So despite the fact that I could be known as the bitch that broke up with Birmingham, I went back to Birmingham.
I am a glutton for punishment. And, you know, I miss hearing bugs and seeing clouds and stuff. I also had to reclaim my seven year old Pomeranian from my parents.
If you ever get the chance to fly 3,000 miles with a five pound dog on an airplane, you should do it. It will teach you important life skills, like patience, panic, and desperation--all within the same half hour. You'll also get to feel the real-life struggle of wondering if you can make a dog use a toilet in Vegas (you can't).
Anyway, I went to Birmingham.
And I drank. I took pictures of clouds. I took pictures of all the things I missed; those canopies of trees on dirt roads and abandoned buildings in the woods--and relished in that very real danger of being shot as I pulled over in driveways and took photos of broken-down church busses that were undoubtedly owned by gun-totin' folk. And I drank some more. I ate a bunch of fried foods and discovered that it's a very good thing that no one knows how to fry things in California, because my pants would never fit me again. Fried pickles are both a blessing and a curse.
A lot has changed in the year I've been gone. And by change, I mean there are really cool bars now. I joked that Birmingham waited for me to leave town before proclaiming, "She's gone now, let's DO THIS!" and then everything became really fun. There was probably even a parade.
Here's a recap of the fun shit that Birmingham has now, post-Mollie:
- The Collins Bar // paper airplanes hanging from the ceiling, selfie sentences on bathroom mirrors, old typewriters, a periodic table of (Birmingham-themed) elements behind the bar. This place was made to make me an alcoholic.
- Paramount // local beers, cocktails, and fried...everything. Pork belly. Cheese. And something called Alabama Hummus. Also, there's an arcade attached. I went here twice within 24 hours.
- Carrigan's Public House // their beer taps are plugged into an old Land Rover. What else can I say? Also, this was my introduction to "hipster ranch." Google it.
- Marty's PM // I used to hang out here when Marty was around and you could take/give a book to the little book nook by the bathrooms. After he died, the bar closed and reopened under new management. The piano and sadly, the books, are gone, but on Thursday nights you can get a High Life and two of the best tacos you'll ever have in your life for $5.
- A new Octane Coffee! Though, I have no qualms about saying the location is shitty; "Uptown" is a new yuppie part of Birmingham that I will never understand, and Google Maps will send you to an empty parking lot when you try to find it. Damn fine coffee, though.
- A really fucking cool light installation on Morris Ave. I'm obsessed with it.
Sometimes between tornado seasons I think about moving back. I can wax poetic about Birmingham. But no sooner do I settle in to a Birmingham weekend of cocktails and beers that I realize...bars close on Sundays in the south. Early. Or they don't open at all.* This really harshed my drunk wave, y'all. I'm not moving back anytime soon.**
*Except the Upsidedown Plaza. That place will never change.
**This is all said tongue in cheek. I'm really not moving back because my car is still in California, I'm trapped in a year lease on my apartment, and my job gives me health insurance. That shit is priceless.