Experience the journey of Durham’s transformation from a weight loss destination to a vibrant, diverse city. When I first arrived in Durham in October 1995, it was a different place altogether. Tobacco leaves filled the air, and the city had yet to embrace its culinary and cultural renaissance.

Back then, Durham was primarily known for the Rice diet and Duke University Health care, drawing in many visitors seeking a healthier lifestyle. The city had its fair share of challenges, with crime casting a shadow over its reputation. Poverty, gang behavior, and the influence of the 85 Corridor brought their fair share of struggles.

But amidst the challenges, I fell in love with Durham. The 27701, with its character and beauty, captured my heart. Working on the 11th floor of the CCB building downtown, I would walk over to the Chapel Hill Street Post Office building every day, crossing paths with fascinating individuals along the way. One memorable character, with a hunched back and a scraggly white beard, would deliver sermons to lucky recipients, including me. It was a unique experience that added to the city’s charm.

Durham’s downtown landscape has evolved significantly since then. Where the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) now stands, there used to be a bus terminal and a parking lot. The growth of Durham extended far beyond the city center, unlike many other Southern cities. We didn’t just focus on luxury apartment complexes; instead, we fostered a thriving arts and music scene. Jazz, blues, and rock clubs filled the city, providing unforgettable nights of entertainment.

Durham’s identity has flourished over the years. It’s a place where you can catch a Broadway show at DPAC and then indulge in a delicious, value-priced meal at Federal. It’s where Fullsteam Brewery, Motorco’s Parts, and Labor’s Udon Salad are etched into our memories. You can join a yoga class at Patanjalis or engage in lively conversations over coffee at Cocoa Cinnamon. Whole Foods becomes a hub of activity during field hockey games nearby. The East Campus walking trail invites you to jog, bike, or take leisurely strolls on Saturdays. And as the sun sets, you can savor the city’s vibrant nightlife, whether at a rooftop bar or a favorite local spot.

Durham is where you create memories and forge connections. It’s where you may have found your love, a talented guitar teacher, or a beloved yoga instructor. It’s where you witnessed pivotal moments like the Mike Peterson case unfolding. It’s a place where your voice matters, whether you express opinions about affordable housing at a City council meeting or cherish living in a community that values socio-economic diversity.

Durham’s growth is not just about the physical changes but also the thriving spirit that unites us all. Whether you’re a longtime resident or new to the area, Durham’s identity may very well be a reflection of your own. So come, be a part of this remarkable city, and discover what Durham means to you.






Acclaimed film director and writer Ron Shelton joins the Rich Eisen Show in-studio to discuss his new book ‘The Church of Baseball’ about the making of his baseball classic ‘Bull Durham’ including the story of how he nearly lost out on landing Kevin Costner as the lead role of Crash Davis, how Susan Sarandon landed the role of Annie alongside Tim Robbins’ Nuke LaLoosh, says why Coster is so believable and relatable in his sports movies, reveals how he mined his own professional baseball career for some of Bull Durham’s story lines, and takes a look into the future and tells Rich what became of some of his more memorable characters including Crash and Nuke, Happy and Coach Pete from ‘Blue Chips,’ Billy Hoyle and Gloria from ‘White Men Can’t Jump,’ and Roy McAvoy and David Simms from ‘Tin Cup.’ Watch the Rich Eisen Show, an Emmy-nominated sports talk show, streaming live on NBC’s Peacock, Audacy, and SiriusXM Ch. 85 Monday through Friday, noon–3 PM ET. Showcasing Rich Eisen’s uncanny ability to blend insightful sports expertise with an offbeat mix of humor and pop culture, The Rich Eisen Show attracts the most recognizable names in sports and entertainment. Subscribe to this channel to keep up with the internet’s best sports and pop culture commentary, interviews, and much more!