I will start it off since I am the one who asked everyone to join in.
I am a native of Birmingham, Alabama and have lived here most of my life. Birmingham originated as a merger of 3 farming communities which took the name Birmingham from England. Until the mid 80's ish it was still a steel town, but has morphed into a huge medical/ medical research/ school town with UAB (The University of Alabama Birmingham) being the single largest employer. Understand that UAB consists not only of a metro college, but it also multi hospitals, multi diagnostic centers, multi professional office buildings, so it is a gigantic complex occupying a huge hunk of Birmingham's Southside.
I have no idea what the population of the city proper is (guessing about 250,000 but I could be wrong) but the metro area is roughly 1,000,000 -1,200,000. Obviously most of the population lives outside the city, mostly in small incorporated areas. (20ish incorporated towns of 20k or more. I said 20ish because it seems like some new community incorporates every few years and I lose count of who is who.)
We are infamously known for Bull Conner and his hose men during the Civil Rights Movement of the 60's. This is not something to be proud of, but it did happen. We do get tired of everyone outside of Alabama assuming life is still like this. We have changed, we really have
We do now have a fabulous Civil Rights Museum and if you are ever this way it is well worth visiting.
Speaking of museums, one of my friends is a docent at the Birmingham Museum of Art. Whenever we complain about living in Boringham she lets us know that outside of England the Birmingham Art Museum has the largest collection of Wedgewood. I enjoy some of the exhibits there but I spend very little time in the Wedgewood room. I guess I lack the proper appreciation for jasper
Keeping with the best theme, Roll Tide! The University of Alabama football program has 16 National Championships, just sayin'.
Birmingham is also a foodie town. There are restaurants everywhere, of course the usual chains are here but there are some outstanding locally owned places. Frank Stitt and Chris Hastings are 2 local chefs who seem to be on the James Beard list regularly.
Frank Stitt's Highlands Bar and Grill (get gussied up before you go here and make reservations well in advance) is a place to see the beautiful people while you eat mouthwatering local food. Oh my goodness the baked grits are to die for. This is by far my go to special occasion restaurant.
The Hot and Hot Fish Club is another iconic restaurant. Chris Hastings also embraces the local seasonal food. It is a tad (just a tad though) more casual than Highlands. Nothing is more delicious than his tomato salad, which is an architectural feast of tomatoes, lady peas, fried okra and Nuskie's bacon. I wonder if he is getting good tomatoes yet, because he only offers it when he gets the best ingredients and I want it now!
Your turn. What is fantastic in your neck of the woods?