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This edition is sponsored by Raleigh Convergence.

Hi y'all,

In the early 2010s, I lived in Des Moines. Des Moines is cold. Des Moines is very cold.

And yet, I've turned into a complete wimp again with this return of winter weather and find myself seeking large amounts of natural light while still being inside.

As a parent of a high-energy toddler, too, I'm grateful for the museums and programs around Raleigh.

My two favorites (which are also favorites because they're free) are The Museum of Natural Sciences downtown and toddler storytime at any of the Wake County public libraries. 

How are you keeping warm, especially those of you with active kids?


To burning off that energy,
Sarah Day


📸: Devin Desjarlais Photography

Clarification: The Convention Hotel and Downtown Development Project mentioned in Tuesday's newsletter and approved at Tuesday's council meeting overstated that the development will happen. At this point, the council has approved receiving proposals of interest to develop the two surface lots and it is already zoned for a potential project as outlined. 
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A Raleigh boutique hotel for locals and visitors alike celebrates the creativity of our city


The Longleaf Hotel is now open, adding an independent boutique hotel in Downtown Raleigh championing Raleigh- and Triangle-made products to visitors. 

The property will be welcome to locals and visitors alike, which means you can enjoy the renovated ‘60s-era motor lodge even when you’re not staycationing.

The Longleaf Hotel builds on the site’s history as a motor lodge from the 1960s, but updated with a North Carolina aesthetic created by local makers.

The Raleigh boutique hotel is designed by Downtown Raleigh-based Maurer Architecture, the team behind The Durham, Sir Walter Coffee, Death and Taxes and many others, and Raleighite Joshua Gajownik, behind the signage at Transfer Company and many other projects. 

The finished product includes dusky green, salmon and burgundy colors, and preserved midcentury details include “the original uncovered starshine decorative screens, use of leather, terrazzo and custom millwork.”

In each of the 56 rooms, guests will enjoy locally-made goods such as Rise & Ramble shibori dyed robes, Slingshot Cold Brew and Videri Chocolate.

“This is the first independent property of its kind in the area, and we’ve assembled an expert team of locals who are personally invested in showcasing the best that Raleigh has to offer,” Russ Jones, a partner in Loden Properties, said in a release. [hear background on Russ in a recent Podcast Raleigh interview, part 1 & part 2]

A few things you’ll want to check out at The Longleaf Hotel:
  • The Longleaf Lounge, serving up midcentury-inspired snacks, including Port Wine Cheddar Cheeseballs, Fancy Ants on a Log featuring Big Spoon Roasters nut butters, and French Onion Dip with potato chips, and cocktails.
  • The (not-yet-open) (ish)delicatessen, which will have a “blend of the foodways of the Jewish American South and classic Italian deli.”
  • The ‘grammable “Long Live Longleaf” neon sign. 
  • A courtyard with seasonal fire pits open to locals and guests, as well as rotating programming.
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Ashley Christensen's Project Xtra Crispy is now... BB’s Crispy Chicken. The name comes from referring to it as 'baby Beasley's' (her full-service chicken restaurant in Downtown Raleigh) and it stuck. 

More details on the menu are coming together, too. Five different sandwiches will build on a foundation of a fried crispy chicken breast on a local brioche bun, “designed to highlight chef Ashley’s favorite fried chicken pairings, from punchy pickles to chile-spiced heat.” Or, you can customize. The News & Observer has more exclusive menu details. 

The first location opens in Raleigh’s Midtown East in summer. The second in the Raleigh area opens in Cary’s Parkside Town Commons in late 2020. There’s a Durham location planned too. 


PLUS...

How a potential housing bond would help affordable housing efforts was discussed at the Raleigh City Council meeting Tuesday. [read more]

East Raleigh property taxes are skyrocketing. [read more]

WUNC's project, "Where We Live," shows effects on gentrification in Southeast Raleigh, explores the income gap between racial groups and talks about the future of affordable housing. [read more]


NC State has an exhibit on the day in 1966 that Martin Luther King, Jr., visited Raleigh and the KKK held its largest demonstrations in North Carolina. [read more]

Downtown Raleigh set a new record for food & beverage sales in 2019, with $262.7 million in sales. That’s 9.4% over 2018. There are now more than 200 restaurants, cafes, and bars/clubs/lounges, according to the Q4 report from the Downtown Raleigh Alliance released this week.

ICYMI: Why the Census matters to local planning. [read more]

Tips or topics you're curious about? Tap reply or email raleighconvergence@gmail.com.
 
☑️ Southeast Raleigh Community Engagement Strategy Session, Part 3: This session for Southeast Raleigh residents and stakeholders is on financial literacy and entrepreneurship, to help the community build wealth for itself. Jan. 31-Feb. 1.  [info]

☑️ 5-Year Plan Update Meeting: Consolidated Plan Draft: Attend to hear how the City’s Housing and Neighborhoods Department plans to spend federal and local funds in our community over the next 5 years. [info]
Thanks for reading! Please share what you think about this edition.

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