Justin Laidlaw | Indy Week

Justin Laidlaw 
Member since Aug 2, 2013


Justin M. Laidlaw Author: The High Road (laidlawjm.wordpress.com) Columnist: The Clarion Content (clarioncontentmedia.com) Follow on Twitter: @BuddyRuski

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Re: “Is The Closure of Cave Taureau a Bad Sign for Downtown Durham's Recent Retail Bloom?

These are all great points. David Wofford, I would argue that your assertion about tech culture in Durham, compared to the stereotypes about Silicon Valley that often get used in these discussions, are misguided. Again, full disclosure, our team at RUNAWAY has an office in American Underground, and our shop is in the newly renovated Trust Building. Our new neighbors, Blackspace, just opened up next door after a successful Kickstarter campaign. Both these businesses (owned by minorities) benefitted from the infrastructure of the "tech culture," and now have an opportunity to pay it forward back to the Durham community.

Durham is going to change. That is certain. HOW it changes depends a lot on what happens in the next 5 years, and how we choose to engage with the process.

Using tech culture as a scapegoat for decisions made by city government and developers (many of which don't live here or have roots here) could ultimately hurt Durham long-term. What we need is more discussion and participation around housing, commercial development, alternative transit, retail affordability, small business development, and so forth.

I am happy to have that discussion with anyone that wants to. My name is Justin, and I work at the RUNAWAY store. You're welcome to come find me.

Posted by Justin Laidlaw on 06/30/2016 at 12:29 PM

Re: “Is The Closure of Cave Taureau a Bad Sign for Downtown Durham's Recent Retail Bloom?

Agree and disagree. It's not just shopping at boutiques that we're trying to get people downtown for. Example: the RUNAWAY store has an art gallery as well for people to enjoy locally produced art. Beyu Caffe curates musical events throughout their operating hours, both in the afternoon and evening.

Your definition of "working during the day" assumes a standard 9-5 job. Maybe in my startup culture bubble, this is only true, but many people I know take longer lunch breaks or just walking around breaks during the day to get some sunlight, rest their wrists, and so forth. So having activities available for those leisure times midday would serve the people who are making up a large percentage of Downtown's work force. You also have people that work restaurant and bar jobs that don't start work until 5pm and would enjoy doing things in town during the day.

Just a few thoughts. Not saying you're wrong in your assessment, just adding alternate perspective as someone who both owns a shop (aforementioned RUNAWAY) and enjoys hanging out downtown.

5 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Justin Laidlaw on 06/23/2016 at 10:51 AM

Re: “The outrage over Gov. Pat McCrory's remarks about liberal arts education

""We've really created this elitist cult of hierarchy," Bennett mused during the interview, "where people who know how to do things with their hands are looked down on by people who don't know how to do anything.""

Even as a generally progressive individual, I would agree with this 85%. Liberal Arts majors aren't completely without skill, but there is this tendency from many (myself included at times) to stick our noses up at labor jobs even if some of them pay twice as much as say teaching or journalism.

That being said, liberal arts education is incredibly important for international humanity and cultural understanding.

Posted by Justin Laidlaw on 02/15/2015 at 11:05 PM

Re: “300 more apartments coming to downtown Durham—and none of them for us peasants

The problem @mogafoor is that they seem to ALL be luxury apartments. To Lisa's point, people who work downtown cannot afford to live there.

The area around NCCU is a totally different story, Lisa. A story that I ranted about today on Twitter. It's unacceptable what the neighborhood around Central looks like.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Justin Laidlaw on 11/07/2014 at 3:46 PM

Re: “Where to buy affordable local art for your home

Another great place would be to get the art directly from the artists! Durty Durham Art Collective, Gabe Eng-Goetz of Runaway both have fantastic pieces of art that are just thirsting for a loving home :)

Posted by Justin Laidlaw on 03/05/2014 at 11:13 AM

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