Tulsa is a good town, overall! - 12/9/2012
I'll be moving to Tulsa within the year because I love the city in comparison to where I live now, which is Cedar Park, TX area. Why have I chosen Tulsa? One, Tulsa has a much more affordable housing market than Cedar Park, TX (and Austin area). Two, property taxes are much lower than in Texas and larger lots are abundant in Tulsa. Three, the soil is GREAT in the Tulsa, OK area and I love to plant, so looking very forward to that. Here in Cedar Park, the soil is chock full of limestone rock and gardening is a nightmare. Four, I absolutely love the people in Tulsa and the restaurants. Tulsa actually has some of the top restaurant start up programs in the country and is full of great restaurants that have been around for years. Five, I love the moderate weather and will be glad to be leaving the annual 4 months of deadly heat of Central Texas. Texas, in general, is full of people who really aren't happy, so forget about Texas being friendly because it just isn't true in most cases. The middle & high schools have alot of problems with bullying here in Williamson County, Texas and you see the attitudes in the faces of the youth here. Very sad. Six, I'll basically be giving myself an automatic $8,000/yr. pay raise by moving to Tulsa. Yes, Oklahoma has a State income tax, but the money you save in the lower sales tax rates, property taxes, housing costs, fuel and other things outweighs the income tax I'll now be paying. In Texas, there isn't a State income tax, but you pay a high 8.25% sales tax on everything, along with high property taxes and housing. Oklahoma is UTOPIA for me financially and the prettier scenery just adds to the win-win for me. The only drawbacks Tulsa has are worse city roads. Tulsa needs to seriously work on getting their city roads re-done. There are places all over the city where the city has literally changed alleys into roads (very strange). And I don't think I'll ever figure out why Oklahomans LOVE to stop so much at convenience stores. [read more...]
opinions of a 34 year old tulsan - 11/25/2012
i want to be fair in my observations and living circumstances i've came across living in the tulsa area. SO... here we go. i lived here for over 9 years seen alot of change good and bad. first off the people are friendly, but it is hard to make good friends if you are not from the area, alot of the friends i have made are from different states so go figure.
the culture used to be absolutely horrible. but over the last 9 YEARS!!!!
it has gotten better, but still the options are few and far between and you can only go to a zoo or aquarium so many times before your bored to death.
there are casinos and sports teams if you really get into that sort of thing. the philbrook museum of art is nice to go to with exhibits and such but again you can only do so much of the same things before it becomes numbing.
mainly people go shopping and to casinos for entertainment.
so there's that aspect.
the crime rate in tulsa area is hit and miss. with there being areas to avoid such as 61st and peoria east tulsa around 21st and garnett
and much of north tulsa, but it happens everywhere so i guess you just get used to it. murders, robbery's, home invasions are quite common and the drug and meth problem is really annoying.
but if you like to go outdoors and run and bike tulsa is a great community for that with the riverparks, turkey mountain recreation area with urban mountain biking, and hiking, and area state parks help give options for outdoor fun. with area lakes and state parks being in a general 15-30 mile radius.
the economy is pretty stable with lots of building projects going on and around the tulsa area.
jobs are abundant in many different fields and trades.
home prices are very affordable, so are apartments and condos.
the university of tulsa has been expanding, becoming a beautiful campus.
there is nightlife with the brookside area, blue dome district downtown,
and my favorite cherry street. tulsa is by no means perfect and sometimes I would really like to live somewhere else. but i have a job and own my own house in a nice neighborhood which is more than others have. tulsa is getting better roads, stores, restaurants, which is a plus.
but on the other hand tulsa is rough, worn down, needs serious education and recreation improvements. i hope to see tulsa change for the better which it has greatly, but at a much slower pace than any city i've ever lived in. population growth is slow in tulsa but fast in places like broken arrow and owasso. tulsa is the glue that holds the area together though.and i hope the city leaders see that before it is to late.
A great city for kings-of-the-castle types - 10/16/2012
Tulsa is beautiful and a nice city (except north Tulsa) but only for certain types of people. You must like to drive and not walk. (You usually cant walk to the store!) There arent a lot of community activities or things going on-usually you have to go to places like downtown/cherry street/brookside if you want any sort of night life. Tulsa has got a great cost of living and people wont bother you if youre an introvert!! [read more...]
Where should a gal like me move to? - 10/16/2012
Hello! Since I arrived back from the Peace Corps last month Ive been giving serious thought as to where I would like to live. Currently I live in Oklahoma and the -every-man-for-himself-I-like-my-space- attitude is killing me! I started compiling a list of cities, and yet I havent been to some of them! If you could give me your advice I would much appreciate it. In case it helps, heres a little info about me: Im 26, female, have a science degree, and probably would want a roommate and a pet. I like art and reading!
Listed below are the things I want in a city:
a BIG city
Extremely walkable (I really dont want to use my car, I love walking everywhere and people watching. Im looking for somewhere that will force me to be more social and get out of my shell a bit more.)
Diverse (from diverse cultural backgrounds to diverse interests)
Somewhere that values artsy and creative people
A lot of nonprofit jobs available/good job market for recent college grads
Lots of museums/concerts/things to do...
low humidity, not over 95 in summer, not below 20 in winter
a lot of laid back, fun 20-30 year olds (preferably single)
Below are three cities I think fit most of these categories:
New York City
What cities do you think match me the best from what Ive said?
Could you also list how much money you think a person would need to make to survive in the city you choose? -Im a bit nervous about finding a job and the cost of living in the cities, especially in the nonprofit field!!!
Thanks a bunch! [read more...]
crime rate - 7/9/2012
The crime rate in tulsa oklahoma is very bad and sems to get worse every year more kills and home getting broke in to a lot more stores getting robbed the worse the job rate is the worse the crime rate is they sem to go hand in hand[read more...]
Come to Tulsa - 2/6/2012
Come to Tulsa if you like the followings:
Dead downtown and airport. I see nothing but ghost there.
8.52 percent sale tax paid on every item purchase, including medication.
Corruption, and children are abused and dead in DHS and childcares.
Very high both violent and property crime.
Extremely hot (115 degrees) summer and cold (0 degree) winter with 20" of snow and windy with temperature constantly changing.
Tornado and earthquake.
Potholes and trash everywhere.
Fat and lazy people who like nothing but gun.
A failed educational system.
People who lack the values of education, hard work, and moral character.
Hunting and fishing.
Housing - 1/16/2012
I appriciate the housing programs, very affordable and helpful.[read more...]
little difference from the rest of cities this ciz - 5/20/2011
First, the racism issue: Racism in the entire US is alive & well always will be – and we are not alone, it exists around the world as part of human nature. Having lived in many cities and several countries; as well as having family on both coasts and the north- racism has been witnessed at it’s best. Drive through the deep south of Ala., Miss., La., Ga. – now there you will feel the racial tension.
Tulsa experienced one of the worst race riots in the history of the Midwest/south (Ok has been labeled with both geographic areas). Events in the past 2-3 years have brought this more into the open with the resulting public support for revitalizing the Black business area on the edge of downtown destroyed during these riots and left to decay.
Diversity/culture: it is where you find it. If you choose to hang out in venues dominated by specific socio-economic classes, ethnicity, interests….you won’t experience diversity. If you wish to experience various cultures there are plenty of venues. From ethnic festivals, to Pow Wows, to country music events; BBQ’s and bluegrass, opera, symphony, theatre and more. It does take effort; they won’t come looking for you. The last 2 decades have seen the completion of an Air&Space Museum, an Aquarium, the BOK center, the revitalization of the Blue Dome district and area around the infamous Cain’s Ballroom.
Religion: One of the largest Unitarian churches in the nation is in Tulsa (All Souls) as well as the infamous ORU. There are Christian based organizations as well as Atheist and Humanist. The Muslim community is very active in our community as well as the synagogues. If you choose to join a religious organization and keep your head in the sand you may do so, if you choose to participate in the Interfaith organization which promotes education and tolerance I’m sure they’d welcome you. My two best friends are evangelical, I’m agnostic –but our acceptance of each other’s individuality and respect is how one can experience diversity and learn from each other.
Outdoor activities: what we miss—real mountains and real beaches. Oklahoma is the only state with 12 distinct ecosystems offering a huge variety of outdoor activities (too numerous to mention here). Tulsa is working on improving bike paths with continued work on a project to create a cycling path around the city. The Tulsa Riverparks once only 3 approximate miles in length is being renovated/updated through the Vision 2025 bond issue and now extends almost 7 miles with plans to continue the paths and park areas. Lake activities abound with the majority of Oklahoma’s 200 lakes in North/northeastern Oklahoma.
Sports: Tulsa Drillers, Tulsa Ice Oilers, Tulsa Talons; University of Tulsa football/basketball; ORU basketball. Within 2.5 hours drive are both major state universities with sporting events. Oklahoma has one of the largest active special Olympics with area competitions held at both OU and OSU.
Poverty and health: Oklahoma does rank 49 in the nation. OU addressed this with their College of Community Medicine in Tulsa to compliment OSU’s Osteopathic teaching hospital. OKC is home to OU’s medical school and its allied health divisions. Poverty is higher in rural areas due to the nationwide economic downturn and the extreme level of independence where residents want nothing to do with government. Native Americans health is declining but that is a national issue and not Oklahoma specific. Obesity is a national concern; slowly becoming a concern in Europe and other nations. Tulsa and surrounding communities have a higher number of free/low cost/indigent clinics for the under and un-insured.
Education: Tulsa has one of the top vo-tech programs in the nation. Tulsa Community College receives high rankings and has a 2+2 agreement with the major universities to transfer 2 years to a 4 year program. Public Schools in surround burbs have excelled (Owasso, Broken Arrow, Jenks, Union) This has led to recent changes in which Tulsa schools will be consolidating in order to better use funding for education needs.
Young Adults: Tulsa has an organization called Tulsa Young Professionals (no degree required). These wonderful young people have been active in community development and in supporting positive visions for young persons in the area.
In summary: As a transplant to the area and having traveled extensively as well as having lived in Europe and Asia… one can find the ills of any city if one looks and focuses on them; just as one can find the best. Tulsa is located in a valley of sorts surrounded by lakes and a river which contributes to mold counts. The variation in landscape from central and eastern Oklahoma is indescribable as one leaves dunes and plains for this area known as Green Country – therefore get a netipot or stock up on sinus meds.
better than most - 4/26/2011
south tulsa is very nice and comfortable to live in. lots of parks, recreation,and restaurants. growing pretty decent, not to fast or to slow seems to be just right. also the river parks are very nice and modern and updated. it's pretty neat to go hiking and biking all on the same way to go see a concert, then to just chill out with a nice drink and to dine somewhere on the riverwalk. [read more...]
Tulsa is a Great Place To Live! - 11/17/2010
It's not the biggest but it is a great place and to top it off most people still have jobs and their house is worth about the same as it was a few years ago. Not gonna tickle the fancy's of the fad chasers but then again they are never happy anyway! [read more...]
Tulsa - 11/2/2010
Tulsa is so backwards its about 10 years or so behind all major city. Its a very racist city but racisim do exist in all cities. I moved from the Chicago area and this place is awful. Yes I am african american. I[read more...]
Tulsa - 9/5/2010
Tulsa has alot to offer. You can make a decent life here, it's affordable. Jobs have decent wages and people are hard working and care about each other.
Sure it has it's down sides, but everywhere has something wrong with it.
Lakes, rivers, hills, and mountains from being in the foothills of the ozarks, Helps bring a unique feel and beauty to the area. Downtown is changing for the better and more shops and places to eat are up and coming. The BOK center,and the new driller's stadium (oneok field) bring venues for entertainment and various sports games. Baseball, Hockey, Arena Football, Basketball, and WNBA (Tulsa SHOCK).
The area also has good restaurants bars and clubs. Brookside is a district of the city that has just about everything you could want to do.
cherry sreet is also a pretty neat place hang out for the day along 15th street. There are casinos, (Hard Rock), (River Spriit), (Million dollar Elm),The music and art scene is also here with D-Fest, and mayfest.
The suburbs of tulsa, such as Broken Arrow, Owasso, Glenpool, Jenks, and Bixby, have there own festivals which bring A distinct way of life to the area.
I would just like people to know that Tulsa Oklahoma does have something to offer them and is a great place to live and a great place to visit.
www.visittulsa.com is a good place to get a heads up on Green country.
the economy is better than most - 9/2/2010
tulsa metro is holding it's own on the economy.
there is still a thriving sector of jobs to be filled. housing/apartments are inexpensive. along with broken arrow, owasso, bixby, glenpool, and jenks there is bound to be something for everyone. hope this helps.[read more...]
A Blue Dog's View of Tulsa - 5/21/2010
Politically I am a Blue Dog Democrat, fiscal conservative and socail liberal, and for the most part keep my politics to myself.
For those of you considering moving to Oklahoma, Oklahoma is the third most conservative state in the Union just slightly behind Alabama and Mississippi.
Recently laws have been enacted enacting open carry for sidearms, fortunately vetoed by our govenor, web disclosure of a woman seeking abortion, money for placing the Ten Commandments monument at the site of the State legislature.
From personal observations, my nephew who hales being a "born again Christian" did not complete Rhema Bible College because he found it too hypocritacal and conservative.
I moved here to be close to my kids after divorce, they are age 11 and 14.
If you are a Fox News Addict, an evangelical Christian who does not believe in creation, and think that posting a woman's decision and rights as determined by Roe vs Wade on the Internet are not a violation of the separation of church versus state, than you will find many with the same mind.[read more...]
America's Best Kept Secret - 2/11/2010
I've lived in 8 states (CA, NV, OR, TX, GA, CA again, NV again, NY, FL and AZ, as well as 4 foreign countries (England, Germany, Spain and Greece) in my 64 years - and Tulsa is one of the most overall well-balanced cities, in that it literally has something positive for everyone, which I've ever lived in or visited. My husband and I came here for business after most recently living for 12 years in Southern CA (LA - Palos Verdes Peninsula area) - thinking it was only a "temporary" move. But after only four years, we’ve made a decision to remain in Tulsa permanently, and we almost surely will retire here in a few more years. Two of our seven adult children have since chosen to relocate here permanently as well (a single son, computer tech, age 31, from San Diego, and a married daughter, professor of public health, 38, and her family from Chapel Hill, NC). Both were reared as “citizens of the world”, are open-minded and seek the common goodness in people wherever they are. Both said, “This is the place!” after only a few short visits to Tulsa. Each of them is now actively encouraging their other five siblings scattered in TN, FL, NC, TX and NY to take the same leap of faith, and to come to Tulsa to put down permanent roots.
Tulsa isn't a major metropolis - it doesn't pretend to be – it’s one of the youngest cities in the entire country, founded just over 100 years ago – and, admittedly, we don't have an ocean nearby! The Tulsa MSA (wider geographic/economic area which includes all the suburbs) is projected to reach the “Magic Million” number of total citizens by 2010-2012 – a substantial, but steady, controlled, well-planned, slow, sustainable growth from its population of only 18,000 back in 1909. It is generally considered moderate-conservative in national politics, while state politics are nicely conducted in a bipartisan fashion - but I have made good friends here who cover the spectrum from the far left to the far right. Most, however, are middle-of-the-road and common-sense in their understanding that there’s plenty of room for all kinds of philosophies and attitudes and cultures in a healthy, vibrant city – which Tulsa most assuredly is.
To a one, the many people we’ve met and gotten to know well here in Tulsa are interesting, decent, human beings with obvious personal integrity, self-dignity, and respect for others' background differences, life opportunities, and personal values. We have formed lasting, intimate friendships with Oklahoma-born and reared people of virtually all colors, creeds, income levels, physical sizes, language skills and gender preferences – pretty much exactly like everywhere else we have ever lived. We are honored to know Tulsans like a tiny, young, Oriental, Catholic psychologist/nun who skillfully and wisely trains foster parents in Tulsa, a Native American Muslim couple whose great-great-grandparents all survived the brutal forced removal from Tennessee, along the infamous “Trail of Tears”, to then-Indian Territory (now Tulsa) in 1837, to an African-American Jewish couple who were both born and reared in one of the first “all-black towns in America” (a tiny place called Redbird OK, established after the Civil War, only a few miles from present-day Tulsa). They attended Harvard (on state-funded academic scholarships), and they returned “home to Tulsa” fifteen years ago to teach in our local public high schools, where they both are still employed as classroom teachers by choice. We “newbies” (our transplanted-to-Tulsa family) often comment to one another that Tulsa OK more truly epitomizes that diverse, "great melting pot", which created (and continues to mold and shape) the United States of America, than any other single city of its size anywhere else in the whole country.
Based on my experiences living in so many other places, I'd say Tulsa is an 8+ on a scale of 10 for overall quality of life. Here are some of my many reasons:
Tulsans thrive equally on both its vast wealth of outdoor resources and a deeply embedded arts ethic. Music, dance, visual, dramatic arts - you may have to invest a little time finding your particular niche, but the arts diversity is definitely here - from hot jazz clubs featuring Dianne Reeves on tour to country western two-step saloons where native Reba McIntire once performed for tips. Opportunities for outdoor and sports activities abound - Tulsa has a 70-mile long dedicated jogging trail that winds through and all around the city; almost an embarrassment in the number of clean, enticing city parks tucked into every nook and cranny; 10 excellent public golf courses, all located 17 miles or less from the city center, all with unbelievably low fees; beautiful lakes surround the city like a gentle, comforting shawl, ideal for water sports of all kinds, boating, fishing, parasailing, etc; whitewater rafting on the nearby Illinois River is just fantastically fun; and bald eagle watching/conservation is a favorite pastime of Tulsans, right from the banks of the Arkansas River, which slowly and sleepily winds on its relaxed path through the city. Oklahoma State Parks are among the best I've ever visited anywhere in the US, and there are many beautiful ones located very near Tulsa. The Tulsa Ballet is world-class (invited during two recent seasons to perform with the Paris Ballet and the Portuguese National Ballet); Tulsa Symphony and Tulsa Pops orchestras, respectively, attract both world-renown classical music stars for their indoor, formal concerts, as well as the most currently celebrated popular music performers to their always fun, laid-back, bring-your-own picnic/wine/lawn chairs, outdoor concerts at our beautiful River Parks natural amphitheater.
Tulsa’s "Vision 2025” program was overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2003 for the purpose of enhancing and revitalizing Tulsa's infrastructure and tourism industry. The Vision 2025 show piece, our brand new BOK Center (named for the sound, sensible, locally-owned and -directed Bank of Oklahoma) opened for business in 2008 and has already hosted many major performing artists’ sold-out concerts, as well as significant national conventions, in addition to providing a world-class, permanent home for our minor league hockey and arena football teams. This exquisite, modern arena, designed by famed architect Cesar Pelli, is the glittering crown of Tulsa’s successful revitalization of its downtown area – and shovel-ready work continues daily on further Vision 2025 projects, in spite of the current economic downturn. Since the BOK Center opened, we have also built a state-of-the-art, open-air stadium only five blocks away, as the proud new home of Tulsans’ beloved Tulsa Drillers – our locally-owned, minor-league baseball team.
The Gilcrease Museum, an outright gift to Tulsa from one of its earliest oil barons, is home to one of the finest – if not the single finest - collections of American Western art and sculpture in the world. The Gilcrease was one of only twelve US venues selected to present the acclaimed Yale University-conceived Machu Picchu traveling exhibit in the late-1990’s. Tulsa’s Philbrook Museum of Art is the breathtaking centerpiece of the classical Italianate-villa estate which Waite Phillips (another of Tulsa’s “homegrown boys” who acquired fabulous wealth from Oklahoma oil) built in 1927 for his growing family in what is now Midtown Tulsa. Eleven years later, their children grown, Waite and Genevieve Phillips surprised Tulsans with the unbelievably generous gift of the 72-room mansion and surrounding 23 acres of grounds as an art center for the city of Tulsa, endowed in perpetuity. While The Philbrook regularly hosts major European and other important traveling exhibitions for Tulsans, its greatest strength is in its varied and fine permanent collections. Within its own 19th Century American Painting and Sculpture Collection reside nearly all the major works from Thomas Moran to Albert Bierstadt, Ad[read more...]
Tulsa is ok - 2/6/2010
As someone else said, in a city the size of Tulsa, there will be much to like and also much to dislike. I would ignore those who go on and on forever with their rants - this reflect their own personal unhappiness as much as their dislike of a community.
Anyway, Tulsa. I moved here a couple of years ago from a progressive college town and live in the Midtown area. Your Tulsa experience will greatly depend on your values and where you live. I consider myself to be a moderately liberal person politically, well educated, and I value opportunities for outdoor and cultural activities. Also, I am vegetarian and consider myself to be thin and athletic. In other words, not the stereotypical "fat redneck" that some have complained about. Though if you are looking for that type, you will probably run into them too.
Living in the Midtown area and working downtown, I have had the opportunity to meet many very nice, generous, educated people - and many rude, hateful people too. It's a mixed bag. But you can easily seek out those people with similar values to your own. If you are an evangelical Christian, or a cyclist, or someone who wants to lobby for sustainable urban growth, or an avid fan of farmers markets, or if the idea of a 20 - 40 somethings book club meeting at an Irish Pub appeals to you, you can find these niches in Tulsa. If you come from a coastal city you will probably be appalled by the awful public transportation and the cruddy public schools and the fact that you have to drive everywhere. If you are from a huge city, you may be gratified that you can get most anywhere in Tulsa in 20 minutes or less. (My commute time is exactly 3 minutes and I live in a lovely neighborhood.)
Tulsa has some excellent parks and an amazing Riverparks system of trails that run along the Arkansas River. It is usually quite busy with bikers and joggers, especially on weekends. However, apart from the wonderful trails system, it is not a pedestrian friendly city and you'd better choose a neighborhood with sidewalks if you value your daily walk.
I was able to find a doctor to facilitate a low-intervention natural childbirth at a hospital without much trouble. Just ask around. I was also able to take a lovely prenatal yoga class - such amentities are available in Tulsa.
University of Tulsa is not a huge presence, I would say, coming from a college town previously - but it and the other universities and libraries do provide opportunities to see some free lectures and musical performances (if you're into that kind of thing) as well as university sports events (if you're into that kind of thing).
The library system is excellent and brings major authors to town once or twice a year.
There are a few farmers markets in Midtown each week during the growing season and a few natural foods markets including the biggie, Whole Foods.
Most of the restaurants are just ok in my opinion, though you can find a gem here and there.
My overall advice would be, if you want to find something or someone in Tulsa - just ask around. Tulsans are, overall, very friendly and not imposing. They will not try to force their way of life upon you and they like to be helpful, generally speaking. Just ask.[read more...]
Tulsa and The Bible Belt - 1/30/2010
May I write this later. I do have a lot to say. But, at present have injury and on meds.[read more...]
Surrounding Tulsa - Rte 66 Corridor - Catoosa, Ver - 11/28/2009
I live within 20-30 minutes of businesses, entertainment, and shops for most any area in Tulsa, via expressways. I am within 12 miles of my employment in Tulsa.
Most would be amazed by the development and future planning for this area (Catoosa Hard Rock, Claremore Mall). There are still farms and open country, with beautiful foliage. Most 10-20 year old homes have at least an acre lot. There are several newer spacious neighborhoods in the $100-200,000 & + range.. What will surprise you is the number of spring fed, clear water stocked ponds. The big secret is the number of ponds, some with lighted fountains with geese flying in for a landing is tranquil and serene. Schools always need money, mostly ingenuity but are into sports and music s/a jazz. A well rated golf course. Some locations are within Tulsa utilities. Outstanding insurance rated fire department(s). Friendly neighbors that take pride and care in the beauty of their homes and lawns. Some may even ask you to take off your shoes before entering! Others may invited you in over time for "Three Cups of Tea".
There are always negatives to be discovered. On the whole Oklahoma is a convivial, young conservative family state with a growing number of singles, centered around its major metropolitan areas. Some may feel they're being invaded by progressive transplants moving in.
Northeastern Oklahoma has many qualities and amenities to be shared, discovered and challenged. I wish for the art deco/modern influence to grow again in the housing industry spreading the old forward thinking (for its time) Tulsa treasures influence.
I love spirituality, my home, books, music, movies, news, politics. A young transplanted moderate/liberal 55yrs woman who has seen this state grow with alot of hard work, alot of low/moderate incomes and it is progressing. It just wants to do it right the 1st time and that takes everyones patience.[read more...]
Inexpensive, good music, conservative, has Tulsa U - 11/28/2009
Traffic problems are practically non-existent and it is fairly inexpensive to live well in Tulsa. If you have conservative family values, enjoy golf or actively following sports like college football, it's a great place with a strong football tradition and many fans. There's more music than you would expect, and of very good quality and variety, especially for a town of its size in a State that is relatively poor. The once-wealthy Oil Capital was badly hurt by the industry woes and the exodus of many oil firms to Houston some years back. The city's neighborhoods are beautiful with many fine homes, some distinguished architecture, lovely smaller homes and large, mature trees and parks. The city's neighborhoods are beautiful with many fine homes, some distinguished architecture, lovely smaller homes and large, mature trees and parks. Streets and roads are in bad shape and the suburban sprawl is like most suburban sprawl. One cultural drawback is that there are no serious art museums or galleries showing serious contemporary work. But there are distinguished collections of native Indian art. The local galleries tend to show only local art. Movie choice (mostly first-run at the mall) is very limited for a town of this size. Plusses are the low cost of living and the fast developing organic foods and local foods movements. Negatives are the poor condition of streets and roads, lack of public transit and a heavy emphasis on religion, particularly the preponderance of fundamentalism and the lack of variety of political views. A predominantely right-wing and Republican perspective reigns restricted by entrenched opinion and local influence. However, for people seeking a conservative and religion-based environment, Tulsa is a good place to raise a family. Schools are improving. Healthcare is average, though none of the Tulsa hospitals yet participate in the Leapfrog Group project for the reduction of fatal errors (which all major and many minor US hospitals have now joined). To date, only one hospital in the state participates. Overall though, the town has much to offer, is working to re-invent and re-build its downtown, and will probably succeed at the pace of the recession recovery now underway in the country. And with that success will come improvements across the board.[read more...]
Tulsa Town - the Good, the Bad and the ugly - 11/11/2009
In a city of over 330,000 people there are going to be things to like and things not to.
When I first visited and then lived here about 10 years ago I was delighted. Running the park trails, meeting the variety of people, talking with the many people who are into faith and healing and doing kind things for each other. People were generally courteous, including the police. I felt safer than I had in a much smaller town in another state.
There were and still are nightclubs, bars and of course lots of tribal casinos if you're into that. I'm not. Those who are usually want more of them. Some of those we have specialize in music and pull some real talent, known and unknown. And now the BOK Center hosts a variety of big acts. There are museums and an orchestra and a ballet that's well regarded.
Things changed. Gang activity ramped up all over the city. A group of them moved into my apartment complex, often standing on the sidewalk glaring at residents who were simply walking in. Shots were fired, cops came but they never really investigated and blew off what witnesses tried to tell them actually happened. At least two murders happened while I was there that probably never made it into the statistics: Why stick your neck out when police shrug it off? People got defensive, less friendly, drugs proliferated, citizens got more attitude and speeding tickets from cops but crime kept rising. Infrastructure - roads, sewer pipes etc. - got worse while politicians dreamed up profitable projects to spend money on. Streets get sloppy patches that sometimes don't last a day. Rainwater inflow through cracking collector pipes loads the sewer plant in rainy weather and stinks up the whole western Arkansas River valley.
And at the risk of sounding racist, while there are some wonderful folks who are Hispanic here, the many "Illegales" include a large criminal element who have contributed greatly to the bad side of Tulsa - drugs, violence, theft. They bring a steady stream of stolen property into certain shops near the flea market. Lately they are big on carjacking at gunpoint. My son has twice escaped them by taking off quicker than they expected. A family in Little Mexico recently was not so lucky or fast. The father was shot dead by the carjackers as he tried to drive away.
Some efforts are being made to improve streets (some of which are the worst-maintained in America according to official studies) and police work on gangs. I think even the sewer system seems better lately.
There are still good people here. A co-worker from another area was amazed that when a fellow employee was injured near his home and running out of sick/vacation time, people donated part of theirs to help him through recovery. I love that about Tulsa.
I don't love that I'm afraid to run the park trails anymore. And that I, who hate conflict and violence, am seriously considering a pistol.
To survive.[read more...]