Works at Only Earth Natural Foods
Lives in: Winston-Salem
Travels to: High Point
The more time passed, the more Michelle Curry finds herself hanging out in High Point. She has lived in and around Winston-Salem for her entire life and always had friends in High Point. But her gig with Only Earth Natural Foods in High Point has led her to spend more time there.
“There’s more connection going on with the university and there are more people trying to build up the city, which makes me really happy,” she said. “I also see it with the restaurants and the fact that there was actually a beer fest this past year that was really big for High Point, and all these little cute shops that have sprung up. It’s not a little bedroom community like it used to be.”
Curry sees the Triad cities as interconnected, both in terms of people who travel to shop at the health foods store and the folks who are synergistically pushing the culture forward.
Still, most of her free time is spent in Winston-Salem, a place she is thrilled to see changing. Curry remembers driving downtown as a teen when she was still fresh behind the wheel, and it excites her how much more is happening now. It’s a primary reason that she’s chosen to stick around.
Art director at Pace Communications
Lives in: Winston-Salem
Travels to: Greensboro & High Point
It took Camilo Perdomo about a year to adjust to living in Winston-Salem. He and his wife, Kristin Kennedy, left Greensboro after he landed a job with Qué Pasa, but he said they quickly realized the city is right for them even when all their friends were on the other side of the Triad.
“I saw the strong push that Winston was making for the downtown and the industry there, and that was very appealing for us at our age,” he said, adding that they spent their first year living downtown. “It’s interesting to see investment in a food culture.”
He later switched careers to work as an art director at Pace Communications in Greensboro, a company he didn’t know about when he lived there. It was as if the Gate City opened up to him once he became a sort of outsider, even after living in Greensboro for about six years, he said.
“When I left Greensboro I never thought I would be back to work,” he said. “Pace has opened a world of opportunities within the Triad and outside of it.”
Perdomo loves that he can live in Winston-Salem, work in Greensboro and be involved in work projects on a national level that allow him to travel. It allows him to be a big fish and small fish in different ponds at the same time, he said.
He even spends some time in High Point, going there to play basketball with a friend. They usually eat at Carter Brothers or an Indian buffet in the Third City, too. Traversing the three cities, he’s noticed a level of healthy competition that he hopes will lead to improvements in each.
“Instead of a triangle, I see the Triad as more of a circle,” he said.
Perdomo, who moved to Greensboro almost eight years ago as an immigrant, said this seems like one of the best eras to live in the Triad, when there is a strong push for culture and other aspects of urban life from a new generation is making the cities flourish.
Triad bureau chief at North Carolina Public Radio
Lives in: Winston-Salem
Travels to: Greensboro and High Point
A tenuous connection to High Point, based on occasional, basketball-related visits, isn’t the only thing Jeff Tiberii and Camilo Perdomo have in common — they also both commute from Winston-Salem to Greensboro for work.
For nine months Tiberii made the trek with the help of the regional PART bus, which dropped him off on the same block as the North Carolina Public Radio studio upstairs in the Triad Stage building downtown.
He’s lived in Winston-Salem for more than eight years, working at the former ISP Sports and later at WFDD based at Wake Forest University. And that’s part of why he still resides in the Camel City.
“The reason I don’t live in Greensboro is probably as simple as that I had already lived in Winston for five years” before working for NC Public Radio, he said. “My commute is like 30 miles and it takes pretty much 30 to 35 minutes. If I were in the Northeast corridor I couldn’t live 30 miles outside of DC or Boston or New York. It’s an easy commute.”
Tiberii’s wife, Blair Busby, spent some of her formative years in Winston-Salem, and her family remains in the area. While he isn’t sure where they’ll be in 20 or even five years — Busby is doing her clinical rotation for physician assistant school in Wrightsville Beach now — Tiberii said they would be crazy not to at least consider spending the rest of their lives in the Triad.
“It’s a beautiful place,” he said. “It’s so reasonable to live at a reasonable wage.”
While his professional life is the main reason he spends time in Greensboro, Tiberii tries to stretch his time in the Gate City to build relationships, grab lunch, spend time in a park or check out a play. He even extends his orbit to attend a High Point Panthers men’s basketball game once a year, an annual ritual with a friend in the Furniture City.
“I think that the cities complement each other pretty well,” Tiberii said, “but it seems like there’s this barrier to an extent and I’ve never been able to really put my finger on it. There’s certainly some overlap but also some things that each city has that the other doesn’t. I think people should venture down Business 40 more often.”