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Old 01-31-2010, 12:10 PM
4 posts, read 57,115 times
Reputation: 14


Hi there,

I'm a current resident of Portland, OR and will be moving soon to OKC. My wife and I will be working at the OU Med Center and are looking for places to live. We would like to rent - but thusfar craigslist isn't too promising. We have relatives in the suburbs of OKC but we're not really looking for that kind of style.

What we like about Portland is the character and walkability. I've read the post on walkability in OKC - bummer. Really, though, the Paseo area has a walkability score of 75 - that's vs 86 in my current neighborhood. Not too bad.

My question - where do young, fun, interesting, active people live in OKC? What's the coolest neighborhood - please feel free to argue and defend your position with other members.

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Old 01-31-2010, 01:51 PM
Location: Oklahoma City
242 posts, read 661,098 times
Reputation: 227
Check on the Plaza District. (The Plaza District - Oklahoma City (http://www.plazadistrict.org/vision.html - broken link)) It's centered at 16th Street and Gatewood about 2.5-3 miles from the medical district. Within about the last two years it has become really popular with a demographic around 25-35, newlywed age couples and singles. Typically they are young, creative people and they have opened a lot of retail and restaurant businesses on the historic retail strip there. There are several places that sell locally crafted clothing, furniture, gifts, etc., a performance theater, coffee/food spots. So it'd be walkable around the neighborhood and probably safe to bike to OU Med down 10th Street. Housing here is single family homes or historic multifamily buildings, lots of fixer uppers- it's an up and coming area so I think it'd be good investment. From Flickr:

If you want even more urban setting, Midtown around 10th and Walker is great and there are a lot of multifamily properties being renovated there, with a growing retail/restaurant presence at 10th and Walker and along Broadway south of 10th.

Even more urban and even closer to OU med is the Triangle/Flatiron/Deep Deuce area east of the CBD where you're more likely to get a loft condo or higher density development than Midtown or Plaza. It's walkable to movie/live theater, museums restaurants, bars, clubs, but there is only one small boutique grocery store in Deep Deuce.

http://photos-g.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs122.snc3/16938_1332607640134_1379330057_965661_1762391_n.jp g (broken link)

http://photos-b.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs142.snc3/16938_1332608600158_1379330057_965685_170159_n.jpg (broken link)

Check out the photos on this page:

Oklahoma City in Jan 2010 - SkyscraperCity

If you love the Portland streetcar, we are getting one modeled after Portland within the next few years. I'd say Triangle/Deep Deuce, Midtown, and the OU Health Science Center all have great chances of being served by the future streetcar line, though we haven't seen an official map yet, just gotten funding sources approved.

I think you'll want to check out all three of those areas and maybe even some others to find the coolest areas. Paseo, as you mentioned, is also pretty good but it is definitely geared specifically for art shoppers and creators.
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Old 02-01-2010, 01:59 PM
Location: Houston, Texas
443 posts, read 1,186,241 times
Reputation: 580
Oh lord, you are moving from Portland to OKC? WHY? Well, at least it sounds like you've probably visited before so you know what you are in for.

The hipster neighborhoods are around the Paseo/Plaza district as the poster mentioned above, Western Avenue area (Will Rogers Lobby Bar area) from Western and NW 37th to NW 50th...lots of young couples are buying old bungalows here and restoring them (such as me)...and the Midtown/Bricktown area. Homes in the Western area, in my opinion, have the highest chance to become the next "it" place to be in OKC because of the strong influence of Chesapeake (huge natural gas corp that has completely revamped NW50th/Western area with a new campus) and because of the aformentioned restoration/revitalization of really old homes that is already taking place. 4 ugly, nearly abandoned homes on the street my house is on have been restored in the last 3 years that I've owned the place. Also, the Mesta Park area (beautiful restored old bungalows but very expensive...it's already been re gentrified for the most part) and Edgemere park areas.

Here is some advice to keep in mind when considering the above options.

1) Areas around these hipster neighborhoods are in higher crime areas. My home would be considered to be in a "good" area...literally on the border of Crown heights..and we were burgled TWICE in less than 2 years while away on vacation. The problem is some streets are MUCH better and re gentrified than streets literally one block away where many homes might still be dilapidated and rented very cheaply. The area down around Classen and NW 23rd-30th in the Asian district is downright scary sometimes.

Again, it's not like there were drive-bys everyday or anything but, as my experience shows you, these areas aren't the safest (safest areas in OKC are probably way out in suburbs or in very expensive gated communities such as Nichols Hills in town)...you will need an alarm system.

2) Midtown, Bricktown, Downtown are still very dead at night during the week and on weekends. Especially when compared to a city like Portland. There has been a lot of development in those areas over the last 10 years but the permanent downtown population is still VERY small and you can tell. So, don't expect a lot of pedestrian traffic except to the dance/night clubs on Fri/Sat. The other problem with these areas is the lack of any real grocery store...the boutique grocery store the OP mentioned is new but hardly can sustain all of the grocery needs of a family especially for the price they charge. You will have to drive to a regular grocery store and for practically everything else.

Bottom line there are a few neighborhoods that would be considered "cool" in OKC but, compared to Portland, they are not even close in terms of amenities and walkable areas. I'd imagine OKC will continue to improve itself but its going to still take many, many years.
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Old 02-02-2010, 04:32 AM
Location: Dangling from a mooses antlers
7,311 posts, read 12,193,498 times
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I'd take Portland over OKC any day of the week. What a step down in the quality of your lifestyle. I'd suggest one of the first things you do is get your concealed weapons permit. The areas around OU Med Center are not where you want to live or play after dark.
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Old 02-02-2010, 08:07 AM
62 posts, read 202,262 times
Reputation: 43
I echo Irishlover.

Moving from Portland to OKC is going to involve a massive lifestyle change. I'm from the UK and also work at OUHSC and you simply can't wander around OKC like you do in cities like Portland or London. Public transport is a non-starter and if you ride a bike you'll get abused by passing drivers. In sum, trying to recreate the life you've led in Portland in OKC will not work.

Even places like the Paseo District, Bricktown and downtown that have high walkability scores are not places you are going to see other people walking or riding bikes. This a driving city.

OKC does not have 'cool' neighbourhoods either, not by the standards of the North-west anyway. If you go the Paseo District - the place that all the locals call "European" and "artsy" - it's like a tiny sanctum in the middle of a really terrible part of the city. It's isolated and not well-poulated - far from thriving.
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:56 AM
Location: Oklahoma City
242 posts, read 661,098 times
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Everyone knows that Portland is one of the most well-respected cities in the US... Obviously moving to OKC will involve some adjustment. However, it's not that Oklahoma City does not have cool neighborhoods that are comparable to Portland- it just has cool neighborhoods that are in their infancy- the first few years of their emerging success. I think the benefit to OKC right now is that you can be a pioneer and a community builder in these neighborhoods and really feel like you are a part of the birth or renaissance of that neighborhood. That's why hipster creatives are moving to places like the Plaza District in droves - they want a place that they can shape into the urban, eclectic area they desire. And Oklahoma City is the kind of off-the-radar place that is perfect for that sort of grassroots urban hipster revolution, and that's exactly what is happening in many of the inner city neighborhoods.
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Old 02-05-2010, 02:46 PM
Location: Jones, Oklahoma
602 posts, read 1,680,231 times
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you would really like the Paseo district and some of the redone historical homes in that part of OKC. There have been some massive improvements to downtown OKC in the last few years. Lots of local cool cafes and restaurants, loft style apartments, art galleries and Bricktown not far away. It definitely won't be Portland, but I think you would enjoy it plus it isn't far from the Hospital
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Old 02-06-2010, 08:37 AM
13 posts, read 69,050 times
Reputation: 30

Last March we moved from Bend, OR to OKC for my job. While it was tough leaving maybe the prettiest place on earth, the transition hasn't been that bad. We actually really like OKC. I really like the Crown Heights neighborhood or anything on the 36th-50th areas of N. Western Blvd. You can make the best of any place and if you venture off the beaten path you can find some cool places that are similar to Oregon. As many? no. But make the best of what is here and you will enjoy. If you need any help, let me know.
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Old 02-11-2010, 08:24 PM
Location: Piedmont, Okla.
632 posts, read 1,460,670 times
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Hey David: In honesty, I've only been to Portland a couple of times; loved the city and you will miss it once your here. BUT, OKC is not that bad of a place to live. I've been in this area since '96.. we have two years more here at most and hopefully relocating back up in the Minnesota area where my wife's family comes from, but that's mainly because I miss the north, not enough seasons for me.. that said, that's my only real complaint.

What I do like here and I think you'll pick up on immediately is that overall, this is a pretty friendly city, infact probably one of the friendliest for a city of it's size. There is alot to do culturally, you'll probably have to look a little more than back in Portland but it's not devoid of anything to do. The places mentioned like the Paseo is definitely a cool place and there are alot of great restaurants and bars to check out. One of my favourites is The Red Cup, a really nice coffee place off of western near NW 30th. There are some really good vegetarian type restaurants popping up these days that you'll like if that's your thing.

As far as safety in the neighbourhoods in question, there are some safety issues but the overall crime index is not that bad. Stay away from the south and east sides of the main OKC area. Those places tend to be the worst.

One other thing you need to consider.. within two hours of OKC are some great places to discover, like the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge, a great place for hiking and fishing. There is great diversity to Oklahoma, contrary to popular belief who are not acquainted with this state, there is alot more than dusty, treeless plains. Just go up towards Tulsa and on east around Grand Lake and Lake Tenkiller, you have lots of trees, great fishing and overall, really beautiful scenery.

Hope this helps some.
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Old 02-12-2010, 05:08 AM
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
533 posts, read 1,521,565 times
Reputation: 384
Originally Posted by Daveismoving View Post
My question - where do young, fun, interesting, active people live in OKC? What's the coolest neighborhood - please feel free to argue and defend your position with other members.
I had to chuckle at this. It doesn't take too long and you find out that cool is about as fickle and fleeting as young and both are highly overrated.
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