Location

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[Some of this text is borrowed or paraphrased from Erich Huang  * ]

Our ceremony will be held at the Huang Residence located at 4841 Moriah Hill Road in Durham, NC.  Situated in a pine wood almost exactly between Duke University and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, the house was built in 1972 while my family lived in Chapel Hill.

I remember standing at the top of the driveway holding onto my Pre-Skool toy school bus, watching the construction workers raise the balloon-style wood framing.  The sun beat brightly down on the little clearing in the woods, making the site's mass of new lumber glow a bright yellow-orange.  The road leading to the house used to be called Route 7, a hidden country dirt road great for sledding in winter and covered with large tangles of wild blackberry bushes and queen-anne's lace in the summer.  Times changed, of course, and area is now less isolated.

Nearby Duke University * , is where my father is a tenured Oncologist-Hematologist and my brother is a Oncological Surgeon. The home of Krzyzewskiville, Cameron Indoor Stadium, the Duke Blue Devils, many sportswriters call it the "Gothic Wonderland".  My brother and I were  born there, somewhere inside the Davison Building.

On the other side down "Tobacco Road" is Chapel Hill, home of UNC and the dastardly Tar Heels * .  No one is exactly sure where that term comes from, but many think it's related to the unwillingness of North Carolina's Revolutionary War soldiers to yield to Cornwallis's British Redcoats. Another story dates to the Civil War when North Carolinian soldiers suggested to Virginian troops who had retreated in a recent battle that they would use tar, one of the state's natural resources to help the Virginians stick around. The university has kept a lot of its old southern charm, with sprawling giant magnolia trees and wide porches with slender columns.

-E

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Travel and Lodging

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Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) is 15-20 minutes outside of Durham and Chapel Hill. Airlines into RDU include American, United, Southwest, US Airways, and AirTran. Directions from the airport to ceremony are below. Block lodging is available at the Sheraton* and the Hampton Inn* in Chapel Hill. Other possibilities include the Washington Duke Inn and the Carolina Inn on the posher end of the spectrum. Naturally the Fearrington House Country Inn is a good choice too. It's a Relais & Chateaux inn but a bit of a drive to the ceremony.

download map here> *
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Here also are links to Google Map turn by turn directions from the hotels to the Huang's house and to Fearrington Village Center:

Sheraton to the house

Sheraton to Fearrington

Hampton Inn to the house

Hampton Inn to Fearrington

Places to go

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[text borrowed from Erich Huang]

Here's an incomplete list of things to do along Tobacco Road. The city of Durham owes its name to Bartlett Durham who donated land for a railroad station. The Brightleaf tobacco that grows so well in our red clay ultimately made the Duke family's fortune and the American Tobacco Company that was ultimately trust-busted into RJ Reynolds, Liggett & Myers, P. Lorillard, and a new, smaller American Tobacco Company. The American Tobacco Historic District houses Tyler's *, which possesses the best beer selection and corndogs in Durham. Right next to it is the Durham Bulls Athletic Park * the leading edge of a wave of new minor league baseball fields in the mid-90's. It was designed by the same firm that designed the Orioles' Camden Yards. Their August schedule is here *. Nearby is Brightleaf Square *, a shopping complex of reclaimed tobacco warehouses. Across the street is James Joyce *, an Irish Pub. The Sarah P. Duke Gardens * is the equivalent of Central Park for Durham. On a pretty day you'll find every variety of Durhamite enjoying its trails, fields, ponds, and flowerbeds.

A favorite during medical school after a night of, ahem, debauchery, is the Waffle House *. More refined is Foster's * a quaint establishment run by the FOM (Friend-of-Martha), Sarah Foster. Next door is Guglhupf *, a German bakery with cream puffs as light as cumulus cloud. There are a couple of nationally known gourmet restaurants: Magnolia Grill * run by a husband and wife team who have respectively won the James Beard Foundation Best Chef in the Southeast award and Bon Appetit Best Pastry Chef awards; and Nana's * which was named by Esquire as one of the top new restaurants in the country. For rib-stickin' food in Durham, try Bullock's *.

Franklin Street is Chapel Hill's main drag. Whenever the dastardly Tar Heels are lucky enough to win an important ballgame it's painted blue amongst a dissipated riot of North Carolina's wasted youth. Aside from the standard college bars and pita stands is Lantern *, a tiny fusion restaurant that manages to capture authentic Asian flavor. For authentic Southern, there's Mama Dip's * for old fashioned heart attack fare, and Crook's Corner * the restaurant started by the former Bill Neal, one of the best-known early champions of Southern Regional cuisine. It put shrimp and grits on the map (accompany it with their habanero hush puppies). During the 1st year of medical school, Monday post-exam debaucheries were capped with a visit to Time Out Chicken *, a Franklin Street institution that was graced (until it was stolen) with a blow-up photo of Chris Webber calling his illegal timeout in the National Championship game. A block or so east is Ye Olde Waffle Shop *, a family-owned establishment with a loyal following that crowds its tiny dining area on the weekends. Farther afield down Airport Road is the Flying Burrito *, a Mexican/Seafood restaurant that has branches on Topsail Island and in the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Cheap, huge, and satisfying burritos. The Flying Mayan is vegetarian, but so good you wouldn't know the difference--it has sweet potato in it. Also good are the fish tacos. A representative of my med school class could be found there every day of the week. Wear gloves and carry a Class A fire extinguisher if you want to try their Atomic Wings.

Registries

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crate and barrel: kitchen basics ****
retromodern: flatware/dinnerware/designer pieces ***
fitzsu society: designer pieces ***
amazon: small appliances/bed linens ***

Places to go, part two

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My two favorite fast foods in the area are Chick-Fil-A  and Bojangles  * .  Chick-Fil-A's delicately breaded nuggets taste like they've been marinated in savory chicken broth. The waffle fries will pass and are not the real reason for going.  Bojangles is similar to Popeyes - creole spicy fried wings and nice biscuits.

An excellent museum to go to is the Duke Nasher Art Muesum  * .  They will be featuring an exhibit, El Greco to Velazquez the same weekend.  The architect of the museum is Rafael Vinoly  based in New York City.  Many of our friends have done a stint working at Rafael's grueling and arguably rewarding work environment.

Another museum is the North Carolina Museum of Art  * ; the addition and grounds were designed by Smith-Miller Hawkinson  * , professors at my alma mater, in collaboration with Quennell Rothschild and Partners  * .

For those of you who love plants, the North Carolina Botanical Garden is a nice place to visit.

Things to hear

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Enjoy these radio stations when driving around the area:

Classical/Public:
91.5 FM WUNC  this NPR station was where Charles Kuralt spent his early years

89.7 FM WCPE  * .  Lots and lots of classical...

Alternative:
89.3 FM WXYC.  UNC's college station,  where I developed my non-classical tastes, like early Siouxsie, Jesus and Mary Chain, Camper Van Beethoven, locals like Flat Duo Jets.

88.7 FM WXDU.  Duke's station

Commercial:
106.1 FM WRDU.  Mostly country.

105.1 FM G105!  Top 100 pop with lots of ads.

Directions

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Here are links to Google Map turn by turn directions from the hotels to the Huang's house and to Fearrington Village Center:

Sheraton to the house

Sheraton to Fearrington

Hampton Inn to the house

Hampton Inn to Fearrington

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