Ch-scene Digest, Vol 16, Issue 25
npflorin at yahoo.com
Mon Feb 28 15:42:34 EST 2005
I knew a ton of Parkwoodians (Parkwooders?
Parkwoodigians?) when I was growing up in Chapel Hill
and Durham. To me the place really did seem like a
little town. They all knew each other because they
went to Parkwwod Elementary. Their families did their
shopping there or in that strip mall a bit up the
road. They played Parkwood rec league sports, and
later when I played in regional baseball and
basketball rec leagues Parkwood would be the only
non-incorporated place with a team. You'd play Garner,
Durham, Fuqua, and Parkwood. Forever there really
wasn't anything else around it, so Parkwood was this
bastion of something approaching civilization out
there in the woods.
The key here is the youth stuff. For someone growing
up in Parkwood (or outside of it) it probably seemed
far more like an honest-to-god community than it did
for an adult. But I think there was still a lot of
that there. So, yeah, I think the school is the key.
It doesn't make it a town, but it gets you maybe 1/4
of the way there.
All that said, with our increasing mobility and with
the Triangle being a community of migrants, I think
basing a community's identity on a school is a losing
proposition, because kids won't grow up entirely
--- grady <grady at ibiblio.org> wrote:
> Kind of like Briar Chapel in Northeastern Chatham?
> Meadowmont/Southern Village?
> This is a phenomenon that I've been idly curious
> about for a while now.
> How many of these "it'll be like its own little
> town!" developments
> actually ever live up to that promise? Sure, if
> large enough they wind
> up with their own schools, but a school is only the
> What makes a town? Is it some commercial/industrial
> base to employ the
> majority of the townspeople? (and if that
> commercial/industrial base
> dies out & everybody starts driving elsewhere for
> work, is the town
> still a town? Is Carrboro a town?)
> Is it self-government, and the ability to levy local
> The proximity to RTP makes Parkwood a particularly
> interesting case,
> because if anyplace in the Triangle should by rights
> have magically
> become its own self-contained city, RTP is it. It
> has the industry, it
> has the space for housing (though there was a long
> gap, near as I can
> tell, between the development of Parkwood and the
> relatively recent
> upsurge of condos/apartments in the South Alston/55
> & Miami Blvd areas
> -- though there are threads of South Durham running
> all around RTP). It
> even has its own post office, though I've heard the
> workers there
> scolding people about putting "RTP" on their
> addresses, as the PO's
> address is actually Durham.
> It seems to me that it's kind of like religions.
> It's *really* hard to
> start a new religion from scratch & have anybody
> take it at all
> seriously. Seems like even if there's a lot of empty
> space and plenty of
> room for a new town, people aren't going to take you
> seriously as a town
> until you've got 50-100 years under your belt.
> Mary Anne Barckhoff wrote:
> > Howdy neighbor! I live in Parkwood too.
> > Parkwood is an early 60's-era development that was
> > the middle of nothing, but close to burgeoning
> > It was built with a shopping center (what is now
> > library used to be a grocery), churches and a
> > so it was intended to be a self-contained
> > My realtor also told me that it almost became its
> > town back in the day. So, even though it is now
> > "suburbia," at the time it was built, it was
> > to be self sufficient.
> > But it's no Chapel Hill/Carrboro for sure.
> > mab
> > --- grady <grady at ibiblio.org> wrote:
> >>Well, you know, those of us who live by the car
> >>destined to die by
> >>the car, and I say this as someone who just spent
> >>minutes in the car
> >>commuting to RTP.
> >>Isn't Parkwood a fairly typical 70s-era
> >>suburb of
> >>Durham/RTP, pine trees or no pine trees? That
> >>refreshing lack of gas
> >>stations & Teeters just meant that the residents
> >>to drive further to
> >>meet their basic daily needs -- unless y'all were
> >>growing all your own
> >>food when you were kids (I can just picture Peder
> >>walking behind a plow)
> >>. . .
> >>I dig what you're saying about eccentric local
> >>-- but really, how
> >>long do you have to live elsewhere to develop
> >>nostalgia for the oil-tank
> >>farm and the junkyard that bookend the current
> >>Basically, as long as people keep procreating
> >>immigrating, we're
> >>going to have to deal with development. We only
> >>two choices: out, or
> >>up. Up is vastly preferable to out, especially
> >>the surface of the
> >>earth is a finite quantity while, strictly
> >>"up" is infinite.
> >>The engineering just gets trickier the further up
> >>you go ;-)
> >>dAvid Hollinghurst wrote:
> >>>First, I offer my apologies to anyone who I
> >>offended with my own
> >>>"knee-jerk" reaction toward the new plans for
> >>Downtown Carrboro.
> >>>Since I have come into the discussion a bit late
> >>in the game (and the
> >>>distance doesn't help), it could seem immature,
> >>rash, and a bit
> >>>uncalled for. My intention was to spout off a
> >>little, then give
> >>>credit to all who have given positive, rational,
> >>and reasonable
> >>>suggestions and discussions for this new
> >>development, support to
> >>>those that have given constructive criticism. To
> >>some, the first
> >>>paragraph just poisoned and erased the rest.
> >>Perhaps I should have
> >>>made myself clearer.
> >>>Allow me to explain my vitriol. My family moved
> >>to a housing
> >>>community in southern Durham county called
> >>Parkwood in 1984. It's a
> >>>pretty insular situation, being there are
> >>greenways and forests of
> >>>pine that generally disallow any kind of
> >>development in yr own
> >>>backyard. No chance for a gas station, or a
> >>Harris Teeter, or a
> >>>Wal-Mart looming over you at night. But outside,
> >>we watched the pine
> >>>forests fall. Strip mall here, townhouses there.
> >>Fayetteville Road
> >>>and Hwy 54 were doomed once we saw the potential.
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