I visit www.okctalk.com everyday. If I didn’t, I’d miss out on finding out about things like this:
That is exactly what the folks at Venture Architecture did sometime last year, and they’ve since posted the video as shown below on You Tube. Venture Architecture is designed the Harding and Shelton development that will include the Zio’s building and the adjoining Red Ball building.
Warning: I do not vouch for the video production on this one, and be advised, it contains profanity. But it’s still interesting to hear the comments of a visitor who is clearly a bit jaded and not a wide-eyed tourist who might be easily impressed.
I really like these guys….
BlueGroupMan from Des Moines recently caught up with our recent You Tube Downtown Tour:
Hey, thanks for including our area of the world in your YouTube tour. There are lots of nice things going on here, I think people who haven’t been here lately would be pleasantly surprised.
Hopefully all the OSU fans who were up here for the women’s NCAA basketball regional in March had a good time. A pretty good amount of orange showed up!
Back to downtown — there are many very large employers downtown, including Principal Financial Group, which is headquartered here, along with Wells Fargo Financial, Allied Insurance, and EMC Insurance. In all, people who count these things say that 70,000 people work downtown.
There are also many new loft, apartment, and condo options available so more and more people are living downtown, although there needs to be more lower cost options for the younger set.
Anyway, here’s a couple of other links if you want to check out Des Moines a little more:
– http://live.downtowndesmoines.com/video_contest.php (some hokey videos here, but some okay ones too)
Take a drive north sometime, we’d be glad to see you — and yes, it’s dry here — the floods did not reach downtown.
After taking the You Tube tour of Wichita last week and posting Patrick’s review of his visit, it’s time to take a closer look. First question: if Oklahoma City is bigger than Wichita, and Bricktown is a bigger regional destination, than why the disparity in retail?
Let’s look at the shops that can be found in Old Town, Wichita:
Above and Beyond Gifts, Aidia’s Brighton Jewelry, Andy’s Custom Woodworking, Automobilia, Beadazzled, Zieglers antiques, Catholic Book Store, Ceros Candy, Stewarts Jewelry, Sand Bar Trading, Heartland Bike, Razooks Furniture, Meade Street Gallery, and at least a dozen more stores that include art galleries, camping goods, clothing, etc.
And Bricktown? Well, it has Firefly Clothing, the Bricktown Visitor Center, Oklahoma’s Red Dirt Emporium and The Painted Door.
That’s it, folks. Which area do you think is more desirable for visitors, shopping wise?
So here’s a secret between just us: parking in Old Town is free. Think that makes a difference?
But here’s another comparison:
For all the scares of gang violence in Bricktown two years ago, Old Town has had it much, much worse. Homicides, stabbings, shootings… multiple people wounded. Ask police in Bricktown and they will tell you that some of Bricktown’s past troubles began in unmanned parking lots where young trouble makers with nothing better to do ended up fighting.
Is free parking also to blame for Wichita’s problems?
One can draw all sorts of conclusions here, and clearly there is anecdotal evidence that free parking can spur far more retail than what we’ve seen in Bricktown to date. But that same path also poses a more troubling question – if the city were to introduce free parking in Bricktown, could it do so without encountering the same problems as is being faced by Old Town?
Now, as for Memphis …. take a good look at those You Tube videos again …
As lively as it appears, the streets also look hagard and worn-out. It does not appear as if the city has put the care into streetscapes that we’ve seen locally or in the other downtown You Tube visits to date.
According to a study assembled by Downtown Memphis a couple of years ago (a report that confirms reports I’ve heard from people who visited downtown Memphis), the popularity of downtown Memphis has come with crowds that can be unruly, illegal outdoor alcohol sales, con artists selling rip-off merchandize, crime and thefts.
And Memphis’ play to become a major league city by luring an NBA franchise is not going so well. Is there anything to this story that OKC can learn from before the arrival of the Sonics?
Crime, meanwhile, isn’t a given with a revitalized downtown. But it’s a danger that can pop up quickly when growth occurs unchecked, and without any long-term planning or contemplation of unintended consequences.
I’ve not visited downtown
Memphis since the early 1990s, so clearly my impressions from back then are probably meaningless. So once again, we’re going to visit via You Tube.
My first really favorable impression of , the
Memphis resulted from the movie “The Firm,” which pretty much is a best-case scenario for any city looking to elevate its profile. You have a
Hollywood star, Tom Cruise, at the top of his game, before he got all creepy jumping couches and evangelizing for Scientology. In his performance as a lawyer trying to outsmart the FBI and the mob, Cruise spends his time on
Island tram, and of course,
Memphis’ magnificent Peabody Hotel.
Yeah, it’s as good as it gets. Imagine a blockbuster filmed today in Bricktown, MidTown, the Skirvin Hilton,
Tower’s Great Banking Hall and along the
River at the Chesapeake Boathouse.
Memphis is a city that recently crossed into major league status with the NBA Grizzlies.
But not everything is great in downtown Memphis. Ditto for downtown Wichita. More on that tomorrow. For now, let’s take the You Tube tour of downtown Memphis.
First, let’s join this couple as they shop at Peabody Place (yes, this is what so many downtowns yearn for – actual retail):
And now, a family vacation along Beale Street:
And you’ve got to love this song…. (nope, Oklahoma Rising just isn’t the same as “Walking in Memphis”):