Tuesday, May 16, 2006

In the Heart of Dixie

Sunday morning in Birmingham, I went to church with Andrew, after which we headed out to the Sloss Furnaces. The furnaces are remnants of an old iron smelter in Birmingham, that has now been turned into a historic landmark and history center. We went to the visitor's center and learned more about it then wandered the old furnaces. History at its finest, and then we headed to lunch. Lunch was aptly Bar-B-Q at the Golden Rule, a classic barbeque place in Birmingham... and it was mmm mmm good. Now that's barbeque.
Once we had our fill, we headed downtown to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and museum. Quite appropriate considering Birmingham is often credited as the start of the US civil rights movement. This was another very interesting and well-designed museum, though no pictures because of their strict "no photos inside the museum" policy. I tried to figure out why exactly this museum had such a policy that so few of the other museums I encountered had. Now in general I don't find the need to take a lot of pictures of things in museums, because you really don't get much out of it later. If anything photos would serve as quality advertising of the museum and its quality. Perhaps it's out of a respect for the sanctity of the subject. Perhaps it would detract from the other patrons experiences throughout the museum. That may infact be the best reason of all, but my only detraction from the museum was the barrage of kids who would keep steamrolling through, paying little attention to the many displays and content that was there. But thinking back, what kid actually wants to read all of that? They want the interesting displays and interactive stuff. Fair enough... I guess anything they take away from it is better than nothing.
Following the museum we went on a driving tour of Birmingham. Lots of historic, old, new and interesting stuff to be seen everywhere. We drove past Rickwood Field, the oldest surviving baseball stadium in the country. Saw the buildings of downtown, and the fancy houses out in the suburb of Mountain Brook. Eventually came back and ended up relaxing back home where I was able to watch the series finale of The West Wing. (Hey, everyone has his priorities. :)) After that we headed out to dinner and came home. Fly home the next day and the vacation is over.

No comments: