Birmingham’s peculiar personality

By on April 30, 2013

I’ve lived up and down the East Coast as well as the West for much of my life. I’ve even spent a considerable amount of time overseas, and I’ve seen plenty of cities that are several orders of magnitude nicer than Birmingham.

In the face of all of the people trying to leave the south, Birmingham stands as a reason to stay. Sarah Adkins/ Staff Photographer

In the face of all of the people trying to leave the south, Birmingham stands as a reason to stay. Sarah Adkins/ Staff Photographer

Whether the city has a richer history, a more active economy, or a more colorful populace, the fact of the matter is that there are a slew of cities quantifiably better than Birmingham. However, there are a few elements of Birmingham that more than make up for that, and I think that these things are extremely subtle, and it wasn’t until recently that I came to appreciate them.

During a hard day’s work at The Summit Club, I went to the top of the building to look out over the city. There, it dawned on me that I have some sense of attachment to this place I haven’t really experienced before. I really like living in this city, and I feel like I see it in a different light than the majority of other people. I see a lot of potential in this town to grow. There are already hints foreshadowing the character of the city that Birmingham is going to grow into.

In ten years, I predict the city is going to experience a huge jump in terms of its face. It will become a much more vibrant and multi-cultural city with its own nuances and personality. These things will bring with the city a more developed and varied source of income and revenue.

Historically, people have been known to leave the South for other opportunities either in the north or out west. This sentiment is still alive and well today. The most talented Southern men and women typically decide to leave the area and seek their fortune elsewhere.

However, I’ve been seeing that there is an increasing number of people coming to live in the South. I think they are starting to see the south is a cheaper and it has a milder climate. Also, if you settle in the right place, you can live in a city with plenty to offer any demographic in terms employment, education, and entertainment infrastructure. People are starting to see the charm in living in medium-sized Southern cities like Birmingham, Nashville, Charlotte and others that dot the Southern landscape.

Having moved every two years or so since I was 12, I find it strange that I really want to stay in this town. There are plenty of opportunities to explore.

I see places like Avondale that already have a rich culture and its own personality. I see its potential to grow as more and more as people decide to move here. This will bring more wealth to the area and only amplify the character that has been developed by the current denizens.

Birmingham also makes an effort to be family friendly and provide infrastructure that is conducive to raising children. There is an excellent library system throughout the Jefferson area with plenty of media resources as well as clinics to teach the locals things like gardening and other family fun activities. There are plenty of schools in the area that allow hardworking students to flourish. Parks dot the city and its surroundings to cater to not only the casual afternoon picnic in, say, Avondale Park, but also camping and other outdoor activities at parks like Moss Rock, and Oak Mountain state park.

The appeal of Birmingham is very multifaceted. For those who enjoy listening to live music from great local acts and more popular artists, on tour, Birmingham has plenty of venues that can cater to any size band and audience. There are great interest clubs around the city whether they be groups of hobbyists or car enthusiasts. The diversity of the city’s economy allows for job opportunities in a variety of fields especially in the medical sector. And of course, there’s this Southern flavor that permeates every aspect of the city which is rich and deeply satisfying.

Luke Meadows
Staff Writer
lukem@uab.edu

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