U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Happy Halloween!
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Oklahoma > Oklahoma City
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 03-15-2013, 10:49 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
11,005 posts, read 20,681,881 times
Reputation: 6042

Advertisements

That's right. I just spent a lot of time in OKC and I thought I would share my thoughts of the city.

I'm in OKC now (leaving tomorrow morning) and have thoroughly enjoyed my stay. While I was working during the day, I had plenty of time in the late afternoon and evenings to explore the city.

First the bad.

This place is so "country". I'm just not used to half the cars being pick up trucks, cowboy boots and hats, country music everywhere radio or not. Speaking of radio, OKC has the absolute worst radio stations ever. How many country music and religious channels do you have here? Downtown has places like bass pro and banjo museums and the general demographics of the people are just more country than not. Even the crowds going to the NBA games are so bizarre to me because you see more big 4x4 pickups going to the game than anything else. The people I worked with all seemed super ultra conservative, anti obama rhetoric and often talked about their livestock etc. I am not kidding here. This town is like taking 500 little bitty small towns in KS, OK, TX, AR etc and moving them all into one area.

This is only a bad thing for me. This type of culture is just not my thing. But I get it. It's OKC and people really like it here and if they like it, then that's great.

Other bad things. Sprawl, zero transit. I don't think I saw a single city bus and I must have walked 20 miles around downtown over several days, often during rush hour. Traffic is not horrid, but it's a lot worse than I would have expected (on the interstates, no traffic on surface streets).

It's ugly during the day, especially this time of year, however I think it could be a some what pretty city in late spring right before everything turns brown again for the summer.

The weather was nice while I was here, but overall, I think most people would agree that OKC's extreme weather is not ideal.

Was not impressed with suburbs or city neighborhoods at all. Some smaller city neighborhoods are ok, but they are just not very large and the suburban areas around OKC, including Edmond, are just not that impressive. I did like the fact that the Edmond area seems to have more trees though.

On to the good things.

First off, decent airport. Even little OKC airport feels more active and has many more amenities than KCI does. I didn't fly from KCI, I just think it's sad how almost any airport makes KCI seem podunk even though it's only a perception.

Wow. This city has really spent some money and done just about everything they can to spark urban investment and interest and for the most part, the people have responded and I find that interesting because the metro is so "country" that people still are interested in urban areas of OKC.

The relocation of the interstate away from downtown is great and I think the plans for the old interstate are for a boulevard? Should become a nice greenway corridor.

Speaking of greenways. The riverfront development is awesome. I don't know that it's getting used like it should, but kudos to OKC for developing quite a large greenway and parkway system along the river. The ped bridge over I-40 is really neat. Hopefully the city continues to find ways to connect to the river and its trails.

NBA Thunder. Went to the game on Wed and had a great time. I personally am not a fan of the NBA, but I actually enjoyed the game. great atmosphere, fan support etc and nice arena that can be walked to from many vibrant areas.

Devon Tower. Yea, it's too tall, but so what. It's such an attractive building and it looks great from most vantage points in the city and it's great that they are so committed to OKC to invest so much in not only the tower, but in many other areas of downtown and you can tell Devon sponsors many downtown area projects. I also didn't notice a lot of vacant structures in downtown, so it appears that Downtown OKC is healthy and doing well. Maybe OKC will get a new tower soon to compliment Devon.

Myriad Botanical Gardens looks great. Too bad everything is still brown, but I'm sure that comes to life once things green up.

Bricktown.

Okay. I have been hard on bricktown in the past, but I have to admit. It's not so bad. Actually, it's quite a vibrant area. The area is still a bit too country themed and has too many suburban type chains and developments, but even so, this area has really come together and provides OKC with a vibrant urban experience. The river walk and all the suburban development near the theater is cheesey. I even met some co-workers at Toby Kieths! The area is nice though and is simply responding to the region's culture and it's working. What I like most about bricktown is all the new residential that has gone up around the area. The overall size of the district is much larger than I thought it was from previous visits and despite some areas of big boxes and parking lots, there are also some great local establishments in near, more urban streetscapes.

People are so nice and friendly. Almost too nice and friendly. But it's been refreshing to get away from the harsh and cold attitudes of people in the DC area.

So that's it for now. Overall, my impression of OKC is much improved. I still don't know about actually living in OKC, but it's a nice town that has changed so much over the past ten years. It seems like that big city for people that don't really like big city type places, however I think it also has a good amount of your typical urban yuppies too.

Nice town overall, but ready to get back home!

Last edited by kcmo; 03-15-2013 at 10:58 PM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 03-16-2013, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma
21,154 posts, read 15,423,298 times
Reputation: 6436
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post

This place is so "country". I'm just not used to half the cars being pick up trucks, cowboy boots and hats, country music everywhere radio or not. Speaking of radio, OKC has the absolute worst radio stations ever. How many country music and religious channels do you have here? Downtown has places like bass pro and banjo museums and the general demographics of the people are just more country than not. Even the crowds going to the NBA games are so bizarre to me because you see more big 4x4 pickups going to the game than anything else. The people I worked with all seemed super ultra conservative, anti obama rhetoric and often talked about their livestock etc. I am not kidding here. This town is like taking 500 little bitty small towns in KS, OK, TX, AR etc and moving them all into one area.
Your description sounds so funny. It's very easy to find non country music on OKC radio, if you want, such as on 102.7 and 96.9.

I don't know what's with people loving pickups so much and their gas guzzling V8 motors. They look more in place down on the farm. But like you said, maybe they really got livestock. Maybe some non country guys think driving pickups make them look more manly. Nah, it doesn't unless you're hauling something heavy back there, like bales of hay. I hate how those big four door pickups, when parked, project so much into the street. You gotta make extra sure you don't hit them. My father was a cowboy, but not much of it rubbed off on me, but can still relate to some extent what you're talking about.

Oh, well, surely Nashville is further country enough to drive you crazy.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-16-2013, 11:08 AM
 
157 posts, read 154,324 times
Reputation: 129
I think that OKC is poor, very poor. I like trees, mountains, lakes, wildlife, OKC is chock full of homeless drunks and illegal aliens, but maybe all good sized towns are, I wouldn't know. OKC does have a lot of colleges and medical facilities, and i guess the high schools are ok. Relatively cheap housing can be had. I've never looked at high dollar stuff, so I wouldn't know about that. Unemployment is high in oKC, but they claim it's worse most other places.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-16-2013, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
11,005 posts, read 20,681,881 times
Reputation: 6042
Quote:
Originally Posted by StillwaterTownie View Post
Your description sounds so funny. It's very easy to find non country music on OKC radio, if you want, such as on 102.7 and 96.9.

I don't know what's with people loving pickups so much and their gas guzzling V8 motors. They look more in place down on the farm. But like you said, maybe they really got livestock. Maybe some non country guys think driving pickups make them look more manly. Nah, it doesn't unless you're hauling something heavy back there, like bales of hay. I hate how those big four door pickups, when parked, project so much into the street. You gotta make extra sure you don't hit them. My father was a cowboy, but not much of it rubbed off on me, but can still relate to some extent what you're talking about.

Oh, well, surely Nashville is further country enough to drive you crazy.
Nashville is country, but it comes across to me as a little higher end country. Like it's a more sophisticated city even though it too has a very country culture.

OKC is like a very large rural and generally not very affluent town if that makes sense. I know it has some affluent areas (Edmond gasp haha and other areas), but, for the size of the metro, it seems below average. As far as radio stations, I surfed them for a week and my point was that you have to go through a ton of country and religious stations to find a few alternatives and most rock stations were like classic rock or something.

Again, I don’t want to make this a country is bad thing. I think OKC is a very “country” city and they have simply ran with that and like I said it’s working. For that demographic, downtown OKC is a nice urban area to visit. Most people I saw walking around in Bricktown etc would not really fit in well in most larger city’s entertainment and shopping districts. In OKC they fit in fine and so they can enjoy themselves and enjoy the city.

I think OKC has really done wonders with downtown and should be proud. Embrace the cowboy culture and OK and implement that into an urban area that appeals to people in the region. That’s what they have done.

But seriously OKC. Not everybody there lives on a farm, yet you see so many pick up trucks and lots of giant trucks with huge tires etc, even people cruising downtown OKC before thunder games in them like they are in some main drag in some rural small town.

Coming from DC (or even KC), you will notice that instantly about OKC. My coworkers in DC that have traveled to OKC have also pointed out how blue collar and country OKC is. They would never move to OKC, but they all love to visit the city for work. Just like our OKC people that come to DC. Would never live in DC area, but like to visit.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-16-2013, 03:16 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC (in my mind)
7,946 posts, read 15,659,521 times
Reputation: 4583
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
Nashville is country, but it comes across to me as a little higher end country. Like it's a more sophisticated city even though it too has a very country culture.

OKC is like a very large rural and generally not very affluent town if that makes sense. I know it has some affluent areas (Edmond gasp haha and other areas), but, for the size of the metro, it seems below average. As far as radio stations, I surfed them for a week and my point was that you have to go through a ton of country and religious stations to find a few alternatives and most rock stations were like classic rock or something.

Again, I don’t want to make this a country is bad thing. I think OKC is a very “country” city and they have simply ran with that and like I said it’s working. For that demographic, downtown OKC is a nice urban area to visit. Most people I saw walking around in Bricktown etc would not really fit in well in most larger city’s entertainment and shopping districts. In OKC they fit in fine and so they can enjoy themselves and enjoy the city.

I think OKC has really done wonders with downtown and should be proud. Embrace the cowboy culture and OK and implement that into an urban area that appeals to people in the region. That’s what they have done.

But seriously OKC. Not everybody there lives on a farm, yet you see so many pick up trucks and lots of giant trucks with huge tires etc, even people cruising downtown OKC before thunder games in them like they are in some main drag in some rural small town.

Coming from DC (or even KC), you will notice that instantly about OKC. My coworkers in DC that have traveled to OKC have also pointed out how blue collar and country OKC is. They would never move to OKC, but they all love to visit the city for work. Just like our OKC people that come to DC. Would never live in DC area, but like to visit.
You have made a good point here. Country is part of the culture of OKC. I think only Nashville is home to more country music stars. Nashville however has found a way to make country "chic" if you will, in a way OKC hasn't yet. OKC can be a very boring and lonely place for a young, active urban professional while Nashville would be far more welcoming.

Last edited by bchris02; 03-16-2013 at 04:03 PM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-16-2013, 05:45 PM
 
Location: OKIE-Ville
5,472 posts, read 8,178,075 times
Reputation: 3149
Quote:
Originally Posted by bchris02 View Post
You have made a good point here. Country is part of the culture of OKC. I think only Nashville is home to more country music stars. Nashville however has found a way to make country "chic" if you will, in a way OKC hasn't yet. OKC can be a very boring and lonely place for a young, active urban professional while Nashville would be far more welcoming.
That's simply due to the fact that most of the production of country music comes through Nashville. Even T-Keith's production company (ShowDog) is in Nashville. That's where the money and marketing is for country singers. You are right though, Oklahoma/Texas boasts a huge amount of the country music stars/singers on the radio today.

I'm partial to Oklahoma Reddirt myself.


Stoney Larue - Oklahoma Breakdown - YouTube
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-16-2013, 10:51 PM
 
Location: Both sides of the Red River
780 posts, read 2,075,306 times
Reputation: 1120
For someone who could be quite harsh in your earlier posts about OKC, I am glad you came to visit for yourself. Your post is fair but nice; however, I want to address a couple of things.

I guess I never realized it, but yeah, I was driving around today and the first time I paid attention there is definitely a lot of trucks/SUV's here. I probably didn't realize it since I grew up in Texas, where it may be even worse.

Let me also address the "country" thing. OKC is the main business center of Central and Western OK, which is obviously a mainly rural area. So this will be the biggest influence on the city. Country isn't my thing either, but I don't think that you have to like country music or drive a truck to enjoy OKC. You would be surprised how many people here DO NOT. With that in mind, I would never want OKC to be like Nashville, I found it to be very Disneyesque/tourist trap. A "real" western city is going to be a bit gritty and will look something like OKC or Fort Worth. I sadly have to agree with the lack of good radio, but that is happening nationwide. I switched over to XM almost 2 years ago and haven't looked back.

In regards to Bricktown, let me add that all of the residential construction you saw going on was actually in Deep Deuce. They are considered separate areas by most measures. Deep Deuce is about 2-3 years away to become a true urban neighborhood, really the only one in Oklahoma. Personally I am thinking of buying a condo in that area. We will see. Also, while Bricktown is always hopping, I would say its more geared towards suburbanites, tourists, and people looking strictly for clubs. Not that there's a problem with that, of course. There tends to be more local bars in Automobile Alley, Midtown (where I live), Western Avenue, and to a lesser extent, the Plaza (although this area is more of an artsy type area). With that in mind, Bricktown by and large has the most foot traffic of any of these areas, if not the entire state. The streetcar you thought of will break ground next year and hopefully be up and running in 2016, last time I heard.

In any event, glad to hear you enjoyed yourself in OKC, even if you don't think you could ever live here. I'd be interested to know what restaurants you had here. Last people who visited me from the east coast keep bugging me on how good the food is here. Also, can I ask, do you work for the FAA? I just know a lot of folks go between here and DC, and nearly all of them work for the Monroney Center.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-16-2013, 11:00 PM
 
498 posts, read 1,462,608 times
Reputation: 513
You might want to note, kcmo, that a crap-ton of rural dwellers drive to OKC for the Thunder game. Some of the plates I saw in downtown OKC that same night were from Lincoln County, Grady County and Logan County. There are many working farms in those counties.

I believe it is more of a trend than a cultural thing as far as big trucks. I say this because if you research photos of OKC traffic from the 1970s and prior, you will quickly discover that most OKC motorists were driving sedans and station wagons. It wasn't until the late 1990s when bigger vehicles began traversing the roadways. Don't know why.

I have been in OKC all week as well. A free transit bus stopped by our hotel quite often. As far as radio stations... Well... I don't listen to any. My collection is confined to early 80s pop and alternative music. I don't listen to anything past 1992 sans a few rare diamonds.

You also may have missed the traffic in Edmond. I haven't even seen as many Fiats in Houston, but for some reason a lot of people in Edmond love them.

Aside from my .02, I value your feedback and tangible constructive criticism. There is a major cultural change happening in OKC that will not be visible to out of towners for some time, but clear to natives like myself. Once more manifested, it will be more visible to the rest of the nation. Oklahoma Ciry spent much of its life as a blue collar town, but only in the last five years the white collar jobs are grabbing a larger share of the local economy.

Last edited by okcpulse; 03-16-2013 at 11:08 PM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-16-2013, 11:50 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
11,005 posts, read 20,681,881 times
Reputation: 6042
Quote:
Originally Posted by #1soonerfan View Post
For someone who could be quite harsh in your earlier posts about OKC, I am glad you came to visit for yourself. Your post is fair but nice; however, I want to address a couple of things.

I guess I never realized it, but yeah, I was driving around today and the first time I paid attention there is definitely a lot of trucks/SUV's here. I probably didn't realize it since I grew up in Texas, where it may be even worse.

Let me also address the "country" thing. OKC is the main business center of Central and Western OK, which is obviously a mainly rural area. So this will be the biggest influence on the city. Country isn't my thing either, but I don't think that you have to like country music or drive a truck to enjoy OKC. You would be surprised how many people here DO NOT. With that in mind, I would never want OKC to be like Nashville, I found it to be very Disneyesque/tourist trap. A "real" western city is going to be a bit gritty and will look something like OKC or Fort Worth. I sadly have to agree with the lack of good radio, but that is happening nationwide. I switched over to XM almost 2 years ago and haven't looked back.

In regards to Bricktown, let me add that all of the residential construction you saw going on was actually in Deep Deuce. They are considered separate areas by most measures. Deep Deuce is about 2-3 years away to become a true urban neighborhood, really the only one in Oklahoma. Personally I am thinking of buying a condo in that area. We will see. Also, while Bricktown is always hopping, I would say its more geared towards suburbanites, tourists, and people looking strictly for clubs. Not that there's a problem with that, of course. There tends to be more local bars in Automobile Alley, Midtown (where I live), Western Avenue, and to a lesser extent, the Plaza (although this area is more of an artsy type area). With that in mind, Bricktown by and large has the most foot traffic of any of these areas, if not the entire state. The streetcar you thought of will break ground next year and hopefully be up and running in 2016, last time I heard.

In any event, glad to hear you enjoyed yourself in OKC, even if you don't think you could ever live here. I'd be interested to know what restaurants you had here. Last people who visited me from the east coast keep bugging me on how good the food is here. Also, can I ask, do you work for the FAA? I just know a lot of folks go between here and DC, and nearly all of them work for the Monroney Center.
Great post and I agree 100% with all of it. Thanks for the info on Deep Deuce, I didn’t know that was considered a different district. Now that I think about that area, it actually seemed more “normal” for an up and coming urban neighborhood. Smaller cars parked in front of the condos haha and probably mostly younger white collar professionals. The core of Bricktown is very touristy and I’m sure it pulls mostly from the suburban and rural areas, while I did notice some nice non-chain type stuff on the fringes that are probably more popular for locals down there.

While I’m not into country music, there is a part of me that actually enjoyed it because it was wholeheartedly OKC. Every city is different and I think OKC embracing its heritage is pretty cool. I just don’t get country culture, but I’m sure people don’t get living in big crowded cities either. You are right about the pickup trucks. I noticed many of them in suburban areas which tend to be work trucks etc and they may be actually used on a farm or something and that makes sense, but the ones downtown were mostly just big fancy pickups that looked like they are used like SUVs are used in most cities. I don’t get pickups for suburban families, seems like a waste to haul around a bed everywhere you go just in case you need a sheet of plywood?, but an expensive pickup seems to be a status symbol there, like SUVs in Kansas City or BMWs here in DC. Pickups are rare in the DC area and are almost always work trucks. People don’t use them much to commute in.

I flew over the metro in a cesna with a coworker and we actually flew over Edmond during rush hour. That area actually seemed to have a lot of neighbored traffic, mostly just long lines of cars on two lane roads like a stop signs etc. Took a few aerial photos, but would like to come back in a month or two when things green up.

Radio sucks everywhere, but trust me, if you don’t like country, OKC is pretty bad, probably worst I have seen for a larger city. Most rental cars don’t have satellite.

I’m just really impressed by what the city has done and if you really think of what the city had to work with when it started, it’s quite amazing.

Oh and while stayed downtown, I didn’t really get much of a chance to check out a lot of places. First off, when I’m alone, I’m not fond of eating alone, but generally when I’m alone, I’m taking night photos till it’s too dark, so I’m busy. But I did meat some co-workers and they chose Toby Kieths. I wasn’t going to insult them and say that’s not my thing. I had a good time there even though it’s not a place I would normally go.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-17-2013, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Deep Dirty South
5,192 posts, read 4,665,530 times
Reputation: 3841
I'm glad that you had an overall good time (it would seem) in OKC. I agree with a lot of what you said, particularly regarding the sprawl and the ugliness of the place. There are a few districts here and there that are somewhat pretty, but in a place this size, they are few and far between.

I recently returned to Oklahoma after several years away, and am glad to be back in the state; just not overly thrilled about having settled (for now) in OKC. Part of that is because I would just rather live in a smaller town that is within reasonable proximity to a metro area...I would prefer to live in, say Chickasha and be 30-45 minutes out from OKC, or Skiatook or Owasso near Tulsa for example.

I also agree the radio here is lame, but I think that's true about anywhere anymore. The "country" aspect of OKC and the state in general isn't really my thing either (although I like a lot of "old" country music) but it doesn't bother me. I've lived all over and you run into the same thing in places like Las Vegas, Montana, Wyoming, parts of SoCal (Bakersfield) as well as areas of the SE.

For the most part, I find the people of Oklahoma to be friendly, helpful and unpretentious, which is worth a lot to me.

It's an easy state to live in if you have the right makeup.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Oklahoma > Oklahoma City
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top