Charlotte, NC: What’s All the Fuss About?

Charlotte, NC: What’s All the Fuss About?

As a retiree looking for a place to settle in your golden years, you’ve probably heard or read about the increasing population in North Carolina’s cities such as Cary, Raleigh and especially Charlotte, the ‘Queen City’. For both young families and the older...

Reasons to settle in Charlotte, NC

Reasons to settle in Charlotte, NC

The Queen City of the state has experienced a new phenomenon in recent years: not only retirees, but now young families have found a jewel nestled in the Piedmont region, conveniently located between the Appalachian mountains and the beautiful white sands of the North...

North Carolina Facts: Get to Know the City

North Carolina Facts: Get to Know the City

If you clicked this article, maybe you’re thinking about moving to North Carolina. This beautiful state has something for everyone, and in the last decade has seen a significant increase in its population due to its high quality and serene living, perfect for...

Interested in Lake Living? Here’s what you need to know

Interested in Lake Living? Here’s what you need to know

Picture yourself waking up to the glistening reflection of the sun on the lake surface. The crisp morning air fills your lungs as you step out of bed and the chirping of the birds and the soft waves of the lake escort your steps as you drink the first sip of hot...

How to stay happy and active during the winter months

How to stay happy and active during the winter months

For many retirees, these are the months of the year when the magic happens: loved ones come from all over the country to visit and the house is filled with warm smiles and laughter and the smells of freshly-cooked food and spices.  However, the activities of a retiree...

overture chape hill 55 active adult apartment

Corbinton in Chapel Hill Magazine

Isabel and Efrain Piñeiro adore their +55 Community

By Marie Muir

(Photography by Beth Mann)

Soft morning light and the savory smell of fried plantains fill the air. Across the Kitchen island, an open-concept, spacious floor plan unites the dining and living rooms. Sunday brunch in Hillsborough’s Corbinton Commons neighborhood is a weekly tradition for Isabel “Izzy” Piñeiro, 75, and Efrain “Frank” Piñeiro, 78. 

Izzy and Frank, originally from Puerto Rico, moved to Durham from Long Island, New York, in 1985 when Frank got a job with Dialight in Roxboro. After living in Durham and Rougemont for more than a decade, the couple moved in 2001 to Hillsborough, where Izzy worked for a printing company and as nanny. In 2016, an incident at their townhome caused Izzy and Frank to reevaluate their living situation. 

“I fell down,” Izzy says. “When I missed the step, I thought I was going to break my hip. That’s when we started looking for a place that was flat, with fewer steps.”

Izzy started seeing signs for Corbinton, an active adult community. She was sold on the location alone. “I like Hillsborough, and this area is quiet, tranquil and peaceful,” Izzy says. “Everything is more convenient –we [have] easy access to stores, hospitals and the highway.”

The couple moved into their Corbinton home in 2017 and feel more at ease since downsizing. 

“I like the floor because it’s the most convenient, and my master bedroom is downstairs,” Izzy says. “The kitchen is open concept, and I like that because I can see everything that’s happening in the living room and outside. It’s roomy, I got more cabinet space, and I love where my washing machine is –convenience is the best thing about this place. This is one of the best houses I’ve lived in in my life because everything is downstairs and convenient. [For] anyone who’s getting older, living on one floor is the best.”

Before the Coronavirus outbreak, Izzy and Frank could expect any number of visitors –from their two kids and five grandkids, who are between the ages of 16 and 26 and live close by, to neighbors who stop by for Puerto Rican cooking classes or coffee. Every week, several women gather at the front of the neighborhoods to take socially distanced walks into town.

“I love walking in the mornings,” Izzy says. “We start at the front of the neighborhood and then we walk together –we have three trails, two that go into town and one that goes in a circle around the neighborhood. If we walk into town, we have coffee from Cup A Joe. It’s about three miles there and back.”

In addition to scenic walks, Izzy and her friends take part in hobbies like the traditional Chinese tile game mahjong, bookclub, potlucks, listening to music, knitting, gardening and fireside chats in the communal outdoor patio area. Corbinton’s indoor community is currently under construction. It’s that social aspect that makes Corbinton feel like home to the Piñeiros. 

“People were kind in our old neighborhoods, but Corbinton is more of a community,” Izzy says. “Everyone is very friendly –if you need groceries, people will offer to pick them up for you.”

Until it’s safe to venture farther than their tight-knit town again, the couple is thankful for social distancing activities and downtime at home with Mango, their 23-year-old cockatiel, and 11-year-old teacup Yorkshire terrier, Highway.  

Chapel Hill Magazine | Welcome to the Neighborhood | Pages 84-86