Atlanta embarrassed–Birmingham soars

Birmingham snow storm

Birmingham Snow storm

“There was no coordination around school closings, because there are more than two-dozen city and county school systems in “__________.” There was little coordination between highway clearance and service to city streets because “_________” is comprised of dozens of municipalities connected by state and federal highway systems.”

Was this written about Birmingham?  Nope, this was written about “Atlanta.”  Continue reading

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An idea that would transform Birmingham

Sam Addy

Sam Addy, Director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Alabama

How about an idea most people think would transform Birmingham–but they will not consider because they think it would be impossible to implement?

You may say we don’t need to do anything different because we’re making progress.  We are making progress, but let‘s look at how metro Birmingham compares to our regional rivals in several key areas. (Birmingham Business Journal January 10, 2014).

Comparison of eight peer cities:  Birmingham, Austin, Atlanta, Charlotte, Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, Oklahoma City: Continue reading

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Birmingham represents family, love, strength, diversity

Avani Patel

Avani Patel

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Avani Patel .  We love to hear from young professionals.   If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

Who am I?

People ask themselves this vital question from childhood until old age.  What does this question really mean, and why do we continue to ask ourselves this question?

Let us start with our childhood.  As a child I was a little Indian girl with an American accent with a twinge of southern slang.  I moved to Birmingham, AL at the young age of one and been in love with Birmingham ever since.  I attended school with other children who were very similar to me in personality and age group but not so much in appearance.  When I asked myself – who am I? Continue reading

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3 Things Charles Barkley said about Birmingham

Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley spoke to the Rotary Club of Birmingham in August.

So why did I wait so long to write about his talk?

I invited him to be a guest blogger on ComebackTown, but have had no luck so far.   In the meantime I thought it was important for everyone to hear what he had to say…and he did have a lot to say–particularly about Birmingham. Continue reading

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Insanity: Couples getting married in downtown underpass

Wedding 18th Street underpass downtown Birmingham

Jemia & Adrian (Photo by Timothy L. Jones

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Atticus Rominger. If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

Birmingham has many fine wedding venues:  Couples and their guests can take in grand views at Vulcan Park or The Club, have a fancy affair at the Historic Tutwiler Hotel – or snap a bridal photo under a downtown underpass. That’s right – an underpass.

If I’d told you a year ago the brides would drag their white dresses through a railroad underpass Continue reading

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Can Birmingham get over its low self-esteem?

David Sher

One hundred years from now, when historians write the history of Birmingham, 2013 will be the year they say changed everything.

Birmingham’s been called the “City of Perpetual Promise.”  We’ve been described as the “Magic City” at our zenith and as the “Most segregated city in America” at our low point.

We’ve always been a great place to live, but not a great city.  2013 will be the year Birmingham begins its long-hard journey to become that great city. Continue reading

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Before I die I want to…

Matthew Hamilton

Matthew Hamilton

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Matthew Hamilton.  We love to hear from young professionals.   If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

Last month was bittersweet for me.  First, the bitter: I had to destroy something I created.

For the last three months, I had supervised an interactive, community art project downtown.  It was a 60 foot blackboard wall on the side of a building across the street from Regions Field, with 135 spaces stenciled in white with the prompt “Before I die I want to…”  Any passerby was invited to pick up a piece of chalk and share their hopes and aspirations with the community. Continue reading

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What do people outside of Alabama think of Birmingham?

Dirt RoadA young business man sitting next to me on my flight from Atlanta to Philadelphia asked where I lived.  I told him I was from Birmingham and he said he was from Philadelphia.

Then I asked…

“What comes to mind when you think of Birmingham?

“He said, “You have dirt roads, don’t you?” Continue reading

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Why Birmingham can never have a Mandela

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

We in Birmingham join in mourning of the passing of the legendary South African leader, Nelson Mandela, who died last week at the age of 95.

It’s ironic that we are currently celebrating the 50th anniversary of our Civil Rights struggle the same year as Nelson Mandela’s death.

Many renowned speakers came to Birmingham this year and emphasized that Mandela was inspired by the Civil Rights struggle here in Birmingham.  It’s clear that Birmingham played a key role in changing the world. Continue reading

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Why should I have to move back into Birmingham?

I hear these comments regularly…

“Good column, David, but I’m perplexed why you choose to live outside Birmingham.”

“If you love Birmingham so much, why don’t you move there?”  

“Sher, you don’t live in Birmingham.  Why should anyone pay attention to you?”

I grew up in Birmingham, but I’ve never kept it a secret Continue reading

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