My time in Oklahoma City was terrific. The people I met — locals, race participants and race volunteers — were great. Despite some road repairs and road closings (for the race, an arts fest and the Thunder/Mavs playoffs series), navigating the downtown area was easy.
Oklahoma City National Memorial
Visiting the memorial and museum was essential for me. As I mentioned last week, the tragedy in 1995 led to a lasting musical moment in my life. Going to the memorial was a powerful experience. It's hard not getting emotional when you see the 168 chairs representing each life lost, the 100-year-old Survivor Tree and the Survivors' Wall. It's worth a weekend trip to OKC just to visit this site.
Sundry facts: 75 percent of the memorial foundation's annual funding comes from the race; non-native trees surrounding the memorial/museum represent non-Oklahomans who helped in the recovery; and the memorial's primary designers are University of Texas at Austin graduates.
|The pine trees surrounding the 168 chairs mark the perimeter of the Federal Building.|
|Yes, yes it does. Portion of an inscription at the Survivor Tree.|
|Probably the best view from an urban parking garage I've ever seen.|
BricktownThis repurposed warehouse district has a grip of restaurants, a minor league ballpark, bars and music venues and is exactly what Dallas' West End should be (vibrant, fun and safe). Sure, it would be difficult to "fix" the West End; but after seeing Bricktown, I think it's worth pursuing (replace the generic crap and the crime with local flavor and a variety of dining/entertainment options that appeal to families, professionals and tourists).
Of the Bricktown spots I hit up, I highly recommend Bricktown Brewery (Bricktown Brown is a very good ale) Zio's Italian Kitchen and even the Fuzzy's Taco Shop franchise that recently sprouted in Lower Bricktown. That segment even has a mini-
rivercreekwalk. Kinda cool.
|Probably the nicest alley named after an indie rock band in the contiguous United States.|
|Scenic view of Lake Hefner, near mile 14 of the marathon: I scouted the course the day before the race so I wouldn't go into it completely blind. The biggest thing I noticed? Hills! Hills! And more hills!|
|A much-needed pep talk from spectacular spectator TPG at |
mile 23. Photo courtesy of Mama C. (Yes, that rhymes
a lot.) Top right corner, notice the flag. There were
168 of them on the course.