Wade on Birmingham

Oprah to interview Julie from ‘Real World’ and Natalee Holloway’s mom

Friday, December 19, 2014 by Wade Kwon

The Real World - Norman Korpi, Heather Gardner, Julie Oliver Gentry

“Real World” pioneers Norman Korpi, Heather Gardner (center)
and Birmingham’s Julie Oliver Gentry reunite Sunday on OWN.

It was the series that launched the reality TV craze. Sunday, Oprah Winfrey catches up with a cast member from Birmingham.

Julie Oliver (now Gentry) starred in the first (of 30!) season of “The Real World,” MTV’s docu-soap that followed seven strangers in a New York loft. She joins castmates Heather Gardner and Norman Korpi for “Oprah: Where Are They Now?”

Not that we haven’t had multiple opportunities (People | Miss Stacy | Wetpaint) to catch up with Gentry and company since 1992 …

Just think: No “Real World,” no “Jersey Belle”

Julie Oliver Gentry

Julie Oliver then (on the show in 1992) and a few years later.

In the same hour, Winfrey interviews Beth Holloway, whose daughter Natalee disappeared in 2005 during a Mountain Brook High senior trip to Aruba. She has never been found.

“Oprah: Where Are They Now?” airs at 8 p.m. Sunday on OWN (repeats throughout the week).

Video: Promo for “Oprah: Where Are They Now?”
(and note who else is on the show)

Video: Catching up with Julie, Norman and Heather

Video: Clip from the very first “The Real World”

“The Real World”

aisles to go before i sleep

Friday, December 19, 2014 by Wade Kwon

Would she like something
sparkly, or silky, or a
present from the heart?

• • •

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baby, it’s consensual outside

Thursday, December 18, 2014 by Wade Kwon

I really can’t stay.
— But, baby, it’s cold outside.
Don’t call me “baby.”

• • •

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PBS World to show ‘Our Mockingbird’ documentary

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 by Wade Kwon

Sandy Jaffe film shows theatrical collaboration between Birmingham schools

Our Mockingbird - cast of To Kill a Mockingbird

The cast of the play “To Kill a Mockingbird” is featured
in the documentary “Our Mockingbird,” airing on
PBS World in 2015.

A documentary about two Birmingham-area high schools’ production of “To Kill a Mockingbird” will air nationally for Black History Month.

Sandra JaffeSandra Jaffe’s film “Our Mockingbird” is scheduled to run Feb. 3 on PBS’ World Channel as part of the “America Reframed” series. The director had already set out to do a documentary on Harper Lee’s landmark novel when she discovered that mostly black Fairfield High and her alma mater, mostly white Mountain Brook High, were working on a joint production of the play.

The documentary has screened in various stages since its debut in 2010 in Monroeville, Lee’s hometown. It appeared at the 2012 Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival and as a part of Birmingham’s 50 Years Forward in 2013, as well as screenings in Jaffe’s current city, Boston.

This isn’t the first time Jaffe has turned her lens on her hometown. In 1985, she directed the short doc, “Jazz in the Magic City,” about musicians in the 1920s and ’30s who learned to read music in the city’s only black high school from the printing instructor. It aired on PBS and the Discovery Channel.

Jaffe is a screenwriter and script consultant in addition to director, plus a screenwriting instructor at Northeastern University. She has won several awards for her work, including one from the Writers Guild of America.

A specific time for Alabama Public Television has not been announced yet. PBS World broadcasts in Birmingham on channel 10.2.

Video: Interview with Sandra Jaffe

“Our Mockingbird”


perfect matches without candles

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 by Wade Kwon

Sometimes, it’s better
to curse the darkness while you
cuddle up at night.

• • •

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Scouts raise more than $15,000 for KIND fund

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 by Wade Kwon

Video: Birmingham Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts
raise $15,730.88 for the KIND fund.

They did it again.

After raising more than $18,000 in 2013, the Scouts based at Sixth Avenue Baptist Church pulled in $15,730.88 this year for the KIND Fund. The money goes to Kids In Need of Desks, a UNICEF campaign providing desks for schoolchildren in Malawi.

That translates into 484 students who no longer have to sit on the ground in school.

MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell helped launch the fund in 2009 and has raised $7.6 million to date. The 2013 check from Boy Scout Troop 415 and Cub Scout Pack 415 was the single largest donation to KIND then.

The Scouts hit the streets starting back in October to collect donations in buckets, as they told O’Donnell Monday night on his program, “The Last Word.”

Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts donate to KIND

Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts at Sixth Avenue Baptist Church
prepare to donate to UNICEF.

Malawi student

KIND provides desks for students in Malawi.

hazards of a good read

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 by Wade Kwon

He zipped through her taut
pages, not quite focused on
the words but the scribe.

• • •

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The Birmingham channel: Hearts of Dixie

Monday, December 15, 2014 by Wade Kwon

A look at Birmingham in videos …

Yuletide Slide, a new addition to ZooLight Safari. From the Birmingham Zoo.

Tarrant police officer delivers donations to woman caught stealing eggs. From Darius Bowie.

“Prince Charming” at Tuggle Elementary School in the Smithfield neighborhood. From Growing Kings.

Jimmy Swaggart preaches in 1990 at Boutwell Auditorium downtown. From Christian Sermons Online.

Press conference for the Jan. 3 Birmingham Bowl at the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame downtown. From Birmingham Bowl.

“Diptych,” performed by Taryn Packheiser Brown and Catherine Vancak in May 2013 at Children’s Dance Foundation in Homewood. From Taryn Packheiser Brown.

Alabaster resident and champion motocross racer Taylor Miller. From Ciara Green.

Former Alabama governor John Patterson discusses past vote fraud in Birmingham. From Robert Clem.

Profile of Shawna Ross, Birmingham artist and musician in the Glass Jars. From Randy Webb.

Scott Hanley, general manager of WBHM (90.3 FM). From UAB Media Studies.

#bhammusic #freakydeakys #musicbham #instagrambham #bhaminstagram #bhamindie #musicalbham #indierock

A video posted by I Collect Hobbies (@anastasialindsay) on

Dancing silhouettes. From anastasialindsay.

New trick. From skatan_steve.

See Birmingham celebrating Hanukkah.

See clips from the 35th annual
“Dean and Company Christmas Special.”

• • •

Send us links to your videos. | More videos on the Birmingham channel.

a bookmark

Monday, December 15, 2014 by Wade Kwon

The passage pulled her
back over and over, words
that tugged at her heart.

• • •

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#sundayread for Dec. 14, 2014

Sunday, December 14, 2014 by Wade Kwon

Alex and Hulk read book

Photo: Michael Bentley (CC)

My picks for #sundayread for Dec. 14, 2014:

More posts from Wade this week:

The latest #sundayread tweets

love contract

Sunday, December 14, 2014 by Wade Kwon

Mystery room, light
bondage, full obedience,
three meals, no “Twilight.”

• • •

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Eight ways to celebrate Hanukkah 2014

Saturday, December 13, 2014 by Wade Kwon

Knesseth Israel Congregation Hanukkah Bingo Night

Celebrate the start of Hanukkah with bingo and latkes
at the Knesseth Israel Congregation.

Hanukkah starts next week with events throughout Birmingham, Tuesday evening through Dec. 24.

Sunday: Temple Beth-El holds its Hanukkah Celebration, with morning blood drive, Sisterhood Hanukkah Lunch ($12, $6 for children age 6 and older) and youth group viral video shoot. 2179 Highland Ave. S., Southside [map].

Sunday, 9:30 a.m.: Down the block, Temple Emanu-El puts on its annual Family Fun Day, with the Brotherhood’s Hanukkah lunch and raffle at noon. $10, $5 for children. 2100 Highland Ave. S., Southside [map]

Tuesday, noon: The Levite Jewish Community Center holds its Joy Club Hanukkah Luncheon with Cantor Jessica Roskin. $8.50. 3960 Montclair Road [map].

Wednesday, 6-9 p.m.: Knesseth Israel Congregation holds Hanukkah Bingo Night, including latke bar, prizes and a raffle. $18, $10 for children, $36 for raffle tickets. 3100 Overton Road, Mountain Brook [map].

Thursday, 11 a.m.-noon: The LJCC’s Intergenerational Hanukkah Candle Lighting features a musical program with preschool students. Free.

Dec. 20, 5:45 p.m.: Sing and toast marshmallows around the campfire at the Knesseth Israel Congregation’s Hanukkah Kumzitz. Free.

Dec. 21, 8-11 a.m.: The Cycle for Good is a fund-raiser at the LJCC in conjunction with other Jewish community centers across North America. Individuals and teams will be spinning to help the LJCC and Etgarim, an Israeli nonprofit group for disabled people. Registration and sponsorship forms available on the event page.

Dec. 21, 5 p.m.: Chabad of Alabama’s Hanukkah Winter Wonderland includes an ice menorah lighting, crafts and food. $10, $6 for children or $36 for families, tickets available online. 3040 Overton Road, Mountain Brook [map].

Bonus: Larry Brook tells us the Hanukkah lights are up at his house, 913, Rockford Road in Forest Park [map]. [added Dec. 14]

Video: Hanukkah across Birmingham

in her own skin

Saturday, December 13, 2014 by Wade Kwon

She would, at times, find
her self pleasantly surprised
and somewhat amiss.

• • •

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Birmingham-area Christmas restaurant options 2014

Friday, December 12, 2014 by Wade Kwon

By the time you’re done shopping and wrapping and decorating and partying, you might not have the will to be cooking, too. Fortunately, a number of Birmingham restaurants will open on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. And several offer catering and takeout service with holiday options.

Open Christmas Eve

Billy's Sports Grill

Billy’s Sports Grill: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (205) 879-2238, 2012 Cahaba Road, English Village, Mountain Brook; (205) 956-2323, 4520 Overton Road, Ste. 104, Irondale.

Bottle and Bone porchetta sandwich.

Bottle and Bone: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. (205) 538-7106 or jen@bottleandbone.com. Uptown, 2311 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. N., Ste. 200.

The Bright Star

The Bright Star: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. (205) 426-1861. 304 19th St. N., Bessemer.

Cedar's Grille

Cedar’s Grille: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. (205) 988-5993. 1870 Chace Drive, Hoover. [added Dec. 16]

Tutwiler Hotel

Century Restaurant and Bar at the Tutwiler: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (205) 458-9611. 2021 Park Place N., downtown.

Dixie Fish Co.

Dixie Fish Company: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. (205) 924-3493. 101 Resource Center Pkwy., off U.S. 280, Inverness.

Galley and Garden, James Boyce

Galley and Garden: 4-9 p.m. (205) 939-5551. 2220 Highland Ave. S., Southside.

Homewood Gourmet Baby Blue Salad

Homewood Gourmet: 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. (205) 871-1620. 1919 28th Ave. S., Homewood.

Irondale Cafe

Irondale Cafe: 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Open for lunch, plus takeout options including ham, turkey, side dishes and pie [2013 menu]. (205) 956-5258. 1906 First Ave. N., Irondale.

Lone Star Steakhouse - Trussville

Lone Star Steakhouse: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. (205) 661-9339. 4720 Norrell Drive, Trussville.

MetroPrime Steakhouse chop

MetroPrime Steakhouse: 5-10 p.m. (205) 623-5288. 1035 20th St. S., Five Points South, Southside.

Seasons 52

Seasons 52: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Reservations available online. (205) 968-5152. The Summit.

Sherry's Cafe and Catering

Sherry’s Cafe and Catering: 11 a.m.-2 p.m.  (205) 655-5260. 5800 Valley Road, Ste. 110, Trussville.

Silvertron Cafe pasta

Silvertron Cafe: 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. (205) 591-3707. 3813 Clairmont Ave. S., Forest Park.

Slice Pizza and Brew - Soul Pie

Slice Pizza and Brew: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. (205) 715-9300. 725 29th St. S., Lakeview.

Taj India

Taj India: 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 5-10 p.m. (205) 939-3805. 2226 Highland Ave. S., Southside.

V. Richards roast beef

V. Richards: 8 a.m.-8 p.m., including cafe. Christmas catering/takeout, available for pickup Dec. 24. (205) 591-7000. 3916 Clairmont Ave. S., Forest Park.

Village Tavern, beef, french fries

Village Tavern: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. (205) 970-1640. 101 Summit Blvd., The Summit.

Open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

China Moon

China Moon: 10:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. (205) 324-2332. 3310 Clairmont Ave. S., Piggly Wiggly shopping center, Southside.

Crestwood Tavern

Crestwood Tavern: 3 p.m.-midnight. (205) 510-0053. 5500 Crestwood Blvd.

Embassy Suites Birmingham-Hoover

Hoover Grille: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Christmas Eve, 5-10 p.m. Christmas Day. (205) 985-9994 Inside Embassy Suites Birmingham-Hoover, 2960 John Hawkins Pkwy. [added Dec. 16]

Max's Delicatessen sandwich

Max’s Delicatessen: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. (205) 968-7600 or info@maxsdelionline.com. Colonnade shopping center.

Wynfrey Hotel Hyatt

Merk’s Tavern and Kitchen: 6 a.m.-midnight. (205) 444-5731. Inside the Wynfrey Hotel/Hyatt, Riverchase Galleria, Hoover.

Also, Shula’s Steak House will be open Christmas Eve only, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5:30-10 p.m. [added Dec. 16]

Mr. Chen's Authentic Chinese Cooking

Mr. Chen’s Authentic Chinese Cooking: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. (205) 824-8283. 1917 Hoover Ct., Hoover.

Renaissance Ross Bridge

Renaissance Ross Bridge: Restaurants open at various hours all day long both days. Reservations available by calling (205) 949-3057. 4000 Grand Ave., Hoover.

Ruth's Chris Steak House broccoli au gratin

Ruth’s Chris Steak House: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Christmas Eve, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Christmas Day. Holiday side dishes to go, $29.95, pick up through Dec. 24. Reservations available online. Embassy Suites Hotel, 2300 Woodcrest Pl., Homewood.

Silver Coin Indian Restaurant

Silver Coin Indian Grill: Christmas Eve: 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 5-9:30 p.m.: Christmas Day: 5-9:30 p.m. (205) 823-9070. 3321 Lorna Road, Ste. 13, Hoover.

Tao Asian: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. (205) 685-8809. 345 Huntley Pkwy., Pelham. [added Dec. 16]

Todd English PUB

Todd English PUB: 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Reservations available by calling (205) 307-3700. 2221 Richard Arrington Blvd. N., Uptown, downtown.

Waffle House

Two diners remain open 24 hours a day, Denny’s and Waffle House. Also, IHOP will be open both days, hours vary by location.


Let us know in the comments if we missed a restaurant.

love among the introverts

Friday, December 12, 2014 by Wade Kwon

They acknowledged their
passion with an intimate
and smoldering nod.

• • •

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