Kate Durio

Kate is the Marketing and Communications Manager for Downtown Lafayette and I think, quite wonderful. She moved away to Portland for a few years but is now back helping to make downtown Lafayette a great place to live, work and play. She has bought back a little of the city and a lot of appreciation for the uniqueness of the place she calls home. We are lucky to have her.

What was your first job?
My first jobs were in college in Natchitoches. I registered brides for their china and housewares at Louisiana’s oldest general store by day and then I went to work as a car hop at the drive-thru liquor store, Maggio’s, by night. Talk about getting to know the people in a small town!

Describe a typical day in your life.
I have coffee with my dad every morning before heading Downtown to work. My day is filled with sharing the history, beauty and potential of Downtown with as many people as possible every day. I also try to meet with as many people as possible. As I discover something new about Downtown, I share it so that someone else can make a discovery as well. There is such a rich history down here. And when you remember that these historic people were once as alive and breathing as you and me, these stories and buildings take on a life of their own. If someone lives, works or has a business here, I want to know how we can help make it better. If you are considering coming down here, I want to know how we can get you here and keep you happy. It’s a very community-minded job. And that helps me get to sleep every night as early as possible!

What advice would you give the younger you?
The best things that will happen in your life will be the results of chances you were almost too afraid to take. Take more of them.

What event in your life most shaped who you are now?
Moving alone to the west coast at the know-it-all age of 19 was the beginning.
What values do you live by?
Happiness is a covered dish and life is a potluck. Give a good serving and you’ll get a good serving back.

What do you most appreciate?
My library card.

What is your favorite journey?
So far, my twenties.

Where is your favorite place to be alone?
Walking in a city with a coffee. When living in Portland, Oregon for six years, I discovered so much by walking. So much is missed while driving. One of my favorite things about my job is getting to walk around Downtown each day. I can grab a coffee, gelato, lunch, go to the library or just take a break in the parcs. There is a mysterious pleasure in being alone with strangers around. Though, Downtown, no one is a stranger for long!

What living figure most inspires you?
Dolly Parton

What book would you tell everyone to read?
Read any historical non-fiction. “The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris” or “Mornings on Horseback” by David C. McCullough. Actually, read everything by David C. McCullough. And since we’re in Louisiana, Rising Tide by John M. Barry.

What is the best thing about where you live?
Knowing that no other place in the world has food like this, art like this and music like this.

How do you “let the good times roll” ?
Plan a really good outfit and go to a dimly-lit dinner with my main squeeze, Bull. Then find a good place to dance the night away together.

What did u want to be when you grew up?
An international reporter covering wars or incredibly impoverished countries. Basically, Christiane Amanpour. No kidding. I’ve always not only read and watched the news, but studied the news. Around fourth grade, I would run around in my school uniform khaki shorts, my uncle’s oxfords rolled up to my bony elbows and a messenger bag with a pad and pencils. Telling the stories of people who can’t, has always been a draw for me. At the root of all of it, I just wanted to make a difference. I feel that I’m actively doing that daily now. It feels tangibly valuable.

What is your motto?
“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” – Dorothy Parker. And “Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you’ve got to say, and say it hot.” – D.H. Lawrence

How would you like to be remembered?
Thoughtful, a great cook and seriously fun.

What do you say to yourself when you doubt yourself?
Remember what happened last time…and how rad that was?

What three things are vital to BEing YOU?
Spontaneity, sending letters via snail mail hot off my typewriter and awareness of the world around me.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Oh my God, that’s so lame. Who does that?

What is your favorite word?
Kagie (it means my niece, Rebecca, is calling me)

What do you collect?
Vinyl, experiences and historical fact nuggets.

What food could you live on for a month?
I could just eat cheese for the rest of my life.

What would you change about yourself?
I would like to have more patience.

What literary, movie or cartoon character do you most identify with?
Katie Morosky

Describe yourself in five words.
Spunky and a little strange.

What is your idea of happiness?
A long multi-course dinner from a smooth bourbon and hors d’ourves through coffee and bread pudding with really stimulating company.

What is your favorite movie?
“When Harry Met Sally” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.

What music defines who you are?
Depends on the day. Most of the time a healthy tempo jazz track. Sometimes a soulful blues number. And other days, rock and roll youth anthems.

What do you most regret?
Regrets are a waste of time. I would rather avoid them altogether and remember the great choices.

What question do you wish I’d asked?
Can you make a proper old-fashioned?

What would the answer be?
Why yes, of course I can!