Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Yellowhammer State: Huntsville

Kurt and I had most of the day Friday to spend in North Alabama, so my mom and I took him on a small driving tour of Huntsville.

The Space and Rocket Center! It's really surprising how many people I have met that have been to Space Camp :) They get really excited when I say I am from the Huntsville Area.

We walked around Big Spring Park for a little while. I really enjoy the pond and the ducks and the enormous fish which travel in hoards. There were people eating at the Art Museum's cafe which abuts the park. It was a lovely day and I was thrilled to see some activity downtown.

I'll admit it, I've never been a huge fan of Huntsville and don't always speak highly of it. However, our visit has made me change my tune a bit. The downtown is pretty adorable and continually trying to lure businesses in from outside the city center. I never spent much time there when I lived with my parents but there is tons of history and a lot of potential. The downtown is mainly populated by civic offices, lawyers, and insurance offices, but it seems like more restaurants and shops and housing are making their way in...slowly. I will climb back on my urban soapbox to say that it will be an uphill battle to convince Alabamians that they don't need their cars and their Wal-Marts and sprawling subdivisions. And those are the things that don't have me packing my bags to move from NYC back South anytime soon. 

After our little downtown stroll, we went to see my sister at work at her bowling alley. She is apparently big into bowling these days, so I am planning on taking her to Brooklyn Bowl if she can ever get herself up to New York for a visit! 

Then my mom, Kurt, and I continued our tour to Providence, a small development in Huntsville. While it still isn't good city planning, I am a sucker for pretty houses. Plus they have a little commercial district with restaurants and shops where they at least pretend to be a self-sufficient community. And they have a Mellow Mushroom. Enough said. It was such a lovely day (in November!) we were able to sit outside. Kurt and I sampled some local beer, and I insisted we all share a Kosmic Karma pizza. I had to steal the above picture from the www because I was too excited to dive into our pie when it arrived at the table. There was no time for photographs.

I need to gush for a minute: the Kosmic Karma is so good. I have missed it in my life. Since Mellow Mushroom is more of a Southern thing, I guess I will have to try and recreate it on my own at home. (Update: see my first attempt here.) In addition to mozzarella cheese and sauce of a plain pizza, it has pesto, cherry tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, and feta cheese. To. Die. For. I love it.

After stuffing ourselves (or maybe that was just me), we eventually had to hit the road for Birmingham to continue our whirlwind tour of the South. Until next time, Huntsville!

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