I just read a listing for a walking tour of "Upper Downtown" given by Vulcan Park. The Vulcan Park folks are awesome and I bet this is a really interesting tour. Sign up here. However, I have no idea what "Upper Downtown" is. I assume they are talking about the area around Vulcan, with "Upper" possibly meaning "on the mountain." Personally, I would call this area Southside, but maybe that is too general, too. Which leads me to the question: where is "Downtown" Birmingham? Often, when people who live in the Loft District say "Downtown," they actually mean the Loft District, but that's not right. Most people in the metro area say the new Regions Park is in Downtown, but the signage in the area says "Midtown" and the city is trying call it "Parkside" (although I've never actually heard anybody refer to the area between Downtown and Southside as "Midtown" or "Parkside"). When people who live over-the-mountain say "Downtown" they usually mean what I think of as Downtown, Midtown/Parkside, and Southside as well. When you see a comment on AL.com about how dangerous "Downtown Birmingham" is, the commenters lump any part of the metro area they don't like into what they call "Downtown." It seems the further you live from whatever Downtown is, the larger it gets.
REV Birmingham and other people who are a lot smarter than me have been working on branding campaigns for various parts the city. Considering that none of us seem to know where anything is, maybe that's not a bad idea.
So what do you call the area around Vulcan? Southside? Upper Birmingham? Sub-Vulcan?