Filed under: AL, Alabama Politics, baseball, Birmingham, Birmingham Alabama, Birmingham, AL, Cities, Civic Engagement, Civil Rights, Commentary, Cooper River Bridge Run, Dr. Martin Luther King, News Media (as source & subject), people, The Birmingham News, The Rambles, urban issues
The nuances of the 2007 mayoral campaign in Birmingham, Alabama have begun, despite efforts to the contrary. Though it speaks to a much broader issue.
Councilwoman Valerie Abbott presented a resolution at the most recent city council meeting that has been adopted by “…167 cities and towns in 40 states, representing more than 16.9 million people” according to the National League of Cities official website, specifically the page describing their Partnership for Working Towards Inclusive Communities. Rather than repost the resolution here for those that are not familiar with it, I’ll link to Kathy’s post of the document. I found it slightly disturbing that the resolution did not pass, especially considering this council’s somewhat public record of supporting initiatives that would lead the city towards what many consider its rightful place among the South’s elite. I’d read before hopping on a plane for an extremely long flight back from Seattle that the resolution would be reintroduced with opportunities to tweak as necessary, so I figured that it was only a matter of time before the council approved words that better reflected their agenda, though I was starting to doubt just what that agenda is.
Then, as I’m getting ready to run the Cooper River Bridge Run Saturday morning (I’m runner #26726 – results are normally up late Saturday if you’re interested) I decide to hop on my friend’s laptop and see what the latest is from town. Imagine my surprise when I see that a resolution will be introduced at Tuesday meeting by Frank Matthews apologizing for slavery that will be introduced by Councilor Hoyt. (FYI – comments are closed for the linked News article post.)
At first glance, it would make some sense, except when you realize that the city of Birmingham did not exist until after the end of the Civil War. Slavery could be pointed to as a reason for the levels of racial discrimination that still at times seem to permeate the city even as members of the same race nitpick about what it truly means to be “black” or “white” as we progress into the 21st century. I guess it bothers me plenty considering that this will probably be finished at 1 a.m. and I have to be awake at 5:20 a.m. (though you probably won’t be reading this until 7:30 a.m., about the time every year when I ask myself why in the world am I getting ready to run over this bridge AGAIN?) Read on though… Continue reading
Filed under: Architecture, baseball, Dre's 101 in 1001, New York, New York City, New York Yankees, other cities, Photographs, Random shots, Transportation, urban issues, urban parks, Yankee Stadium
People generally say that things happen for a reason. Getting to do things I don’t normally get to is a great reason to go on a trip, only that’s not normally the case. However opportunities kept presenting themselves throughout the weekend. One of them was the chance to venture into what some would call one of the great cathedrals of America’s pastime on more time before it is replaced. I called it my home away from home for most of my high school years on summer weekends.
I am one of the people that would tell you that growing up in the Bronx and not being a Yankees fan might be considered sacrilegious. I grew up as diehard a fan as you could get, watching the games on TV, mimicking Don Mattingly’s stance, enjoying getting the chance to hear the current voice of the New York Yankees, John Sterling, on AM radio.
The main reason for this trip was to visit my grandmother, whom I had not seen in more than two years. She was the one that had me watching baseball and who is responsible for me admitting that I’m a Bronx native with pride whenever I wear the blue NY anywhere in the world. It just made sense to do something I had not been able to do since going to college: watch the Yanks and the Red Sox duke it out on the Sunday night game of the week. The last time I’d gone to the stadium, I got to watch the second half of a day/night doubleheader when the Clemens/Piazza event occurred… six years ago… so I was due for a visit. Especially since I’m not sure when I’ll be up again during baseball season before my hometown heroes inhabit a new home, albeit just across the street from the old one (and a replica no less).
Filed under: Architecture, art, baseball, Birmingham, AL, Chicago, Chicago Cubs, Civic Engagement, civic/service organizations, Greg Maddux, Millennium Park, The Ticker, urban issues, urban parks
Inspiration for unlimited potential…
We’ve just gotten back from our trip to Chicago last night. I did post a few images of Millennium Park on Sunday morning, leading to inspire this post by Charles. Go on over and check it out, and even though most of the plans have been set and approved as the basis for moving forward, it is still a great exercise in getting people to say what they want. Don’t forget, we do have at least one additional large park coming on line in the hopefully not too distant future.
As promised in that Sunday post, look for a post comparing the Second City to the Magic City later this week. The similarities may surprise some that do not always think of Chicago as the city to view as the benchmark. Before I go on, I will clarify that last sentence. I always say that Birmingham needs to be Birmingham and not anybody else. The comparison piece is not meant to say that one is better than the other, but to hopefully point out just how good we already are. Stay tuned…
It’s National Night Out tonight!
Tonight is National Night Out. Local neighborhood associations are having cookouts and get togethers throughout the city and the metro region. It should be a great time to get out and meet your neighbors and community leaders if possible. If there’s not a party in your neighborhood or if you don’t know where one is, go ahead and call one. I’m still trying to play catch up at work, but I may check out the Central City event at Marconi Park.
This weekend’s posts
For those that haven’t read the posts from last week as of yet, here’s the list (including a post celebrating the blog’s 1st anniversary this past Friday).
- One year later: Just cruising along…
- Random Shots: Staying Cool in Chi-Town
- Neon in B’ham: A guiding light
Twilight of a Hall of Fame career now staged out west
For some of the newer readers of the Ramblings, I am a huge baseball fan, though I have not posted about the sport as frequently as I thought I was going to. I felt compelled to talk about the classy way that now former Chicago Cubs pitcher Greg Maddux was bid farewell after his final appear at the friendly confines of Wrigley Field on Saturday. We’ve written about Maddux before when talking about one of his former teammates. Both he and Sandberg are class acts and still give me hope for the future of the game. All of his fans hope that he has the opportunity to go to the postseaon at least one more time (this season if possible now that he’s with the Los Angeles Dodgers). I’ll try to update later with a story about that send off.
Some more changes
Some of you may have already figured out that I now own the domain name www.dresramblings.com, making it easier than ever to find this place in the blogosphere. I also started a silly attempt at setting up one of those CafePress stores. Click here to take a look at it. No, I’m not trying to become a greedy blogger, just one that has a cool ringer T-shirt available with their masthead on it.
Keep an eye out during the week for The Stand Against MS. Today I stumbled across one of their lemonade stands in front of the downtown YMCA. Click on the link to learn more about this worthwhile cause. Stop by and help an important cause.
Enjoy the evening,
Filed under: baseball, Birmingham, AL, Random shots, Rickwood Field, The Rambles, urban issues
Root for the home team
Thursday was a hot day, but still a great one if you were interested in being outdoors. Baseball’s oldest ballpark was on display during its annual visit from its former tenants, the Birmingham Barons. This year the White Sox Double-A farm team was able to send us home happy as they beat the Smokies 3-2 (and not without some drama in the ninth) before a crowd of more than 4,700. There are some images of the game and historic Rickwood Field in the Smugmug gallery.
Movies and money take center stage in downtown
It was an interesting view last night as I sat in Linn Park. Bets and I were there to watch Big Fish as part of the Movies by Moonlight series. The screen for the series is placed in front of City Hall, providing me a glimpse of a television set in council chambers, where the Mayor and Council were meeting to finalize the fiscal year budget. A compromise was reached sometime shortly before the end of the film, allowing for concerns about a lapse in insurance coverage for city employees to not become a reality. The budget also allowed for increased funding for several initiatives throughout the city, including an increase in Ruffner Mountain’s annual funding from $70,000 to $125,000. This morning’s Birmingham News reported on the compromise. (Kincaid’s modified budget approved, The Birmingham News, 6.23.2006).
The movie also brought out another great crowd, despite the threat of rain in the city center and rain falling around the city. There are great plans for the event in July, a great reason to check back tomorrow and find out more.
What is your vision for Birmingham?
Finally, vacation time is almost upon me, and I’ve decided to approach it a little differently than normal here. Months ago I wrote a post talking about my vision for Birmingham. Click here to read the post and the comments made in response. I’d promised to contact individuals and see if they’d offer their versions of “My Birmingham” for the blog. E-mails have been sent to some of those people, in hopes that their comments will grace the pages of this site while I’m off trying to relax. I’d love to get others to offer up their thoughts on the issue. Please e-mail me your comments along with a brief bio so people know who you are. We’ll make sure that if you have a blog or a website that we’ll link to it. I look forward to hearing from some of you.
You can always answer yesterday’s question too.
Enjoy the weekend.