Putting the Osage on the Map

The first official trailer from a new movie filmed in Oklahoma was released today. It’s based on the play August: Osage County, written by Tulsa native Tracy Letts. The all-star cast is impressive. And the Ferrari racing along Highway 11 is also intriguing.

Judging from this trailer we could be seeing a homegrown movie on Oscar Night.

Look out Pawhuska- it might be tourist season up there!

http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/9Hd_uO72h1s?rel=0

 

Renaissance Man

Here’s a great story on David Sharp and his efforts to save Tulsa’s downtown from urban renewal. It’s nice to see the old neighborhood and so many familiar faces.

Maduko ExteriorFor nine years we ran an automotive business on North Boston and David was our landlord. It was 1989. Back then the area now known as the Brady Arts District was just called the “wrong side of the tracks.”

KOTV has recently opened a shiny new television studio in the Brady District.

Continue reading Renaissance Man

The Car as Art

A 1952 Cunningham race car
The 1952 Cunningham must surely qualify.

Circulating around the Blue Dome Arts Festival this weekend (it’s that thing next to Mayfest where you see artists from Tulsa) we got to see a lot of old friends and meet some interesting and creative people.

When we wandered down to Living Arts it was time to stroll through the vehicles on display for the Art Car Weekend. It reminded me of a meeting several years ago. Steve Liggett and a fledgeling group of organizers wanted to produce an event inspired by the massive Houston Art Car event. Steve asked me to attend because he knew I was a “car guy.” Continue reading The Car as Art

Vintage Bike Show

Trail 70 RowLast weekend was the annual motorcycle show down at Brookside Motorcycle Company.

As usual Paul and the gang put out a great spread and the attendance was excellent. The lingering clouds finally coughed up some rain- but it was late in the day and everybody seemed to have a great time.

Lots of photos were snapped and we’ve shared a few here…

Photo Gallery: Brookside Motorcycle Company 2012 Spring Bike Show

Local Cover Art

The Art of This Land

The Art of This Land..was an exhibit at Black Optical on Brookside which featured artwork and photography from the newspaper This Land Press. The one-night exhibit was held April 26th.

Images of local celebrities as diverse as Leon Russell, Woody Guthrie and Mary Beth Babcock graced the walls of the narrow retail space. It was quite a shindig and attendance was impressive. The eclectic crowd was enjoying the evening and I only wished the display would have been left up for a few days so others could enjoy it.

Here’s a more detailed rundown of the evening from Tulsa Art Spot.

Correction

4/29/2012: The exhibit is actually on display through the month of May. So get your butt down there and check it out!

We Shall Gather at the River

Earlier this week I learned about a bizarre proposal to build an amusement park next to Tulsa’s urban wilderness area at Turkey Mountain. The public reaction has been swift and negative.

In the interest of equal time here’s a development idea for the Arkansas River in Tulsa that’s actually not bad.

A Gathering Place for Tulsa

Bad River Development Idea No. 24

Everyone agrees that Riverside Drive is one of Tulsa’s most unique and beautifual assets.

Why then are so many people dead set on screwing it up? Over the years I have heard some of the silliest ideas pitched as “river development” along the Arkansas. Skyscrapers on a sand bar, a miniature Branson next to a refinery, sailboats beside the Pedestrian Bridge, a shopping center with no shopping… oh, wait, that one actually happened.

photo courtesy Hammerhead Bicycles

Then today I came across a new kooky idea: build an amusement park on Turkey Mountain! Yeah, the lovely urban wilderness where people love to run and ride bicycles would become (drum roll, please): Tulsa Harbour.

It must be classy because they put a U in harbor. And this isn’t just some Photoshop ha-ha. Here’s a rather disturbing post I found on the Turkey Mountain events calendar– Avid Hiker writes:

Just a note to all of you that enjoy Turkey Mtn – this small bit of “urban wilderness” that we are so blessed with in Tulsa: I ran into a group of developers in the parking lot today. They are wanting to develop the lower SE corner of Turkey Mtn. from 71st to the south end of the trails into an amusement park similar to Frontier City with hotels. It would take up 140 acres. It would be called Tulsa Harbour. You can verify this with Jeannie Cue, District 2 City Councilor, and Nick Lombardi, Stan Frisbie Real Estate.

This isn’t just a bad idea. It’s a terrible idea. I’m all for development and better utilizing our riverfront’s natural resources- but screwing it up to do so seems a little short-sighted.

Holiday Hills Landing

Any Tulsan worth their Quittin’ Time knows Urbana at 61st used to be a runway.

Courtesy Abandoned & Little Known Airfields

The air field was called Tulsa Commercial. But did you know that runway is not the only remnant of this airport?

East 58th Place is built on top of the crosswind runway. The original concrete is still intact and markings are visible in certain places. Presumably the developers of the Holiday Hills subdivision didn’t feel the need to break up all that  nice concrete.

Another nifty fact: what used to be the office/restaurant is a private home today. It has a huge kitchen and two bathrooms side by side!

More info and historic photos are available here…

Tulsa Commercial Airport from Abandoned & Little Known Air Fields

Save Sixty Years

As you enter Oklahoma on I-44 in the northeastern corner of our state you pass a sign. It’s an official highways sign, but it’s really an advertisement. It’s an advertisement for the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority touting the benefits of traveling the Will Rogers Turnpike. It shows an I-44 marker and says something like “save two hours, follow this sign.”

Follow this sign, save sixty years.
Why not "advertise" our culture instead of our turnpikes?

Many years ago I imagined a similar sign that should be posted along that same stretch of highway. I sketched it on a long-forgotten paper device known as a “sketchbook.” I recently created the digital version you see here.

I was prompted to share this after reading a Tulsa World article about a new task force dedicated to helping Tulsa promote its Route 66 history. I wrote a short article about the topic for our Two Wheel Oklahoma blog:

Task Force Promotes Route 66 in Tulsa

Oklahoma has more miles of Route 66 than any other state and Tulsa has lagged in her efforts to market this rich history. I hope this endeavor gains traction.

Highlights from Tulsa’s Holiday Parade

No matter what you call it, everybody loves a parade.

Here are some highlights from the 2011 Parade of Lights that traveled through downtown Tulsa this evening. The zany snowman sponsored by Fab Lab Tulsa stole the show with its snappy soundtrack and authentically smoking corn cob pipe.

And a couple more photos….

I snapped these with my Pole Saw Picture Taker using a Sony A33 with an infrared remote. Worked great until the camera battery died. D’oh!