Birmingham haters—eat your hearts out

Alabama Theatre– one of nation’s most beautiful–Lyric next

Are you sitting down?

Birmingham’s being flooded with positive recognition.

Amazingly, most of these headline are within the past 30 days.

It’s enough to make the Birmingham haters scream for mercy.

Click on the headlines to see the story:

National Geographic magazine highlights Birmingham as a city on the upswing, March 8, 2013

Zagat restaurant guide names Birmingham one of country’s 7 ‘up-and-coming food cities’      , March 8, 2013 

Alabama Theatre one of nation’s most beautiful        Flavorwire, March 1, 2013 

USA Today names Birmingham as one of ten great places for a fabulous film festival                                                                                        USA Today, February 22, 2013

Urbanspoon’s most popular restaurant bar list features four from Birmingham                                                                                Urban Spoon, March 11, 2013

Birmingham makes ‘Today’ show list of six hot places to travel in 2013 due to Civil Rights commemoration, affordability                   , January 1 ,2013

Birmingham, Al–One of top 15 cities with emerging downtown  , March 26, 2013

Award winning Railroad Park, Regions Park, the Rotary Trail, the Sloss Welcome Center, Uptown, and the Lyric Theatre are here, under construction, or on the way.  Or maybe you’re going to join the thousands at the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama?

And to top it off…

UAB in top 10 best medical schools, says U.S. News–School of Medicine tops the likes of Harvard                                                 U.S. News, March, 2013

Birmingham’s number #1 in quality of life.

If you don’t believe it, read what others say.

Birmingham haters, how are you going to spin this?

Let’s turn Birmingham around.  Click here to sign up for our newsletter.  There’s power in numbers. (Opt out at any time)

David Sher is a co-founder of Buzz12 Marketing and co-CEO of AmSher Receivables Management. He’s past Chairman of the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce (BBA), Operation New Birmingham (ONB), and the City Action Partnership (CAP).

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41 thoughts on “Birmingham haters—eat your hearts out”

  1. *Positive recognition, Ensley, a part of Birmingham, one of the poorest, crime laden parts of the city. Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School is located in Ensley (69 years): Class of ’13, so far $1.4 million in scholarships, all have been accepted into college. As freshmen, 40% of the class were at least one grade behind. I believe that academically, this deserves positive recognition. (Is this not why corporate prospects will come here? Strong academics?)

    fr alex steinmiller, President, Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School

    1. *Thanks for publishing positive news David. Holy Family Cristo Rey is proud to be a part of the positives in Ensley you do not hear about. As Father Alex said, our students are thriving in the classroom, showing not all of our urban youth have gone astray. Roy Williams, Holy Family Cristo Rey marketing director

  2. Tremendous momentum. It starts at the grass roots — people like you, David, and Laura Kate Whitney championing the city from within. It works! Keep up the good work.

    P.S. — We’re coming into town in a couple weeks for the opening of the ballpark.

  3. *Let us not forget the new Westin Hotel and the adjacent Uptown entertainment district. The opening of the Westin and the Todd English Pub are welcomed additions to our hotel and food  offerings and will allow the BJCC to expand its convention business. The Uptown entertainment district is leasing nicely and by this Fall will open with new and exciting restaurants. As I always say, Birmingham is not Mars and we have the ability to bring dynamic developments to our City. Let us also give credit to Mayor Bell for his guidance and vision for these projects would not happen without his leadership. 

    1. David, thanks for the reinforcement of the positives with Westin, Todd English, & Uptown. Please note that Uptown was mentioned in the blog. I have a commitment from a young professional who wants to write a guest blog about his enthusiasm for Uptown. I know you will enjoy his piece.

  4. *I also think about the ‘nay sayers’ when I see these pieces of positive news about our city in various media. Just yesterday at lunch I had a conversation with an acquaintance who’d seen the most recent Forbes article, and commented on it. It led to a discussion the whole table of 7 joined. The tone was one of almost begrudging admission that some things were headed the right way, in spite of local leadership. 

    Keep pushing, keep cajoling, keep discussing, David. 

    1. Bob, that’s a lot of our problem. We always concentrate on our negatives, rather than our positives. Other cities have issues, but they don’t allow those issues define them.

  5. *Those who say “nothing has changed in Birmingham” are simply not paying attention.  Especially in race relations.  As someone who was here “then” and “now” (as you were David) the difference is extraordinary.  Of course more progress is possible, but that is always true, everywhere.  It is simply nowhere close to “the same”.  Look around you in a restaurant sometime, especially in the meat and 3 neighborhood restaurants at lunch time.

  6. *When you and I were growing up there were separate white & colored bathrooms and water fountains…and African-American sat at the back of the bus.  Very difficult to relate to today.

  7. David, thanks for the links to so many positive headlines about Birmingham.  It’s good to remind ourselves periodically that, despite our ongoing challenges, there are a lot of things going right in Birmingham these days.  If you want to update this you could add Highlands Bar & Grill being named a James Beard finalist for a 5th straight time.  Thank you for all that you do to move Birmingham forward!

  8. *David, it’s not news to you, but remember that the Birmingham Pledge Foundation has assisted programs in all fifty states and in twenty-one countries that we know of.  Now celebrating its fifteenth year and working hard to assist with programs during Birmingham’s 50th Anniversary Civil Rights commemoration. 

  9. *And I’ll second Fr Alex’s comments.  I’ve worked with the kids from Holy Family and they’re amazing.  Many enter Holy Family working below grade and leave Holy Family with college scholarships.  (If I remember correctly, they had 100 per cent college placement last year.)

  10. *The Birmingham Museum of Art holds one of the finest and most comprehensive collection of Asian art in the Southeast, enhancing the city’s image of a diverse, cultured and cosmopolitan center.

  11. Yes Birmingham is great until you need to find a job, then it is a very closed community. I looked for 6 months, talked to every hospital in town with the exception of Children’s Hospital. Left numerous messages with the recruiters asking for a simple acknowledgement, after filling out multiple applications for jobs. And with the jobs still being posted as open, have yet to have any correspondence with the Hospitals, clinics, Physicians offices, insurance companies, etc. And there is a supposed Nursing shortage here? I realize that I have 18 years experience in critical care and I closed myself off working in the Cath Lab, even after applying for a floor position. Not one word. Birmingham what a great place.

  12. We’ll see if it last… The corruption of Alabama politics runs far and deep so I would watch out for another scandal to bring this crashing down.

  13. “Birmingham’s number #1 in quality of life.” Where is that from? Do you mean compared to the other top medical schools?

    1. Joy, “Birmingham is number one in quality of life” is my quote. Generous helpful people, gorgeous terrain, and relatively easy to get around. I’ve enjoyed raising my children in Birmingham.

  14. Excellent recap of the fruits of many years of work by so many people. We are just getting going, so lets solidify the successes you list and continue to build on them. A successful community must have a vibrant core.  Thank you for telling the positive story David.

  15. Other accolades that can be added to that list are the myriad of accomplishments that Birmingham-Southern College has received despite the financial problems of three years ago…financial problems that have been resolved under President Krulak and his staff without compromising the outstanding academic accomplishments of both faculty and students.


    1. Louis, Thank you so much for your note. You solved a big mystery. We’ve published this blog for more than a year, but the number of page views and e-mail subscribers has increase exponentially in the last few days. Facebook must be the reason. People want to hear the good things about Birmingham. Thanks for letting me know.

  16. Birminham is in a race to the bottom. And winning. Memphis, Atlanta, and
    Birmingham public school systems (all showered with plenty of state, federal,
    and grant money) are the equivalent of Zimbabwe in our midst.


  17. *David, have you no shame?

    Birmingham, Alabama – population 212,413, 21.1% White, 54 murders per 100,000
    Montgomery, Alabama – population 208,182, 36.1% White, 31 murders per 100,000
    Mobile, Alabama – population, 194,914, 43.9% White, 30 murders per 100,000

    Boise, Idaho – population 210,145, 89% White, 1 murders per 100,000
    Des Moines, Iowa – population 206,599, 70.5% White, 8 murders per 100,000
    Gilbert, Arizona – population, 211,951, 72.9% White, 0 murders per 100,000
    Spokane, Washington – population 210,103, 84% White, 4 murders per 100,000

    Note: In 1964, there were 16.42 homicides per 100,000 in Birmingham when the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed.


  18. Great post – and happy to hear this. A lot of people (myself included) who have lived here then moved long for the city and the people who in my opinion always made it great. Birmingham has been slow sometimes to get out of its own way but never faltered in the quality of life the residents share. It’s almost like all the cool people were inside having a great time while the miscreants and politicians painted slurs. I currently live in Nashville but am looking to come back soon. Keep up the great work!

  19. *Sorry to be so late chiming in.  This is really a stunning look at huge positive things going on in our city.  Yes, of course, we have lots of work to do, but there is a great energy building to tackle our toughest problems, like education.  I am encouraged and ready to do my part!

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