Getting to Know You

Ah, Durham. How we love you already. It’s kind of amazing how quickly you can feel at home in a place when you’re surrounded by familiar things and friendly people. Although we’ve long been smitten with the state of NC, I’m so happy to say that after a few weeks here in Bull City, we’re loving calling this place home. I eluded to it when we started looking at properties here a few months ago, but this area is literally bursting at the seams with growth and young, fresh energy. Ready for a quick little tour of our new town?

Everywhere you look in the neighborhoods there are signs like these, which always made the heart of the house hunter in me skip a beat 😀 The older neighborhoods seem to have  a few houses each block undergoing extensive renovations, including these gems.

Real Estate Durham NC

And everywhere you look a few blocks further, once you’re right along the main city corridors, you see these.

New Urbanism

There are currently more than a half dozen high density developments going up here in Durham, all focused at bringing back walkable, livable, thriving urban centers, and the urban planner in me gets totally geeked when I see all this awesome development happening. Plus, with all these young (and old!) professionals and families, come shops that cater to them – it’s a great urban renewal circle of life if you will. 😀 Take this area.

9th Street Durham

This is 9th street, which is one of the hip strips here in Durham. Lots of eateries and coffee shops, almost all local, which is awesome! Right across the street, you’ve got this shopping center that just went in with lots of apartments being added as we speak. Since we adore living right in the thick of the action, and like to walk everywhere when possible, it’s beyond cool to see grocery stores getting added to this mix of retail and living centers.

Development in Durham

In addition to having the more conventional grocery options right here within walking distance from the main residential neighborhoods, one of our favorite ways to get fresh local produce has always been our farmer’s markets. I can’t even tell you how in love I am with how much this city embraces the rural areas around us – there are SO MANY amazing farms with much longer seasons than we were used to when we lived back in the mitten. It makes my heart so dang happy.

This year, for the first time, we signed up for a CSA, which is Community Shared Agriculture. Now instead of getting our fruits and veggies and eggs and cheese from the store, we’ll get them from a Farmer that lives a few miles down the road!

Durham Farmer's Market

The Farmer’s market is a few blocks away from the main downtown drag, where there is a ton of vintage tobacco warehouses have been turned into pretty sweet office spaces and eateries. Since Durham was a city that was hurting for so long after Tobacco got the heave ho as a ubiquitous part of our society (ya know, we’re no longer puffing those cigs Mad Men style…) a lot of the history was preserved when other cities got developed. A bummer in the sense that this city had to kind of pick itself up by it’s bootstraps and reinvent itself, but pretty darn cool in the sense that much of the architecture is original and has been re-purposed instead of torn down.

Brightleaf Square is one of the best examples of that rejuvenation. I took this photo over a week ago – all the tress have bloomed completely now, so it’s even more gorgeous!

Brightleaf Square Durham

Right over by my work is another set of offices with an original mural still preserved alongside the building.

Durham Murals

I think the city has taken a liking to these bright, artistic additions, since I’ve noticed a fair share of newer murals around town, too. Like this one.

Murals in Durham

Although my work office is closer to downtown, I’m right up against the Duke Campus, which is incredibly stunning.

Duke University Campus

Nice, right? 😀 Since we basically turned into fat little frozen eskimos up in Michigan, we’ve been trying to stay more active now that we’re down south by running through campus a few days a week. Can’t beat the scenery!

Speaking of jaw dropping destinations, we’ve also been by to check out the Duke Gardens (free admission!) where there are tons of gorgeous flowers and paths. Spring is obviously extra special, with all types of new blooms popping up every day.

Duke Botanical Gardens

Since we’re in the process of hunting for houses in more or less (3) different neighborhoods here in Durham, I thought I’d also give you all a little taste of the residential areas here by doing a weekly feature on some of the sweetest blocks in town. Y’all, get your bibs, because you are going to be drooling when I start posting photos of some of these pads. They are insane. If you all are as crazy sauce about scoping out the real estate in town as I am, get ready for a barrel of monkeys worth of fun! 😀

2 thoughts on “Getting to Know You

  1. Hi, I love reading your blog! I”m hoping that you will post pictures of the houses that you are seeing during your “house hunt”. Durham does look like a neat place to live. Are you doing your hunt after work or on weekends or both? How is the real estate market in Durham? How many homes have you toured so far?I think your taste in homes is similar to mine. I”m from Fairfax Va. and I live in a cape cod style home; We added a large addition on the back of our home to acomadate our growing family [we have 5 children and my mom lived with us for quite a while until she passed]. So please post lots of pictures;just love seeing them while you and your hubby are on your house hunt!! Sandee Schnupp.

    1. Hey Sandee!! Man, cape cods are my all time favorite style of house! My grandma lived in one growing up, so I think it reminds me of her home.

      We’re having a difficult time finding a house, since the market moves so fast down here and there is not a lot of inventory. So far, I’d say we’ve been in and out of at least a dozen homes (oye!) I’ll definitely snap some photos during the hunt and post them for everyone!

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