Sneak Peak: The Green Book


It’s Black History Month!

In historic Birmingham, of course,  there are so many ways celebrate the achievements of African Americans, remember how far we have come, and to chart the course for going further tomorrow.

This past Thursday I had the pleasure of attending an early showing of  Calvin Ramsay’s The Green Book at Red Mountain Theatre. The showing  was hosted by Wells Fargo at a Black History Month reception.

The play is a work of historical fiction taking place in St. Louis during the days of Jim Crow when quality, safe accommodations for black travelers in the south were limited. The Negro Traveler’s Green Book was an annual travel guide published by retired postal worker, Victor Hugo Green. Green identified as well as reviewed restaurants, gas stations, and lodging that served African Americans or would be safe to use.

The play tells the story of a serendipitous and emotional encounter between two house guests at a Green Book listed home.

The play starts slow, but warms up fast. There’s plenty of laughable moments, but the play drives some serious points home. Be on the look out for some startling parallels between  the 1950’s and 2017. I’m planning to go see it again, so I can retain more of the “whoa” moments in the dialogue.

It’s showing at the Red Mountain Theatre for three days only: February 17th-19th. Don’t miss it!  With tickets  starting at 15 bucks, there is no reason not to go. Perfect for a night out with friends  or a date — It was a work event, so I took my mom and she loved it too. (What? She’s pretty hot.)

Any-who… I would follow it with some coffee, cocktails, or both and some reflective conversation.  If you don’t have a date or friends, you can take me.

The play is being presented in partnership with the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center.

You can purchase tickets and find out more about the show here.

How are you celebrating Black History Month in our beautiful Birmingham?

Keep lifting your voice to sing Birmingham.

-A City Girl

Navigating the Bus System 

This is an unusual post for me. It’s about an event of sorts, but not the kind I would typically post about. However,  seeing as how I am a strong believer in public transportation, I think it is equally as important.

{Update: I wrote this post almost a year ago. I thought I posted it, but it was just sitting in my drafts. Well here you go world.}

It’s 5:07. We walk to the bus stop a block from our building in Woodlawn to wait on the 5:15 bus.

It’s 5:26pm.  After waiting 10 minutes, the No. 17 bus finally arrived.

Today, our beloved intern (we’ll call him M) and I took our first excursion via the Maxx Bus. Of course, we had the help of seasoned bus rider, J, to guide us on our way.

J decided to trail the bus in her car.

The driver was extremely polite and helped us determine what kind of fair we needed to pay. She made sure M. got  a transfer.

We take a seat in the front  while I explain that it’s proper to stand or move to the back if someone elderly or pregnant boards.

“The  inbound 14 is down and stuck in traffic,” the bus driver says in response to a question by a fellow passenger.

The bus is clean  if not cleaner than that of a DC or NYC bus. (I know because I used to live both places)

As we journey down 3rd Ave towards downtown, I can’t help but look around to see who our fellow riders are.

The man across from us stairs sternly out the front window wearing a neon yellow vest and steel toe shoes.

The man in the back row ,wearing a well pressed grey suit, sits with his briefcase open quietly reading something inside.

There are other riders too. All peacefully content minding their own business and enjoying the ride.

It’s 5:43. We arrive at Central Station to catch the 14 Palisades in Bay 1. First, we go inside to inquire about the cost of a monthly bus pass. $36 for a student. Looks like it will be cheaper for him to just pay for his rides twice a week.

Oh shoot! We missed the 14 while we were inside. The next bus isn’t scheduled to arrive until 6:35.

It’s 5:52pm. The 12 Highlands Ave Bus arrives. We decided to just take it to 5 points South. M lives on UAB’s campus.

I didn’t pay the extra .25 for a transfer, so I’m on car duty with J.  M had to take this leg alone.

It’s 5:57pm. The 12 bus departs central station. 
“Are we going in circle?”

Yes. The bus goes around downtown before it heads to Southside.

It’s 6:15 M’s bus arrives at the corner of 20th Street and 10th Ave S. He walks across the street to meet us in Macario’s parking lot.

We decided to drive the remaining four blocks that he would have to walk home from that point.
It’s 6:21pm when we finally drop him off at his home. It’s been about an hour, but we made it.

Success…. I guess.

Keep riding Bham.

-A City Girl

{Update: I’m happy to say that our wonderful intern, M, round the bus successfully for several months to and from work.}

Crazy Little Things: Arc Stories

Let’s all get together and talk… No, that would be too noisy.  How about we all  get together and listen to a few of us talk. Only the funny, witty, interesting, unique folks. Only the ones  with a story. Better yet, only the ones with story about love. Only  the really good, the really bad, and the really ugly stories about love.

Well, I just happen to be in luck because at this very moment I’m doing just that thanks to Arc Stories.  Check them out at here.

So, I’m sitting in the Avon Theatre  in the Lakeview District ( which by the way is popping on a Saturday night) live blogging to tell a story  about a story telling event about love. That was a mouth full.

It’s almost standing room only and the place is packed with about 200 people. It feels extra packed because we are sitting in those almost adult sized third grade chairs with the three spaces that look like air vents in the  back. You know the ones.

Two stories down… Six to go. So far so good. This second one is about a stalker. Juicy stuff.

[Update: Tonight I heard a story about a vasectomy, a husband’s love for his wife with a failing kidney, a story about a stalker, a crazy break up, love for a mother with a terminal illness, and a third grade jewelry theft to win a girl’s heart. ]

Here is tonight’s line up for storytellers: 

I would tell you more but I’m trying to pay attention to this story….

Keep telling stories Bham…

PS…the next event is on stories about the workplace. Check Arc Stories websites for details.

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