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DLers, Tell Us About Birmingham, Alabama

There's much chatter on a Tasteful Friends thread about how awful and overflowing with MAGAts the city must be, yet there seems to be more going on there in terms of gentrifying neighborhoods, homosexuals, and possible liberal enclaves.

Looking it up, it seems that Shelby County, where Birmingham is located, went 52-45 for Hillary in 2016, the only county outside of the "Black Belt" to do so.

So tell us, DLers who live there or who know about it, what is Birmingham like?

In addition to the political climate, what is the actual climate like? Hot and humid and unbearable all summer?

There are over 1MM people in the metro area. Does it feel like a big city?

Have many Yankees moved in, as they have in Atlanta and Charlotte, or is it still very Southern?

Do people ask which church you belong to upon first meeting you, a Southernism that throws off most Yankees?

And what is the food scene like--lots of Boned Fishes and Olive Gardens or is there a decent restaurant scene (pre-Covid, anyway)


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by Anonymousreply 32Last Tuesday at 8:41 PM

Ahh, Birmingham, where all breathes peace and freedom and makes one forget the world and all its sorry troubles.

by Anonymousreply 109/13/2020


by Anonymousreply 209/13/2020

I went through on an Amtrak trip. Downtown looks flash-frozen in 1954. A bunch of Art Deco banks and mini-skyscrapers. I expected Dick Tracy to board with Flattop right behind him. No people on the streets at all - but it was one of the hottest days in August. Big ornate movie theater from the '20s. Sort of dusty-looking light. I hear the country club district is the richest neighborhood in Alabama. It is surrounded - at least along the train route - with appalling poverty and ugly broken-down towns.

I wouldn't care to live in the American South with the possible exception of New Orleans, which I loved. The climate is dreadful and much of the countryside is flatter than Kansas. Plus every second woman looks like Kayleigh McEnny.

by Anonymousreply 309/13/2020

The city went for Hillary only because of the black population. There are about 24 liberals in Alabama, and they're probably moving away.

by Anonymousreply 409/13/2020

In Birmingham they love the governor.

by Anonymousreply 509/13/2020

What year did that happen R3?

(This is Datalounge, after all)

by Anonymousreply 609/13/2020

Downtown Birmingham isn’t much to look at, but the wealthier suburban enclaves are green and pretty. It’s full of deplorables who care for nothing besides Trump and Alabama football, but there also is a sizable ad growing arts community. Great restaurants. It’s the kind of place where someone has to tell you where to eat, shop and visit, because it’s not immediately evident.

by Anonymousreply 709/13/2020

Before the band really went south.

by Anonymousreply 809/13/2020

It has some great museums on the civil rights movement and you can tour the church where MLK worked. We stumbled upon a Franklin Graham rally when we were there. It was a small, all white crowd listening to him.

by Anonymousreply 909/13/2020

R6, August of 2019. As I said, I only had a chance to observe it during a 15-minute break at the train station, which is in the heart of downtown and somewhat elevated so there was a view from the platform. It was incredibly empty-looking, but the downtown had good bones.

They did tear down their magnificent train station, as did Atlanta, Savannah, New Orleans and pretty much every Southern city south of Richmond.

Southerners say they're proud of their history but they don't seem to mind bulldozing it whenever possible.

by Anonymousreply 1009/13/2020

Nobody is really in Down Town that much anymore. That Amtrak station is in ghost town. Most of the thriving businesses are in or near the burbs. Mountain Brook is the name of the flush community. But there are lots of other areas that are nice too. Shoal Creek, which has hosted the PGA championship more than once, and Highland Lakes come to mind. I haven't lived there in a while, But there are lots of great restaurants. Highlands bar and grill is pretty upscale, there are the usual chains like Ruth's Chris and there used to be a Ralph and Kacoos, but Pappadeaux tore it down. I love Pappadeaux though, so no loss. Automatic seafood and oysters is nice. Johnny's is some great Greek food.

UAB has a national reputation in the medical community. The school of fine arts is excellent. Birmingham Southern college is a liberal arts college, and they brought in great acts when I lived there.

There is a sense of entitlement from the old guard. And since that was who I had to work with, I got out. Like many southern cities, you have to belong to the right church.

by Anonymousreply 1109/13/2020

Thanks R10

As you now, many DLers will post their observations of a city from a visit they made 40 years ago without seeming to realize that things might have changed.

by Anonymousreply 1209/13/2020

Don't know if that was a dig, R12. Don't really care.

r10 - The rail lines don't always correspond to the interstates. From my experience, they almost always go through "silence of the lambs' landscapes.

by Anonymousreply 1309/13/2020

Was not meant as a dig at all.

Just an observation--many DLers report experiences from the 1980s as if they'd happened last week. So good to know your observation is recent.

by Anonymousreply 1409/13/2020

R13, in Georgia the train went through a dozen tidy, well-kept and attractive little towns, although these were more obviously bedroom communities and wealthy weekend places for Atlanta.

by Anonymousreply 1509/13/2020

Alabama - shit hole of the south - flush it.

by Anonymousreply 1609/13/2020

R11. That sounds like hell on earth

by Anonymousreply 1709/13/2020

I was raped there. It happened in a trailer park. 4 large black men held me down and took turns with me. I tried to scream but they put a pillow over my face. I don't know if I'll ever recover.

by Anonymousreply 1809/13/2020

No worries r14, and I completely get where you are coming from. I purposely left out the 19XXs for that reason. I was surprised that Highlands bar and grill was still open. Which must be some kind of testament. But I will do memory lane here briefly. Johns seafood downtown was right out of Goodfellas. Gosch overdone amenities, Upstairs seating are for the connected gents, fish in the aquariums. It was so Jersey. And there were connected gents there. Mob guys working the Garbage angle. Carpetbaggers, actually.

But now the place has changed. It looks like it was taken over by that moldy jam bitch. From the website: " Fudge Farms Family Pork, Springer Mountain Farms Chicken and Creekstone All Natural Beef. "

by Anonymousreply 19Last Monday at 5:30 AM

I spent three weeks in August working in Birmingham. It's such a forgettable city. The only two things I remember are visiting the Civil Rights Museum and standing in the parking lot of my place of work in a raging lightning storm under an umbrella with two others smoking. It was later explained to me that one does not do that if one enjoys breathing.

by Anonymousreply 20Last Monday at 5:39 AM

R10 dear, when they say they are proud of their history, it means they did not mind the slavery stuff.

by Anonymousreply 21Last Monday at 5:44 AM

Why, Boris? Is your farm doing research in order to create online identities to troll sites? “Sure, I’m VERY acquainted with Birmingham, in fact I enjoy ice cream at ____ place and we to high school at ______ place. No doubting, I am American.”

by Anonymousreply 22Last Monday at 5:51 AM

It does, doesn't it, R17?

I was acquainted with an artist there. He does building pieces. Large pieces that corporations put in their lobby or on the street. His house straddles a stream and has all the "mod" furniture from the 70s. But it is a hot mess. Dogs and chickens running everywhere, No attempts to tidy up. If I saw it today, I would swear they were doing meth.

Last time I was there, he was finishing up a sterling silver cake plate for his daughter's wedding. It was stunning. In the middle of this messy run down compound was this beautiful, ornate silver dish. I mention it because of the juxtaposition. I have had to tolerate art school graduates from time to time. Usually in houses with well manicured lawns and sprawling gardens. I never saw one of them produce something like this fucking cake plate.

by Anonymousreply 23Last Monday at 6:04 AM

I was there a few years ago. Parts of it were pretty, but the city itself seemed very small. The residents seemed overly occupied with gossip and football.

by Anonymousreply 24Last Monday at 6:11 AM

Fannie Flagg is from Birmingham.

by Anonymousreply 25Last Monday at 6:11 AM

I have a friend that was born and raised there. A couple years ago I went with him to visit his family and we stayed for a long weekend. I actually enjoyed it there - it is very Southern which might not be enjoyable for some. His family lives in Mountain Brook and it was a lovely neighborhood full of beautiful homes. We went to several restaurants, nothing particularly memorable, and went one night to a gay bar which was a very odd mix of people. I can't say that I'd choose to live there but if I had to move there for work or something I certainly could make the best of it. And for all of you screaming "but its in Alabama" please do tell us what completely upscale and totally liberal state you live in.

by Anonymousreply 26Last Monday at 7:06 AM

Is there a suburb of Birmingham called Riverchase?

by Anonymousreply 27Last Monday at 7:16 AM

R26, I live in New York State, just up the Hudson River from the FDR National Historic Site and the Vanderbilt Mansion.


by Anonymousreply 28Last Monday at 3:28 PM

R27 Yes. It’s part of the larger suburb of Hoover.

by Anonymousreply 29Last Monday at 3:30 PM

Well La de Dah, r28. That is really pathetic. Trying to make your point twice. You could have just said upstate.

by Anonymousreply 30Last Monday at 6:12 PM

R28 - I was born and raised in Rhinebeck, which was ruined when all you Manhattan people started buying weekend houses

by Anonymousreply 31Last Tuesday at 5:14 PM

I was raised in New Paltz, R31.

by Anonymousreply 32Last Tuesday at 8:41 PM
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