Eight things I like about Tulsa
7:00 AM EDT on April 10, 2012
It was a somber weekend in Tulsa. As I'm sure you've heard, some crazy bastards went on a serial shooting spree in North Tulsa. Bigotry and violence aren't exactly things my fellow Tulsans are proud to receive national attention for, but unfortunately this isn't Tulsa's first run-in with race-related tragedy. 1921's Race Riots left dozens dead, hundreds injured, and thousands homeless.
It was a woeful holiday in Tulsa indeed, but I know you didn't visit TLO because you wanted to feel bummed out. That's why I've made a list of some of my favorite things about Tulsa. If any of you big city dwellers want to hate, for this week only, it means you are an angry, soulless freak.
1. The Skyline. The picture above might be Photoshopped more than a process shot of the Pioneer Woman's cheesy grits, but make no mistake--Tulsa's skyline is far superior to OKC's, and not even three more Devon Towers can take that away from us.
2.A Bevy of Sexy Reality Stars.
Erin Tietsort from Sunset Tan.
American Idol winner David Cook. This one's for you ladies. He only thinks he's from Kansas City.
Taylor Armstrong from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Her good looks are totally natural.
3. Its Loyal Residents. About a year and a half ago, I turned down a full-time offer from Goldman Sachs and the bright lights of big Salt Lake City to come back to Tulsa and work for the ole' family business instead. While some people call me crazy, those people are usually a) money-hungry sycophants, b) content doing hours of mindless spread-sheeting for the man, c) have never been to Salt Lake City, or d) my extremely Chinese mother.
I'm not alone when it comes to native (and educated) Tulsans who passionately desire to return to their motherland. Virtually any young adult from Tulsa you'll meet who wasn't a complete loser is "probably going to settle down" in, or "wants to someday move back" to the 918 before they start deliberately reproducing. Clean streets, dozens of Applebee's, awesome public and private school options, and a minor league baseball team--what's not to love?
4. India Palace's Creamed Spinach. Because that stuff is the shit and deserves a shout-out.
5. Our Music Scene. Apparently the
9th 12th best in the nation! The days of swing dancing and rockabillies have passed, but Tulsa remains home to one of the most iconic one-hit wonder bands of the 90's. Speaking of 90's nostalgia, I had the pleasure of attending My So Called Band's show at Fassler Hall this Saturday. Apparently, at least one member of the Evangelicals (notably, the kinda hot one that rocks those combat boots) got bored playing indie rock for unenthusiastic hipsters and now moonlights in a 90's cover band. Fiscally, this was probably a wise career choice--novelty bands are booked at least five times more often than marginally popular local rock groups. Seriously though, they were AWESOME. I'm still hoarse from screaming "Semi-Charmed Life" from the top my lungs. If they disband before my wedding or next milestone birthday, I'm going to be seriously disappointed.
6. Riverside Drive. This is the part where I wax poetic about a street. Not just any street though--it's the road that runs parallel to the Arkansas River, and home to a 10+ mile running and biking trail. It's lined with various statues, murals, and gigantic penguins, hosts several historic buildings and residences, and contains playgrounds that I would beg my parents to take me to if I was still five years old. Sure, the street itself is frighteningly narrow, but that just leaves more room for vegetation. Riverside is the perfect place to take a new love on a romantic stroll, practice for the roller derby, or even find a gay lover after hours.
7. The Nightlife. It's no secret that your girl here is a bit of a social butterfly. When I walk into Leon's, the bartenders automatically retrieve a pint of pickle juice, my chaser of choice. It's like everybody knows my name there! Here's a few other things I love about going out in Tulsa:
• You don't have to wait twenty minutes to tab out! Most places just tack on a 20% tip, close to what I would have tipped them anyway.
• Taxis are always available. This probably not because people are tipsy driving home, but likely due to how keen on safety the private sector of Tulsa transit is.
• The themed bars, you must admit, are pretty clever. I love the idea of getting to bowl /play skee ball/ sing Irish drinking songs while getting my party on. The Blue Dome District is like a tiny version of DFW's Lower Greenville, but with cheaper drinks and an adult superstore at its epicenter.
8. A Good Old Fashion Sense of Community. Tulsa's the sort of place where kids can play
with their iPads hide and seek until dark without their parents sending out a search party. Sure, we rag on GUTS Church from time to time, but I think it's pretty cool that they hosted an Easter egg hunt for handicapped kids this weekend. I love going out and running into old friends at new places, or new friends at the brunch spot I've gone to since I was a kid. I've known my roommate literally since I was four years old. I only slightly resent that my entire (somewhat large) circle of friends is sure to hear through the grapevine about every single guy I even somewhat associate with. If anything can melt my cold black heart, it's a community banding together during a tough time--which the good people of Tulsa certainly have done these last few days.
Tulsa has many of the great things about a big city, but few of the inconveniences. Plus, we've got Quiktrip, and you really can't argue with that--even if you are an angry soulless freak.
In all seriousness, we offer our sincerest condolences to the victims and their families. May the sons of bitches responsible for this tragedy get what they deserve.
Follow Chelsea on Twitter at @xCawoodstock