Stephanie Narayanan is our resident blogger and has been since our blog (re)launched in October 2014. She works with us to develop content ideas, then uses those ideas as an excuse to explore the city.
“Being able to wander Birmingham’s neighborhoods and highlight the amazing local businesses we have is far and away my favorite part of the job,” Steph says. Her preferred off time activities include walking around the city, eating out, and digging through antique stores — interests that dovetail nicely with official blogging research.
A huge fan of the Birmingham food scene, Steph likes to ask other team members about their ideal last meal in the city. But when it came time to answer the question herself, she was kind of at a loss. “Off the top of my head, the hot chicken sammich and fries at Paramount or the brussel sprout and kale salad (with bacon AND bacon vinaigrette) and a pepperoni pizza at Post Office Pies,” she says. “And now I feel completely disloyal to at least 10 other awesome places.”
Since Steph is not a full-time staff member, her days can be erratic. Some are spent brainstorming blog posting ideas. Others, she gets to wander around as planned or ask folks about their Birmingham experiences. Then, of course, there’s the sitting down to actually write and format a post. Fortunately, her desk is next to a window with a great city view.
The Loft District downtown is Steph’s home base and favorite neighborhood. She loves the sheer walkability of it, the great restaurants on/near 2nd Avenue, and the neighbor interaction that comes from close city living. Steph and her husband, Sri, even married in their neighborhood, at the Alabama Theatre’s Hill Event Center. “It’s just a few blocks from home, and some of my favorite pictures are of us walking to the wedding,” she says.
But if you’d told eighteen year-old Steph she’d become a vocal Birmingham cheerleader, she wouldn’t have believed you. “I was absolutely itching to get out of the Birmingham area,” she says. She went to college out-of-state and even spent a couple of years living abroad. “This city has changed leaps and bounds just in the last 6 years or so that I’ve been back, and I think it’ll keep getting better,” she says. “Travel is still a must, but I’m proud to call Birmingham home.”