Lil’Drain Fish

Birmingham, family, fun, local, travel, trivia, Uncategorized

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Walking along I noticed this lil’ drain fish. Have you seen any in the ‘Ham? I’m sure there’s more than just this one, but this is the first time I’ve noticed. So do you know #whereintheham?

This particular guy is found at the South East corner of 10th ave south and 16th street situated just in front of the UAB parking deck beside Al’s.

It then got me wondering, what’s the fish there for anyway? As you can tell in the photo this drain “drains to waterways.” This is a storm drain which means it serves an emergency purpose of flushing excess water off the street. In such a situation the large volume of water has to go somewhere right? These drains route the water without filtration directly into our natural water systems. Hence the “no dumping.” Stormdrain runoff is the number one source of water pollution in the world. The fish has become a internationally recognized symbol indicating the presence of these drains. However not all drains come with built in demarcation, which is why several organizations have developed markers available for purchase in order to mark stormdrains in your neighborhood. Here’s an American company as well as a Canadian program, shoot here’s a New Zealand one if you want to dish out the shipping costs.

Furthermore, in looking up all these fun facts I stumbled across something truly strange indeed: sewer fishing. Apparently some guy out in Texas discovered that his stormdrain had water in it and dropped a fishing line down there. Ta-Da! He caught a fish.

So there you have it, the secret of the lil’ drain fish. Remember folks, no dumping. If you find another drain fish take a pic and post it to the social media with #whereintheham. Also, don’t forget to follow on facebook at Where in the Ham am I? and on Instagram @whereintheHam. Happy Hamming y’all!

Safety First

Birmingham, family, fun, local, travel, trivia, Uncategorized

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Can anyone tell me #whereintheHam? This is a safety marker from the 1930s that they used to embed in sidewalk near bus stops and around schools. These markers indicated what was considered a safe clearance from loading and unloading zones.

Give up yet?

This particular little beauty can be found inside Buck Mulligan’s in 5 Points South (2011 Highland Ave South) though there are several situated around the 5 points fountain area as well.  While I have talked with the owner (Danny Winter) we have not determined if this piece served its original safety purpose or if it was added later for decoration. There are several inside the pub and they are located along an exterior wall that was an add-on after the building was constructed. So there’s a good chance it was a part of the sidewalk once-upon-a-time.

The building that now houses Buck’s has a long history in 5 points and has been everything from the recently moved Black Market to Twist and Shout and the more well-known Dugan’s. Hanging out inside Buck’s you can feel the history of the place as you throw back one of their 25 beers on tap. It’s a lovely setting and the food is an absolute must try (I highly recommend “The Mulligan” burger or the “Bangers and Champ”

This Saturday (March 12th) Birmingham celebrates St. Patrick’s day with our annual parade through 5 Points. Y’all should come on down. Buck’s is going to be in full Irish swing. You know where to find me.

Pause for Marketing

Birmingham, family, fun, local, travel, trivia

Hey guys! Sorry for the delay. I didn’t want to get too far down the road with this project without proper branding. So I contacted one of my good friends and local artist Christina Daniel and asked her to craft something awesome for us. She sure delivered! (Thanks girl!) Eventually these will be finding their way onto some sweet t-shirts and other items. While you’re at it you should go check out Christina’s work, she’s known around town as Dagger Fingers.

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Now that we’re all good and branded be on the lookout for more

Where in the ‘Ham posts!

Sometimes Things Comes in Halves

Birmingham, family, fun, local, travel, trivia

I don’t see halved addresses very often downtown. So I was pleasantly surprised to nab this little bugger.

Where in Birmingham can you find 112 1/2?

The answer is along 24th Street North. I can’t find any information as to the history of this particular building other than the Bomb Shelter music venue used to operate next door.

If you’re looking for office space downtown it would appear this place is available. It’s got nice glass block work along the street side. Looks to be a little bit of a fixer-upper though.

Buy low, sell high! Get your piece (or half piece) of the pie!

Well Now, That’s Odd

Birmingham, family, fun, local, travel, trivia

Were in the ‘Ham can you find a top-hatted skeleton riding a bicycle?

Give up?

On any given Saturday from 10am-4pm take yourself on down to 2300 1st Ave North to a little place called Birmingham Oddities. There you’ll find my buddy Adam and his strange collection which includes DeadElvis (the bare-bones cyclist). Adam has got everything from a penguin skeleton, elephant foot, and specimens in jars to human skulls, two headed crow, cow skull chair, and more, so much more.

If you’re up for the unusual, rare, or downright weird I suggest you put a visit down on your to-do list. The entire place is like an awesomely morbid curio shop. To top it off Adam is very knowledgeable about his shop’s contents so you’ll come away with an education.

If you get the notion, be sure to ask Adam about the building Birmingham Oddities is housed in. The Fix Play building was built in 1910 and was originally a space designated to sell business and retail fixtures. Part of the shop resides in the old elevator shaft. See, even the shop space is unique.

If you can’t make it out on a Saturday you should at least check out Birmingham Oddities’ Facebook and Instagram.

I Always Feel Like Somebody’s Watching Me

Birmingham, family, fun, local, travel, trivia

Sometimes the best things in life are found by looking up. I can’t tell you how many times I passed under this lovely lady before I noticed her watchful gaze. When I finally did, I was so startled by her presence that I tripped on the sidewalk and almost landed flat on my face.

Do you know where she is?

Take a stroll down 1st Ave N and right around number 2118, pause and look up. This female terracotta face graces the arch of the Birmingham Realty Company.

Built in 1905, this building housed the Birmingham Realty Company, which basically crafted the city from an empty field. Before the incorporation of Birmingham in 1871, the Birmingham Realty Company was known as the Elyton Land Company (for those that don’t know b’ham used to be Elyton). The company renamed itself to keep up with the city.

The building is built in the Beaux Arts style and the lady-face is known as a mascaron. Mascarons were not only thought to be decorative but the more gruesome ones were crafted to keep evil spirits away. As a random added bonus, check out the awesome iridescent glass in the window. I love the color and variation!

If you would like to read more about this building be sure to check out its historic register, here.