Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Thanks for Making Cleveland Hollow'een A Big Spooky Success

More photos and some video from the parade will be coming soon, and many thank-yous are in order (the Durham bicycle police, to name a big one) but in the meantime, a humongous THANK YOU goes out to the planning committee, who got the ball rolling and put in a ton of work to make 2009 a great Halloween here in Cleveland-Holloway.

Thank you, everyone! It was a completely awesome Halloween.

Look for more photos and video soon!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Good Walls make for Good.... Leg Muscles?

Elaine and Doug, who recently bought 407 Ottawa Ave., have something interesting going on in their backyard. It involves lots of stomping, and a good, healthy amount of messiness.

Cob walls, (cob is an English term for mud building, originated in Britain in the fourteenth century), are eco-friendly as well as incredibly durable and safe. Greg, Elaine's brother, probably describes the process best:

Stop by and meet our new neighbors, and check out an awesome green building project right here in our own neighborhood. Welcome, Elaine and Doug!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Trick or Treat! It's Cleveland-Hollow'een!

The countdown to Halloween has begun! Here are some details you should know for Saturday events.
Hand out candy! - If you plan to hand out candy, please come by the purple house on Oakwood on Saturday to pick up a balloon and some string. We are asking that people tie balloons to their porches or fence so that the kids know which houses are handing out candy. A group of us will also be going around door to door, but if you're on the listserv (and I know who you are...) we are going to skip your house so that we can move more quickly through the hood.
Get dressed! - The Halloween costume parade will start at the corner of Oakwood and Carlton at 5:30pm. Come march down Oakwood or provide cheers for the brave souls all decked out in their Halloween finest. Old timers recount tales of the costume parade of yore and the planning group thought it would be fun to revive the tradition this year. We are also seeking musicians (talent optional) to lead the parade. If you have an instrument - voice included - come on and use it!
Trick or Treat! - from 6:00-8:00 pm children should be swarming the streets begging candy of you. There may be eight kids, there may be eighty kids. Keep an eye on the streets and make Halloween safe and fun for everybody!
Movies! - At 8:00pm we will show "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" on the front of the purple house. We have a projector and sound all ready. We even have scary mugs for drinking cider and hot cocoa. Depending on interest, we will then play The Corpse Bride for neighbors who want to sit on the lawn and watch a longer movie.
That's it! Spread the word! If you know of children who still need costumes, send them to the purple house. Through the generosity of neighbors and co-workers we still have a ton of costumes and costume making supplies.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Communities that play together ....

Last week, two of our own decided to turn a great idea into action.

Dylan (Ottawa) and Matt (Mallard) made a morning run to Home Depot, spent the day engaged in a little sweat equity, and by late afternoon an all-ages game of hoops was underway at the intersection of Oakwood and Mallard.

The next evening, the hoop served as entertainment for many at a neighborhood birthday party. The new backboard (painted NCCU colors) and net replace the rotting and unusable one that was there before.

The set-up has quickly become a favorite with neighborhood children, and with those past the 5-0 mark as well (Happy Birthday, James!).

Photos by Jessie Gladin-Kramer

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

New Neighbors on Ottawa!

A big Cleveland-Holloway WELCOME to andee and Dylan! They recently purchased 405 Ottawa and are in the process of moving in over the next couple of weeks.

Dylan and I have been trying to buy an historic renovated home (or one needing renovation) for the past couple months-- focusing on East Durham and Cleveland-Holloway. We have been blown away by the depth and amazing diversity of Durham history, which pretty much started the night we watched a documentary about Black Wall-Street, the Dukes, Bull City Durham, and the tobacco industry. We are avid supporters and have tried to get involved with local initiatives to preserve and revive the spirit of neighborhoods such as Cleveland-Holloway and East Durham.

andee currently works at a clinic as a health care assistant. She is also a certified birth doula and trained childbirth educator. She is becoming a midwife. She also works with herbs.

Dylan is a program manager. He oversees certain statewide and local initiatives that work towards the actualization of "Environmental Policies" and reform on a local, state and federal level. These policy changes affect cultural attitudes and, on a broader scale, community health care reform surrounding the issue of underage drinking and its effects on brain development, particularly of the frontal lobe.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Home Tour Rocked!

It also kinda baked, but at least it wasn't raining. Instead, the sun was shining last Saturday morning as neighbors finished last minute yard work, house cleaning, plant arranging, and Matt Dukek of 502 Mallard Ave. -- the tour's starting point -- hammered the "Cleveland-Holloway" sign into the ground at the intersection of Oakwood, Mallard, and Queen.

The Second Annual Cleveland-Holloway Neighborhood Tour of Homes began auspiciously with a preview article by Jim Wise in the N&O's Durham News, which focused on the Holloway St. Historic District expansion and restoration taxes, and gave our own Ken Gasch an opportunity to use the word "pantyhose" in the printed media.

The crowds began arriving on
Mallard Ave. promptly at 12:59pm, and remained pretty steady throughout the day, with a couple hundred folks having visited with us by the time the temperature was just barely starting to come down. Friends of C-H Freddie and Heather featured a nice post on Freddie's Bull City Bungalow blog, including a Flickr link to their photos of the day.

The fun then moved to the after-party, where neighbors, visitors, and friends hung out, and the sun set on a very weary, beery, and well-contented Cleveland-Holloway. Thanks for hosting, Leslie and Maria - your house is amazing!

The full contents of the Home Tour Booklet , with images and descriptions of all 17 properties included in the tour, are available online. Thank you so much to everyone who took out an ad, participated in the tour, donated time and/or resources, and came out to see the houses and meet our neighbors. A big ol' thanks to Triangle Brewing Company for their generous donation for the after party!

Here are a few images from the after-party-to-beat-all-after parties (until next year!).

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

REMINDER: Neighborhood Meeting Tonight

Hi neighbors! Don't forget to come out to the Cleveland-Holloway neighborhood meeting TONIGHT at the main public library, 7pm.

Main discussion:
1. What do we want our ClevelandHollowayNeighborhood listserve to be used for and who do we want on it?
2. How can we keep our neighborhood affordable to own and rent?
3. How can we best share responsibility for maintaining the neighborhood organization?

Trosa Dorm on Elizabeth Street
Historic District expansion
Neighborhood checking account

Ideas from your neighbors...
Dog Park on Roxboro lot the city owns (Ken Gasch, Jennifer Deer)
Permanent Sign for the neighborhood (Frank Pokrass)
Neighborhood cleanup and more public trash cans (Frank Pokrass)
Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (Matt Dudek)
Introductions of city or elected officials (Frank Pokrass)

If you have time, please take a few moments to remind your internet-less neighbors to come along - everyone has received notice about the meeting (thank you to folks who went door to door!), but as we know, it's easy to forget.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Neighborhood Home Tour this Saturday, June 13

Saturday, June 13. 1-4pm

Get ready for a little Cleveland-Holloway hospitality! Visit historic homes in various stages of renovation, modern condos convenient to downtown, beautiful gardens, converted warehouse space, and join us for the neighborhood after-party!

Tour Starting Point: 502 Mallard Ave. a 1911 Folk Victorian Tri-Gable. Home of Jessie Gladin-Kramer, Matt Dudek, and Cleveland the dog.

View Larger Map

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Neighborhood Meeting set for June 16

Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 16th at 7:00pm at the main library.
If there are specific things you would like to discuss at the meeting, please email them to Natalie by June 8th (ish) so we can include them on the flyer.
Matt Dudek has volunteered to flyer the weekend of June 13th. If you'd like to help him out by passing out information on your street, email him at matt dudek gmail com.
So far the topics that have been brought up for consideration at the meeting are:

  1. What do we want our ClevelandHollowayNeighborhood listserve to be used for and who do we want on it?
  2. How can we keep our neighborhood affordable to own and rent?
  3. How can we best share responsibility for maintaining the neighborhood organization?
See everybody there!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

St. Philips Hosts Community Event - May 30

Our Neighbors over at St. Philips are hosting a resource fair and picnic - check out the flier for details!

If you know any of your neighbors without internet access who might benefit from the event or just enjoy attending, please let them know the details.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mallard Ave has C-U-T-E in the house!

or in the woodpile, anyway.

Okay, so cat overpopulation and homelessness is no chuckling matter--certainly not in C-H.
Nor is it a joke when a local un-neutered feline gets up on your porch and sprays the inside of your umbrella!

But--these little guys are freakin' adorable.
No two ways about it.
Tyler has been feeding and caring for the litter and mom, and has potential homes for three of the six kittens so far. Neighbors have stepped up and volunteered to pay to have mom and dad fixed. Two down, a countless number to go.

-posted by Jennifer

Saturday, May 2, 2009

405 Ottawa - Open House TOMORROW!

Helena Cragg has been working like mad to finish 405 Ottawa, and everyone is encouraged to attend the open house tomorrow (May 3) from 2-4pm. You can check out the website here.

The skinny: 3 bed, 1 bath, 1,061 square feet.
"Lovingly restored historic gem. All original wood siding, windows and detailing painstakingly revived. Beautifully restored heart pine floors. Original coal place. Sweet front porch. Spacious rear deck for entertaining. New Cook’s kitchen. Lovely new all ceramic tile bath. Root cellar. Two blocks from Downtown."
Come on by and see the work!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Neighbors Gather to Clean Up Primitive Street Lot

Last Saturday a group of neighbors gathered to remove years of trash dumped at a vacant lot on Primitive St. Mike from the city's storm water services was there, and lent a hand getting the bags of trash up the steep incline of the ravine and into the city-provided dumpster. He also came bearing much-appreciated water, juice and donuts.

Another Mike - City Councilman Woodard - stopped by to check out the progress and wish us well.

Of course we had picked the hottest day of the year to date for our work, but at least it wasn't raining! It was super muddy and gross, however, and we were all pretty glad to climb back out of what is now being called the "swamp dump," after a long morning of work, and look down at the fruits of our labor: a far-from-pristine, but much better looking piece of land in Cleveland-Holloway.

If you are wondering what kind of junk was down there, it was primarily plastic bottles and containers, drink cans, and glass bottles.There were also quite a few tires and several appliances: vacuum cleaner, microwaves, television, etc. A couple of doll heads were also salvaged. About 3/4 of a large dumpster's worth of garbage.

Neighbor Matt Dudek (Mallard Ave), who was primarily responsible for organizing the clean-up, would like to give a big thank-you to Laura Webb Smith of Stormwater Services for coordinating the details on the city's end and getting us the dumpster. The city also provided work gloves and heavy-duty trash bags.

If anyone has any pictures of the crowd working, send 'em in!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

March Meeting/ Primitive Clean-up/ Rentals

Belated Neighborhood Meeting Overview

It's been a while since our last neighborhood meeting, which took place at the library and was organized by Matt Dudek as part of a project for his program in urban planning at UNC.

As Frank Pokrass of the Blooming Garden Inn said in an email: "This is an important meeting, especially in consideration that it's been less than two years since our very first meeting which started it all at the library."

The meeting focused on brainstorming to create a list of neighborhood issues we are most interested in seeing the city address, but it began with an update from Wendy Clark of Lewis & Clark Community Developers, LLC about progress at the John O'Daniel Business Center. Renovations began at 801 Gilbert St. in September and they expect to open in mid-April. The center aims "to see strong neighborhood commercial activity restored, in the form of businesses owned and operated by those within the community." Resources will be available to assist those starting up small businesses, office space rental rates are reasonable, and about half of the 22 offices are still available.

It was decided that neighborhood meetings would be held every other month, with informal gatherings scheduled on the off-months.

A few folks slipped out before the group photo, but here's most of us!

This Saturday: Primitive Street Creek Clean-Up

This is a reminder that we will be cleaning up a portion of Ellerbee Creek on Primitive Street between Gurley and Oakwood THIS SATURDAY the 25th! The city will be providing gloves, bags, and other garbage picking accessories. The neighborhood will be providing hot dogs, veggie-dogs, and soda! If you can bring a side to share that'd be great!

WHAT: Neighborhood Creek Clean-up & B.B.Q.!
WHERE: Primitive Street, between Gurley and Oakwood
WHEN: This Saturday the 25th, 10AM until ?
(p.s. Good news - the city went ahead and gave us a head-start, pulling some of the larger items out with the help of some neighbors.)

Also, at the very least any garbage smells will be balanced out by the sweet smell of wisteria growing rampant right now!

Rental Available - 613 Oakwood Ave.

One of Bill Graham's units on Oakwood near Mallard just became vacant. From Bill: "613 Oakwood ave, 630 sq ft. Kitchen with new appliance. One bedroom one bath. Rent is $425.00, deposit is $300.00. We pay water."

If anyone else knows of vacancies and wants to post them, email

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Neighborhood Meeting This Saturday, 3/21/09, from 4:30-6pm

Hey neighbors!

We're going to have our first neighborhood meeting of the year this SATURDAY, March 21st at 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm in the Main Auditorium of the Durham Public Library.

There will be pizza, soda, and assorted other refreshments.

On the agenda will be:

1. Setting the schedule for new meetings
2. Create a Historic Home Tour Committee for this June's home tour
3. Discuss updates to our neighborhood plan, and discuss priority issues for 2009

If you'd like to help Matt flyer our neighbors without email, contact him at by this Friday.

Looking forward to the start of this year's neighborhood meetings!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Keeping Durham Disreputable: Rich James on Mallard Ave.

Awhile ago I saw a great, great sticker that somebody had made up and posted around downtown, and it said, very simply: “Keep Durham Disreputable.”

photo by Jessie

Meet Rich. He is among the Cleveland-Holloway elite who can claim Durham as home turf--he moved here at the age of 4. He has good memories of the smell of toasted tobacco filling downtown. "I haven't smelled good tobacco since the early '90s", he says. After the tobacco industry dried up, Durham seemed to him like a ghost town.

Rich had a job at one point delivering pizzas, and says he wasn't too happy if his job brought him into Cleveland-Holloway, but he made the neighborhood home in the spring of 2008--renting a house on Mallard Ave. from a friend, and he says he has seen the area change so much just in the past 6 months.

Rich's home is not only a place to live, but a space for his band, Tooth, to practice. They don't like it in the winter, he says, because the downstairs still has no heat. You can look down and see dirt beneath the missing floorboards. Rich plays guitar in the well-loved Durham band that he describes as "metal for smarter people”. And the best part of being in a band is the travel: "There’s something about living on peanut-butter sandwiches and trail-mix, and sleeping on hard surfaces, and getting bugs all over you, that I really like."

Click to hear Rich on travel:

Rich says he'll live in Cleveland-Holloway as long as he can. "It is hands down the most beautiful room I’ve ever lived in. It’s spacious…it has hardwood floors…they took the ceiling and one of the walls out, so it’s a big trapezoidal shape now …there’s a huge hand-hewn oak header that goes across the room, and columns… It’s just a beautiful room. And I should keep it cleaner!

Rich says he loves the neighborhood, his neighbors, and being within walking distance of downtown. What he doesn't want to see is the longtime renters being priced out of the neighborhood. A good balance is struck right now, he says, with people coming in and fixing things up in a way that is beneficial to the neighborhood. "But I’m scared that it will turn into the worse case scenario as far as gentrification goes.

Rich is also a painter, trained at Savannah College of Art and Design. He says he's made it harder on himself to sell his work, calling his style "disturbing surrealism," but recently he’s had a new idea for more marketable work, a series of landscapes:
"There's something about North Carolina … and the trees in the winter at dusk, where you get this beautiful dark blue, semi-pink sky and the dead pine trees sticking up in silhouette. I really, really, really like that."

(Profile by Jessie and Jennifer)

Home Tour Scheduled for June 13

Mark your calendars for the second annual Cleveland-Holloway Home Tour, scheduled for Saturday, June 13. For those of you who were able to attend last May's tour, expect more completed work, more homes being renovated, live music, food, and - as Ken Gasch says - "flowers, flowers, and more flowers."

Keep checking back for details! Email the list-serv if you would like your home to be included.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

...Aaaand We're Back!

Hi folks! Sorry for the, er, brief disappearance. The wonderful people who got this blog on its feet, and who contributed the great previous entries, have been just a little busy: Eleni with an amazing cross-country tour with her band, Beloved Binge, and Natalie, well... she's had other people to think about - our newest Cleveland-Holloway resident, Madeline, born February 2.

But that DOESN'T mean, for those of you reading this blog from outside the neighborhood, that we've all packed up and moved on, or mysteriously disappeared! In fact, there's never a dull moment in Cleveland-Holloway, with several old houses finally getting some love from new owners, spontaneous cookouts and gatherings throughout the winter, and new downtown hangouts in easy walking distance. Check out the new links to some of our neighbors' blogs, and watch for design changes and new neighbor profiles, brought to you by Jennifer and myself. Among the new updates: photography and audio clips!

We're planning on another Cleveland-Holloway Home Tour sometime in May or June, so if anyone has a home they'd like to be included, send out an email to the listserv. Also let us know of any dates that WON'T work. So far, there's been talk of live music, a certain airstream trailor selling cupcakes, and other merriment.

So thanks for sticking around, friends and neighbors! We'll be back soon with a brand new profile.

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