I actually predicted this: after doing interviews and writing a story about the upcoming opening of the Bricktown Red Dirt Marketplace, I expected there would be some folks at www.okctalk.com who would automatically throw rocks, call it a flea market and dismiss it as being relevant at all in the effort to bring more retail to Bricktown.
Ah, the experts. The all-knowing experts who know everything – online.
Where are the Saks Fifth Avenues? Where are the Nordstrums? Where are all the wonderful high end retailers that should be bringing downtown to life?
Now, one could try to make this a debate over old/new media. Whatever. That’s not what’s going on here. I’m daring to suggest that the people with such expectations need to be better informed. And that doesn’t mean read and believe what I’m reporting. Do your own digging. Do your research. Get involved and find out for yourselves what is and isn’t possible.
One venue for doing so is to get involved with the local chapter of the Urban Land Institute. Yes, it does include developers, real estate professionals and property owners. But it also includes planners and regular urban dwellers and folks out in the community.
This isn’t the first time I’ve dared people to get off their keyboard to get a better understanding of their community. And to the credit of some, it’s a dare that’s been taken up in the past (Kudos to Midtowner at OKCTalk, who often keeps me on my toes, for showing up at a ULI session last year).
There are other means for staying better informed (beyond this whole new media/old media thing) that include local rotary clubs (Bricktown, MidTown, Club 29), Urban Neighbors, the current Let’s Talk Transit sessions, the monthly Bricktown Association meetings (which I believe welcome guests), and let’s not forget, the weekly city council meetings.
Not only is almost certain you’ll end up being better informed by getting involved with these groups, but you’ll also likely enjoy some good friendships.
Of course, it’s easier to just type on a compute. And I doubt anything will stop those who prefer to just go online and throw rocks at those trying to make a difference.
I’m speechless… but in such times we can only go to the wisest man ever for spiritual guidance…
I dare you to play this with the sound up all the way. Go ahead. The boss won’t mind. He’s a Thunder fan too. And there’s no way he’ll argue this isn’t a kick-butt way to end the work day and prepare for one late, hell of a night of basketball.
Everybody sing along…
I was caught
In the middle of a railroad track (Thunder)
I looked ’round,
And I knew there was no turning back (Thunder)
My mind raced
And I thought what could I do? (Thunder)
And I knew
There was no help, no help from you (Thunder)
Sound of the drums
Beatin’ in my heart
The thunder of guns!
Tore me apart
You’ve been – thunderstruck!
When you call me Okie, you better say it loud …
It looks like another perfect day…
Yes, but get ready for a Thunderstorm….
Guess who just got back today?
Those wild eyed boys who have been away.
Haven’t changed. Haven’t much to say.
But man I still them cats are crazy.
(Get ready L.A.)
I’m live blogging today about… what’s got me distracted. It’s a happy sort of anxiety that involves an inevitable hangover tomorrow morning…. I woke up with this sound in my head….
I post this because …. I can.
Let me start off with an acknowledgment: newspaper columnists who think they can single-handedly pull off the creation of a buzz word or nickname are asking for trouble. The most talented sportswriter in this state still finds himself virtually alone in referring to the Thunder as the “Boomers.”
So as I proceed in this endeavor, let me start off by saying “The Big Friendly” isn’t my idea. Instead, it was an idea thought up by veteran civic booster Lee Allan Smith and promoted with equal vigor by the equally legendary civic booster Ray Ackerman.
I wrote about this “Big Friendly” idea in my column Tuesday and how it had been picked up by the NBA. After watching the national coverage this past week, this city is at a crossroads: the opportunity to craft a new image is here. Either we let the national media continue to tie our image to disasters (the bombing, the embellished “Grapes of Wrath,” tornadoes, etc) or we can go all out with “The Big Friendly.”
I say let’s go with “The Big Friendly.” And let’s not be shy. This is a challenge to the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber. You guys thought enough of this title that from what I’ve seen you sought and obtained a copyright. I know you’re out there reading this blog – seeing if I’m writing stuff you like, something that might catch you by surprise – or if I’m being mischievous.
The national media is at this moment in love with this town. And by all accounts the Thunder have done well representing who we are – a team, not without it’s flaws, but relatively free of ego and willing to work hard to prove the skeptics wrong. When the Lakers return to Oklahoma City Friday, media in tow, it’s hard to see how this won’t be THE MOMENT to either go for a win cementing a new brand for what we’ve been all along: “The Big Friendly.”
ONE FINAL THOUGHT: I know there are a lot of talented young readers who follow this blog, and more than a few of you seem to have a knack with graphic design. Feel free to come up with a logo or design for The Big Friendly that maybe folks can use Friday night on homemade signs, etc. I’ll be happy to post the art on this site, along with credits to creators, etc.