Of Food and Festivals

Birmingham has increasingly become a hub for foodies from all over the world.  With people from varying backgrounds come new flavors, styles and innovations.  April 2018 food festivals will transcend common customs and give Birmingham natives a new taste of the inventive city around them.

8th Annual Girl’s Inc. Cajun COOK-Off Saturday, April 7, 2018. 11AM-2PM; Railroad Park

Get some fresh air next weekend and enjoy live music, a kid zone and a mix of Cajun favorites like gumbo, jambalaya and shrimp and grits at Railroad Park.  The cook-off supports Girls Inc. of Central Alabama, a program that provides a wide-range of educational programs for school-age girls in Birmingham. Tickets are $25 for adults and children under 12 get in for free.

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“Coffee-coffee-coffee, is a saying. It’s a funny, desperate cry for caffeine.”

Here in Birmingham, coffee seems to run through the city’s veins like it runs through the fictional veins of Lorelai Gilmore. If you’re looking for a place to study, catch up with a friend, or fuel your day, we’ve got you covered. Here are five unique coffee shops in Birmingham, AL.

1. seeds coffee company, 174 Oxmoor Rd, Birmingham, AL 35209

Seeds is has an industrial-rustic chic and laid-back atmosphere that’s always buzzing with studious college students and twenty-somethings.

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Three Inexpensive Nights Out In Birmingham

You deserve a night out. If you are a college student like me, you are probably juggling six or more classes, an internship for academic credit and a paid full-time job just to pay your rent. Because of all these things, you have the right to treat yourself every once and a while. The issue often tends to be that, though you may want a night out, you cannot afford to spend a lot of money. That is where I come in. Having lived in the city of Birmingham my whole life, I knew quite a few spots that can help you save a few bucks while enjoying what the city has to offer. Here is a short list of three different locations in Birmingham on the cheap. You can find directions to each location by clicking on the venue name in the list.

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A National Monument of Our Own

On January 12, 2017 the National Park Service administered Alabama’s first ever National Monument to preserve and uphold the efforts of the Civil Rights Movement. Birmingham, AL has been on the map before officially being established as a home to a National Monument not solely due to it’s rich history, but the Civil Rights Institute’s capability of vividly articulating the struggle has been the cornerstone for this story.

The Civil Rights Institute is a Birmingham must, not just for tourists but also the local community. The institute couples history with art for a cathartic experience and a chronological walk through history. The self-guided tour starts with a short video that sets the stage for the start of the movement, then continues on into rooms of timelines, voice overs, sculptures, replicas of early-1900s buses, water fountains, court rooms, classrooms and more.

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BirmingHome: The Perfect Staycation

There’s one thing that everyone can agree that they enjoy: vacations.  Students and families across Alabama are getting out of school for spring break and heading out on a week’s adventure.  Vacations can be expensive and take a lot of planning, so sometimes you have to opt for a staycation.

Taking this time to explore new areas of the city, try a new restaurant, or visit some old favorites can be just as refreshing and relaxing as traveling to a new city. We at The Local have gathered six Birmingham gems you should visit on your staycation this vacation season.

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Birmingham Oddities

Oddities welcoming each guest.

Stepping up to the black door of 101 23rd Street North, a rickety old wheelchair with bunny costume head hanging off greets everyone coming to experience a new adventure. Stepping through the dark door guests are transported into a world of wonder.

Adam Williams, Birmingham native, takes what he calls home decor to a new level. Williams’ store, Birmingham Oddities, has attracted everyone from artists to children with the unique finds displayed in cases, bookshelves and hanging off the walls and ceiling.

A bookshelf of jarred specimen.

Williams started a personal collection of natural history and science oddities when he was young in the search for things such as fossils and raccoon skulls. It then grew enough to open a store in downtown Birmingham in 2015.

“I love the feeling of wonder,” said Williams. “It makes me go back to being a kid again.” In such a buzzing world, as kids turn to adults, they are “saturated” with noise, losing their sense of wonder.

Willaims wants each visitor to take a journey and have a space to wonder. Check out the oddities he has to offer only on Saturdays in the heart of Birmingham.

Q&A with Harrison Tarabella

One of the best parts of my Samford experience has been all the creative people I’ve met during my four years here. One such example is Harrison Tarabella: a talented visual artist who got his initial training from professional National Geographic photographer. I sat down with Harrison to talk about where his passion comes from, his favorite experiences thus far and what’s next for him.

Answers have been edited for content and clarity.

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