I've called two states "home" in my life: currently, New York and, previously, Oklahoma. Guys, Oklahoma is a-w-e-s-o-m-e. Since I'm far from my first home state, I love to read Marek's blog, Marek's Musings. She's a smart and fun Oklahoman newlywed with an inspiring 30 Before 30 list and is one of the best tweeters I know. She's simply the kind of girl you would want to hang out with.
Marek and her husband are coming to New York in the next few weeks, so we decided to swap our blogs today and tell each other's readers about our favorite spots in our respective cities! If you don't believe me that Marek is an OKC expert, try this one on for size: she's also the daughter-in-law of the mayor! If there's anyone qualified to give you all the best info on Oklahoma City, it's this girl. Read on...and I hope if you've never been to Oklahoma, you'll be convinced to come visit!
___________________________________Hello, all! I've decided to take you all on a little journey through my little city (or the largest city if you’re judging it by land area). We’re in transition, and everything is getting better and better by the day! Here’s what you’ll find if you ever come for a visit. And, if you do, I expect you to tweet me so I can take you around!
The Plaza District – The Plaza is one of my favorite districts in Oklahoma City. It’s full of unique shops (including the most wonderful shop full of homemade goods – Collected Thread), artistic people and the best brunch in town at Urban Wineworks. Wine with eggs benedict? Yes, please. Every 2nd Friday, they have LIVE on the Plaza when all of the shops stay open, there is live music in most of the venues, and there are fun activities happening everywhere!
Uptown 23rd Street - This is an area that is currently under a HUGE revitalization. Once rife with wig shops (not kidding) and decrepit buildings, this area is starting to shape right up! There are bungalow houses with cupcake shops – Hello, Cuppies and Joe! – and BBQ joints, but there’s also a nice little bar called Grandad’s. Filled with photos of local folks’ grandpas and old school furniture, this delightful bar has become one of my favorite spots.
The Paseo Arts District – We recently moved to this neighborhood, and we’re finally starting to explore it a little more. This space was developed back in the 1920's. In the 70’s, however, this is when people started getting a little crazy and brought on the arts culture (bright pain included)! Today, it houses art galleries and great restaurants. In the ‘hood? Check out Picasso’s for some great live music.
Myriad Botanical Gardens/Devon Tower – Want to stroll through the gardens while you’re downtown? Great. Now, want to look up at OKC’s largest/newest skyscraper. Then I have the place for you. Want a fancy pants dinner? Head to Vast at the top of Devon Tower, but make sure you get a reservation. We’re still not used to having such a unique restaurant, so it stays pretty booked. Also, make sure you go into the Crystal Bridge. It’s incredible.
Downtown – Oh lovely downtown. While this is predominantly a business district, there are several great spots for you to explore. Try Kitchen No. 324 if you want your socks knocked off. And believe me, you do. Also, if you’re a big basketball fan, downtown houses Chesapeake Arena where you can see the Oklahoma City Thunder kick the crap out of the rest of the NBA. Thunder Rules, everyone else drools.
Bricktown – This is probably our most tourist-y spot of all. San Antonio isn’t the only one with a canal! We have some great restaurants and bars, but it’s not really where you’ll find the locals except for bars like Skinny Slims or Tapwerks.
Oklahoma River Boathouse District – This IS where you’ll find the locals. The Boathouse District is new to our city, and it’s developing quite a bit to become THE premier adventure spot in OKC. Canoes, kayaks, zip lines, and a white water rafting park are all things that are already available or are soon to be. It’s also the Olympic Training Site for rowers and kayakers. No big deal.
Oklahoma City Film Exchange District – We’re wrapping up this journey of Oklahoma City with a district that is quickly winning me over. Because Oklahoma is smack-dab in the middle of the country, this street was home to all of the major Hollywood studios as they stored and moved their films across the country. Now, it’s an ever-growing arts district that is home to galleries, restaurants and, you guessed it, a theatre. But The Paramount ain’t your grandma’s theatre. First, you pay an annual membership to watch the films they show. How much is an annual membership, you ask? Whatever you damn well please. It’s choose your own price! Paired with a café, it’s a fantastic space to spend a Saturday afternoon.
I recommend visiting in NYC!