Philbrook Museum - Tulsa, OK

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Welcome to Tulsa: The former Oil Capital of The World that Charlie Sheen Invented In His Sleep.

Arnie's Bar: 318 E. 2nd Street, Downtown Tulsa
One of the MANY places to enjoy your St. Patrick's Day 2011 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Starting today the buzz word in and around Tulsa is NCAA. For those more focused on the present, it's St. Patrick's Day. Perhaps you are just getting into town to enjoy some basketball and support your team during the tournament this weekend. Once you have had your fill of barley based beverages this evening, and St. Patrick's has ended, there is still a full weekend of activity ahead of you. The bad news for sports lovers is that the games do not last 24 hours a day, the good news is that your are about to enjoy several days in the city that Charlie Sheen invented in his sleep, the city of Tulsa. If you have a desire to spend some of your hard earned money on something other that basketball and beer (and not necessarily in that order) I encourage you to check out these four Tulsa originals, and take a piece of Tulsa home with you if they let you. Even if you're a local and have never been before, now is a great time to blend in with the crowd, pretend to be from out of town and see what you have been missing out on.

Dwelling Spaces 

119 S. Detroit Ave.    Tulsa, OK 74120
Thursday-Friday  6:30am -8:00pm
Saturday  8am-8pm
Sunday  11am-5pm

Situated in Downtown Tulsa in the Blue Dome District, Dwelling Spaces offers a huge collection of gifts and locally made products that will make you the envy of all your friends back home. Grab a cup of coffee from Joebots Coffee Bar while your there.

Ida Red
3336 S. Peoria Ave.   Tulsa, OK 74110
Thursday-Saturday 10:30am - Late

Located in the district known as Brookside in Tulsa, and must visit stop during the tournament this weekend. Ida Red is Tulsa's home of memorabilia related to the world famous Cain's Ballroom. They also boast a nice collection of Tom's Shoes and bottled soda, just not on the same rack. There is also live music tonight, tomorrow and Saturday starting at 8:00pm

Topeca Coffee

115 W. 5th Street  Suite 169  Tulsa, OK 74103
(Also located inside the Hyatt Regency Hotel.)
Weekdays 6:30am - 6:30pm
Saturday 8:00am - 4:00pm
Sunday 10:00am - 4:00pm
With two locations situated in Downtown Tulsa, you have no reason not to enjoy Tulsa's very own "Seed-to-Cup" coffee house. This establishment is ran by one family, with one mission. They oversee the entire process from the plating of the seeds on their farm in El Salvador to the roasting of the beans right here in Tulsa. Check them out only when you're ready to be jealous that you don't have one at home.

The Dog House

Address: 1101 S. Detroit Ave. Tulsa, OK
No we don't have a subway system in Tulsa, and if you stand on the corner waiting for a taxi to drive by you could wait for weeks depending on your location. Those things our city lacks when compared to the larger costal metropolitan areas are but minor inconveniences when you are reminded that you will never get a Tulsa Dog (with cream cheese) in any other city, period. The Dog House started as Tulsa's own mobile hot dog vendor, and has since added to the permanent growth and development of downtown Tulsa with it's non-mobile, parking available, air conditioned and menu-expanded location in the former Phat Philly's.  

Friday, March 11, 2011

iDigTulsa Spotlight On Tulsa Originals Featuring: Elote' Cafe & Catering

There are countless reasons why I, or anyone else for that matter can say that they "dig" Tulsa. On the opposite side of this double edged sword we call opinion, there are those who search for reasons to say that Tulsa is not all that it had once been in its "glory days" of yesteryear. Regardless of the current quarrels between our elected officials, and the negative press that often rises to the top of daily headlines around the city, Tulsa has a collection of individuals and business who propel our city towards greatness. These unsung hero's of our city are more often then not only found within the city limits of Tulsa, making them a great reason to "dig" our city, and a true Tulsa Original.

Elote' Cafe & Catering has been a downtown staple since the summer of 2008, bringing the term Puffy Tacos into the vernacular of food eaters across the metro area along with it. Fast forward to 2011 and we find that it is no longer uncommon to witness a masked Luchador clad in spandex walking through the restaurant while enjoying your late evening meal. The opening of the Elote' Luchador Bar last year paved the way for live Luchador wrestling matches, which now take place within the walls of restaurant during scheduled events, and on the streets during the annual block party known as Luchapalooza in October. Besides filling our bellies with Puffy Tacos and entertaining the masses with Luchador wrestling, Jeremy and Libby Auld's restaurant Elote' is in many ways like a Transformer when it comes to their contribution to Tulsa, More Than Meets The Eye.

Their restaurant strives daily to decrease it's negative impact on the environment, doing so by adhering to numerous sustainable practices. All meats that are served on their menu are organically grain fed and raised just a few miles outside of Tulsa in Bixby, Oklahoma. All of the produce remnants and scraps from the restaurant are used for compost at the Newsome Community Farms located at 2620 E. 56th St. North in Tulsa, which works to empower low-income families with the ability to access ownership of their food system. All of their used fryer oil is recycled locally to created bio-diesel fuel. They also work with and support local farmers and vendors to purchase the items that create each dish on their menu. Finally, If you have ever sat down at the Luchador Bar then you were surrounded by recycled, up-cycled and reclaimed materials that were used in its creation. Not only are these practices sustainable, but they directly impact the local Tulsa metro economy by keeping each action taken as close to home as possible.

Not every community focused happening at Elote' is centered entirely around food. Recently Jeremy and Libby Auld  were discussing the idea of putting a run together with their friend Laura Hailey-Butler who works for the YMCA. "Jeramy and I both love the Y's mission and when we decided to put on a run we knew we wanted the proceeds to benefit the camp." said Libby when we were discussing how the idea for the upcoming Luchador Run came together. "Allowing kids to spend their summers outside is one of the greatest experiences you can give to a child and every child deserves that despite how much money their parents make." It is on this idea alone that the partnership between the YMCA Kids Camp Program and Elote' was forged for the Luchador Run on March 26th. The Luchador Run itself is also more than it seems on the surface, it is being promoted as a full fledged Luchador guided night-tour of downtown Tulsa complete with food, drinks and you guessed it, Luchador wrestling at the finish line. You can receive a discount on your entry fee if you personally wear a Luchador mask for the run.  All proceeds from the run will be donated to the YMCA Kids Camp Program in addition to $5.00 from the sale of each Luchador mask at Wild Blue, located at 2747 E. 15th Street. When asked about her goal for the run itself Libby said "Ultimately we want to send tons of kids to camp, but I hope to show off a little of downtown in the process."

It seems as if someone outside of our state has taken notice of this Tulsa original and it's desire to improve our community. Elote' Cafe & Catering has recently been awarded the 2011 Blue Ribbon Small Business Award by the United States Chamber Of Commerce, one of only 75 recipients in the entire country. As if this achievement wasn't enough, it automatically placed Elote' in the running for The 2011 Community Excellent Award which is chosen by "we the people" not "them, the Man". To place your vote for Elote' as a leader in community excellent in the city of Tulsa click here. We can all agree that it would be nice to see some positive headlines regarding Tulsa, especially on the national level.

Just two months shy of their 3 year anniversary, the owners and staff of Elote' have single handedly created a truly original Tulsa establishment. The residents of Tulsa have not only shown support for this Tulsa Original  but have also caused it to expand and grow. Their growth and success has proven to not only be beneficial for local growers and farmers but also beneficial for lovers of all things Puffy and Luchador (but not necessarily in that order).....and that's a great reason to say iDigTulsa.

Elote' Luchador Run: March 26th, 2011
Starts: YMCA @ 420 S. Main St.
Ends: Elote' @ 514 S. Boston Ave.
1 Mile Fun Run @ 6:00pm
5K Tour Of Downtown Tulsa @ 6:45pm

Want to take a luchador guided  night tour of Downtown Tulsa?  The race begins at the YMCA at 420 S Main and after the 1 Mile Fun Run at 6:00pm or the 5K at 6:45pm all roads lead to Elote for some after-run cool down activities. There will be Cerveza and Nachos for the runners and fun for all. Come dressed as a luchador and get a discount on your race registration fee. The luchadores will have a 5 minute head start and the goal will be to catch them.  All funds go to the YMCA kids to camp program. There will be Luchador fights after the races, music by Project Huckelberry and a street party. You are encouraged to dress up. You can purchase masks online or locally at the Wild Blue at 15th and Delaware, $5 from each mask sale will be donated to the Kids Camp program in addition to all proceeds from the race itself. 

For additional information about the Luchador Run, 
or to registered for the event online you can visit

To place your vote for the 2011 Community Excellence Award you can visit

 For a full list of upcoming events or for more information about the restaurant
 and its menu you can visit 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Reflections On A Weekend In OKC Or... "I Miss Sound Warehouse."

 Farmers Public Market - 311 S. Kline Ave. OKC, OK  73108
My wife and I took a trip to Oklahoma City on Friday night to attend the opening of the Momentum event. It was an incredible show, filling the historic Farmers Public Market from wall to wall with art created right here in Oklahoma by this years selected artists (You can meet a few of the artists who represented Tulsa at this years show right here.) The building itself is a work of art if you have never seen it, constructed in 1928 and placed on the national register of historic places in 1982. It was once the hub of a 140 acre amusement park, later housed the likes of Bob Wills and his trademark sound and more recently has gone through a thorough renovation and houses weddings, receptions, countless events and numerous concerts. We were provided an incredible surprise before leaving town Friday evening, a conformation number for a hotel reservation in our names in Bricktown for Friday night. We spent the evening with friends and family enjoying the crowds of people at the Momentum event, making new friends and I even had an opportunity to to delve into a conversation with the owners of Keep It Local OK about bringing their program into the Tulsa area. It was a great conversation, and I encourage you to check out their website, and contact Bryce to let him know we would love to see this program in and around Tulsa.

After we awoke from our late evening of art fueled insanity my wife recommended that we find a Dunkin' Donuts for some much needed "self" refueling. With her not being a native Tulsan, or Oklahoman, or even a native US Citizen for that matter, I have been hearing about "Munchkins" for as long as I have known her, and agreed without thinking twice about the subject. We eventually found a Dunkin' Donuts, and after thoroughly enjoying almost half of my breakfast fit for a a small family, I decided that I not only understand her longing for Munchkins, but I now encourage it. Needless to say, Dunkin' Donuts now resides on my list of places I wish I could drive to in under 30 minutes, mentally nestled between Ikea and White Castle.

Once we waddled back to the car from our Dunkin' Donuts breakfast adventure, I had a surprise address saved on my phone that was quickly entered into the GPS before she noticed something was awry. She says I have an addiction, but I always remind her that no one has every died or gone to prison for a "vinyl" addiction.  We made our way just a few miles up the street and pulled into the parking lot of Guestroom Records.

Former Location Of Sound Warehouse
1342 S. 15th Street Tulsa, Oklahoma
I was instantly nostalgic due to the numerous flyers and posters tapped to the inside of the large street facing windows, wishing and longing for the days of my youth spent wandering up and down the isles of music at Sound Warehouse on Cherry Street (Whose location was later filled by Camilles Sidwalk Cafe, pictured right ). Once we entered the building I was again reminded of the fact that Tulsa has seemingly lost its supporters of "music stores" to the culture of online listening, but perhaps it was just the difference of population totals that allowed this OKC and Norman based independent music store to be busy on a Saturday afternoon. Here in Tulsa we lost Under The Mooch on Harvard over a year ago, which served our city well for it's three years in business. We still have Starship Music & Gifts (formally Starship Records & Tapes, back before The University Of Tulsa told them to scram, and they moved up the street), but you can only assume that a majority of their operating income is received from the "other" side of the store since you can look through their "records and tapes" in less than 15 minutes. They do in fact still boast an outstanding collection of music on CD, the likes of which rival Best Buy or any other "local store" still selling physical music in Tulsa during 2011, but a record store it is not.

I've made several new friends at both of Tulsa's Saturday Flea Markets while on the hunt for hidden gems, and I've even received a few musical recommendations along the way from some very knowledgeable people, but it's still no "Music Store" experience. I must say, that there are times such as this weekend when I find myself wishing for the days gone by when you could find an open bar stool in the back Sound Warehouse, grab a pair of clean headphones, and sit there to relax and check out the artist of your choice. I purchased my first Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey CD from the "Local" section on the West wall, back when their group was big enough to fill a entire stage with people holding instruments. I miss Sound Warehouse, just like some people miss Peaches, and other's miss Mohawk Music or Buttons. I don't think having a store like Guestroom Records makes OKC any better than Tulsa, it just fills a niche that we still have open further up the turnpike. Until the day that a new business owner takes yet another chance on the collective group of Tulsa's music lovers, we will have Starship and Tom at the Expo Flea Market, and according to my wife that is enough of a reason to say "iDigTulsa".

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Local Artists Representing Tulsa At Momentum 2011 In OKC

Momentum: Art Doesn't Stand Still  
Twice a year the Oklahoma Visual Arts Collation (OVAC) hosts the Momentum Art Exhibition, in Tulsa during the month of October and in Oklahoma City during the month of March. Starting this Friday at 8:00pm the OKC Momentum show kicks off doing what it does best, exclusively highlighting emerging Oklahoma artists 30 years and younger. Over 500 pieces were submitted for consideration to Momentum OKC curators by over 250 Oklahoma artists. After careful consideration by this years curators the exhibition will feature 128 pieces of unique art created by 93 equally unique Oklahoma artists. A collection of local artists are representing the city of Tulsa at this years OKC event, so small in number that you can count them on both hands and still have the ability to give everyone two thumbs up. Make the short drive down the Turnpike and come check out the largest art party in Oklahoma this weekend

Here are just a few of the artists selected for Momentum OKC 2011 that will be representing the city of Tulsa this weekend, track them down and give them a high-five this weekend when you come out to the event.

Cody E. Frusher

Bio: Oklahoma grown native. Lake bum for life. Been drawing since I was 3 I am told. Private art lessons in my youth. Degree in graphic design from OSU-Okmulgee. Currently working as a designer for real estate company. Wanderer & Explorer. Life loving and care free spirited. My current subjects for my painting come straight from my mind. Color is still a learning process with me. Started a blog last year featuring my art. Hope to create a website this year. I am currently in a relationship with Megan Bell who is also in Momentum Spring 2011. I'm always looking to meet other artist, get inspired, and learn new skills. My goal in life is to make my art and bring happiness to others including myself.

Work Being Shown @ Momentum OKC: 
16" x 20" painting "Happy Owl"
About your selected Momentum work: This is a first for a new style I'm working on.
How did you get into your chosen medium: College roommates, who are now good friends.
Have you always lived in Tulsa? No.
If not, what brought you here, when did the move occur? I come from the 'Quah, Tahlequah to be exact. That's not true. I was born and attended schools in Tahlequah, but I grew up on Lake Tenkiller. I moved to Tulsa for career opportunities.

Why do you dig Tulsa? It's just an all around cool city. I think we are on the tipping point of this city really taking off. I'm excited to be a part of it.

May Yang
Add caption
Bio: May Yang is a Tulsa based artist and designer. She works primarily with printmaking techniques to produce work that explores her cultural background as well as the environment around her. May graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2008 focusing on graphic design and printmaking. While there, she interned for Dolphin Press & Print, the school's print workshop. Continuing her interest in collaborative printmaking, May attended the Tamarind Institute of Lithography in Albuquerque, New Mexico. May is currently (and constantly) working on new artwork. You can find her on Facebook here.

Work Being Shown @ Momentum: "Foundation" It is a mixed media piece consisting of screen print, acrylic, and collage (Pictured Left). 
About your selected Momentum work: It is one of many studies I've been creating in the research and development of a new body of work. The process in creating these new pieces is being featured on the blog, Brown Paper Bag. You can read more about it here.
How did you get into your chosen medium: My interest in screen printing (and consequently, printmaking in general) started in high school when I wanted to make my own t-shirts. The shirts weren't fantastic, but I became fascinated with the process. I took a number of printmaking classes during undergrad and never looked back!
Have you always lived in Tulsa? No, but almost.
If not, what brought you here, when did the move occur? I was born in Minneapolis, but I've lived in Tulsa since I was 3. I believe my parents decided to move to be closer to family and to start their restaurant - Sezchuan Express.
Why do you dig Tulsa? Tulsa will always be home for me. It has this indescribable charm that I've never experienced from other cities. I think Tulsa's on the brink of something exciting and you can often feel that energy

Megan Bell
OVAC Interview: Megan Bell
Bio: I'm an Oklahoma native with a degree in graphic design from OSU. Currently I work in Tulsa as a graphic designer.

Work Being Shown @ Momentum: I have 2 sculptures in Momentum. 
About your selected Momentum work: A deceptively innocent looking Rabbit (Pictured Left) and a sexy but sweet Chipmunk.
How did you get into your chosen medium: I started playing with clay when I was in high school. I would keep my family awake all night pounding out dried clay. My AP art teacher told me I could have as much dried out clay as I wanted and she would fire as many sculptures as I brought to her. I had no problem getting the clay back into a useable state. The possibilities were endless. I put my clay down for a few years to get myself though college and achieve what they call a "real job". I hope to one day make sculpting my "real job". Until then I'll just have to sculpt by night.
Have you always lived in Tulsa? No.
If not, what brought you here, when did the move occur?  Living in Tulsa is the best. I moved to Tulsa 2 years ago from Coweta, OK where I grew up. My goal in moving to Tulsa was to find a unique place to live that was right in the middle of it all. And I did, I found a fabulous 92 year old home in the historic Brady district of Tulsa. My best friend Cody Frusher accompanied me along with 3 dogs and a cat in the Tulsa move.
Why do you dig Tulsa?  Tulsa is truly a vibrant, growing place that is ever changing. I love living in the middle of it, especially the Brady district! Living in Tulsa is the best.

Momentum: Art Doesn't Stand Still - 2011 In OKC
When: Momentum starts Friday, March 4th at 8:00pm and lasts until Midnight. On Saturday the 5th the hours will be the same, with different bands performing each night. The gallery will also be open for viewing March 7th-8th from 5pm to 8pm or by appointment.
Where: Farmer's Public Market located at 
311 S. Klein Ave. - Downtown OKC

Additional Artists: 

 For a full list of information regarding the Momentum event, additional artists selected, directions or to purchase tickets online please visit 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Putting A Little Spring In Tulsa's Local Economy

Officially Spring will not start in Tulsa (and apparently elsewhere in the Northern Hemisphere) until March 20th, but there is just something about turning the calendar page over and seeing the month of March that reminds you Spring is closer than it has been all year long. I must admit that I am officially looking forward to the collection of outdoor events that take place in Tulsa during the ever approaching warmer months. The Momentum OKC Art Show is taking place this weekend, and though it is hosted indoors, it has caused my brain to wander off into the land of Farmers Markets, Mayfest, The Blue Dome Arts Festival and the second annual Art And Soul Of Tulsa festival hosted by "Local Art Matters" in the Brady Arts District.

 I know it's a little early to be longing for summer and spring activities when it's only been "March" for 10 hours, but I heard something on NPR this morning that made my brain shift modes. I will stay far from ranting, but the long and short of my thought process consisted of this: "Our economy (locally and nationally) is largely comprised of purchasing goods from elsewhere, and selling them to each other for a profit." It seems to be a losing battle that is constantly fought uphill when we try to grow our local economy by selling outsiders items to each other...think about it. There are obviously times when this cannot be avoided, but there could be instances when we have no idea what we are missing out on. If you come across a local business, or an individual that is making and selling right here in T-Town let me know, I would love to start a collective list. Locally grown produce or art created by the hands of a Tulsa resident are only the tip of the "Made in Tulsa, Sold in Tulsa" iceberg, and that's a reason we can all say "iDigTulsa".

Friday, February 18, 2011

Suffer From ADD? Oscar Nominated Short Films Debut @ Circle Cinema
10 South Lewis Ave. Tulsa, OK 74104
       We all love a good movie and occasionally a bad movie, but some of us are a little more distracted than others when it comes time to focus our attention on only ONE item for longer than 15 minutes. As of today there is a local remedy available for anyone who just can't seem to pay attention to an entire film without pulling out a phone to play with, or day dreaming straight through a plot twist that leaves the rest of the movie as confusing as starting Lost in the middle of season 3.

The 2011 Oscar Nominated Short Films open today at Circle Cinema, with two separate showings, breaking the films into Animated and Live Action sections. The Animated showing runs 85 minutes, and contains 7 separate short films including "Night & Day" which some may have seen accompanied with Toy Story 3. The Live Action showing runs a tremendous 106 minutes and includes 5 short films, the longest of which is 26 minutes long. My wife and I went to the Circle last weekend and watched "The Illusionist", which is a beautifully animated film that can easily hold your attention for the entire 80 minute runtime, ADD or not. Prices and showtimes can be found on the Circle Cinema website, who is a proud but unspoken supporter of individuals afflicted with Attention Deficit Disorder, and that's just one reason why iDigTulsa.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Free Art, Free Music & Cheap Dinner - A Cure For "The Mondays" Courtesy Of Joe Momma's
112 S. Elgin Ave. Downtown Tulsa, OK
Did you know Joe Momma's supports local artists? Tonight is Open-Mic night at Joe Momma's downtown, so grab your guitar, your Kazoo or just a grab a seat at a table. While your there check out the featured artist adorning the walls this month, Gary Gonterman, and since it's Monday you can enjoy some $.50 wings while your basking in the glory of free art and free music.  If getting to see free local art and eating a superb but inexpensive dinner don't cure your case of "The Mondays" then you are a cotton-headed ninny-muggins. Yeah, I said it....but going to Joe Momma's tonight will make you say "iDigTulsa".