I am sorry that I am about to sound like an advertisement from the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce. I apologize in advance, but since I assume that the only people who read this blog, are people to whom this advice applies (meaning, you are a person I like and would like for you to move to North Carolina), then I am telling you right now, move to North Carolina.
Why? Well, let me give you just a few reasons why I think you should consider it.
1. Big City Cultural Attractions, Small Town Prices! Just look at the lineup of artists coming to perform at Carolina and Duke this year. For dance we have the Alvin Ailey and Merce Cunningham dance companies performing. In terms of classical recitals, there are so many options. I already have tickets to hear the St. Petersburg Philharmonic and Alisa Weilerstein perform my FAVORITE (ever) Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1. In the fall, how about some Mahler with the Mariinsky Orchestra? Maybe you want some chamber music. Well, why not try an evening with the Kronos Quartet?
2. Going along with those great performances, North Carolina is the perfect locale for some non-annoying, real good country music and bluegrass, like Earl Scruggs and the Red Clay Ramblers. It is the perfect accompaniment for a place where you can really feel down home.
3. If you like bluegrass and feeling Southern in a Junior League sort of way, then, why not enjoy the Carolina Inn when they host Friday Nights on the Front Porch, all summer long (and even in the spring and fall)?
4. A Southern Season. This is quite possibly my new favorite store in the world. In addition to the wonderful culinary offerings ranging from a delicious in store bakery and deli to every possible cooking related gadget that you ever could need, they also offer cooking classes from great chefs near and far. I am going to a class tonight, for example (more on this in a different entry). What is on the menu? How about chili-lime shrimp, cucumber & jalapeno salsa, farmers’ market yellow tomato gazpacho, hickory nut gap farms pork chop, mama’s southern cornbread dressing, and many other things.
5. In case you aren’t hungry yet, this area is renown for having great restaurants for its relative size. The New York Times recently profiled Durham for its delicious local foods movement.
6. Local Foods! I think North Carolina is ideally situated if you really want to be a part of that from farm to table movement. Carborro has one of the best farmer’s markets in America. Just look at the number of local farmers that sell at its market! You can buy anything from fresh, grass-fed beef,to strawberries, to “heritage bred” pork, to dorper lambs from farmers who are given awards based on their efforts at soil conservation. I don’t think it is possible to find better ingredients anywhere else.
6. The weather. One reason that we have such a great range of locally produced farm products is the ideal North Carolina climate. Sure, it is hot and humid here, but where is that not the case on the East Coast? I guarantee you, I speak from experience when I say heat and humidity is a lot more bearable here in North Carolina than it is in New York City or the District. We have beautiful trees, and blessed shade. Furthermore, my screened-in back porch is a great place to read and contemplate during the welcomed relief of the afternoon thunderstorm. Knightley and I love it.
7. I could go on and on about the lower cost of living, the good school districts, the civility of the people, the ability to see some great college athletic contests, the availability of tennis, swim, and even golf clubs, the proximity to the mountains and beautiful beaches, but do I really have to? Come on, just move here already.