A friend and I have decided to go down to Wilmington, NC after Christmas just to get away for awhile. We also considered going to Charlottesville, Va where I haven’t been in several years but decided on a shorter trip. Wilmington has worked hard in recent years to preserve its historic downtown while the suburbs and tourism kept growing. The downtown is still a very walk able area and recalls the era when the city was the largest in the state. I usually go during the Azalea Festival in the spring, which is truly beautiful, but this is my first winter trip there.
It will be a change of pace from the usual round of holiday parties and concerts that have consumed every evening (with one exception) since I returned from Washington, DC three weeks ago. We drove up there for Thanksgiving to visit other friends and to attend the San Francisco Ballet’s production of Giselle at the Kennedy Center. In between I snuck in a little writing for a new project that may grow into a major assignment in ’09. This isn’t the time of year to be soliciting assignments, but this one fell into my lap. (Actually it was a response to my web site www.johnsuddath.com.)
Other than the potential for a great writing assignment, the most exciting event in my life recently was attending a concert by Harry Connick, Jr. and Bradford Marsalis at the new Durham Performing Arts Center. At 2,800 seats it is the largest auditorium in the Triangle and has wonderful acoustics and sight lines. It will become the summer home of the American Dance Festival that has long needed a better performance venue. It is adjacent to the Durham Bulls Baseball stadium and the huge new American Tobacco office complex that is a renovation of the old tobacco warehouses and manufacturing plant. Durham doesn’t have to play second fiddle to Raleigh or Chapel Hill anymore for entertainment.
If you think that I’ve been playing a lot more than I’ve been working, you’re right. But come January the situation will change. Of course, the New Year may bring a big change for a lot of other folks too.