I'm sweet on...
Eating
The chicken panini at Toast. The spicy black bean burger and shaved ice sodas at King's Sandwich Shop. The grilled tuna melt at Parker & Otis. The perfect Cosmo and seafood risotto at Nana's. The famous BLTs at Merritt's Grill. The Thai Mussels and Fries at Kitchen. The "Nata's Chopped Salad" from my good friends at The Loop. The Cobb salad with grilled salmon at City Kitchen. The jalapeno hush puppies at Crook's Corner. The mountain of calamari atop spicy cabbage slaw at The Acme. The huevos rancheros w/ red beans and avocado at Watts Grocery Sunday Brunch!

 

Good People

My beautiful and talented mother Linda Kornberg at Minata. Every image in every photography project of my dear friend Lori Vrba. The unbelievably patient, kind, and talented tech genius, Neil Berman of TheONbutton. Pam Gutlon's dedication to the world of self taught artists at Outsiders Art and Collectibles. My girl Cheri Sterling, AKA, "The Hair Whisperer", at Atmosphair salon.The technicolor pooch portraits by Lisa Goldstein. The smell of ink and the beauty of real paper at Sarah Almond's Shed Letter Press. Rhonda Coleman's commitment to all things girl at Moss. The blow your doors off design talent of my not-so-local honey, Becki Griffin of Curious Details in Houston, Texas. Dana Lange's unwavering support for The Food Bank of North Carolina through her blog Less Dana, More Good!

Random Cool Places

Local Market Realty my workplace! The amazing sunflowers at the Carrboro Farmers' Market. Third Friday at Golden Belt. The warm feeling I get when I walk through the door of Flyleaf Books

Community

The helping hands behind organizations like, Porch and Table and the Inter-Faith Council. The incredible annual fund raising events to sponsor, The Duke Cancer Patient Support Program, The Lineberger Cancer CenterSECU Family House, and Caring House

Local Honey

The sweetest finds in Durham and Chapel Hill NC
Monday
Jul232012

The More Things Change, The More They...Change.

My mom is a remarkable cook. And, she's always understood how much better food tastes when you use fresh, local ingredients. One of my favorite childhood memories was accompanying her to the local farmstand we fondly referred to as "The Cow." If you're wondering how on earth we came up with that name for a farmstand, the answer is, we didn't. That's what everyone in Durham called it. Truth is, it wasn't just a farmstand. It was actually a drive through/around convenience store with a GIGANTIC cow standing on the roof. I'm not joking. The actual building stood roughly 9 feet long by 5 feet wide, only slightly smaller than our station wagon when we pulled up along side it. There was a sliding glass door on each side of the tiny structure. This made it really easy for Mr. Cates to move from side to side and attend to whomever pulled up to either door. During the winter, our trips to The Cow were to grab quick staples like; milk, butter, bread and cigarettes.

Summertime was different. Just outside The Cow was a big empty dirt lot. When summer rolled around, they would raise a temporary cotton canopy on aluminum poles and a few local farmers would back their pick-up trucks into the lot. Their truck beds were teeming with fresh corn, tomatoes, cantaloupes, and peaches. My mom would hand me a small brown paper bag and allow me to pick out the tomatoes. To this day, nothing reminds me more of those sweet childhood memories with my mom than the scent that lingers on my fingertips when I hold a tomato that's just been picked off the vine.

The Cow still stands on Chapel Hill Road in Durham. But now, it's a Tienda. And thankfully, it's become a lot easier to find fresh local produce. The Durham and Carrboro Farmers Markets have never been busier. And, they are as different as the towns in which they reside. While the Durham Market has a more urban flavor, with food trucks and musicians lining the side streets, the Carrboro Market  tends to be quieter, smaller and has a comfortable home town feel. You are just as likely to run into some of our famous local chefs like Bill Smith of Crook's Corner, Amy Tornquist of Watts Grocery, or Scott Howell of Nana's, at either place.

Both of these amazing markets display an equally spectacular feast for the senses.

 




Saturday
Jul072012

Where You From?

One of the things I most enjoy about my job as a real estate broker is hearing how and why people decide to move here. Extensive positive media coverage over the last decade has played a large part in attracting new folks. But, I truly believe, it's good people that bring more good people. I am thankful to have met many over the years. One such person is an artist by the name of Lynn Bregman-Blass. I met Lynn several years ago while attending an art opening in an old refurbished Cotton Mill located in a small town called Saxapahaw, just 15 minutes outside of Chapel Hill. At that time, not many people had heard much about Saxapahaw. (Admittedly, I wouldn't have known about it either if my brother and his family had not been living in an even tinier town called, Snow Camp, just beyond Saxapahaw). Lynn and her family moved here from gorgeous Boulder, Colorado. I learned this as I stood there with my jaw dropped, carefully examining her work. Lynn shared wonderful details about the Encaustic medium of her work, which was completely foreign to me. I was mesmerized as she described the process of melting beeswax and painting with it, creating the textural layer upon layer of her visual stories. I purchased two of her pieces that day, and several more since then. Last night, I had the pleasure of seeing Lynn in her element once again at the same gallery in Saxapahaw. Now, just a few years later, word is out... The beauty, charm, and grace of Lynn, her work, and the small town called Saxapahaw are hardly a secret. This exceptional show will hang until July 29th.

 

 

 

The only thing I love as much as creative people who make art for my walls, are creative people who make art for my stomach. I'm talking food. GREAT FOOD. Once again, not hard to find around here. Last night, after Lynn's show, we walked across the street to the Saxapahaw General Store. I'll limit the words and let the photos do the talkin'... This place is the real deal.

 


Tuesday
Jul032012

On Shell(f)-Discovery...

I never take for granted how incredibly lucky I am to have lived my entire life just a few hours from the gorgeous Atlantic Coast. When I was a young girl, my parents would pack all 4 kids into my Dad's avocado green Javelin and we would head South and East through the tiniest North Carolina towns with the craziest names like," Coats " and " Angier" and " Fuquay-Varina".  Today, my husband and I pack our 3 children into a slightly larger car and head the same direction. But gone are the days of passing through those charming, and now, not so tiny towns. I-40 was built in the mid 1980's, cutting down the drive time to the beach to just over 2 1/2 hours, give or take a bit, depending on the beach. Just last week, I decided to take advantage of the fact that it's such a quick trip. I tossed a few things in a bag, rounded up a couple kids with nothing else to do, gathered some light provisions and hit the road. Our final destination was Caswell Beach, home to the stunning Oak Island Light House and sea turtle sanctuary. We've been going to this lovely beach for 25 years. It never, ever, gets old.

Like a lot of folks, I have been known to spend countless hours looking for all things quintessentially beachy, like sea glass ( have yet to find a single piece), and whole sand dollars (another seemingly unobtainable treasure) only to feel dejected and, well... a failure. Truly. But there was something different about this trip. As I scoured the blazing hot sand desperately, hopelessly, searching... it happened. Washing over me like that enormous unexpected wave. I looked down at my feet and saw something so startlingly beautiful, it left me breathless. A shell which had been so beaten by the surf that its tiny puncture wounds created an almost flower like pattern at the heart of its fully contained outer self. It was, a survivor. At that moment, my entire perspective shifted. My bucket, which had been completely empty, void of any beach goodness, suddenly began to fill up. Ka-plink, ker-plunk, in the bucket they went. Each one marked by a tattered edge, a wrinkle, a cracked center, flawed with an aged lovliness and imperfectly, perfect.