What I love about this special place

A Valentine Day postcard sent to Miss Helen Higgins Feb. 13, 1911. (from the Brown family collection)


By Jane D. Brown

As Valentine’s Day approaches, I’ve been thinking about all that I love.

A Valentine Day postcard sent to Miss Helen Higgins Feb. 13, 1911. (from the Brown family collection)

One important part is where I Iive. Even though I hear complaints about all the development, the unsightly apartment buildings, and the increasing traffic, it is important to acknowledge that there is much to love about this unique place. After almost 50 years of observing the evolution of Chapel Hill/Carrboro, I still marvel at some of the small things that make me glad I came and stayed.

Apart from the obvious things, like our vibrant downtowns, the one-of-a-kind Botanical Garden and Planetarium, the delicious array of restaurants etc., etc., lots of little things that aren’t on the “Ten Best Things about Chapel Hill/Carrboro” list make this a special place to live.

Here’s a start on some I’ve noticed. Maybe you can add your own?

  1. Our mailman knows our dog’s name, Zeke, and always has a treat ready to throw to him. Zeke recognizes the sound of the mail truck and won’t budge until the truck comes near.
  2. Perfectly salted popcorn at the Chelsea Theatre.
  3. Quiet streets and parking places during UNC’s Spring Break.
  4. The downtown celebration after UNC beats Duke – even though I don’t go anymore.
  5. The fellow shopper in the grocery store who pointed out repackaged produce in a wire rack in a corner, where I found three fine red peppers for $1.
  6. The county’s rural buffer guards our watershed and ensures I can be in the countryside in minutes.
  7. Neighbors willing to run for political office.
  8. The hundred-year-old oak tree on the loop trail in Cedar Falls Park.
  9. The many little free libraries and even a little free art gallery.
  10. I appreciate the continuing rebirth of University Mall, even though I miss Southern Seasons.
  11. A like-new birthday cake hat in the “Swap Shed” at the Eubanks Road Solid Waste Center.
  12. Trees in the Eastgate shopping center parking lot. One with a bird’s nest.
  13. Three yummy breakfast places within walking distance down Booker Creek Greenway.
  14. Lunch with friends outside Weaver Street Market on a summer day.
  15. Homemade raspberry sorbet at the Chapel Hill Farmer’s Market.
  16. Intrepid daffodils poking up on a frosty morning, signaling Spring is on the way.
  17. The sunset at the Carrboro end of Franklin Street.

A bird’s nest in a tree in the Eastgate shopping center’s parking lot. Photo by Jane Brown.

Have a joyous Valentine’s Day!

Jane D. Brown taught in the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media for 35 years and has lived in Chapel Hill since 1977.

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