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Differences in Durham and Winston-Salem, the differences in both cities

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So to you what are the Differences in Durham and Winston-Salem?

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Duham seems to have the reputation of being a high crime city, whereas Winston doesn't. Also, even though the populations of the two cities are close, Winston seems like a bigger city to me, mainly because of it's skyline.

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I haven't spent much time in Winston-Salem, so bear in mind this is from a primarily Triangle point of view.

Both cities have freeways running through their downtowns, and their populations are within a few thousand citizens of each other. The similarities end there.

Durham is the most liberal major city in the state, while Winston is fairly moderate. From what I've seen, it's due to more than just the high minority population, but to the technical, highly educated culture living alongside it. Although Winston probably has that too with its artistic community. Duke and Wake Forest are both prominent private universities.

It seems very hard to have a conversation about Winston-Salem without mentioning the big skyline. The presence of banking corporations and downtown residents have caused Winston to grow a much larger skyline over the years. Durham barely has a skyline at all. A lot of things are to blame for that. Some people blame the Research Triangle Park, but I wouldn't. Most of the companies there wouldn't be in the Triangle anyway if it weren't for the park. The degree to which RTP has swelled Durham's population will probably help it revive its core in the long run. Along with that, many of the smaller companies in RTP will mature into international corportations with the upcoming boom in biotech. Again I think that'll help Durham attract corporate headquarters. With the current wave of infill, we'll see some new towers built after two decades of stagnation. It won't catch up to Winston-Salem; at best it'll be competing with Greensboro.

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Duham seems to have the reputation of being a high crime city, whereas Winston doesn't. Also, even though the populations of the two cities are close, Winston seems like a bigger city to me, mainly because of it's skyline.

This sentiment is exclusive to outsiders. People in Durham generally don't consider it "high crime". But like pretty much any city, there are areas that civilized people know to avoid.

Similarites: former big tobacco towns (RJ Reynolds still has offices in Winston-Salem though, right?)

Decent "arts" scene in both. Doesn't W-S have a whole "arts district" or "avenue of the arts"?

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This sentiment is exclusive to outsiders. People in Durham generally don't consider it "high crime". But like pretty much any city, there are areas that civilized people know to avoid.

Similarites: former big tobacco towns (RJ Reynolds still has offices in Winston-Salem though, right?)

Decent "arts" scene in both. Doesn't W-S have a whole "arts district" or "avenue of the arts"?

The media is partially to blame for that sentiment also (especially the folks on a local morning radio show in Raleigh). A few years back Winston-Salem was labeled as a dangerous place, especially by people in Greensboro. That coupled with the fact that GSO and WS compete against each other didn't help either. That may also be another difference in Durham and Winston-Salam. There doesn't seem to be the stiff competition between Durham and Raleigh like there is between Winston and Greensboro. But there are probably folks in the Triangle that would have a different opinion on city cooperation/competition.

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My unlce lived in Greensboro in the 1980's at Four Seasons Mall in a now defunct jewelry chain and I remember him saying that he had heard Winston Salem had alot of crime and had some dangerous areas, but I haven't really heard about those problems recently.

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Durham's crime problem is not perception only. The News and Observer recently documented the murders per 100,000 residents stats for North Carolina, and Durham leads all major cities in NC by a significant margin:

NC Major Cities Murder Rates Per Capita, 2005

Asheville, Raleigh, and Winston have the lowest murder rates from last year. I'm ignoring Cary because it's not a city- it's a suburb and has vastly different characteristics from every other municipality on this list.

I lived in Winston for 8 years, and rarely felt unsafe, even in downtown at night.

Another difference is that about 5,000 people work in Downtown Durham, and almost 20,000 work in Downtown Winston. I think more people live in Downtown Durham today, but the amount of residential permitted and under construction in Winston will quickly surpass what is in Durham.

Durham still has a lot going for it- don't get me wrong. But there is a serious and pervasive crime issue that is predominantly manifested in young to mid teens with guns and little concern for human life. If Durham can turn the corner on the problem of youth violence, I do believe the city will blossom.

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Durham and Winston-Salem have always had similar economies. Both have a heritage with tobacco and both have biotech industries today. Winston-Salem seems more like a big city and Durham seems more like a small town. Im not saying thats bad just noting the differences.

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Durham's crime problem is not perception only. The News and Observer recently documented the murders per 100,000 residents stats for North Carolina, and Durham leads all major cities in NC by a significant margin:

NC Major Cities Murder Rates Per Capita, 2005

The News and Observer is a bit alarmist when it comes to Durham.

Murder is just one category. When you include all violent crimes, rape/assault/burglary, Charlotte and Wilmington lead Durham. Durham's crime rate is in reality similar to Greensboro and Winston-Salem. Raleigh is just an outlier as far as cities in NC go, with a lower crime rate than everyone.

I'm not trying to come off as an apologist for crime, and I'm certainly not going to tout Durham as the safest place in the world. The real problems the city has had are subsiding. The dangerous pockets are outside of downtown.

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The News and Observer is a bit alarmist when it comes to Durham.

Murder is just one category. When you include all violent crimes, rape/assault/burglary, Charlotte and Wilmington lead Durham. Durham's crime rate is in reality similar to Greensboro and Winston-Salem. Raleigh is just an outlier as far as cities in NC go, with a lower crime rate than everyone.

I'm not trying to come off as an apologist for crime, and I'm certainly not going to tout Durham as the safest place in the world. The real problems the city has had are subsiding. The dangerous pockets are outside of downtown.

You can thank the Raleigh Police Department they use Los Angeles Police Doctrine,which can be bad and good.

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Durham's crime problem is not perception only. The News and Observer recently documented the murders per 100,000 residents stats for North Carolina, and Durham leads all major cities in NC by a significant margin:

NC Major Cities Murder Rates Per Capita, 2005

Winston and Durham have always been similar to me. Winston does have a better looking skyline. Durham probably has the edge in economic potential due to its proximity to the RTP and lost cost airliners love affair with RDU. Durham (and downtown) are just now reaping the benifts of the RTP. The main difference is that Forsyth county has a much larger population than Durham county.

The Raleigh paper tends to highlight the worst about Durham. It

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Although Winston is a larger city than Durham, Durham benefits from its very highly educated and affluent population in attracting high-end national stores and restaurants. Durham has a Champps, Nordstrom, Cheesecake Factory, California Pizza Kitchen, Maggiano's, Five Guys Burgers, Apple, and P.F. Chang's. These stores haven't even come to Winston-Salem yet, and for the most part, haven't even come to the entire Triad area. Also, Durham is a much more socially liberal city than Winston, with less of a blue collar or "NASCAR fan" presence.

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Although Winston is a larger city than Durham, Durham benefits from its very highly educated and affluent population in attracting high-end national stores and restaurants. Durham has a Champps, Nordstrom, Cheesecake Factory, California Pizza Kitchen, Maggiano's, Five Guys Burgers, Apple, and P.F. Chang's. These stores haven't even come to Winston-Salem yet, and for the most part, haven't even come to the entire Triad area. Also, Durham is a much more socially liberal city than Winston, with less of a blue collar or "NASCAR fan" presence.

I somewhat agree with you. But, both Winston-Salem and Durham have that blue-collar industrial feel to them......Winston-Salem moreso than Durham. And I agree that Durham "feels" more socially liberal than Winston-Salem. But, I think Winston-Salem is more progressive as far as city planning/development goes and it certainly looks and feels more urban than Durham.

As has been said, both have a tobacco history and both have many smokestacks/old factories/warehouses and grit. I do think that Durham has a very educated feel to it with Duke and all of the bio-medical buildings and just being in the Triangle.

Winston-Salem almost looks and feels like a rustbelt city down in North Carolina, but is uniquely "North Carolina". Durham has a little of that, but also has much more of a "new" North Carolina look and feel.

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I don't know...this is an interesting question for me. I was born and raised in Durham, (and still have VERY strong ties to the city), went to school in Winston-Salem, and now live in Raleigh. W-S and Durham never seemed that similar to me, even though on paper they have a lot in common.

I really hated W-S at first (probably because I didn't have a car) but I grew to love the city as time went on. Both have a big arts culture, which is important to me. But something about W-S seems a little more gritty, and a smidge less sophisticated. Durham seems a tiny bit more white-collar to me--perhaps it's the presence of RTP. Also, it seems as if the African-American community in Durham is a little bit more prominent, which also makes a big difference to me.

As for the crime issue in Durham/Raleigh, a lot of it is perception. Several murders have taken place in Raleigh since the beginning of the year, but folks rarely discuss them. In fact, I don't think people even remember they've happened. However, as soon as something happens in Durham--"Did you hear about that shooting? See, I told you Durham was dangerous!"

I have met people from places like Baltimore and Philadelphia--where there have been HUNDREDS of murders since the beginning of the year--who move down here and say, "I don't go to Durham. It's too dangerous". :rolleyes:

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You can thank the Raleigh Police Department they use Los Angeles Police Doctrine,which can be bad and good.

You're darn right! Our Police force is borderline oppressive! :angry:

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Although Winston is a larger city than Durham, Durham benefits from its very highly educated and affluent population in attracting high-end national stores and restaurants. Durham has a Champps, Nordstrom, Cheesecake Factory, California Pizza Kitchen, Maggiano's, Five Guys Burgers, Apple, and P.F. Chang's. These stores haven't even come to Winston-Salem yet, and for the most part, haven't even come to the entire Triad area. Also, Durham is a much more socially liberal city than Winston, with less of a blue collar or "NASCAR fan" presence.

"Highly educated and affluent population"

Yeah boy!!!! I don't think I've seen anything about our NASCAR fans on the national news over the last three weeks. But, those highly educated affluent students in Durham sure have been getting the coverage.

"Socially liberated", nope, you're right there, but we do have a lot of churches.

As far as resturants go, we've got one or two you may have heard of; McDonalds and Pizza Hut. Nordstrom; we've got J. C. Penneys and Dillards, does Nordstrom sell something I can't get at Dillards?

Hell, we've even got a company that makes computers; I think its called Dell or something like that. Course we to dumb to use them, we only know how to build them for the more educated affluent folks.

We even got this college in town where you can go learn to be a doctor or lawyer. It's called Wake Forest, but you've more than likely never heard of it.

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^ I think that he's refering to "Champp's Americana"...it's a resturant chain. I would equate Winston and Durham on the same level regarding education, with winston having the edge on primary education and durham having a slight edge on the college level. I do feel that winston has more of it's own identity, rather than living in the shadow of Raleigh as Durham does. Some would say that this applies to the triad too, but i see WS and Greensboro more of equals. Maybe i am a little partial to the triad b/c i lived in winston for 5 years, but who knows.

But i will add my two cents on a "liberal city". I don't see that as a plus. Also blue collar "NASCAR Fan" is kind of an oxymoron. Nascar's roots have changed drastically, and it's now a predominantly white color sport.

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Since I once lived in Winston-Salem and my family still does, I think my comments are spoken from experience, not as a outsider. As for liberalism, I don't know of any major cities that would market themself as socially conservative, although most try to market themselves as progressive and diverse, including Winston-Salem. That's what it takes to attract the young, hip class that is critical to becoming a vibrant city.

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There's about five cents difference between the two cities. Durham has a couple of more prominent colleges nearby and a few more stores, but they're both old tobacco-trading towns.

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"Highly educated and affluent population"

Yeah boy!!!! I don't think I've seen anything about our NASCAR fans on the national news over the last three weeks. But, those highly educated affluent students in Durham sure have been getting the coverage.

"Socially liberated", nope, you're right there, but we do have a lot of churches.

As far as resturants go, we've got one or two you may have heard of; McDonalds and Pizza Hut. Nordstrom; we've got J. C. Penneys and Dillards, does Nordstrom sell something I can't get at Dillards?

Hell, we've even got a company that makes computers; I think its called Dell or something like that. Course we to dumb to use them, we only know how to build them for the more educated affluent folks.

We even got this college in town where you can go learn to be a doctor or lawyer. It's called Wake Forest, but you've more than likely never heard of it.

Why are you trying to start a fight? I get so tired of people that are unable to have a discussion with the maturity of an adult. And that "we have to defend ourselves thread" ranks up there with that too. I recommend you read our rules so you know how to conduct yourself before you make another post here.

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There's about five cents difference between the two cities. Durham has a couple of more prominent colleges nearby and a few more stores, but they're both old tobacco-trading towns.

Sorry, the differences are significant. Let's run some of them down.

Political: Winston is for better or worse, still a town with a lot of paternalism and top-down tendencies. This is good and bad. It works well when the "usual suspects" have the right ideas about downtown and so on. It works poorly when they exclude others. There is very little political activism in Winston, and grassroots activism is muted to nonexistent. Durham is a cacophony of activism with various PACs and longstanding activist groups that have heavy clout through their endorsements in the political process. Durham has an alternative newspaper that produces legitimate investigative journalism from a progressive viewpoint. Winston has alt weeklies that have pretensions of being more than "what's going on" tipsheets, but have not become legitimate news alternatives to the Winston-Salem Journal. Process in Durham seems messier, but its citizens are undoubtedly more involved.

Educational: Duke and Wake Forest are both nationally prominent institutions with acclaimed graduate and professional schools in the ACC. However, Wake Forest commits to keeping 25% of the student body from NC, while Duke has no such commitment, and has at most, 3-5% students from North Carolina. Durham has 3 times as many PhDs as Winston. NCCU is the only other university in Durham, while Winston also has an HBCU in WSSU, but also NCSA and Salem. Durham has NCSSM, Winston does not have a marquee high school of that stature.

Crime: Look at the stats above, and then do the math on the increase/decreases from the year before. Winston had 10.9 murders per 100,000 in 2004 and Durham had 14.8. I agree that analyzing other crime types might show more similarities than differences in those categories, but Durham has a higher incidence of the most violent crime of all.

Economy: Yes, Winston landed Dell, but Winston has largely been suffering over the last 5 years with Wachovia leaving and Krispy Kreme hitting the skids, in addition to the overall predicament of the Triad's manufacturing base eroding further. Durham is in better shape because of the robust nature of RTP, and because most of the manufacturing losses are over. Both cities are doing well with Med School-tied bioresearch, but Durham has a long lead in this department. Winston has a few Fortune 500 HQs, Durham does not.

Arts: Winston has among the highest per-capita giving to the arts in the US, and supports its own symphony, SECCA, and several other arts institutions. The presence of NCSA to this phenomenon is not a coincidence. Durham has the Carolina Theater and the Hayti Heritage Center. In Ziggy's, Winston has an A-list touring stop for up and coming bands. Durham does not have an equivalent, though the Carolina Theater does catch some big acts.

Transportation: Durham has passenger rail service, but no airport. Winston has a very small airport, but no passenger rail service.

While I really love Winston, I've tried to be even-handed here and delineate what I see as some of the key differences between the two cities beyond the skylines and physical structures of the downtowns. While they have much in common, Winston and Durham are headed in two positive but different directions that derive from their many existing differences.

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Why are you trying to start a fight? I get so tired of people that are unable to have a discussion with the maturity of an adult. And that "we have to defend ourselves thread" ranks up there with that too. I recommend you read our rules so you know how to conduct yourself before you make another post here.

Ok, I've read the rules like you have asked. I'm glad I did. Maybe you should re-read them, I beleive your guilty of breaking a few yourself in the past.

To answer your question, NO I'm not trying to start a fight, but I WILL defend the city I live in. I hope you would be willing to take a stand to defend your city if someone tried to "bash" it. (See your rules for this explination)

As far as my post goes, point out anything that isn't the truth. If it offended you, I'm sorry, maybe you need to have a more open mind.

Don't worry about banning me from the forum, contary to what you think, I am a responsible mature adult. I will not be back.

But before I leave, I would like to thank the other forum members for their e-mails; they know who they are. Sorry, but I just couldn't let it slide.

And to you Metro.m, I issue you a challenge. Don't delete this post, let's see what happens.

Good day and farewell.

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One interesting historical footnote is that it was 2 Winston-Salem businessmen who were arguably the most instrumental individuals in getting RTP funded and off the ground. The first building was named after one of them, Robert M. Hanes. Archie Davis was the other man. Both served as chairman of Wachovia.

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Durham and Winston-Salem have always had similar economies. Both have a heritage with tobacco and both have biotech industries today. Winston-Salem seems more like a big city and Durham seems more like a small town. Im not saying thats bad just noting the differences.

Well said!

Although Winston is a larger city than Durham, Durham benefits from its very highly educated and affluent population in attracting high-end national stores and restaurants. Durham has a Champps, Nordstrom, Cheesecake Factory, California Pizza Kitchen, Maggiano's, Five Guys Burgers, Apple, and P.F. Chang's. These stores haven't even come to Winston-Salem yet, and for the most part, haven't even come to the entire Triad area. Also, Durham is a much more socially liberal city than Winston, with less of a blue collar or "NASCAR fan" presence.
To answer your question, NO I'm not trying to start a fight, but I WILL defend the city I live in. I hope you would be willing to take a stand to defend your city if someone tried to "bash" it. (See your rules for this explination)

Wscruiser,

DCMetroRaleigh used something called constructive criticism. Its what us Urbanplaneters do, get used to it.

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Durham is actually bigger than Winston-Salem (201,000 to 191,000). Forsyth County is bigger than Durham County however.

As far as arts are concerned in Durham, one must also consider Duke's Nasher Museum of Art as well as NCCU's art museum, AND the fact that it's becoming a veritable mecca of artists (like painters, sculptors and crafty folks moreso than a breeding ground for indie rock bands, etc.).

Durham's also a fairly important place for film: the Full Frame Documentary Film Fest (hailed by the NY Times as "the premier documentary film festival in the country") is headquartered downtown and the NC Gay & Lesbian Film Festival takes place here (now the second largest GLBT fest in the southeast - Miami's is first).

I'm no expert on W-S, but I haven't heard of any of their tobacco warehouse being converted to retail, living or office space. If there has been any such conversion, I'd love to read about it.

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