From the Editor’s Desk


The answer to the question with which I ended yesterday’s column, “Is destruction an inevitable development for Durham?” is yes and no. One way to look at it is that development and destruction are as inevitable as death. And, to-date, mortality rates for humans are 100%, as we all come to an end, so does Art, so do buildings.1

But mourn not!

It is the only game in town. Embrace what you have got.

Do you run through every day thinking about your own inevitable mortality?? Unlikely or you would scarcely be able to get out of bed in the morning.

We had this Durham...inside the building pictured below

We had this Durham…inside the building pictured below


This Durham...where Major the Bull is today

This Durham…where Major the Bull is today



Similarly, we should not think of Durham’s building stock’s unavoidable evolution as something strictly to be protested and mourned. Rather we should envision it as an opportunity to continue to build2 the character of the city we wish to see.

Change is omnipresent and ineluctable.

The form of change is malleable and highly influence-able.

And our City Fathers did this...

And our City Fathers did this…

Destruction comes quickly...

Destruction comes quickly…

Earlier this week at a fabulous meet-up of young journalistic leaders, organized by Jenna Oleander3 of Southern Bride and Groom, and Amanda MacLaren of Durham Magazine, I found more than one sympathetic ear for the sentiment that Durham is different. Durham is progressive. Durham is self-aware. Durham will not neglect the social justice issues of affordable housing, schools, and hunger.

This powerful group of voices reminded me of a sentiment Laura Richie and I had agreed on several years previously, Durham is an intentional community. Cause-minded, heartening, individuals deliberately moved here, on-purpose, and will not easily surrender what we have.

As one of those writers at Oleander and MacLaren’s powwow put it, “Durham is not Raleigh for a reason.”



1Outside the pyramids show me the 5,000 year old buildings? Entropy dictates all things decay. Over a long enough time scale nothing survives in perpetuity (save perhaps the Universe).

2Is it necessary to say, “literally” here?

3Oleander connected to our Clarion Content community at less than 2.5 degrees of separation in more than one direction.


“From the Editor’s Desk”

is written by our Editor: Aaron Mandel

Aaron Mandel

Aaron Mandel is a writer and an accomplished public speaker. He is the publisher of the Clarion Content. For more than a decade, the Clarion Content has covered Durham’s arts, politics, music, and cultural milieu. From breaking news stories to the hottest local acts, the Clarion Content is on the scene. The Clarion Content published more than twenty distinguished guest columnists and garnered nearly a million views. Mandel is a volunteer for the Durham Mighty Pen Literacy Project and serves as the President of the Board of Sustain-A-Bull Durham, a local small business collective with more than 200 members. He writes regularly on the Clarion Content and has been quietly writing fiction since the 4th grade. Mandel has been published in the Raleigh News and Observer. He has also produced numerous art shows, including, “Durham under Development”. He was a featured speaker at “The State of Publishing” conference. He has presented to Durham Chamber of Commerce, “Chamber U” on the “New Media”. He has also served as the play-by-play announcer for the D.B.L., a Durham youth basketball league. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Religious Studies from Indiana University in Bloomington. An avid policy debater at Indiana and a Nation Debate Tournament qualifier, Mandel was also a member of the New Jersey State Champion two-person Policy Debate Team. He has lived in North Carolina, New Jersey, California, Texas, Illinois, Colorado, Indiana, and Baja California, Mexico.

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