Please read below to get an idea of who we are as a community.
Candace is in the sweet spot of life, between leaving work behind and decrepitude, with enough juice to travel widely, hit the tennis courts, and investigate her ancestors. She is often smarter than her quirky and devious cattle dog. She loves Durm and has lived here all her adult life.
My country of origin is Germany. I met my American husband in Germany and followed him to the US in 1980. Between then and now, I raised three children, switched careers, got a BS in biology, and had the fortune of spending part of my work life in the outdoors, working with plants and water quality.
Raising my three children I consider my most important and challenging task. Now they all have their private lives and it is time for me to downsize. I learned about cohousing by chance about 2 years ago and was hooked on the idea immediately. I made it my mission to find a forming cohousing group that I could join, and so found Bull City Commons.
I am not good at sitting still. Friends visiting me from out of town know that they will be going for walks with me. It facilitates talking. Things that I enjoy doing are hiking, swimming, yoga, biking, engaging in craft projects, sharing a cup of tea, and enjoying and admiring the creativity of others. Once in Durham, I plan on finding volunteer work related to native vegetation and water quality.
I grew up in New Orleans, La. At UNO, I completed a BA in Philosophy and Mathematics, and later added a BS in Computer Science. I worked at the LSU Eye Center for several years, then moved to the Boston area for two years, where I contracted in software development. I've lived in the Durham area since 1990, and worked at Duke for over 26 years, first at the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development (Medical Center), then at the Computer Science Department (University).
I listen to NPR, read the Indy Week, and spend way too much time on my smartphone; volunteer at Carolina Theatre, Full Frame, NCGLFF; like to garden, cook, brew beer; try to support local farms, businesses, and breweries; have served on the board of my neighborhood association for many years.
I've been interested in cohousing for many years, and have finally taken the leap!
Dina and Jen and their daughter, Jordan, are excited to be joining BCC, as they love the idea of cohousing because of the community it provides as well as the sustainable use of resources. They will be relocating to Durham from Northern Virginia, just outside of Washington, DC, where they have lived their adult lives (and Jen and Jordan their entire lives). Jen and Dina are both going through career/life transitions, and are in the process of rightsizing and redesigning their lives, after Jen had an all-consuming career as a finance executive leading various accounting functions in large financial institutions, and Dina spent many years as a realtor and more recently as a stay-at-home mom. Dina and Jen were both very involved in Jordan’s school community, and Jen served on the board of their neighborhood HOA. All three love to read, play games, find humor in the unexpected, and travel (picture from Estepona, Spain). Jen loves puzzles and sometimes talks Dina and Jordan into doing them with her. Jordan also loves to sing, act, knit, sew, bike, and play soccer. They don’t currently have a family pet, but if they did, it would be a dachshund. They are looking forward to moving to a more relaxed yet culturally rich environment, spending more time outdoors, meeting new people, and having fun.
Dina McCullough & Jen Liner
Born and raised in Alexandria, VA, I came to Durham fresh out of college. Armed with an oh-so-marketable fine-arts degree, I apprenticed as a carpenter with L. A. Downey construction company before joining the design-build landscaping business Outdoor Craftswomen as co-owner. After turning to Zen Buddhism for the answers to life’s big questions, I spent 8 years as a monk in a California Zen monastery and found myself building rammed-earth structures and solar infrastructure while training to lead awareness practice workshops and retreats, and, of course, focusing on my own spiritual practice. Back in Durham for the past 17 years, I share a wonderful life with my beloved Laurel, life partner, wife, and mentor. I’ve transitioned from carpenter/handyperson to Habitat for Humanity site supervisor to the City of Durham’s Neighborhood Improvement Services Division, where I’m currently assistant director. I lead a weekly Zen meditation group and love gardening, hiking, and practicing the fine arts of procrastination and general futzing.
I have followed the cohousing movement since its US emergence in the ’80s and always thought this type of cooperative living would be a good fit for me. Beyond college, I lived in a variety of housing types where there were always a diversity of residents. I look forward to living within a collective of diverse households at BCC and to developing a neighborhood where we will share resources, collaborate on projects, and support each other in our life journeys, adventures, and challenges.
I am here with the love of my life, Maria, whom I am proud to say has consented to stay with me for 38 years. I was raised in small town Illinois and met Maria in Tennessee in grad school. We spent 20+ years by the SF Bay where I became a competent software practitioner and we learned what it is like to live in a beguiling and rapidly changing metropolis.
While trying since childhood to become an adult I’ve made music, read history and science, hiked and camped in the wild, traveled and talked with friends old and new. Now in addition I love watching our daughters grow into wonderful and playful people and working on this fascinating project we call Bull City Commons.
I love all the people in this community and so look forward to creating a 21st century intentional and caring village. And I am so excited to live in and be involved in Durham right now!
Passion #1: TRAVEL !! Here I am on a Sierra Club trip (2017) in Patagonia. When time/money permits I am off on an adventure !!
Born in NYC and moved to NC in 1987.
Passion #2 : Cooking!! - Been Vegetarian for a long while. Vegan at home now. Always ready to explore ways to make things delicious, nutritious and dairy free.
Love to hike and camp. Enjoy time at beach.
Passion #3: Community Being an extrovert, I love spending time with friends and planning activities to share - cannot wait to be part of the Social Circle at BCC.
Judie Adams and Christine Westfall love living in Central Durham and want to be in an even closer-knit community, which is why they joined Bull City Commons. Judie teaches Nursing at UNC-G, and Christine is a consulting Owner’s Representative for non-profits developing real estate. They love
spending time with their foster daughters, Chrysti and Lilly. They also like to take their miniature dachshunds to the dog park, play music, and hike on the Eno.
Judie Adams & Christine Westfall
Being a baby boomer and growing up in the South during the 60’s and 70’s was the perfect alchemy for the making of a cultural anthropologist and social justice advocate. I moved to North Carolina in the 80’s from New Jersey where I attended grad school and, like a lot of people, stayed. In 2010 at age 64, I joined the Peace Corps and worked in the Highlands of Guatemala. Since returning to Durham in 2015, I’ve found even more to be excited about, like initiatives in urban sustainable agriculture and local food security systems and cohousing alternatives. Bull City Commons was just what I was looking for – a community committed to sharing resources, mutual responsibility/care for each other and living green - at a price I could afford. I look forward to living with less, building a community together and having more resources and time to devote to the things I love: traveling, creative writing, walking, biking, exploring Durham’s many natural spaces, hearing great music, meditation practice and being part of a vibrant, diverse urban community.
I grew up next door to a rock quarry in a bygone corner of inland Los Angeles County, went to college in spurts as a single parent, and luckily ended up in Durham, where I was amazed to discover a vibrant underground feminist community in the midst of which I pursued an eclectic activism. At the same time, I built a career in editing and publishing and eventually began writing in earnest. As if that weren’t enough, at age 52 I finally, unexpectedly fell in love with the right person. Faith and I married in DC because we thought it would never be legal in NC(!), and blessings continue to accrue. I transitioned from full-time editor to independent editor for creative and academic writers, making more time for my own writing. Since then, I’ve had a small string of successes with fiction and memoir published in literary journals and garnering a prize or two, which serve as much-needed encouragement to finish my novel. I also love reading, movies, hiking, and train travel.
• I enjoyed an idyllic childhood in Michigan, 4th of five kids, on an island across the river from Canada, south of Detroit
• At 10, I spent a year in Malaysia with my family while my physician father ran the local hospital
• At 13, I boarded at a high school associated with the National Ballet company of Wash. D.C. that combined academics with professional ballet training
• At 17, I auditioned for and won a scholarship to finish ballet training with the Stuttgart Ballet – but didn’t go
• At 18, began studies at Stanford University, majoring in Psychology, then Communication, focusing on filmmaking
• My subsequent careers included 20-odd years as an independent documentary filmmaker, as well as stints as:
§ The associate producer of The Learning Company’s Totally MAD, the complete CD-ROM anthology of the magazine
§ The content editor for an astrology website (where I found myself making up horoscopes)
§ And finally, the children’s librarian and manager of one of the branches of the San Francisco Public Library
• I retired from the Library in 2017 and moved to Durham - and am thrilled to join the Bull City Commons
• Along the way, I married, lived in Paris for a couple of years, and raised two children as a single mom
• I enjoy reading, writing, watching movies, biking, cooking, re-learning how to edit video on computers, and spending as much time as possible with friends and my extended family – most especially, with my two grown-up kids, Tess and Thomas.
Liz and Mike are psyched to be joining this vibrant new cohousing community. After stints in Tennessee, Illinois, Florida, and NYC, Liz established roots in Durham in 1988. She’s a science/medical writer at Duke Clinical Research Institute, a founding member of the local a cappella group Stella, and loves sock-knitting, visiting small towns, the PBS NewsHour, and all things Canadian.
Mike is an NC native and software technical writer in RTP. He is a longtime student of much and master of none, with dabblements in drawing, comics, zines, creative writing, yoga, kettlebells, community theatre, digital video editing, coaching, the Three Principles, information science, journaling, banjo, improv, and other forms of self-learning and discovery.
Liz Wing & Mike Brown
Mardy and Lia are thrilled to manifest their long-held interest and desire for cohousing by joining Bull City Commons.
Lia is a native New Yorker and finding that the older she gets the more important walkable, well resourced, urban environments have become. She is a mom to three with empty-nesting in the near horizon which opens up space for new interests such as acting and travel. She is a member of Durham Friends Meeting.
Mardy will be returning to her childhood home of Durham, after living in Hawaii, D.C., and the Bay Area, and currently enjoys both the brisk pace and quiet refuge of downtown Raleigh. A Viking by ancestry, she is passionate about travel, especially if it involves ocean views.
Mardy and Lia
I moved here with my sweetie, Jim McCrae, and two daughters in 2003. We lived in the country in Orange County until this year, raised our daughters, cashmere goats, chickens, and various and sundry other critters. Had a great time, but now the daughters are grown, we are down to two cats, and are ready for city life. I work for the Guardian ad Litem Program, recruiting, training and supervising volunteers to represent foster children in court. I am passionate about justice for all, including children. For fun I enjoy singing, camping, reading, road trips and going to movies. I love Durham, coffee, going to the pool, and my cohousing buddies, not necessarily in that order.
Mary and her family live in Durham and love our community here. We are especially enthusiastic that BCC will be in a walkable, bikeable neighborhood, close to Duke, grocery stores, coffee shops, and restaurants. Mary loves modern design and cozy spaces, and strives toward living a minimalist lifestyle. We frequent the public library and public parks and love to travel. You’ll find us enjoying BCC’s common spaces, contributing to the potlucks, and hanging out with “Noni” – our resident grandma!
(photo by Anna Carson Dewitt.)
Born in Durham (in the old Watts Hospital), I spent my college years in Chapel Hill and have lived in Washington DC, Austin, Tucson, and along the Blue Ridge Mountains outside Boone, NC.
After working on staff for several university presses in design and production, I started a book design and typesetting business that’s been going for the past 25 years now.
I love book arts & the craft of typography, art museums, birding & walking in the woods, blues music — and the unique, developing culture of Durham’s downtown neighborhoods.
Gareth, Ruth, and the dog Milo moved to Durham from Stockbridge, Western Massachusetts in September 2018. Gareth works in IT for a large international bank, and Ruth is a project manager, author, trainer, and coach. Milo’s job is to supervise the comings and goings of the neighborhood and to sound the alert when there is an Amazon delivery.
It has been quite a whirlwind ever since we arrived with finding and purchasing a house, replacing the kitchen. When we first heard about BCC, we were curious about how such a community works and how we might fit. We had heard about cohousing before and had been interested to find out more as we consider options for our future living when we don’t need office space (!) and want easier access to everything the city has to offer.
Once we met the BCC members, we knew this was a great community to be a part of so we signed up!
We look forward to exploring the area, getting to know our new community, and being part of the process to build multi-family housing from scratch!
Ruth Pearce & Gareth Davies
I grew up in Southern California when it was much gentler place than it is now. My high school offered surfing as a part of its PE program, and I remember when actual orange groves existed in Orange County.
Having traveled extensively for professional reasons, some of my favorite places - aside from the usual suspects like New York, London, Paris, Tokyo & Shanghai - are:
Victoria Island, BC
After seeing much of the world, I am ready to find my own tribe at Bull City Commons, where members value cooperation & social connections.
I was attracted to Bull City Commons because it is a community that is committed to each other and committed to the neighborhood and broader Durham community. What a wonderful way to explore my own personal growth, expand my community and eliminate the typical isolation that is often present in condo buildings where you never get to know your neighbors.
My interests include health and fitness. I love eating healthy, nutritious food (and the occasional decadent desert!). I am rekindling my long-time interest in drawing and painting. And I’m trying to jump start my meditation practice. This adventure called Bull City Commons is propelling my transition from corporate life to a life of balance and ease.
Susan is a native North Carolinian who has lived in Chapel Hill for the past 30 years. Susan loves music, reading, listening to favorite podcasts (Criminal, This American Life, Snap Judgement), taking walks with friends, playing card games, and doing puzzles. She is a Carolina Tarheels fan and a dog lover. Susan is a proud public school teacher in Durham, has two adult daughters, and is looking forward to being a part of the Bull City Commons community.
Hi there! I love hiking, camping, generally being in nature very much. I also love good food (especially when Jo Pelligra has made it). I am the oldest of five siblings, have lived in North Carolina since the early 90s except for a five-year jaunt to Oakland, California. Discovered Buddhism in California and to this day it helps me be a better person. Jo’s strong desire to live in community has heavily influenced my interest in cohousing. I am most interested in communities with purpose. This picture is of Jo and me at Duke Gardens, one of our favorite places in Durham. I look forward to meeting you.
I’m happy to have lived in Durham for the past 20 or so years, and grateful for the community of friends I have here. I’m also looking forward to my next step-being part of Bull City Commons. I mostly grew up in Northern Virginia, but as an Army brat I’m also fortunate to have lived outside the U.S. I consider myself a friend of the arts, and have a BFA in Painting/Printmaking from VCU in Richmond. I later returned to VCU for my MS in Rehabilitation Counseling. Most of my professional work has involved providing community services to adults with mental illness. I now work full-time for the State as a Vocational Evaluator, assisting people with disabilities as they return to work. I’m looking forward to continuing my involvement in music (I play old-time banjo, upright bass and some fiddle) with my BCC neighbors who also play! I’m a cat and a dog person, and enjoy attending events at the Carolina Theatre - my home away from home.
Theresa's list on a fine, rainy day off: pens, toilet paper, notebooks. She scoots around. Adores, Leo and Beau.