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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Tuesday 4

When I remember it is Tuesday I follow Annie @ Tuesday Four.  I always like the questions she asks.and they usually dredge up some memories from long ago. Hop over there n
and join in 

Let's talk about your town this week!



1. Do you like your town? Is it a city, town ? Can you describe it for us?
I like where I live perfectly fine. I grew up here, went to school here and then, before my oldest started kindergarten, we moved here specifically for the schools. If anyone ever asks me, I tell them I live in Birmingham, which is true but not technically true. 
The Birmingham Metro area has a population of about 1,100,000 but the actual city limits has only about 450,000 which means most people who claim they live in Birmingham legally don't. 
It is a weird place with the city surrounded by other incorporated cities of various sizes. If you were using circles to illustrate with Birmingham being the center circle, then my small city would be in the 3rd circle in the southern portion of the circle.
I live in a self governed, suburban city (more like a town) of about 35,000 people. It has all the city services of any place (including its own police, fire dept, school system, library, rec center, etc.)  Most of the area is single family houses, though there are a few apartment complexes and some condos.
Like most suburban towns, nearly all of the arts and entertainment is found in Birmingham city proper. This is mainly just a residential city with nice homes and mostly manicured lawns. Because the schools are really good, there is a huge young population. When we downsize we will move to a different area. Our house is entirely too big for just the two of us, and we have no need of the school system (or high taxes that pay for said school)

2. Are there any special points of interest in your town? The only thing interesting in our small town are a couple of  old temples built back in the mind 1920's that were part of an estate built to recreate a temple to Vesta. The guy who built it had visited Greece and become enamored of the temple there. He built Temple Sybil to serve as his headstone because he wished to be buried in a cave on his estate. That turned out to be a no-go and his remains reside in a regular cemetery. He had no heirs to inherit his estate (Who wants a home where all the parties need to be toga themed anyway?) and the property was sold, mostly destroyed and a Baptist church was built there. One of the structures remains there and Temple Sybil  was relocated to a spot as you enter the city. It is owned by the city and is open as a small park with beautiful overlooks of the valley below. (Not afraid of losing money it can also be rented for small events. I understand it was a fairly popular wedding venue when things were locked down during the pandemic)


Birmingham (the city) has several spots that are interesting. The Civil Rights Museum is great, Vulcan is the largest iron statue in the world, there is a nice zoo, a Le Mans motor facility, and several other noteworthy places, but what everyone I have ever met finds the most memorable is the BBQ.


Speaking of Vulcan, he stands atop a structure dressed only in his apron. Before he was revamped, his bare behind was aimed directly at a neighboring suburban city which lead to a song that was briefly popular here called "Moon Over Homewood"




3. Does your town have parks, restaurants? There are several parks in my particular burb, but there are parks in all of them. My particular city has quite a few restaurants, some are great and some are just fine. 
Birmingham itself has some fabulous restaurants, in fact Highland Bar and Grill won the James Beard award for best restaurant the last time they had the award ceremony. The pastry chef there also won the award for the nation's best pastry chef. Sadly they closed during covid and have not yet reopened, but they are set to reopen this spring. I would suggest for anyone visiting the Birmingham area to go there., The food is near perfect, the service is impeccable, the attention not detail is precise and the dining experience is wonderful. However__expect to drop some coins for said experience.

4. Do you think your town needs changes to make it better and if so what changes would you make? I think change is not a bad thing and everywhere could have improvements. My particular town is little more than a bedroom community. I am sure there are some changes that would make it better, but it is basically just a residential community.  
Birmingham itself is changing. The downtown area had been steadily declining, but there has been a sharp upturn with the return of really good restaurants and entertainment venues which is changing the face of it, making it a central go-to destination.
The downside of Birmingham is the high crime rate. I am unsure how to make that better.

37 comments:

  1. oh.. I enjoyed the Moon over Homewood!! Got a great laugh out of that. Its so important to be happy where you are planted isn't it? Thanks for joining in.

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  2. Thanks for sharing a bit about your town Anne. Looks like I need to visit to hit the Highland Bar and Grill and get some BBQ too. Yes, I do always plan vacations around the food lol!

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    1. Highlands is spectacular but we only go there about twice a year for special occasions.

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  3. We too are probably several circles from either St Paul or Minneapolis-depending on what direction you drive out of town, but we have a thriving downtown area-which made a resurgence in the last 8 years or so, after nearly two decades of declining business. Investment into the aesthetics of down town and the quality of the schools when the suburbs closer to the two big city's have boosted an interest in young families moving back or relocating here.

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    1. Good schools are the biggest draw of all, I think!

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  4. Vulcan no longer moons? I can remember reading about him in Anne George's Southern Sister's mystery series. And thinking how much I would like to see him.

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    1. He does still moon but he has been slightly reoriented so he no longer moons Homewood. I always enjoyed Anne George's books probably because I recognized so many of the things there.
      I liked Vulcan much better before they improved him. When I was a kid you got to the top by climbing a circular staircase to the top. Of course now that I am much older I am positive I would not be able to even climb comfortably much less run up the stairs like we used to do. So I should be thankful for elevators.

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  5. I love your story about Vulcan's bottom. I'm not crazy about Jacksonville and it doesn't have any interesting spots to visit (as least to me), but I love my neighborhood and my little house. The crime rate is bad in Jax, too. Quite a few people from other areas seem to come here for medical treatment, especially cancer. A positive to me is that we live fairly close to St. Augustine--not that I go there regularly, but I've done some fun things there.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I think Jacksonville is a cool city. The last time we were there was for an Alabama/ Fla or Fla State. game. I am not a big fan of actually going to the games so I got in the car and drove to St Augustine. It was so pretty I insisted we all go the next day.

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  6. I enjoyed reading about your town and adjoining big city. :)

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    1. It is a pretty small "big" city, but it does have a lot to offer (during a non-covid year)

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  7. I like went a town comes back and they put in restaurants and entertainment. That's what happened to the small town our son lives in. Enjoyed reading your post. Enjoy the rest of your week.

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    1. I do like it too. I hope Birmingham continues to improve the downtown area, because it really does impact all the surrounding areas in a very positive way.

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  8. I thought that was a picture of Andy Taylo r, love that show.

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    1. I remembered the episode when Aunt Bee and Clara wrote the song and decided I would try to find it on Youtube!

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  9. I got a chuckle out of the bare bottomed statue. If I ever make it to Birmingham I'll definitely check it out.

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    1. That's why I included his backside picture. Going to the actual park and seeing it is not that exciting, but then I went all the time when I was a kid and teenager.

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  10. Anne lives in a higher priced city adjacent to Birmingham. I live in the poorer town of Hueytown. It is in decline as is Bessemer that is right next to us. We pass the temple of Vesta quite often and have a good view of Vulcan.

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    1. Believe it or not, even though I live there I don't pass it that often unless I am headed to Homewood or Mountain Brook. On really pretty days sometimes I grab a cup of coffee and sit in the park attached to it and just look. It is spectacular during the fall.

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    2. Anne,
      I suppose that is where we are going...lol. It is beautiful. Maybe we can go to the park on one of these trips.

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    3. It is just a small little park with a couple of picnic tables but the view is wonderful. The best thing to do is stop at Pastry Arts in Homewood for a couple of baby bites, then grab a cup of coffee to go with them. I suppose you can do it without the baby bites__but why?

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    4. Well, I will probably retire to Tuscaloosa, because that is where most of the kids indicate they want me to retire to. It is further north than I live now, and I would like to retire to the coast but I cannot deal with the insurance costs of hurricanes. I thought about retiring near Decatur, but my son who lives up there says he is probably coming back to Tuscaloosa area eventually. The youngest says he will only be in the Montgomery area for three years, so I guess Tuscaloosa it is (although I would much rather go to Daphne or Foley, or Bay Minette, or Orange Beach..etc. Cindy in the South

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    5. Tuscaloosa is a booming city right now. TheHub grew up there and we met when we were at Alabama, though we moved after his graduation and never thought of returning to live there. (Only because of jobs)So when you move we will be almost neighbors!

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  11. I am an Andy Griffith fam and I didn't have to play the video to hear the song. I could sing it. :)

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    1. Hahaha, though I did not remember all the words I certainly remembered the melody!

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  12. I've never been to Birmingham. Always heard it is a nice place. St. Louis has a similar structure -- only about 350,000 people live in St. Louis proper, about 3 or 4times that many live in St. Louis County (and there are a lot of independent municipalities in the county -- similar to yours with their own police, fire, etc.)

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    1. I am sure there are a lot of cities like that. Every now and then there is a push to create one big city but it never passes.

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  13. I grew up in Birmingham, but Birmingham, England, slap bang in the city centre. To be honest it was a dive BUT the city council (in my opinion) have done wonders, and while you can never take the drizzle out of England, we had the most wonderful museum and art galleries ever and all the facilities that young kids could want - swimming pools, skating rinks, theatres, cinemas - you name it! I don't regret it for a minute!

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    1. I think just about any city has everything anyone could ask for. When I talk about going into Birmingham it is about 10 miles from my house, so it is not trek worthy!

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  14. Suburban life is pretty similar everywhere in the US, including higher taxes for better schools. More and more discussions about the implications of this life are going on now. I find the probing of the assumptions of the suburban life to be quite interesting, though I do lead it myself in a much smaller city.

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. Yes the suburbs are pretty much the same no matter where they are.

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  15. Very cool picture of the temples! Loved your answers! Have a nice week.

    https://lorisbusylife.blogspot.com/

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  16. I avoid our small town. Living in the country is the place for me.

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    1. I knew you lived in a rural area.The country is beautiful. For me, I like having neighbors around and like the feel of living in a smaller place, vs. in the actual city.

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Hey y'all thanks for leaving a comment. They are much appreciated. I read them all and do my best to respond to them, except for trolls or spam and I delete those suckers forever.