At several junctures in my life, I have been determined to leave my hometown of Birmingham, AL at least for a season. At no point was I miserable in the city; I just longed for a change, something different. But, as you may have guessed (or read), those forks in the road never really led away from here, and after 25 plus years, I know that whether or not my mailing address says Birmingham, AL, I will still call this home. The twist is that with every new life chapter, Birmingham changed for me. I was introduced to new people and a new part of the city. And now I’d like to introduce you.
Birmingham is a city that surprises its visitors. The relatively young, medium-statured city is best known by outsiders for its deep wounds: a cholera epidemic, a church bombing, a letter from the jail, a nationally recognized financial crisis. Insiders, however, know and love the city best for the way it has healed from those wounds: internationally recognized health care, a beautifully diverse population, and art of all kinds around the corner. If you love enough and live enough for long enough, Birmingham lives up to its prophetic nickname. And you begin to experience the magic.
This past week the New York Times highlighted “The Magic City” in a travel article. It makes mention of a couple of my favorites – Miss Myra’s Barbeque (in my Heights) and Workplay (which I trust completely to host great musicians) – and confirms my message to people about Birmingham: you should really see for yourself. Especially considering, the author makes no mention of the natural beauty around town.
If you aren’t yet convinced, that’s okay. Just keep checking back. I have much more to say about things to do here.