Parking. Lots.

I always wanted to propose a special property tax for parking lots.

JUST STOP, DAMMIT!It would be based on the number of levels. For instance a 4-story parking garage would pay less than a 2-story parking garage. The highest rate would be applied to a “single level” or surface parking space. And maybe a parking structure over a certain number of levels might pay no property tax at all.

Radical I’m sure. But until there is some economic incentive to stop bulldozing history we’ll continue to see an ever-expanding sea of asphalt.

Image courtesy Plan59.com

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Please Pay for all Magazines and Books Before Sitting at the Fountain.

Aficionados will recognize that sign as a longtime fixture of the soda fountain at the now defunct Steve’s Sundry.

Steve's Sundry

Steve’s closed their doors for the final time Tuesday, December 31, 2013.

The dire warning above was intended for any unscrupulous patron that might have dared to peruse a periodical while seated. If you ever cared to read while sipping your malt it required two trips to the checkout line: Pay for your magazine; Return to the counter; Eat; Walk up front and pay for your food.

Never mind the fact that you could thumb through Wired for hours if you stood at the magazine rack. Continue reading Please Pay for all Magazines and Books Before Sitting at the Fountain.

Natalie Merchant Discovers Tulsa Hospitality

#NatalieMerchantTulsaTacoBueno

Saw a great concert last night- plus a wonderful hometown story that I just had to share:

Natalie Merchant played a unique gig with the Tulsa Symphony orchestra this weekend at the University of Tulsa’s Lorton Performance Center. This is a great venue for this type of performance- wonderful acoustics and literally “not a bad seat in the house.” In fact, we were sitting in the balcony and had a wonderful view!

One of our favorite CDs from the Eighties.

She opened with a familiar 10,000 Maniacs tune, belting it out with that powerful voice that became a signature of the early days of “Alternative Rock.” The evening progressed through her 30-year musical career. Along the way she had high praise for our local orchestra and how fortunate Tulsa is to have such a treasure. After the intermission the orchestra was slimmed down and the music became a bit more intimate. So intimate she actually reprimanded someone in the audience, “Please stop filming me.”

But the best was yet to come. Continue reading Natalie Merchant Discovers Tulsa Hospitality

Next Stop: Forgotten Highways

Forgotten Highways:

I’m working on a new project called Forgotten Highways.

The idea is a series of documentaries about “the old roads” of America.

You know- those bumpy strips of concrete you see veering off your current route. Call them scenic roads, the business route, historic bypass, whatever. Every interstate owes its double-yellow stripes to a winding two-lane nearby that most people have forgotten. They’re everywhere and all it takes to find one is a tank of gas and a Sunday afternoon.

But it takes more than that to really discover these gems. You have to get off the Superslab® and meet people. In my opinion exploring the history of an old road can make for great video. Of course, maybe I’m biased.

This project is a natural evolution of Two Wheel Oklahoma. In fact, it will essentially follow the same format of that show. You’ll see a little more history, a little more Ken Burns-esque camera work, but the vibe will be the same. A couple of guys on motorcycles discovering treasure that’s hiding in plain sight. Continue reading Next Stop: Forgotten Highways

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