About Tara Massouleh McCay

Tara Massouleh McCay is a writer and editor based in Birmingham, Alabama. She was previously associate editor at Birmingham magazine and has been contributing to local and regional publications since 2015. She loves sports, spicy food, and above all the art of storytelling.

Here’s what to expect at this weekend’s Hangout Music Festival

2022-05-18T14:02:58-05:00By |Culture|

After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the Hangout Music Fest is making its triumphant return this weekend from May 20–22. The annual three-day music festival has been held on the white sand beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama since 2010. Every year, thousands of music lovers from across the country (and even the world!), flock to Alabama to see their favorite artists perform in a truly one-of-a-kind atmosphere. The entire affair is essentially a giant beach party hosted by top musical performers. I mean, where else can you see Grammy award-winning artists play their top hits while you’ve got your feet in the sand and a clear view of the blue-green ocean? Here are three things not to miss if you’re lucky enough to be headed to Hangout this year. 

Where to see semi-professional and professional sports in Alabama

2022-05-08T13:40:19-05:00By |Culture|

Long thought of as a hotbed for only collegiate sports, the state of Alabama in recent years has proven that there’s a lot more to see when it comes to athletics than the Crimson Tide and Auburn Tigers. In addition to minor league baseball teams in cities like Huntsville, Birmingham, and Montgomery, the Magic City is making some big moves in the world of sports, in large part thanks to the opening of the new Protective Stadium downtown. With the World Games making its debut in Birmingham later this summer from July 7–17, it’s shaping up to be a hot summer for sports in Alabama. Though the World Games events last just 10 days, Alabama’s many minor league and semi-professional sports team offer a sport for every season. Get to know your home teams below!

Huntsville’s newest music venue opens this month

2022-05-08T12:41:33-05:00By |Culture|

When Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit take the stage in Huntsville on May 13, it will be an extra special homecoming for the band. Their performance, along with those of other Alabama artists Brittany Howard, Drive-by Truckers, Emmylou Harris, John Paul White, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, and Mavis Staples is part of the First Waltz, a grand opening weekend-long event for the city’s new state-of-the-art music and event venue Orion Amphitheater. The venue, developed by Mumford and Sons’ band member and owner of entertainment and hospitality group Venue Group Ben Lovett, will usher the beginning of a new era for the city’s growing music scene. 

6 questions with up-and-coming musician Lilly Hart

2022-05-02T19:26:57-05:00By |Culture|

Lilly Hart’s junior year of high school was supposed to be the busiest time of her life. During the spring of 2020, the high schooler from Lilburn, Georgia was set to travel to several cities as part of her school’s basketball team, play in the golf state championship, and finish the year with a 4.0 GPA. All that changed when March rolled around, and COVID-19 turned everything upside down. Never one to sit still, Hart immediately pivoted and began exploring another passion of hers: music. “I had written before but this time I took it seriously,” she says. “I started to set goals and one of those goals was to release a song on all platforms. It was a hard process to navigate but I ended up reaching that goal when ‘Love is Addiction’ came out in the fall of 2020. After I released one, I kept writing and setting goals.”

These are the 8 best margaritas in Alabama

2022-05-02T19:15:34-05:00By |Food & Drink|

This year, Cinco de Mayo falls on Thirsty Thursday, so the timing couldn’t be better to pay a visit to your favorite Mexican restaurant. Of course, nothing goes better with tacos, enchiladas, nachos, or your order of choice like a margarita. Salty, sour, sweet, and supremely satisfying, it’s hard to beat an ice-cold marg on a hot summer day. Whether you prefer a classic lime margarita on the rocks or a fruit-flavored frozen mashup, Alabama’s plethora of Mexican restaurants and cocktail bars have you covered. Here are 8 of our favorite places to get margaritas in the state. 

The best outdoor activities in South Alabama

2022-05-02T18:57:09-05:00By |Outdoors, Travel|

When the days drag on and you find yourself staring out the window dreaming about being outside, you know it’s time to plan your next adventure. Though Alabama isn’t home to any national parks, we are blessed with many state parks and thousands of acres of untouched natural land waiting to be explored. The nickname Alabama the Beautiful was coined for good reason, and one of the best places to see the natural beauty of Alabama is by heading south toward the Gulf Coast. Here are the best places to get outdoors in South Alabama.

The best outdoor activities in Central Alabama

2022-04-21T13:21:08-05:00By |Outdoors, Travel|

The Yellowhammer State isn’t called Alabama the Beautiful for nothing. As one of the most biodiverse states in the country, outdoor time is an absolute must for anyone spending time here. In spring and summer, our native flora bursts into color and fauna emerge from their winter slumbers to enjoy the warm Southern sun. The same goes for locals who are ready to shed their coats and enjoy the gorgeous natural settings Alabama has to offer. In Central Alabama, there are several places to enjoy the wonders of Mother Nature, whether you prefer to hike, bike, get out on the water, or simply have a picnic in the sun. Here’s where to start. 

The best outdoor activities in North Alabama

2022-05-23T17:05:23-05:00By |News, Outdoors, Travel|

With rolling green mountains, sparkling lakes, lush forests, and roaring rivers, “Alabama the Beautiful” is best experienced outdoors. Now that the weather has warmed and the days are longer, it’s time to get out and enjoy the natural beauty Alabama has to offer. As one of the most biodiverse states in the country, there’s always something new to see and discover outdoors, whether it’s a vibrant species of bird or a gorgeous native flower. In North Alabama, there are several places to enjoy the wonders of Mother Nature, whether you prefer to hike, bike, get out on the water, or simply have a picnic in the sun. 

What’s new and coming soon to Birmingham’s Pizitz Food Hall?

2022-04-16T12:09:55-05:00By |Food & Drink|

After five years in the heart of downtown Birmingham, Pizitz Food Hall has become a mainstay among the weekday lunch crowd, as well as weekenders enjoying a day of activity in the Magic City. The bustling building hosts an array of businesses, ranging from the state’s only Warby Parker outpost to a full bar and an independent movie theater. With 12 food stalls, a full-service restaurant, and another on the way, there’s always something different to taste at Pizitz. Here's what’s new and coming soon to one of Birmingham’s favorite gathering spots. 

These Alabama home organizing companies can help with spring cleaning

2022-04-02T14:53:31-05:00By |Living|

Spring is the time to shake off the last dredges of winter. For many that means dusting off the cold-weather cobwebs and creating a clean slate. This spring, give your indoor spaces a refresh by decluttering and organizing your home. If undertaking such an overhaul seems daunting, consider hiring a professional take on the task. With the popularity of Netflix shows like "Get Organized with The Home Edit" and "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo," professional home organizing businesses have boomed.  Alabama has its fair share of professional organizers who can help you take control of even the most overstuffed closets and unruly pantries. Here are a few to choose from:

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