Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Five Points to Five Points South

If you live in the Birmingham area, you should know about Five Point South. It's one of my favorite places to go in the city. No matter if you are looking for a place to eat, drink, shop, or just have fun, it all can happen in that one little place. Now it can be hard to figure out a place to go if you never been there before. Well that's why I am gonna give you my Five Points(aka favorite places) to go when you in the Five Point South area.

The J Clyde

Let's start off with a place that everyone knows about. J Clyde has been a staple to city for over the last five years. Being known for one the best bars in the state and in America(in multiple magazines), J Clyde is place where you can come in for great food and beer. You won't find any Bud or Coors at the Cobb Lane establishment, but you do have a huge choice of craft beers available to help you in find something new for your beer list. Great people, food, and beers are all the reasons why you should stop by J Clyde.

Blue Monkey Lounge

Located right next door to J Clyde is another popular bar. Blue Monkey Lounge is a great place to go after a long day at work. This place is very intimate and can be a great place to bring a date. There are also different rooms to where if you have a bigger party, you can have the around as well. Make sure to be there on Tuesday for Tini Tuesdays. They have a list of about 10-12 different martinis for $5. You can't beat that price anyway. If you are into cigar, they have a nice selection for you as well. No matter if you are inside or outside on the nice patio, Blue Monkey is an awesome place to go.


Now you probably have seen this place before but never thought it was open. The exterior might look like it run down, but the inside of Ranelli's is still going strong. For over 40 years, Ranelli's has being making some awesome Italian food. From the different selection of subs to lasagna to spaghetti, you can not go wrong with anything they have there. If you want a beer to help wash down the food, they have that for you too. If you ever need a place to go for lunch, Ranelli's is the spot for you.

T-Bones Authentic Philly Style Cheesesteaks and Hoagies

T-Bones is not a new place in Southside area, but the location is though. Formerly located in Highlands near Western, T-Bones sit in the old Camp Taco location right next World of Beer. Once you step in you can smell all the goodness that is a Philly Cheesesteak. Now this is the place I had my very first cheesesteak in my life. Yea, I know I am late, but I am glad I came here for it. The flavors are there in the sandwich, and their fries are pretty awesome as well. The earliest they close is at 10p, so you have no excuse not to try them out.

Insomnia Cookies

This last place is still a fairly new place in the area, but it has gotten some crazy attention since it has been around. Insomnia Cookies is a place where you can get some really delicious cookies. When I say delicious, I mean warm and taste like they came right out of the oven good. One thing about them is that they deliver. Yes, that's right. You can have these cookies delivered to your home. Not only that but they do not close until 3AM. If you are out partying late or just need a place for a late night sweet tooth fixer, then Insomnia Cookies is the place to stop by.

I know there are plenty more place I could talk about, but I figured that five place would be plenty. Hope you can stop by some of these places and give them some love. While we are at it, what is your favorite place to go when over in Five Point South?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Love Some Podcast

For years people always talked listening to podcast. You would hear commercials about a new podcast episode coming up in the next few days. I was not one of those people who would listen to them. I really didn't think I would find anything interesting or waste my time listening to them. Then a couple of months ago, I decided to give it a shot. Now I am loving them. Today I want to tell you about my top five podcast I usually listen to on a regular.

This fairly new Buzzfeed podcast show is hosted by two of their writers, Heben(pronounced like Heaven) and Tracy. In their shows they focus on subjects about race, pop culture, and things going on in their every day life. Oh yeah, there will be lots and lots of drinking going on(hence the name "Another Round"). They usually will have special guest on their shows, tell a few jokes, and even talks about squirrels. Wanna know why they would talk about squirrels? You gotta listen to the podcast to find out.

What do you have when you get four guys on a radio show that about beer for an hour? You get the Beer Geeks Radio Hour. It's a radio show based out of Pennsylvania where they have about four to five beers from one particular brewery. Some of the breweries are well known, and others you may night have heard of. At the end of the show though you will get a better respect for that brewery and how they come up with their brews.

Just like Another Round, Birmingham Life is a fairly new podcast show. It's brought to you by the people of Discover Birmingham. The host of the show, Antwon and Matt, talk about Birmingham and everything around. Things from events, shows, concerts, and even in their every day lives.

If you listen to NPR, you probably already know about this show. If not, you should start. This show, hosted by Guy Raz, talk about a different subject each week and get different speeches from TED Talk forums from across the world. I know that since I have been listening, I have learned alot about things I never thought I would be interested in. If you ever want to learn something, give this podcast a try.

Have you ever wanted to interview someone special in your life? See how what they think about something, or ask them how their life was? Well that is pretty much what StoryCorp is about. This podcast brings interviews done by people, like you or me, and they get interview someone really important to them. No matter if it's a family member, friend, or someone they might have changed they life, we get to learn that we all have some similarities to one another.

I hope that maybe one or all of these podcast become a new favorite of yours. What are some podcast you like to listen to? Please share and spread the word.

Monday, April 13, 2015

From Across the Pond

Since I started blogging I have met soo many different people. Most of them are from Birmingham. The I will usually get to meet a person from across the pond in London. Today you get to meet one of those people as well. Her name is Angela, and her blog's name is The Awkward Blog. She is pretty cool and laid back lady(if I do say so myself). Today, you will get know her from a quick little interview I did with her. So ladies and gents, here is Angela.

1. For the people who don't know you, tell them about your blog?

Well, firstly- HI! I'm Angela, a London based blogger and freelance writer person, and I write the Awkward Blog. I write about anything and everything, so I consider it to be a 'lifestyle' blog for the sake of having a box to tick- there's a lot about food, fun things to do or see in London, and personal essays. 

2. So you are from across the pond. What is one thing you want the people of America to know about your love of London?

You know that scene from Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Paul Rudd's character exclaims "You sound like you're from LANDAN!" Cracks me up everytime! London is my home and like any city it's fast paced, eclectic and so diverse; apparently every language in the world is spoken in London. I love it all; there's always somewhere and some place new to explore. My blog is a London journal of sorts; it's everything I encounter in this maddening city. Also, fish and chips isn't a thing here. Go to the seaside for that. 

3. You will be a newlywed soon. Congrats on your upcoming wedding. Are you ready for the big day?

Thanks! No and also, yes! Wedding planning, that's a little bubble of 'fun' no one tells you about! I can't wait for the big day, but the lead up and organisation has been so stressful. I have learnt that a wedding is not your day, but everyone else's day! My fiance and I have been together for 12 years, so for us it's not a huge deal in the commitment sense, we just want everyone to have fun at the end of the day. 

4. I've notice that you have done a lot of post on going out to different restaurants. What is your favorite food to eat, and what kind of adult drink do you tend to go for?

Vodka. Hands down my favourite beverage after hours. I usually have it with Coke or lemonade. Wine and gin are nice from time to time, but they give me headaches really quickly so only in moderation. In Summer, my favourite drink - and it's a British thing, I think- is Pimms. It's a gin based liqueur and you mix it with lemonade, sliced oranges, strawberries and cucumbers and it's the most refreshing drink ever. 

Food wise- I've been to many a fancy restaurant but I'm probably happiest when it's kept simple. I grew up in Asia so street food is like a home comfort to me; buying fruit from a cart and munching it on the beach, or grabbing a bunch of sticky chicken satay skewers on the way home. The best pho I ever had was in Thailand from a street cart, by the side of a road. I'm so happy that the street food scene in London has blown up! My favourite thing at the moment are steamed bao buns. Those little pillowy pockets of deliciousness are a weak spot. 

5. You are not just a blogger, but you are a freelance writer. Is there any difference between the two or do they have any similarities?

I feel like there is a difference. On the blog, I can say what I like and be as chatty and off topic as I like. But when it's a post or a job, you have to take into consideration that company's tone of voice and keep within their brand. It's just like minding your P's and Q's in front of relatives versus blowing a raspberry at your sibling.

6. Last one. If you have a chance to come to the states, what state would you like to visit and why?

We're actually looking into having our honeymoon stateside! I've always wanted to visit Hawaii and Robin has always wanted to go to San Francisco, so there's a possibility of a west coast road trip of some sort later this year. Id love to see the giant Redwoods in Yosemite too. But I'd also love to explore the South; a friend of mine lives in New Orleans, and I'd like to check out Nashville too. We made it to New York a couple of years ago, but never got further than Brooklyn. In an ideal world, I'd love to have a few weeks just exploring America- every State seems to have it's own identity that I want to see and get to know better.

Thanks to Angela for taking time out of her day to do this. You should go over to her blog, The Awkward Blog, and learn more about her. You can follow her on Instagram @theawkwardblog and on Twitter @theawkwardblog. Make sure you tell her that Ralph sent ya!!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

When I Met Bimingham

Recently I started listening to a fairly new podcast called "Birmingham Life" that was done by the people from Discover Birmingham. The hosts of the show, Antwon and Matt(shoutout to them), talk about everything going on around the city. These things can include events they went to during the weekend, new restaurants that are opening up, or big news about the city.

In one of their episodes, they were talking about how they met Birmingham. Now let me start off by saying that both of them are from Birmingham. You might think that if you are from here, you have already been introduce to the city. In a way you are correct but that doesn't mean you MET the city. Everyone has different ways of how they officially met this wonderful town. Like most things in life, some experiences were good and others not as good. Check out the podcast to see how Antwon and Matt were introduce to The Magic City.

This got me to to think about something, "When was the time that I first really met Birmingham?" I mean, I have lived here all my life. I've lived in Downtown, East Lake, Tarrant, Roebuck, Huffman, Center Point, and Trussville(yea, I've been all over the place). I could remember going to the mall with my mom or just different places with family. Even though I have been around the city, I never really just experienced the city for real.

As I grew older, I would continue to do the same things and go the same places. Not having a car of my own made it even harder for me because I would always have to depend on friends or family to give me a ride around.

I still did not have a car by the time I went to UAB. Luckily the campus was very walkable, so I didn't need a ride to too many things(unless it was a party outside of campus). I can remember living on campus and during the evening time just walking around with my headphones on. I would just walk and listen to my music as I explored around the campus. This is when I really met her. I was actually introduce to Birmingham.

If you don't know much about UAB, it takes up pretty much most of the southside of Birmingham. With that being said, I would do some long walks around the undergrad and graduate areas. I wouldn't go into the building, but I would try to see different things. These time walking and listening to music made me experience the city in a new way. I would almost make the city like my canvas and I was the painter. Listening to different songs would give me a different picture I would want to paint. I would also see things I would see if I didn't have my music on.

After my time at UAB, I would then want to explore different store or restaurants that I never been to. This really opened my eyes to what Birmingham had to offer. I notice how we had some great restaurants around. I saw some great concerts at places like Zydeco and Bottletree. The more I got to see Birmingham, the more I noticed how special the place was. Even today, I am noticing all the amazing changes that are going around.

Now I don't think I will ever quit learning new things about the city, but I really don't want to stop. Birmingham has grown so much, and it's awesome to see how much life is coming from it. Birmingham, keep changing but don't change who you truly are.

When was the first time you met Birmingham? Was it a good or bad experience?
Template by Pink + Lola