Say what you will about social media, but it definitely has as many benefits as it does caveats. The latest statistics say that the global average for daily time spent on social media is 135 minutes – that’s over 2 hours a day y’all. A little math on that will lead to a little soul searching when you realize that comes out to 821.25 hours a year. Yowza!
It would be interesting to see how many hours the average Durhamight spends on social media and how much of it is Bull City specific. There is definitely a strong Durham social media scene. The battle over Bull City handles is real y’all. “The Bulls of Durham” has greatly benefited from social media in more ways than one, in fact I will say that social media, namely Instagram, has been instrumental to the success of the project and even the very reason why the book’s title is officially in quotation marks – the project is well on its way to becoming a printed reality.
On the outside it may appear that the request was based on exclusively on friendship, but if you reside in the Bull City, you know all too well that you have a bevy of unBULLievably talented friends. Katelyn’s photography on Instagram as Best of the Bull was some of the first views I had of the city paired with information that helped me learn more about my new hometown. Her photos are always bright and captivating. She really does capture the Best of the Bull.
Without further ado I would like to introduce y’all to “The Bulls of Durham” official photographer, which over 7900 of you on Instagram know as @BestOfTheBull, Katelyn Belch. She’s easy to love and a big part of what makes Durham easy to love. Grab a tissue. Her interview is sure to have you misty-eyed and overcome with Bull City feels.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Katelyn Belch, I'm the creator of Best of the Bull and owner of Katelyn Leanne Real Estate Group. Best of the Bull is kind of my tribute to Durham and appreciation of this beautiful place we live in through photographs.
How long have you been in the Durham area?
I've lived in the Durham area for 6 years now and I've been in the Triangle area for about 15 years. My husband was born and raised here, and was the one to introduce me to the city. Durham is definitely the first place that really felt like home to me and where I belonged. There's this creative energy about the city, but also love and acceptance of people, whoever you are. Because of that, I chose to establish my real estate business here and eventually my Best of the Bull page on Instagram.
What stands out to you the most in Durham?
I love how much of Durham has been preserved and restored. History, second chances, and new chances everywhere. Even though there is a lot of change happening recently, I think people really respect the history of the city and want to build upon that. Plus the sense of community and the deep love for Durham that seems to unite all of us!
As far back as Durham history goes, it has been a city of constant change. Right now it's undergoing a lot of changes. What changes would you like to see in Durham?
Hmm that's a good question. I want Durham to always stay true to itself, stay local, unique, a little gritty. In other words, don't change too much! I just want newcomers to be changed for the better. To know that they can come here and know they belong if they love this city too. They can be inspired, create, maybe start a local business, or whatever they want to do! To be better people because of Durham.
Three years from now this book is sitting on your coffee table with your page bookmarked… possiBULLy with a super cute bull shaped bookmark. You have someone staying with you who has never been to Durham before. That makes the words on your bookmarked page their first introduction to Durham. What is the 1 thing you want them to know about Durham right off the bat?
You belong. Whether you're an artist, a doctor, a small business owner, or work an office job, there is a place for you here. Just be you and this community will embrace and support you. Do you see the recurring theme here?
Which bull in the Bull City is your favorite?
I love the bull on the Old Bull building. That building is the oldest building remaining in downtown Durham. While the bull sign hasn't always been there, it's more about what the building represents to me. It's undergone a lot of changes, as Durham has, at one point it was covered in hideous pink metal and you never would have guessed such a beautiful building was underneath. Even though it went through a rough period, it's still standing strong and now it's an iconic landmark. To me, the old bull represents the strength and resilience this city has.
Stop by BestOfTheBull.com to see more of Katelyn's beautiful photography and delve into the Bull City gems she's highlighted in her blogs. Psst... make sure to get her guides for the best FREE activities to enjoy in Durham.
To support the project, spread love and have some incrediBULL goodness in your life, head over to The Bulls of Durham store. Swag, love and coffee y'all.
Sheila Amir is a health & nutrition writer who fell in love with Durham, North Carolina and starting writing a book about it.