Letter From the Editor
It’s been almost a year to the day since I had my first restaurant dining experience after the onset of the pandemic. Mind you, it was outside, sans waitstaff, but it felt like a momentous occasion nonetheless. I went to Boricua Soul, ordered a Soul Bowl packed with its slow-roasted pork, pickled red onions, rice, mac and cheese, collard greens and tostones, which I somehow polished off (no small feat), and I sat there gazing up at the Lucky Strike Water Tower.
I get mildly claustrophobic in crowds – but on that day, I sat there and thought of all the concerts on that lawn that I’d enjoyed. The tower lightings that I’d witnessed year after year, surrounded by strangers and friends alike. And I missed it. I yearned for it to return.
Back in June, before the variant, it felt like we were almost there. But, here we are, on the precipice of another fall faced with the enduring pandemic. My autumn travels to Europe are canceled. We were planning to celebrate a dear friend’s wedding in Ecuador over the holidays – it’s no longer happening, so I’ll be spending that time in Durham instead.
But I refuse to despair because I know I’m lucky. It’s thanks to science that we have made it this far, and I am ever grateful for it – for the health of my family and friends, for the small and safe gatherings we still enjoy, for my path to have brought me to a community that favors kindness, reason and acceptance of all, and that continuously strives to do better. I’m privileged to share the city’s stories with our readers, and I hope you continue to share with me your feedback and your own tales. We’re all fellow travelers on the same road. That makes all the difference. – Amanda MacLaren
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