5.22.2014

Because This Is Where My Heart Lives

What's so great about Birmingham, Alabama anyway? We've proved that we can't handle snow and ice, and it seems that we are constantly seeking shelter from deadly tornados. We have humidity so high that it makes it hard to breathe in the summertime, and don't even get me started on the Mosquitos. And isn't Birmingham known to be one of the most dangerous cities in America?

So after all of that, why would someone chose to live here? Why would someone chose to make their home and raise their children in a place like that?

I'll tell you exactly why. Because, despite all the storms and the bugs (and the snakes. Did I mention the snakes?), this place is pretty damn spectacular. This is a place where you receive a hello from a complete stranger while walking down the street, a place where your neighbor is always willing to help you out, and a place where community thrives. This is a place that has seen the worst of the worst and has come out on the other side. This is a place who refused to let crime get the better of it, and a place where revitalization happens. This is a place that bleeds with passion for all things local. This is a place like no other place in America, and this is a place that I call home.
When I was seven years old my parents moved my family to Birmingham from our home in North Alabama. I went kicking and screaming. At the young age of only seven I decided that I hated Birmingham, and that same hatred followed me through high school. I hated everything about this city, yet now that I think about it, I couldn't tell you one specific thing that I actually hated. I just hated it. I swore to everyone that I would take the first plane out of this town at any given moment and never return. In fact, I did get out of Birmingham, twice.

After high school I moved an hour away to Tuscaloosa to begin my college career at the University of Alabama. It wasn't far, but it was a start. Three years later I moved to New York City for an internship. Living in New York was my lifelong dream, and at the young age of twenty-one, I was accomplishing it. I didn't have any plans of leaving, however, my internship came and went, and I moved back to Alabama. College graduation came and went, and I moved back to Birmingham.
You see, in those four years away from this city something happened. Something changed the way I thought and felt about this place, about Birmingham. Suddenly I found myself falling in love with the city. I found myself passionate about the revitalization going on downtown, passionate about the local breweries and boutiques opening up across the city, and passionate about the people that live and love Birmingham in the same way that I love Birmingham.

Birmingham is not only where I grew up, but it is where I met my husband and where we bought our first home. Birmingham is where we started our life together and where we will one day start and raise our family. For the first time in a long time, Birmingham is thriving.
With the sudden explosion of new restaurants, businesses, and entertainment venues in the city, there is never a dull moment in Birmingham. Railroad Park and Region's Field are just two examples of the hard work and dedication that has been put into this city to make the old, new again. Live music is always on at places like Iron City, Bottletree, and Workplay, and the drinks are flowing freely at the many breweries and new bars downtown.

So whether your looking to spend your Wednesday evening eating local cuisine at one of the many restaurants in town, Thursday evening at a minor league baseball game, your Sunday afternoon walking your dogs at the park, or a Friday night catching a local show downtown, you are sure to always have something on the agenda.

It may have taken me a little longer than most to open up to Birmingham, but when I fell for Birmingham, I fell hard. Oh, and Birmingham being the most dangerous place in America? That's history. Birmingham may be popping up on a lot of top ten lists these days, but never for anything negative. Birmingham is fast on it's way to America's next greatest city, and Birmingham will always have my heart.

Picture sources from top to bottom:
#1 // #2 // #3 // #4
 photo dd72f087-87dd-40f7-b623-f339f56bff7b_zps335335ef.jpg

8 comments :

  1. I love this post! We will likely move to Birmingham after my husband graduates from law school in a few years. I am so excited about all the changes in Birmingham! I feel like it just gets better every time we are home.

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  2. How awesome and what an awesome post!! You make me want to go to Birmingham!!

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  3. Well this just makes my little heart smile. Who knew that Birmingham was going to end up so cool and a place people want to live again! I for one am glad that I decided to move here!

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  4. It's funny what leaving a place can do. I never really specifically hated where I grew up but I swore I was going to get out & never look back. Now I miss it like crazy. Even where I live now, Houston, I came in hating it. I spent the past 2 years talking about how much I hate it. But then I think about leaving, & I just don't want to because in reality I don't hate it...there's so much to love.

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  5. Well now I want to go & visit, of course. I've never been south of Virginia. So, I think it's time! lol

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  6. I've been to Huntsville AL but never Birmingham. It looks beautiful and I love the pics of the skyline. did you take those?

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  7. This totally makes me want to move south. So I can have beautiful weather all year round. Us Wisconsin folks sure do enjoy the crap outta the 14 weeks a year we get ;)

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