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Maybe the Foxes Are Sending “Triangle” a Message

RTP_Dog For five decades now the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area has been termed “The Triangle”, and for good reason. As three cities/towns hosted the most important academic, medical and business centers, it was only natural to focus on the three entities. While we expected infill in The Triangle, we perhaps didn’t see our grown concentrations morph the area into a different shape; a red fox .

The area’s satellite imagery reveals much growth from Chapel Hill and Carrboro toward Raleigh, but Raleigh’s growth has been along outward spokes to the northeast, southeast, and southwest. According to the figure, Umstead park appears like a saddle on the little fox, and Jordan Lake looks like a long line of droll from Carrboro/Chapel Hill, the mouth of the dog.

While I’m not assigning any character traits to communities based on this morphology, the shape does spur some interesting questions such as:

  • Why hasn’t Creedmoor Road/hwy 50 seen any retail development?
  • Why has the Apex/Garner axis been kept so rural?
  • Why has the Durham/Wake Forest axis been kept so rural?

Maybe these little red foxes that are invading our cities are simply a calling; the new mascots for the area. Instead of “The Triangle”, we could be called “The Fox”. The airport code could be changed to “FOX”. The 10 o’clock news could be the Fox News Hour…. oh wait.


Curated Stringed Instrument/Wine Event Coming to Downtown


On Saturday, May 24 Pasewicz String Instrument will present Meritage , a unique show featuring fine wine, instruments, and music. Attendees will have the opportunity to see and hear some of the finest stringed instruments in the country, and hear a sampling of of works from artists like Mendelssohn, Schubert, and Brahms. Some anticipated instruments on display are over 200 years old.

The event is presented by Pasewicz String Instrument, a Raleigh-based instrument shop which has earned a reputation for being one of the finest instrument repair and craft shops in the country.

The event takes place from 6 to 11pm in the AIANC Center for Architecture & Design, and advance tickets are $18.


Ashley Christensen Wins Best Chef in Southeast

ac A huge congratulations for Raleigh’s Ashley Christensen who tonight was named “Best Chef in the Southeast” at the James Beard Awards ! Christensen first made a name for herself in this market with her food at Enoteca Vin, but then moved on to open the Raleigh Times Bar with Greg Hatem. After leaving the Times Bar, she opened her best-known restaurant, Poole’s Diner , which set the tone for her interpretation of classic comfort foods.

Keying on resonating trends at Poole’s, Christensen branched out to open Chuck’s , Beasley’s Chicken + Honey , Fox Liquor Bar , and Joule Coffee . The endlessly energetic Christensen will soon expand her territory with the opening of Death & Taxes and Aux Kitchen.

This marks the first Beard award winner for Raleigh and another for the Triangle region. Raleigh’s proud of Ashley for finally getting this prestigious award and helping to cement this area as one of the best culinary markets in the country!


TWC Offering Streaming Set-top Box

fanTV Last week word leaked out that Time Warner Cable will begin offering the Fan TV set-top box to work with its services this summer. The hockey-puck-sized box will only connect to your home computer network, and will allow streaming of live TV, TWC’s On-Demand services, and internet streaming services. The selection of live TV will likely be that offered in the current iPad app, which does not include local channels. At launch later this quarter, the supported services will be Redbox Instant by Verizon, Crackle, Target Ticket, and Rhapsody.

Unlike Time Warner’s current offerings of set-top boxes, the Fan TV box is fully purchased up front, and carries no monthly charges for basic services. The box will retail at $149, but can be pre-ordered at $99 now .

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Fan TV is an interesting offering, given the secret insertion of the Integration Ban legislative proposal last week (which would allow cable companies to design equipment that doesn’t use an internal CableCARD, the next step in their abandonment of the technology – pay attention, TiVO users !). Perhaps this is TWC’s set-top box of the future. If TWC can offer all of its channels to the FanTV,  it can be a fantastic improvement over their awful current selection. This box will not be a DVR, however if the OnDemand services can offer the most recent episodes, that should be enough for non-sports fans. TV behavioral statistics show that people don’t really use their DVRs, so that technology is headed for extinction, anyway.

At first blush the setup seems as simple as the Chromecast, Roku, and AppleTVs, but the remote is simply a touch pad. Interesting (though I much prefer a smartphone/tablet interface that slings to a TV over these 10-foot interfaces on the current devices.) With a $99 introductory price the FanTV might be a great experiment for the summer. Likely the selling prices for these on eBay will be greater than $99, so what’s to lose?


Need Help Discovering Great Cookbooks?

If you have ever found yourself overwhelmed in the cooking section of a bookstore or at Amazon.com, you aren’t alone. There are hundreds and hundreds of cookbooks out there and it is difficult to discern the good from the bad.

One of the best ways to improve your cookbook collection is to look at what cookbooks the great chefs are using. One of the most exposed and interesting selections in the area is at Rise, the biscuit/donut shop in the Southpoint mall complex. It’s a fun look; rewarding to see some of your favorites, but also a great chance to add to your own list or your gift lists.

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City Barbeque Brings Delicious Range of Styles to Cary

2014-04-09 12.58.29 While it isn’t the home of Eastern North Carolina barbecue, Raleigh is definitely in the territory. The chopped, vinegar-based pork style of barbecue is how we were raised around here and anything else is dog food, right? Well….

Other styles of American “barbecue” have come and gone, with mild to moderate success. Houston-based Luther’s brought a heavily smoky Texas brisket to Raleigh in the mid-80s, however the flavors were just too strong to shake for the rest of the day. Red, Hot, & Blue has only had moderate success, as has Dickeys. City Barbeque , a Columbus, OH based operation is the latest contender on the block, and it just might be good enough to make the impact others are seeking.

Instead of sticking to one style of preparation, City has decided to go with a sampling of styles from across America’s mid-section: Texas-styled brisket and sausage, Alabama-style pulled Chicken, St. Louis Ribs, and Carolinas-Styled pulled pork. With three sauces for the meats, I was able to turn any of these meats into a style I wanted.

2014-04-09 12.58.37 The sausage was good, but not quite as good as what I had in my recent trip to Austin. However the brisket is actually more enjoyable. The ribs and pork were both delicious, as well. What made my meal stand out, however, was the feeling I had after eating it. Most of the time barbecue doesn’t agree with me. Either the food is overtly greasy and/or has an intense smoke flavor that I can’t shake for the rest of the day. Not so with City Barbeque. Not only did the food agree with me, but I didn’t even have a greasy sensation on my tongue that afternoon. That’s truly remarkable!

The huge list of sides at City Barbeque are as good as the meats. I was able to sample corn pudding, slaw, potato salad, french fries, Texas-style baked beans, and green beans. They ranged from good to some of the best I’ve ever had. The potato salad was excellent, however the french fries, with the perfect amount of kosher salt, are among the best I’ve ever had (including my meal last week at Flip Burger, Food & Wine’s pick for Best Fries in the U.S.).

The string beans are worth a discussion by themselves. They are cooked in homemade chicken stock along with “bacon” – not the fatty stuff from the grocery store but rather a thin, ham-like version. The result: the best stringed beans I’ve ever had. The texture is perfect, the salt level is perfect, and there is no resulting grease slick!

The restaurant is located in a replacement building in the parking lot of the Trader Joe’s shopping center in Cary. This is an ideal location, as their patrons are likely not going to be people whose palate for BBQ is limited to only Eastern NC style. That shouldn’t deter Raleigh people from making the 20 minute drive, however. It’s worth the drive, for sure. (and when you are done you can swing by the Meat House in the shopping center next door and take something home to cook another night).

City Barbeque will stage their grand opening tomorrow (4/12) with a “rib cutting” ceremony at Noon.

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Hunt Library To Be Featured on “Cool Spaces!”

PBS’ new show, Cool Spaces! , delves deep into some of America’s most outstanding new buildings. Episode 2 features 3 great libraries, including the Snøhetta-designed Hunt Library at N.C. State. The episode airs tonight (4/10) on UNC-Explorer (TWC 1277, UVerse 36) at 9pm.

Remember, too, that the library still gives free, guided tours which are fantastic. The tours begin at the BookBot viewing entrance and are given at:

  • Wednesdays at 9:30 am
  • Fridays at 3:30 pm
  • Second Saturday of each month at 10:30 am

Note: No tours will be given during Reading Days or Finals, April 24 – May 6.


New Raleigh Sign Ordinance Causing Chaos

DowntownRaleighSigns Last month the City of Raleigh passed a new sign ordinance, leading to some unexpected results. Under the new law small businesses are forbidden from placing any form of signage in their windows (including lit signs, chalkboards, manikins, or any other means of conveying the what products the business sells), but allows large corporations to place billboards on the tops of their buildings.

In downtown Raleigh the new ordinance began an explosion of tower-top billboards. Duke Energy spokesman Maximillian Thompson said,”After Red Hat showed us that a tower-top sign can be tastefully executed, we began discussions with Raleigh City Council members. They unanimously agreed with us about Red Hat’s sign, and agreed that if every business placed a similar sign on their building, there shouldn’t be any problem.”

The results from the new ordinance have been mixed. A local realtor said,”a city councilor said publicly that my sign was tacky? This is an abomination. The new signs downtown are so ugly that it is causing people to not just wreck their cars, the cars are spontaneously bursting into flames. It’s even worse than a snow day around here.”

Only one Raleigh City Council member would speak to gogoraleigh about the issue, only offering,”Hey, it’s not like our mayor was rigging land values to get light rail funds from Washington and taking bribes on multiple occasions. All I got was a free home renovation…. Oh, wait. Aren’t we talking about the Charlotte mayor thing?”



UNC Saluting Student Athletes with Statue

Today the UNC officials announced that it will erect a bronze sculpture to honor the work of its student athletes. The bronze sculpture, name “Statue of Limitations”, will depict a football player embracing his female tutor. The artist said the athlete’s head will be on the left shoulder of the tutor while the tutor’s hands will be busy writing a paper for the athlete. “I think it perfectly depicts the win-win relationship our athletes and academic support staff share,” said one assistant sports information director.

Officials said the statue will replace the university’s historic “Silent Sam” sculpture which depicts a student who has been sent to fight in the Civil War. “We are tired of the racist imagery presented by Silent Sam. The Statue of Limitations is a far more accurate depiction of campus life in the Modern Era. Plus, there is no racism at all with the student athlete experience, so it’s really a win-win”, said one assistant athletic director.

In order to avoid any media coverage of the situation, the statue will be unveiled at 4:45pm on Thursday, July 3.


Duke to Change Football Stadium Name

Today Duke University announced that it will change the name of its historic Wallace Wade Stadium in an effort to offer clarity to visitors. The new name will be “Wallace Wade Outdoor Stadium”. An assistant athletic director told gogoraleigh,”We had a real problem with visitors showing up to the basketball arena, Cameron Indoor Stadium, in their search for our tiny, outdated football stadium.”

The move should be a boon to tourism and visitor dollars for Durham, as the only people who can navigate Duke’s wooded campus safely are Duke’s typical athletic supporters.



Angus Barn Takes Colorful New Name

Eager to jump aboard the trend of culinary eating taking over Raleigh, the legendary Angus Barn announced today that it will, effective immediately, be known as the Guacangus Barn. The menu will change slightly, as well, to reflect the restaurant’s new direction. In addition to timeless classics on the menu, all dishes will be served with a side of tortilla chips. However the most mouth-watering addition is the restaurant’s new condiment, Guacangus Sauce, an avocado paste made from onion, lime, serrano peppers, and steak and rib drippings. Yum!

Changes are coming upstairs in the restaurant as well. The bar will be converted into the new Pavo Salvaje Cantina, home of the Triangle’s most impressive tequila selection.

Additionally the Barn will introduce a new celebration for diners on their birthday. The restaurant staff will sing the new Angus Nino/Nina song throughout the restaurant, converting the dining room into a rustic fiesta!

So go west, my friends, and enjoy the Triangle’s newest dining experience!



NCSU Commissions Artist for PNC Arena Mural

In recent years NC State University has made a concerted effort to bring more public art to its campus. The Talley Arts Center today announced that a donor who prefers to be only known as “W.M.” has donated the funds to commission an artist for a large mural at the PNC Arena. The mural will be placed as a salute to the historic basketball program as a whole, but will specifically salute the 2014 Men’s Basketball Team.

Entitled “Ball in the Ocean”, the mural will depict an NCSU player standing at a makeshift free throw line on a beach scattered with basketballs. “In the image, the player, no matter how hard he tries, cannot throw any of the balls in the ocean”, said the assistant AD. Also depicted in the image will be Navy ships in their search for parts of an airplane presumed to have crashed in the area.



Town of Cary Changes Name to Attract Nashville Star

carrie_underwood The Carolina Hurricanes will finish the 2014 NHL season missing the playoffs for the 5th straight season. to nobody’s surprise trade rumors are swirling, and the focus of much talk appears to be on Nashville Predators Assistant Captain Mike Fisher. A deal is said to be in the works to trade Hurricanes Captain Eric Staal to the Predators for the 33 year old Fisher.

The most interesting aspect of the negotiations, however, comes in an offer from the Town of Cary, which has offered to change its spelling to “Carrie” in order to make the trade more attractive to Mike Fisher. Fisher, the husband of 2005 American Idol winner Carrie Underwood, could not be reached for comment. acornGGR_AFD14

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