Could rapid transit solve Highway 280 traffic woes? Mayor of Hoover says yes.

Birmingham, Hoover, Alabama, Highway 280 mass rapid system
Video still via Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham on Facebook

When I first moved to Birmingham from Georgia, the hit “Move” by Ludacris was big. The lyrics are about Atlanta traffic on Interstate 20, but I soon learned the tune is perfectly appropriate for Highway 280 in the Greater Birmingham area. Hoover mayor Frank Brocato wants to change that, and he thinks a rapid transit system is the answer.

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Tiny before tiny houses were cool: 8 secrets of the 1920s-30s Cliff Court Cottages in Highland Park

Birmingham, Alabama, Cliff Court Cottages, tiny houses
Photo by author for Bham Now

Tiny houses—are they in, are they out? When something is a classic, trends don’t matter. Tucked away in Birmingham’s historic Highland Park neighborhood, Cliff Court Cottages fit that bill. They’re tiny but not too tiny, and forever in demand.

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What is Birmingham Innovation Week? Get plugged into our city’s tech and startup ecosystem with 15 heavy-hitting events, July 9 to 13

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Photo by Pat Byington, Bham Now

Birmingham is a city with a lot of passion, momentum and resources behind tech, startups and workforce development. But how do you get plugged in? Come to Birmingham Innovation Week, July 9 to 13, 2018. Register for events and sign up for updates today. Read on to learn about three major events, imerge 2018, Sloss Tech and Birmingham’s Smart Cities Initiative, PLUS this year’s lead organizer, Innovate Birmingham.

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12 Birmingham restaurants and bars shared their bestselling cocktails. Try these drinks at Atomic Lounge, Fero, Ovenbird and more

Birmingham, Alabama, Bestselling Cocktails
Buttercup Punch, $10. Photo courtesy of Fero.

Birmingham’s restaurant and bar scene serves up quality, finely crafted and award-winning cocktails. Can’t decide what to order? Start with one of these bestselling cocktails.

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Brooklyn’s loss is Birmingham’s gain. Check out LeNell’s Beverage Boutique grand opening in Norwood this Saturday, June 9!

Birmingham, Alabama, LeNell’s Beverage Boutique
via Instagram

From 2003 to 2009, Alabama native LeNell Camacho Santa Ana was the toast of New York City’s spirits and liquor scene. Whisky Magazine selected her liquor shop in Red Hook, Brooklyn, as America’s whiskey retailer of the year (single outlet category) for three consecutive years. This Saturday, June 9, 2018, she opens LeNell’s Beverage Boutique with fanfare (and wine, bourbon and vodka tastings!) in Birmingham’s historic Norwood neighborhood.

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Your summer guide to u-pick farms an hour’s drive (or less) from Birmingham, including 6 in Jefferson County

Birmingham, Alabama, U-Pick, June, Blueberries and Blackberries, Judy Bee’s Honey and Berry Farm
Photo via Judy Bee’s Honey and Berry Farm on Facebook

Blueberries, blackberries, peaches, tomatoes, yum! Muscadines? Those will be ready late summer. Check out these u-pick farm locations about an hour’s drive (or less!) from central Birmingham. We’ll start with Jefferson county, then move on to locations in Blount, Chilton, Cullman and Shelby Counties.

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Life in 5 folk art themes: Check out The Original Makers Festival at the Birmingham Museum of Art on June 16

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Pine Burr or Petal Quilt, about 1960 –1970, made in Tuscaloosa, cotton, wool, polyester, nylon, silk and corduroy (via artsbma.org)

Something about folk art always grabs me. It may be rustic, the product of a self-taught artist. It may be utilitarian and intricate, like an heirloom quilt. But it always captures something intangible and raw about the everyday human experience. No surprise, I can’t wait for The Original Makers Festival on June 16, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Birmingham Museum of Art.

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6 things to know about Vestavia Hills redevelopment of Highway 31, including the revitalization of Wald Park

Birmingham, Alabama, Vestavia Hills, redevelopment of Highway 31
Photo via @RoyalAutomotive on Facebook

In 2012, the city of Vestavia Hills put forth a bold vision for its redevelopment of Highway 31. The plan envisioned the addition of a pedestrian-friendly boulevard, a greenway along Patton Creek and the transformation of the interchange at Interstate 65 to serve as a gateway to the city. That was six years ago. Where do we stand today?

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3 things to know about the Birmingham Color Wall, a community mural event by artist Marcus Fetch on June 23

Birmingham Alabama, Marcus Fetch, Murals, Birmingham Color Wall, Color Bham
Marcus Fetch at the site of Birmingham’s future color wall. Photo by author.

Muralist Marcus Fetch has been a creative force behind the revitalization of Birmingham through his larger-than-life creations on walls across downtown, Woodlawn and Avondale. His works are not only popular photo backdrops, they are an indelible part of our city’s landscape. Now you can pick up a paintbrush and join him for his next project, the Birmingham Color Wall, on June 23.

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3 ways with succulents, 1 for every Birmingham budget. Shop the look at Charlie Thigpen’s, Oak Street and Shoppe

Birmingham, Alabama, Charlie Thigpen’s Garden Gallery, succulents trend
Photo by author

June is hot and so are succulents —the trend that is. I live near several locally owned garden shops in Birmingham, so I stepped out yesterday to check out their selection. Whatever your budget, here’s how you can bring the succulent trend home.

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Axe throwing? Yep, it’s a trend. Check out Civil Axe Throwing coming to Birmingham in June

Birmingham, Alabama, Civil Axe Throwing, axe throwing trend
Photo via Facebook

It’s not just for lumberjacks. People across North America are getting their adrenaline rush by hurling an axe across a room. Thanks to Civil Axe Throwing based in Huntsville, soon the citizens of Birmingham can too.

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SliceFest on June 16 raises funds for SUKI Foundation for Rett Syndrome treatment and cure. Get your tickets now.

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Birmingham, Alabama, SliceFest 2018 promo, SUKI Foundation, Rett Syndrome
Photo via @SukiFoundation on Facebook

Have you heard of SliceFest? It began in 2012 as the anniversary celebration of Slice Pizza & Brewhouse, and it’s grown into an annual music festival encompassing Birmingham’s thriving Lakeview District. Sarah Katherine “Suki” Bateh is one local child facing the neurological effects of Rett Syndrome. Through her namesake SUKI Foundation, many more children now have hope. Two Birmingham stories about community and growth—perhaps they were meant to go together.
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The Rickwood Classic is May 30! And 7 other facts about the Birmingham Barons annual throwback game at Rickwood Field.

Birmingham, Alabama, Rickwood Classic, Rickwood Field, Birmingham Barons
Rickwood Classic 2013. Photo by @cdmcfadden via Instagram

Take me out to the ballgame, as the old song goes. The Birmingham Barons return to their historic home, Rickwood Field, on May 30 for the 22nd annual Rickwood Classic. Featuring the Barons versus the Chattanooga Lookouts, the gates open at 11 a.m. and the first pitch is at 12:30 p.m. You can get tickets here.

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3 day trips north of Birmingham that will transport you. Check out Ave Maria Grotto, Cathedral Caverns, U.S. Space and Rocket Center

Birmingham, Alabama, 3 Day Trips north of Birmingham that will transport you, U.S. Space & Rocket Center
Photo by Joshua Berry @everlongpix via Instagram

With a two-hour drive or less, you can hop across the ocean, explore a hidden underworld or get out of this world entirely. How? Check out these day trips north of Birmingham, and you’ll see.

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