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Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary The Triangle Area
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Old 05-21-2014, 05:32 AM
 
Location: MD
6 posts, read 12,199 times
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I'm moving down to the Triangle area next June. I've made a visit and I plan to make many more between now and then. I'm curious which location would be best for my interests. I'm a musician, enjoy poetry/spoken word, I love to eat and socialize. I don't know anyone in NC so this would be a solo move and I'd like to hit the ground running in an area prime for social interaction/things to do. Many people have said Durham or Chapel Hill while others agree on Raleigh. I'm aware that First Friday's there are activities going on in both areas [or at least that's what I'm told] . . .

What are some of the differences between the two downtown areas?
  • Housing costs
  • Accessibility
  • Traffic
  • Restaurants
  • Live music venues [no clubs, mainly live bands/performances]
  • Age range [20's/30's preferably]
  • Relaxed but fun/entertaining atmosphere
Some feedback from locals and/or anyone who may be familiar is greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-21-2014, 05:53 AM
 
Location: NC
11,222 posts, read 8,303,040 times
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First of all both cities have a thriving scene. I think both have live music and poetry, Raleigh probably has more venues. Durham is a little bit more "alternative", so it's more about the vibe you are looking for. "Music" and "Poetry" is probably too generic to help you.

(If, for example, you are into going to fetish shows, burlesque events, and non-traditional music, then Durham. OTOH, if you'd rather have excellent rock and roll, bigger venues, and more of a polished scene, then Raleigh. Both are gross generalizations, you can find either/or in both places.)


What are some of the differences between the two downtown areas?
Housing costs - Raleigh definitely more expensive

Accessibility - I live in between both, in Cary. I personally find Raleigh to be easier to access, but it's also bigger.

Traffic - On the whole, Raleigh has more traffic, but Durham has less ways in and out of DT (IMO)

Restaurants
- Was just having this discussion. Durham is known to be the foodie town, but I absolutely believe Raleigh has more, and more varied dining options. Way more! That being said, I love going into Durham. I like the feel better, and it has a couple of my favorite spots. (so again, no clear answer, it's subjective)

Live music venues [no clubs, mainly live bands/performances] - Addressed above, but again, my opinion is that Raleigh definitely has more of them, but each town attracts different music. If you want to check the big ones, for Durham, I'd look at the calendar for Motorco, and maybe Pinhook. Definitely check the Cat's Cradle in Chapel Hill. For Raleigh, look at the Lincoln Theater, Pour House and maybe a few others. See notes below about the Independent Paper

Age range [20's/30's preferably] - OK for both, I think.

Relaxed but fun/entertaining atmosphere - Again, I go to both places regularly, with this goal in mind.



About "the Independent": It is a local paper that tells what's going on in town. has all the band listings. You can check it out online, but when in town, be sure to pick up a copy. It's good to see the print version, because you can see it side by side, and also get a feel for how the places present themselves.
Indy Week

You didn't ask about beer, but both cities have a thriving craft-beer scene. Durham used to have the edge, but IMO, now Raleigh definitely has the better places. There are in excess of 20 (good) craft brewers in the triangle area. Most of them attract a pretty cool crowd, each has it's own "vibe".


Hope this helps....
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Old 05-21-2014, 06:09 AM
 
Location: MD
6 posts, read 12,199 times
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It helps alot, thank you for your input. I haven't acquired a taste for the brew lol I guess I will once I move to the area

More specifically on the music tip, Jazz, Blues, R&B, and Soul/Neo-Soul are the genre's I would be looking for concerning live performances. I'm sure I could find some locations with this genre. For example, I checked out Beyu cafe in Durham and it was a jazz band that night, I attached a pic from that evening.

If you know of any locations with those genre's that would be great.

I'll check out the independent for more info, thanks
Attached Thumbnails
Downtown Raleigh or Downtown Durham for live music/jazz/poetry etc.?-1262733_211608215669363_612739434_o.jpg  
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Old 05-21-2014, 06:21 AM
 
Location: NC
11,222 posts, read 8,303,040 times
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Both towns have good jazz clubs. Not my primary genre, so I'll let others chime in. I will add this though, now that I know what you are looking for:

Papa Mojo's (sort of in Durham, but in reality more like RTP) has good blues and a house band. Check their schedule.

The Art Museum in Raleigh has live music every friday night. It's free, often jazzy, and always really cool. Wine/beer bar, food service, and/or you can walk around and look at the art and listen. The funky tree on the wall (you'll know when you see it) keeps your mind occupied too)

and in general, I think many genres are blending or "fusing", so it is not rare to see a Jazz/Bluegrass ensemble, or Jazz/Hip-Hop (like was at the museum a few weeks ago), or something else. And several of the bigger shopping centers have free music outside all summer. There are threads about this, but it's really nice to go out, pack a picnic and a discrete bottle of wine, and just CHILL.

Tomorrow, Southern Culture on the Skids (SCOTS) plays Durham Tobacco Campus for free. Not jazz (more like Surfer/Punk/Rockabilly, I suppose), but a LOT of fun, and a very talented local act with a rich history. <--Think what would happen if the B-52's and the Pixies got together and had a Love-Child. It would be named SCOTS..... ;-)
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Old 05-21-2014, 06:32 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sovinchi View Post
More specifically on the music tip, Jazz, Blues, R&B, and Soul/Neo-Soul are the genre's I would be looking for concerning live performances.
The Triangle Blues Society has a link to a calendar on their web page
Triangle Blues Society - Promoting Blues Music in North Carolina
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Old 05-21-2014, 06:36 AM
 
Location: MD
6 posts, read 12,199 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by don6170 View Post
The Triangle Blues Society has a link to a calendar on their web page
Triangle Blues Society - Promoting Blues Music in North Carolina
Great resource, thanks
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Old 05-21-2014, 07:41 AM
 
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As discussed in another thread, living in Durham also makes access to Chapel Hill and Carrboro easier, opening up their music scene to you as well.
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Old 05-21-2014, 05:16 PM
 
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I have only heard of spoken word occurring in Durham (specifically the Hayti Center - I think they even have competitions), not really Raleigh.

But there's a great art scene throughout the Triangle, and as discussed, living in between the three (Durham) is a great idea.
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Old 05-21-2014, 05:51 PM
 
Location: Chapelboro
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I'm sure there must be some poetry slams in Raleigh, too. The Sacrificial Poets host some in Chapel Hill from time to time. The Monti might be of interest, too.
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Old 05-21-2014, 09:21 PM
 
1,545 posts, read 1,874,561 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sovinchi View Post
More specifically on the music tip, Jazz, Blues, R&B, and Soul/Neo-Soul are the genre's I would be looking for concerning live performances.
I say check out The Art of Cool Project:Home | The Art of Cool ProjectThe Art of Cool Project | Bringing the Best Jazz to You
Quote:
We are a 501(c)(3) jazz presenting non-profit organization located in Durham, NC. Our mission is to present, promote and preserve jazz-influenced music. We present high quality live music concerts in unique venues throughout the Triangle. Our two major programs are Art of Cool Festival and StART of Cool.
As in the little quote it is based in Durham but there are performances through out the triangle.

There is also the Art of Cool Festival(the first being this year):Art of Cool Festival presented by American Tobacco Historic District :2 days + 2 outdoor stages + 6 indoor music venues + over 30 world-class performances = 1 mega music festival in Durham, NC it was a mix of grammy nominated, grammy award winning and local artist all performing downtown. Here is a list of who all came this year:





You can also check out Cuban Revolution at the tobacco campus in Durham, which will also have a mix of live music via the art of cool.

Don't know when your next visit but if you are in town come June 26 you can check out:




Quote:
Singer-songwriter José James has always been on the quest for new musical horizons; constantly evolving and blurring the lines between genres in the process. Now on the heels of his critically acclaimed Blue Note Records debut No Beginning No End, José returns with his dynamic and daring fifth album While You Were Sleeping. While keeping his trademark soulful baritone at the forefront, José adeptly weaves elements of indie rock, folk, funk, blues, hip hop and R&B into an experience journeying from desire to introspection and spiritual epiphany. “As an artist, I’m going to keep evolving,” he says resolutely. “I think my fans have now come to expect this from me. They want to know what I’m going to do next.”



As far as food I think both have some great spots,As far as which one to move to, In my opinion I say Durham, as others have stated, then you are closer to Chapel Hill and Carrboro, and their music/food/social options and Raleigh is close enough that it is no issue to say,"let me go check out xyz event their"
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