Monday, June 30, 2014

Sylvan Esso Makes NPR 25 Favorites

From musical roots in the blues to being home of one of indie rock's biggest labels, Durham is yet again piercing the national and international consciousness with a new act - Sylvan Esso.  The duo, proudly calling Durham home, is getting play around the world, and accolades to boot.

Today, National Public Radio named the band's eponymous release to NPR Music's 25 Favorite Albums of 2014 (So Far), and featured the band earlier in the year with a review, and a post which calls "Coffee," the song that has gotten so much play and attention, "one of the year's best." Listen to it and watch the video, part of which was shot in Durham, here.

There are always fresh and exciting experiences to have in Durham. Stay up to date on all of them with the Durham Event Calendar, and plan a trip to Durham online.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Durham’s Fascinating Civil War Stories

April 2015 marks 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. In light of such a historic time, the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau (DCVB) has relaunched to highlight the intriguing events that took place in Durham during that era, many of which were of great importance for both the region and the country.

There are three State Historic Sites in Durham, and each of them has a unique tie to the Civil War. Stagville was one of the largest plantations in the South, reaching its peak just before the war started. Such a large plantation was a rarity in this part of North Carolina, and the trials the enslaved population faced are an important indicator of what happened to African-American families after slavery ended.

Bennett Place was just a small farmhouse at the time, but through historical accident it was also the site where two of the war’s most famed generals, Confederate Joseph Johnston and Unionist William T. Sherman, sat down after years of fighting one another to negotiate a peace. The machinations of their attempts show the political struggles the country faced, and the surrender they agreed upon was the largest of the war, marking the effective end of hostilities.

Finally, Duke Homestead was the home Washington Duke returned to after his time as a solider and prisoner of war. It is where he began his tobacco company that would later become one of the largest in the world, ushering Durham into the industrial age.

Combined, these tales make clear Durham’s national importance in the Civil War. More information about these stories, their legacy, and visiting the three historic sites today can all be found at online.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

C is for Credit Union

Get to know Durham, A-Z, and let the Durham History Hub help. Coming up on July 1 they will launch the newest installment of its Durham A-Z exhibit series: C is for Credit Union. The no-cost, public party will be held at the Hub, 500 West Main St., from 6:00pm until 7:30pm. Read more about the event online.

The new exhibit celebrates Durham’s long history of credit unions. The first credit union in the South, one of the country’s smallest credit unions and a national model for credit unions serving immigrant populations were all institutions born in Durham and are among the credit unions highlighted in the exhibit.

Interested in Durham History. Get more information here, and stay up to date on all that is happening with the Durham Event Calendar.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Durham Receives $25,000 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize

Durham residents already know the area has an exceptional reputation as the city of medicine, but now, that reputation for valuing health  is being recognized by one of the largest foundations in the United States.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has announced Durham County as one of the six winners of the 2014 RWJF Culture of Health Prize at the Aspen Ideas Festival Spotlight: Health in Aspen, Colorado. The prize recognizes communities that are building a Culture of Health by bringing together a broad range of partners to improve health for residents. Winning communities each receive a no-strings attached $25,000 cash prize and will have a national platform to inspire others by sharing their journey to better health.

Read the press release here.

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Source for Durham’s African-American Heritage

Durham has a long and proud African-American history, from the African Americans living and working here today to the leaders of Hayti and Black Wall Street, as well as many, many more. The Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau (DCVB) pays homage to that legacy with its African-American Heritage Guide. An updated version of the guide was recently release, along with an online portal with additional content.

The guide itself provides locals and visitors alike with maps and descriptions of historic sites, relevant exhibits, and more so interested parties can learn more about the contributions Durham’s African Americans made to the city, state, and country. The guide includes Pauli Murray’s childhood home, the Hayti Heritage Center, the site of important sit-ins, and more.

The online portal includes additional content, including more in-depth articles about Carolina Theatre’s civil rights exhibit and the role Historic Stagville has played in helping some African-American families shed light on their past. Additional content will be added throughout the year to reflect upcoming events.

Visit to view the portal. You can also browse the African-American Heritage Guide online.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Black Wall Street's Durham Legacy Highlighted

The quaint and quiet physical nature of Parrish Street in Downtown Durham belies the massive impact the businesses that started there have, and continue to have, today. "Parrish Street, see, isn't just a fledgling innovation district in [the] Bull City," writes Laura Ohnesorge with the Triangle Business Journal. This assessment is perfectly apt.
Photo credit:

The two articles published today, one a blog post about Parrish Street proper, and the other an exhaustive piece on M&F's history, offer both insight and modern context, as well as a window on the past, as relates to these two businesses. Insight like that offered by Ohnesorge makes visiting a place that much more accessible and real because an understanding of the place's importance is so much more at hand.

Learn more about the Durham's extensive Black History online, and about visiting Durham here.

Brew Dogs Put Durham Front and Center

In addition to a killer food scene, Durham has an amazing beer scene, too.  Afterall, Durham is the home of the original World Beer Festival held here every fall, and All About Beer magazine!

Esquire Network's Brew Dogs, a show hosted by two Scottish brewers known the world over for their feats of brewing, came to Durham to brew a beer with the folks at Fullsteam. Their stated goal was to brew the most caloric beer ever made, and they used ingredients from Durham and all over NC to achieve that goal.

The resulting episode is a not only fun to watch, it's got scene after scene of great Durham views and the people that live and visit here. It's fun to watch (which can be done entirely online by clicking here) ...especially with a great Durham brew in hand.

Learn more about Durham's beer scene online, and start planning a visit with this website.

Durham Food Scene in the Spotlight, Again

Bull City Burger and Brewery
is just one of the restaurants
in Cox's restaurant article.
The food scene in Durham, NC is the subject of a great deal of attention, and has been for years. Food is part of Durham's DNA. Whether it's artisan ice cream, varietal-specific hot chocolate curated like fine wine or coffee, or authentic BBQ cooked in the traditions of generations passed, Durham offers a version worth having!

Greg Cox, the food critic for The News & Observer has written what amounts to a love letter to Durham including videos about its food wherein he details offerings from around Downtown Durham specifically.  Check it out, enjoy a meal, or 20, and then come back and do it again.  While the article notes that Bon Appetit magazine named Durham (along with Chapel Hill) as America's Foodiest Small Town in 2008, it should not go unnoticed that Durham also earned the title of Tastiest Town in the South by Southern Living magazine in 2013. Durham is home to more than 50 restaurants that have achieved Celebrated Cuisine status, all of which can be seen online.

Learn more about visiting Durham here, and make a dining plan for Durham here.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Half of NC's "Elite 50" in Durham

Convention South magazine, a leading publication covering the convention, groups, and meetings side of travel and tourism in the southern US, has named its Elite 50 Conference Centers in the South. Durham claimed three of the six spots on that list earned by North Carolina facilities.

Read the article here, and learn more about bringing meetings to Durham online.

Friday, June 6, 2014

This Week at the Durham Farmers Markets

Great variety and authenticity are expressed exceptionally well in Durham’s food - that's why Durham is the Tastiest Town in the South. Part of Durham’s exciting food culture comes from a fascination with locally grown and raised products, and from the chefs who prepare celebrated cuisine recognized in regional and national media. Each week at Durhams's farmers' markets everyone can be a chef with access to fresh local produce.

Produce available this week includes: strawberries, arugula, beets, mushrooms, potatoes, rhubarb, sugar snap peas, spinach, cauliflower, cabbage, and more! Also look for meats, cheeses, flowers, specialty items and crafts.

Durham Farmers' Market
Visit the Durham Farmers' Market Saturdays from 8am- Noon and Wednesdays 3:30-6:30pm in Durham Central Park.

South Durham Farmer's Market
This week, there will be music by Dave Ellis and an appearance by Le Farm's Bread Truck. Visit the South Durham Farmer's Market on Saturdays from 8am-Noon and Wednesdays 3:30-6:30pm at Greenwood Commons, 5410 Highway 55.

Visit the farmers' markets, tour a farm, and discover more great agritourism opportunities in Durham.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

GQ Magazine Ranks Durham Best

For nine months a year, Durham, NC is a college town tucked into a vibrant southern city in the midst of an epic renaissance. That combination makes it one of the most exciting places in the US right now on many fronts; from food, to music, to entrepreneurship, Durham is hot.
Photo credits as noted. Image via

This month, GQ Magazine published the article, "The Best College Towns in America (When the Students Are Gone." While a bit predictable in its content if you are familiar with Durham, the piece highlights places to eat, drink, and stay that are getting an awful lot of coverage lately. For those considering a visit, the article reads like an itinerary - a tasty, comfortable, enjoyable tour of a place that is welcoming to everyone.

"Articles like this are great for many reasons, in no small part because they present a huge impact," according to Shelly Green, President & CEO of the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau (DCVB).

"With 6.6 million print readers and 6.7 million online readers creating a total of 2.25 billion impressions monthly, Durham just got shown off in a high profile way to a lot of potential visitors. That exposure would have cost over $175,000 to buy - a tariff too high to be approachable as a marketing option for DCVB," Green explained. DCVB is the group charged with drawing visitors to Durham, and who works behind the scenes to attract this kind of exposure for Durham.

Thankfully, the article leaves some of Durham's hidden gems undiscovered...locals have got to have somewhere to go when all those students come back. Learn more about all the ways to enjoy Durham online.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Band Finds Home In Durham, Makes It Big

Durham has long been known as a hotspot for music, serving as the home of Merge Records, Branford Marsalis, and Pastor Shirley Caeser, among others. It has now added another act to its list of nationally acclaimed musicians: Sylvan Esso.
Photo by D.L. Anderson/used with permission of Tell All Your Friends PR
The band, a duo consisting of Nick Sanborn and Amelia Meath, makes electronic pop that also, somehow, draws from Meath’s folk roots. It is a unique sound from two artists who’ve found a home in Durham.

The Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau interviewed Sanborn for a profile of the band’s budding career – check it out on DCVB’s website.