite a scene - it's also a heck of a way to kick off a weekend with a toddler as these hootenannies occur on Friday nights.

Enter Peter Holsapple. For those initiated in the ways of independent rock, the name is like a two by four upside the head. Peter Holsapple...REALLY!?!  Yeah, the same one that formed The dB's and played with little bitty acts like R.E.M. and worked with legends like Mitch Easter...THAT Peter Holsapple.  Enter Peter his pajamas - no joke.

The aforementioned scene takes place at The Regulator Bookshop on Ninth Street in Durham, downstairs where there is a coffee shop area during the day, as well as books for sale and an open space used for readings. That would be ground zero for the shenanigans of little people and their accompanying old(er) people.  It's a very "Durham" scene, especially when you add someone of Holsapple's stature in the music world in such an approachable setting; he's just a fellow citizen entertaining kids.

Peter's Pajama Party is free and open to the public and the next is likely to occur on June 17 - check The Regulator's site for more information closer to the date. It's about 30 minutes long, and it's a great stimulation for kids of all ages. Working the crowd like a pro, Holsapple is a true entertainer as he plays, sings and reads. The intent is to engage kids...but grownups are soon willing participants. The grins on their faces indicate that parents in attendance wish they had things like this when they were kids.

Holsapple moved to Durham after Hurricane Katrina left her mark on his adoptive home of New Orleans. No stranger to the area, he had lived in Winston-Salem as a kid. Returning with his family in 2005, he found a home for the pajama party concept at The Regulator. He now hosts the parties as an enjoyable creative outlet, as well as a way to forward the store's children's books selection. He'd done the same for a major bookstore in New Orleans and for several years running it was the best attended event the store hosted. He hopes to bring a similar level of success to the program in Durham.

Spend more than a moment in his presence and it's hard to miss the fact that he's a wickedly intelligent man. He remains engaged in his music career and continues to write and play as he can.  See this site for more information about his most recent efforts with Chris Stamey, his childhood friend and longtime band mate. He's also a devoted family man and works at DPAC - Durham Performing Arts Center.  As to his life, he says "It's pretty great." As to the Pajama Party...well, those are pretty great, too.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Innovation Invasion: MIT’s ‘Fab Lab’ Arrives, Breakthroughs to Follow

The arrival of a graffiti-tagged truck has led to the creation of a wireless antennae for network access in Afghanistan, analytical instrumentation for healthcare and agriculture in India, solar-powered turbines for energy in Norway, and locally responsive low-cost housing in Barcelona.

Organizers from Capitol Broadcasting Company, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation and Piedmont Conservation Council are thrilled to see what the arrival of the MIT ‘Mobile Fab Lab’ will lead to when it rolls into Durham’s American Tobacco on March 13. The lab will depart the Bull City on March 26.

The Fab Lab will give the community the ability to conceptualize, design, develop, fabricate and test almost anything they can create. From new games to robots to whatever the users can imagine, the Fab lab puts priceless equipment, typically out of reach for most, into the hands of anyone, with the goal of creating innovative ideas, products and services to enrich our community and world.

“When it comes to innovation and entrepreneurialism, Durham is a national leader,” said Mayor Bill Bell. “So it's only fitting that Fab Lab sets up shop here, to show young and old how to turn their biggest ideas and wildest dreams into reality. As a retired IBM electrical engineer, I have a few notions that I may try out myself."

Added Michael Goodmon, vice president of real estate, Capitol Broadcasting Company, “The mobile Fab Lab arriving in Durham is going to be a game changer for so many innovators in our community. They’ve been tinkering with incredible ideas but now have access to the tools that can make them a reality. I’ve got a few ideas of my own that I can’t wait to work out while watching schoolkids, inventors, designers and developers create!”

The Fab Lab includes a computer-controlled laser to cut out parts to assemble 2D and 3D structures, a sign cutter that plots in copper to make antennae and flexible circuits, a high-resolution table-top milling machine to make molds and circuit boards, a larger milling machine to make furniture- and house-sized parts, and electronic components and programming tools for working with low-cost high-speed microcontrollers.

Tushar Mahale, a local entrepreneur and Board Member of Piedmont Conservation Council, said, "Durham has such a rich community of organizations, non-profits, and businesses trying to make life better for all types of people - we want this community to understand what is possible with a Fab Lab and find ways to use it to benefit their target groups or society at large."

MIT has developed easy to use software, materials, and workflows to bring these tools together for use in the field, and people off the street can come in and see how prototyping/fabrication technologies work. They can take a test run, or sign up for lab times to take their concept through from idea to design to prototype.

The Fab Lab will be located at American Tobacco in the ‘Down Under’ at American Tobacco (adjacent to Saladelia restaurant) and will be open to the public from 11am-8pm (Tuesdays & Thursdays) and on Saturday the 19th 10am-6pm. The lab will be open to community groups, schools and other organizations Monday through Friday March 14-March 26. Time slot reservations should be made in advance by interested organizations by emailing and visiting

Monday, March 7, 2011

Be One of the Many Visitors to the Museum of Life and Science

Each year Carolina Publishing Associates conducts a survey to rank the largest historic attractions in North Carolina. Each year, the Museum of Life and Science makes an appearance on the list. This year, the Museum of Life and Science was the ninth on the list.

There is no wonder hundreds of thousands visit the museum with the great exhibits such as: The Magic Wings Butterfly House, the Bayer CropScience Insectarium, the Dinosaur Trail, Explore the Wild, and Catch the Wind to name a few.

In addition to the permanent exhibits, the Museum of Life and Science is constantly hosting events for kids of all ages. For example, every Saturday in March, they will be hosting a “Tournament of Science” with special science activities themed around sports, microbiology, nanoscale science, animals, genomics, and celebrating National Pi Day.

Those interested in robot fighting can join the league of robot enthusiasts for the Robot Rumble on Saturday, April 16. The battle will include demos and information about current and future innovations in the robotics field.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Ticket Sales Brisk, Annual Tribute Luncheon Coming April 27

The Annual Tribute Luncheon is coming up on April 27th at American Tobacco's Bay 7.  The event is a celebration of Durham's unique sense of place that is produced by the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau. 

This year's theme of Great Rhythm Great Blues is a canvass upon which a rather lively event will be painted.  The honorees are the African American Dance Ensemble, the American Dance Festival and the Bull Durham Blues Festival.  The public is welcomed to attend the event with tickets.

"These organizations are creative and and they work they produce is exciting and lively!" said E'Vonne Coleman-Cook, DCVB's Chief Operating Officer.  "I can't imagine that the event will be anything less than uplifting and invigorating."
The event receives significant local support from sponsors.  ABC-11, American Airlines, BCBS, Greenfire Development, Hilton Garden Inn Durham/Southpoint, Merck, The Freelon Group, The Sarah P. Duke Gardens, and U.S. Foodservice.

Coleman-Cook went on to say, "This event is about Durham as a community, and to see we have so many partners in doing that is really heartening.  Times are tough and still we have the support of our fellow stakeholders in the place where great things happen."

The event has been produced for nearly 20 years by DCVB and has celebrated chefs, authors, musicians and architects, among other things.  It is widely considered to be one of Durham's signature "see and be seen" events and sells out every year. 

"At Bay 7, we have a capacity of about 375," Coleman-Cook said.  "Attendance of the event is always strong, and this year we have only about 80 seats left to sell," she said. "That's pretty awesome given the event is still about two months away."

Fanfest 2011 Kicks Off Today

It's finally here! Durham Bulls Fanfest 2011, the official Opening Day for individual ticket sales, is happening from 11 AM until 2 PM this Friday and Saturday. Admission is free with a ticket purchase to any regular season Durham Bulls game, so order your tickets here or come down to the box office today.

Fanfest will have lots of fun things for fans including:
• Play catch on the field with Durham Bulls all-time Triple-A home run and RBI leader Chris Richard.

• Enjoy a free lunch of ballpark favorites at the concession stands.

• Vote for one of the three finalists in the Clash of the Concessions contest to determine the new food offering at the ballpark in 2011.

• Take advantage of the Pepsi Ticket package that includes four tickets to any regular season Durham Bulls game, four Durham Bulls caps and four six-packs of Pepsi for only $44.

• Wool E. Bull and Blue Monster will pose for pictures and sign autographs.

• Up to 50% off selected Bulls Merchandise in the Ballpark Corner Store. Plus, check out the equipment rummage sale complete with game worn pants, cleats and other gear.

• Select-a-Seat event highlighting available season ticket and mini-plan seat locations.
The Durham Bulls are the 2009 Championns and call the Durham Bulls Athletic Park home.  The DBAP also plays host to performances and events year 'round, including the upcoming kick off of the Boston Pops orchestra tour on August 16 with special guest Kenny Loggins. Visit the Bulls website for more information on this, and other, events.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Tennis Tournament Coming to Durham

USTA North Carolina announced that the 2011 and 2012 North Carolina USTA League Mixed Doubles State Championships have been awarded to Durham. This tournament draws over 1,000 players annually and features local champion teams from each of the fourteen local leagues.

USTA League Mixed Doubles is a recreational tennis program for all players, regardless of skill. Anyone 18 years old, or over, may play in the adult division and 50 or over in the senior division. Players range in skill level, beginner 2.5 to advanced 5.5, with teams comprised of men and women playing together. State winners are granted passage onto the Sectional Championships and then potentially on to Nationals.

The tournament was previously held in Wilson (2009-10). Prior to Wilson the event was held in Durham for several years.

“USTA North Carolina is thrilled to have the tournament return to Durham,” said Director of League Tennis Chris Bryce. “The city and local volunteers have done an outstanding job of creating an incredible experience for our players in previous hosted events.”

USTA League Tennis was established to provide adult recreational tennis players throughout the country the opportunity to compete against players of similar ability levels. For tournament specific information please visit:

Dates for USTA Mixed Doubles State Tournament

September 15 – 18, 2011
September 13 -16, 2012

Playing Sites:

Southern Boundaries Tennis Courts
Whippoorwill Tennis Courts
Garrett Rd. Tennis Courts
Forest Hills Tennis Courts
Hope Valley Country Club
Hope Valley Farms
Hollow Rock Racquet and Swim Club
Duke Facility Tennis Courts
Croasadaile Country Club

Farm Fresh North Carolina Launch Party March 7

Durham has long been a leader in the slow food movement through chefs like Shane Ingram (Four Square), Amy Tornquist (Watts Grocery), and Ben & Karen Barker (Magnolia Grill). But now Durham can also add to its list of “greats” a book on sustainable farms and restaurants.

Durham-based writer Diane Daniel has completed writing Farm Fresh North Carolina, “the go-to guide to great farmers’ markets, farm stands, farms, apple orchards, u-picks, kids’ activities, lodging, dining, choose-and-cut Christmas trees, vineyards and wineries, and more.”

A launch party for the book will be held Monday, March 7 at 6pm. Taking place at Fullsteam Brewery, Scratch Baking and Farmhands Foods will be on hand to provide the crowd with food while Piedmont Lowlanders will provide live bluegrass music.

Diane’s work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Geographic Traveler, Budget Travel, Gourmet, Backpacker, AARP Magazine, and more. She has also contributed to several other books including Checking In 2007: Places to Stay in New England and The New York Times Practical Guide to Practically Everything. In 2008, she received a prestigious national Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award in the newspaper writing category.

Farm Fresh North Carolina was supported by a grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation and was published by UNC Press.

Crate & Barrel Opens Bigger, Better Store in Durham

USA Today called The Streets at Southpoint one of the nation’s “10 great places to spend it all in one place” and now Crate and Barrel wants you to visit The Street at Southpoint and spend on their furniture, kitchen products, and the other house ware items they offer…starting TODAY the new Crate and Barrel is open for business!

With the opening of Crate and Barrel, the only location in the Triangle and one of only two in North Carolina, The Streets at Southpoint Mall boasts of 1.3 million-square-feet of retail space with more than 170 shops and restaurants.

Durham is also home to Northgate Mall, a regional shopping landmark for over 50 years. Northgate itself is newly renovated with over 100 shops and restaurants. View a full list of Durham’s unique shopping opportunities here.

Durham Celebrates...Everything

Durham celebrates everything; just take Marry Durham as an example. A marriage celebrating the love Durham citizens have for their community on March 19th. Given this love of celebration, it’s only natural that some local restaurants have dinner specials in honor of Mardi Gras.

Mardi Gras, translated Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday, is the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which starts on Ash Wednesday. Don’t miss this chance to enjoy all Durham has to offer.

Friday, March 4:

The Broad Street Café is hosting a Pre-Mardi Gras celebration with Skeedaddle. This energetic six piece band will play Hawaiian, hokum and viper tunes, but they’ll also have some guests to join in for Cajun tunes as well. New Orleans inspired dinner specials are on the menu and guests are encouraged to wear beads, fun hats, and a smile.

Tuesday, March 8:

Papa Mojo’s Roadhouse is throwing a huge party for Mardi Gras. There will be two party rooms, four bands, a mask contest, face painting, caricatures and an art gallery. Food will be served in the restaurant only, and all the big festivities in the adjacent ballroom. Guests are encouraged wear masks and Papa Mojo’s will provide the beads. For ticket information and for a performance schedule, visit their website.

Blu Seafood is also offering Creole and Cajun classics on their Mardi Gras themed menu served from 5:00-10:00. Menu items will include shellfish gumbo, jambalaya, and New Orleans inspired cocktails.

Bandido’s decided not to pass up the occasion for celebration either and is featuring shrimp and crayfish enchiladas with chipotle cream sauce as a lunch and dinner special. They will also have drinks specials and offer customers beards.  Check out there offer on

The Pinhook is offering Cajun dance lessons taught by Jack and Sandra Wolf at 8:00 (perhaps a good way to exercise off some of the dinner special calories) and at 9:00 the Shamu Garcon band will take the stage to play high octane Cajun dance music.

Don't miss out on all the celebrations Durham has to offer, visit to see a comprehensive list.