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People, Places and Things

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Gwen DeRu

By:Gwen DeRu

THIS SUMMER, THIS SUMMER! DISTINGUISHED CITIZENS GALLERY!  LAUGHTER AT THE STARDOME! RESTAURANT WEEK!!…AND MORE!!!!

Here are a ‘few’ things to do…. (and…, Don’t Forget to Vote August 27th!)

FIRST…,  the NEW YORK TIMES had an article by Joe Gose (August 6, 2013) about Birmingham, Alabama titled ‘A Return to Downtown Birmingham.‘ (Check it out!)

Keep up the good work ‘my’ City!

GALLERY OF DISTINGUISHED CITIZENS – Five persons will be inducted into the Birmingham City Council’s Gallery of Distinguished Citizens. A civil rights icon, two Birmingham youths whose lives were cut short as the city wrestled in 1963 with racial equality, and two longtime civic leaders will be inducted this year into the Birmingham City Council’s Gallery of Distinguished Citizens. Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, Johnny Robinson, Virgil Ware, Mrs. Yvonne Turner and Mr. Bill Ricker will be inducted during a ceremony on Tuesday, August 13, at the Birmingham Museum of Art. The event will begin with a networking reception at 5:30 p.m. followed by the induction ceremony of this year’s honorees and the unveiling of their bronze embossed plaques at 6:15 p.m. The Gallery was inaugurated in 1977 and is a Hall of Fame located in City Hall. Past honorees include A.G. and Minnie Gaston, Odessa Woolfolk and the four little girls killed in the 1963 bombing of 16th Street Baptist Church. Citizens who have made significant contributions to the history of the city are nominated by the Birmingham City Council. For more information on the Birmingham Gallery of Distinguished Citizens and the induction ceremony, visit www.birminghamalcitycouncil.org.
EDDIE CONRAD THE CONSUMMATE ENTERTAINER AT THE STARDOME COMEDY CLUB – This Friday night at 7 p.m. the StarDome Comedy Club welcomes the Return of Eddie Conrad.  It’s a Comedy Homecoming.  He will M/C and introduce some of the ‘Magic City’s Up & Coming Talent.’ Eddie’s last appearance was as Coach Conroy/Vice Principal in “The Mystery at the Nightmare High School Reunion.  It had a five-year run.   Conrad says while he is New Orleans Made®, – just like his friend SINBAD; it is Birmingham’s StarDome ‘Magic’ that put him on the big stage. “I owe so much to Bruce & CHE-CHE Ayers.”  During his 10 years in the ‘Magic City,’ thousands have gotten to know Eddie Conrad – from Crest Cadillac to Vulcan Lincoln/Mercury and from Belk’s where he sold men’s clothing and sang for shoppers to Highlands Middle School as tutor, counselor, substitute, and music instructor on The RECORDER. He has been featured in many stories in the Birmingham News and Birmingham Times. He has been on Radio 98.7 Kiss FM with Oliver Brewer & Sheila Smoot, WERC 960 Morning Drive, and television WIAT-CBS42 and Fox 6.  When U call Eddie… WE ALL HAVE FUN:-)  For more call StarDome Comedy Club at (205) 444-0888.
BIRMINGHAM RESTAURANT WEEK 2013 – Last night was the BRW 2013 Preview PARTY sponsored by Alagasco and the City of Birmingham.  Chefs from participating restaurants served samples of their most popular BRW menu items that you can eat next week.  The preview event benefits the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute’s educational and outreach initiatives.  Some restaurants were Silvertron Café, VINO, Ted’s Restaurant, Michael’s Restaurant, La Paz, Rusty’s Bar-B-Q, JoJo’s on Broadway and Dreamland Bar-B-Que.

Next week is BRW 2013 Week presented by Regions Bank – August 16-August 25 and there are incentives for diners to revisit their favorite restaurants or to experience new venues for the first itme.  There will be approximately 40 restaurants throughout the Birmingham area that will offer food and drink specials .  The BRW 2013 goal is to celebrate Birmingham’s culinary culture while filling the seats of the city’s eating and drinking establishments.  See you around town!

THIS WEEKEND…
TODAY…..
**MARTINI THURSDAY at Ona’s Music Room.
**LIVE JAZZ, 7:30 p.m. with PJ SPRAGGINS AND FRIENDS at Jazz Underground.

FRIDAY….
** ART ON THE ROCKS 7 – 11 p.m. with MAN OR ASTRO-MAN?  After years of hibernation, they are now unveiling their finest recorded work to date. It has been nearly 12 years since the band last released their intergalactic sonic wave forms, and the new album, Defcon 5…4…3…2…1, shows that the band’s music is as catchy and energetic as ever before! Also, at the Art on the Rocks is:  DJ COCO, CHISTOPHER DAVIS (comedy), DANCEe COMPANY, BIRMINGHAM BALLET, JOHN AND KATIE GAISER and GLOW IN THE DARK PRINTS IN ACTION.  See you there!
**KELLEY ONEAL with the KAYOBand, 10 p.m. at Ona’s Music Room.
**VIP FRIDAYS, 9 p.m. (ladies FREE until 11 p.m.) at Merienda’s Lounge., with Happy Hour 5-9 p.m. with drink specials and free food while it lasts.
**RUSS McCLINTON’S BIRTHDAY BASH WITH SOULED OUT, 7 p.m. at Jazz Underground.

SATURDAY…ONA WATSON WITH CHAMPAGNE, 10 p.m. at Ona’s Music Room.
**The Leo Celebrations with live Music by SHARRON, MOSE STOVALL AND DANI LIVE at Jazz Underground.
(Photo: Baby Drew and Traci Steele)
**D.J. Babey Drew (Chris Brown), D.J. Traci Steele, 9 p.m. at Merienda’s Lounge.  (Both from the TV Show ‘Love and Hip Hop Atlanta Show.’)

**SUNDAY…The Music Café at Crescendo Lounge, 6 p.m. with R& B Legends.

COMING SOON…
**WEDNESDAY…Birmingham Social at the Red Zone Sports Bar in Five points South, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.  FREE!
NEXT THURSDAY…
**ESTELLE WITHERSPOON LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD DINNER, 6 p.m. reception and 7 p.m. dinner at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel.  The dinner will honor The Reverend C.T. Vivian with Mr. William Nelson, President of CHS Foundation as Event Chair.  This is the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund 46th Anniversary Celebration. Call (404) 765-0991 for more.
**BIRMINGHAM VENTURE CLUB MIXER, 5 – 7 p.m. at the Innovation Depot.  FREE!
**B-METRO MAGAZINE MUSIC ISSUE RELEASE PARTY, 6 – 9 p.m. at the Iron City.  FREE!
**AUGUST 16 – 25 – RESTAURANT WEEK all around town!  Enjoy all the good food with good prices.  You will go back.  See you around town!
**AUGUST 23 – 25 – SIDEWALK FILM FESTIVAL.
**AUGUST 24 – REVIVAL – A Music Festival with The CO, Elenowen, Leagues, the Apache Relay, The Dirty Guv’nahs, Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors and JASON ISBELL at the Railroad Park.  For more go to, www.revivvalmusicfest.com
**AUGUST 24 – 25 – FOURTH AVENUE JAZZ FESTIVAL
**AUGUST 25 – The 2013 National Center for Sports Safety (NCSS) WINE TASTING AND DINNER presented by Waldrep, Stewart & Kendrick, LLC at the Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar.  (Look for more right here in People, Places and Things by Me (Gwen).
**SEPTEMBER 6 – Join First Fridays @ Crescendo Bar & Lounge – Where The Grown Folks Play – Live performance by jazz vocalist Sonja Hopkins with DJ Steve Sloan in the mix. Doors open 7 p.m. with Showtime 9 p.m. Happy Hours 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. The BIGGEST Birthday Bash for September!!!  For more, call 205 862 4723.

For you… Birthday Ballers…..
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ALL CELEBRATING!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU…DOUG FORD, RUSS McCLINTON, NOELLE PETTIES, CHERYL ELDRIDGE, LAKEITHA DUNHAM, LATANYA GREENE, TERITA MOORE, SHAUN PEZANT, CAPRENIA ANTHONY, CHANDRA BELL, LARRY ALLEN and JESTINA HOWARD….. MANY, MANY MORE HAPPY BIRTHDAYS!!  ENJOY!!

Well, that’s it for now.  Tell you more ‘next’ time.

(People, Places and Things by Gwen DeRu is a weekly column. Send comments to my emails: thelewisgroup@birminghamtimes.com or gwenderu@yahoo.com)