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People, Places and Things

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By Gwen DeRu

“HAPPY 2021 NEW YEAR…FROM ALL OF US… TO ALL OF YOU!!!!!!”
TODAY…
**COMEDIAN BRUCE BRUCE at the StarDome Comedy Club.
**READ THE BIRMINGHAM TIMES. Get all the latest news
**WATCH LOTS OF MOVIES …after dinner and with the family and friends.
HAPPY NEW YEAR’S DAY!!!!
FRIDAY…
**COMEDIAN BRUCE BRUCE at the StarDome Comedy Club.
**ENJOY THE DAY …the food, reading books, watching movies, taking a nap or just talking with loved ones and friends on the phone.  Please… get a little sun if you can.
SATURDAY…
**VIRTUAL BOOK LAUNCH “EMPOWERED by ROCHELLE GASTON MALONE”, 1- 2 p.m. Register at Eventbrite.com/empowered-virtual-book-launch-.
**SATURDAYS IN THE GARDENS at Birmingham Botanical Gardens.
**WINE DOWN HAPPY HOUR, 4-9 p.m. at Saferoom Lounge Bar.
**COMEDIAN BRUCE BRUCE at the StarDome Comedy Club.
**FUN, GAMES, YARD AND HOUSE WORK including Uno, Monopoly, Solitaire, Shopping, Eating. Times are changing soon.
SUNDAY…
**FAMILY TIME, GOOD FOOD AND MOVIES.
MONDAY…
**Head to the Birmingham Zoo GLOW WILD…enjoy the weather and the fun.
**READ A GOOD BOOK…There are a few on the bookshelves, just lying around are some to read …or you can get an e-book. Read BOOK: IN THE NICK OF TIME by DEEDEE CUMMINGS.
**RICKEY SMILEY presents WEST LOVE at the StarDome Comedy Club.
TUESDAY…
**READ A REAL GOOD BOOK…You might like cookbooks, to-do books, game books, picture books. Check it out!
**RICKEY SMILEY presents WEST LOVE at the StarDome Comedy Club.
WEDNESDAY…
**INTERFAITH NOONDAY PRAYER SERVICES every Wednesday, Noon at Linn Park in Downtown Birmingham.
**IT IS COLD FALL WEATHER …focus on NEW RESOLUTIONS, HEALTHY EATING HABITS and so much more. A NEW YEAR, A NEW DAY!!
NEXT THURSDAY…
**READ THE BIRMINGHAM TIMES. Catch up on the news!
**COMEDIAN RODNEY CARRINGTON at the StarDome Comedy Club.
NEXT FRIDAY…
**MOVIE NIGHT: Rent and Watch movies at Sidewalkfest.com. Don’t miss Bad Movie Marathon …and other movies at Sidewalk Cinema.
**COMEDIAN RODNEY CARRINGTON at the StarDome Comedy Club.
FOR MUSIC LOVERS…
**TRIBUTE TO TONI BRAXTON featuring vocalist MELISSA CAMPBELL, January 9 at 7 p.m. at Perfect Note.
FOR REGGAE LOVERS…
**JERK REGGAE COMEDY TOUR, January 9, Saturday, 7:30 p.m. showcase time at Bizarre the Coffee Bar featuring THE ORIGINAL STEVE T. HAMMOND AND HELL RELL. Food Specials are 4 – 9 p.m. There will be Caribbean food of all kinds. For more, call (205) 427-0710.
FOR MOVIES LOVERS…
**MOVIE: PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN is directed by EMERALD FENNELL. A young woman, traumatized by a tragic event in her past, seeks out vengeance against those who cross her path. Now through January 7. Go to sidewalkfest.com.
FOR THE COMMUNITY…
**FREE PROGRAM for ages 16-24 providing training, scholarships, paid internships, job placement, program completion incentives and more at Jefferson State Community College. Call (205) 856-7834 or email: nstanley at Jeffersonstate.edu. and teisha.agee@jeffersonstate.edu.
**TAKING IT BLACK on 98.7 FM, every Sunday at NOON with host ATTORNEY VALERIE HICKS HALE. Call In (205) 741-0987. Check it out!
**BIRMINGHAM MAKES TOP 50 BEST PLACES TO TRAVEL IN 2021 –
TRAVEL + LEISURE has named BIRMINGHAM NUMBER 5 on its “50 Best Places to Travel in 2021. REASONS: “…The modern scene in The Magic City is a great example of what can happen when Alabama kids head off to the big city to hone their skills, then return home to do their thing — in a really high-quality way. Take Chef Adam Evans: the Muscle Shoals native worked in New Orleans and New York and opened The Optimist with Ford Fry in Atlanta before heading back to B-Ham to launch Automatic Seafood & Oysters. Moves like this — along with quirky java shops (Red Cat Coffee House), upscale cocktail bars (Paper Doll), a women-owned vegan food truck, and the Pizitz global food hall — have brought a vibrancy to the city, where contemporary charm and old Southern hospitality mingle on a big scale. The destination is catching up to demand for luxury lifestyle hotels with the Valley Hotel, opening in the historic, cool-again suburb Homewood in January with a new outpost of Edgar’s Bakery and more restaurants to come. Railroad Park, a 19-acre green space, has transformed downtown over the last decade, with walking trails, food truck festivals, and an outdoor symphony. And look for Protective Stadium, a 47,000-seat facility and entertainment district, to open in 2021. — Kelsey Ogletree.”
A few more making that list are: Alaska’s Coast – No. 1, Astoria, Oregon – No. 2, The Berkshires – No. 3, Big Sky, Montana – No. 4, Cincinnati, Ohio – No. 11, Florida’s Middle Keys – No. 14, The Gulf Coast – No. 18, Las Vegas – No. 21, Miami – No. 25, Nashville – No. 27, New Orleans – No. 28, New York City – No. 29, Oahu, Hawaii – No. 33, Orlando – No. 35, Palm Springs – No. 36, Sea Islands – No. 42, Tucson, Arizona – No. 45, Washington , D.C. – No. 48. (For more: https://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/best-places-to-travel-in-2021).
FOR LOVERS OF ART AND CULTURAL ENTERTAINMENT…
AT STEPHEN SMITH FINE ART…
**HEALERS IN THE SKY, PENTACLE IN MY HEART is a solo exhibition by LANETTE BLANKENSHIP. The Gallery is open Tuesday through Friday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Saturday 12-5 p.m. at the Stephen Smith Fine Art Gallery in Fairfield. This exhibition will coincide with the Grand Opening of GYPSY TREASURE, an antique emporium located within Stephen Smith Fine Art.
AT THE BIRMINGHAM MUSEUM OF ART…
**JACOB LAWRENCE: THE AMERICAN STRUGGLE through February 7, 2021.
**AN EPIC OF EARTH AND WATER Claire Leighton and the New England Industries Series through May 2, 2021.
**ALL THINGS BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL through March, 2021, primarily from the Museum’s permanent collection that looks at themes of power and agency. This exhibition takes its name from a painting by Amy Sherald, whose portraits depict Black sitters with pride, dignity, and joy, representation historically only afforded to white people. Some artists in the exhibition look towards power in other creative endeavors, like music. Others contemplate the hidden potential of everyday objects by transforming them into works of art. Several artists engage the representation of space and architecture – including museum spaces – to discover the dynamics of power. Considered together, these works illustrate the importance of being seen, choosing how to be depicted, and telling one’s own history.
**WAYS OF SEEING – BUILDINGS AND MONUMENTS through March 2021
**WALL TO WALL – MERRITT JOHNSON through Spring 2021. BMA hours are Tuesday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sundays Noon – 5 p.m. with virtual offerings will continue, including live programs, meditation exercises, art-making activities and much more!
FOR OUTDOOR LOVERS…
AT THE BIRMINGHAM ZOO…
**GLOW WILD: An Animal Lantern Celebration! This extraordinary event will be held on select nights 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. during the months of December, and January. Guests will be captivated by visually stunning lantern creations of wildlife from around the world. The Zoo will come alive with hundreds of marvelous animal shapes of all sizes – from pandas, elephants, cheetahs, polar bears, and whales – soaring up to 30 feet high! Spend the winter with your Birmingham Zoo. GLOW WILD into the new year!
FOR DAYHIKES IN THE PARKS…
**SATURDAY DAYHIKE, Meet 9:45 a.m. with Southeastern Outings Picnic Lunch and Moderate Dayhike at Paul Grist State Park near Selma, Alabama. DETAILS: Paul Grist State Park is one of the state’s most uncrowded, yet scenic state parks containing hills, forests, fields and a large, beautiful, tree-lined lake. Prior to the dayhike, get together at the smaller pavilion right near the Park Office to eat our picnic lunches. Bring your picnic lunch and also $3 per person ($2 for children age 2-6 and seniors age 62 and older) park admission and a beverage for yourself. Dayhike Details: Hike rated moderate. There are only a few ups and downs. Total hiking distance is approximately 5.5 miles. Plan to walk all the way around the lake and then also walk on some additional trails in the park to make the drive time down and back worthwhile. Well-behaved, carefully supervised children age 9 and able to walk six miles without complaining are welcome. Bring your drink and wear sturdy footwear. Optional group restaurant dinner after the hike.  Reservations not required for this outing. Meet 9:45 a.m. at the McDonald’s Galleria. Plan to depart at 10 a.m. Info: Randall Adkins, 205/317-6969.
**WEDNESDAY DAYHIKE, Meet 9:15 a.m. Weekday Hike with Southeastern Outings at High Ore Line Trail in Birmingham and Midfield, Alabama – DETAILS: The hike, which is rated easy, will be three miles long with very little change in elevation. Birmingham’s three-mile High Ore Line Trail is now complete and open to the public. Start the hike on the High Ore Line Trail from the Jefferson County Western Health Center in Midfield and hike along an old railroad line to Red Mountain Park’s new entrance and parking lot on Venice Road. The trail is mostly flat and off road and provides an accessible place to walk in Greater Birmingham’s outdoors. Birmingham has built 14 trail miles throughout Birmingham. The first two miles of the High Ore Line Trail opened in 2016. With its third and final mile complete, High Ore Line now connects Red Mountain Park to Jefferson County’s growing Red Rock Trail System. The goal is to build and connect 750 miles of trails in Jefferson County. In Midfield, an industrial suburb of Birmingham near the towering U.S. Steel plant, a railroad track once sliced through the air, an elevated track running ore and coal from the mines at Red Mountain to the steel works at Fairfield. Today, decades after the railroad went out of operation, the elevated track has a new lease on life: a green one. Spanning three miles from Midfield to Venice Road at the base of Red Mountain, the High Ore Line Trail now occupies the raised railroad line as one of the newest additions to the Red Rock Ridge and Valley Trail System. Connecting neighborhoods in west Birmingham to Midfield, the trail passes its visitors over Valley Creek with a glimpse in the distance of Red Mountain Park – to which the trail is now connected. It is a space of recreation and peace, a place where a simple stroll can become a scenic experience blending the urban industrial suburbs with natural, preserved green space. As green spaces around Birmingham help the Magic City make a resurgence, the High Ore Line Trail is a project that makes sure the western neighborhoods of Birmingham get their own piece of the puzzle. Bring water to drink and comfortable footwear suitable for walking three miles. Expect to complete the hike about lunch time. For those who would like to enjoy lunch with their fellow hikers, join the group for lunch at the Subway sandwich restaurant on Lakeshore Parkway on the way back. Meet 9:15 a.m. at the new Jones Valley parking lot for Red Mountain Park, 2109 Venice Road, Birmingham, Alabama. Plan to depart from there at 9:30 a.m. Information and Trip Leader: Dan Frederick, email seoutings@bellwouth.net  or phone 205-631-4680.
FOR BOOK LOVERS…
**VIRTUAL BOOK LAUNCH – EMPOWERED by ROCHELLE GASTON MALONE is Saturday, 1- 2 p.m. Get empowered with author and minister Rochelle Gaston Malone with giveaways to empower your life. Register at Eventbrite.com/empowered-virtual-book-launch-.
…HERE are a few good books… (Some taken from Book Riot) Great English/Spanish Books for Kids – Learning two languages is no easy task, especially for kids. If you want to raise a bilingual child, you need some help, and there’s no better help than books! (Some Taken from Book Riot)
CHAPTER BOOKS – For ages 7- 9
Chapter books are an excellent middle point for children. They have illustrations and longer texts than picture books and focus a bit more on the stories they tell than on the illustrations. They are recommended for children ages 7 to 9 as the language can be a bit more complex.
**BOOK: UPSIDE DOWN AND BACKWARDS/DE CABEZA Y AL REVES by DIANE GONZALES BERTRAND – This short book has six stories that show different quirky scenarios like strange neighbors or mystical science projects. At their core, all stories celebrate strong relationships with people, whether they are friends, family, or teachers. It also turns ordinary circumstances into extraordinary adventures that any child will love to read! All stories are short and they have some illustrations sprinkled around, which help kids form a mental picture.
**BOOK: TODOS IGUALES/ALL EQUAL: UN CORRIDO DE LEMON GROVE/A BALLARD OF LEMON GROVE by CHRISTY HALE – Lemon Grove is such a unique book! It is nonfiction and a great way to teach kids not only a second language but some history too. It follows Roberto, a kid who helped desegregate his school! Long story short, in the 1930s there was a school that wanted to segregate the Mexican American kids because of language “handicaps.” The community fought back and won the case against the court, thus bringing the children back to school. This is actually the first case of desegregation in the U.S.!
MIDDLE GRADE BOOKS – For ages 8 – 12
Middle Grade books have a more developed plot and next to no illustrations. They are for children ages 8 to 12 who mostly read by themselves. The stories are longer, with characters that are around the same age of the reader.
**BOOK: THE DAY IT SNOWED TORTILLAS/ELIA QUE NEVARON  TORTILLAS, FOLKTALES TOLD IN SPANISH AND ENGLISH by JOE HAYES and ANTONIO CASTRO – This book of folktales tells the magical stories that the villages of New Mexico have passed down through generations since the Spanish arrived in the continent. It is a collection of easy-to-read short stories that kids won’t have trouble understanding as they gain a deeper knowledge of the cultural heritage of the area. Some stories include La Llorona (“The Weeping Woman”) and the title story, in which a woman convinces her husband it had snowed tortillas that night.
**BOOK: LETTERS FROM HEAVEN/CARTAS DEL CIELO by LYDIA GIL – This book follows Celeste, who after the death of her grandmother receives letters from her, along with some recipes that she used to cook. But that’s not all—Celeste also has to deal with issues like loss, bullying, and financial difficulties in her family. So the letters help her cope with all that is going on in her life. It is a sad but hopeful book that teaches children about Caribbean culture with the recipes that are included in the book, and at the same time how to deal with the pain of loss and overcoming hardships from growing up.
FOR COMEDY LOVERS…
AT BIZARRE THE COFFEE BAR…
**JERK REGGAE COMEDY TOUR, January 9, Saturday, 7:30 p.m. showcase time at Bizarre the Coffee Bar featuring THE ORIGINAL STEVE T. HAMMOND AND HELL RELL. Food Specials are 4 – 9 p.m. There will be Caribbean food of all kinds. For more, call (205) 427-0710.
AT THE STARDOME COMEDY CLUB…
**TODAY THROUGH SATURDAY COMEDIAN BRUCE BRUCE… Bruce Bruce is a name synonymous with keeping audiences rolling with laughter thanks to his captivating improv skills and larger than life comedic style. Bruce’s steady style of comedy has been showcased across the country and he has been entertaining audiences young and old and of all backgrounds for years. His wit, spontaneity and dazzling personality sets him apart from other stand-up comedians. Although Bruce is known for his adult comedy he prides himself on not using vulgarity to win a laugh and is no stranger to winning over new audiences with every appearance he makes. From his role as host for two seasons of BET’s “Comic View” to his many appearances on tv and film Bruce is clearly a comedian that has found his mark in the business. On the feature film front Bruce made a cameo in the HBO Films feature Idlewild and appeared in the Larry the Cable Guy-starring Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector. He also appeared in the comedy Who’s Your Caddy as “Golf Ball Eddie.”
**NEXT THURSDAY THROUGH SATURDAY COMEDIAN RODNEY CARRINGTON… Rodney Scott Carrington is an American stand-up comedian, actor, and country music artist. He has released six major-label studio albums and a greatest-hits package, on Mercury Records and Capitol Records. His comedy act typically combines stand-up comedy and original songs.
**COMING SOON – COMEDIANS MIKE EPPS, GARY OWEN, DESI ALEXANDER, WELLRED and more… DON’T MISS THEM!
WISHING YOU THE BEST FOR THE COMING 2021 NEW YEAR!
Well, that’s it. Tell you more ‘next’ time. People, Places and