My Friday Five: On A Durham Staple Closing & Sports Stories

Photo: Chris White

1. Ben & Jerry's in Durham Closed

A couple weeks ago, I rode by the Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shop located at the Bull City Market area on Broad and Main Street. To my surprise, I noticed the shop was empty - save for the wall decorations - and there was a note on the door. The note read that management of Bull City Market basically forced the closure in favor of a nail salon. That's right, a nail salon. This Ben & Jerry's shop has been a staple in the Durham community for all my life. It's not only disappointing but very frustrating. Let me make this clear: I'm not even mad about the ice cream. This was the only shop in Durham. Meanwhile, Raleigh, Charlotte and other cities in North Carolina have multiple Ben & Jerry's shops and Durhamites are forced to travel to these cities just for a scoop of Ben & Jerry's ice cream. It's also frustrating because why on God's green Earth do we need another nail salon? There are tons of them in Durham. That's the other frustrating part about this: Durham loses its "one-of-a-kind" places - like Olive Garden way back when, Tijuana Flats and Ben & Jerry's - almost always to be replaced by something that's not needed, like burger joints, pubs/bars, Waffle Houses, Jimmy Johns, you name it. Craziness! So, if you live in Durham and want some Ben & Jerry's ice cream, you'll now have to travel to Chapel Hill or Raleigh or pay $4 for a pint of the bused in kind at the grocery store.

2. Lecrae's Book Challenge

This is really cool! Lecrae is holding a contest - more in the way of a challenge - in celebration of Black History Month. The artist is encouraging fans to read The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson, snap a photo of them doing so and send it in with a five-page essay summarizing the book and giving insight into what was learned from it. In return, Lecrae will pick some of the entries and send out some sweet prizes such as iPad Airs, MacBooks and more!

I was stoked to learn about this opportunity because, as you may know, one of my resolutions this year is to read more books that expand my mind and enlighten me. I'm calling it The Read More Challenge and Wilkerson's book fits right into my personal challenge. I picked up a copy from my local library and started reading it on Thursday. It usually takes me longer than a month to read a book so this will definitely be a challenge for me. I'll let you know how it goes and, of course, post my thoughts on The Warmth of Other Suns right here when I'm finished!

3. NCSU Swim Meet

It's always cool to come back to my alma mater, N.C. State, for an event. This go 'round, I attended a swimming and diving meet on Saturday. Both the men's and women's squads are ranked amongst the top in the nation and this was senior day against ACC foe Virginia so it was a perfect time to go. I had a blast sitting in a packed house. This was the first true swim meet I'd been to. I've always loved to watch swimming and diving and would follow it during the Olympics. N.C. State had four members compete in the Olympics - all four of whom I met - and I've been following this team ever since. I was right there to witness three of those Olympians - Ryan Held, Anton Ipsen and Soren Dahl - do their thing and lift the Pack to a convincing victory against Virginia. The women's team did exceptionally well in its competition, getting the victory against the Cavaliers as well. All, in all, it was a great night! Check out a couple photos below.

4. UNC Football

I just wanted to take a second to give a big congrats to UNC Football. The program became the first in ACC history and eighth overall to send three wide receivers to the NFL Combine. Receivers Ryan Switzer, Mack Hollins and Bug Howard will head to the Combine, scheduled to take place in Indianapolis, I.N. from February 28 to March 6. Joining them will be Heels defensive tackle, Nazair Jones, whose story I featured here on my blog - number five on this Friday Five post. Way to go guys!

5. Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is this Sunday. It's hard to believe at this time a year ago, I was stoked about it, writing about the Carolina Panthers. I have absolutely no vested interest in either the New England Patriots or Atlanta Falcons so I will most likely not be watching it at all. And, before you say anything about rooting for Atlanta because the team is from the same division as the Panthers, I would equate that to me rooting for Duke or any other ACC team when my teams are only UNC and N.C. State. It just doesn't make sense.

Thanks for Reading