Weekly Wanderlust in Bham: Event Picks for 4/23/15-4/30/15

Welcome to the Weekly Wanderlust List! It features information about exciting, creative, yummy, and innovative happenings in the Greater Birmingham, Alabama community each week.  This week’s Weekly Wanderlust in Bham spotlights a multitude of events in Birmingham. Each unique event offers an opportunity to make a positive contribution to the community, support a local cause or business, engage with the fabulous citizens of our City, or enjoy an evening of fun. This week features the following events:

  • Magic City Art Connection
  • Ruffner Mountain’s Fourth Friday Music Series: Verdure
  • Corks & Chefs
  • Yoga on the Green
  • Birmingham Get Up!
  • Magic City Sweet Ice: GRAND OPENING!
  • Kreplach & Dim Sum – Yes, There are Jews in China
  • 6th Annual Dining Out For Life® Event



Magic City Art Connection


10154169_10152780143324097_2092605576191814733_nThe Magic City Art Connection will be held between April 24-25 from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m., April 26 from 10 a.m. – 5  p.m. The event spotlights hundreds of artists and offer an opportunity for people to purchase their work. In addition, the following takes place over the course of the event: Corks & Chefs (a food & wine tasting experience), interactive art workshops for children, live music and performances on stage, art installations, pop-up cafes, and much more.

  • Where: Linn Park, at the central entrance points – Rev Abraham Woods, Jr. Blvd (8th Ave N) or at 6th Ave N & 20th Street
  • Cost: Adults $5, Kids 12 & under free (Corks & Chefs requires extra ticket)
  • Website: www.magiccityart.com
  • Contact: (205) 595-6306


Ruffner Mountain’s Fourth Friday Music Series: Verdure


On  Friday, April 24th, Ruffner Mountain’s Fourth Friday Music Series will feature the music of Verdure! Verdure is an eclectic music outfit that the band’s front man, singer-songwriter, Chris K. Davidson describes as , “a layered, harmony-driven collection of songs that combines dashes of Ben Folds, acoustic Guster, and the Head and the Heart while fully maintaining their unique sonic identity.” Check out Verdure on the web at www.verduremusic.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/VerdureMusic. The BYOB show will take place at the Tree House and you can also bring food. Tickets are $10.00.  Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and music begins at 7:00 p.m.

  • When: April 24 at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Ruffner Mountain Preserve, 1214 81st St S, Birmingham, Alabama
  • Cost: $ 10.00
  • Website: Ticket Link
  • Contact: (205) 833-8264

Corks & Chefs


The 18th annual Corks & Chefs will be presented by Kinetic Communications during the  three day Magic City Art Connection.  Corks & Chefs is the place where art, food, beer + wine meet. the event features delicious cuisine from many of Birmingham’s favorite restaurants. Over 8 talented chefs, 75 wines, craft beers, coffee, and tea are showcased each day of the event. A new tasting BBVA Compass VIP Lounge for VIP ticket holders will have exclusive offerings including a special food tasting with World’s Best Pastry Chef, Jordi Roca of World Famous El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain,  additional select wines, craft beer and champagne to taste, lounge seating, and private al fresco dining.

  • When: April 25-26, 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
  • Where: Linn Park, at the central entrance points – Rev Abraham Woods, Jr. Blvd (8th Ave N) or at 6th Ave N & 20th Street
  • Cost: $35.00 – $125.00 in advance
  • Website: www.magiccityart.com/corks-chefs/order-tickets
  • Contact: (205) 595-6306

Birmingham Get Up


The second annual Birmingham Get Up will take place on April 25 at 5 p.m.The event will be a festive night of music, food, drink, and plenty of  fun to benefit The Red Barn’s programs. There will be food from local vendors and beer from Good People and Druid City. The music line-up includes the following: Dead Fingers at 5 p.m., Trouble the Waters at 6 p.m., The Golden Monica at 7 p.m., and Banditos at 8 p.m.

Yoga on the Green


This is a beginners friendly Railroad Park Yoga Class sponsored by BlueCross BlueShield of Alabama. The class is free. However, all attendees will need to sign in and complete a wavier with the park staff.  The park also has clean yoga mats for you to borrow if you do not own personal gear. The following other free classes are offered each week at Railroad Park as well: Jazzercise® on Mondays at 6:00 p.m., Bootcamp on Tuesdays at 6:00 p.m., Zumba on Wednesdays at 6:00 p.m., and Happy Feet Fridays on Fridays at 6:00 p.m.

Magic City Sweet Ice: GRAND OPENING!


Magic City Sweet Ice is inviting the city to celebrate the Grand Opening of their store in West Homewood! The grand opening event will feature food, drinks, and door prizes!  Check out the company’s website magiccitysweetice.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mcsweetice.

  • When: April 25 at 12.00 p.m.
  • Where:  715 Oak Grove Rd, Birmingham, AL
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: RSVP
  • Contact:  (205) 907-2125

Kreplach & Dim Sum – Yes, There are Jews in China

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This event features Robyn Helzner who shares stories, photos, video and music to explore the extraordinary history of the Jewish communities in Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Kaifeng; and traces their emergence as the fastest growing Jewish region in the world. This event is open to the public for free, but RSVP is required. Acclaimed for her concerts and recordings of Jewish music, Helzner officiated at the first Bar Mitzvah celebrated in Beijing, China, and served as the Cantor for the United  Jewish Congregation of Hong Kong. In addition, this event will also feature the Jewish Refugees in Shanghai exhibit.  It tells the stories of the difficulties faced by Jewish refugees on their journey to and from Shanghai in the 1930s and 40s, as well as their adaptation to the city and friendship with the Chinese people.  This exhibit has been put together by the American Jewish Committee and the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum. Reception featuring Jewish and Kosher Chinese including Kreplach, Dim Sum, Rugalach, Burekas, and Egg Rolls.

  • When: April 25-26, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Where: Levite Jewish Community Center of Birmingham, 3960 Montclair Road, Birmingham, AL
  • Cost: This event is free of charge, but registration is required. Please click here to RSVP.
  • Website: www.bic-al.org
  • Contact: 205-252-7652

Hope For Autumn Crawfish Boil

The Hope for Autumn Foundation Crawfish Boil is an event that features music, food, and fun. In addition, live music will provided by Rollin in the Hay and Downright. Proceeds from the event benefit area families battling childhood cancer and the Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorder’s Developmental Therapeutics Program which seeks to find new treatments for children with difficult to treat cancer. The menu will include crawfish cooked by Louisiana native John Hein, hamburgers and hot dogs for the kids, soda, water, and gives you the option to bring your own adult beverages. The children activities features various games, bounce houses, face painting, and balloon artists.

  • When: April 25, 3 p.m. –  p.m.
  • Where: Main Green of Ross Bridge, 4000 Grand Ave, Birmingham, AL
  • Cost: $30.00 – $35.00
  • Website: www.hopeforautumnfoundation.org
  • Contact: (954) 410-8362

6th Annual Dining Out For Life®


On Thursday, April 30th, help support AIDS Alabama’s 6th Annual Dining Out For Life event by simply enjoying a meal at one of your favorite local restaurants in Birmingham. Each of the participating restaurants will donate a minimum of 25% (upwards to 100%) of your bill to help fight against HIV and AIDS. Some of these restaurants include: Bottle & Bone, Post Office Pies, The J. Clyde, Urban Standard, The Grill at Iron City, and many more!  To learn more about AIDS Alabama, its mission, and services visit www.aidsalabama.org

  • When: April 30
  • Where: at participating restaurants in Birmingham, AL
  • Cost: Nothing extra, just enjoy a meal at a participating local restaurant
  • Website: Find the complete list of participating restaurants at www.diningoutforlife.com/birmingham/restaurants
  • Contact: (954) 410-8362


Until the Next Post,


No Plans on 4/11/15? Come Volunteer with Project Homeless Connect


What are you doing this upcoming Saturday? No plans? Well check out the upcoming Project Homeless Connect service project. Hands On Birmingham and One Roof: Uniting Central Alabama to End Homelessness is seeking additional volunteers for the annual day of service on Saturday, April 11.  This innovative one-day event is about breaking the cycle of homelessness, increasing access to services, and ending chronic homelessness in Central Alabama. I hope each of you consider taking time out of your busy schedules on Saturday, April 11 to support this worthy cause! Visit http://www.handsonbirmingham.org/PHC to sign up and send me an email if you want to learn more about the service project. By the way, I’ll be onsite most of the day with the Hands On Junior Board and would love to see each of you there!

Recap of the Epic Pre-Valentine Knife Party Dinner at Revelator Coffee on 2/7/15


Last week, I had the opportunity to finally attend a Knife Party dinner after the pop-up returned from a year long hiatus. I got lucky when I noticed that two spots opened up via Instagram early last week. The dinner was hosted on February 7th at Revelator Coffee Company in downtown Birmingham in early celebration of Valentine’s Day.  I have longed to attend a Knife Party ever since I discovered the unique pop-up outfit about a year and a half ago.  Knife Party is a collaborative secret underground pop-up dinner planned, curated, led, and prepared by Wil Drake and Roscoe Hall. Drake and Hall are two young ambitious veterans of the local culinary scene in Birmingham, Alabama with a knack for the unconventional. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to attend due to the limited seat availability and my inability to RSVP quickly for one of the exclusive dinners before the company’s year long hiatus. You might be wondering – What the hell is a Knife Party? And why is it so hard to grab a seat at the event?


According to a September 2014 Creative Birmingham article, Drake defined Knife Party as, “a supper club for those who like to eat and enjoy a take on deconstructed recipes of old. We use fresh/local/not local/sometimes frozen ingredients. It’s secretive because it’s not legal.” Each dinner is as unique dining experience that includes a drink pairing with the meal. Hall and Drake appear to be on a mission to expose the Birmingham foodie community to unconventional food offerings that highlight strange, eccentric, and often daunting culinary mashups to tantalize the adventurous diner’s taste buds. Personally, I cannot wait to attend another Knife Party after having such a great inaugural experience. I felt that it was important to taste my way through the meal in tiny steps and soak up all of the lively chatter with other diners, the chefs, and servers. The customer service was outstanding and all of the staff was genuinely welcoming and engaging with the diners. Knife Party may sound a little scary on the surface but is well worth the effort to RSVP to take a leap of gastronomical faith. My highlights from the meal include the following: sipping forest leaf tea along with a venison charcuterie plate that featured salty jerky paired with berry preserves and venison baloney and a delicious peanut veloute soup that included chocolate mousse and chicken skin.



If you are interested in attending the exclusive dining experience head to the Knife Party website and sign up for the mailing list to get a priority notice about new events. Each event only has 20 RSVP slots so nimble fingers are paramount! In addition, you should check out Revelator Coffee Company if you also love great coffee!

Until the Next Post,


Cultivate Gratitude: Find Joy in All Experiences


My Grandparents – The late Pauline D. Maze and Deacon William A. Maze in the 1970s

Don’t hurry. Don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way. ~Walter Hagen

Last month, I wrote a post (i.e., All I Really Want for Christmas Is Presence!) prior to the Christmas holiday. It focused on being fully present in life’s moments (both big and small) to create a series of beautiful moments with the people or things you love. At the start of this month, the previous month’s message rings true with a resounding echo. On January 5, 2015, my grandfather made the transition to heaven early in the morning after living nearly 85 full years on this beautiful earth. I got the call from my mother ten minutes after arriving at my office on that Monday morning and all I could say was, “OK and I love you.” I grabbed my bags and exited work before anyone could see me shed a tear. My car was full of plenty of tears by the close of the morning. However, in the midst of my sadness, I found joy because I knew that I was blessed to have my grandfather’s presence from birth until adulthood. His unconditional love, support, gentle nature, loving spirit, and amazing family meals are some of the most vivid experiences that life has afforded me thus far.


Easter 2007 with my twin sister, Janeka, Grandfather, and cousin Pauline

In many ways, my grandfather and grandmother helped to raise me and all of my siblings with my parents. Every weekend, summer break, and family holiday was spent with Granddad and Grandma Maze. I spent countless hours in their car on the road to visit family all across the country. We traveled to places from St. Louis to Miami to Little Rock to Charlotte to Detroit and numerous places in between. Each road trip was a unique adventure for me and helped to cultivate my restless spirit of adventure at an early age. Two years ago, I decided to relocate back to Alabama from the San Francisco Bay area after my Granddad became increasingly ill. My family comes before anyone and anything so the move back to Alabama was a non-negotiable decision for me.

I was blessed with two more years to spend quality time with him despite the ever present challenge my family faced while caring for my Granddad. I know that I am a lucky because I had the opportunity to know and spend time with him all the way to the end. He was a living example of fortitude – in spirit and action. He grew up through the 1930s in Mississippi and endured difficult circumstances that make any trouble I have experienced seem laughable. Yet, he persevered and made his way through life with intention and purpose. He went on to become a successful career man and business owner in Chicago while balancing family and faithful service to his church and community.

There are many people who talk about what they are going to do but my Granddad was always a man of faith and action despite being a man of few words. He was the first person to receive a call and the first to show up to lend a hand to anyone in need. I am thankful that he always led by example and attended to all the needs of his family and friends. In addition, I am forever in debt to the sacrifices, hard work, faithful service my Granddad provided to my family.  No one will ever replace him and I will continue to honor the his legacy while I’m blessed to live. Although it is difficult, it is imperative to cultivate gratitude and find joy even when dealing with loss. Be thankful for what you have experienced along the way and store those beautiful moments in your heart to carry yourself through the tough days. Likewise, Eat Drink Savor Life is an affirmation of my commitment to celebrating life and cultivating gratitude in all situations – good, bad, sad, and all things in between. I decide to be thankful every day.

Until the Next Post,


All I Really Want for Christmas Is Presence!



Over the last couple of weeks, I have had countless people ask me what I want for Christmas. My answer has baffled and angered a few of my family members and friends. My response has been direct and simple – nothing but your presence. Even at the present moment, I can think of nothing being more desirable than the present of presence. There are people who lack basic necessities throughout the entire world and I know that I am not lacking a single one. I have a home, clothes on my back, food in my cupboard and refrigerator, a vehicle, and even some luxuries that serve a purpose but are not necessities.

The one thing that I find many people lacking in this technological age is a lack of connection to each present moment that we walk through on a daily basis. How many times have you went out with friends to dinner and discovered that each of you spent a significant portion of the time checking messages and social media on your phone or cool tech gadget? If you are honest with yourself, the answer is yes for most of you. Do not misconstrue my personal affinity for technology. I enjoy it like any twenty-something living in the current era. However, over the last year, I have tried to challenge myself to power off my cell phone, unplug my computer, and shut down my tablet to rest in nothing more than the present moment and in the company of whoever I am with at the time. Unplugging from the technological comfort zone is not an easy feat. Nevertheless, I believe that it is necessary to do so, if we want to retain our collective and individual personal sanity and preserve the sanctity of our human connection to one another.


Instead of focusing on the accumulation of more things that you do not need for the holiday season, enjoy the mere presence of another human being. Make it a priority to create a series of beautiful moments that you are able to reflect on throughout your life. Trust me; time is not something you can regain. I would rather look back on my youth as older woman and remember great memories of engaging in improvised activities and behaviors with my love ones. Seriously, who wants to look back and realize that precious time was wasted mindlessly scrolling through their Facebook newsfeed, checking out random funny memes on ifunny, or taking Buzzfeed quizzes.


Suggested List of Holiday Activities that Encourage Presence:

  • Volunteer – Help out a local community organization with a clean-up project, assist with cooking and serving dinner at a local community kitchen, etc.
  • Help Someone You Know – Offer to assist them with a holiday project, dinner, etc.
  • Go Outside Alone or with a Friend– Take a hike at a local park, explore a local farmers market, go on a bike ride through your community, etc.
  • Participate in a Group Activity or Sport – Participate in a holiday potluck, plan a fun group activity such as ice skating or bowling, host a DIY holiday craft party, etc.
  • Engage in Dialogue without Modern Distractions– Have an actual conversation with someone without glancing at your smart phone for a change – including people you know or a friendly stranger at your local coffee shop
  • Spend Quality Time with Your Significant Other – Find time to let your special person know that you value their presence in your life by spending meaningful time around your respective schedules
  • Smile – Seriously, find time to smile just because you are breathing and above the ground. It will influence your outlook and perspective in a positive light.

In the words of The ManKind Project, “Make sure your holiday to-do list puts the important things first!” Above all, eat, drink, and savor life by appreciating the amazing present that is presence over the holiday season.

Until the Next Post,


Weekly Wanderlust in Bham: My Top Community Event Picks [11/14/14-11/20/14]

This week’s Weekly Wanderlust in Bham spotlights a multitude of service projects, concerts, and events. Each unique event offers an opportunity to make a positive contribution to the community, support a local cause or business, engage with the fabulous citizens of our City, or enjoy an evening of fun.
The Weekly Wanderlust in Bham feature is dedicated to sharing information about exciting, creative, and innovative happenings in the Greater Birmingham, Alabama community. This week, I am featuring the following events:
  • Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey: Art, Beats + Lyrics!
  • Hands On Birmingham Family Volunteer Day
  • Desert Island Supply Co. (DISCO) Grand Opening of Desert Island Supply Store
  • Alvvays at Bottletree
  • National Homeless Awareness Week
  • Stone Brewing’s BADA$$ Beer + Notorious P.I.G. BBQ Food Truck Event!

11/14/14: Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey: Art, Beats + Lyrics!

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, Art, Beats + Lyrics! will take place at Workplay on November 14, 2014 between 7 p.m. and midnight. The event is mashup of creativity art forms, features over 30 visual artists, musical performances by Mystikal and G-Side, DJ Rahdu, DJ Wally Sparks, Wolf Pack, and libations from Jack Daniel’s. the event is poised to be full of Art, Beats, and Lyrics!

RSVP at the event page, www.jackhoneyabl.com , for VIP access and two free drink tickets! If you prefer to receive your ticket via SMS, please text BHAMABL to 68405.

11/15/14: Hands On Birmingham Family Volunteer Day

Hands On Birmingham Family Volunteer Day is an annual day of service, held the Saturday before Thanksgiving. The event is powered by Disney Friends for Change. It is designed to demonstrate the power of families who choose to volunteer together to support the communities in which they live and serve.Volunteering as a family provides quality time for busy families and strengthens communication and family bonds that positively impacts local communities across the nation. It’s also a great way to kick off your holiday season.For more information on this event please alindsay@handsonbirmingham.org or visit the event website www.handsonbirmingham.org/FVD The various projects will take place at the following locations:
-Ronald McDonald House
-Moss Rock
-Alabama Wildlife Center
-Zion City
-Sherman Heights
-Limestone Park
-South Hampton
-Maple Grove LYB

11/15/14:  Desert Island Supply Co. (DISCO) Grand Opening of Desert Island Supply Store

The Desert Island Supply Co. (DISCO) is a creative writing center for students in Birmingham, Alabama. We are based in the city’s Woodlawn neighborhood, and our mission is simple: to give kids in the Birmingham area more opportunities to write. The Desert Island Supply Co. and The Southern Letterpress are pleased to announce the grand opening of the Desert Island Supply Store.

Come celebrate our grand opening from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and stock up on message-in-a-bottle bottles, urchin decoys, water finders and other desert island essentials. Check out the DISCO website at  www.desertislandsupplyco.com to find out more information.

11/16/14: Bowe Inc. presents: Alvvays with special guests Absolutely Free and Sister Sniffle at Bottletree

According to Alvvays, the group is a 5 five piece band that consists of two women, three men, a crate of C-86 tapes, and a love of jingle-jangle. Alvvays signature music is marked by sounds of lifting fiddles, folk elements, pop, rock, and noisy melancholy. The Toronto based group’s debut self-titled album has been described as “both sun-splashed and twilit—nine songs concealing drunkenness, defeat and death in tungsten-tinted pop that glitters like sea glass.” The show is poised to be a dynamic experience and has two great opening acts Absolutely Free and Sister Sniffle supporting the band.

Tickets are $ 10 in advance and $ 13 at the door. Purchase your tickets at on Bottletree’s event link. In addition, the venue is permitting entry for the 18+ crowd.

 11/15-23/14: National Homeless Awareness Week

This year, One Roof is organizing several events to honor its first ever National Homeless Awareness Week, which will further their mission of educating the community about homelessness and barriers to housing and offer ways to advocate for those in housing crisis in central Alabama. Homeless Awareness week is held each year the week before Thanksgiving. This year, National Homeless Awareness Week will be held from November 15-23, 2014. Everyone 18 years of age and older is invited to be a part of these events! Snacks and beverages will be provided both evenings. One Roof is partnering with the YWCA of Central Alabama and the Low Income Housing Coalition of Alabama to bring this awareness raising event to the  community. Visit our website to register: http://oneroofonline.org/programs/2014-homeless-awareness-week/

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2014, 6:00 PM
One Roof will facilitate a community-wide simulation that teaches about the systemic barriers to housing. The simulation will be followed by a community discussion and education about how and why people become homeless. This is a fun, engaging activity for community members ages 18 and older.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2014, 6:00 PM
One Roof will host a screening of the documentary Storied Streets, followed by an educational session on smart solutions for what the community can do to end homelessness. This will include opportunities to volunteer and a discussion about how the Alabama Housing Trust Fund can end homelessness by providing safe, supportive places for people to live.

11/20/14: Stone Brewing’s BADA$$ Beer + Notorious P.I.G. BBQ Food Truck Event! at Hop City Birmingham

The Southeast Stone Brewery team will be on site at Hop City Birmingham on Thursday, November 20 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The event will feature awesome Stone beers, bada$$ brewery giveaways, and the Notorious P.I.G. Food Truck will be here with delicious BBQ to eat. Check for more information https://www.facebook.com/events/1463907507216369/


Day 10: Thankful for Community and Building New Connections

Today, I am simply thankful for the connections that I have been able to make with so many amazing people in my hometown over the last year as a member of the Yelp Birmingham community. Tonight, I had an amazing opportunity to congregate with the my fellow Birmingham Yelpers at the delectable and delicious new business, Bottle & Bone! You can check out Bottle & Bone’s website for more information regarding its unique meat, beer, and wine offerings at http://www.bottleandbone.com


We spent our final Yelp Elite event with our dynamic and humble Birmingham Community Manager, Will Lochamy. It was definitely bittersweet but I know we all wish him well as he moves forward in his inspiring professional journey!



Our community may be small but it is steadily growing with a group of people who are full of so many talented and optimistic folks committed to exploring and supporting the best that our city has to offer. I am simply thankful to be a part of the small community that promotes a fraction of the potential that the Magic City holds!




Until the Next Post,


P.S. Check out www.yelp.com/birmingham-al to find out more about the Yelp Birmingham Community!

Day 7-Weekly Wanderlust in BHAM: My Top Birmingham Event Picks [11/7/14-11/12/14]

This week, I am introducing the Weekly Wanderlust in BHAM feature. The recurring installment will feature information about exciting, creative, and innovative happenings in the Greater Birmingham, Alabama community. This week I am featuring the 30x30x30 Project, Seasick Records 1 Year Anniversary, and Got Your 6 Gala To Benefit The Wounded Warrior Family Foundation Of Alabama.

The 30x30x30 Project


The 30x30x30 Project is a non-profit organization led by Vikki Willard (a former curator of InstagramBHAM) and Antjuan Dewandae Oden. In addition, the collaborative creative project will spotlight local, national, and international artists from Birmingham, various states, Europe, and Asia.

The 30x30x30 Project operated with an ambitious goal of selecting 30 plus artists who were provided with an artist kit (that included 30 small panels) and each artist was asked to complete the panels in 30 days. The exhibition will spotlight over 900 pieces of art that will be offered for sale at $30 each.

In addition, the proceeds generated from the sale of the artworks go toward a scholarship for a local high school student to use for artistic enndeavors. Each artists will also recieve half of the sale of each work of their art and the remainder will go to cover expenses incurred by the project. Moreover, the project also plans to complete a documentary narrating the entire process. The ambitious duo plans to enter the in the Sidewalk Film Festival and other international film festivals as well. 

The exhibition begins on Nov 7th at 7 p.m. at 2threefive Studio in Woodlawn (located at 5512 1St Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35212) and will feature music from various artists. The two day event will include a Preview/Artist Appreciation Party on November 7th and the official opening day is Nov 8th. Check out http://www.facebook.com/pages/30x30x30-Project/774052592616455?pnref=story for more information about the project.

The 30x30x30 Project 2014 Participating Artists include the following:

SBTT/Studio by the Tracks
Jared Ragland
Doug Baulos
Joshy Josh
Brian Alves
Clay Stembridge
Vicki Chikpea Willard
Josh Vaughn
Jillian Woodruff
Marty Balencie
Rachel Hornaday
Pam MacDougall
Daisy Winfrey
Jess Marie Walker
Mary Fehr
Joshua Raymond
Susan Shoemaker
Brandon Watkins
Danielle Franklin
Greg Mega Bernhardt
Safety First
Erlin Kreyola Kool Kidd Gefrand Danielle Calibird Fernandez
Tommy Fox
Blake Carroll
Alyssa Rosev
Jonathan Purvis
Beth Stringer
Christina Daniel
Cecily Lowe
Melissa Gilmore
August Fischer
Clara Høhre
Malvina Pukuluk
Tyler Sanford
Keslie Watts
JW Potts
Dale Duke
Antjuan Dewandae Oden

Seasick Records 1 Year Anniversary

Seasick Records 1 Year


The Seasick Records One Year Anniversary event will take place on Saturday, November 8th at 8:00 PM (located at 4513 5th Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35222). Make plans to stop by if you are a local music lover vinyl record enthusiast. The event is free and open to the 21 and up crowd.

The party will include various guest DJs spinning records all evening. Guest are also encouraged to bring any records they want the DJs to play. Good People is providing free beer (while it lasts) for the party and Seasick Records will give out free cake.

The one year celebration also features 15% off everything in the store all weekend long! The sponsors of the event include Good People Brewing, Tom’s Sound, & Substrate Radio. Check out http://www.seasickrecords.wordpress.com/ for more information about the event.

Got Your 6 Gala To Benefit The Wounded Warrior Family Foundation Of Alabama  

The First Annual Got Your 6 Gala to Benefit of the Alabama based Wounded Warrior Family Foundation (WWFF) will take place at Good People Brewing Company’s taproom on Veteran’s Day, Tuesday, November 11th 2014 at 6:30 pm. The WWFF helps the spouses and children of veterans killed or wounded serving in uniform by providing encouragement and financial support to deal with the devastating consequences of war.

Tickets are $ 25 each and the proceeds from admission and the silent auction will go directly benefit the WWFF. Todd English Pub is sponsoring complimentary hor d’oeuvres and Good People will have beer flowing from its taps. Alabama recording artist, Kip Traylor, will also perform during the event. Check out http://www.woundedwarriorfamilyfoundation.org for more information about the event.


Until the Next Post,


P.S. I know that I skipped day 5 and 6 of #bloglikecrazy. Hopefully, this post can make up for it!

Day 4: Weather the Storm – Part II

“The foreseeable future equals today with open eyes,

and whenever I am blessed to awake and see the sunrise.

Nothing more and nothing less, just to be kissed with mere presence.” – Janece Maze

Embracing my sister on a lone slab of concrete remaining in my apartment community one week after the Alabama tornado outbreak on April 27, 2011. Photo credit: Michelle L. Carter of The Tuscaloosa News

I attempted to contact my family members and friends to make sure that everyone was ok. However,  my phone would not dial out to complete a call. Soon someone in the parking lot area of Starbucks received a call that came through stating that another tornado was coming. We all ran over to Longhorn in the shopping center to seek additional cover because Starbucks was already damaged from the first one. People began pouring inside for cover and a handful came with sad news of loves ones who were killed by the tornado in the same places they fled. We sat in the freezer area of the restaurant for about 30 minutes and next were informed that we would have to leave because there were several gas leaks in the shopping center. On the way out, a woman ran up to me and threw her arms around my body and hugged me as if her life depended on it while yelling my name. She finally let go and I discovered that it was a classmate of mine that I barely knew from school. She sat in front of me in Property class and we exchanged notes in class maybe twice over the course of the year. She told me that her house collapsed around herself and young son while they were huddled in a closet about two blocks from where I was at Starbucks.

The intersection of 15th Street and McFarland Blvd. immediately after the tornado passed. Photo Credit: Janece Maze

The intersection of 15th Street and McFarland Blvd. immediately after the tornado passed. Photo Credit: Janece Maze

Thankfully, I finally was able to speak to my twin sister to learn that she was ok and not impacted by the tornado. Next, I began trying to call my aunt and her husband and could not reach anyone. All the while, I was informed that everyone would have to evacuate the Midtown Shopping area because of gas leaks. I huddled into my damaged Chevy Cavalier (it had glass everywhere from the windows being blown out and my driver’s door would barely open up) along with my classmate and her four year old son to find my aunt’s family. Looking across the street from Midtown and seeing nothing distinguishable in the direction heading to my apartment and my aunt’s home in Alberta City going up University Boulevard almost gave me a heart attack. I drove my car with the three of us in it around debris, fallen trees, and collapsed powers lines across 15th street, Kicker Road, and finally at the bridge that crossed over into Alberta City on University where I was stopped by the police.

15th Street  Photo Credit: Janece Maze

15th Street
Photo Credit: Janece Maze

I left my classmate and son in the car and began walking up University to find my aunt, uncle, and two cousins while I was completely disoriented. In the dark and among flashing ambulance lights, police sirens, and leveled buildings, I could not tell where I was and felt like I was in a nightmare just hoping to wake up. By the time I found myself in front of 25th Avenue, I could not see anything but darkness and shadows of people. Unconsciously, I began running up the street for several blocks while praying that my family members were safe. Somewhere in the darkness, I heard my aunt’s voice and started yelling her name. Somewhere in the darkness, we eventually found each other after someone flashed a light towards me for her to recognize my face. I was so thankful to God to find my aunt, uncle, their two little girls, and my uncle’s sister safe. We made the long walk back to my car in the darkness, among the crowds of panicking people, police sirens, flashing ambulances, and devastation safely. That night my little broken compact car carried all of us along with my classmate and her child safely across town to my aunt’s in-laws home. I am certain the eight of us spent the night trying to mentally register what happened to our community.

Part of the Tuscaloosa Alberta  area in the dead of night after the storm. Photo Credit: Janece Maze

Part of the Tuscaloosa Alberta area in the dead of night after the storm. Photo Credit: Janece Maze

The next afternoon, my aunt, uncle and I made our way back to Alberta to survey the damage in the daytime. What we found was utter devastation. Entire homes were gone with just foundations intact, houses were piles of rubble, and some homes remained but were badly damaged. We eventually made our way to my apartment area to see if anything was left. What I saw made my heart drop. My gated apartment community was completely leveled with very few exceptions. I walked over the wreckage and what was left on my side of the complex was merely rubble stacked over smashed cars with debris thrown everywhere.

The remnants of my apartment community. Photo Credit: Janece Maze

The remnants of my apartment community. Photo Credit: Janece Maze

At that moment, I was thankful to God that I made my way to Starbucks when I did because I have no doubt that it saved my life. 51 people died in Tuscaloosa as a result of the tornado and numerous more were severely injured. I know that I could have easily been one of them. Ernest Hemingway wrote, “Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.” Living through this ordeal changed me forever and challenged me to eat, drink, and savor life every day as if it is my last.

Photo of me surveying the area that previously housed my apartment home. Photo Credit: Janece Maze

Photo of me surveying the area that previously housed my apartment home. Photo Credit: Janece Maze

I know that life has no guarantees and that each day is gift. There comes a time where we all feel like enough is enough when it comes to harboring materialistic values. After the storm, I found fulfillment through simplifying my life by removing non-essential things and vain ideology. The intangible and valuable things remained and  I discovered the importance of eating, drinking, and savoring life everyday with the people I love without reservations.

Until the Next Post,


P.S. Tomorrow’s blog post will cover my top Birmingham event picks for the upcoming week.

Day 3: Weather the Storm – Part I

My mother always jokes that I spend more time and money at Starbucks than I do anywhere else. She is telling the truth to be perfectly honest. I was a law student at the University of Alabama School of Law in Tuscaloosa at the time of the storm. During the week, I preferred being at Starbucks whenever I could afford it and avoided sitting in my apartment or the library at school to study.  My addiction to Starbucks is something I will be eternally grateful for as a result of events that occurred on April 27, 2011 because it saved my life.

Miraculously, l lived to tell the story. The coming days of literally losing all of my material possessions yet gaining a fresh perspective on life changed me forever. I had an epiphany after the ordeal and have used each day that I am blessed with to eat, drink, and savor life – fully and freely.

I woke up on April 27, 2011 with the immediate inclination to go back to sleep for a few extra hours.  Classes were out for final exams and sleeping was a real option at the time. However, my next urge nudged me to get up for a caffeine fix at Starbucks to refocus my energy to study for my upcoming final exams. Unbeknownst to me, I would make it to the McFarland Boulevard Starbucks branch just in time before the devastating state-wide tornado outbreak began. I sat in my usual comfortable corner of Starbucks with my headphones on and my computer in front of me trying to review for my exam for about 45 minutes. While I was sitting, I noticed the sky getting extremely dark and cloudy. Instinctively, I started to head back home but something in the pit of my stomach told me to sit still.

My view of the mile wide tornado after glancing out back of the service door of Starbucks.

My view of the mile wide tornado after glancing out back of the service door of Starbucks. Photo Credit: Janece Maze

Next, one of the employees let me and the only other customer in the store know that there was a tornado reported in Mississippi that was coming directly toward Tuscaloosa. Fifteen minutes later, we pulled up streaming internet video of the live footage from The Tuscaloosa News that showed the tornado on the ground in downtown Tuscaloosa. Shortly after, we found ourselves looking out the back of the shop with our eyes fixed on a mile wide F-4 tornado making its way directly for our direction. Some of us, including myself, foolishly took pictures of the approaching funnel.

Quickly, the service door was shut and we ran toward the bathrooms in the middle of the store. Before we could close the door, the windows began to violently shatter and everything inside of the shop flew into air.  I ran for cover in the innermost part of the room and realized that my final moments of living could be drawing near. My awareness of the windows blowing from the wind speed, glass flying everywhere, and the sonic landscape sounding like a train derailing caused me to become paralyzed with helpless fear. The store walls soon began to shake and the ceiling insulation started to give way. I immediately started praying, “Lord, let me live,” over and over with my computer held over my head.

The inside of the partially collapsed ceiling inside of Starbucks. Photo Credit: Janece Maze

The inside of partially collapsed ceiling inside of Starbucks. Photo Credit: Janece Maze

We opened the bathroom doors after it felt like the storm passed and stepped out to see the damage. The wind was still blowing and there was glass, debris, and furniture scattered everywhere. Upon stepping out of the store and looking towards 15th street, nothing seemed recognizable.

The intersection of 15th Street and McFarland Blvd. immediately after the tornado passed. Photo Credit: Janece Maze

The intersection of 15th Street and McFarland Blvd. immediately after the tornado passed. Photo Credit: Janece Maze

I was completely disoriented and could only see a collage of flipped over cars, rubble where houses and buildings once stood, debris, and a violent path where the tornado ripped through the heart of my town’s bustling center. The sight was simply terrifying and my next instinct made me reach for my phone to call all of my family and friends.

15th Street  Photo Credit: Janece Maze

15th Street
Photo Credit: Janece Maze

Until the Next Post,


P.S. The photos included in this blog post are from my personal footage from the April 27, 2011 tornado. Stay tuned for Weather the Storm – Part II to read the second half of the story.