A very bright and energetic friend is the dynamo behind Durham’s Art of Cool Festival. An organization that I helped launch, Downtown Durham Inc. has adopted the slogan “Find your Cool.” There is a bit of irony in all this because it really isn’t cool to describe things as “cool” anymore. The expression is about two or three generations out of date.
In spite of that it does reflect that, somehow, after being on the skids for a long time, Durham is suddenly pretty…well…cool. There are lots of great restaurants, music venues, the Durham Bulls, and the Performing Arts Center. Art flourishes. Downtown has become a magnet for bright, ambitious entrepreneurial types. Duke Basketball is better than ever and Duke Football is in contention again for a division title. Raleigh is jealous and Chapel Hill doesn’t seem so shiny.
On October 4, 1984 I started a job at the now disappeared Central Carolina Bank which means that as I write this I have been a Durham Citizen for 30 years. I’ve seen a lot of ups and downs but to tell you the truth, I liked Durham in 1984 and I like it now. I’m very happy that we’re now recognized as cool but this has never been a bad place to live. Maybe because I’m not so cool myself some things didn’t bother me.
Even subtracting the cool, Durham today is still an excellent place to live. Since the cool things are well covered in other websites, I’m going to write about some of the ordinary things, that aren’t as cool as they are laudable or enriching.
Occasionally I’ll write about residential real estate. I sell homes for a living and I’ve written a book about how to market a home. One of the things I hope to accomplish is to make people moving here feel more comfortable and reassure them that Durham isn’t just about being cool. It’s about raising kids and educating them, it’s about getting great medical care, it’s about good governance, it’s about taking care of our own and helping others.