If Oklahoma City is overlooking its own assets and strengths, maybe we can be forgiven for doing so since we wouldn’t be the first to commit this mistake. But let’s overcome it.
Twenty years ago this community had a massive case of collective low self esteem. If you want to see how far we’ve come, go no further than the next upcoming generation – teens, people in their low 20s – who are excited about this city’s future. And yes, I know some of you are reading this blog. I’m flattered by that – it’s a huge compliment, but also a burden in that my slip-ups could have consequences.
Amidst the excitement to do something “big” – keep the momentum going, do better than what’s been done to date – do we risk making “big” mistakes? Do we risk forgetting to address other less “sexy” problems that nag us. What good do we accomplish with a big central park if we can’t development the empty lots that prevent Bricktown/Deep Deuce/Flat Iron from being one truly mixed-use, walkable area with vibrant street life? How can we step up our city to tier two status if we still allow flop/drug houses to plague upcoming neighborhoods like The Cottage District/SoSA?
How can we celebrate our city’s identity and heritage if some of our most historic, ornate spaces remain dark and unused? And are we still suffering a bit from that old collective low self esteem? Are we hiding our wonderful history? Are we telling visitors “Heck yeah, we’re a tourist destination and here’s all we’ve got to show you!”
Before delving in $500 million ambitions, what can we accomplish for $5 million?