What Durham, NC, USA is like (Request from @Waddy who attended Durham University, England) 🇺🇸🇬🇧
Thanks for this request, @Waddy! I'm subtitling this "A Tale of Two Durhams, Part 1: The American Durham."
- •Durham is great! I love it here. We are known as the Bull City (also the mascot of our minor league baseball team).
- •We're home to Duke University.I went to the rival University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, about 30 minutes away. There's some historical sports animosity, but Duke is cool anyway 😎
- •And also home to North Carolina Central University, an HBCU (Historically Black College or University).
- •Being home to two universities with many others close by makes for a city with a youthful feel and all kinds of intellectual and cultural activities.
- •Additionally, Durham, along with nearby Chapel Hill and Raleigh, is known as the Research Triangle, home to a number of tech and pharmaceutical companies, so there's a lot of economic and intellectual drive.
- •We're a diverse city - home to residents (white, black, and other people of color) who have lived here for generations as well as people who move here to work in the Research Triangle or attend school.
- •Durham has a rich history. It was a thriving city in the early to mid twentieth century. It was home to Bull Durham Tobacco as well as to a number of successful black-owned businesses that together were known as Black Wall Street.
- •Durham declined in the later twentieth century - economic decline, end of big tobacco, suburban flight, racist redline housing policies, etc.
- •For the last twenty years or so, though, Durham, particularly downtown, has been revitalized.
- •We have the Durham Performing Arts Center.
- •A great food scene that values locally sourced food. Durham restaurants have won James Beard Awards and been written up in the New York Times.
- •Craft breweries and distilleries.
- •And the aforementioned baseball team.
- •In my experience, Durhamites strongly value supporting local business and the local culture, which helps the restaurants, breweries and arts centers thrive.
- •The negative part of this revitalization means that it brings gentrification and rising housing costs for residents, but the good part is that Durham has become a destination city and appealing for tourists and makes for a growing economy.
- •It's a constant struggle to balance these opposing forces, and we don't always succeed, but we try.
- •And the best part about Durham is the people. In my experience, people who live in Durham feel a strong attachment to the city and a drive to support it and work to make it an even better place to live. People who value southern hospitality, tolerance, acceptance and social justice.
- •I love this city. I will likely be leaving it in the summer to go back to graduate school, but it will always feel part of who I am. ❤🐮🌃