Ruby Sinreich, founder and host of OrangePolitics.com, describes herself as a “progressive activist, local politico, professional organizer, compulsive blogger and mom.” She works as the director of new media strategy at the Humanities, Arts, Science and Techonology Advanced Collaboratory in Durham. A lifelong Chapel Hill resident and graduate of UNC, she lives with her husband, Brian Russell, founder of Carrboro Creative Coworking, and their son, Izzy.
Wednesday, May 26
5:30 p.m. Umstead Park, 399 Umstead Drive, Chapel Hill
After working from home all day, I made my one outing: walking to Umstead Park in Chapel Hill with my 1-year-old son. Often overlooked in favor of Carrboro’s Wilson Park, Umstead has two picnic shelters, some athletic courts/ fields, Bolin Creek and a huge plastic jungle gym-y structure in the playground, which my son crawled around on. Proximity to neighborhoods with a wide range of incomes (from University Gardens to Colonial Heights) makes Umstead Park pretty culturally/ ethnically diverse.
Thursday, May 27
11:30 a.m. Synergy Family Medicine, 118-D Old Durham Road, Chapel Hill
A friend had been telling me about Dr. Yang’s unique combination of Eastern and Western medicineplus she takes my insuranceso I drove to her office recently for a checkup after an unexplained illness.
12:30 p.m. Trader Joe’s, Eastgate Shopping Center, 1800 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill
Dr. Yang “prescribed” some supplements so I drove to TJ’s, where they have cheap vitamins. Unfortunately, they didn’t have both of the things I needed, but I somehow spent $20 on other groceries I came across between the door and the vitamin aisle.
1 p.m. Whole Foods, 81 S. Elliot Road, Chapel Hill
Had to drive to WF to get the vitamins TJ’s didn’t have. Spent even more money on food I didn’t know I needed (but probably did). Treated myself to two pounds of strawberries for $5 and the smallest available block of robusto cheese for some ridiculous amount of money.
6 p.m. Elmo’s Diner, 776 Ninth St., Durham
Drove to Durham to meet up with a posse of friends with kids (including mine). We were seven adults with five children ranging from 3 months to 6 years old. As usual, Elmo’s handled the mess and (bad) manners of children with grace and skill. It was nice to be able to enjoy a cold beer (some Belgian thing on tap for $3 a glass!) and a kid-friendly environment at the same time, although folks at neighboring tables might not have agreed.
Friday, May 28
9:30 a.m. John Hope Franklin Center, 2204 Erwin Road, Durham
Took the bus to Durham and actually visited my office in person after a spell of working at home. I know you’re not supposed to “check in” where you work every day, but I never want to miss the opportunity to tell people about this amazing place with fascinating intellectual and cultural programs. Definitely one of the best things about Dook.
6 p.m. Vimala’s Curryblossom Café, 431 W. Franklin St., The Courtyard, Chapel Hill
Vimala Rajendran has been a longtime activist for progressive causes including grassroots media, international peace and stopping domestic violence. Through it all, she has fed the movement. Her affordable plates of yummy Indian food have been purveyed everywhere, from protests across the region to weddings and private parties to the Weaver Street Market lawn and Johnny’s in Carrboro. She’s finally going pro and opening her own restaurant! I took the bus over tonight, and she invited friends to eat, by donation only, and the place was packed. Could this support a badly needed renaissance at the Courtyard? I hope so.
Saturday, May 29
9:30 a.m. Weaver Street Market, 101 E. Weaver St., Carrboro
Was hoping to make it to the Carrboro Farmers’ Market (especially because I can now pay with credit or debitI rarely carry cash) but wasn’t able to get the family fed and out of the house in enough time to get there and come back home for the baby’s 10:00 nap. So we ended up driving to Weaver Street, where many basic needs can be met in one place.
10:30 a.m. Moshi Moshi, 416 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill
Walked to get my biannual haircut with the lovely and talented Mary B.
1 p.m. Village West, 100 Ridge Trail, Chapel Hill
Our neighborhood pool is finally open, and the kiddie pool is in business. Walked over for baby’s first “swim” in the pool of the year. He loved it as much as I expected (a lot).
5:30 p.m. Friday Center, 100 Friday Center Drive off N.C. 54, Chapel Hill
Served as a friend’s “date” at the annual banquet of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP. It was great to see old friends and comrades, and to enjoy the fiery speech of the Rev. Barber. I spent a lot of time there thinking about how fortunate it is that I now eat poultry, because the Friday Center is just the kind of institution that does not know how to make vegetarian food.
Sunday, May 30
Noon. Duke Gardens, 502 Oregon St., Durham
Was excited to drive to Durham to take my son to “Family Fun Day,” but the activities were for much older kids, and we even missed the main attraction: a puppet parade. We had a nice time sitting on the grass by the duck pond, though.
6 p.m. Near Oak Avenue, Carrboro
After a stop at Weaver Street Market for supplies, my whole family (baby, spouse and I) hit a backyard party featuring badminton and salty dogs (to drink). Wish we could have stayed longer but someone’s bedtime is 7 p.m., and we had to drive back home.
Monday, Memorial Day
1:30 p.m. Bagels on the Hill, 630 Weaver Dairy Road, Chapel Hill
I didn’t go there, but was happy when my spouse brought home very fresh bagels and whipped cream cheese. It’s far from Brooklyn, but the closest you’ll get in Orange County.
Tuesday, June 1
1:30 p.m. MediTerra, 2608 Erwin Road, Durham
Walked to one of the few places within 15 minutes of my office and ordered the slightly pricey salmon lunch special because I was hungry. Fairly disappointed in the quality, if not the quantity.
Places I go relatively often but didn’t happen to go this week:
Johnny’s (901 W. Main St., Carrboro); the bar at Lantern (423 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill); Elmo’s (200 N. Greensboro St., Carrboro); Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen (1305 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill); Carrboro Creative Coworking (205 Lloyd St., #101); Locopops everywhere.