Posts Tagged ‘DurhamNC’

Election follow-up: May 2018 primary

May 13, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
May 13, 2018

It’s safe to say that Tuesday night’s results support the notion that my views are not widely held by Durham County’s Democratic electorate. Incumbent Sheriff Mike Andrews was defeated by challenger Clarence Birkhead, in a rematch of Durham’s 2014 sheriff election, while incumbent district attorney Roger Echols was upset by challenger Satana Deberry.

A key measure of a healthy, functional democracy — or a functional republic, if you prefer — is that the supporters of losing candidates accept the results as legitimate. And I do!

But, while I hold no animus toward either victor, I stand by the reservations I expressed in my previous post about both of the candidates (as well as about Andrews). I suppose only time will tell whether Birkhead is a good sheriff or Deberry a good D.A. It might be a while, if ever, before I produce an edition of my Patented Pundit Scorecard™ on this topic.

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Notes from the polls: Primary election, May 8, 2018, Durham, North Carolina

May 8, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
May 8, 2018

Author’s note: About 90 minutes after this post was first published, I added a disclaimer at the bottom in the interests of completely disclosing the relationship with and potential biases I may have had regarding Durham sheriff candidates. MEM

If you check my record as a North Carolina voter, you’ll find that prior to today, I’d participated in nine primary elections over the course of nearly 14 years. As an unaffiliated voter, the state lets me choose which primary ballot I use: Democratic, Republican, Libertarian or nonpartisan.

This spring, the Green Party became the fourth political party certified to place candidates on North Carolina ballots, but this happened too late for the current primary voting cycle. The Libertarian Party has been officially recognized in the Old North State since 2008.

As a Durham County resident, however, Republican and Libertarian ballots rarely afford much in the way of choice. Durham is North Carolina’s fifth most-populous county, but it has the state’s fourth-highest number of registered Democrats. (The Bull City and its surrounding county surpass the slightly more populous Forsyth County, home of the city of Winston-Salem, in terms of the sheer number of Democrats registered here.)

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Area man goes outside, hears noises: From the case files of Matthew E. Milliken

May 5, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
May 5, 2018

Incident report

Date/time: Tuesday, May 1, or Wednesday, May 2, 2018 — around midnight.

Narrative: I went outside to retrieve a water bottle that I’d left in my car. I was parked across the street, so I had several yards to walk from my front door.

As I ambulated, I heard a noise that struck me as unusual. I looked around and caught a vague glimpse of what appeared to be a four-legged animal scaling down the trunk of one of the large trees that surround the houses in my pocket of the city. The animal briefly paused at a point about 10 or 15 feet from the ground; after a moment, it descended out of sight.

This, of course, is the kind of climbing that squirrels do all the time. But this creature struck me as being both larger and noisier than a squirrel.

I pulled out my phone, turned on its camera flash/light and swung it around, trying to spot and identity the thing I’d sighted. The beam isn’t very strong or focused, however, so I came up empty.  Read the rest of this entry »

Practicality, love and gloves: A few thoughts

November 30, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Nov. 30, 2017

I used to own a pair of hybrid glove-mittens. When I needed to keep my hands warm, I’d pull on the hybrids and make sure the mittens enveloped my fingers. When I needed to use my digits, I could pull the mitten-pocket away from my fingers and pin it on the back of my hand using Velcro patches. That left me sporting what were essentially fingerless gloves: except for the top inch or so of my eight fingers, my hands were completely covered. It was like having the best of both worlds!

These hybrids weren’t the most stylish item — then again, very very little of what I wear is — but they were incredibly practical. I wish I still had these hybrids, but alas, I lost track of them years ago.

One of the nicest gifts I ever got was given to me by Lady X when we were dating. She took a solo trip to Italy in the fall or winter. (I think this would have been towards the end of 2010 or the beginning of 2011.) When she came back, she presented me with a pair of brown leather gloves. They fit quite comfortably and looked great. I was thrilled with them.

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The Friday that white supremacists (never really) came to town: Part 2 of 2

August 24, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Aug. 24, 2017

Author’s note: This post contains one word that is considered obscene and one usage of a notorious racial slur. The obscene word is part of the title of a famous rap songMEM

After returning to my car last Friday, I decamped for a coffee shop and finished writing about The Big Sick. Then I went back home and changed out of my sweaty clothes. Like I said, man, it was hot that day.

The rumors circulating on social media said that the white supremacists who had failed to show around noon might instead (or also) be planning to come around 4 p.m. A little after the hands on my watch pointed to that hour, I drove to another quiet residential neighborhood. I parked my car and began walking back to the courthouse.

At least one helicopter was still hovering in the air, but I found very little traffic when I arrived downtown. The block of Main between South Corcoran and North Mangum streets had been reopened. In fact, cars were allowed on Main as far east as Church Street, where there was a barricade. At least one police officer must have been standing there, but most of the people clustered around the blockade were regular people demonstrating against white supremacy. Some held banners and signs declaring their enthusiasm for diversity and tolerance.

It was at this point that I witnessed the first — and for me, really, the only — tense encounter of the day.

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The Friday that white supremacists (never really) came to town: Part 1 of 2

August 22, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Aug. 22, 2017

It was around 11 on Friday morning when I noticed a tweet saying that white supremacists were planning to march on downtown Durham at noon. I ate an early lunch and started preparing to go.

However, I dallied. This was partly because I was skeptical that any hate group would actually show up in what might be North Carolina’s most liberal city. Indeed, none of the tweets I saw from people who were downtown indicated that any white supremacists were showing up. But to be completely candid, I also dawdled for the very converse reason: Because I was afraid of the catastrophe that could occur if armed reactionaries did in fact turn out.

Many of the white-supremacist marchers at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., earlier this month were heavily armed and obviously spoiling for violence. Moreover, on Thursday evening, I’d read a disturbing news story about a gun-toting militia group that had turned up at a San Antonio city council meeting. (The stated rationale was that an official of the This is Texas Freedom Force had received death threats after publicly opposing the council’s intention to move a Confederate monument.) If shooting had started in Charlottesville, or San Antonio, or Durham — or if some whack job decided to drive into a crowd, as happened in the town where Thomas Jefferson lived and founded a university — no one could guarantee the public’s safety.

However, when the Ku Klux Klan might roll into your town, able and available adults can’t just sit on the sidelines. So even though I showed up late, I did show up.

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Crime and misdemeanors: A crowd tears down a Confederate monument in my home town

August 15, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Aug. 15, 2017

It’s not every day that Durham, N.C., gets national attention — and it’s even rarer when the City of Medicine generates widespread news coverage for something other than college basketball. Unfortunately, despite being in town yesterday, I was completely unaware of what might be a seminal moment in an important national news story until a few hours after the event had taken place.

On Monday evening, protesters pulled down a monument to Confederate soldiers that stood in front of the Durham County Administration Building, which served as the county courthouse from 1916 through 1978. The statue in question was erected in 1924; the front of its pedestal reads, “In memory of ‘The Boys who Wore the Gray.’”

I won’t miss the statue; it venerated soldiers who, while they may have fought bravely, did so in service to a disloyal would-be nation that was dedicated to keeping black men, women and children in bondage.

Durham, like many American cities, is full of symbols of disdain for African-Americans, some more explicit than others. One example — subtler than the statue of the rebel soldier, but more prominent in a way — is the Durham Freeway, a.k.a. N.C. 147, an expressway built in the late 1960s that devastated a once-thriving black community named Hayti. These badges of dishonor can never be wholly erased; nor should they, for to plaster over past injustices is to invite their repetition. But neither should such affronts be afforded undeserved esteem.

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A short monograph on Triangle traffic; or, my Wednesday-afternoon trip to the airport

July 31, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
July 31, 2017

I’d planned on taking a trip the week that ended on Saturday, July 22. But I hadn’t planned on leaving on Wednesday the 19th, and I hadn’t planned on flying. However, an urgent situation arose, and it seemed best that I book an evening flight.

That afternoon, I went to a barcade in downtown Raleigh. I did this partly to help myself unwind for a bit before my flight, but I also did this because evening rush-hour in the Research Triangle tends to be heaviest going east from Durham to Raleigh, and Raleigh-Durham International Airport is located about halfway between the two cities.

(Sidebar: A significant disparity between housing and jobs helps fuel traffic holdups in the region, as does a lack of rail-based mass transit. The city of Raleigh, which forms the Triangle’s eastern vertex, is the most populous in the region. But a significant proportion of Raleigh residents work either in Chapel Hill, the site of the University of North Carolina and its major teaching hospital facility, or in Durham, which is home to Duke University, to Duke’s major teaching hospital facility and to North Carolina Central University, a large historically black state university.

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Cheeps and Chirps for April 2017 (more catch-up)

June 23, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
June 23, 2017

You got it: Yet more catching up from my Twitter feed!

• ZOMG Donald Trump!

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Return to outer space — recalling another not-so-terrific science-fiction adventure from the waning weeks of 1979

May 10, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
May 10, 2017

Occasionally, YouTube’s algorithms offer up something interesting. That happened the other week when I stumbled upon some video clips excerpted from The Black Hole, the poorly received 1979 film that was the first-ever Disney production to receive a PG rating.

When I looked up the film’s release date, I found that it came out on Dec. 21, 1979 — exactly two weeks after the premiere of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. I went to see The Black Hole in the cinema during its initial theatrical run, which meant that that month was full of science fiction excitement and disappointment.

The nearest art-house cinema to my current home is the Carolina Theatre in downtown Durham, N.C. The Carolina regularly shows old science fiction, horror and fantasy movies, and a few years ago, they brought in The Black Hole for a showing. Naturally, I went.

The film that had disappointed young me also disappointed adult me, albeit for somewhat different reasons. But that hasn’t stopped me from returning to movies (and occasionally books) that my younger self enjoyed. Which, not at all coincidentally, will be the topic of my next post…

Crash bang pop! (In which nothing much happens)

March 11, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
March 11, 2017

So about that car crash…

North Buchanan Boulevard is a quiet street; even more so at night. And as previously noted, this particular moment on this particular Saturday evening, things were especially quiet. So I was quite surprised when, as I crossed the intersection of Buchanan and West Knox Street, I heard a loud POP! and glimpsed a shower of sparks in my rear-view mirror.

I wasn’t sure what had just happened; rather incongruously, it seemed like someone had set off a single pyrotechnic item. Had a street light or maybe a transformer exploded?

The good samaritan in me felt the need to report this. Was this a matter for 911, or should I call the power company, or perhaps the police department’s non-emergency number. I didn’t know, in part because I did not know what had just happened.

I turned left at the next intersection, parked on Englewood Avenue, exited my car and began walking briskly back toward the site of the…well, whatever had just gone pop.

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A short drive through downtown Durham

March 9, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
March 9, 2017

Author’s note: The day after this blog post was original published, I adjusted one paragraph after realizing that I’d driven through the Brightleaf District closer to 7:40 p.m. than 8 p.m. As usual, additions are marked with boldface text; deletions, with a strikethrough line. MEM

I inserted myself into the wake of a car crash on Saturday night. This is the story of how I maneuvered myself into falling just short of actually witnessing the collision.

I’d spent much of the afternoon participating in World Tavern Poker’s North Carolina Central East Regional Championships at a hotel in Southeast Durham County. I’d played decently for much of the tournament, but I was never able to recover after I misplayed a hand during the 4,000–8,000 level.

The event had started with around 225 players, of whom the top 10 percent, or 23 players, would qualify to play in the National Championship Finals this spring. When I was eliminated, there were four tables of players; they weren’t keeping track of the exact number, but I went out around 35th or 40th — not bad, but not as good as the finish I’d had in the previous regionals.

Anyway, I was feeling somewhat morose and contemplative as I drove home that evening. When I left the hotel, I headed north on North Carolina 55 until I reached North Carolina Central University. I haven’t written at all about NCCU on my blog, but it has the distinction of being the nation’s first public supported liberal arts institution for African-Americans. I don’t pass by Central much — it’s on Durham’s east side, as opposed to Duke University, which has its main campus on the west side of the city and is much closer to where I live.

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Psst! Want to read a brilliant, scintillating anecdote? In that case, this isn’t the best blog post for you to check out

October 31, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Oct. 31, 2016

On the most recent episode of MEMwrites.wordpress.com:

Hurricane Matthew was sweeping along the coast of the Carolinas; the Triangle got some rain — at times heavy rain — along with some flooding and a bit of wind. But otherwise, little weather-related drama took place in my part of the Old North State.

I arrived at the coffee shop without incident and settled in for some hot tea, a snack and a bit of computing.

When the shop closed, I reapplied all my clothing, packed up my computer and headed south toward Ninth Street. Night had more or less fallen, but the wind seemed to have died down a bit, and the rain was unremarkable.

It’s at this point, by the way, that something interesting — but not too interesting — happened. I’ll describe it in a separate post.

And now: The interesting-but-not-too-interesting thing that happened!

By way of context, Joe Van Gogh in Durham, N.C., is located on what I think of as being the ground level of a two-story building on Broad Street. As one moves west toward Broad Street, the earth rises and crests. The upshot of this is that the building’s other level is lower — that is, a basement space. The exterior wall of the lower level is exposed to open air on the east side but effectively buried beneath the sidewalk on the west side.

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Weathering the storm: Rain and wind and walking and football

October 27, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Oct. 27, 2016

As I mentioned briefly during my writeup of the Stanford-Notre Dame game, the Fighting Irish’s 10-3 loss to North Carolina State in Raleigh on Oct. 8 took place in waterlogged conditions. That day, Hurricane Matthew was sweeping along the coast of the Carolinas; the Triangle got some rain — at times heavy rain — along with some flooding and a bit of wind. But otherwise, little weather-related drama took place in my part of the Old North State.

I spent much of the morning and early afternoon sleeping in, as that was when the rain seemed to be heaviest. But after a while, I got cabin fever, and since the rain seemed to have diminished, I stuffed my laptop into my backpack and donned weather-resistant clothing and headed out.

With one caveat: I’d intended to put on my water-resistant boots but forgot to do so, lacing up my regular sneakers instead. By the time I realized my mistake, I was all set to go, so I just decided to let things ride.

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Cheeps and Chirps for Aug. 16, 2016

August 16, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Aug. 16, 2016

There will be Twitter!

• Comedy!

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Cheeps and Chirps for July 2, 2016

July 2, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
July 2, 2016

Please enjoy some more recent odds and ends from my Twitter feed.

• Comedy!

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Must hustle, can’t slow: Chronicle of a second-place finisher

April 20, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
April 20, 2016

I did a bunch of walking last week, thanks in no small part to wearable technology.

My niece, A—, issued a Workweek Hustle challenge through Fitbit, marking the second time she, my Parental Unit and I had engaged in a competition since my niece got a Fitbit this year. Once again, the metric was simple: The winner would be the person who got the most steps over the course of five days. Because of time-zone issues, the challenge began at 2 a.m. Eastern Time on Monday and ended at 2 a.m. E.T. on Saturday of this past week.

I fell behind both of my rivals relatively early. This was, alas, not terribly surprising. My niece averages about 12,000 steps a day; my parent, 16,000. My own daily step count is much more modest — about 9,000 or 10,000 entering the challenge.

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That was the championship that was

April 8, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
April 8, 2016

Going into Monday night, it had been an entire year since a team from the Research Triangle — the cities and surroundings of Durham, Chapel Hill and Raleigh — had won an NCAA Division I men’s basketball championship game. The top-seeded University of North Carolina Tar Heels hoped to end our region’s long title drought when it took on underdog Villanova, a No. 2 seed that had upset No. 1 Kansas in the Elite Eight and steamrolled fellow No. 2 Oklahoma in the Final Four with a 95-51 win Saturday evening.

Because I’ve been suffering from a low-level cold and/or mid- to high-level allergy attack for much of the past two weeks, I considered not watching any of the title game. (I don’t have a television at home, and I forgot that the game was available online.)

After some hemming and hawing, I decided that I would watch the game at a local bar. At that point, the contest had already started. Since I didn’t want to watch the end of the first half, I noodled around on my phone on a bench at one edge of Durham Central Park before strolling over to my destination: Motorco, which was showing the game for free in its main hall and which has a late-night restaurant that it calls Parts & Labor. (The building housed a car dealership for nearly two decades.)

I ordered some food and set myself up at a high table on the patio where I could watch one of the projection-screen televisions. I ate a couple of chicken sliders while the second half got under way; once that was done, I grabbed my glass of water and the remnants of my bottle of Miller High Life and walked over to the music hall. I picked out a seat on one of the tables that had been arrayed there.

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Condition: Grounded (or, How I deciphered one of life’s little mysteries)

March 31, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
March 31, 2016

On Monday evening, I went to a local coffee shop and spent some time finishing up my post about Lewis Shiner’s debut novel, Frontera. When I left, I walked south on Foster Street toward my car. I passed the new building that’s going up on the former site of the historic Liberty Warehouse. It’s opposite a vacant building (once occupied by a Minor League Baseball office, I’m given to understand) that’s apparently destined to be home to another multipurpose building.

These sites are next to Durham Central Park, which is split roughly in half by Foster. I’d left my car on Hunt Street, which forms the park’s southern boundary, steps from the site of yet another multipurpose building that is only just beginning to be constructed on the hill above the southwest corner of Durham Central Park.

I’d gotten most of the way down to Hunt Street when something lying on the ground caught my eye. I turned my head to the left and tried to puzzle out just what I was seeing.

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Chronicle of a weather event

February 18, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Feb. 18, 2016

Sunday, Feb. 14, 9:58 p.m.: I walked to my car in the cold, taking an extremely roundabout route in an effort to reach my goal of 10,000 steps per day. I wound up going just shy of 0.8 miles in 13 minutes and 50 seconds.

10:12 p.m.: I returned to my car. Since my gas tank was near empty, I opened up the Gas Guru app on my smartphone and scoped out stations with low prices. I settled on one in Durham near where I used to live, not too far from my current residence.

I started driving back to Durham from a joint on the southeast side of Cary, sandwiched between Apex and southwest Raleigh. The weather was clear, with no sign of precipitation, although snow was forecast for early Monday morning.

10:50 p.m.: I pulled off of N.C. 147, a.k.a. the Durham Freeway, at the Hillandale Road exit. I vaguely noticed that the streets were wet. I navigated my way onto Hillsborough Road and went to the gas station I’d chosen. Not only was it not open at this time of day, I suspected that it wouldn’t be open at any time of day.

Also relevant: The ground around the pumps was covered by snow. The coating was so thin that the snow would disappear beneath the impact of a human footfall. There had been a light flurry in Durham, not rain, as I’d initially thought; the streets appeared to be wet because they were wet — dampened by snow that had evaporated under passing car tires.

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Coffee shop, SHOUTY LADY: Recent locally sourced eavesdropping

February 3, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Feb. 3, 2016

As is only proper for a 21st-century college town, Durham has a number of fine coffee shops, and as I wrote recently, one of my favorites is Respite Cafe.

But man, was I ever taken by surprise on a recent visit to Respite. Just the other day, when I walked in, I did a double take. There were a bunch of people in one of the back rooms, evidently because there had been some sort of leak, and one of the shop’s patrons — I could not immediately identify who it was — WAS SHOUTING AT THE TOP OF HIS OR HER LUNGS. The amount of hustle and bustle in the joint surprised me, and THE VOLUME OF THE CONVERSATION — OR MAYBE IT WAS MORE OF A MONOLOGUE? — took me aback.

I occupied my regular spot, doffing my jacket and pulling out my laptop computer. I ordered a pot of tea and an apple pastry and settled down.

SHOUTY LADY — for indeed it was a lady who was shouting, or AT LEAST TALKING AT THE TOP OF HER LUNGS — was impossible to ignore. I surreptitiously recorded a short video that captured her voice (and my armpit, my sweater and the coffee shop’s tile floor) and began tweeting some of her exchanges with her companion.

SHOUTY LADY was sitting with a quiet companion and relating, at length, a story about her misadventures in a university in the state of Arizona. I joined the discussion in medias res, so I don’t know how the whole thing started, but for some reason, a cabal of sinister university administrators allegedly arranged to have SL mugged and/or to have her backpack stolen; to impugn her sanity; to have police officers confiscate her guns (yes, multiple guns); and to have her first attorney act in cahoots with them.

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Things to go, see and do in Durham: Part 3

December 14, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Dec. 14, 2015

Recently, I was asked about things to visit and do in Durham, where I’ve lived for about seven and a half years. I’ve split my response, which has been lightly edited, into three blog posts. The first one was about Duke-related places; the second was about Durham’s non-Duke stuff; and finally this one covers a few miscellaneous items. Enjoy!

 

The website of the Durham Convention and Visitors Bureau should be your first stop when you have questions about visiting the city and county of Durham or any of its attractions, restaurants or events.

Durham has some excellent coffee shops, about which I could write many many words. One of the coolest is Cocoa Cinnamon, which has a lovely outdoor seating area. Unfortunately, the limited indoor seating means that the shop can be very crowded when rain or cold temperatures prevail. Cocoa Cinnamon is located in a relatively new entertainment district north of Durham Central Park, which itself is north of downtown. (This part of town lacks a widely agreed-upon name, to the best of my knowledge.) The owners of Cocoa Cinnamon are preparing to open a second location in Western Durham. I also highly recommend Respite Cafe near the Brightleaf Square shopping and dining complex, which is between downtown Durham and East Campus.

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Things to go, see and do in Durham: Part 2

December 13, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Dec. 13, 2015

Recently, I was asked about things to visit and do in Durham, where I’ve lived for about seven and a half years. I’ve split my response, which has been lightly edited, into three blog posts. The first one was about Duke-related places; this second one is about Durham’s non-Duke stuff; and a third one covers miscellaneous items. Enjoy!

 

American Tobacco Historic District
300 Blackwell St., Durham, NC 27701
919-433-1566

This complex, once the Lucky Strike cigarette factory, now houses restaurants, offices, residences and a small movie theater devoted to documentaries. The large, rambling courtyard hosts concerts during the warmer months; it also has a stream running through it that visitors can enjoy following any time of year. The facility has no retail shopping to speak of, but there are multiple places to get a bite to eat. American Tobacco Campus (or sometimes ATC), as it’s called, is across the street from the Durham Performing Arts Center, a.k.a. DPAC, and the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, a.k.a. DBAP. Be sure to stroll through ATC if you’re going to see the Bulls host a Minor League Baseball game! The Diamond View complex that surrounds the ballpark has additional dining options in a variety of styles and price points. Of all the places in this list, this is closest to downtown Durham — just a short walk across the railroad tracks.

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Things to go, see and do in Durham: Part 1

December 12, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Dec. 12, 2015

Recently, I was asked about things to visit and do in Durham, where I’ve lived for about seven and a half years. I’ve split my response, which has been lightly edited, into three blog posts — this one about Duke-related places, a second one about Durham’s non-Duke stuff, and a third one covering miscellaneous items. Enjoy!

 

Duke University Chapel
401 Chapel Drive, Box 90974, Durham, NC 27708
919-684-2572

I haven’t spent much time at any of the Triangle universities, but I personally find Duke’s grounds to be the most distinctive and the best of the Big Three for just walking around and soaking in the college atmosphere. (Note: This applies to West Campus, which some consider the institution’s heart, and to East Campus. Central Campus is best not mentioned, unless you’re visiting the Nasher or Sarah Duke Gardens.) For young kids, the best part of Duke to visit is probably the university chapel. Check in advance for tours or musical performances. The chapel is closed for renovations until spring 2016.

 

Cameron Indoor Stadium
115 Whitford Dr, Durham, NC 27708
919-684-8111

College basketball fans either love or loathe the Duke University Blue Devils, which plays in one of the most famous arenas in the NCAA. I believe Cameron is generally open to the public for visits. During parts of the season, you can find Krzyzewskiville — a campsite inhabited by rabid student fans — set up outside the building. A museum and hall of fame is located next door to Cameron in the Schwartz/Butters Athletic Center at 306 Towerview Dr., Durham, NC 27708, 919-613-7500; it’s free of charge and open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on most weekdays, with additional hours tied to basketball and football games.

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Saturday morning: Some anecdotes

October 11, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Oct. 11, 2015

Early on Saturday morning, around 1:45, I was finishing up a blog post and was playing a game on my favorite Internet Scrabble app when I heard a series of short, staccato sounds: pop pop pop pop pop pop pop.

I frowned to myself. Were those fireworks? It seemed unlikely; the sounds had been too uniform, too regularly spaced. So, I asked myself, should I call the police?

I sighed and continued my game. Then I reached for my phone, except it wasn’t there — it was charging in the bedroom. I set my computer aside for a moment, grabbed the handset, sat back down with my laptop and scrolled through my contacts. I dialed the Durham police department and pressed 1 to connect to the non-emergency dispatcher. I gave my address and explained why I’d called. The operator asked where the noises had seemed to come from; I mumbled that they might have originated on Guess Road somewhere north-northwest of my location.

She asked what kind of gun I’d heard; I told her I had no idea. She asked if I’d seen or heard anything else; I hadn’t, and I told her so. When she asked if I wanted to speak with a police office, I said that I did only if one wanted to speak with me. The operator instructed me not to leave my house or put myself in danger; she also told me to call back if I heard anything further.

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