Casey Cornett inadvertently reminded me today to take note of another effort underway in Tulsa – lifting of a 20-year ban on rooftop signs downtown. Tulsans have a few great ones still standing that survived the ban. The Meadow Gold Milk sign is considered a Route 66 icon. And personally I’m jealous that the Mayo sign survived atop the Mayo Hotel while the Skirvin sign disappeared from the top of our grand old hotel long ago.
We have one really great rooftop sign – the classic cursive Colcord sign. But it its survival is no accident. Back in 1999, former Oklahoman writer Judy Kuhlman wrote about the efforts of artisan Travis Griffin to bring the sign back to life after seeing it fade to darkness for several years. He approached the building’s owners and gave them a deal where he said he “didn’t make much.”
Maybe not, Mr. Griffin, but thanks for your contribution to the city. We’re still enjoying it today. But there are so few such rooftop signs left in downtown Oklahoma City that I’ve got to wonder if there isn’t a chance for us to follow Tulsa’s lead (are you seeing a theme here folks?). As with my last post on the parking meter enforcement, I’m not advocating a position either way here – simply posing the question.
Now, as to Casey’s question, via Twitter. He asked why the Plaza Court sign is so big.
The answer, my friend Casey, is a matter of history. And you know just how much of a history geek I am. So I’m pleased to show off these old photos from the Plaza Court when it was the suburban threat to downtown retail (ironic, isn’t it?).
So what would you like to see me focus the cameras on next?
The answer I’ve heard here in Oklahoma City is, without a change in state law, “no.”
And yet Tulsa is preparing to do just that, as you can read in this story in Sunday’s Tulsa World.
Downtown Oklahoma City Inc., under the leadership of its first president Devery Youngblood, tried to make such a change, but without any success. I asked the current president Jane Jenkins a couple months ago about this and she said it was not on the group’s agenda.
But in the past I’ve heard some arguments for making such a change – that the current enforcement is predatory – that the city’s approach is to literally stalk out cars and swoop in with tickets as soon as a meter expires. Others mention that the current meter enforcement officers are unionized – thus there are rules against them doubling up as “ambassadors” who can provide maps and helpful information on getting around downtown.
I’m not one who wants to beat up on the current crew – there are some good folks out there who are helpful and are just doing their jobs when it comes to issuing tickets (I’m friendly with a couple of them who none the less have cost me about $100 a year in tickets).
With Project 180 and changes coming in parking meter technology, is this an issue that should at least be discussed?
As we show images and explain how The Oklahoman’s OKC Skyline Cam works, I also want to bring some love to www.okctalk.com, which has been provided screenshot images from a webcam at somewhat different angle overlooking the Devon tower construction site.
With The Oklahoman’s camera you get live streaming video and at times, close ups of the construction. But the clarity of the images being provided at OKC Talk are superb are definitely worth visiting. The two different cameras are providing viewers with some great images of our changing skyline.
Yes, my friends, the camera zooms are underway through 4 p.m.
At www.newsok.com/okcskyline, between 3:50 p.m. and 4 p.m. today we will be zooming in the skyline cam on the Devon tower concrete pour.
UPDATE: THE LIVE FEED IS RESTORED! (11:30 a.m.)
Yep, that’s my reaction too to waking up and finding out the Skyline Cam is offline. All hands are on deck trying to resolve this matter. Best bet – the winter storm has caused us some headaches.
Hopefully I’ll have good news for you soon.
In the meantime, if you have trouble logging in as a subscriber, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and they will assist you (and yes, there is a person monitoring this email today!).
So you’ve been enjoying your team’s success on the court, the weather was great, and then a snow storm messes with your weekend in downtown Oklahoma City. So how can you still have fun between games, etc?
Best places to watch a game in Bricktown:
- Brix, Bricktown Brewery, TapWerks, Coaches.
Best non-sports diversions:
- Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma City National Memorial, Crystal Bridge at the Myriad Gardens.
Best diversion you probably never thought even existed:
- American Banjo Museum in Bricktown
Best coffee shop within walking distance of Ford Center:
- CocoFlow (incredible chocolate delicacies)
Best coffee shop within a 10-minute drive:
- Cuppies and Joe (incredible cupcakes)
- Beatnix (great fresh made soups)
Best upscale restaurants for dinner:
- The Melting Pot
- Mickey Mantle Steakhouse
- The Mantle
Best local flavors:
- Earl’s Rib Palace
- The Mantle
Best evidence on why Robin Williams referred to the Bricktown Canal as a “redneck Venice”
- Bass Pro Shops
- Toby Keith’s I Love this Bar and Grill
- Rok Bar
- Coyote Ugly
Best place to discover what it was like to be a tourist in Bricktown in 1990:
- Spaghetti Warehouse
Best places to shop in Bricktown:
- The Painted Door
- Oklahoma’s Red Dirt Emporium
- Put a Cork in It
Best entertainment venues in Bricktown:
- Harkins theaters
- Red Pin Bowling Lounge
- Murphey’s Dueling Pianos
Best places for live music:
- JJ’s Alley
- The Wormy Dog Saloon
To get more information on any of these listings, including address, websites, etc., visit www.bricktownokc.org or wwwdowntownokc.com.
A cursory check of restaurants in Bricktown shows that most of the big eateries – especially those popular with sports fans (Brix, Bricktown Brewery, TapWerks) – are all open for business and serving the crowds of basketball fans a bit bewildered in the weather switch that has hit our town.
I sympathize with all the NCAA tournament folks who were enjoying great weather all week long only to see their stay capped off with a springtime snow storm. After talking to Jim Cowan, director of the Bricktown Association, it appears as if most or all of the Bricktown restaurants and shops are trying to stay open despite the snow – and are greatly appreciative in the boost in business they’ve seen the past few days.
During the Christmas storm most businesses shut down, leaving TapWerks as one of the only restaurants to stay open to serve people stranded at downtown hotels, as well as those who still had to work downtown. For those of you who haven’t been to TapWerks this past year, they’ve overhauled their menu and have some great offerings, and the restaurant is smoke-free (I believe a smoking area is still available upstairs).
UPDATE: Received this via Twitter – The Museum & Museum Cafe ARE OPEN! Great day to be inside an art museum. Open 10am-5pm. Museum Cafe open for lunch at 11am.