Tag Archives: blue devils

93-77…That’s bad.

I’m pooped.  Daniel and I just got back from The Distillery.  We left the game early since we were tired of Duke embarrassing themselves.  What a shame.  It looks like the tournament is over for them.

Washington Duke: he's obviously ashamed.


March Madness or Senior Night?

I mentioned in a status update on Facebook that I was having a hard time making a decision this week.  On Thursday, Duke is playing a late game against Arizona.  So Daniel and I are thinking about going to The Distillery to eat some 1/2 priced wings, etc. and watch Duke massacre Arizona.  But Thursday also happens to be one of the last Senior Nights of the semester.  So it would be a missed opportunity to hang out, drink and dance with my graduating friends.  Date night with Daniel or dancing with friends?

I will leave you all salivating with suspense.


Duke Chapel

Spring Break Day 1

Of my list of Top 10 Favorite Things to Do in Durham, today I have taken a walk through Brightleaf, enjoyed the warm weather while sipping a Dr Pepper, saw the shops along Ninth Street, and eaten a sandwich from Jimmy John’s.  I also watched the Duke/UNC game, although I could not attend.  (I was also pretty disappointed that they lost in such a big way.)  So far, I’ve officially completed 3 and 1/2 of the items on the list.  That’s not too bad.

Overally, today was a great day.  I woke up and Daniel’s father had made some tasty breakfast.  I walked outside wearing just a sweatshirt and was more than comfortable.  Daniel and I decided to go for a walk, along with his littlest sister Nicole.  I’m thinking about interviewing her for this blog.  It would have to be a filmed interview, because she is so much better in person.

We just wandered around parts of downtown.  The Farmer’s Market here is already pretty lively; there was a bluegrass band playing when we got there, and lots of people milling around.


Farmer's Market Bluegrass Band

It’s obviously a city that caters to hipsters and white people.

A cool little bridge in Durham's Central Park


Durham is already blooming.

After our stroll, we went a few blocks up the street with Daniel’s mom for an Open House.  I’m completely smitten with all of the old houses on this street, including the one in which Daniel’s family currently resides.

Tomorrow is supposed to be rainy, but according to my weather widget it will still be a full 30 degrees (F) warmer here than in Rochester.  I’m looking forward to it.

Top 10 Favorite Things to Do in Durham, NC

As I began to anticipate spring break 2011, I thought to myself, “What are my favorite things to do in Durham?”  Whenever I travel to Durham, there are certain places I must go, certain things I must eat or drink, in order for it to feel like a successful trip.  It also feels vindicating to know that I’m not the only person that thinks it’s an amazing city to visit.  The New York Times recently named Durham one of the top 41 places to visit in 2011.  On a list containing mostly exotic places all around the world, Durham doesn’t really seem to fit in at number 35.  But they recognize that its strongest points lay with its restaurants, many of them set in former tobacco factories, giving them uniquely industrial, artsy, and urban vibes.  So, I will start at number 10 with a food that I don’t necessarily need, but will usually eat at some point during my stay in Durham.

10.  Have a Po’ Boy for lunch

Typically one thinks of po’ boys as more of a coastal food.  Wikipedia says they originated in Louisiana.  Like I mentioned, they are not really something I need in order for a trip to be declared a success, but I almost always eat one somewhere while in Durham.  And there are so many places to get a great Po’ Boy.  The last time I was in Durham (over the winter break from college), Daniel and I met his dad at Beyú Caffé for lunch.  They had the most amazing shrimp po’ boy I have ever had.  Daniel got the same thing, and I think he agreed with me.  Off of the top of my head, I can also think of Blu and Watts Grocery.  Daniel and I have met at both locales for lunch, and one of us always orders an oyster po’ boy.  Delicious.  This takes me to number 9.

9.  Eat at Blu Seafood and Bar

I love seafood.  The problem is that I only recently discovered just how much I love seafood.  (Living in rural upstate New York limits your options to Long John Silver’s or The Frozen Food Aisle at your local grocery store.)  I think a large part of that discovery came from Blu.  This is Daniel’s favorite restaurant in Durham, and for good reason.  It doesn’t matter what you decide to eat there, it is all delicious.  Their menu will vary, depending on the season.  It does tend to get a little pricey, which is why Daniel and I try to do lunch there, unless his parents treat us to dinner.  The consensus seems to be that the price is worth it for the food.

8.  Enjoy the Sarah P. Duke Gardens

This is a little bit high on this list only because visiting Duke Gardens is more of a seasonal activity.  Otherwise, it would certainly be in my Top 5.  Occupying 55 acres on Duke University’s West Campus, it features both plants native to the southeastern United States, and plants from all around the world, from Japan to India.  They also have a good variety of wildlife that seem to reside within the gardens.  Regardless of what is blooming, it’s always a pleasure to walk along the paths and see and hear the flora and fauna that make these gardens unique.

7.  See a show at DPAC

Morrissey and The Lion King broadway musical.  Although these are two very different things, we saw them both at the Durham Performing Arts Center.  I will let you guess which one made me cry.

6.  Attend a Duke Men’s Basketball game

This is certainly not something I can do every time I am in Durham, but when the opportunity arises in the future, I will always take it.  The first Duke game I’d ever attended was on Jan. 2 of this year, when they played Miami.  It was quite an experience.  Love them or hate them, they are a great team to watch.

5.  Take a walk through Brightleaf Square

Brightleaf Square occupies what once was a number of warehouses belonging to the American Tobacco Company family.  Now it has become a great place to shop or relax and enjoy a meal.  Brightleaf hosts a huge variety of restaurants, shops, and boutiques.  If you’re looking for a meal, but aren’t sure what you want, take a walk through Brightleaf; something is bound to tickle your fancy.

4.  Stroll through American Tobacco

Architecturally, the American Tobacco Historic District is one of the most interesting places to visit in Durham.  During the summer and fall, they also feature live outdoor music, in addition to other forms of live entertainment.  Daniel only took me through American Tobacco for the first time 2 months ago, but I am very anxious to get back and snap some pictures, because my descriptions just won’t do it justice.

3.  Enjoy the weather and sip a Dr Pepper

I am from upstate New York.  It is cold here.  So it doesn’t matter when I go to Durham, it will always be warmer than Rochester.  Durham is a very walkable city.  But even on the days where I just feel like lazing around Daniel’s house, I can always go sit on a porch or a bench in the nearby park, relax, and just enjoy the weather while sipping my favorite soda.  Also, his family always has Dr Pepper; his mother is completely addicted, so I can always look forward to a stocked fridge.

2.  See the shops on Ninth Street

Daniel grew up only a few blocks away from Ninth Street.  Ninth Street features various restaurants and shops.  I personally can vouch for Elmo’s Diner (because, even in Durham, sometimes you just want diner food) and Dain’s Place.  Dain’s Place is more of a pub or sports bar than anything else, but they have, as Daniel would say, “bangin'” tater tots.

1.  Get a sandwich at Jimmy John’s and pair it with a soda from Ox & Rabbit

The two things that I must absolutely do while in Durham are to walk to Ninth Street to get a sandwich from Jimmy John’s and a soda from Ox & Rabbit.  I.  love.  Jimmy John’s.  I can’t stress that enough.  Jimmy John’s shops are exceedingly rare in the North, so it is always a treat when I go to Durham.  And nothing goes better with Jimmy John’s than a soda or shake from Ox & Rabbit.  I don’t know how to describe Ox & Rabbit, other than a vintage-style soda fountain.  Personally, my favorite flavor is the Cherry Lime, but I’m partial to the Cherry Dr Pepper as well.  Just thinking about them is making my mouth water.  In just a few days, I can satisfy my craving.


Taken on the Duke University campus.


Daniel looks super ’80s, and I look super awkward.  I can’t wait to get back to Durham.

Note:  Some people might ask why I didn’t include attending a Durham Bulls game somewhere on this list.  The simple fact is that I have never been to a Bulls game.  Why?  Well, Daniel doesn’t care for baseball.  But, someday I will make him take me.  Perhaps that will be on a future “Top 10 List of Things I Still Need To Do While in Durham, NC”.

My ABC Story

Unfortunately, I was not able to attend Game Night tonight at Park Ave Comics and Games.  I had a lot of homework for my various sign language classes.  Tomorrow I have to record myself signing an original ABC Story.  If you are unfamiliar with American Sign Language or the Deaf Community, you probably don’t know about ABC Stories.  ABC Stories are signed short stories using the ASL handshapes of the letters of the English alphabet.  The story must keep the letters in alphabetical order (although you can start with Z and go to A, or you can move from A to Z and then from Z back to A, et cetera).  Although I have taken many ASL classes and even an ASL Literature class, this is the first time I will actually be recorded signing an ABC Story and graded on its content and quality.

Here is a pretty typical ABC Story.

I’ve seen so many at this point that unless they are very creative, I get bored with them.  In class, I recently watched one called “The Break Dancer”.  I don’t have a link to a video, but it can be found on this DVD.  It was amazing, and hilarious, and not that cliche or typical.  So once in a while you can find a creative gem, but you usually have to wade through all of the awkward, stereotypical ABC Stories made up by students (like the one I will record tomorrow).

Fortunately, Daniel did make it to Game Night.  Once he came back, we headed out to the Distillery, since he had not yet had dinner.  If you go there after 9pm on Sunday – Thursday, they have a 1/2 price special on appetizers and boneless wings.  But my favorite thing, of course, is there buy-1-get-1 margaritas.  The way that it works is you can either buy two separate margaritas for the price of one, or you can purchase one double margarita.  One of my fondest memories of the Distillery took place during last year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship.  It was the Duke University Blue Devils versus Butler (??).  We were pretty much the only two people rooting for Duke, because everybody kept talking about Hoosiers and how great it would be for Butler to win.  Yeah, right.  Needless to say, Duke won, we gorged ourself on wings, and I probably got a little tipsy on margaritas.  All around, it was a great night.

My Photo of the Day:


I randomly snapped this shot right before I headed into my ASL 200 class.  I was standing on the quad with Daniel, and then I looked up and just grabbed my camera.  It’s kind of a boring shot, actually, but I wanted a new photo because I’ve been really lazy with my “daily photos” lately.  Also, before today, the weather was unbelievably depressing and awful here.  Tomorrow it will go back to being depressing and awful, so I might not have a new picture, unless I see something really interesting.  I’m rambling.  Time for bed.