Thursday, April 9, 2015

Bricktown, Botanical Gardens and Reflections on Oklahoma City

Bricktown, a historic district of Oklahoma City, was founded just days after the Land Run of 1889 and was originally a busy warehouse and distribution area.  Named after the rows and rows of brick buildings, it is now a thriving entertainment district, housing sports venues, fine dining and nightlife. We took a ride on the Bricktown Water Taxi, a narrated canal cruise similar to the Riverwalk in San Antonio, that provides a unique perspective of the area.

Canal view 
Bricktown Water Taxi tour

A couple murals painted on building sides

One and one half scale, this depiction of the land run spans the canal and is pretty impressive in person. Unfortunately, pictures do not do it justice.

Oklahoma City's only skyscraper

One of the establishments on the canal.  I was wishing my girlfriends were here so we could take a class! 

We also had a chance to spend some time at the Myriad Botanical Gardens.  More than 12 acres right in the middle of downtown, the gardens provide a beautiful refuge in the city, with walking paths, a performing arts stage, dining and a dog park.

Crystal Bridge, housing a tropical conservatory

Images from the grounds of the Botanical Gardens

Not a lot of flowers this time of year, but a relaxing place to take a break.

Those of you who follow me on Facebook know that we ate lunch at Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill  where we had a free lunch.  He gives this to all military veterans to thank them for their service.  While it wasn't the best item on the menu, you've got to love someone who puts his money where his mouth is.  I admired him for the work he does with Wounded Warriors, now he's even more admirable, in my opinion.
Toby Keith's restaurant on the canal

Well, folks, that pretty much wraps up our sightseeing time in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma City was a surprise to me.  With a population of only about 600,000, it was smaller than I anticipated and very easy to get around in.  Despite being a smaller city, it appears to have quite a lot of things to do.  In 1993, with the city declining, the mayor at the time decided that something needed to be done to revitalize the city.  The result was MAPS (Metropolitan Area Projects), a unique capital improvement program that, approved by the citizens, began major improvements to the city that are still being developed today.  It was really an amazing act of deliberation that made the capitol city a destination, with a choice of attractions that provide something for everyone.

Until next time...

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