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I posted this in another thread, but I feel that my response is a contribution to this thread, too, so here it goes:
I choose Tulsa, hands down, no questions asked. As a disclaimer, I've lived in both cities, and Tulsa is my city of choice.
Especially since you're interested in and primarily concerned with the arts and music scene, you should choose Tulsa. It is, after all, known as the arts and culture capital of the state. Here's a quick rundown of some things Tulsa has to offer:
-Lofts are going up in historic, beautiful art deco buildings such as Philtower.
-The BOk Center, a beautiful 18,041 seat arena (this design proves that yes, an arena can be beautiful) designed by famed architect Cesar Pelli, is set to open in September.
-Cain's Ballroom, one of the top venues in the world (ranked 42), hosts dozens upon dozens upon dozens of concerts in every genre.
-Brady Theater, another famed Tulsa venue, is also host to several big-name and up-and-coming acts.
-The Brady District has a good number of galleries, restaurants, apartments, lofts, Cain's and the Brady, a couple GLBT clubs, some straight bars, will be the new home of KOTV, the new Philbrook Museum galleries and artist studios, and a large, new mixed-use development is soon-to-be-announced to the public.
-The Mayo Hotel, an 18-story historic building whose ballroom stage Elvis once graced, is in the early stages of being converted into a mix of apartments, a hotel, and retail/offices.
-The Atlas Life Building, another wonderful piece of architecture, will begin its transformation into a boutique hotel under the Marriott brand.
-The East End is a growing area on the east side of downtown, and is home to some funky galleries like Living Arts of Tulsa, lofts, Tiny Lounge, a wine bar and other retail. The Tulsa Drillers, Tulsa's minor-league baseball team, might be moving into the East End, bringing with it a slue of other activity and development, including another possible hotel, and restaurants and retail.
-The Blue Dome District is home to several bars and restaurants, including El Guapo's, McNellie's, Tsunami Sushi, 1974, Arnie's, Capella's and others, and is the future home of Joe Momma's Pizza; retail stores like the modern-eclectic DwellingSpaces; the First Street Lofts; and the Blue Dome Arts Festival.
-SoBo (18th & Boston) has its share of clubs, a wine bar, restaurants and coffee shops, art galleries, design studios, etc.
-The Greenwood District has purchased land to add 40+ brownstones, retail, restaurants and a hotel, all in an urban manner. The John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Memorial and Museum will also be planted in Greenwood sometime soon (if the State legislature will free up the last bit of remaining needed funds).
-OSU-Tulsa lies just beyond Greenwood and is planning to add student housing, which will help create an even denser, more vibrant area connecting to the rest of downtown's districts.
-Tulsa Community College is adding a new Creativity Center at its downtown campus and will be a great asset to the area. With OSU and TCC occupying the North and South ends of downtown respectively, much synergy and activity between the two will only create better things in the area between the two.
-Downtown is also home to the Performing Arts Center, home of the Tulsa Opera, Tulsa Ballet and the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra. The PAC also hosts several large events ranging from Broadway shows to concerts and plays.
-Downtown is the location of Oklahoma's largest arts festival (Mayfest) and largest music festival (D-Fest). Mayfest brings thousands of people downtown to experience local and regional artists, food, fun, and dozens of free concerts. Mayfest 2007 had attendance of over 375,000. D-Fest (which stands for 'Diversafest'), in its 7th year, is similar to Austin's SXSW and hosts over a hundred concerts in several venues around the Blue Dome District featuring local, regional and national acts. Attendance is expected to be more than 60,000 this year.
-Downtown (and Tulsa in general) is known across the nation for its outstanding, nearly-unmatched collection of art deco buildings.
Cherry Street (which has a great view of downtown), is full of an eclectic, funky mix of restaurants (from Irish to Mexican, Italian, American and Cajun), bars, galleries, lofts, coffee shops, funky furniture shops, and even a high-end cheese and chocolate store, among its other qualities. Young, highly-educated people have been flocking to the area in droves, and new lofts and infill projects are going up all the time, including N.I.N.E., which are the most eco-friendly dwellings in Oklahoma. Cherry Street Farmer's Market is one of the best in the city.
While Cherry Street revels in its funky eclecticism, Brookside revels in its unique blend of high-end, trendy shops and restaurants like Keo, S.R. Hughes, KoKoa, Black Optical, Ermenegildo Zegna, Aberson's, Garlic Rose, La Bella Vita, Lava, the Brasserie, Sonoma, Oliver's Twist, In the Raw, etc. with the local-organic indoor Center One Market; with the clubs and bars like Jewel, Brookside Bar & Grill, Sharky's, Crow Creek Tavern and Hops & Grains; with the tattoo parlors, breakfast places, the historic Brook Restaurant, Yoga studios, salons, the Vespa store, fitness centers, lofts, charming residences and Whole Foods; with its coffee shops and a plethora of other interes[things]. An upscale, 220-unit, mid-rise apartment building, the Enclave at Brookside, is to be built by the Bomasada Group.
The T-Town Trolley takes bar and restaurant patrons between Brookside, Cherry Street, SoBo (18th & Boston) and the Blue Dome District.
Utica Square is a renowned, outdoor, upscale shopping center in Midtown, set in a garden of tree-lined walks, spring tulips, summer concerts, and its many antique clocks. It is home to Oklahoma's only Saks Fifth Avenue and a mix of several locally-owned and national-brand stores like Restoration Hardware, Williams-Sonoma, Crabtree & Evelyn, Tulsa's own Miss Jackson's, Petty's Fine Foods, Anne Taylor, Coach, Pottery Barn, Banana Republic, Harold's, Stonehorse Cafe, the Wild Fork, Moody's Jewelry, White House | Black Market, JoS. A. Banks, Ihloff Salon & Spa, P.F. Chang's, Polo Grill (Oklahoma's top-rated restaurant), Pier 1, and more.
Tulsa's Midtown is a very large, largely affluent area and includes Utica Square, Brookside, Cascia Hall Preparatory School, the University of Tulsa, etc. and homes ranging from opulent mansions to charming bungalows, a Frank Lloyd Wright home, Woodward Park, Tulsa Historical Society, Tulsa Rose Garden (one of the largest in the nation), and the Philbrook Museum, among many more parks, wooded neighborhoods, and abuts the Arkansas River and the River Parks on the west.
Philbrook Museum of Art is a very well-known, classic Tulsa attraction and is recognized as one of America's finest museums. It is ranked in the top 50, and is only one of five in the U.S. with a combination of historical home, art collections and gardens. The museum is housed in an opulent, 1927 Italian villa modeled after the Villa Lante (north of Rome), and is surrounded by 23 acres of lush, formal gardens. It houses exhibitions from around the world, including one of the finest permanent collections of Renaissance and Baroque art and sculpture in the United States.
Gilcrease Museum of Art is one of the country's best facilities for the preservation and study of American art and history. The museum's charm, beauty and art collections draw thousands of visitors from around the world to the hills just northwest of downtown Tulsa for a glimpse into the past. Gilcrease Museum houses the world's largest, most comprehensive collection of art and artifacts of the American West, with more than 10,000 works. The Museum also offers an unparalleled collection of Native American art and artifacts, as well as historical manuscripts, documents and maps. The shelves of its library accommodate some 100,000 rare books, manuscripts and other archival material, much of it unique, and its galleries and vaults display and store over a quarter million extraordinary artifacts related to the aboriginal people of the Americas. Beyond the extensive Gilcrease collections and exhibits are its beautiful facilities and gardens. Themed gardens have been developed on 23 of the museum's 460 acres. Gilcrease has recently partnered with the University of Tulsa.
The University of Tulsa is the finest institution of higher learning in the state. Its students have earned more nationally competitive scholarships than every other university in the state combined. Since 1995 alone, TU students have won: 41 Goldwaters, 27 National Science Foundation, 8 Trumans, 7 Dept. of Defense, 5 Udalls, 6 Fulbrights, 4 British Marshalls (including the first received by an Oklahoma student in 27 years), and 6 Phi Kappa Phi. In 2005, TU was named a Truman Honor Institution. TU students won the first international contest for model cars powered only by a chemical reaction. It is the highest-ranked university in Oklahoma, and is the only in the top 100. It has been ranked 6th nationally for having the happiest students, 5th nationally for good relationships with its community, 9th nationally in quality of life and 11th nationally for race and class interaction. Its Petroleum Engineering program is ranked 3rd in the world, and its business school is one of the top-ranked in the nation. In the past 6 years, TU has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in campus improvements, including 700+ apartments, a top-notch fitness center, one of the top-ranked tennis facilities in the nation, a new administration, admissions and financial aid building, an 8,355 seat arena, a new law library, a legal clinic, one of the only on-campus mosques in the nation, extensive renovations and additions are being made to the library and football stadium, construction on an ambitious, new performing arts center is set to begin this summer, and new engineering buildings are to follow.
Spread along miles of the Arkansas River, as it flows through Tulsa, River Parks provides some of the metropolitan area's finest outdoor recreation. More than 20 miles of asphalt-surfaced recreation trails weave past picnic areas, playgrounds, fountains and sculptures. The park's landscape ranges from manicured lawns to the rugged terrain of the Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area. Recreation in River Parks includes fishing, rowing, kayaking, frisbee golf, hiking, biking, rugby and horseback riding. During warm weather months, a variety of outdoor events are offered. Entertainment opportunities include concerts, including symphony concerts on a floating amphitheater in the Arkansas River, festivals like Oktoberfest (named by USA Today as one of the top 10 Oktoberfests worldwide) and Tulsa Salutes Freedom, the state's largest free fireworks display on the Fourth of July.
Southern Hills Country Club is a prestigious golf and country club. The course is ranked No. 15 among Golf Digest’s “America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses”. Southern Hills has hosted the U.S. Open three times (1958, 1977, 2001) and the PGA Championship four times (1970, 1982, 1994, 2007). It is the first course ever to host four PGA Championships. It has also hosted several other prestigious tournaments. Southern Hills also has the rare honor of being the inaugural host of a USGA championship, hosting the first-ever U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur in 1987.
Tulsa has a population of nearly 400,000 in 186.8 sq. mi., (Density: 2,152 people per sq. mi.) making it a much more compact, denser (and in my opinion, much more interesting) city than Oklahoma City (Oklahoma City has a population of nearly 540,000 in 621.2 sq. mi. Density: 871.5 people per square mile), and has a plethora of natural beauty and cultural and historical assets that Oklahoma City just doesn't have. Climb Turkey Mountain, go rapelling at Chandler Park, jog or ride the River Parks Trails, go fishing at nearby Skiatook Lake, Keystone Lake, Oologah Lake or on the Arkansas River, kayak on the Arkansas River, take in the natural beauty of Mohawk Park (one of the nation's largest urban parks), home to Tulsa Zoo, named in 2005 as the nation's favorite zoo, the Oxley Nature Center and a public golf course. Catch a show at the PAC, tour the galleries of Philbrook, Gilcrease orthe Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art, which houses the largest collection of Judaica in the Southwest, stroll through azalea-filled Woodward Park or the Tulsa Rose Garden, the Tulsa Air and Space Museum, or catch a documentary or independent film at the Circle Cinema.
As far as entertainment, Oklahoma City's Bricktown is nice, but as has been mentioned before, that's just about all OKC has to offer. Tulsa has Blue Dome, Brady, Brookside, Cherry Street, the developing Arena District, SoBo, etc., all in a more compact, denser, architecturally and naturally beautiful setting.
Tulsa has the arts, the culture, the natural beauty, the entertainment, the shopping, the music scene, the more urban environment (as urban as it gets in Oklahoma, anyway), the state's best university, the state's wealthiest population, the state's most affluent population, the state's best public schools (Washington H.S. and Eisenhower International Elementary), and the state's best neighborhoods.
If you're looking for an affluent, beautiful, urban, interesting and fun place to live in Oklahoma, Tulsa is the place.
Then again, if you plan on visiting the National Cowboy Hall of Fame or Toby Keith's restaurant on a daily basis, you've always got Oklahoma City .
Judging from your entire post, you know absolutely nothing about Oklahoma City. Thank you for wasting your time and our time.
Let's take it from the top. Tulsa has a plethora of cultural and historical assets that Oklahoma City just doesn't have? Try some of the country's most influential jazz artist and pioneers, one of them being Charlie Christian. Two of the most influential alternative music bands... The Flaming Lips and The Nixons are from Oklahoma City. The Flaming Lips still chooses OKC as their home.
You can't compare Tulsa's land area and density to Oklahoma City's land area and density. Being 608 square miles doesn't mean Oklahoma City is spread thin. Its urbanized area is only 250 sq. miles, making the city just as compact. Much of the rest of the land area is for conservation.
Bricktown isn't all what Oklahoma City has to offer. Try the growing Asian District, Western Avenue (not honky tonks, but eclectic wine bars and bistros), the Paseo Arts District, the Downtown Arts District, anchored by Oklahoma City Museum of Art and the Civic Center Music Hall, which kicks Tulsa's PAC to the curb, the hispanic Capitol Hill District, MidTown and Automobile Alley. Oh, and then there is the burgeoning cunstruction of brownstones and luxury villas downtown.
Want to go kite-boarding, head over to Lake Hefner, one of the nation's largest (that means INSIDE the city, not an hour drive to Keystone) urban lakes. Want to go rowing? Oklahoma River is now an Olympic Training venue.
Oklahoma City actually harbors the state's largest affluent population, from Nichols Hills and Edmond to MidTown and Chateny. Lest we not forget Gaillardia.
Northwest Oklahoma City, situated on the gateway to the true Great Plains, offers one of the most breathtaking sunsets. Sure, we don't have hills like Tulsa. But if we can't have mountains, we'd rather have a prairie.
If you love Science, Science Museum Oklahoma offers the state's largest array of hands-on science exhibits. We have the Oklahoma City Zoo, which is one of the nation's top ten zoos as recognized by the industry, not voted #1 by some fan-based website. Explore Oklahoma's natural history at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History, or venture to the Oklahoma History Museum, just opened recently. And if that isn't enough culture for you, the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum is opening soon, and will be a Smithsonian affiliate.
More cuture? Oh, okay. How about Festival of the Arts, which actually IS the state's largest arts festival. Or Red Earth? How about deadCENTER film festival. Enjoy all of these in our well-kept and beautifully maintained downtown. If you need rest, stay at the historical Skirvin Hotel or The Colcord. But there are 5 other hotels if these are all booked, which they usually are.
Want to go wild? See Frontier City Theme Park. Bell's in Tulsa, may you rest in peace. Or hit White Water Bay, the state's largest water park. Both venues are well-kept.
And we're not done. Core 2 Shore is next. Keep it up, OKC!
It's good to see you are proud of Tulsa. That's good and it's healthy for Tulsa. But don't cheerlead your city at our expense by presenting a biased and arrogant argument.
Check out Brookside, there are some really nice spots down there. There are plenty of cool coffeehouses too. I would suggest checking out Shades of Brown on Brookside. Once they finish the project on the rivertrails, that will be the best place to walk/ride bikes, it truly is beautiful. Utica Square in Midtown is an awesome place to hang out, get lunch, and go shopping. Whatever you do just avoid 71st street and you'll love it .
Utica Square/Brookside are safe places to hang out.
One more thing, if you ever go out for breakfast you best be hittin' up Brookside By Day, it's absolutely the best breakfast place in town. I eat there every weekend.
Nope, sorry, OKC kicks Tulsa's ass. Tulsa kicked OKC's ass... about 20 years ago. I've been all over Tulsa, many many times. And while Brookside, Cherry Street and Blue Dome are great, Oklahoma City has just as many good places. Lake Hefner's trails beat down the River Parks in Tulsa. It's a real body of water that actually has a depth. Western Avenue, all three miles of it, is filled with diversity and beauty.
The Asian district, with the largest Asian community in the state, offers every cultural amenity from the east that Tulsa just can't offer. We have the largest Hispanic community, the largest African American community and the most active gay community in the state.
You can find everything in OKC that Tulsa has and more. Sports? Tulsa doesn't even compare.
Art? Tulsa has had the upperhand in galleries and museums for years, but Oklahoma City has caught up... quickly.
Music? Tulsa's music scene pales in comparison. Outside of Cain's Ballroom, which hosts travelling acts, what in Tulsa has made it big? Outside of The Gap Band and The Hansons, there really isn't much else.
Ballet Oklahoma, the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra, art films at OKCMOA's art theater. Oklahoma City University's renowned arts and acting school, the fledging boi-science corridor.
Good God, just what kind of city do you people think we are?
I'm so sick of not having any live bands to see or nice parks to sit in!
In Stillwater you could go to the strip or Eskimo Joe's to see live bands and the two biggest parks, Couch Park and Boomer Lake Park are nice parks to sit in and probably better for walking in. And at the same time be an hour's drive away from what all Oklahoma City and Tulsa have to offer.
I practiced massage for 30 years all over the US and I am in the process of completing my certification in Medical Billing and Coding. I love nature and college towns. I'd like to work from my home so it needs to be within reasonable driving distance for people who have money to pay for massage. A double wide with lots of privacy might work. No pets or children and I live a very quiet, studious life. I do love live music and culture events. Where in Oklahoma would you suggest?
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