More thoughts on Birmingham

More thoughts on Birmingham

With a nickname like ‘Magic City,’ one might naively expect a bit of something else.  I often don’t start digging into notes and history on a place until I’ve made it’s first acquaintance, so in seeing Magic City in text for the first time, I wondered if there were something fanciful, indeed ‘magical’ I had missed during my first roundabout in the town.

The Storyteller (Sculptor: Frank Fleming)

Five Points, Birmingham

According to a quick look at Wikipedia, Magic City is a popular nickname for cities that grow remarkably fast during a relatively brief period of time. The history of the city’s development is, understandably, a lesser known tale than it’s pinnacle role  in civil rights history.  In fact, the history of civil rights strife & success in this one town is never far from my mind as we walk briefly on the streets of Five Points (the University district).

“Birmingham was always different from other southern cities. Its Old South heritage was found only in the memories of its southerners. Birmingham was proud to be a New South city built upon industry, not upon agriculture….The economy of the city moved to the rhythm of heavy industry.”

-Birmingham: The Magic City, Leah Rawls Atkins

Birmingham: Home to largest cast iron statue on Earth

Vulcan statue

Birmingham grows on me. On our most recent visit the temperatures were in the mid 20′s.  I’ve endured far colder than this, but on even a January evening in Alabama I did not expect I would be yearning for gloves & a thicker scarf.  I moved to this state dreading the classic southern heat & humidity, but am immediately introduced to one of the coldest spells the region has endured in a while.