This weekend I took a little road trip to Alabama with Jamie and our friend Rodney. Jamie and I had wanted to do a shoot with a model there named Bailey, and Rodney just happens to be friends with her, so he arranged the shoot and came along to do hair/makeup, and I think the results will be good. Bailey’s definitely one of the best models we’ve worked with, and the rural part of Alabama she lives in was exactly what we hoped it would be: all red dirt roads, ponds, and trees covered with kudzu.
More on the shoot later. Jamie, Rodney, and I ended up staying in Birmingham for the night. I’d only been there once before with Drew, but we went on a vintage hunting mission and didn’t really do much exploring. These days I like exploring a lot more than hunting for vintage. We stayed downtown at the Redmont, which is Birmingham’s oldest hotel, dating back to the ’20s. Rodney swears that Billie Holiday stayed there, but when he asked the guy at the front desk about it the guy didn’t know who Billie Holiday was. Rodney got mad. I did too a little. We couldn’t find anything online about it, but I just read that Hank Williams spent his last night at the Redmont back in 1952. The place did feel a little haunted, though the only bad vibes were from the rooftop bar/party that we were dumb enough to check out.
Most of the things we did were fun, though. We had dinner and drinks at a Mexican place called Rojo, and then Rodney and I went on a long walk around downtown Birmingham in search of good nightlife. We found nothing, but I liked being able to walk around and get a good look at all the skyscrapers and buildings from the ’20s. Honestly I think that Birmingham’s downtown is more impressive than Atlanta’s, but it’s strange and kind of eerie how empty it is at night.
We had breakfast at Urban Standard, which is my favorite restaurant I’ve been to in Birmingham by far. Ever since moving to Atlanta I’ve turned into such a coffee snob, which I never was before. I’m just so spoiled by Octane that whenever we go to Southern cities that aren’t Atlanta or Nashville I’m always let down by the coffee. But the coffee at Urban Standard was so good, probably because they get theirs roasted by Primavera, which, coincidentally, just merged with Octane. Anyhow I liked it a lot. And it made me like Birmingham a whole lot more too.