Today was a Full Durham day, starting with a walk from my home in Morehead Hill to a meeting about the Pauli Murray House, held at the Lyon Park Community Center, and ending at Fullsteam Brewery, where Jen and I introduced ourselves to their new stout, Workingman's Lunch, served with a Moon Pie on the side. Before that, we had dinner at the Fish Shack, where oysters are once again on the menu. It's been a while.
About the Pauli Murray thing: I've always eschewed the planning process, even though I served three years on the board of a community nonprofit in Raleigh (or perhaps I should say, because of that). But I have to admit I was impressed about how the process caused a plan to come together, as the various thoughts about the Pauli Murray House were organized under various rubrics, and at the end of three hours it seemed there was something of an organized plan for creating a community center and historic site of this old home. The good news is that the Pauli Murray Project now has an option to buy the place, so this plan may actually come together.
For me, another aspect of the morning was getting there. The Lyon Park Community Center is very close to my home, less than a quarter mile, but it's to the west, and living on the west end of Morehead Hill, as I do, I have a tendency to lean east. Going west crosses a racial boundary, of course, but there're other boundaries revealed by the Durham County GIS maps, which I learned well during the home-buying process: home prices and income drop, crime rises. The short walk down the greenway across the north end of Lyon Park from home to the community center took me just south of a crime cluster, revealed in a pox of red dots on Durham GIS, marking the dead end of Rock Street, where lies an apartment complex. So in all these months living within sight of it, I'd never walked that greenway, which proved quite pretty: a short walk through the woods and over a creek, emerging by a baseball diamond in a neat little neighborhood, where lies the center. On the way back, I climbed the steep embankment south of the greenway and checked out the woods in the undeveloped parts of Lyon Park, away from the baseball diamond and basketball court. It turns out they're dominated by a field of kudzu, which is a shame, though there is a little creek running through it, with only one shopping cart to be seen, and I think that's obligatory. All of this just a tenth of a mile from home, and I'd never seen it.
It was a lovely fall day, full of hope for new things in the West End, the return of oysters to the Fish Shack, and a tasty stout at Fullsteam. Thus does Durham lean forward into the new decade.