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Old 11-20-2017, 06:27 PM
_OT
 
Location: Miami
2,182 posts, read 2,174,029 times
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First issue is, trying to compare Birmingham to the likes of Nashville and Charlotte is like comparing Cleveland to Colombus or Indianapolis. Never heard of people having a large fascination over those cities until I signed onto this website, nor had I seen Birmingham be compared to those type of cities.
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Old 11-21-2017, 08:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _OT View Post
First issue is, trying to compare Birmingham to the likes of Nashville and Charlotte is like comparing Cleveland to Colombus or Indianapolis. Never heard of people having a large fascination over those cities until I signed onto this website, nor had I seen Birmingham be compared to those type of cities.
Well they're the closest cities of size and they're pulling people from Birmingham and keeping them. While not comparable size-wise, you have to look at what's pulling your difference-makers away and it's primarily ATL, Nashville, and Texas.
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Old 11-21-2017, 10:26 AM
 
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Clarification, I do agree that Birmingham should not be compared directly to those cities. That really is like comparing Gadsden to Birmingham. I think Birmingham does very well when compared to its true counterparts and it should be proud of itself for it. It's still around after many hard hits in the past and seems to be doing well and the people there love it. If the people there love it, then it's a success.
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Old 11-21-2017, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Atlanta, Birmingham, Charlotte, and Raleigh
2,580 posts, read 2,232,512 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonjon70458 View Post
Clarification, I do agree that Birmingham should not be compared directly to those cities. That really is like comparing Gadsden to Birmingham. I think Birmingham does very well when compared to its true counterparts and it should be proud of itself for it. It's still around after many hard hits in the past and seems to be doing well and the people there love it. If the people there love it, then it's a success.
Actually, Birmingham is peers with Nashville, Charlotte, Raleigh, Memphis, New Orleans, Louisville, Richmond, etc. It is doing well compared to the latter of this tier (Memphis, New Orleans, Louisville, Richmond), but it is behind as all of these others are as well to Nashville, Raleigh, and Charlotte. Nashville and Raleigh have the advantage of being state capitals so there is direct state support there. Charlotte has benefited from not having experience any urban decline like most other southern cities did during the 1960s-2000s.
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Old 11-21-2017, 12:03 PM
 
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What I have found over the years (yes, again as a native, and having been a resident of a huge variety of other cities within the south, and completely outside the south during my executive career) is that most, not all, locals of Birmingham, AL bristle at the idea of comparing Birmingham to ANY other city - any comparison seems to elicit immediate hostility and fervent indignation - locals seem to overly negatively internalize the obvious inadequacies of Birmingham, AL - or worse yet, make apologies for its own "rank" even within the southeast (not to mention the nation).


The old guard in Birmingham shall remain the old guard. They enjoy it, they revel in its parochialism. That's fine I suppose. On the other hand, many families (siblings, offspring, extended family) have left Birmingham for good. The city also doesn't attract throngs of national shakers, movers, and professionals from across the nation and the world (case in point, Atlanta, and now to some degree Nashville or even Orlando). Again, by comparison, it doesn't compare very well at all - never has.


Besides myself, I've had siblings, both MD's leave major posts in medicine in Birmingham's major medical community for much better places to live, rear children and have fun. One of my best friends, a PHd and former official with UAB , couldn't turn down the opportunity to live and move his family to a great city in Texas. I could go on and on.


Birmingham *could* be a lot of great things, and that's factual. It is also a fact that if you've never ever lived anywhere else you might get conned into believing that Birmingham is the bees knees or at the vanguard of greatness. It remains no such thing. That shouldn't be offensive to any sober and lucid professional.


Birmingham, AL is not somehow beyond comparison, or beyond criticism. No city is. I know Birmingham AL like the back of my hand, and I have no overly negative agenda about the place....why? I've exercised my personal options to have my family live in and around a city and region that better fits my own values, lifestyle and community expectations. We did not want to be trapped by slow-moving, perfected mediocrity....cloaked in a mirage of dynamic progressivism, intelligent leadership and civic cohesion.
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Old 11-21-2017, 01:47 PM
 
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Interesting conversations.. I haven't been to Birmingham in over 20 years and plan to attend a conference there in the spring of 2018. I am looking forward to it.. Just out of curiosity. A City Limit Map for Birmingham shows a "lasso" type city limit line going far NW of the City into an area know as West Jefferson. What is or is proposed to happen there and why did the city take such an aggressive approach to take it in?


I was born and raised in South Carolina... Alabama, South Carolina and Mississippi are likely the most scrutinized/criticized states in the Country rightly or wrong. SC has the benefit (or cursed depending on your perspective) of being on the east cost.. therefore it is becoming heavily populated with transplants especially along the coastline from Hilton Head, Charleston to Myrtle Beach...Even with that... I had a friend who thought everyone's left arm from SC was sunburned because we spent all day riding around with arms hanging outside of our pick ups...SMH


https://www.google.com/maps/place/Bi...08!4d-86.80249

Last edited by Woodlands; 11-21-2017 at 01:57 PM..
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Old 11-21-2017, 03:07 PM
 
3,217 posts, read 3,360,161 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodlands View Post
Interesting conversations.. I haven't been to Birmingham in over 20 years and plan to attend a conference there in the spring of 2018. I am looking forward to it.. Just out of curiosity. A City Limit Map for Birmingham shows a "lasso" type city limit line going far NW of the City into an area know as West Jefferson. What is or is proposed to happen there and why did the city take such an aggressive approach to take it in?
I'm not exactly sure what's out there or why the city did that, but I know that has been within Birmingham city limits for several decades at least. I think that is coal mining territory so there may be some sort of mining operations out there. I am assuming river frontage to connect to the Black Warrior River (and by extension, the Gulf of Mexico) also has something to do with it.
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Old 11-21-2017, 04:22 PM
 
15 posts, read 12,266 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RTheide View Post
What I have found over the years (yes, again as a native, and having been a resident of a huge variety of other cities within the south, and completely outside the south during my executive career) is that most, not all, locals of Birmingham, AL bristle at the idea of comparing Birmingham to ANY other city - any comparison seems to elicit immediate hostility and fervent indignation - locals seem to overly negatively internalize the obvious inadequacies of Birmingham, AL - or worse yet, make apologies for its own "rank" even within the southeast (not to mention the nation).


The old guard in Birmingham shall remain the old guard. They enjoy it, they revel in its parochialism. That's fine I suppose. On the other hand, many families (siblings, offspring, extended family) have left Birmingham for good. The city also doesn't attract throngs of national shakers, movers, and professionals from across the nation and the world (case in point, Atlanta, and now to some degree Nashville or even Orlando). Again, by comparison, it doesn't compare very well at all - never has.


Besides myself, I've had siblings, both MD's leave major posts in medicine in Birmingham's major medical community for much better places to live, rear children and have fun. One of my best friends, a PHd and former official with UAB , couldn't turn down the opportunity to live and move his family to a great city in Texas. I could go on and on.


Birmingham *could* be a lot of great things, and that's factual. It is also a fact that if you've never ever lived anywhere else you might get conned into believing that Birmingham is the bees knees or at the vanguard of greatness. It remains no such thing. That shouldn't be offensive to any sober and lucid professional.


Birmingham, AL is not somehow beyond comparison, or beyond criticism. No city is. I know Birmingham AL like the back of my hand, and I have no overly negative agenda about the place....why? I've exercised my personal options to have my family live in and around a city and region that better fits my own values, lifestyle and community expectations. We did not want to be trapped by slow-moving, perfected mediocrity....cloaked in a mirage of dynamic progressivism, intelligent leadership and civic cohesion.

My experience reflects much of the same. I live in a place with a decent amount of Birmingham transplants and I've yet to find one who wants to return except maybe for family reasons.

When I lived there (college through early 30's) I always had the mindset that we had everything Atlanta had, just not as many of them. That was very wrong. Moving away showed me how many restaurant chains, stores, and entertainment venues are quite popular in the US, but zero locations in Alabama. These are things you don't see if you just visit Atlanta or other larger metro now and then.

I was in Birmingham the other day and someone asked me when we were moving back as if it's expected! I said, "when I have job options." She went on to say that Birmingham's job market is booming. Then I nicely shared numbers with her. She's one who gets all of her information from the BBJ which only spouts good news.
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Old 11-22-2017, 12:03 AM
 
Location: Atlanta, Birmingham, Charlotte, and Raleigh
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Interesting...I live in Atlanta currently; also previously resided in NC, FL, and VA as well. Yet, these opinions sound skewed... Maybe because I understand chain stores, chain restaurants, or chain entertainment venues aren't want they are hyped up to be. I like the fact that Birmingham is not trying to be Anywhere, US. I like a bit of local flavor a city mixed in with a few chains, but everything shouldn't be a chain. I can name a couple of cities that can fit that criteria and they get sh*tted on by naysayers as well. I suppose, but outside of the pace of regional job growth numbers during the 2000s, I have yet to read an opinion that says that Birmingham is not comparable to its Southern peer cities.

Oh yeah, every city has an old guard and they get what they want regardless. Also if a city wants any civic pride it has to do some boosterism here and there. The funny thing I have seen quite of bit of balanced coverage of the good and bad of Birmingham in the Birmingham Business Journal. However, what do I know as a Birmingham native (I know this place like the back of my hand too) that has lived a couple of other cities other than Birmingham, and understand nuances of places...
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Old 11-22-2017, 04:05 AM
 
12 posts, read 9,583 times
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I think sometimes Birmingham natives allow mindless boosterism at times. Civic pride is one thing, however rosy overstatement and downright lying is something else. No rational and dispassionate professional would assert for example that Birmingham AL and Nashville TN are on similar trajectories viz growth, appeal, financial strength, international attraction, education or political leadership. Even now, these cities.MSAs are not very comparable one bit. Nashville, btw, has far more "new guard" than Birmingham, and that's an understatement.
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