Introduction to Durham
To many Chapel Hillians, Durham is the town that Duke is in, where
whenever you go there you always get lost and still manage somehow to get to where you are
going. Durham's downtown was once a lively place
with crowded sidewalks and busy shops but somewhere something went wrong. Whether
it was a changing economy or the giant road projects that cut neighborhoods
off from the downtown and from each other, whatever Durham had in the twenties, thirties,
fifties they lost in the sixties, and seventies and have spent the eighties
and nineties trying to get it back.
When I began this page I thought I
knew a lot about Durham.
But the more I read, the more I realized I didn't know Durham at all. I realized
what an important place Durham
is and will most likely be again. Durham at one time was the home of the most successful African-American
community in America. The combination of this and the money
that tobacco brought in made the city one of the most cultural diverse
and artistic areas in North Carolina, whether we are talking
about the Bull City Blues or the artists, dancers, theaters, and
festivals that are a part of life in Durham. Durham's past and the
present combine to make it the most likely place in North Carolina
to give birth to an artistic explosion that many people predict
is on its way.
Yes, the downtown certainly needs more
work to make it the top arts and music city on the East Coast, but it is hard to imagine anywhere with more potential, with beautiful
old buildings just waiting for tenants and empty sidewalks waiting for people
to walk on them, past outdoor art exhibits and street musicians. If you are looking for a happening
place to move to before it happens, (since you won't be able to
afford to move there after it happens), I suggest looking into Durham but you better hurry because the clock is ticking.
With loads of empty warehouse and loft space downtown (they make
great nightclubs, restaurants, bars and studios) and lots of people
from out of state filling up the suburbs, it won't be long before
Durham is the next big thing. It may not happen tomorrow but when it does you
will want to be there. And if it doesn't maybe it's because you
weren't. Already artists and musicians are fleeing the high costs of living in Raleigh, Chapel Hill and Carrboro
and coming to Durham as are talented people from all over the USA.
Durham can be reached by air through Raleigh-Durham International airport (RDU) which is about fifteen minutes drive from downtown. It can also be reached by bus and the new bus station is right across the street from Durham's new railway station, a beautifully restored old industrial building within walking distance of both Duke's East Campus and downtown Durham. If you plan to drive to Durham it is close to both Interstate 40 and Interstate 85.