This week it was announced that Birmingham seemingly trumped Paris and Rome in a definitive travel list. Media reports said that the city has apparently come in at number 19 on the New York Times '45 Places to Go in 2012' compilation - London came fourth and would you believe it 'space' was one place behind Birmingham at number 20 on the list.
Listen to Jon Bounds, founder of the well known local blog Birmingham It's Not Shit and a great advocate for the city, who was interviewed on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 yesterday along with Nick Bailey, professor of urban regeneration at the University of Westminster about the appearance of both Birmingham and Glasgow on the New York Times list:
Follow this link http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9674000/9674019.stm
Thank you to Barnard from the Re-Stirred website who has commented:
"I do wish that people would stop saying that Birmingham was 19th in the New York Times '45 Places to Go in 2012'
Birmingham was in a list that was not in any particular order or ranking.
The number assigned to each entry was for purposes of coherence only.
Birmingham was just one of the 45 best places to visit in 2012 if you was mega-rich and had the time on your hands. In a years time there will be another random list, Manchester was there last year but not this.
If you put the 45 in say a more meaningful alphabetical order.
Birmingham is second after Antarctica."
I take Barnard's point, I am sure he is absolutely correct about the intention of the list. Although I think Jon's response on Radio 4 was with his tongue firmly planted in his cheek, especially in regard to Birmingham appearing to beat space. His comments reflect the ironic and humorous angle of his website's editorial generally, though I think he also did a good job of promoting the city seriously having been put on the spot by the BBC.
We must keep things in perspective whilst maintaining the ability to snigger at ourselves (and more pertinently at how others see us) which also characterises the people of our oft maligned city and region. But thank you to Barnard for bringing a bit of sense to this slightly odd story which will no doubt have become fish and chip wrapping by this weekend.
I wouldn't want to see Brian Cox and Carl Chinn falling out over this as both are on my list of 45 top professors.