The INDY paid for me to live it up for two days in the pair of boutique hotels, 21c Museum Hotel and The Durham Hotel, that opened within blocks of each other in former bank buildings this year. These are luxury institutions claiming to contribute to downtown life, and we felt it was important to give people who can’t afford them a look inside. The result is this cover story, part experiential on-the-town piece, part examination of class, privilege and nostalgia, and part Yelp review. I felt like I gained a lot of perspective on New Durham by getting inside it, and I hope the story reflects that sense of clarity. Read it here, with terrific photography by Alex Boerner.