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Looking Up April 8, 2008

Posted by cbuchanan in Uncategorized.

A few things have caught my eye recently–well, along with the usual cacophony of signage and architecture demanding to be printified:

1. The dogwoods and azaleas seem to be more vibrant than they’ve been in years. Springtime is a prime reason to live in Birmingham–the city is so beautiful–and this one has been especially vivid.

2. Second Avenue North downtown is developing into an intriguing and active little streetscape. I hear that a skate shop is moving in, patio furniture is popping up on the Athens Flats balconies, lights (and I even saw the glow of a TV) are on in the City Federal building, and around the corner, the New Vulcan Ale House is progressing. There are lot of reasons that area is hopping, but I’d give a lot of credit to the success of Urban Standard, which has hit all the right notes–not only is it an inviting, non-bar neighborhood hangout, but it’s also become a reason for suburbanites to come downtown.

3. The Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham has launched an interesting new initiative: the Community Catalyst Fund. You can read more about it in this editorial over on the Terminal and on the Community Foundation’s site, but it’s a fantastic idea. Essentially, it’s a fund that will make big things happen–transformative things that can get projects moving and spruce up the city. These types of capital projects are what I like to support. They allow people to physically see progress, which I think encourages them to believe in it and contribute to it–all of which will get things done faster. (It’s the rolling snowball theory, or perhaps I should call it the Second Avenue theory, to give a more concrete example.) I also like that the fund actively seeks donations of all sizes, meaning even $10 or $20 will help make a difference. So–what big projects would you like to see happen in Birmingham? Add your answers to the list over on the Magic City Question.



1. Greg - April 10, 2008

There is a new art gallery, Dobbs Gallery, opening on 2nd North. It will be on the same block as Bromberg’s. It’s opening in June. Hope you will stop in for the opening reception on June 6th.

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