As much as I travel, I’ve decided to start a blog about some of the places that I’ve been. Let’s start off with a place that I will probably not be coming back too anytime soon…Birmingham.
First impression…this city is in a state of depression. Lots of empty buildings and empty streets for 4pm on a Saturday. Seriously, if it wasn’t for the occasional car, I wouldn’t have known anyone was there.
Something oddly unique about Birmingham was the amount of thrift shops, hair salons and, believe it or not, shoe repair stores. I counted 2 shoe repair stores that I saw while walking with my friend Erin. I can’t name one other city that I’ve ever been too that I remember seeing one shoe repair store. Who repairs shoes nowadays? I know I’ve never repaired a pair of shoes. I replace them. My wife doesn’t repair them either. She keeps them in her closet and then buys new ones.
Needless to say, being in the Bible Belt, there were plenty of beautiful churches. Presbyterian, Baptist, you name it, there were a lot of ‘em. And they were all historical monuments. Historical monuments are big here in Birmingham. Apparently, if the building has been around for more than 15 years, it becomes a historical monument of some sort. How did I know that a building was a “historical monument”? Well…almost every old looking building that I saw that didn’t have its windows busted out had a sign posted on it that said “Historical Monument”. So…if you are into Historical Monuments or churches, you should definitely visit Birmingham.
They do have a very cool looking statue here that sits on top of a high “building” of sorts. However we weren’t able to get close enough to it by walking. So I took a shot of it from the distance. Apparently it was erected in 1904 and is the largest cast iron statue in the world. Located in Vulcan Park, because it is a statue of Vulcan, the God of Fire & Forge, this statue can be seen from pretty much anywhere in the city. Unfortunately it’s also located far, far away. It would have taken us another 2 hours to walk up there, so…screw that. Anyway, if you are interested, here is the story behind Vulcan, the son of Jupiter and Juno (which is also the name of a certain movie that came out last year and won an Oscar for a former stripper. Strippers can win Oscars…just not American Idol.). Don’t say I never taught you nothin’.
There was a big theatre located downtown called The Alabama. I saw a few people leaving there. I think they might have performances there and I would imagine, back in the day, it was probably a movie theatre. I’m always a sucker for an old-time movie theatre. We didn’t go in, but I can only imagine what it looks like inside. That being said, I went and checked out this site to see what was inside. It looks awesome! Too bad there wasn’t something going on in there today. I would have liked to have seen it!
Needless to say, Birmingham won’t be added to my favorite places to visit list. It’s not terrible here…but from what I understand they only have one “really big mall” and apparently the city is closed most of the weekend…even during an event as large as the NCAA Tournament over Easter weekend. It is warm here though. And considering the weather we’ve been having up north…I’ll take it!