Some years ago, like thirteen or fourteen my friend Jane Phillips had a birthday party of a trolley tour of Downtown Durham. She had the head of Downtown Durham Inc. narrate the tour, highlighting all the goings on in the then, just up and coming downtown. Russ and I had been big fans of downtown long before this trip, with Russ putting his office in the then still considered sketchy center of town. Since we had both lived in cities for years we saw the bones of a thriving city.
During the tour our guide was touting the renovations of apartments for those brave urban dwellers. There were a few cool lofts and older buildings being repurposed into homes. Downtown also had the starts of what would come to be known as the hottest chef/owners restaurants in the country.
As the trolley took us from place to place I was able to ask a question of the verbose proponent of downtown living. “Where are the grocery stores?” I asked. The response was quick, “outside of downtown.” How do these city dwellers get there,” I asked in my reporter style follow-up question. “They get in their car and drive there,” I was told in a sit-down-kid-and-shut-up-you’re-bothering-me sort of way. Not one to be told what to do I pressed on, “People who live in cities walk to buy their food. If they even have a car, they don’t want to lose their parking space.” I was quickly told there were no plans for a grocery store of any kind. Short sighted considering the huge number of apartments they were building.
Here we are all these later and finally a fabulous little store called Bulldega has opened across the street from the city hall. Even though we have to drive to get to it, from the suburbs we live in, Russ and I try to support it because it is what downtown needs. It isn’t hard to like this store, with Fiirst Hand meats, local produce and Box Car cheeses. The best thing they have are their house brands of honey and the southern darling, pickled watermelon rind. The most amazing thing is they are very inexpensive.  
So next time you go to the farmers market, or after you have lunch at Pompeii Pizza around the corner, stop in to Bulldega. It is family owned and run and the money you spend there will stay in Durham. It may make you consider living downtown.

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