A Music Trailblazer, a Diva, at 100

Martha Flowers came to her Chapel Hill front door prepared for her photo shoot, looking every bit like a diva: dressed for a concert, pearl necklace and a smile that could — and did — light up Broadway.

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Back to the Future with Bee-Bop

As any old-school photographer would attest, being able to develop your own film and print your own photographs in a darkroom is what separates the dilettantes from the hard-core serious photographers.

Doing Something About the Weather

Before we write off 2020 as a year to forget, I’d like to point out that it was a pretty good year for North Carolina gardeners.

The Carolina Inn

The Carolina Inn, a colonial-revival-style structure on the western rim of the UNC campus in the heart of Chapel Hill, is the sort of place people go to celebrate the important milestones, the moments we tend to measure the rest of our lives by.

Have Yourself a Hygge Little New Year’s

Browsing through a card shop years ago in the Baltic seaport town of Turku, Finland, I chanced upon this card, depicting two decidedly jolly old ladies with all the humble comforts of hearth and home…

A Message from the Mayor of Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill Community: As 2020 comes to a close, I want to take a moment to wish everyone Season’s Greetings and Happy New Year! During this difficult year, the compassion and care that our community has shown to one another has given me great hope.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

The first Christmas after E.B. Hyder’s wife died, the 88-year-old Rutherford County nurseryman found himself at a loss for how to cope with the holiday. So, he went out and got himself a little Christmas…

Soil for Christmas

We have a tradition in our house. My husband asks what I want for Christmas. I reply, “a load of well-rotted manure for my garden beds.” He rolls his eyes. Gardeners know it’s all about the soil. Sure, the plants are pretty, the rock walls sublime…

Missing the Places that Feed Our Souls

I love to eat breakfast in a restaurant. Especially cozy ones, where it is warm in both temperature and people when you walk in. Where the smell of the bacon and sausage wafts over you as you open the door.

Twitching in the Triangle?

Among birders, people who are extremely focused on identifying as many species of birds as possible in their lives — and who will travel great distances to do so — sometimes are known as twitchers. The term is used more often in Europe than in the USA, but the behavior is known here, too. Twitching has a bit of a bad reputation…

Over 100 years of Humbugging

Before the Grinch, there was Scrooge. And if ever a man could play Charles Dickens’ Christmas curmudgeon to the hilt, it was the late great Earl Wynn, a distinguished professor credited with…

Collection of Characters

A food blogger, an historian, a hippie, and an activist walk into a bar – a joke which, in these Covid days, has not aged well. But if such a thing could happen it very well might happen in Chapel Hill. Because these are the folks making news here.

Neighborhood Focus: Lake Forest

There is a lake in Chapel Hill that lights up around the holiday season. The annual Light Up the Lake experience in the Lake Forest neighborhood not only brings a beautiful display of illuminations, but also results in helping others in the area.

Signs of the Times

Having a cabin in rural Rutherford County in Western North Carolina, where I started and helped run two small newspapers for 15 years, has afforded me an intimate view into the other North Carolina. Saying it plainly: the deep ruby red part. Monthly trips to the old cabin afford this Chapel Hill boy something of a “glass-bottom boat” view of attitudes very different from deep indigo parts…

Please Wear Your Gloves

I am always amazed at how many people fail to don their garden gloves while gardening. My gardening gloves are like having a second skin, and I cannot imagine going outside with my hand pruners in hand without them. You see, there are dangers lurking in that eden you so lovingly created.

Bicycling Towards Recovery

For many of us, it’s been a very hard year. Now it’s December, we all are ready to move on, and we still are facing a tough few months. In this community especially, we have many who serve on the front line at UNC Hospitals and other clinics.

Development Update

Orange County, NC’s development pipeline was packed full of projects before anyone had ever heard of the coronavirus. But would that enthusiasm endure through a nationwide economic slowdown? Over the last six months or so, the answer…

Mrs. Gill and the Misfit Toy

A young English teacher sits primly at a desk surrounding by her adoring students who are cutting up as the high school yearbook photographer snaps this staged photograph.

A Tale of Olive Oil

Long ago in the Dark Ages, the only olive oil found in upscale markets were ½ pint bottles, marked “virgin.” In the 1970s, this was daring stuff. Gradually the “virgin” gave way to “extra virgin,” causing giggles at the time: How can there be anything more virginal than “virgin?”

Thanksgiving and healthy? It can be done.

Well, it’s definitely going to be a Thanksgiving like no other. Thanks to COVID-19, many families across Chapel Hill and Carrboro won’t be gathering, or not nearly in the same large numbers. The kids — now dispersed to Brooklyn and Buffalo — likely are not coming home this year.

Eno River Farm

Eno River Farm, which sits on two-hundred beautiful acres on St. Mary’s Road in Hillsborough, is a seasonal farm market, with an indoor greenhouse, ice creamery, and an outdoor farm that grows strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, as well as seasonal crops…

Relocate, don’t kill, snakes!

Despite the last few mornings of freezing temperatures, we’ve been having some rather warm autumn weather overall. And judging from photos I see posted online, people are still seeing snakes and turtles moving about.

Home Alone, 2020

In our neighborhood this week, the Halloween skeletons are back in the closet (sorry, I couldn’t resist), the elections signs are down, mostly — and families are wrestling with how to handle the most bizarre Thanksgiving on record.

How Sweet They Are

There are some people who, while they appear sensible, are not fans of the sweet potato. I, on the other hand, am happy eating them year-round. Thanksgiving gives me cover so I can tuck into my favorite dish.

East Rosemary Redevelopment Update

On Sept. 30, the town council voted to move forward on a project to construct a new parking deck on East Rosemary Street as part of an overall strategy for economic development in downtown.

Reflections on the 2020 Election

Waiting for the results of the 2020 election was tension-filled and felt never-ending. The news of Biden’s and Harris’s win brought relief and celebration.