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Take an Amtrak Getaway to…Durham

20150925-448Looking for an adventurous weekend getaway? One option many haven’t considered is right under our noses: taking Amtrak to Durham. My wife and I did this urban excursion back in the Fall and had a fantastic experience. Not only were we able to take an unfamiliar mode of transportation and avoid heavy traffic, but we were able to explore a culinary playground for what felt like the first time. Our one-night excursion included a night at the incredible 21c Hotel, drinks in the 21c’s bar, dinner at Mateo, and late-night drinks on the roof of The Durham Hotel.

So packing your rolling suitcase! Here’s how to do make it fun and easy:


Taking the train to Durham made the trip really feel like we were getting away from it all. Had we driven, it would have felt like just another trip to Durham. Amtrak is scheduled to leave Raleigh each day at 4:50pm and the fare is $9 per person.

Parking is less than ideal at the Raleigh train depot. Though it is free, the lot is very small, and overflow means parking on the street. The alternative is departing from Cary where the terminal is spotless, parking is outstanding. The train leaves at 5:03pm each day from Cary, and fare is $6.50 per person.

The problem with departing from Cary, though, is that you skip the great experience of leaving from downtown Raleigh. You definitely want to sit on the right side of the train, because the views as you depart downtown Raleigh, passing by the new train depot construction site, through NCSU, by the backs of Hillsborough street businesses, and by the NC State Fairgrounds, is superior to that on the left side of the train.

It should be noted that Amtrak runs late the majority of the time. Thankfully they have an outstanding phone app which accurately reports the train’s status. It is a must when traveling on Amtrak.

Usually this train doesn’t sell out, so you can buy a ticket at the depot upon arriving. Seating on the train is general admission, though, so it does help to be first in line at the designated steps when the train is loading. All seat rows have a standard pair of electrical outlets under the window, and the seating dimensions are similar to those in First Class on a large airplane. Baggage is loosely stored overhead, not checked.

if the train is running late, you can walk across the tracks to visit Videri Chocolate Factory or Boxcar Bar + Arcade. CAM is also an option on some days, as they are open until 6:30pm on Wed-Fri. If you are in Cary and the train is late, consider visiting the shops in the Ashworth Drugs block.


20150925-464Durham has three outstanding hotels: The Aloft, The Durham, and the incredible 21c Hotel. The latter two hotels are just two blocks from the Amtrak station, while the aloft is adjacent to the DPAC, essentially 4 blocks away. The scheduled arrival is 5:24pm, so you should have plenty of time to check in and prepare for dinner.

The Aloft– As with most Aloft hotels, the rooms are modern, certainly adequate, but not high end. This location just opened 6 months ago, and I’ve heard a good first hand report about the couple’s stay. Rooms are usually $160 per night.

The Durham Hotel – Set in an old office building that looks like it came out of 1960s Miami, The Durham delivers a high end experience in incredibly minimalist rooms. Nightly rates begin at $290.

20150925-454The 21C Museum Hotel – Named as one of the best new hotels in the nation in 2015, the 21c is set in the 1930s era Hill Building, Durham’s tallest. The public areas of the building have been converted to a restaurant, a bar, and several rooms of museum space. The front desk area is tucked away on the second floor, but that only ads to the intrigue of the place. The rooms are large, and terrazzo floors and rugs, modern furniture, and neat lighting. The bathrooms look like something from a Stanley Kubrick movie, glowing fuchsia backlighting around the edges of the mirror. Very sexy. Rooms at the 21C begin at $240. Note: the hotel has a construction site across the street, so request a room on the west side of the building if you can.

Make no mistake, these are three high fashion hotels. The 21C has a spa and workout room. The Aloft is the only one with a pool, but it is very small. The Durham has no similar amenities. This is the area where these three hotels are sorely lacking, honestly.


20150925-470There are some outstanding dining options within a four block walk of these hotels. We walked 2 blocks to Mateo, the creation of James Beard award-nominated chef Matt Kelly. The dinner was impressive, which comes as no surprise given the reputation of the restaurant. Last week Alton Brown gave high praise on Facebook, calling Mateo America’s best tapas restaurant. As of now, you can still have a decent choice of times on Open Table one week in advance.

20150925-467Over at The Durham, James Beard award-winning chef Andrea Reusing’s new lobby-filling The Restaurant has received high praise from the highest of area food snobs.

The 21c’s Counting House restaurant, Pizzeria Toro, Rue Cler, Piedmont, Dashi, Bull City Burger and Brewery, and Dos Perros are all excellent dining choices as well.


Our “pregame” events included cocktails at the excellent bar in the 21c. We were able to peruse the art gallery; a wonderful experience. After the meal at Mateo we made our way two blocks to The Durham’s rooftop bar. Views here are very good, and it gave us a chance to experience the neat, quirky aspects of this hotel project. The atmosphere at the top was certainly the most Glenwood South-like experience of the evening, however.

20150925-478Some other good bar options inside the Durham Loop are Alley Twenty Six, Bar Virgile, and Arcana Bar and Lounge.


Admittedly, our trip was a food-based one, however there are some great entertainment options in downtown Durham including a DPAC or Carolina Theater event, a Durham Bulls game, or even a public event at the American Tobacco complex. While these are great options, the Amtrak factor must not be forgotten. Many of these events begin before 8pm and given Amtrak’s history, it could put a squeeze on dinner plans or even jeopardize seeing a ticketed event. If you anticipate dinner and one of these events, prepare to compromise by abandoning the Amtrak option in the afternoon and just drive it.


One of the reasons this getaway is an adventure is that Durham is not the safest place on the planet. In fact Durham County is one of North Carolina’s three counties with a higher violent crime rate than any county in New Jersey. Its rate is 2.5X higher than Wake County’s.

I have had no problems, however my sister and her date did have a scary incident. On a warm night this winter, between the 21c and Mateo, they approached an oncoming group of about 20 young black males who, from across the street, yelled at them, mocking them as racists and making lewd suggestions. There were no other people around to help had the group decided to cross the street and be violent.

The streets are dark in downtown Durham, and sometimes are quiet. In 4 nights of going out inside the Durham Loop, I have never seen a police officer. While the crime rate inside the Loop is probably not nearly as high as the county’s rate, the people creating that rate are not far away. This needs to change, now. Downtown Durham is poised to be the next Big Thing in the nation, as long as people feel safe. The population on the street is changing this spring, however, as the general population walking around patronizing businesses on a given weekend night is steadily increasing during warm weather nights.

Return Trip

There are two options for your return trip on Amtrak; 9:42am and 2:42pm. The early train is good for those who need to get on back to Raleigh, but the afternoon train is the way to go. Regardless, check the Amtrak app upon waking and see how the trains are running. (we made the mistake of hurrying to the station only to learn that the early train was delayed 2 hours).


There are some great lunch spots in downtown Durham. The most popular is Dame’s Chicken & Waffles, reported to be “the real deal”. Another great option, however, is Parker & Otis, which is 2 blocks west of the Amtrak station. P&O is a great café and gift shop like none in Raleigh.

Some other excellent lunch options include Toast, Old Havana Sandwich Shop, Luna Rotisserie and Empanadas, Pizzeria Toro, Dashi, Bull City Burger and Brewery, and Dos Perros .

* * *

Sometimes we all need a getaway. Unfortunately we find ourselves turning to the same old options, many of which involve multiple-night stays and a considerable amount of difficult driving. However random adventures can be just as exhilarating. Consider a great option that is right in our backyard; the Amtrak Getaway to Durham.



Summer ‘16 Promises Huge Concert Season

Despite what some might portray, this summer’s concert calendar for the Raleigh area is jam packed with a plethora of incredible concerts, comedy shows, and stage productions. Over 120 concerts by original artists await, with more announcements to come!

  1. 4/19 – Puscifer (RMA)
  2. 4/20 – Caberet begins (DPAC)
  3. 4/21 – Jimmy Buffett, Huey Lewis and The News (WCA)
  4. 4/21 – Ciara (RT)
  5. 4/21 – Robyn Hitchcock (CC)
  6. 4/21 – Jim Breuer opening night (GC)
  7. 4/22 – Martin Lawrence (PNC)
  8. 4/25 – Joy Formidable, Helio Sequence (CC)
  9. 4/26 – Lauryn Hill, Gary Clark Jr. (WOA-gboro)
  10. 4/27 – Dave Ramsey (DPAC)
  11. 4/28 – Polica (CC)
  12. 4/29 – M. Ward (HRB)
  13. 4/30 – Cravin’ Melon, Jack the Radio, Noah Guthrie, Katelyn Read (NH)
  14. 4/30 – Widespread Panic (WCA)
  15. 5/2 – Citizen Cope (CC)
  16. 5/3 – Beyonce, DJ Khaled (CFS)
  17. 5/3 – Chris Isaak (CTD)
  18. 5/3 – Wild Belle (MMH)
  19. 5/3 – 42nd Street opening night (DPAC)
  20. 5/5 – Parachute (CC)
  21. 5/5 – Jamie Kennedy (GC)
  22. 5/6 – Kiefer Sutherland (LT)
  23. 5/6 – Frankie Beverly, Charlie Wilson, Lalah Hathaway (PNC)
  24. 5/7 – Old Crow Medicine Show, Brandi Carlile (WOA-gboro)
  25. 5/8 – Cowboy Mouth (MMH)
  26. 5/8 – Old 97’s, Heartless Bastards, J Barham (of American Aquarium) (CC)
  27. 5/11 – Martin Short (CTD)
  28. 5/11 – Pentatonix, Us The Duo (RHA)
  29. 5/12 – Craig Robinson (GC)
  30. 5/13 – Parquet Courts (CC)
  31. 5/14 – The Front Bottoms (CC)
  32. 5/14 – Trampled By Turtles, The Devil Makes Three (RHA)
  33. 5/14 – WWE Live (PNC)
  34. 5/15 – Bloc Party, The Vaccines (CC)
  35. 5/17 – Silversun Pickups, Foals, Joywave (CD-gboro)
  36. 5/18 – Styx, Kansas, Don Felder (KB)
  37. 5/18 – Rogue Wave, Hey Marseilles (CC)
  38. 5/19 – Aretha Franklin (DPAC)
  39. 5/19 – Moogfest (Durham) – Miike Snow, Blood Orange, Gary Numan, et al
  40. 5/20 – Chris Stapleton, Sam Lewis (KB)
  41. 5/21 – Kenny Chesney, Old Dominion (WCA)
  42. 5/21 – Tab Benoit (LT)
  43. 5/21 – Nantucket, Band of Brothers, Kyle Scobie and Kaylin Roberson (RPG)
  44. 5/22 – Willie Nelson (KB)
  45. 5/22 – RuPaul’s Drag Race (DPAC)
  46. 5/26 – Bill Bellamy (GC)
  47. 5/27 – Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (NCMA)
  48. 5/29 – Minus The Bear, Restorations (CD-gboro)
  49. 6/3 – Dave Coulier (GC)
  50. 6/3 – Dolly Parton (GC-gboro)
  51. 6/4 – Cyndi Lauper (DPAC)
  52. 6/4 – Scotty McCreery (TFS)
  53. 6/5 – Journey, Doobie Bros, Dave Mason (WCA)
  54. 6/7 – Riverdance (DPAC)
  55. 6/8 – Dirty Dozen Brass Band (MMH)
  56. 6/9 – Chris Botti (CTD)
  57. 6/9 – Lord Huron, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats (RHA)
  58. 6/9 – Two Door Cinema Club (CC)
  59. 6/10 – Ellie Goulding, Matt and Kim (RHA)
  60. 6/10 – Kris Allen (CC)
  61. 6/10 – Lake Street Dive (NCMA)
  62. 6/10 – Miranda Lambert, Kip Moore, Brothers Osborne (WCA)
  63. 6/11 – M83 (RHA)
  64. 6/14 – Pete Davidson (GC)
  65. 6/15 – Of Monsters and Men (RHA)
  66. 6/15 – Fitz & The Tantrums (CD-Gboro)
  67. 6/16 – Rebelution (The Green, J Boog, Stick Figure, Through the Roots, DJ Mackle – RHA)
  68. 6/16 – Bobby Lee opens (GC)
  69. 6/17 – The 1975 (RHA)
  70. 6/18 – Greg Humphreys (PH)
  71. 6/18 – Rascal Flatts, Kelsea Ballerini, Chris Lane (WCA)
  72. 6/19 – Josh Groban (WOA-gboro)
  73. 6/21 – Weezer, Panic! At The Disco, Andrew McMahon and the Wilderness (WCA)
  74. 6/21 – The Jayhawks (CC)
  75. 6/23 – Brantley Gilbert, Justin Moore, Colt Ford (WCA)
  76. 6/23 – Pere Ubu (CC)
  77. 6/23 – Rich Vos (GC)
  78. 6/24 – Silversun Pickups (RT)
  79. 6/24 – Jay Farrar (HRB)
  80. 6/24 – Rob Schneider opens (GC)
  81. 6/29 – Twenty One Pilots (RHA)
  82. 7/3 – Barenaked Ladies, OMD, Howard Jones – (RHA)
  83. 7/6 – Modest Mouse, Brand New (KB)
  84. 7/10 – Toby Keith, Eric Paslay (WCA)
  85. 7/14 – Florida Georgia Line, Cole Swindell, Cadillac Three, Kane Brown (WCA)
  86. 7/15 – Ray LaMontagne (RHA)
  87. 7/16 – Steve Miller Band (RHA)
  88. 7/17 – Maks & Val (DPAC)
  89. 7/18 – Flight of the Conchords (KB)
  90. 7/18 – Lindsey Stirling (DPAC)
  91. 7/20 – Pat Benatar, Melissa Etheridge (RHA)
  92. 7/22 – Dierks Bentley (WCA)
  93. 7/22 – Peter Frampton, Gregg Allman (RHA)
  94. 7/22 – Tedeschi Trucks Band, Los Lobos, North Mississippi Allstars (KB)
  95. 7/24 – Digable Planets (CC)
  96. 7/23 – Kool & The Gang (WCA)
  97. 7/24 – Gwen Stefani, Eve (WCA)
  98. 7/24 – 311 w/ Matisyahu (RHA)
  99. 7/24 – Digable Planets (CC)
  100. 7/26 – Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa (WCA)
  101. 7/26 – Swans (CC)
  102. 7/28 – Counting Crows, Rob Thomas (RHA)
  103. 7/29 – Maxwell (RHA)
  104. 7/30 – Slightly Stoopid (RHA)
  105. 7/30 – K. Michelle (RT)
  106. 7/31 – Phillip Phillips, Matt Nathanson, A Great Big World (RHA)
  107. 8/7 – Frankie Valli (KB)
  108. 8/9 – Joe Walsh (RHA)
  109. 8/12 – Dixie Chicks (WCA)
  110. 8/12 – Nick Offerman w/ Megan Mullally (DPAC)
  111. 8/12 – Piebald (HRB)
  112. 8/13 – Def Leppard, REO Speedwagon, Tesla (WCA)
  113. 8/13 – Kidz Bop Live (RHA)
  114. 8/13 – Lyle Lovett (DPAC)
  115. 8/13 – Iron and Wine (NCMA)
  116. 8/13 – Jim Gaffigan (WOA-gboro)
  117. 8/16 – Newsies opening night (DPAC)
  118. 8/17 – Needtobreathe, Mat Kearney (RHA)
  119. 8/19 – Brian Wilson (DPAC)
  120. 8/19 – Keith Urban, Brett Eldredge, Maren Morris (WCA)
  121. 8/19 – Fifth Harmony (RHA)
  122. 8/20 – Jonathan Byrd (HRB)
  123. 8/21 – O.A.R. (RHA)
  124. 8/25 – Rick Springfield, Night Ranger, The Romantics (RHA)
  125. 8/27 – Goo Goo Dolls, Collective Soul, Tribe Society (RHA)
  126. 9/1, 9/2 – Luke Bryan, Little Big Town, Dustin Lynch (WCA)
  127. 9/1 – The Melvins (CC)
  128. 9/8 – Wolf Parade, Wye Oak (CP)
  129. 9/9 – Beach House (RHA)
  130. 9/9 – Erykah Badu (RHA)
  131. 9/9 – Gary Clark, Jr. (RT)
  132. 9/9 – Weird Al Yankovic (DPAC)
  133. 9/10 – Darius Rucker, Dan + Shay, Michael Ray (WCA)
  134. 9/11 – Bull Durham Blues Festival begins
  135. 9/13 – Kinky Boots begins (DPAC)
  136. 9/14 – Heart, Joan Jett, Cheap Trick (WCA)
  137. 9/14 – ZZ Top, Gov’t Mule KB
  138. 9/15 – The Lumineers, Borns, Rayland Baxter (KB)
  139. 9/18 – Brad Paisley, Tyler Farr, Maddie & Tae (WCA)
  140. 9/25 – Il Divo (DPAC)
  141. 9/30 – IBMA Wide Open Bluegrass
  142. 9/30 – Jason Aldean, Thomas Rhett & A Thousand Horses (WCA)

Venue Key:

CC – Cat’s Cradle (Carrboro)
CD-gboro – Cone Denim Entertainment Center (Greensboro, NC)
CFS – Carter-Finley Stadium
CP – City Plaza (Fayetteville, St)
CTD – Carolina Theater (Durham)
DPAC – Durham Performing Arts Center (Durham)
GC – Goodnights Comedy Club
GC-gboro – Greensboro Coliseum (Greensboro, NC)
HRB – Haw River Ballroom (Haw River, NC)
KB – Koka Booth Amphitheater (Cary)
LT – Lincoln Theatre
MMH – Motorco Music Hall (Durham)
NCMA – NC Museum of Art)
NH – North Hills East Amphitheater
PNC – PNC Arena
RHA – Red Hat Amphitheater
RMA – Raleigh Memorial Auditorium
R{G – RallyPoint Sports Grill (Cary)
RT – Ritz Theater
WCA – Walnut Creek Amphitheater
WOA-gboro – White Oak Amphitheater (Greensboro, NC)


Publix Coming to Downtown Raleigh

According to trusted sources it appears that Publix will be the major tenant to the Kane Realty project coming to N. West St. in downtown Raleigh. The site, currently occupied by the ThemeWorks and Southland Ballroom, is zoned for 12 stories. So, perhaps, a mixed use project with a ground or second-level grocery is planned.

The site is in an area of NW downtown set to see some major changes. With the NCDOT bridge project set to offload Capital Blvd to eastbound Peace Street traffic via Johnson Street (pdf plan), we are set to see a major amount of redevelopment happen between Capital Blvd and the railroad tracks. Publix will be a perfect fit for this project.

Map picture


Daniels Middle School to Build Skyboxes

Today the Wake County School System announced that Daniels Middle School will undergo a renovation project that will make it the first school in North Carolina to feature skyboxes in its football and basketball facilities. The project not only offers a luxury suite for fans, but also replaces the outdated, original dressing rooms on the ground floor.

The skybox will feature an innovative design, offering prime views of the football field on the east side of the box, as well as a prime view of the basketball gym on the west side, a flexible design to suit all seasons. Food services will be offered on gamedays and for select Blue Jacket events throughout the year by the Angus Barn.

“We are excited for this opportunity to modernize our facilities,” school principal Elizabeth Battle said. “The students and coaches will get long-awaited locker room upgrades, while the suites will give parents a chance to bond during events.

The project will be financed in a joint partnership of the WCPSS as well as the Blue Jacket Club. Construction is scheduled to begin in June of this year.



North Carolina Scores Big in Beard Semifinalist List

Salad at MateoWith Duke/UNC coming up, you know it’s also time for the biggie in food, the James Beard Award Semifinalist announcement (pdf). The biggie for the area is Raleigh’s Ashley Christensen who got one of the 20 nomination for “Best Chef: US”. Christensen’s “Death and Taxes” got one of the 25 national nominations for Best New Restaurant.

North Carolina recently been a regular in the nominations list for Best Chef: Southeast, but this year was incredibly strong with NC chefs getting 8 of the 20 nominations for a 6-state region that includes Charleston and Atlanta. (NC, SC, GA, WV, TN, KY)

Best Chef: Southeast

  • Nate Allen, Knife and Fork, Spruce Pine, NC
  • Billy Allin, Cakes & Ale, Decatur, GA
  • Jeremiah Bacon, The Macintosh, Charleston, SC
  • Brian Canipelli, Cucina 24, Asheville, NC
  • Kathy Cary, Lilly’s, Louisville, KY
  • Scott Crawford, Standard Foods, Raleigh, NC
  • Steven Devereaux Greene, Herons in the Umstead Hotel, Cary, NC
  • Kevin Gillespie, Gunshow, Atlanta
  • Damian Heath, Lot 12 Public House, Berkeley Springs, WV
  • Vivian Howard, Chef & the Farmer, Kinston, NC
  • Kevin Johnson, The Grocery, Charleston, SC
  • Matthew Kelly, Mateo, Durham, NC
  • Joe Kindred, Kindred, Davidson, NC
  • Edward Lee, 610 Magnolia, Louisville, KY
  • Erik Niel, Easy Bistro, Chattanooga, TN
  • Steven Satterfield, Miller Union, Atlanta
  • Ryan Smith, Staplehouse, Atlanta
  • Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman, Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, Memphis
  • Aaron Vandemark, Panciuto, Hillsborough, NC
  • Tandy Wilson, City House, Nashville

NC wasn’t empty-handed when it came to specialty awards, either. There were 20 Outstanding Baker nominations and Phoebe Lawless (Scratch Bakery, Durham) and Lionel Vatinet (La Farm, Cary) were nominated. Finally Cynthia Wong (Rhubarb, Asheville) picked up one of the Outstanding Pastry Chef nominations. No NC nominations came for Restaurant, Restaurateur, Service, Bar Program, Wine Program, Wine Sprits or Beer Professional, or Rising Star Chef.

The Talley

Here is how the Triangle area fared against other cities:

  • Triangle Area: 8
  • Atlanta: 12
  • Austin, TX: 5
  • Boston: 8
  • Charleston, SC: 4
  • Charlotte: 0
  • Chicago: 27
  • Dallas: 6
  • Denver: 5
  • Houston: 8
  • Los Angeles: 14
  • Madison: 4
  • Miami: 6
  • Nashville: 4
  • New Orleans: 14
  • New York: 16 (plus 20 in special category)
  • Philadelphia: 14
  • Phoenix: 3
  • Portland, OR: 15
  • Richmond: 1
  • San Antonio: 1
  • San Francisco: 26
  • Seattle: 17
  • Tampa: 2
  • Washington, DC: 16

The James Beard Foundation will pare down the list and announce their list of Finalists on Tue, March 15.


2015: A Year of Openings and Closings

As with any year, 2015 brought some exciting new restaurants and stores to Raleigh, but painfully took its share, too.Here’s a look at the high-impact openings and closings for the year:


  • Standard foods
  • Death and Taxes
  • Taverna Agora
  • Raleigh Beer Garden
  • Tropical Pickin Chicken
  • Kamado Grill
  • Gonza Tacos (Hillsborough St location)
  • Cantina 18 (renovation)
  • Big Ed’s (North Raleigh location)
  • Rise Biscuits
  • Jade Garden (reopen)
  • P.G. Werth’s
  • More
  • Carolina Ale House
  • Wicked Taco
  • Chick-Fil-A (Lake Boone location)


  • Crowleys
  • Tir na Nog
  • 518 West
  • Battistella’s
  • BigBoom
  • Firewurst
  • Pie Bird
  • Person Street Pharmacy
  • Tyler’s Taproom
  • Mantra
  • Natty Greene’s
  • Zinda (converted to private dining)
  • Ciago’s
  • Brewmasters
  • Filippos the Belgian
  • Swad
  • Colony Theater
  • Marsh Woodwinds
  • North American Video

Certainly 2016 will bring its surprises, too. Stay tuned for Gogoraleigh’s predictions for 2016, coming later this week.


Raleigh’s Top 30 Stories for 2015

2015 was another great one for Raleigh. Whether it was much love on cable networks, a slew of new downtown apartments, or great new restaurants, there was a big story almost every week that had an impact on the future of Raleigh. With big changes coming in key decision-making positions, 2016 promises to be a key year for the upcoming decade.

Here’s a look back a the 30 stories that shaped us and moved us in 2015, The stories are presented in no particular order.


16 Podcasts To Save You from Sports Radio

If you’ve turned on the radio to listen to local sports talk, you know how frustrating it can be to hear hosts’ inability to stay focused, rude behavior toward callers, poor working knowledge of basic grammar, and scant analysis of the actual play on the field or court. At times it is as if they care more about the feelings of the players and the clothes their coaches wear than what transpires in the game.

Suffer no more! With the growing popularity of podcasts, a few minutes of setup can free you from the shackles of local sports talk. iPhone users can use the great Overcast app (with its sound leveling and gap removing features) or just stick with the stock Apple Podcast app. Android users should download the BeyondPod app; all free of charge.

Simply add the feeds for the below podcasts and you are finally off to an informative, entertaining, and efficient sports talk experience!


N.C. State




Carolina Hurricanes


Public Meeting on Fairview Fire Station Coming Monday

On Wednesday, October 7 at 7pm, the City of Raleigh Fire Department will hold a public meeting on the rebuild of Fire Station Six (Fairview and Oberlin Roads). The meeting will take place at the fire station.


Parade of Homes Begins Tomorrow

For the next three weekends the Triangle Homebuilders Association will be celebrating the Parade of Homes. The county-wide series of nearly 400 new open houses runs through the next three weekends (October 3-4, 9-11, 16-18). The houses will be open from Noon to 5pm each day.

There are 3 good sources of information about the tour:

  • In Print – stop by the homebuilder’s association’s office (near Crossroads) at:
    5580 Centerview Drive, Suite 115
    Raleigh, NC 27606
  • OnlineThe association website, a searchable directory, and an online map are all available on the web.
  • Apps – probably not the best-designed app ever, but the best way to go is to use the Android app and the iOS app . The house listing is scrollable, there is a filter search, a map with pins, and the ability to star your favorites.

The most interesting house on the tour is the one at Yadkin and Alleghany, a 5,961 square foot Modern English house by Dixon-Kirby. Their work is always top notch, but there is always, too, some element of bizarre in their houses.

The largest house on the tour is The Cove, a 7,600 square food house on Brinleys Cove Court (out Six Forks past Durant Rd).

Restrooms are not available in the houses, so please plan accordingly. Also be sure to wear socks and shoes you can easily remove before entering each house. Finally, each house’s parking is curbside in existing neighborhoods, so please be courteous to keep driveways, hydrants, and intersections clear, and be on the lookout for children.


Oktoberfest Coming to Booth Amphitheatre This Weekend

oktoberfestOne of Cameron Village and North Hills’ great traditions from yesterday was Oktoberfest. Hark! the event lives on now at Cary’s Booth Amphitheatre. The event begins Saturday and will feature entertainment, a variety of German foods, biergarten, football-viewing tent with TVs, sanctioned beer-judging competition and more. The schedule for the two-day event is as follows:

Saturday, October 4

  • Noon – Gates open with Chuck Piercy as emcee; Kinder Platz Kid Zone open
  • 1 p.m. – Opening Ceremony, including keg tapping with Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht and other dignitaries
  • Live Music and dancing from the Little German Band throughout the day
  • 1:30 p.m. – Stein Hoist I Contest
  • 2 p.m. – Ladies’ Hammerschlagen (nail-driving competition) I Contest, followed by Men’s Hammerschlagen I Contest
  • 3 p.m. – Stein Hoist II Contest
  • 4 p.m. – Wiener Dog Races, Best Dressed Dog Contest
  • 5 p.m. – Best Dressed of the Day Contest (Ladies, Men and Children); Egg Race; Fräulein Beer Challenge Contest
  • 6 p.m. – Stein Hoist III Contest
  • 7 p.m. – Kinder Platz Kid Zone closes; Alpine Horn, Tuba Challenge or Yodeling Contest
  • 8 p.m. – Stein Hoist IV Contest
  • 9 p.m. – Fräulein Beer Challenge; Beer Obstacle Course
  • 10 p.m. – Festivities end for the day

Sunday, October 5

  • Noon – Gates Open with Chuck Piercy and Ernie McAllister as emcees; Kinder Platz Kid Zone Open; Egg Race and Chicken Dance Contests; Fräulein Beer Challenge
  • 1 p.m. – Live music and dancing throughout the day; Beer Obstacle Course; Ladies’ Hammerschlagen II Contest; Men’s Hammerschlagen II Contest
  • 2 p.m. – Stein Hoist V Contest
  • 3 p.m. – Beer Awards Announced; Best Dressed of the Day (Ladies, Men and Children)
  • 4 p.m. – Wiener Dog Races; Best Dressed Dog Contest
  • 5 p.m. – Stein Hoist VI Contest
  • 6 p.m. – Closing Remarks; Oktoberfest ends

Tickets for Saturday are $20 for 16 and up, $5 for ages 6 to 15, free for 5 and under.Sunday tickets are $15 for 16 and up, $5 for ages 6 to 15, free for 5 and under. Two-day tickets for 16 and up are also available for $30.  Beer Judge Tickets (including commemorative glass and unlimited beer sampling for the day) available for $45. Discounts available for seniors, as well as active and retired military. To purchase tickets, visit the Booth Amphitheatre Box Office, call 1-800-514-3849 or visit http://triangleoktoberfest.org/buy-tickets/


Traffic Circles Removed from Currituck Design

neighborhoodRoundaboutThe Raleigh City Council recently approved a traffic calming project slated for Currituck Drive in the North Hills subdivision. The project design, intended to engineer cars into keeping speeds in the 20s, includes curb extensions and medians. The intent is to convey a sense of traffic calming by including an element every 5th house along the street.

Original plans called for two neighborhood traffic circles (one oblong and one circular) as well as bumped out corners of an existing 4-way stop intersection. The approved design, however removes all of those options. The oblong circle has been replaced with a median on both sides of the intersection and the true circle will likely be replaced with a 4-way stop.

The project is expected to begin this summer in the summer of 2016.


125 Concerts to Rock Your Summer

2014-08-22 21.06.44Summer always brings great concerts to the Triangle, and 2015 may be the best yet. From April to September there are 125 big acts coming to the area’s venues, with more announcements coming! From 1st-tier comedians to one of only 15 North American dates for the Rolling Stones, there is always something to do here this summer. See venue key at the bottom for info links.

Click the “Summer ‘15” tab (at the top) for the updated list.

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