28 imagesThe Mississippi Delta exists, geographically, on an broad alluvial plain stretching East from the banks of the Big River. The soil is fertile, moist earth, worked over by tired hands long ago. Those hands sought relief in throbbing music and the small of woman’s back and so on and so forth, broadcasting a history only partially preserved by those voices fortunate enough to sing and be heard. Another history, far deeper than twelve bars of blues and nearly inaudible to the outsider, shifts under foot and continually disrupts the sense of balance. It's a history hardened by distrust, left to the night like distant lights on the flat, wide horizon where tired hands still seek out the small of a woman’s back, the comfort of a savior. I will never recognize it’s subtle features in the dark. Still, I could sense the weight of its complex, unspoken histories, enduring in spite of those who would deny their existence; and so became these impressions like details in a half-forgotten dream.
23 imagesWild Yonder is like camp for adults but with cocktails. The roving summer camp concept involves workshops, games and special dinners cooked by badass chefs. Created by Raleigh food writer and editor Kaitlyn Goalen, event planner Heather Cook and architect Meredith Pittman, the experience reconnects campers with the simple pleasure of escaping to the woods to have fun with people you don't already know. They're currently seeking a forever home.
13 imagesEmboldened by a new Governor and the first Republican majority in North Carolina in over 140 years, conservatives in both houses aggressively pursued and passed divisive legislation covering a wide range of issues. Initially organized by the state chapter of the NAACP in April, the "Moral Monday" protests were held every week and led to the arrest of over 900 people.
38 imagesFor more than a century, the sweet, unmistakable scent of cured tobacco filled the streets of downtown Durham — once renowned the world around for its Brightleaf blend and innovative cigarette production. Massive ornate brick factories towered over the rail lines running through town. They were marvelous castles of industry that employed several generations of North Carolinians. For them, the streets smelled a lot like money. By the late 1990s, the tobacco industry had gone bust in Durham and the The Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company, which occupied a sprawling complex of factories west of downtown, moved its operations elsewhere. In December of 2005, I began photographing inside the vacant warehouses where thousands had once worked. The L&M factory complex was in the process of being renovated it into mixed-use residential and commercial property—ensuring the future existence of these buildings, but also covering over the history inside. The following photographs and L&M advertising are but a parting glimpse of mighty empire, transformed forever and now populated with people who might just be able to catch whiff of what was as the Bull City enters a smoke-free era.