Thursday, March 12, 2009


Nice article in a Raleigh pub this month, entitled COOL COMES TO THE BULL CITY

Overall, a very positive article about Downtown Durham, although it will be news to a lot of people that cool just arrived.

But characteristic of a lot of news published about Durham in Raleigh it couldn’t resist the obligatory backhanded compliments such as:
  • Durham has always been a city of multiple personalities…“

  • Blacks and whites, business and labor, white collar and white trash, Marxists, misfits and academic crackpots...

  • For years the city was basically ungovernable.

  • While Raleigh and Cary grew and prospered, Durham fell into a deep and paralyzing funk.”

Hmmm! Are we talking about the Durham that anchored the region’s initial rankings as best place to live…and the Durham that consistently ranks in the top echelon of communities nationwide across a wide spectrum of measures?

Is this the Durham that has outperformed all counties in the state economically for several years…and the Durham that was the fastest growing major city in North Carolina in the last census? Oh, you mean that Durham?

Durham Image Watchers basically log comments like these under something called “tudes.” As in “attitude,” as in “condescending.”

Actually, while they may have been intended as pejoratives, in Durham, the first two are a proud part of the community’s personality or brand.

Durham is just as proud of those attributes as it is being home to Research Triangle Park, Duke and NCCU universities.

Durham definitely has a very different cultural identity than Raleigh and Cary and as happy we are to have them as neighbors…Durham is glad it’s different.

I guess we’ll know that all members of the family of communities we call the Triangle have matured and are well adjusted and secure in themselves, when journalists in one don’t feel the need to put the others down..

As one Cary leader said years ago, “it gives the entire Triangle a black eye.”

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