In my life.

I have so much to catch up on here! This blog is going to have to become more general as I'm not traveling to distant lands...and won't be at least until December. But as I've come to find as of late, Birmingham has plenty for locals and visitors alike to discover. On that note, what would YOU, dear reader, have on a top 5 must-do/see list for foreigners coming to Alabama? In a couple weeks I'll be doing a little rambling in reverse...as in showing off my city to someone who has never visited our great state! Suggestions welcome! I'd love to hear your favorite eats, bars, events, areas, neighborhoods and happenings!

As many of you know, I'm currently working at the Birmingham International Center. Just loving it. There is probably nothing more "up my alley" in Birmingham, and I have the privilege of working with amazing, interesting, dynamic and traveled people. Two women collaborating with BIC have blogs: www.theinterculturalpost.blogspot.com and http://sportswoman.wordpress.com/ .

I'm planning some events, many related to our 2009-2010 Spotlight on the Isle of Ireland. (The BIC used to be the Festival of Arts, and we still spotlight/salute a country every year).

This weekend we hosted the Irish Consul General, Martin Rouine. He visited with Governor Riley and the Alabama Development Office in Montgomery, Hoover Mayor Tony Petelos and then joined us for a fabulous reception in his honor. Saturday morning I accompanied him to the Birmingham Civil Rights Museum. He was impressed and I think a little taken aback by the Institute. It is truly a well-done, educational and thought-provoking place. It shouldn't be missed. And it should probably be revisited often. We got to chat one-on-one about his visit to Birmingham, civil rights and Ireland. There are striking similarities between the Southeast and Ireland. I don't think it will be Mr. Rouine's last visit to Birmingham.

And speaking of the Southeast, did you know that the states of the Southeast USA comprise the world's 6th largest economy? I think that's pretty awesome. It is more and more becoming THE place to live in America. I'd love to help bring foreign companies to Alabama...and I plan to meet with ADO soon. Bob Riley has recently been named the head of the Southern Governors' Association. He has been an outstanding leader in economic development. I've yet to hear a complaint about him from either side of the fence.

So. Enough of that. I really plan to get back in the groove with stories, pictures and other fun stuff ASAP. I'm currently trying to plan a trip to Ireland through BIC, putting together a "Streets of India" night and a "Streets of France" night about Chantilly. The plan is to get someone here from American Friends of Chantilly and perhaps a renowned Birmingham chef to talk about the French culinary tradition (the event is scheduled for Nov. 19 which happens to be Beaujolais Nouveau day ;)

I'll also be speaking to a class at UA Law about my experience in India as a white, American female. So I'm putting together a little presentation.

I hope y'all will all get involved with the BIC. It seems that everyone in Birmingham has a tie to Ireland somehow. I'm personally very excited about our genealogy lecturer, Alister McReynolds, who is coming in October. He's the preiminent Scots-Irish scholar...has written books, etc.

And as far as my personal travels, I'm looking to go to Argentina later this year. I'll keep you posted. Buenos Aires , the "Paris of the South," has long been on my top 5 travel list. It just so happens that I'll have some dear friends there this December, so I'm looking into that. Re-reading In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin, as well.

That's all for now. Just a glass of Molly's leftover wedding Syrah and I'm off to beddy bye.


Bettina said...

It has been a joy to meet you Kali. 1) I would start a tour with the Vulcan Museum. It documents how the "Magic City" was born and Birmingham's role in the industrial age.

2) Sloss Furnace tour also aids in understanding the industrial age. It also begins to help one understand the different treatment of Blacks and Whites.

3) I would then take a person to the Birmingham Civil Rights District including the BCR Institute, the Jazz Hall of Fame and eat at one of the restaurants in the area.

4) Rickwood Fields, the Samuel Ullman House...I will share more later.

Kali said...