Raleigh-Durham: Business Magnet

The fact that Duke University is so quaintly located in Durham, NC was probably a deterrent for most students who were considering enrolling. However, four years later, chances are that this average Duke student will proudly claim their loyalty to Durham and display no sign of regret. The area is simply awesome.

Corporations, entrepreneurs, and anyone who is considering a job in business: consider the Raleigh-Durham metro area. This year, Forbes Magazine, everyone’s go-to source for financial literature and rankings, chose Raleigh-Durham as the number one best place for business and careers in the United States. Entrepreneur.com rated the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area as the third best metro area for entrepreneurs, and allbusiness.com declared the area as the best in the nation for female entrepreneurs.

The Raleigh Economic Development group sums up the appeal of the triangle area:

A growing number of companies (from start-ups to the Fortune 250) are choosing to locate their corporate headquarters here in Raleigh. Why? They’ve found a dynamic hub of technology and innovation that puts them in the heart of world-class academic institutions and pioneering research. They know they can count on a highly skilled workforce, and the quality of life makes recruiting a breeze.

Further evidence in support of the Raleigh-Durham region can be found in a new legislative document, Article 3J. Designed to better the business climate in the area, Article 3J will give us significant breaks on taxes through credits. Basically, job creation and investment in business property will be eased through tax credits. As a thank you for migration into the area by multiple corporations, the triangle has put together multiple public financing, human capital development, and public investment mechanisms to make our lives easier.

So you might want to listen to Forbes, Money, FORTUNE, and the Employment review when they say that the triangle area is the number one place for people to live and work in America.


The Baked Spargel Incident

Coming from a land of drive-thrus and 24-hour delivery Chinese food, it was never necessary for me to learn the art of cooking. With an ever growing amount of work to do here at Shoeboxed, we often try to eat in the apartment, leaving many of us naïve college students to the kitchen. When confronted with the stovetop and oven, many of us have excelled at making pasta, potatoes, and rice – all starches.

The lack of variety led Candace and I to experiment. We bought Spargel, the blonde cousin of American asparagus. We figured that olive oil and parmesan cheese could make even this strange, white, translucent vegetable taste good. After arriving home we realized we lacked a pot large enough to fit our ten asparagii (I am fully aware that the plural of asparagus is asparagines, but that’s just ridiculous. I refuse). We would have to bake our asparagii on a cookie sheet.

Putting the asparagii with parmesan and olive oil in a 400 degree oven seemed like it would get the job done. Little did we know that asparagus actually explodes. To add to our embarrassment, some of our German companions came over just as we pulled the burnt remains out of the oven.

David and Silva made it crystal clear that Spargel is a very delicate and revered food in Germany, after which they criticized every step of our Spargel preparation. I would like to use the blog to defend my cooking skills and my honor. People out there should know that, even if I failed to peel and boil the Spargel, baked Spargel is just as good!

Identity Theft Horror Story

I am absolutely head over heels in love with shoeboxed. Let’s not be presumptuous now- my love does not stem from the fact that shoeboxed is the child we are collectively raising. Nor does it stem from the ridiculously good looking people that I live with (although this makes work and life easier). I love shoeboxed because it protects our most sacred bit- our identity.

My brother’s flight had just touched down in New York City after spring break this year when he called me to tell me about his trip. He nonchalantly concluded the phone conversation with, “oh, and Mo, my bank card isn’t working…can you call them and find out what’s up?” He does nothing for himself.

I called, did the usual and pretended to be him, and what do I then discover? Someone had charged his card to QVC (the home shopping network), a BMW dealership in Los Angeles, a power company in southern Texas, and a candle store in Chicago.

You know that Princeton is worth every dollar when your younger brother responds to the situation at hand with “but I was just in Mexico for a week, and I don’t drive a Bimmer, I live in New Jersey, I HATE candles, and why would I ever need knives and salad dressing from the home shopping network.” He clearly didn’t understand the gravity of the situation.

The good people at the bank had him send in an affidavit and they credited his account with the money from the four different purchases he didn’t make. Then, we had to go through weeks and weeks of phone calls and paperwork, account number changes, and countless meetings with the lawyer before things were even remotely okay. But the person or people who did make those purchases still have their hands on potentially very valuable information that could ruin his, or should I say my, life.

To this day, we joke that it is actually pretty amazing that my brother noticed that his card wasn’t working and decided to bring it up in conversation. If it hadn’t, we could have been so much deeper in something we did not want to be in at all.

So, let this case of mini-identity theft that could have been much worse inspire you to sign up for shoeboxed.