Editor’s note: Our story on a noise complaint against Batalá Durham’s drumming practice in Durham Central Park generated many comments on editor Mark Schultz’s Facebook page, including these. See Mark’s page for more and send him a Friend request to join future conversations.
I’ve lived in Durham now for more than six years and recently moved into Liberty Warehouse to be PART of the downtown neighborhood – ALL of it: the people (of all stripes), the culture, the food, the nightlife and all the sounds (and sights and smells) – that go along with it. ... I refuse to sit by idly and watch Durham give up its soul and in the process completely screw the most vulnerable of its citizens the way I watched Austin do firsthand and the way I’ve watched Charleston do from afar. Our city can grow while simultaneously preserving its identity and honoring its diversity, rich history and cultural offerings. It might take a little extra effort, but I love this city enough to believe it’s worth the extra effort.
Gentrification at its worst
I’m born and raised in Durham. The first two houses I ever lived in were on Dacian Avenue. I remember hearing the Durham Bulls games from my backyard, walking to the convenience store when it had a cow on the top. I remember the smell of tobacco permeating the air and knowing my neighbors.
I miss that Durham. I can’t afford to live in the house I grew up in, but I refuse to lose the beautiful culture of our new downtown that brought so many new people to our city. No one moves to downtown Durham for peace and quiet. No one moves next to bars and a farmer’s market and a skate board park for peace and quiet. This is gentrification at its worst and those folks complaining are not Durham at its finest.
The urban lifestyle
When I lived in Boston for one summer while in college, my building was adjacent to the Fenway. The address I still remember was 1171 Boylston St. I could hear all the games, the music, the cheering and the announcing – and thought nothing of it.
People say they wanted a 24/7 downtown and millions were “invested” into downtown to bring that about. The complaint about the noise is ridiculous. You wanted an urban lifestyle. Now you got it.
Blues at the ball park
When I lived on Shenandoah Avenue in Northgate Park I used to be able to hear the Durham Blues Festival when it was held in the old historic ball park, and it always called me to come out and play.
Review noise ordinance
I so dislike that the word “gentrification” is being thrown around so easily with this and many other situations happening in downtown. IMHO, this is one person being kind of a jerk. Nothing more. Don’t like the noise during perfectly “normal” hours? Move, get noise-cancelling earphones, wear ear plugs ... whatever.
This is not a dog barking incessantly through the night, a lawn mower at 6 a.m., or death metal at 2 a.m. and I cannot imagine that it is much louder than the Farmer’s Market, outdoor music concerts, etc. that are regular occurrences in that area. But, technically, it is (sometimes) above that magic decibel threshold, so ...
Also, let’s not be so quick to jump on the police for enforcing an ordinance. We all want the police to enforce the law when it meets our needs, so it is really not fair to cry foul when they do it at the behest of another citizen, even when we disagree with it. What is needed is another look see at the noise ordinance. I do not envy city planners and elected officials at all in trying to accomplish this AT ALL!
Shannon Mohr Thornburg
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