Montgomery girl has love affair


Amanda Weil Sokol

Comebacktown published by David Sher & Phyllis Neill to begin a discussion on better government for our region.

Today’s guest blogger is Amanda Weil Sokol. (We love when young professionals are guest bloggers)

“Once Dying, Birmingham Suddenly Hot,” was the title of an Associated Press story that appeared recently in the New York Times and other newspapers nationwide. The well-written piece, by longtime AP writer Jay Reeves, highlighted how far Birmingham has come since the turmoil-ridden days of the Civil Rights era.

It is a refreshing read. As someone who loves this “Magic City,” it is exciting to see that nationally, Birmingham is no longer being viewed as a stereotypical small Southern town.

I grew up in Montgomery, which is a lovely charming city, just an hour and a half south on I-65. We would pack up during the summers and Thanksgiving, to come visit family in Birmingham. From a young age, I knew it was a special place.

I remember loving the drive up during Thanksgiving. Even as a child, I always knew we were getting close to Birmingham because you could see the trees that covered the mountains all starting to change colors.


The beauty of this city is just the beginning. The AP writer speaks of all that Birmingham has to offer; from the culinary scene to the Birmingham Barons’ new baseball park. The article also highlights the artistic and cultural side of Birmingham; from the Sidewalk Film Festival, to the majestic Alabama Theatre that was built in 1927. It is becoming more and more apparent that Birmingham is an urban oasis.

Yes, Birmingham has all of the wonderful attributes that are written about in this article, but it has even more. And yes, it is a wonderful place to come visit because it is rich with history and Southern culture. It also is a fantastic place to live.

There is one thing that really stuck out for me in the article, and that is when it mentions that a Forbes story said Birmingham is “an up-and-coming city for young professionals.”

I feel that Birmingham — not too small, not too large — is a wonderful size. It has all of the things that a young person would want in a city, from good food to a nice music scene, from sporting events to art galleries. But, it’s the community here that is so inviting and supportive, especially for young people.

Birmingham is headed in the right direction and will hopefully continue to earn high marks on the national level.

Amanda Weil Sokol works for The Birmingham Jewish Federation as the Strategic Fundraising Associate. She grew up in Montgomery, attended The College of Charleston, and settled in Birmingham almost 5 years ago.

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David Sher is the publisher of ComebackTown, a co-founder of Buzz12 Advertising and co-CEO of AmSher Collection Agency.  He’s past Chairman of the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce (BBA), Operation New Birmingham (REV Birmingham)), and the City Action Partnership (CAP).

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One thought on “Montgomery girl has love affair”

  1. Hi Amanda,

    I grew up in Montgomery too.  We came up to Birmingham for a sadder reason (to find medical treatment for my grandmother) but I always got excited because we got to eat an Arby’s sandwich.  Arby’s had not yet come to Montgomery.  I never thought I would spend the majority of my life here, but have not regretted it.  We have issues (as my son once announced) but I too love this city and its potential.  Watch out world!

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