Here are the top 15 most popular Bham Now stories of 2019

Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

If you are like me, you love end of the year lists.

Which blockbuster movies were the top box office hits of 2019? What were the Nielsen ratings’ most watched television shows? Or for us bibliophiles, the New York Times 2019 Bestseller list.

So, we asked our numbers guy at Bham Now…. What were the most popular Bham Now stories for 2019?

He came up with a top 15 list based on the number of times people visited a Bham Now story (clicked on the link).

Let’s start with #1 on the list.

1) Human trafficking in Birmingham: it’s not what you think. What it is and what we can do to stop it.

Birmingham, Alabama, Junior League of Birmingham, JLB, sex trafficking roundtable, Randall Woodfin, Julia Meyers
Mayor Randall Woodfin proclaimed January Human Trafficking Awareness Month at a Birmingham City Council Meeting on January 15. Photo via JLB

This June story was not only  Bham Now’s most popular  in 2019, it also helped call attention to human trafficking in our community.  The story by Sharron Mendel Swain went viral and was read nationwide. Most importantly, the cities of Birmingham, Mountain Brook and Vestavia Hills declared their communities Trafficking Free Zones by the end of the year.

2) Guide to Alabama’s 6 venomous snakes and how to react if you see one

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Snakes are not all to be feared! (Bham Now)

Bham Now’s own Nathan Watson did a great job educating our readers about venomous snakes in and around Birmingham.  He dispelled many of the myths about poisonous snakes, provided some fun facts and for us nature lovers – ways to react to them and be safe.

3) The inflatable water park at Oak Mountain State Park is now open

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The inflatable water park at Oak Mountain State park has eight features guaranteed to make you wipeout at least once! Photo via Flip Side Water Sports

“Wipe out” comes to Birmingham.  Well, not quite, but Oak Mountain’s inflatable water park is a great addition to Alabama’s largest state park.

4) “Don’t ever stop” mural of Mark Lindsey, aka Onewheel Jesus inspires all in downtown Birmingham

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“Don’t ever stop!” mural by Paul Cordes Wilm between Morris Avenue and 23rd Street. (Pat Byington/Bham Now)

Birmingham stepped up and honored Mark Lindsey with a mural in February of 2019. Bearded with flowing hair, Lindsey received local and national attention on social media, when a video captured  him robed in a hospital gown, taking to the streets on a one-wheel motorized skateboard. At the time, he was undergoing treatment for prostate cancer at UAB Hospital.

5) Gatos and Beans, Alabama’s first cat café, is coming to Birmingham

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Customers at Gatos and Beans, Alabama’s first cat cafe. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Coffee and cats.  Now that is a business model.  Gatos and Beans not only serves some of the best coffee in town, but if need  a “cat” fix or actually looking to adopt, Gatos and Beans in Avondale is your place.

6) 3 emergency vet clinics in Birmingham metro, following closure of Acton Road emergency clinic

Birmingham, Alabama, emergency vet clinic, Steel City Emergency Vets, Hoover
Photo via Steel City Emergency Vets’ Facebook page

One of Bham Now’s missions is to bring useful and timely information to our readers. When the Acton Road emergency veterinary clinic closed Birmingham residents needed alternatives.  That’s what we provided in this January 2019 story.

7) 7 female bartenders you need to know in Birmingham

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Queen’s Park, a cocktail bar in downtown town Birmingham. Left to right, bartender Allie Phifer and Queen’s Park owner Laura Newman. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

If you want a cocktail in Birmingham where do you go?  Bham Now’s Hannah Chambley profiled 7 women who have shattered the glass ceiling in the bartending world.

8) ABC’s “The Bachelor filmed in Birmingham’s Donnelly House to air Monday

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The Donnelly House in Birmingham was the set of ABC’s The Bachelor episode set in Birmingham.

Birmingham’s Donnelly House was featured on the pop culture phenomenon “The Bachelor” in February of 2019. Colton Underwood took hometown favorite Hannah Goodwin on a date at —where else?  The Donnelly House. Despite being eliminated on The Batchelor by Underwood, Goodwin returned later in the year to win Batchelor in Paradise.

9) See Birmingham’s stunning new “Rainbow Wall in the heart of downtown (PHOTOS)

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Birmingham’s Rainbow Wall volunteers paint the 500 foot mural on June 1-2, 2019. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

This past June a rainbow appeared in Birmingham.  A 500 foot rainbow! Let by Marcus Fetch, Birmingham now has a beautiful rainbow mural along the wall near Morris Avenue. Dozens of volunteers were apart of this new graceful addition to our community.

10) ‘Largest screen in the south’ at Premiere Lux Cinema on Lakeshore Parkway. Opening this summer.

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Lakeshore Premiere LUX Cinema. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

The Premiere Lux Cinema on Lakeshore is not your usual movie theater.  It’s state of the art. An experience.

The new complex serves food and is home to the largest indoor screen in the Alabama.

11) What did Alabama’s landscapes look like in 1819? Hint: think Kansas with prairies and bamboo.

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Painting by contemporary artist Philip Juras of a William Bartram’s 1775 description of Alabama’s Black Belt Prairie near Montgomery

This past year, the state of Alabama turned 200 years old. Bham Now wanted to know what Alabama looked like back then.  What we learned is not taught in 4th Grade Alabama history.  Prairies? Bamboo/canebreak forests? Yep.

12) ALDOT has released detour routes in preparation for the 59/20 bridge closure this month

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I-59/20 Bridge project in downtown Birmingham is ahead of schedule according to ALDOT. The project is due to be completed by March 22, 2020. Photo by Jon Eastwood for Bham Now

It is hard to believe the 59/20 closed a little more than a year ago.  Back then, Birmingham residents needed directions and alternative routes.  We helped get them them in people’s hands.  Now, almost a year later, the new bridges are expected to open in February ahead of schedule.

13) Birmingham’s ice rink returns to Railroad Park with new 15′ ice slide on Friday, November 22

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This year’s rink will be even bigger than 2016’s – via

A holiday tradition, Railroad Park added an ice slide to its seasonal ice rink.  Have you tried it?

14) Homewood’s historic Pink House is getting bought. Here’s why.

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Homewood Pink House. Photo via Home Al Historical Preservation Society on Facebook.

We all thought the Homewood’s “Pink House” was going to be lost forever.  Fortunately, there was “win” for historic preservation!

15) 9 new businesses coming to Trussville, including Taco Mama on November 18

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Brews from Ferus Artisan Ales in Trussville, AL. Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

Trussville’s downtown is rapidly becoming the “it” place for foodies, breweries and entertainment.

What were your favorite stories in 2019?  Let us know by tagging this article.  Also – tell us what we should cover in 2020.

Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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