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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Durham travel guide

Via Blazer, i see that Lisa B has posted a takedown of the recent NYTimes travel piece on hauling the kids down to the Triangle for a weekend of fun and games,

Lisa's one of my 5 favorite XDU disk jockeys (Christa, Robbie, Sylvia, and the guy who does "A Broken Heart and a Glass of Beer" at 8 am on Sunday morning are the others.) But i think she misses the good side of this article.

Sure, the writer clearly might as well have skimmed a couple of Convention and Visitor Bureau and Newcomers' Guides websites to put together her list of things to do. She might even have made a couple of phone calls just to confirm that these things are still in fact happening. (The piece does have a Jenny Warburg photo accompanying it, so that's a good sign, and props to Jenny).

But really, if you're the kind of person who's going to pop in for a weekend to show the kids some authentic Mayberry culture (in freakin' July!) at the Eno River Festival, using the New York Times as your travel guide, i'm not sure i want to be standing in line behind you at Loco Pop's listening to your kids whine about how hot they are while you order the last damn Mexican Chocolate popsicle. And i don't want to see your ass at the Warehouse Blues shows. Or the Third Annual Beaver Queen Pageant. Enjoy Crook's Corner.

UPDATE: Steve points out in the comments that Joanna Kakissis, the author of the Times piece under discussion, in fact worked for the N&O and lived in the Triangle (specific location unknown) for about 6 years. I've edited the copy of my post to reflect that.

I'm not sure that helps.

If i was writing a piece on places to eat with the kids, Crook's Corner would be near the bottom of the list. Satisfaction (they've got a car coming through the wall!) and Bullock's would be my Durham recommendations. I don't know squat about Raleigh and only a little more about Chapel Hill, so i wouldn't bother to recommend anything there.

Depending on the age of your kids, i bet they'd have more fun at Pullen Park than at the Art Museum, though.

And finally, while i love the Bulls, there is absolutely nothing nostalgic about the DBAP. If it's baseball nostalgia you want, try the Burlington Royals.

4 Comments:

  • You can argue that her recommendations are predictable and stereotypical but she did live here for six years. She's a former N&O reporter -- see her resume here. Just pointing out that she's not some NYC stringer parked on her butt and surfing teh Internets to see what's happening in Triangle land. It look like she's currently based in Athens, so maybe she just wrote about what she remembered. --Steve

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:21 AM  

  • I'm even more disappointed now that I know the writer actually lived here. Maybe she lived in Cary and was afraid to venture off the beaten path ...

    And the number one place to take kids is Elmo's. Not that I take kids anywhere, but I know people who do, and they all say Elmo's.

    But you are right, the bright side is that at least she didn't send people to the places I'd hate to see thronged with people who have come to see "Mayberry." But I'm gobsmacked that she didn't mention the American Tobacco complex--that's one place I would definitely take out-of-towners just because the design of the place is cool. Despite my distaste for branded experiences, I still like going there.

    But hey, thanks for the shout-out!

    By Blogger Lisa B., at 12:47 PM  

  • My kids always liked Satisfaction better. At least till the older one discovered that she liked sushi.

    By Blogger Barry Ragin, at 2:21 PM  

  • I'm with you on this one, Barry. If we're going to be mobbed by latte-sipping NY refugees (and I know, New York is hot as piss in the summer, but NC as your getaway?!?), I'm just as happy to see them file into all of the sanitized places. You tell them that they have to roam around Ringside, Broad St. Cafe, and Marvell if they want to find some live music, they get irritable and start whining about Durham. If the NYT came to me and said, "I hear that city Raleigh-Durham is really fun. Tell our readers where to go to have a great time!" my list probably would have looked pretty similar.

    I love Durham about as much as anyone, but I've actually come to recommending generic things for outsider folk who are obviously looking for a sterilized experience. Mentioning the DBAP was as good as mentioning American Tobacco. All the New Yorkers can come down here, go to the Bulls game, eat at Tyler's and Zen Cafe and other places I don't like, help pay Durham property taxes, and go home and gush about the great time they had. More can come down and repeat the process.

    In the meantime, they'll stay away from 305 South, the Green Room and Locopops, leaving us with a bit of breathing room.

    To be fair, she did mention the Museum of Life and Science, which I would have been really annoyed if she'd missed.

    By Anonymous Michael, at 1:23 PM  

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