Editorial: Week's end
This week, Southern Living magazine told its readers what Durham residents surely already knew: We reside in the South's tastiest town.
It's a new feather in our cap to sport this week's end. Or, perhaps more aptly, a new toothpick in our bun. No, that sounds wrong, even a little painful. How about a new garnish on our plate?
Never mind. The point is: They like us, they really like us. Well, they like what we're feeding them, so we're winning their hearts by way of their stomachs.
Southern Living's reporter, Paula Disbrowe, wrote of the blend of old and new that gives Durham so much appeal. "Its foodie future is gradually wiping out its tobacco past, yet remnants of the town's first industry provide a backdrop for its current scene."
The magazine article quotes Sean Lilly Wilson, owner of Fullsteam Brewery, as he observes: "There will always be this grit, honesty and blue-collar history that makes Durham so authentic."
But locals know full well that the mingling of past and future to shape a vibrant present in the Bull City goes beyond our food trucks, coffee shops, pastry mongerers and brewers to our symbiosis with top universities shaping great young minds and the Research Triangle Park putting those minds to work building the world's future.
And, grateful as we are for the praise from Southern Living for Durham, we're also proud that our neighbors in Chapel Hill earned recognition among the Top 10 Foodie Cities from Livability.com.
Livability's write-up on the Hill noted the town's proximity to more than 100 farms within a 50-mile radius that "supply restaurants with fresh ingredients from pork shanks and short ribs to lamb and cheese."
It's just more proof that we are blessed with an embarrassment of culinary riches all around us.
So, who else is hungry?
Alex Montoyo is only 5-years old.
On Monday, The Herald-Sun's Harold Gutmann reported, he's expected to undergo his fourth open-heart surgery procedure in a Los Angeles hospital.
This little boy, son of Durham Bulls' manager Charlie Montoyo, has struggled since birth with a rare congenital heart defect called Ebstein's anomaly. This condition causes one of his four heart valves to function improperly.
Charlie Montoyo keeps a photo on his office wall of Alex grinning as he displays a collection of beads around his neck.
"It looks like Alex just got back from a Mardi Gras parade," Gutmann wrote. "In fact, he received a bead for every time he got poked by a doctor."
If this surgery doesn't work, a heart transplant may be necessary.
We're sure the community will keep Alex, our Durham Grit Award recipient for this week, and his family in their own hearts.