June/July 2020

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My first in-person interview since we’ve been quarantined was in April with Mayor Schewel. He arrived and immediately thanked all who were present for wearing a mask, and we sat down in front of the historic Carolina Theatre, more than six feet apart, to chat.

The moment in our discussion that stayed with me was when the mayor freely conceded that he knows that not all the decisions he’s made since this whole thing started are necessarily the correct ones. “It’s humbling,” he said. Even using all the science, data and advice of experts, he still has and feels comfortable sharing his doubts. Check out his interview on page 30.

What gives me comfort in this time, in addition to our responsible local leadership, is how fortunate I am. I understand that my family, friends and I are lucky in many ways while others are facing profound hardships and heartbreaks. And most of us, like the mayor, are doing the best we can with what we have.

My dad’s 60th birthday is just a few days away. I plan to bring him a Black Forest cake from Guglhupf (he’s half German) and takeout from his favorite: Waffle House. Both he and my mom are at high risk from the virus. But maybe we’ll sit outside along with my brother, keeping our distance, with Clorox wipes and sanitizer handy, and visit with one another. No hugs, but still close. Doing the best we can with what we have.

My dad is still working, which I know he is thankful for (in some ways). My mom has been furloughed since the beginning of March, for which I’m thankful (at least I know she’s safe). And I’m thankful and hopeful for their continued good health as we ease into “safer at home.”

Both the pragmatist and the optimist in me have teamed up and know that we will find solutions for various facets of our community; of course, we have to. And there are many people in Durham who are stepping up to help make our transition back happen. We talk about some of them in this issue. But, day to day, we can do the best we can with what we have, and that’s not bad.


32 Durham at Dawn
Moments with hard-working early risers in our city

44 Winning Streak
Several of our 2020 Readers’ Favorites have more to celebrate than their recent Best of Durham award. Here’s to the many accomplishments of these local businesses, organizations and professionals. 

70 Best of Durham 2020
In the Home & Garden and Services categories

74 Homegrown Getaways
With stay-at-home orders in place, these three couples used their time to create enviable oases in their backyards 

83 Welcome to the Neighborhood
Isabel and Efrain Pineiro adore their 55+ community

86 Directory of Continuing Care Retirement Communities and Assisted Living, Independent Senior Living and 55+ Living Communities

108 Mix It Up
Several bars, restaurants and distilleries offer make-your-own drink kits and prepackaged libations, blends and even coffee


8 Get Offline, Go Online
Virtual and socially distanced events for summer

22 Noted
What we’ve heard around town …

26 ‘Living in the Twilight’
David Pisetsky examines the change in Durham’s culture and shares his personal experiences working at local hospitals

30 Durham, Interrupted
Mayor Steve Schewel’s hopes and plans for reopening the city

110 Engagement & Weddings
Tying the knot, Bull City-style


97 Biz Briefs

102 Durham’s Newest Small Businesses Navigate COVID-19
When Durhamites were told to stay at home, small businesses that relied on face-to-face contact had to pivot and find a way forward


12 Feed the Fight Durham

14 DPAC’s Initiatives during COVID-19

16 2020 Class of Champions

18 Doctoral Matrimony at Duke University Hospital

20 Durham Neighbors Free Lunch Initiative

21 Virtual Induction into the National Honor Society


28 Healthy Durham
Stay well and spend your golden years in Durham

72 Adopt A Pet
Meet three pups and a pair of bunnies from the Animal Protection Society of Durham waiting on their forever homes

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