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So, N. May Ave. is a district now…

12:44 PM EDT on September 26, 2016


It looks like our city's obsession with districts has officially jumped the shark.

This past Saturday, The "North On May Avenue" District officially launched with a kickoff event at Northpark Park Mall. The new district will run along that historic stretch of May Ave. we all know and love from Hefner Road to Memorial.

Here are more details via News 9:

OKC has its share of districts like Western Avenue, Midtown, and the Paseo District.

This weekend another one officially launches, the North On May Avenue District or NOMA.

NOMA will be on May Avenue between Hefner Rd and Memorial Rd. Roughly 80% of the businesses in the district are local and many have rallied behind the district movement.

NOMA, huh? That's what we're supposed to call it? That's kind of cute, but I prefer "NOMO"– as in "No More Districts Please!"

Seriously, I don't have a problem with the historical / entertainment districts that have popped up around town over the years. I think The Plaza, Midtown, Uptown, Paseo, Automobile Alley, Lower Bricktown, Capitol Hill, Upper Bricktown, Deep Deuce, The Farmers Market, Western Ave, Film Row, Classen Curve, and Valley Brook are all nice and fun and great, but isn't that enough for now?

Also, what makes these districts work is that...

A) They have the character and gentrification you need to make a district feel legit. Refurbishing old shopping centers that were built in the late 1970s and early 1980s just doesn't feel right yet.

B) They are walkable. Part of the fun in visiting a district is walking around the district. That's almost impossible in NOMO or NOMA or whatever it's called. According to Google Maps, it's a 25-minute hike from Poblano Grill on Memorial to the Jiffy Lube on Hefner. That's way too long for out-of-shape Oklahomies!

That being said, the district's business owners are still excited by the possibilities...

“It’s revitalizing this area of town,” said Robby Vernon of Hacienda Tacos which opens inside the Northpark Mall in about five weeks.

Two hundred NOMA t-shirts will be given away during a launch celebration in the Northpark Mall parking lot Saturday between 11a.m.- 3p.m. The event will feature food trucks and activities for children.

NOMA organizers say the district is a way to show neighbors that you don’t have to go far to run errands, shop or go out with your family.

“You are getting involved in your community, you are getting outdoors and will be involved,” said Kayla Argyle, with Anytime Fitness.

Listen, I don't fault these business owners for trying to hitch a ride on the district craze, but if 80% of the businesses in this district are local, and many have rallied behind the district movement, why is the first person to talk on camera the owner of a taco stand that hasn't even opened yet? Couldn't they have scored one of the hibachi chefs at Shoguns or a carhop from one of the district's several Sonics? I bet the owners of McDonald's, Golden Chick and Pizza Hut were mad they didn't make it on TV.

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