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Pride of Place June 29, 2010

Posted by cbuchanan in Uncategorized.

I recently stumbled upon this post at Freethinkbham.com, and I highly recommend a read:

What Will Save Birmingham? Pride.

I think that post succinctly explains the root of most of Birmingham’s problems. Our inferiority complex, our lack of confidence, our lack of will, and our defeatism all stem from a lack of pride in who we are, where we are, and what we are. The author makes some great points about celebrating our history, our amenities, our architecture, our natural beauty, and our people–and suggests promoting the positive will build on itself and motivate people, both within and outside B’ham, to invest in the city’s continued growth.

I totally agree with that, and I would suggest that the uptick in pride is already happening. I think–I hope–that we’ll look back on 2010 as a turning point. Since the beginning of this year, we’ve had at least four major “movements” on Facebook to protect and promote things that make B’ham unique–the efforts to save Live 100.5, keep the Chick-fil-a drive-through out of Five Points South, save the Clairmont fire station, and protect the Garage Cafe. Hundreds and in some cases thousands of people have joined these causes, which in turn have helped spark the I Believe in Birmingham group. People are more energized than I’ve seen in quite a while.

Also, I think the opening of the Railroad Park will be a seminal moment in the city’s modern history. If you haven’t seen any photos from inside the park, I suggest you look here and here. I think you’re going to like what you see. It looks fantastic–a great leap forward for downtown B’ham. It’s going to change some people’s minds about this city and what we can do–or at least force them to admit that it’s a step in the right direction. I can’t wait to see how it affects the surrounding neighborhood. (In a couple of years, we’ll have another seminal event–the opening of Red Mountain Park. This will be an amenity that will make other cities green with envy. Green! Get it? Heh heh heh.)

I’ve also seen a rise in pride on a more personal level, though the reaction to my B’ham-centric prints. Actually, all kinds of B’ham-related artwork is hot right now, and you’ll find a lot of it at almost any local art festival you visit. That’s a good sign that people realize their city has a unique character–one that’s worth protecting and celebrating. That’s where local pride begins.


1. John - June 29, 2010

Don’t forget, Birmingham can also take pride in having the third largest City Wiki in the US to document and publicize its awesomeness (as well as its embarrassments)

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