Debate Magazine

Birmingham (not Alabama)

Posted on the 01 November 2013 by Markwadsworth @Mark_Wadsworth
From The Independent
The citizens of Birmingham are keenly aware of the snobbery and accent-mocking humor about their beloved home, emanating mostly from London’s chattering classes. But, for the second time in two years, England’s second city has received glowing praise from an international destination that outdoes London in many respects: New York.

New York Magazine has advised its readers to go to “Birmingham instead of London” in an article this week that trumpeted the city’s attractions from the culinary delights of the Balti Triangle to “the world renowned” Birmingham Royal Ballet, its thriving jewelry trade and music scene. A lack of tourist hordes was another reason.
The lack of tourist hordes is because actually, there's not much that visitors want to see. If there was, there would be tourist hordes. Unfortunately, that's how it works. You can find places that appeal to a niche that you have that aren't too busy, but as a rule, the good places get visitors.
I wouldn't agree with that advice about Birmingham at all. The curries are great. And cheap. And most of the places in Sparkbrook don't have licenses, so you bring your own which is a lot cheaper. And yes, the ballet and the CBSO have a good reputation. But the Jewellery Quarter is nothing to write home about and as for the music scene, there might have been 30 years ago, but if there's a place to see bands, I couldn't find it. And it's mostly architecturally horrible in the center.
They missed the best thing to visit which is the Edgbaston Botanical Gardens which are really lovely, and some of the best I've been to.

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