Go see the Praying Hands at...
Go see the Praying Hands at Oral Roberts University,located at 7777 S. Lewis (intersection of 77th St. and Lewis). You won't believe how HUGE they are! Tulsa is full of tall trees and lush gardens. When I return to my home, they give me a cheery welcome back.
Te Keis scores a TKO!
Fresh, flavorful, and innovative food presented in as stylish a setting as you will find in any U.S. city pretty well sums up Te Keis (pronounced "T.K.'s," as in the intials of owner Todd Kramer). The sophisticated architecture and decor alone are absolute winners. I love the colors, the textures, the lighting, the asian art and artifacts - everything about the look of Te Kei's. Of special note is the side dining room that features a gorgeous carved teakwood exterior wall from the front entrance of a palace in Semerang, Central Java.
Luckily, the quality of the food lives up to the setting. Numerous rice bowls (try the Crispy Honey Shrimp), noodle bowls (like Pad Thai and Szechuan Blackened Chili Noodles) and sushi selections share the menu with beautiful entrees like Wok-Seared Salmon, Asian Breast of Duck, and Beef Tataki. A large selection of asian teas, coffees, beers and saki is also offered, along with a lengthy wine list and a full bar. Perhaps best of all, the prices are extremely reasonable, particularly when considering the knock-out surroundings.
Tulsa's Biggest Citizen
The Golden Driller is probably Tulsa's best known resident - he has even appeared in an episode of the television show "Friends" (when Chandler was briefly assigned to head up his company's Tulsa office). Made not of bronze or copper, the Driller is composed entirely of reinforced concrete, and at 76 feet tall and a hefty 43,500 lbs. he is one of the largest free-standing sculptures in existence. While admittedly not an accomplished piece of art, his gigantic chiseled features nonetheless serve as a perfect symbol for Tulsa's robust, oil-soaked past.
The Driller stands watch in front of the QuikTrip Center, originally called the International Petroleum Exposition or IPE building. Built so that large oil-field equipment could be displayed and erected inside, the QT Center provides one of the world's largest unobstructed indoor spaces, with 400,000 sq.ft. of column-free floor under its cable suspended roof.
Also of note nearby is the Pavillion Arena, located north of the QT Center. Built in 1931 and restored in 2001, the Pavillion is a gem of art-deco architecture. The ornate brick exterior contains numerous painted tiles and friezes depicting livestock and agriculture themes.
The Driller, QTC and Pavillion are all located at Expo Square, along with the Fair Meadows horse-racing track, Big Slash Water Park and facilities for the annual Tulsa State Fair held every year in late September or early October. Until 2007, Expo Square was also home to Bell's Amusement Park, famous for its wooden "Zingo" roller coaster, but a lease dispute between the County and Bells' owners resulted in the closure and complete removal of the park.
Right Here In River City...
"what we're known for"
We're also known as the televangelist capitol of the world, I think. We've got more than our share of TV preachers, including the famous, or is it infamous, Oral Roberts.
Yes, Oral Roberts, the one who saw a 900-foot Jesus who told him to build the City of Faith (see photo), is a Tulsan. And, believe it or not, his ORU campus is among the most popular tourist attractions in the state. It does have some pretty impressive (some say pretty tacky) architecture, at 81st and South Lewis in Tulsa.
"'The Thinker' it's not..."
It ain't exactly Michaelangelo's "David," either, but it's ours.
Yes, Tulsa is home to what may be the nation's ugliest statue: The Golden Driller. It's located on east 21st Street, near the fairgrounds. It was built back when Tulsa was the Oil Capital of the world. Now Houston's got the oil, but we've still got the Driller. Some of us would be glad to trade it to Houston in exchange for a few jobs, but, in the mean time, you can't say you've been to T-town 'til you've seen the Golden Driller.
Tulsa really is known for its superb art deco architecture. Many of the downtown buildings are elaborately decorated with colorful and complex masonry designs. This photo shows a portion of the Pavilion at the fairgrounds (Expo Square).
People come here just to tour the art deco buildings. My favorite is downtown at Fourth and South Cheyenne; the Adams Building.
"Way Down Yonder in the Indian Nation"
As I mentioned elsewhere, Tulsa has LOTS of Native Americans.
Every other car, it seems, has an Indian nation license tag instead of an Oklahoma tag (They're cheaper, but you gotta belong to the tribe to get one.)
Go to a powwow. Have a beer in an Indian bar. Go to Lyon's Indian Store and buy some souveniers.
Fry Bread Power!
"Drive the Mother Road to Tulsa"
Tulsa is one of the stops on old Route 66. In fact, we just hosted the 2004 Route 66 Festival. Drive the old road -- 11th Street, Southwest Builevard, etc., through town and see some history.