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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A child's drum kit in the hazy shade of winter

Posted By on Wed, Jan 29, 2014 at 1:09 PM

I first saw this child's drum kit last summer, in a nearby front yard, although I never heard anyone play it or even sit on the throne. I always carry a small notebook to jot down ideas, future photographs and random (and often kooky) thoughts. At some point I wrote: "Photograph drum kit if it ever snows." I remembered the note and the kit this morning. Since my camera batteries were fully drained, I shot it with my iPhone. It doesn't snow often here, and I didn't want to wait another year....

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Friday, January 17, 2014

His dream was to get a guitar, and now he has one to perform in Durham

Posted By on Fri, Jan 17, 2014 at 12:09 PM

Zac, aka Casper View—his stage name—has been panhandling in downtown Durham most of the winter. He used to play a fake guitar; I photographed him for a previous blog post, "Cardboard guitar blues." His dream was to get a real guitar, and someone from a neighboring office building kindly him gave him one, an Oscar Schmidt acoustic model. Here Casper is on Day 2 of guitar ownership, with his dog, Lela.  Lisa Sorg is the editor of the INDY. Her blog documents the small moments of life in the Triangle in photographs and stories—as a reminder of why we live...

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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Paging Alfred Hitchcock: Gulls find a heat island far from the coast

Posted By on Sun, Jan 12, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Even though Durham is 150 miles from the East Coast, I occasionally see seagulls roosting in parking lots. Cities have ample garbage, ideal for foraging, and heat islands perfect for roasting in the sun. These appear to be ring-billed gulls, which have adapted to suburban living far from the beach. The New York Times explains why some gulls have taken a shining to parking lots. A flock of seagulls landed in South Square today. A couple hardy ones rode the thermals. The rest grounded themselves and puffed up their wings as they tried to stay warm....

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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Homeless person's bed is gone, but not the wealth disparity

Posted By on Sat, Jan 11, 2014 at 11:50 AM

About 10 days ago, we published a photo essay "30 feet separates the haves from the have nots"—online on Dec. 30 and then in the print edition on Jan. 2. It concerned the wealth disparity in downtown Durham: half-million dollar condos at Main and Mangum streets right across from where a homeless person had made a bed of newspapers in the long grass. Well, within a week the long grass, which was elegant and lovely, had been shorn down to nubs; the bed is gone and the area is exposed to the elements. Nearby bushes had been trimmed back...

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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Third Fork Creek is in trouble

Posted By on Sun, Jan 5, 2014 at 11:55 AM

Third Fork Creek in Durham, which, if followed to its final destination, dumps into the Atlantic Ocean, is one of the city’s dirtiest waterways. It is nearly a dead zone for fish and aquatic life, which may explain in part why I haven’t seen as many herons along its banks in Forest Hill Park. The creek, which is on the state’s list of impaired waterways, runs through densely populated urban areas, the source of most of the pollution. Its headwaters are near Forest Hills Park and N.C. Central University and head southeast through Hope Valley and Woodcroft, into Jordan...

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Saturday, January 4, 2014

Hey readers, are these boxers from the old Ringside?

Posted By on Sat, Jan 4, 2014 at 3:21 PM

On a recent dingy day, I spotted these boxers plastered to the facade of the building at 715 N. Washington St. It's just north of the old Durham Athletic Park, and houses the Durham Bike Co-op and The Shadowbox. It seemed like I had seen the boxers before, but I couldn't place them. It's a pretty desolate stretch as far as pedestrians go, and the co-op has been closed for the holidays; no one was at Shadowbox, either. But after waiting for a while I met a guy on the street who said these boxers may have been salvaged from...

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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A scene from A Streetcar Named Desire, if staged by grade school kids

Posted By on Wed, Jan 1, 2014 at 10:59 AM

On this porch in Durham, it appears that Stanley Kowalski left his calling card. Lisa Sorg is the editor of the INDY. Her blog documents the small moments of life in the Triangle in photographs and stories—as a reminder to why we live here....

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