Victor Lewis

Local Lore: Duke Stone

What does Duke University have in common with Princeton? Gothic architecture, although not the actual stone used to create it. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is so known for its neoclassical Southern architectural cues that it was recognized as one of the 16 recipients of the American Society of Landscape Architects’ Medallion Awards and identified as a “work of art” by T.A. Gaines. The sweeping lines, towering pillars and picturesque arches evoke ancient Greece and the Age of Enlightenment in Italy. Not too far away from Blue Heaven, however, lies Duke University – often referred to...

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A Southern Snow Day

North Carolina and inclement winter weather go together like contact lenses and lemon juice. It’s not that I don’t love you, North Carolina. But sometimes you just have to let the evidence speak for itself. When rain washes away early efforts to prepare roads for the imminent icy onslaught, 28 accidents occur before noon. When officials whose job is to maintain the highest level of public safety possible announce – repeatedly announce – to stay off the roads during a storm that has blanketed Blue Heaven with nearly a foot of snow, somehow enough accidents occur on I-85 to...

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Local Lore: Sutton’s Drug Store

Gone are the times when local drug stores pulled triple duty as soda fountains and burger joints, but Sutton’s Drug Store in Chapel Hill has been keeping the tradition of a hot grill and cold drinks right behind the aisles alive and well since 1923. A storied landmark on Franklin Street, Sutton’s certainly has the walls to prove its Chapel Hill pedigree. Every available inch of space is covered in photos of regular patrons and Chapel Hill royalty alike. The photos started appearing in 1983, originally as a way to cover blank space above the tables, but have since...

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Local Lore: The Carrboro Farmers Market

From the first known markets on the banks of the Nile in the Bronze Age to Boston’s famous farmers market that began in 1634, the practice of farmers gathering in public spaces to sell their produce is nothing new. But did you know that Carrboro is home to one of the first modern farmers markets? As towns became more established in the seventeen and eighteen hundreds, grocery and general stores grew in popularity, being the more convenient and – and often cheaper – option when compared to purchasing straight from a local farm. Organized farmers markets seemed largely a...

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The Music in My Head – 1/3/18

1/3/18: Buffalo Springfield “For What It’s Worth (Stop, Hey What’s That Sound)” From 1966 to 1968, Buffalo Springfield was at the top of the game. Stephen Stills and Neil Young are household names today thanks to their early success as members of Buffalo Springfield, and the band itself marked the beginning of the folk rock genre. Blending psychedelia, country and folks music, and rock together with a pinch of British Invasion flair, Buffalo Springfield was the perfect product of their time and place – and no song shows that better than “For What It’s Worth (Stop, Hey What’s That...

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Local Lore: Morehead Planetarium

Morehead Planetarium opened in 1949, as the first planetarium in the South and the sixth built in the United States. A modern marvel and piece of sophisticated technology when it was built, the Morehead Planetarium was used for more than just star-gazing and educational field trips. In the ’50s, the planetarium served as a training center for celestial navigation. Rather than train mariners, however, Morehead Planetarium trained astronauts. Beginning in the early ’60s, NASA personnel used the Planetarium as a training stop when travelling between NASA facilities. Working in secret to protect the privacy of some of the most...

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The Music in My Head – 1/2/18

1/2/18: Fleetwood Mac “Gold Dust Woman” Written and sang by the incomparable Stevie Nicks, it isn’t difficult to figure out what Gold Dust Woman is about: cocaine, relationships and fame. When the song was released, Nicks’ relationship with Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham was undergoing some rough times. They were using songs to communicate with each other, and their relationship struggles not only produced some great music from Fleetwood Mac, but also served as an example of professionalism, working well together despite significant personal history. Your hear – and see – their intimate connection to each other every time...

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The Music in My Head – 12/29/17

12/29/17: The Offspring “Gotta Get Away”  In a time when the punk rock genre was foundering in a sea of grunge, hip hop and new age rock, The Offspring were part of the California collective — made of bands like Green Day, Bad Religion and Rancid — that revived the scene. With well over 40 million records sold worldwide, The Offspring were (and are) one of the most commercially successful punk bands of all time. While mainstream success and wheelbarrows full of cash don’t exactly conform to the punk ascetic, it can’t be denied that The Offspring found their...

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The Music in My Head – 12/28/17

12/28/17: The Velvet Underground “I’m Waiting for the Man” They were Andy Warhol’s house band, they were provocative and unapologetically experimental. Dark, often nihilistic, fixated on sex and drugs – The Velvet Underground was the band that signaled the coming shift towards punk and “new wave” music. In the shadow of what we now see as “classic rock,” The Velvet Underground had several avant-garde bones to pick. Fronted by the legendary Lou Reed – with guitars by Sterling Morrison, Angus MacLise on drums (eventually replaced by Maureen “Moe” Tucker when MacLise left the band after their first paying gig,...

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The Music in My Head – 12/27/17

12/27/17: The Mountain Goats “This Year”  The Mountain Goats is a plural band name, but mostly refers to John Darnielle – the multi-instrumental singer-songwriter mastermind behind the Mountain Goats. Currently based in Durham but originally hailing from Claremont, California, Darnielle’s indie-folk outfit has been active since the early nineties, slowly gathering a dedicated following and an impressive list of critical accolades. Members of the band have come and gone since Darnielle was producing relatively low-fi demos out of his home studio, but all the music and emotion that makes the Mountain Goats so impressive and endearing to audiences and...

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