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So hip, Durham needs only one syllable

Durm: Best city on urth 

There's no "ha" in Durm.

That's because living here is serious business, unlike in Cpel Hill or Rleig. It's not just an American Tobacco lifestyle—it's an American Tobacco mission.

This is Durm, where new restaurateurs sleep easy in the assurance of glowing New York Times notices each morning.

Coming from Durm, a brand new electro-pop band can instantly sell out a legendary rock club in a neighboring city before releasing a single album.

Every third Friday, we tramp all over town to multiple wine socials in small, strangely lit rooms with weird stuff on the walls. That's what we'll endure just to see each other en masse in Durm.

In Durm, people from all demographics mingle whenever they happen to get lost on the way to their respective commercial zones—except for the students at the American Tobacco University, who simply teleport between Ninth Street, Brightleaf Square and, one hears, a mythical land they call "Southpoint."

What's a nurmal day in Durm like for me? Much like turday, really. I slapped on a I Love Durham cap and stepped out onto American Tobacco Street, where it was sunny and wurm. The American Tobacco Bus glided by, but it looked sinister, and I was scared to ride it. Why doesn't it have any windows?

A solar-powered tricycle pod came barreling around the corner by the American Tobacco Courthouse and nearly ran over me. Its windshield was completely covered with Sustain-A-Bull bumper stickers. "Gangway, saving world!" cried the driver, who presently plowed into a craggy hunk of public sculpture.

I pulled out his stunned form, laid it in a grassy park nearby and called the American Tobacco Hospital. Then I pried out the ELF's occluded windshield, climbed in and set off.

It was one of those perfect Durm days. I had a quick breakfast at the Poutine Machine food truck in the D.I.Y. District and found a "Dur-wham!" T-shirt for sale at an old-fashioned soda shop/boutique. I put it on immediately.

At Big Five Points, I bought baby bok choy from the I Want My Baby Bok truck as well as a "Bull City" tote and a "Durham Rocks" opera cloak. I pedaled on into the S.E.D.I. (Somebody Else Do It) District, where the outlines of old tobacco warehouses faintly shimmered behind the new condos.

I could see the fireworks bursting proudly above DBAP, where inflatable sumo suit races are occasionally interspersed with baseball. At Good-Sized Five Points, I had dessert at The Tiramisu Tacoma and purchased, then donned, an "I'm Kind of a Big Deal in Durham" onesie.

Pedaling past the American Tobacco Performing Arts Center, I got lost at Little Infinite Points and wound up out at "Southpoint," which turned out to be a terrifying pantomime of human civilization.

I ditched the ELF and called the American Tobacco Cab Company. I asked the driver if I could smoke, but of course he said no. "So, pal," he said, looking me up and down with a wry squint. "Where you from?"

  • So hip, Durham needs only one syllable

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