The NYLON Guide To Birmingham, Alabama


What to do, what to eat, where to shop

Smack in the center of the Bible Belt's buckle is the exact opposite of where you would expect to find a thriving cultural hub, but that's exactly what Birmingham, Alabama, is becoming. Talk about the Deep South, and you're bound to draw mixed emotions from pretty much everyone, even those who were born and raised there—including me. Sure, there’s that adorable, if antiquated, notion of Southern charm, but there's still a lot of negativity associated with those living in areas south of the Mason-Dixon and east of the Mississippi. Well, it’s time to change those perceptions, because Birmingham is actually... cool. I grew up in this city, and I'm not sure whether its cultural activity is new or if it's just new to me, but it's definitely a welcome surprise every time I visit.

And it's not just me who's surprised. Even those people who have lived in this city forever are finding new things to enjoy, which is why it's my pleasure to let you in on Birmingham's secrets. Sharing is caring after all, and I still have a little Southern hospitality left in me (even after living amongst Yankees for almost five years).

So though the South has long been (erroneously) regarded as devoid of cultural cachet, there are many pockets where artists flock and build their communities. We’ve already shown you around Nashville and Charleston, so read on to find out an insider’s perspective on the best places to eat, drink, stay, and shop in the ‘Ham (yeah, I said it).

Photo courtesy of the Redmont Hotel

Redmont Hotel: Redmont is the oldest hotel in Birmingham, but that in no way means it's outdated. If you find that you prefer a night in, you can still grab a meal at Harvest or a nightcap at The Roof, both of which are located inside the hotel. Take it from me, you won’t want to miss the views from that rooftop bar.

Elyton HotelWhat used to be the Empire building, one of Alabama’s most celebrated architectural landmarks, is now the Elyton Hotel, and it has an elegant and structured aesthetic you'd expect from a building of such historical caliber. Even though it’s located in the heart of Downtown (and you'll definitely want to explore the area), you can have an adventurous night in at this hotel, too. It has its own rooftop bar, Moon Shine (again, views!), and a restaurant called The Yard. 

Grand Bohemian HotelThis hotel is located in posh Mountain Brook area, so you know you'll be in good hands here. Case in point: There's an on-site spa that you won't want to ever leave. This area has its own attractions, but it's also just minutes from Downtown.

Screenshot via Youtube

While the song should serve as a reminder to your exes

Just a day after dropping new single "Nunya," featuring Dom Kennedy, Kehlani has released the winter-wonderland visuals to go along with. The singer, NYLON November cover star, and mother-to-be rocks some of the best winter 'fits I've seen in a while, including a glorious puffer jacket that could double as a down comforter that I absolutely need in my life right now.

Kehlani is clearly living her best life up in some snow-filled forest hideaway, vibing on the beach at sunset and sipping on something bubbly as she coolly reminds nosy exes that who she's with is "nunya business." There's not much of a story line (unlike her recent "Nights Like This" video); the main takeaway is that Kehlani is busy dancing through a forest, missing no one and chilling amongst people who are clearly not the subjects of the song.

Kehlani is only two short months away from bringing baby Adeya into the world, who she thanked for helping her get through the video process. "Shot that 7 months pregnant in da snow..." Kehlani wrote on Twitter, adding, "thank u baby for da motivation, mommy was FROZE."

Even from the womb, Adeya has been hustling hard alongside her momma. Twitter user @ODtheMC pointed out that this is already her second music video appearance, and she's not even been born.

Get some mulled wine ready and escape into Kehlani's winter getaway, below. Stay tuned for her forthcoming mixtape, While We Wait, out on February 22.

Kehlani - Nunya (feat. Dom Kennedy) [Official Music Video]



Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images.

As in Black Panther Political Party leader

It's been a running joke that the Black parents/grandparents of millennials were really confused about all of the Black Panther hoopla ahead of its 2018 release. Many of them were anticipating a movie about members of the Black Panther Political Party and didn't know who the hell T'Challa was. Well, those people are about to have their moment, and we're about to have another one.

Variety is reporting that Fred Hampton, the Black Panther leader at the center of the upcoming biopic Jesus Was My Homeboy, could be played by none other than Daniel Kaluuya. Apparently, he is in negotiations for the role. And he's not the only Black Panther alum in the mix. The Warner Bros. project is being produced by Black Panther director, Ryan Coogler. The same article reports that the forever swoon-worthy Lakeith Stanfield—who appeared with Kaluuya in Jordan Peele's Get Out—is also in negotiations, to play William O'Neal, an FBI informant who infiltrated the Black Panther Party.

Coogler and Charles King are putting together a dream cast to tell a difficult story. Hampton was killed by the Chicago Police Department, while his pregnant girlfriend lay next to him, thanks in part to information they received from O'Neal. Whenever it's out, I strongly recommend having Black Panther queued up as a palate cleanser.