Oklahoma City's Original Posh Living
Bounded roughly by Robinson and Walker Avenues, and situated between 14th and 21st streets, the posh enclave Heritage Hills rightfully sits atop Oklahoma City's numerous list of historic districts. Featuring a number of architectural styles in vogue during the first quarter of the 20th century, the visitor will find the Spanish/Mission style alongside a Crafsman/Bungalow mansion, interrupted in turn by a palace in the Colonial Revival pattern. See my travelogue for Oklahoma City Historic Districts for additional examples. Before Oklahoma City expanded to its present enormity in square mileage, the downtown neighborhoods were rural enough to distinguish them for country living, but close enough to the cultural and economic heart of the city to feel the pulse of its industry and expansion.
St Paul's Imagery
After the reconstruction, the stained glass windows of St Paul's Cathedral have been restored to their original glory, which to my mind are second only to those of St Joseph's Cathedral (see MUST SEE tips). Separate renderings of the Evangels as well as Jesus, Joseph and Mary are represented here. One of the church officials will have to escort you to the sanctuary if services are not in progress. Check at the church offices.
Ethiopian food in Oklahoma? Yes!
Having eaten Ethiopian food on vacations, I was so excited to hear that it is now available in OKC. This new restaurant is located in a kind of run-down strip mall, but once you step inside, it's a very classy-looking place. The presentation of the food is unique: all of the dishes are served together on one large platter, shared by everyone at the table. No utensils are used. Instead, you break off pieces of light, spongy sourdough bread and use it to scoop up bites of food. Most of the food is spicy, but not overly. My husband and I shared the two-person vegetarian platter, which included two kinds of lentils, buttery green beans, beets, spinach, a stew of cauliflowers and carrots, and salad, with plenty of injera bread on the side. It was all wonderful.
Oklahoma State Capitol
You don't expect to find neo-classical architecture in Oklahoma, but that is the style of this building with a strange history. The original was built in 1914-1917, but due to budgetary and other problems the planned dome was not added. For years it had the distinction of being the only capitol without a dome and the building looked unfinished (well, it was unfinished). Finally, 85 years later, using the plans of the original architect, the dome was added. This is the inside view. Topping it on the outside is a wonderful 22 foot 9 inch sculpture of a Native American called "The Guardian," done by Enoch Kelly Haney, an excellent artist of Seminole and Creek ancestry whose family followed the Trail of Tears. A beautiful finish!
If at all possible, visit the Memorial at night as well as by day. The contrast is remarkable. An evening visit also affords to the visitor the illuminated stained-glass windows on the First United Methodist Church (east of the Memorial) and the illuminated domes of the CityChurch a few blocks away to the north.