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Cost of living- In my experience, OKC is cheaper on a lot of things because of the additional cost of using the turnpikes to get to Tulsa.
You don't have to use turnpikes at all. With the exception of the Creek turnpike none of them come into Tulsa so why would having turnpikes outside of Tulsa make it more expensive to live in Tulsa? If you are already in Tulsa you don't have to use the turnpikes just like you don't have to use them when coming in or leaving Tulsa.
The Creek Turnpike connects the turnpikes together and you certainly don't have to use it. While people griped about it before it opened it was needed to get people who want to get across the south side very quickly....and it does exactly that...and people who use it do appreciate it.
Hwys 51, 33, 75, 169, and Route 66 do not have turnpikes. 412 does not become a toll until you get almost to Locust Grove, OK.
Within Tulsa I-244 and 44 are not turnpikes. I 244 and 44 run together out around Catoosa, OK and again you can make a choice--you can take 66 to Claremore and head up toward Joplin and Springfield or take the faster turnpike....
Sure you can take a Turnpike to Stillwater once you get out past Lake Keystone....toward the Mannford, OK area but you don't have to. You make the choice.
You do not have to use a turnpike to get to OKC from Tulsa. Going to OKC (after entering the Sapulpa, OK city limits) you make the choice to go on HWY 66 or take the faster turnpike. I have done both and found that I saved more, not just in time but in gas in using the turnpike than what it cost me in toll.
That is the beauty of it....in order to have a turnpike they first, had to have a regular highway to get you somewhere before they were allowed to come in and offer a faster highway (turnpike).
So there is always a road that is not via a toll road....it might cost you more in the long run in your time and in gas to not pay the toll but it is completely up to you.
I have also foolishly (ok, so I'm an idiot!) gone to Dallas without a turnpike....just to save a buck. LOL! Yeah, right! I resented the tolls until I realized how much time and gas I save then it is a no brainer.
As an alternative to state funded roads, turnpikes operate to supplement the limited money appropriated for highway construction and maintenance. The Authority receives no tax money to operate its turnpikes.
Oklahoma’s turnpikes pay in excess of $13 million per year for salaries and cars for the Highway Patrol Officers assigned to these roads. Without toll revenues, Oklahoma would have to pay for these troopers out of tax dollars.
If you have the time and want to mosey along and enjoy seeing Oklahoma then by all means don't take the turnpikes. (It really is a lot of fun to take the back roads and meander through the little towns.)
Last edited by gonefishing; 02-12-2007 at 02:09 PM..
I currently live in the Piedmont Triad area of North Carolina, and have been considering several places to move for grad school. In your opinion, which city would be the best place for an twenty something, African American male, who enjoys a decent downtown (not like Chicago)? Which city is the closest to metropolitan regions in other states? Also, are both cities very prone to Tornadoes?
I think I would have to agree with most of the comments. Tulsa is for sure more scenic and green. Tulsa has more parks and in my opinion I would consider Tulsa the arts district of Oklahoma. Tulsa is culturally more diverse than Oklahoma City. However I think your best bet as a student would be Oklahoma City. From Edmond (UCO) thru OKC and to Norman (OU) is about a 45min drive or less, and OKC is 2 1/2hrs from Dallas, Texas. As far as race is concerned, moving from Oklahoma to Dallas,Texas was a huge culture shock for me. Anyhow, as far as race is concerned, it really depends on what you're used to. Most of the culture issues you might have would come from black/african americans more so than other cultures. There are some issues with blacks in certain areas regarding dealings with the police and government, but for the most part if you aren't caught up in some mess you should be fine. When I lived in other places black/african american culture was different. When I moved away there were culture shocks in so many ways. Oklahoma is in the middle of the bible belt, so unless you're Christian, you might have a bit more problems in the religion area than race.
I FORGOT...the thing I dislike the most about Oklahoma City is the limited public transporation. Trains are out (except the AmTrak that goes to Fort Worth), light rails are out, and very very very limited buses, actually, i'm not sure if those are buses or trolleys...You must have a dependable car if you want to live in Oklahoma...I think Tulsa has as bus system.
When I lived in San Jose, CA it was so new to me, why would anyone want to ride a train, light rail when they could ride in the comfort of their own car? I learned fast about the convenience! Now I live in Dallas and i've just rediscovered the light rail, nothing to the extent of San Jose's but it's nice and for sure OKlahoma is far behind on public transportation.
I am a college student and was born and raised in OK, so I think I have an idea of what your looking for. I would say OKC for a college student. OKC has a lot more going for as far as downtown. Lots of bars, clubs, sports games, resturaunts, and other places college students would want to hang out. Tulsa is much more desolate downtown as far a things to do go. Tulsa would be the good place to settle down and raise a family. It is a lot prettier that OKC as far as terrain goes and there are many trees , hills, and nice lakes around like Tenkiller, Skiatook, and Oologah. OKC in my opinion is better for younger people and Tulsa is better for older people.
OKC hands down. Way closer to Dallas and other large cities without the pain of toll booths and small highways. OKC has a huge what we call a monster vein that is called I-35 it extends from Chicago to Dallas. low traffic because of a huge highway infastructure allows you to navigate literally around the metro area. Other ares that you would be most interested in are posted here:
Other development projects include:
BLOCK 42 is a high-end condominium project offering 42-luxury condos with a modern, urban aesthetic. Construction should be complete by August 2007.
The Hill is a project with almost 200 townhomes being built on a hill overlooking the Deep Deuce district. The project is scheduled to begin construction by the end of 2006.
The Triangle, the Flatiron District between Deep Deuce and Bricktown, is a project by TAParchitecture that will be finished in 5-10 years with 700-loft units, office and retail space.
In 2001, the Deep Deuce at Bricktown opened with 294 units.
Legacy Summit at Arts Central is a $40-million, 200-unit being developed across from the Civic Center Music Hall.
The Park Harvey Center, a 17-story office building is being converted into 164 affordable apartment units.
The Central Avenue Villas will have 30 loft units when finished later in 2007.
A new Hampton Inn and Suites in Bricktown.
A 250-room Embassy Suites hotel. At the time of writing this, the location of this hotel remains unnamed.
The area due south of the Ford Center is anticipated to become OKC's new downtown district once the long overdue move of the I-40 Crosstown bridge takes place by 2009. The master plan for Downtown South shows a boulevard running through downtown - where the current alignment of the Crosstown bridge is today, as well as a new city greenway stretching from the Myriad Botanical Gardens down to the Oklahoma River. It is also assumed that the Central Business District would be extended south, and new highrise construction will take place there.
The Bricktown CanalThe Bricktown Entertainment District of downtown Oklahoma City is the fastest-growing entertainment district in the region and is one of the most popular destinations in the state. The former warehouse district on the east side of downtown has seen a major renaissance (along with the rest of the inner city) over the last 15-years, thanks to the MAPS redevelopment plan. Bricktown today is bustling with dozens of restaurants, dance clubs, live music venues, upscale retail shops, and offices. Top attractions include the AT&T Bricktown Ballpark (aka, the Brick - home of the Oklahoma Redhawks) and the navigable Bricktown Canal.
The Bricktown Canal stretches one mile through the district toward to a new park past the Oklahoma Land Run Monument. When completed, the Land Run Monument will be a series of 36 giant statues stretching over an area the size of two football fields on the south canal, and will be one of the largest sculptural monuments in the world.
Lower Bricktown boasts a brand new movie complex run by Harkins Theaters, Marble Slab Creamery, Bass Pro Outdoor World, the new Toby Keith 'I Love This Bar and Grill' theme-restaurant and upscale retail. Several hotels are planned as are additional retail venues and urban condominiums, the first of which will be located next to the Harkin's Theater and across from the Sonic Building. Its first announced tenant is Starbucks, downtown's first anchor location.
 Automobile Alley
This neighborhood along Broadway Avenue in Northeast Downtown was a popular retail district in the 1920s and was home to most of Oklahoma City's car dealerships. The area declined with the rest of Downtown in the 1970s and 1980s.
Today there is a considerable effort to turn AAlley into Oklahoma City's newest upscale urban neighborhood. Efforts to redevelop the area will transform the showrooms and storefronts of Automobile Alley into upscale lofts, galleries, and offices. Also in the area are many of downtown's earliest churches along Robinson Ave. (known as "Church Row") in Midtown and the city's first high school, now the headquarters of Oklahoma Farmers Union Insurance.
 Deep Deuce
Deep Deuce, a few blocks north of Bricktown, ignited the downtown urban housing boom in the late 1990s. The area consists mostly of low rise apartment buildings and various formerly vacant mixed use buildings. Deep Deuce was once the largest African American neighborhood downtown in the 1940's and 1950's and was the regional center of culture and jazz music. Bands such as the Count Basie Orchestra, the Blue Devils, the Charlie Christian Band, and others resided in this downtown neighborhood. It is also noteworthy that Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. was rejected for an executive position at the Calvary Baptist Church in Deep Deuce for being "too young."
Much of the original neighborhood was bulldozed to make way for the I-235 Centennial Expressway in the late 1980s. While the area was neglected during the 1990s, the downtown renaissance has made the area attractive to developers, despite how little remains of the neighborhood's earlier character and architecture.
 The Arts District
The area now known as the Arts District wraps around part of west downtown that encompasses the Civic Center Music Hall, the new Oklahoma City Museum of Art, the Myriad Botanical Gardens, Stage Center for the Performing Arts, the new central library, several local theaters, and at its northern edge, the Oklahoma City National Memorial. The district is also home to the nation's 3rd largest arts festival, the annual Festival of the Arts.
popularly known, despite the official renaming as the 'Asian District.'
 Inner City North
 Asian District
The Gold Dome and Classen buildings of the city's Asian DistrictOklahoma City has the largest Asian population in the state and is home to a rapidly growing cultural area officially deemed the Asian District. Many cultures from all over Asia are represented in the shops and restaurants as well as the neighboring residential and commercial area. The district is often referred to as 'Little Saigon' by local residents, as it was and still is
Centered primarily along Classen Boulevard from NW 22nd Street to NW 30th, the region is a culturally diverse Chinatown community, with the strongest visually identifiable influence being Vietnamese. Tens of thousands of Vietnamese refugees settled in the city during the 1970s after the fall of Saigon, leading the revival of what had previously been a declining neighborhood following a suburban "white flight" exodus of middle class residents. As the new Asian residents rebuilt the community, more immigrants moved into the area from countries beyond just Vietnam and Southeast Asia. It is now home to residents from all around the world.
Today the Asian District  is a bustling cosmopolitan scene full of art galleries, quaint apartments, retail shops, asian delis, highrise condos, and bars and restaurants of many varieties (in the span of a single block can be found a pizzeria, a diner, a bubble tea restaurant, an Asian video arcade, and many Chinese and Phở restaurants). One can often observe both international and domestic students from bordering Oklahoma City University, the Dove Science Academy, and the Classen School of Advanced Studies frequenting the neighborhood.
The Eastside district in the near North East quadrant of Oklahoma City is home to the state's largest African American community and is experiencing a renaissance of its own. Once a perfect example of urban blight and neglect, the Eastside has seen some significant development recently. An African American Heritage Museum is currently in the works along with efforts to revive the long neglected NE 23rd Capitol Business District.
Other Eastside attractions include the beautiful and newly domed State Capitol of Oklahoma, the 45th Infantry Museum just south of the Adventure District, the new Oklahoma History Center, the University of Oklahoma Medical Center and the burgeoning Oklahoma Research Center. The OU Medical Center is the nation's largest, employing around 12,000.
View of the new Oklahoma History Center, located near the state capitol.The Oklahoma Medical District, comprised of some hospitals, the VA Med Center, the OUMC, and the OU Health Campus (comprised of 6 medical schools, and one of the largest health campuses in the nation) is undergoing a reconstruction phase with new buildings being built. There is also one of the region's major economic engines, the Research Park, which is a growing campus of 6 buildings fully leased with research-based tenants and thousands of jobs. The whole Medical District area is by far one of the fastest growing and newest economic engines in the metro area which has managed to link to Capitol Complex and Downtown into one package of urban revitalization linked by Broadway and/or Lincoln Boulevard.
The Eastside is considered by many to be the most economically diverse neighborhood in Oklahoma City, with land values ranging from astronomical in parts of the tree-lined Lincoln Terrace neighborhood to poorer areas within public housing districts like Prince Hall Village on Kelly Avenue; two very different neighborhoods only one mile apart.
 39th Street Enclave
Oklahoma City has the state's largest gay/lesbian population and gay village, known as the 39th Street Enclave. As with many of OKC's neighborhoods, the lack of established boundaries makes it hard to give an exact location, but generally speaking, this community is principally located along NW 39th Street between Pennsylvania Avenue and Youngs Street, although there are many gay-friendly businesses, organizations and neighborhoods diffused throughout the surrounding area.
The NW 39th Street Enclave rivals Bricktown in terms of sheer volume of clubs, bars, and nightlife including The Habana Inn, billed as The Largest Gay Resort in America, with 3 bars, restaurant, gift shop, and nearly 200 rooms. 39th Street is also home to the local annual PRIDE celebration and other attractions
Oklahoma City also has the largest hispanic and African American populations in the state. Some 80,000 persons of latin descent and over 120,000 persons of African American heritage call the city home. Oklahoma City is blessed with cultural districts that celebrate our hispanic and African American residents and their contributions to the city.
The Capitol Hill Main Street district is due south of downtown and is the centre of Latin oriented commerce in the city. While development has been much slower than Bricktown or the Asian District, Capitol Hill does host many restaurants and retail outlets that would leave you to believe you were in Mexico. It is tough to say exactly what direction the district will take but hopefully with the N. Canadian river (recently renamed to Oklahoma river) development interest in Capital Hill will recover more strongly.
The Eastside district is home to the African American community and is experiencing a renaissance of its own. Once a perfect example of urban blight and stereotypical undersight, the Eastside now boasts numerous development and an African American museum is currently in the works.
Surprise, Oklahoma City has a vibrant, thriving gay community. Yes, I said, OKC has a gay community - the state's largest! And in this city that embraces (ok sometimes rather blindly as is the case here) its diversity, there is a very thriving Entertainment District for so called alternative sexually oriented participants principally along NW 39th Expressway between Pennsylvania and May Aves.
The 39th GLBIT Entertainment district contains over 20 hoppin' dance clubs and bars, gay oriented hotels (in fact, the Habana Inn is the largest gay resort in the SW), retail, and services. The district rivals Bricktown in terms of sheer volume of nightlife yet the city leaders usually do not actively promote the district as a tourist venue. I beg to differ, as the district cators to both gay and straight individuals (especially those comfortable with their sexuality) and it is yet another part of the amazing mozaic that makes Oklahoma City a multicultural, cosmopolitan, big city. www.gayokc.com , www.standout-online.com (broken link)
Besides the skyscrapers that cluster in the central business district, one of the prominent landmarks of downtown OKC is the Crystal Bridge at the Myriad Botanical Garden. Inside the Crystal Bridge is a tropical conservatory that contains foliage more akin to the Amazon River basin than the Great Plains of America. The park has several ampitheatres where live theatre and concerts can be seen and heard in the summer. There is also a lake in the middle of the gardens lined with large goldfish and waterfalls that add life-giving oxygen as well as an added surprise to visitors.
The Myriad Botanical Garden is one of the more creative downtown parks in the nation and the city's most romantic. The park is also home to the city's top festivals, including the annual Festival of the Arts in April and the July 4th Celebration.
The Oklahoma City Zoo is one of the top 10 in the country and is the oldest zoo in the Southwest US. The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum has galleries full of priceless western art and treasures.
Omniplex is one of the largest Science Centers and General Interest Museums in the country and is home to the Omnidome Imax theater. Known as the Smithsonian museum of the SW, Omniplex houses many informative exhibits on space travel, photography, pioneer life, and more.
The Oklahoma City National Memorial in north downtown was created to honor the victims, survivors, rescuers, and all who were changed forever on April 19, 1995 when the Murrah Federal Building was bombed. The outdoor Symbolic Memorial, can be visited 24 hours a day for free, and the Smithsonian-quality Memorial Museum can be entered for a small fee. 168 chairs represent 168 people killed there. Large chairs represent adults and small chairs represent children killed. Each row represents which floor they were on. The reflecting pool in front is to represent "a place and time to reflect". This memorial is extremely moving and a must-see in Oklahoma City.
Among the other new attractions, include a new downtown home for the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. The capitol building's dome was recently finished, and was one of the few state capitol buildings that did not have a dome atop the structure.
Upscale shopping is available at Penn Square Mall, 50 Penn Place, Belle Aisle Shopping Centre, Quail Springs Mall, and the suburbs of Nichols Hills and Edmond. Crossroads Mall, the largest mall in the state, is located in South Oklahoma City, at the I-240 and I-35 junction.
Walking trails line beautiful Lake Hefner in the northwest part of the city and downtown at the canal and the N. Canadian River. Lake Stanley Draper, the city's largest and most remote, offers more of an escape from the big city and has a more natural feel. The city is implementing a new trail system that will be akin to a bicycle freeway system, allowing residents to access all of the natural beauty of the region and still be within stomping distance to city attractions.
Oklahoma City has an exciting history that began in one day with the 1889 Land Run, and after hard times over the years, the city has turned itself around and made itself a lively, attractive place to live and to visit. Some famous people from Oklahoma City include baseball player Johnny Bench, writer Ralph Ellison, and actor Dale Robertson
I've lived in both Tulsa and OKC before and if you're looking for nightlife and a decent downtown, OKC would definitely be my top choice. Although Tulsa has a great music scene, OKC has far more clubs and whatnot in the Bricktown area.
Tulsa is by far a "prettier" city with a small town atmosphere but given your age and interests, I think you'd find more opportunities here in the city.
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