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Super Cao Nguyen spearheads Oklahoma City's food journey to fresh, chef-inspired meals. By Jacob Threadgill P. 13


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inside COVER P. 13 By stocking fresh, inexpensive and

previously difficult-to-find ingredients, Super Cao Nguyen helped transform Oklahoma City’s food scene. By Jacob Threadgill Photo by Mark Hancock

NEWS 4 Marijuana New Health Solutions


6 Technology OK Innovate 8 City Sunday bus service 10 Chicken-Fried News

EAT & DRINK 13 Cover Super Cao Nguyen 16 Review Scottie’s Deli

18 Feature Sunnyside Diner expansion 19 Feature Ok-Yaki

20 Gazedibles banh mi


Mother’s Day Gift Guide

23 Art Nault Gallery

24 Art JRB Art at the Elms’ May exhibition 27 Film Projector Club

29 Community oNE OKC block party 30 Calendar

MUSIC 33 Feature Sophia Massad

34 Event Walker Lukens at The Jones


36 Event Radney Foster at The Blue


37 Live music

FUN 37 Astrology

38 Puzzles sudoku | crossword

OKG Classifieds 39

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m a r i j ua n a


Green business

New Health Solutions Oklahoma hopes to create a framework for Oklahoma’s potential medical marijuana industry. By George Lang

Editor’s note: This article is part of a series examining cannabis and cannabinoids in Oklahoma leading up to the June 26 medical marijuana referendum. If State Question 788 passes on June 26, Bud Scott’s yearlong campaign to create an industry framework for medical marijuana in Oklahoma will be ready to set in motion. Scott, an Oklahoma City attorney who serves as executive director of the industry trade organization New Health Solutions Oklahoma, said his group is working closely with about 30 potential state-based operators in multiple sectors of the medical marijuana economy. The goal, he said, is to help steer these individuals to where they can best thrive if Oklahomans choose to legalize the medical use of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. “They’re all Oklahomans, by the way,” Scott said in an interview with Oklahoma Gazette. “These are all Oklahoma investors looking to be direct licensees, either cultivators, processors, distributors, laboratories, security companies and ancillary services like banking and financing. So we have all different interests represented in our organization. They basically call the shots — they tell me what they want to do and then we work on implementing that policy.”

We’re attempting to coordinate investments so you don’t have market saturation in the product here. Bud Scott For now, New Health Solutions Oklahoma is actively lobbying for passage of SQ788, but the state question is not a panacea — it simply opens the door. Scott’s group is working to do something different with the state’s potential medical marijuana industry: establish a road map for its startup and growth. “This is something that has never been attempted in other states,” Scott said. “That is the coordination of investment and market development around the cannabis industry prior to its birth. We’re attempting to coordinate investments so you don’t have market satura4

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tion in the product here.” Like any industry, economic principles of supply and demand will hold true for medical marijuana. Scott points to implementation in Washington and Oregon, where operating licenses were issued freely and without much consideration for the ramifications of a glutted marketplace. Because Oklahoma is coming to this legislation more than two decades after California passed medical marijuana legislation, groups like New Health Solutions Oklahoma can learn from the experiences of those who have gone before. “Licenses were just handed out like Xanax,” Scott said. “You had way too much product coming out in the market to a point where it was no longer profitable for anyone to actually participate in the industry. And you have black market develop, as well. So we want to make sure that doesn’t happen.” That potential oversaturation applies to the individual sectors, too. For instance, Scott is working with investors to help them find their level in a medical marijuana economy, attempting to ensure that not too many people go into farming, distribution or other areas. He said that organizing a wellrounded industry before implementation will be easier than trying to adjust after a disorganized cannabis gold rush.

Cautionary tale

Scott points to what he calls “abject failures” among states that either implemented without a carefully created system of rollout or created unwieldy systems that limited the economic benefits of medical marijuana. “Let’s look at Arkansas,” Scott said. “Well, Arkansas is a big problem because they attempted to do what we call a monopoly program.” According to Scott, the state’s Medical Marijuana Commission split Arkansas into five regions and then issued only one license per region, giving single companies virtual control over cultivation, processing and distribution of medicinal cannabis. Problems with the system continued. According to Associated Press, an unsuccessful applicant filed a lawsuit against the commission, claiming that its system for scoring applicants was flawed and citing conflicts of interest with two of the commissioners. In March, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen effectively shut down the program in response to the complaint, saying the process violated the language of the constitutional amendment that made medical marijuana legal

in Arkansas. In his ruling, Griffen wrote that “Arkansans who suffer from chronic, debilitating, and life-threatening health conditions must now endure more delay before gaining much needed access to locally grown medical marijuana because the defendants — state agencies responsible for implementing the Medical Marijuana Amendment to the Arkansas Constitution — violated their constitutional and administrative duties.” Scott said the issues facing Arkansas and other states like New York and Texas can be used as an object lesson for Oklahoma to create a workable system. “This is an opportunity for us to avoid that scenario, he said. “There’s a lot of people who are going to want to come in and claim the entire industry. The way we view this is there is plenty of room. We can evolve into a healthy, sustainable industry. However, it has to be done judiciously and with a lot of care.”

Legislative roadblocks

Other states passed legislation that restricted conditions under which medicinal cannabis could be licensed to a patient. In Oklahoma, Senate Bill 1120, authored by Sen. Ervin Yen, R-Oklahoma City, sought to restrict licensing to what it called serious medical conditions such as “neuropathic pain, persistent muscle spasms due to multiple sclerosis or paraplegia, intractable nausea or vomiting due to chemotherapy or loss of weight or appetite due to cancer or HIV.” However,

Bud Scott, executive director of New Health Solutions Oklahoma, is working with potential operators to build an equitable medicinal cannabis economy. | Photo provided

the bill died with the end of the legislative session. Scott points to New York as an example of what can happen when restrictive legislation effectively narrows how many people can benefit from medical marijuana. “In New York, you had a medical program develop, but it was so strict by virtue of the Legislature and their rulemaking process that you only had a handful of qualifying conditions, you required the pharmacist to own portions of the facilities, you made it so unattractive that the industry would just never develop,” Scott said. “And obviously, that’s usually on purpose.” Scott said New Health Solutions Oklahoma is hopeful that the state question will pass next month, not just for the advancement of medicinal cannabis as a treatment for multiple ailments, but because of the potential revenue that could come to a cash-strapped state. “Hopefully, what Oklahomans will recognize is that this is a tremendous opportunity to attract a multi-billiondollar industry in this state, to alleviate pain and suffering for so many Oklahomans and also hopefully provide some funding to these school kids and teachers.”

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t e c h n o l o gy


Thriving tech

OK Innovate seeks to take Oklahoma City’s technology and innovation ecosystem to the next level. By Laura Eastes

Seven months into the job, Joshua Fahrenbruck, the chief operating officer of OK Innovate, sees the future of Oklahoma City’s burgeoning tech and innovation scene. The city’s potential success hinges largely on the work of the past decade, from the support for coworking spaces and incubator startups to the existing tech talent in the OKC market. From Fahrenbruck’s vantage point, the entrepreneurs based in the metro such as visual marketing platform Ta i lw ind, sof t wa re compa ny Whiteboard Mortgage CRM and Springboard VR, which creates virtual reality software platforms for arcades, represent the epicenter of the emerging tech ecosystem that is turning OKC into a regional hub for entrepreneurs. “We are never going to be Silicon Valley, but we can be the best version of ourselves,” Fahrenbruck said in an interview with Oklahoma Gazette. “That means cultivating startups and entrepreneurs, especially around some of the industries that we are really good at here. … Great companies, great startups and great entrepreneurs exist here.” OKC as a regional hub for entrepreneurs and innovation could serve as the nexus for millions of dollars in new venture capital and thousands of new jobs as well as further diversifying the local economy.

We can make Oklahoma City a place that is a regional hub for entrepreneurs. Joshua Fahrenbruck OK Innovate, which began in fall 2017 as a program of E Foundation for Oklahoma, launched as an effort to convene and cultivate the state’s entrepreneurial community. E Foundation, created by Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, leaders were motivated by the fact that Oklahoma ranked fourth in startup numbers, according to the 2016 Kauffman Index of Startup Activity. Meanwhile, they viewed troubling statistics in other areas, like Oklahoma’s 35th rank in evaluating risk capital and entrepreneurial infrastructure and its 44th rank in technology concentration and dynamism, according to the State Technology and Science Index. The question for OK Innovate was simple. “What can we do to help advance the ecosystem?” Fahrenbruck asked. 6

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“Because we see some exciting, interesting things happening, and we want to see those things flourish. How do we, together, work towards closing the gaps and advancing the ecosystem?”

Comparable cities

OK Innovate joins a strong local network of investors, incubators, entrepreneurs and startup companies that are already sustaining and growing. Fahrenbruck recognized this but noted there is room for improvement. OK Innovate set its sights on studying the entrepreneur and startup scene of cities comparable to OKC. Currently, a consultant is gathering data — from the number of new businesses to information on small business loans — to rank the cities, but also to inquire how others are successfully growing their entrepreneur ecosystems. “What are the practices that other cities are utilizing to help their entrepreneurs and their ecosystems thrive?” Fahrenbruck asked. “We are not the only city trying to get entrepreneurs and startup companies to pick their city to go to.” A report is warranted to bring OKC’s entrepreneurs, startups, investors and more together on a shared list of priorities. “We are hoping to bring a coalescence around a shared strategy,” Fahrenbruck said. “That doesn’t mean we all have to be doing the same things or that one person is in charge but that we can agree on trying to move the needle. Therefore, bring some community, collaboration and some intentionality to how we represent ourselves.”

Ripe investment

OKC is ripe for becoming an emerging tech hub. Fahrenbruck named current tech talent as well as the service providers, which included popular co-working spaces like StarSpace46, business incubators like the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Thunder Launchpad and Techlahoma, a nonprofit supporting the tech community, as key drivers of the scene. Further, OKC is becoming less of a f lyover zone for investment, Fahrenbruck said. In late April, Paul Singh — an investor and entrepreneur from Washington, D.C. — brought his North American Tech Tour to OKC and Norman after connecting with Fahrenbruck and OK Innovate. Central Oklahoma served as Singh’s 100th stop on the tour, which began two years ago with a group of venture capitalists called Results Junkies. Together, they travel across the country to meet with entrepreneurs

in startup communities that aren’t located on the coasts. Fahrenbruck said Singh told him that in three out of four cities he visits, he invests. In less than 48 hours in central Oklahoma, Singh invested seed money in two businesses. Singh, who shared his insights on starting and running a business, largely conveyed a message that entrepreneurs and startups can be successful in Oklahoma. There are no excuses not to try in Oklahoma. “The people who think Oklahoma is the farthest behind are the people who live in Oklahoma,” Singh said during his remarks at an event at the University of Oklahoma’s Tom Love Innovation Hub, as reported by The Norman Transcript. Fahrenbruck said that can be a new way of thinking for local entrepreneurs and startup business leaders who might have previously believed they need to move to a larger city or locate to a coastal area to succeed. The conversation connects to one of OK Innovate’s goals: to retain startups and tech talent. While OK Innovate remains a young

above OK Innovate hosted investor and entrepreneur Paul Singh and the Results Junkies for three days of workshops and events about entrepreneurship, innovation and tech in central Oklahoma. | Photo provided below Joshua Fahrenbruck, through his work with OK Innovate, is working to put the area on the map as a regional hub for technology. | Photo Laura Eastes

organization, it views itself as being on an important mission driven by a heightened sense of urgency as many cities are competing to become home to the next big tech hub. OKC is in good shape, Fahrenbruck said. “I am inspired by what exists here and am really confident that with some intentional effort and with some collaboration, we can make Oklahoma City a place that is a regional hub for entrepreneurs,” Fahrenbruck said. “I fully believe that entrepreneurs and startups are an important part of our economic future. The more that we invest now, the more we will be able to build on the legacy of MAPS, the Thunder and the successes that we’ve had over the last 20 years.”

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cit y

Oklahoma City’s transit leaders listed Sunday bus service in its budget proposals for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1. | Photo Laura Eastes

Transit improvements The next big bus system enhancement is Sunday bus service. By Laura Eastes

About seven years ago, Oklahoma City Councilman David Greenwell was appointed to the Central Oklahoma Transportation & Parking Authority (COTPA) board, which provides oversight to the city’s parking and transportation system. Greenwell became the first council member to serve on the board in a number of decades, if not the very first. The councilman provided a unique link between public transit conversations and council horseshoe discussions and decisions. The appointment also motivated the longtime south Oklahoma City resident to ride the city’s bus service. “That action alone has helped the city council become better aware of public transit,” Greenwell said. A lot can be said about Oklahoma City’s public transit agency since 2011. In 2014, the bus system not only switched names from Metro Transit to Embark, but riders enjoyed systemwide service enhancements, including new schedules and route alignments. On most routes, buses began arriving every half-hour. With a goal to continue to increase bus service, a year later, Embark launched nighttime bus service on two routes. For the first time since 1979, buses traveled along Oklahoma City streets past 9 p.m. largely to aid the growth of the city’s service economy. In the last few years, Embark has 8

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continued to revamp its bus routes to focus on frequent, reliable services to major employers, educational facilities and dense neighborhoods. It has focused on addressing the needs of the riders, from outfitting buses with Wi-Fi and doubling the number of covered bus shelters to offering free ridership to high school seniors and juniors. There was nothing easy about making these changes, which took much discussion, time and funding. Now, COTPA and the council are eyeing the next major step in improving the city’s bus system: Sunday service. “Most of the riders on Embark depend upon Embark for work purposes,” said Greenwell, who frequents the bus as a method for traveling downtown. “Occasionally, I will ride on Saturdays, and that’s when you can really tell how people depend on Embark. You will see people coming on the bus with groceries or other shopping bags. It solidifies that understanding that people depend on Embark as their only form of transportation.” Sunday bus service will be lifechanging for Embark customers, especially for those who previously struggled with transportation on Sundays to get to and from work, said James Cooper, who also serves on the COTPA board. “If you really want to make sure people have access to employment in this city — that state’s capital city —

poses beginning Sunday service in January or February of 2019, which coincides with the time of year Embark typically debuts service enhancements. The council is scheduled to vote on the proposed budget June 5.

Room for more

seven-day-a-week [bus service] must be offered at a minimum,” Cooper said.

Budget proposed

Last week, the Oklahoma City Council took its first glance at the city’s proposed budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year. The total proposed budget is $1.56 billion with $460 million dedicated to the general fund, which acts as a catchall fund for day-to-day city operations. With sales tax dollars as the main source of revenue for the general fund, there is a 10.8 percent increase from the previous year due in large part to the permanent 1/4 cent sales tax approved by voters last September. Of the significant changes in the proposed budget, several are connected to the city’s public transit system. The city has budgeted $3.1 million for the operation of the Oklahoma City Streetcar, which is expected to begin operations in December. About $122,000 is earmarked for beginning night service on Embark’s Route 22, which runs from downtown across NE Fourth Street to N. Martin Luther King Avenue with stops at Douglass MidHigh School, Ralph Ellison Library, Metro Tech Springlake campus and through the Adventure District. Then, there is Sunday bus service. “The proposed budget includes $931,000 of funding to establish Sunday service,” said Jason Ferbrache, the transit system’s director, addressing the council on May 1. “We will now have — with the approval of the budget — service seven days a week in Oklahoma City. I am proud to report that the Sunday service we are seeking to establish is consistent with what we are already doing on Saturday.” Sunday service would be offered on 17 Embark bus routes with the buses arriving at stops once every hour. Buses would run for 11.5 hours. Embark pro-

Much more is expected to come from public transit, said Cooper, who was appointed to the COTPA board in 2015. “The question has to be, ‘How do we build on our recent successes?’” Cooper said. “That really has to be the question. So you take the streetcar and you ask, ‘How can our current bus system feed better into the downtown streetcar system? How do you improve the existing bus service to make sure someone who lives in Capitol Hill or Prairie Queen neighborhood can take the bus to get downtown and move around on the streetcar?’” Those questions are already being asked. One result is the realignment of Route 50, the Downtown Discovery route. By rerouting the service, buses will make stops around the new residential housing to connect residents with downtown destinations and streetcar stops. The next big step for Embark is bus rapid transit, which is popping up in major cities across the county. With bus rapid transit, or BRT systems, buses travel on separated lanes and are hooked up to the local traffic light grid. They stop less frequently and take riders to their destinations quickly. Both Cooper and Greenwell said a BRT system is coming. The city’s comprehensive plan, planokc, lists BRT as a type of transit planned for four corridors: Reno Avenue, Northwest Expressway, 59th Street and Meridian Avenue. In Oklahoma City — a longtime carcentric city — attitudes are changing toward public transportation, Cooper said. “When we talk about investing in public transportation, we are really talking about, ‘Do voters support it?’” said Cooper. Oklahoma City voters have a recent history of supporting transit from the 2007 general obligation bond program that plugged $7.8 million into a bus fleet to the 2009 vote on MAPS 3 that featured the streetcar. Most recently, more than 60 percent of voters approved the transit proposition for $20 million during the September election for the 2017 General Obligation Bond program. Around the council horseshoe, awareness and support of public transportation are strong. Greenwell said the council wants to see the same from its citizens, who are the key to further expansions. “The only future limitation on expansion and enhancement of our public transportation lies with the citizens of Oklahoma City,” Greenwell said. “If they would utilize it more, it will continue to be enhanced and expanded.”

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Sour Treat


Do you believe that adoption agencies in the state should be allowed to refuse service to same-sex, non-Christian and single-parent households on religious grounds? The state Legislature apparently does. Earlier this month, the House of Representatives voted 56-21 on a bill that would allow faith-based adoption agencies to refuse service to certain would-be parents, even if the organization receives state funds. That same day, the state Senate passed the bill 33-7. At the time of this writing, the measure awaits final approval by Gov. Mary Fallin, who has not made it publicly clear whether she will sign it. In an interview with Reuters, bill author Sen. Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, defended the bill by saying couples that did not meet agencies’ moralistic criteria could simple seek other options. “It doesn’t do anything ... to prohibit same-sex couples from adopting,” Treat said. “All it does is protect faith-based institutions who wish to participate, and some are sitting on the sideline right now, and I hope to get them involved to help us take care of the huge need.” Ah, the old separate but equal argument. Treat sounds like he never had to consider what it would be like to drink from only designated water fountains. Some of these institutions would be receiving state funds while intentionally prohibiting qualified taxpayers from using their service. Freedom of religion does not nullify the separation of church and state. Of course, not every state legislator found themselves backing the bill. Stillwater Democrat and one of the most outspoken members of the House Rep. Corey Williams made an impassioned plea to his colleagues and tweeted out his disgust when the results became final. “The abomination of process & justice in the OK House of Reps makes me weep for democracy,” Williams wrote. “The priorities of bigotry and hate, under the guise of religious freedom, are truly heartbreaking.” CFN doesn’t much care for state-sanctioned discrimination. And we can only hope Fallin doesn’t either.


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Unethical behavior

Missing from the Capitol this session were lobbyists going through security with brightly wrapped packages trimmed in gold foil with cards addressed to lawmakers. Inside those cards, we at Chicken-Fried News imagine messages reading, “Happy birthday my favorite lawmaker. Enjoy your big day, and tomorrow we’ll discuss that legislation I need your vote on.” Last year, Oklahoma Ethics Commission said no more birthday gifts from lobbyists to legislators. This year, the commission voted to prohibit legislators from becoming lobbyists during their first two years out of office. The rule is not yet finalized. Most Oklahomans applauded these efforts, as the ethics commission was acting far more like a watchdog than a lapdog to lawmakers. Lawmakers, perhaps missing those birthday gifts and disgruntled over changing their future employment plans after lawmaking, decided enough was enough with the ethics commission. According to NewsOK, the commission is not getting a single penny from next fiscal year’s state general revenue fund. The commission had requested $3,354,000 for fiscal year 2019. At Chicken-Fried News, we imagine one lawmaker saying to others in one of

those closed-door meetings for state appropriations, “Let’s see what rules the ethics commission puts in place when they get zero from the general fund.” This would, of course, be followed by an evil laugh. “I am appalled,” John C. Hawkins, the commission’s chairman, wrote in an email sent to senators and House members and later obtained by NewsOK. “The retaliation on a state agency by cutting their budget for doing their job is unconscionable.” Based on the budget, the commission will have $710,351 — money collected from fees from lobbyists, candidates, political parties and political action committees — to operate the agency that collects and publishes campaign contribution reports, investigates campaign fraud and provides education to prevent misconduct and ensure that lawmakers live up the other highest ethical standards, among other duties. Voters of Oklahoma endorsed Oklahoma Ethics Commission’s creation through the approval of a constitutional amendment in 1990. NewsOK reports that the commission will meet to

consider whether to file a legal challenge in the Oklahoma Supreme Court. It’s too early to tell how this situation might evolve in the coming months. At Chicken-Fried News, we suggest the ethics commission add to its curriculum lessons on the unethical behavior tied to retaliation.

Justice two-step

During the same Legislative session that Oklahoma made advancements on criminal justice reform to reduce the state’s overcrowded prisons; it took another step backwards. Gov. Mary Fallin signed seven criminal justice reform bills — many of which reduced sentences for nonviolent offenders and those convicted of drug possession — in April. Voters asked for many of those same measures to go into effect when they voted to pass State Question 780 and 781 in 2016, but Fallin only signed three bills

last session. Better late than never, we suppose. In the meantime, Oklahoma has earned the distinction of having the highest prison population of women in the country, and it jails men at 33 percent higher than the national average. Over three quarters of Oklahoma’s prison population is in jail for nonviolent offenses. Senate Bill 1221 passed the Senate as a sensible measure to require Oklahoma’s Pardon and Parole Board members — former judges and law enforcement officers — to receive training on best practices to reform criminal behavior and require two board members to have backgrounds in mental health services or social work. By the time the bill left the House and sent to Gov. Fallin’s desk, it included an amendment to allow juvenile offenders as young as 13 to be sentenced to life without parole. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that mandatory life sentences for juvenile offenders violates the Eighth Amendment, which doesn’t completely outlaw the practice but does require judges to take the defendant’s age into account during sentencing. Since that ruling, 24 states have rolled back mandatory juvenile life without parole, but Oklahoma is on the verge of going the other direction.

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cov er


Fresh influence

Super Cao Nguyen’s produce and fresh fish inspire kitchens around the city. By Jacob Threadgill

During the 1950s and ’60s, Oklahoma City earned the reputation as “the cafeteria capital of the country,” which was given to the city by the president of the American Restaurant Association. Dr. Bob Blackburn, executive director of Oklahoma Historical Society, said that 37 independent cafeterias operated during that period and defined the food scene in the city. “Families brought their home-cooking skills into the restaurant business,” Blackburn said. “They cooked what they knew: fried chicken, meatloaf, mashed potatoes. We’re a rural-based city. People who moved here wanted the same kind of cooking they grew up with, and that was cafeterias, from the ’30s to the ’60s.” In an end to that era, the chain Luby’s closed its Oklahoma City location in February 2018, leaving Oklahoma City without a commercial cafeteria for the first time in nearly a century. As the city’s independently owned restaurant scene grows weekly in the Uptown 23rd District, Automobile Alley, Midtown, 16th Street Plaza District and many other neighborhoods, it is the produce section and butcher backroom at Super Cao Nguyen, 2668 N. Military Ave., that is driving innovation among the city’s chefs. In the morning, it is common to see

everyone from line cooks to chefs de cuisine in white chef coats picking up produce or checking out the latest selection of seafood at the butcher counter, but even for the city’s most prestigious chefs, it can be an overwhelming experience. “The seafood selection is wonderful and has influenced kitchens all over the city,” said chef John Bennett, who was personal friends with luminaries James Beard and Julia Child and operated The Cellar restaurant beginning in 1965, which was considered the best restaurant in Oklahoma at that time. “You have to watch out on the weekends because you might get run over by these little old ladies that are doing their weekly shopping. You better get what you need and get out of the way,” he said. “They will be there pushing, and there is always a line.” Bennett started going to the original Cao Nguyen market in the early 1980s because of its product selection. “When I first started in Oklahoma City, I couldn’t even get a local mushroom,” Bennett said. “I had to get everything shipped from Dallas.” Blackburn said the food scene began to change in Oklahoma’s oil bust-fueled second great depression that began with the failure of First National Bank in

1985 and continued to 1998. Cattlemen’s Steakhouse was the only steakhouse to survive, and downtown restaurants largely vanished. “We have become a foodie town, and Super Cao Nguyen brought in exotic spices, foods and fish,” Blackburn said. “You wash out an entire generation of restaurant owners, including the struggling cafeterias, and this new wave has filled the vacuum once the recovery started in the late ’90s and early aughts. They don’t want to serve food from the farm because they’re not from the farm.” Kurt Fleischfresser, one of four American chefs awarded the Medaille de Merite by L’Academie de Gastronomie Brillat-Savarin, is currently the director of operations at Western Concepts Restaurant Group (Vast, The Hutch on Avondale, Sushi Neko, Musashi’s, Will Rogers Theatre and The Lobby Cafe & Bar). Fleischfresser said that while Super

Ba Luong shows off shirataki noodles, which are gluten- and calorie-free. | Photo Mark Hancock

Cao Nguyen isn’t their only supplier of seafood for places like Sushi Neko, it’s where they go to create specials and try new ingredients. He said some of his favorite memories are of eating spiny lobsters imported from Australia to Super Cao Nguyen over a bottle of wine. “It’s inspirational to go in there and walk around to get motivated to cook something new,” he said. “I tell my cooking classes to go and learn to shop there. … They have become quite the resource. Who would’ve thought that you could get fresh, live geoduck clam in Oklahoma City? You can get it thanks to these guys.”

Food bonding

Super Cao Nguyen is currently operated by brothers Ba, Hai and Remy Luong, who took over day-to-day operations after Cao Nguyen moved from a red building on the corner of 24th Street and Military Avenue to its current location in 2003. After its move, the store began adding products based on customer feedback, and it has become a true international market. “Everyone [at other grocery stores] had the same stuff except us, and that’s where a lot of chefs get their inspiration,” Hai Luong said. “We help them out too. We give them suggestions, and next thing you know, you’ve got two or three fusion cuisine together, and most of the time, it works.” Hai Luong works with restaurateurs across the metro area through a variety of cuisine. Super Cao Nguyen facilitates the whole suckling pig dinner used for the annual Royal Bavaria anniversary dinner in January. It also stocks the mussels and oysters served at La Baguette, where co-owner Alain Buthion often has after-hours, invitation-only Man Cave dinners for 20 of his friends, including Hai and Ba Luong. “Food brought us together,” Buthion said of his relationship with Super Cao. “I can get lost in all of the products you can get there, from Philippines, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and all over the place. They have so many plants and pastes, like the curries. The selection continued on page 14 Super Cao Nguyen moved to its current location, 2668 N. Military Ave., in 2003. | Photo Mark Hancock O kg a z e t t e . c o m | m ay 9 , 2 0 1 8



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e l e c ti o n s

continued from page 13

of vinegar … oh yeah.” City chefs and the family operate with a symbiotic relationship. Ba Luong said that they are more willing to order exotic seafood because he can contact local chefs and know they will at least want to put it on the menu as a special. “We’re able to offer high-end seafood for consumers to take home, but also restaurants get quality fish that no one had ever heard of,” Ba Luong said. “Whole live spiny lobster are $30-$60, and in a few phone calls, we can get rid of half of it while having something exotic in the tanks. Restaurants have one-of-a-kind item, especially in Oklahoma and the Midwest.”

Refugee journey

Ba and Hai’s parents Tri and Kim Luong lived in the southern tip of Vietnam, and after the fall of Saigon in 1975 to the communist regime, Ba said that his family wanted to leave because, as business owners, they believed in capitalism. In late 1977, with communists in power and the threat of being sent to a re-education camp, his family sought refuge in Malaysia because his parents, who are ethnically Chinese, spoke Mandarin and Teochew. After two weeks at sea, they made it to the border only to be told that Malaysia wasn’t taking any more refugees. “Fortunately, they ran into a ship captain off the coast,” Ba Luong said. “He told them, ‘The next morning, at the crack of dawn, capsize your boat and swim for it.’ Not everyone knew how to swim, so they got as close to the shore as they could. The boat sank and Middle Eastern harissa paste became one of the first international items offered at Super Cao Nguyen. | Photo Mark Hancock 14

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Malaysia had to take them as refugees.” His family was sponsored to immigrate to the United States by a Southern Baptist church, and they landed in Washington D.C. July 4, 1978. Tri Luong got a job as a dishwasher at a local hotel, but the family yearned for a warmer climate and decided to relocate to Fort Smith, Arkansas, near Fort Chaffee Maneuver Training Center, which operated as a refugee camp at the time. Tri and Kim Luong began operating a small grocery in Fort Smith because they missed the products of their home and knew they had a built-in clientele. This meant traveling to Oklahoma City to the original Cao Nguyen market to pick up provisions. After a few months, the owners asked if Tri and Kim wanted to buy the store. They took ownership in late 1979. Ba Luong was instrumental in establishing the Asian District, working

Ba Luong tells chef Kurt Fleischfresser about the latest shipment of tiger prawns. | Photo Mark Hancock

with city and district leaders to establish the boundaries and design codes while he was in college at Baylor University and after taking a post-grad accounting job in Houston. He came back to OKC full-time when his father asked for his help expanding the store to be modeled after Texasbased H-E-B. After years of eating hummus at a Houston restaurant, it was one of the first international items they added to the new supermarket.

per bunch) and watercress ($1.39). “I started eating kale at home, so we brought in our own [to the store],” Ba Luong said. “It’s usually at least $1.99 elsewhere.” Super Cao Nguyen also stock 20 varieties of mushrooms, with the newest being organic baby oyster mushrooms. “Mushrooms are something a lot of chefs requested, and it’s usually for a special or for a few nights, but the baby oysters have been on the menu recently at St. Mark’s Chop Room [& Bar],” Ba Luong said.

Meat counter

Super Cao Nguyen can be an intimidating place to shop for first-time visitors. Ba Luong provided a tour of the store and pointed out a few items to help guests get started.

Ba Luong said that many people are surprised to find that the pork behind the meat counter is actually from Oklahoma’s own Schwab Meat Co., and it is one of the few counters in town with ground pork readily available. He is proud of the fish selection, particularly the new shipment of sustainably farm-raised Ora King salmon from New Zealand ($14.99 per pound), which has a much higher level of marbling than the Atlantic salmon ($7.49 per pound). Andrew Murin, executive chef at Chesapeake Energy Arena, added Ora King to the menu at Bricktown Brewery in honor of Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams, who is from New Zealand, Ba Luong said. “The Ora King is farm-raised without food coloring or antibiotics. We can trace this fish to the beginning. You can put it in a nonstick pan with no cooking oil. Season the fish and put it skin-side down, and it will release natural oil from the skin. When you flip it over to finish cooking, you will have extra oil in the pan.”

Produce section


You can walk down the aisle and hear five or six languages being spoken at one time. Ba Luong “You can walk down the aisle and hear five or six languages being spoken at one time,” Ba Luong said. “To hear all of those and think you’re in the Oklahoma City is exciting.” “There are a lot of cultures shopping in here, but the one constant is that everyone’s grandmother yells the same way. It doesn’t matter if you understand the language; the answer is always, ‘Yes, ma’am,’” Hai Luong said with a laugh.

Store tour

The large produce section is one the first things that put Super Cao Nguyen on the map, but it’s not just the selection that gets praise, it’s also the prices. It stocks hard-to-find items like bok choy and kohlrabi but also stocks nutrient-rich products like kale (79 cents

Super Cao Nguyen’s utensil section dates back to its early days when Ba Luong said it had to operate almost as a general store, and the section has become a favorite for chefs, particularly the Kiwi brand of knives, which retail for $5. “If you ask any chef in town what knives they use on an everyday basis, they will tell you Kiwi knives,” Ba Luong said. “Francis Tuttle [School of Culinary Arts] sends their students here and tells them to buy Kiwi knives instead of getting $100 knives. They’re fairly sharp, stay sharp and once it’s dull you can sharpen it, but it’s actually cheaper to get a new one than to have it professionally sharpened. I can’t keep them in stock.”

Gluten replacements

Shirataki noodles, Japanese noodles made from the konjac yam, are sometimes referred to as “miracle noodles” because they are calorie- and gluten-free. The slippery noodles are packed in water, and Luong said they are an excellent starch replacement for soups and chili. “Wash them and then let them sweat in a dry pan until the water is gone,” he said. “I chop them up and add them to chili as a bean replacement. I let them simmer and eat the chili the next day.”

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Filling a void

In-house smoked meats shine at Scottie’s Deli, which is exactly what Oklahoma City needs. By Jacob Threadgill

Scottie’s Deli 427 NW 23rd St. scottiesdeliokc.com | 405-604-8940 What works: The smokiness of pastrami complements the saltiness of corned beef on New York, NY sandwich. What needs work: The potato salad needs more smoked vinegar. Tip: Don’t forget about the vegetarian options, particularly the Smoked Portabella Reuben.

The pictures lining the ceiling at Scottie’s Deli showcase some of the country’s most famous delicatessens —Katz’s in New York; Chicago’s Delicatessen Meyer; and Columbus, Ohio’s Milo’s Deli and Café are joined by others, depicting the country’s rich heritage of Jewish, German and Italian grocers and sandwich makers. “People try to pigeonhole us based on one item on our menu,” Scottie’s Deli, 427 NW 23rd St., owner Eric Fossett said. “I kind of wanted to take the best of the Italian deli, best of the German deli, best of the Jewish deli and you can combine them all into one. And that’s

why we call it an American deli.” Fossett grew up in the northern California sandwich tradition, where his family operated multiple Big John’s Submarine Sandwiches locations. The oil and gas industry first took Fossett to Houston and then Oklahoma City by 2014. When he moved to Oklahoma, he noticed a void in the OKC food scene. “You know, as far as I’m concerned, every big city had a deli,” Fossett said. “ So when I moved here … actually, one of the very first things that I noticed was there was no deli.” Fossett isn’t far off from his assessment. There is Brown Bag Deli, 7600 N. Western Ave., and N D Foods, 2632 W. Britton Road, but neither of these venerable Oklahoma City locations is smoking all of its meats in-house. After oil prices collapsed, Fossett found himself out of a job and went across the country, looking for a new opportunity. He visited friends in Colorado and went back to California, but he kept thinking about the opportunity available in Oklahoma City. Scottie’s Deli opened next to Tower Theatre in early August 2017. “I just thought that Oklahoma City is about to explode, and I think it’s growing very rapidly,” Fossett said. “I think the food scene is starting to catch up and starting to take off. I just thought it was a great opportunity. And then it’s just the sense of community and everybody seemed to be really supportive when I brought the ideas to them.” Far and away the most popular sandwich at Scottie’s is the New York, NY, which combines corned beef and pasleft The APC is roast beef, caramelized onions, jalapeños and American cheese on garlic bread. below Scottie’s Deli opened in ealry August 2017 at 427 NW 23rd St. | Photos Jacob Threadgill


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trami that are brined together for an average of 17 days before being smoked in separate methods. Every cut of meat from the roast beef to the ham used on the Cubano is prepared in-house. “I like a good Reuben, and I think it works really well because for me, we decide to hit the pastrami really hard with smoke,” Fossett said. “We’ve had good response with it. It’s a little too much for me. I like a corned beef because I like the salty more than the smoky. That Russian dressing with the sauerkraut and the smoke [is] such a beautiful mix.” Scottie’s Deli is by no means only marketed to carnivores. It offers four vegetarian sandwiches that can be served on vegan-friendly wheat or gluten free bread baked in-house. The Smoked Portabella Reuben is Fossett’s personal favorite among the vegetarian sandwiches. He said it’s a product that came together after searching for a vegetarian analog for corned beef. They tried eggplant but could never get the consistency right. Whether it’s finding the correct vegetable or perfecting the brine for smoked meats, Fossett considers himself a perfectionist, inspired by memories of watching his grandmother work inside the kitchen of Big John’s. His grandmother was proud of her Scottish heritage, and it’s one of the reasons Fossett’s middle name is Scott. He channeled his family’s history when naming his first restaurant. As with any restaurant in its first year of operation, there have been changes since opening its doors. In the last few weeks, Fossett made the switch from baking all of Scottie’s bread on the premises to partnering with the city’s only artisan baker, Esca Vitae, 1114 Classen Drive, for all of its bread except its gluten-free variety. Esca Vitae’s rye bread on the New York, NY ($11) has an almost sweet crust

The New York, NY is the most popular sandwich at Scottie’s Deli, pairing pastrami with corned beef. | Photo Jacob Threadgill

and robust center. The garlic bread for the APC (roast beef, caramelized onion, jalapeños and American cheese) is crunchy on the outside and soft in the center. “[The bread is] just night-and-day better,” Fossett said. “Something [that’s] kind of always bothered me was our sandwich rolls, and getting them from [Esca Vitae] is just amazing.” On my most recent visit, I noticed the bread was of a higher quality than previously trips to Scottie’s. The smokiness of the pastrami is the perfect complement to the salty corned beef, and it’s just such a different end result than a sandwich made with Boar’s Head brand cold cuts. I was worried the APC (regular $11) might be too dry without a condiment on the bread, but the staff dunks freshly cut roast beef slices into au jus for just the right amount of juiciness. The sweetness of the onions and the spiciness of the jalapeños balance for a composed sandwich. I appreciate the selection of Zapp’s chips, which is perhaps my favorite potato chip brand on the market. The potato salad was a disappointment. It was heavy on the mayonnaise and needed more smoked vinegar, which is an interesting ingredient but was only faintly noticeable. While a meal at Scottie’s Deli costs more than a trip to an OKC sandwich shop institution like Someplace Else Deli & Bakery, I’m always willing to pay a premium at a restaurant where I know I can avoid heavily processed items. Scottie’s smoked meats are a standout. I also recommend the brisket and the duck pastrami. “I try to have this place reflect me and my history as much as just trying to bring good food,” Fossett said.

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f eat u re

Aly Cunningham owns Sunnyside Diner locations with Shannon Roper. | Photo Jacob Threadgill

Sunny expansion

Sunnyside Diner has added two new locations in 2018, with a third in the works. By Jacob Threadgill

For generations, all-day breakfast was confined to local diners and mid-tier chains like IHOP, but over the last decade, dedicated breakfast restaurants became more popular, and not just for weekend brunch. A study from the NPD Group, a food and consulting research firm, announced that breakfast is the only one of the three meals that saw growth in traffic for the year ending in March 2017. The standalone breakfast concepts in Oklahoma City have certainly followed national trends. Sunnyside Diner opened its first location in 2016, helping revitalize a part of Midtown that has since added ¡Revolución! as a neighbor. Sunnyside moved forward into the standalone breakfast concept along with Neighborhood JA.M. and Hatch, both of which opened second locations in 2018. Sunnyside Diner is the brainchild of Shannon Roper (the S in S&B’s Burger Joint) and Aly Cunningham (formerly Branstetter) who operate Happy Plate Concepts, which includes the original S&B location at NW 59th Street and May Avenue (Roper manages the other S&B locations as part of a separate ownership group) and a growing portfolio of Sunnyside Diner locations. “As far as OKC goes, we were at the beginning of the breakfast scene as it was taking off,” Cunningham said. “We felt the trend happening, and in the rest of the U.S., it was already a hit. Breakfast is appealing to the staff because you can work a long shift and still be out of here by 4 p.m. In the restaurant world, that didn’t exist.”

Brand expansion

The second Sunnyside Diner location opened at 824 SW 89th St. in February, a third location at 9148 N. MacArthur Blvd. held its soft openingApril 26 and a fourth location in Edmond is in its initial stages of development. The south side diner is located in a 18

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former A&W Root Beer stand that has been a Swadley’s Bar-B-Q and a Jim’s Famous Chicken, in addition to a few other eateries over the years. Roper is his own lead contractor overseeing renovation, but those used to the Midtown Sunnyside’s midcentury decor will be surprised with every new location. Roper and Cunningham designed the diner based on community vibe. Since they were taking over a building dating to the 1970s and keeping its original fireplace in the center of the restaurant, they went with era-specific wood paneling, bright oranges and brown. The recently opened Sunnyside near the intersection of N. MacArthur Boulevard and Britton Road is located in the old Lola’s Kitchen. Building off a theme that ties into the restaurant location near Lake Hefner, Roper and Cunningham gave it more of a 1980s feel — complete with neon triangles — and plenty of natural light to give it a lakeside vibe, Cunningham said. “We’ve had offers to go into fancy, brand-new shopping centers, but we want to restore the community. We don’t just want to drop something in and say ‘Everyone can fit how we do it,’” she said.

Community outreach

Using the restaurant as community outreach is an important element of Sunnyside’s mission, Cunningham said. At the original Sunnyside, they geared programs toward neighborhood homeless, some of which were pushed out of dwellings due to the diner’s opening. They started a community closet where those in need could grab a coat or scarf. “It developed in Midtown, where it was scary to be there past 5 p.m. for so many years,” Cunningham said. “Nobody went over there in the middle of the day Banana-Nutella, blueberry, chocolate chip and pineapple upside-down cake pancakes from Sunnyside Diner | Photo Jacob Threadgill

even. We don’t just want to push the homeless people out even further. They’re a part of the community too.” Sunnyside manager Stacey Yarbrough started a Sunnyside Street Team that arranges bimonthly care packages full of food, toiletries and clothing. Yarbrough started the program on her own, saving $10 from each paycheck. She was inspired to help the community after spending four years in prison, Cunningham said. “[Yarbrough] got a job at the diner as dishwasher and has worked her way up, and through the last few years, she’s been the most loyal person I’ve ever met,” Cunningham said. “Stacey wanted to give back to the community that gave her a chance to start over.” Sunnyside has a food pantry at both of its new locations for people to use, if needed. There is also a pennant wreath just beyond the entryway where guests can take a voucher for a free meal. Funds for the wreath are compiled from guest donations where they are asked to pay it forward. “If you’re in the restaurant world to make money, then you’re in the wrong business,” Cunningham said. “We’re still growing and developing [community outreach]. There is a homeless community near our second location, and we direct them here to use the pantry.” The expansion in Sunnyside locations has also led to a larger menu. Three breakfast burritos and two gourmet toasts, including the now-popular avocado variety, have been added. Its varieties of pancakes are bolstered by the standout pineapple upside-down cake pancakes that are caramelized with sugar on the flattop for a crispy edge, grilled with pineapple and cherries and topped with a pineapple cherry sauce. The Edmond location is tentatively scheduled to open in October, and it is only the beginning of Happy Plate Concepts’ expansion. “We just talked about five-year plan, and I’m so excited; it is going to be good for Oklahoma City,” Cunningham said. Visit eatatsunnyside.com.

f eat u re



Ok-Yaki brings Japanese yakitori to the shed behind The Patriarch. By Jacob Threadgill

Early in his career, chef Jonathon Stranger admits that he was caught up in the quest for accolades. He certainly received them while developing fine dining concepts Ludivine and The R&J Lounge and Supper Club before branching out with new ventures En Croûte and St. Mark’s Chop Room & Bar. As he has gotten older, Stranger, 36, repeats the mantra, “I want to create a positive moment in someone’s day.” For Stranger, there is no better way to someone’s heart that the combination of grilled meats and cold beer, which can be seen in his newest concept Ok-Yaki, located in a converted garage shed at The Patriarch, 9 E. Edwards St., in Edmond. “My aim when I was younger was to be the best chef ever,” Stranger said. “You might get awards going after that, but human beings are human beings; everyone likes something different. One person might say it’s the best thing they ever had; the next person might say it is the worst. [Now I] aim to make people happy with food, beverage and service.” The Japanese concept of yakitori — marinated meats grilled over high-

temperature charcoal — is something Stranger’s brother-in-law, who is half Japanese, introduced to him years ago when Stranger was working in New York City. It’s something he has always wanted to introduce to Oklahoma City, but he had trouble explaining the concept to potential investors without an analogue. Yakitori allows diners to try a lot of different proteins without breaking the bank. Ok-Yaki skewers range from $2 for vegetables like okra and shishito peppers to $5 for baby back ribs and $5.50 for sea scallops. “To me, it was a shock that it hasn’t gotten big in the U.S. Like a lot of things that I do, they tend to be different, which means it is hard to get investment money,” he said.

Finding home

After nearly taking the concept downtown, he heard from the owners of The Patriarch and asked if they had plans for the shed that they only occasionally used to serve beer from when the weather was warm. The partnership has been a win-win

for Stranger and The Patriarch. Stranger gets a built-in clientele that is coming for The Patriarch’s craft beer selection, and the establishment gets full-time food service without having to partner with an outside food truck. “I like to use local food at a price point that works,” Stranger said. “Past restaurants I’ve done are more expensive, so it alienates part of the population. I set out to make you have a meal fast that is good food. It goes perfect with drinking beer, and Patriarch is known for craft beer. Food that is $50 an entrée and $5 an entrée can be just as satisfying. It was my challenge to myself. I want to make this as satisfying as St. Mark’s or En Croûte.” Ok-Yaki offers a variety of draft beer from The Patriarch’s local brewery selection in addition to mixed drinks made with liquor from Prairie Wolf Spirits. (Stranger is a partner in its new ownership group.) Ok-Yaki also offers what Stranger begrudgingly refers to as sliders, even though they are much larger than an average slider. “There is a Japanese word that I could’ve used, but it is a mouthful, and I didn’t want to confuse anyone,” he said. His favorite sandwich is the karage, which is essentially a Japanese chicken nugget. Chicken thighs are diced, battered in potato starch and spices and fried. They are gluten-free and topped with white onion, cabbage and spicy mayonnaise on a sweet roll. Ok-Yaki also offers a chicken-andbacon burger, flank steak, baby back ribs, tuna and avocado sandwich varieties with the option of adding wasabi french fries.

Secret sauce

The key to yakitori marinade is the tare sauce, an aged soy sauce with additives like dashi, vinegar or fermented soybeans. Stranger barrel-aged the tare for six months before OK-Yaki opened in late March. “A tare can make or break a yakitori place in Tokyo if you have a young or bad tare,” he said. “Some of them are 70 years old. Think of it like a mother [sourdough The charcoal grill at Ok-Yaki reaches temperatures up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit. | Photo Jacob Threadgill

Ok-Yaki karage “slider” with skewers of pork belly, flank steak and okra | Photo Jacob Threadgill

bread starter]. You boil it to pasteurize it at the end of the night, but that’s it. As it hits the grill, it adds smoke and all these flavors keep getting deeper and deeper.” The other secret to good yakitori is the type of charcoal used: binchōtan. The Japanese variety of hardwood charcoal typically made from oak burns odorless and stays hot for long periods. The grill reaches temperatures of 900 degrees Fahrenheit, which allows the protein to char quickly and melt off unwanted fat. The pork belly arrives without any gristle, and the flank steak gets enhanced with sanshō, a Japanese berry that is often apocryphally referred to as a pepper. The sanshō provides a fruity and floral finish to the meat. Steak used at Ok-Yaki is the same Oklahoma wagyu beef served at En Croûte and St. Mark’s. 2018 has been a busy year for Stranger with the purchase of Prairie Wolf, the opening of Ok-Yaki and the planned Osteria Italian kitchen that will open in Nichols Hills later this year. Stranger still finds time to work the line at Ok-Yaki a few times a week. “The response [for Ok-Yaki] has been really good. The quality for the price point we are putting it out at complements the beer. It’s one of the first times where I’ve yet to see a negative review,” he said as he knocked on wood for good luck.

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eat & DRINK

Banh appetit

Banh mi: the perfect fusion of French and Vietnamese cultures that marries a perfectly crispy French baguette to clean southeastern Asian flavors. The banh mi’s prevalence can be seen in abundance in OKC’s Asian District, but its influence has spread across the metro. By Jacob Threadgill | Photos Gazette / file | with photos provided @405eats

Quoc Bao Bakery

Family Pho

Republic Gastropub

The biggest hurdle between you and one of the best banh mis in town is just a little of that pesky cash. In addition to supplying a variety of yeast and cake doughnuts, sausage rolls and muffins, Quoc Bao has one of the best sandwich deals in town: Buy three, get one free. You can get four sandwiches for about $10, depending on which of the eight varieties of sandwiches you choose.

If you live in north Oklahoma City, there is no need to come all the way to the Asian District for a tasty banh mi. The lemongrass beef banh mi consistently earns high marks from reviewers on Yelp, and it will only set you back $4. As the name indicates, pho is a large portion of the menu, which includes a vegan option made with vegetable broth.

Although this version costs a little more than the average banh mi ($12), Republic ups the ante with braised short rib at the center of its baguette. There are few things quite as succulent as a slowcooked beef short rib, and when combined with the brightness of pickled vegetables, cilantro and Sriracha mayonnaise, it is tough to beat.

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The Pump Bar

2425 N. Walker Ave. pumpbar.net | 405-702-8898

One of the newest full-time additions to the always-creative menu at The Pump is this mash-up: Pho Rench Dip. It’s like a Vietnamese version of a French dip, but a pho-style broth serves as the au jus dipping sauce. Tender beef is placed inside a baguette with plenty of fresh veggies like bean sprouts, basil and cilantro. Owner Hailey McDermid said she was inspired to add the dish after regular visits to neighborhood grocery store Super Cao Nguyen.

Ooo Cha

2000 W. Danforth Road, Suite 120 facebook.com/wichphoyukon 405-577-6432

While the brightly colored smoothies topped with chewy boba are eye-catchers, the banh mi — or as they’re labeled on the menu “French sandwiches” — are the real heart of the menu. A freshly prepared sandwich will only set you back $3 plus tax, and if you go between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on the weekend, you can get an extra banh mi or three egg rolls if you buy two sandwiches.

Wich Pho Vietnamese Kitchen

1781 Garth Brooks Blvd., Yukon facebook.com/wichphoyukon | 405577-6432

Opened about six months ago, this family-owned eatery is making sure folks in Canadian County have a location for good banh mi, pho and vermicelli bowls. Its cold-cut sandwich with pork belly, Vietnamese ham and pâté is the most popular banh mi, but there are also grilled chicken, pork and lemongrass steak varieties that can be topped with sweet chili or peanut sauce for a little extra kick. Each order comes with crispy shrimp chips.

Bistro B

1620 SW 89th St. bistrobokc.com | 405-735-6358

It’s easy to get lost in the 30-page dinerstyle menu at Bistro B, but if you make it all the way to page 25, you’ll find 14 varieties of banh mi, including lemongrass tofu, fish filet and even a sunnyside-up banh mi so you can enjoy a nice, runny egg yolk over your freshly baked baguette.


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Mother’s Day


Gift Guide 2.



The woman who loves you unconditionally from birth. The one who puts her kids before herself and the one who you can always count on above everyone else.

4. 5. 6.

8. 7. 9.

1. Tin Lizzie’s | W i n t o n + Wa i t s B u bbl e B at h | T i n L i z z i e ’ s | 9 0 5 N . B r o a d way A v e . | 4 0 5 - 2 2 8 - 1 0 1 4 | fa c e b o o k . c o m / t i n l i z z i e s 1 2. Faces and More | Fa c e s a n d M o r e G i f t C e r t i f i c at e | 1 2 0 5 4 N . M ay A v e . O k l a h o m a C i t y, 7 3 1 2 0 | 4 0 5 . 4 6 3 . 0 3 3 3 | www. fa c e s a n d m o r e o k . c o m 3. Kernels & Kandies | M o t h e r ’ s D ay G i f t B o x w i t h y o u r c h o i c e o f a va r i e t y o f g o o d i e s | K e r n e l s a n d K a n d i e s | 7 6 4 0 N W E x p r e s s way, S t e . 2 0 5 | 4 0 5 . 4 7 0 . 7 4 4 6 | k e r n e l s a n d k a n d i e s . c o m 4. Old Plantation Antiques | G o o d F r i e n d s B l o c k D e c o r | Ol d Pl a n tat i o n A n t i q u e s | 2 7 1 7 W. R e n o A v e . | 4 0 5 . 4 3 5 . 0 0 6 1 | o l d p l a n tat i o n a n t i q u e s . c o m 5. Tony Foss Flowers | Fa b u l o u s Fl o w e r s f o r M o m | T o n y F o s s Fl o w e r s | 7 6 1 0 N . M ay | 4 0 5 . 8 4 3 . 4 1 1 9 | t o n y f o s s f l o w e r s . c o m 6. Schelly’s Aesthetics | Fa c i a l T r e at m e n t s a n d S k i n C a r e | S c h e ll y ’ s A e s t h e t i c s | 1 2 0 2 8 N . M ay A v e . | 4 0 5 - 7 5 1 - 8 9 3 0 | s k i n c a r e o k c . c o m 7. CMG Art Gallery | C a r o l y n B e r n a n d Y o u n g ’ s “ S p r e a d i n g t h e N e w s ” | CM G A r t G a ll e r y | 1 1 0 4 N W 3 0 t h S t O k l a h o m a C i t y, 7 3 1 1 8 / 4 0 5 - 2 5 6 - 3 4 6 5 / c m g a r t g a ll e r y. c o m 8. Naifeh Fine Jewelry | J u d e F r a n c e s P r o v e n c e b a n gl e s i n 1 8 k t y e ll o w g o l d w i t h d i a m o n d s a n d g e m s t o n e s | 9 2 0 3 N . P e n n s y l va n i a A v e . | 4 0 5 - 6 0 7 - 4 3 2 3 | n a i f e h f i n e j e w e l r y. c o m 9. Rococo | M o t h e r ’ s D ay B r u n c h at R o c o c o | R o c o c o R e s ta u r a n t & F i n e W i n e | 2 8 2 4 N . P e n n s y l va n i a A v e . | 4 0 5 - 5 2 8 - 2 8 2 4 | 1 2 2 5 2 N . M ay A v e . | 4 0 5 - 2 1 2 - 4 5 7 7 | r o c o c o - r e s ta u r a n t. c o m

O kg a z e t t e . c o m | m ay 9 , 2 0 1 8




Key collection

Nault Fine Art adds to its goal of spreading love for African tribal art with the HERD exhibition. By Ben Luschen

Brian Nault has a strong passion for collecting African tribal art, and his goal is to share that passion with the rest of Oklahoma City. His tool for spreading that love is Nault Fine Art, a gallery located in Midtown at 816 N. Walker Ave. Nault, a longtime collector of African art and artifacts, has been running the space since it opened eight years ago. A permanent collection of pieces accrued by Nault over the years can be found in the gallery’s tribal showroom, but visiting exhibitions are often brought in to show off work amassed by other prominent collectors. Such an exhibit recently opened inside Nault Fine Art and will call the space home through May 31. HERD is a collection of bovine masks from famed Los A ngeles collector Joshua Dimondstein and includes 12 pieces from a variety of African cultures. HERD is accompanied by paintings and photography by Marc Barker, Tony Dyke, Susan Morrison-Dyke, Christie Owen, Paul Medina, Jon Burris and Josette Simon-Gestin. On May 18, an exhibition of photography by Burris will join the gallery’s visiting African masks. All the masks in the touring exhibit are provenance pieces, which in the collecting world means art that belongs to a wellknown collector and connoisseur. Dimondstein is a second-generation collector of tribal art and artifacts. His father, Morton Dimondstein, was an artist and collector who dealt to famous actors and producers throughout Hollywood. African art has had a major impact on many famous artists, particularly the modernist Pablo Picasso, who was also a collector of tribal art. For a period of three years in the early 1900s,

Picasso’s paintings were heavily influenced by African sculpture. The era of paintings from Picasso and other artists in this style is called Proto-Cubism, leading into the Cubist style for which Picasso would later be known. The exhibition of bovine masks at Nault includes masks originating everywhere from the Nigerian tropic to the plainslands found in places like Cameroon. “Cameroon could perhaps be called a sister country to the United States because there are grasslands,” Nault said. The masks in the collection served a variety of different uses. Some were used in harvest festivities. Nault said the Nigerian masks were used in festivals that have to do with livestock. They would be accompanied by hyena masks, representing a threat to that livestock. Many sub-Saharan African nations have no written form of their language, so the ceremonies some of these masks were used in were important in communicating tribal values and ideas. “These masks translate to the community the importance or power of that animal,” Nault said. The gallery owner said the masks are often about symbolically representing the power of the depicted animal. “Every single mask is created with a purpose and danced with a purpose,” he said.

Finding passion

Nault was born in Southern California but has been living in Oklahoma since his teen years. His love for tribal art has a lot to do with how much there is to learn about how they were made and the cultures from which they come. “You can never know everything about it,” he said. “You can constantly

The masks in the HERD exhibition are from famed Los Angeles collector Joshua Dimondstein. | Photo Nault Fine Art / provided

educate yourself about it.” His particular interest in Africanstyle art could be traced back to his childhood love for the Maurice Sendak book Where the Wild Things Are. Nault retrospectively realized only a few years ago that many of the characters in that book remind him of figures from African styles of art. The book might have helped subconsciously shape his current tastes, but Nault is also particular about the specific qualities he enjoys in African art. “I like the positive and negative space; I like the expressive qualities,” he said. “I like the fact that they’re pigmented with natural pigments. They’re something from the Earth, so it’s something very visceral. You’re seeing natural things put to work.” Nault went to Oklahoma State University to earn a degree in finance and accounting. He worked as an accountant for several years but eventually discovered that he had an aptitude for collecting antiquities. Within a few years, he was already appearing at the top collector shows in the United States. Nault became a fulltime art dealer in his late 20s. “I’ve been an art dealer now for longer than I’ve been an accountant,” he said. “It’s a lot more fun.” Nault Fine Art can appraise and guarantee authenticity in writing for African tribal art, which is a huge service to its clients. “That’s a big deal that we can do that,” he said. “We do that with every piece we sell.” Nault claims that there are fewer than 100 people in the world who operate on that level. “We’re pretty rare,” he said. “We all seem to know each other at some point.”

Growing collections

Nault Fine Art’s interior was custom-built just for the gallery. While not a primary part of the gallery’s mission, Nault said it frequently rents out the gorgeously deHERD includes 12 bovine masks from a variety of African cultures. | Photo Nault Fine Art / provided

signed space for private events. Aside from tribal art, the gallery displays paintings and other art works by top city artists and national artists — some from as far as Chicago and New York City. Though he did not set out for it to be this way, Nault said all the painters he has collected have a bachelor’s degree in art and some have a master’s, which he said tends to correlate with higher quality work. “Bringing top-quality contemporary paintings and authentic, top-quality tribal art to Oklahoma City is our primary goal,” Nault said. The purpose of Nault Fine Art is to expose the city to first-rate art and artifacts while, hopefully, inspiring people to begin their own collections. “I want them to experience authentic objects,” he said. “If someone is going to get hooked on tribal art and enjoy collecting it for the rest of their lives, it’s always nice to get someone started on the right foot.” Nault’s advice to aspiring collectors of tribal art is to always buy authentic pieces. It is important for a lot of beginning collectors to be smart about the region their pieces are from because artifacts from different regions tend to sell at different rates. “I like to advise beginning collectors that you don’t have to spend a lot initially to find your eye and your style,” Nault said. Collecting tribal or any kind of art is a lot like eating potato chips — it is very hard to stop after just one. “As soon as someone realizes they want to collect African art, typically one piece just won’t do,” he said. “I try to assist them in not breaking the bank in collecting that group of objects that they can begin with and grow with.” Visit naultfineart.com.

HERD 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday-Saturday through May 31 Nault Fine Art | 816 N. Walker Ave naultfineart.com | 405-642-4414 Free

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Analytical art

JRB Art at the Elms’ May exhibiting artists are anything but ordinary. By Jeremy Martin

One of the most immediately striking aspects of an ongoing local art exhibition wasn’t necessarily planned in advance. The latest exhibition at Oklahoma City’s JRB Art at the Elms features works by abstract painter Beth Hammack, ceramic artist Gayle Singer, mixed media painter Kathy Rodgers and jewelry designer Jaye Talvacchia. “The thing that I’m excited about this particular show is that it’s all women, and they’re all very smart and talented women,” said Trina Morrison, JRB’s gallery operations director. “That seems to be the trend right now to highlight that, but I don’t think that was purposeful, when this show was first thought about more than a year ago, to bring all these highly educated women together.” Talvacchia — who is scheduled to demonstrate the methods for making her beaded necklaces and earrings to gallery visitors at various times May 26-28 — works as a mathematics professor at Pennsylvania’s Swarthmore College. “Jaye’s a mathematician by day,” Morrison said, “so her mind works very analytically, and she does this kind of to relax in the evenings after teaching all day. But there’s still kind of that same thinking because it’s so orderly.” This show, scheduled to run through Memorial Day, is the first large public exhibition of Talvacchia’s work. JRB owner and director Joy Reed Belt convinced Talvacchia to put her work on display at the gallery after buying jewelry from her. “She’s never done this before,” Morrison said. “This is her first. She’s very shy about this. In fact, she was talked into doing this. That’s the fun part. Joy purchased a piece of her jewelry sometime back, and she really loves it.” Hammack, scheduled to give an artist talk 2 p.m. May 19, also studied math, and though her paintings are sig n i f ic a nt ly d i f ferent f rom Talvacchia’s jewelry, Morrison said an analytical mind is also obvious in much of Hammack’s work. “I don’t think you ever quit using that part of your brain even when you’re doing your artwork,” Morrison said. “It still comes out in different ways.” JRB has featured Hammack’s work in several exhibitions, and her paintings can currently be seen on display at several Oklahoma City corporate offices including Farmer’s Insurance, Price Waterhouse Cooper and GE Global. “The star, if there is a star, it would be Beth Hammack,” Morrison said. “She does abstract paintings, and they’re somewhat, for me, ethereal. There’s like a dreamlike quality to

them that I think speaks to a lot of people. I think the attraction is they can fit into almost any home, any corporate location, just any space. They’re very easy on the eye. I think most people are drawn to them because they’re not in your face. They’re just easy to be with … but her messages, I mean, you would not go up necessarily and say, ‘That’s a soft piece of work.’ There are still messages hidden within if you look at them long enough.”

We’d prefer to have new work, work that’s not been out and about. Trina Morrison

New work

Another artist returning to JRB is Singer, whose latest “stylized and curvilinear” ceramic pieces will be somewhat familiar to people who have seen her work in previous exhibitions, Morrison said, but the newer works also show signs of a different approach. “You will be able to recognize, I think, that it’s the same artist because some of the pieces, the nonfunctional pieces she brought us last year, are reminiscent of what she’s bringing us this year, but the color palette’s different. It’s so bold and bright compared to what she brought us before.” Morrison said JRB strives to obtain newer and ideally never-before-exhibited works for their monthly showcases, even when working with popular returning creators. “Whenever we have a featured artist, we really impress upon the artist that we’d prefer to have new work, work that’s not been out and about,” Morrison said. “It doesn’t always work out that way, but that is our preference, always.” Rodgers, like Talvacchia, has rarely had her work shown in any gallery, Morrison said. “Although she’s been around and she’s been selling her artwork for around 10 years, she’s really pretty new to exhibiting her artwork,” Morrison said. “This is probably the biggest exhibition for her career that’s coming up. She’s been real fun to work with, but she’s been very nervous, very excited, but she has really never done this before, had a show of this magnitude.” Though the artists featured this month represent a range of techniques and experience, Morrison said their creations complement one another

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above “Magenta Hydrangeas” by Beth Hammack | Image provided below Jaye Talvacchia is a mathematician jewelry maker who has never exhibited her work before. | Photo JRB Art at the Elms / provided

when displayed in the same space. JRB’s practice of arranging a new exhibition that typically features two or more artists every month sets “kind of a grueling pace,” but Morrison said she is constantly amazed at Belt’s ability to curate cohesive shows based on conversations with creators about the work they want to submit to the gallery. “That is the beauty and the brilliance of Joy Reed Belt,” Morrison said. “She can see this in her mind, how these artists will fit together in a show, and

I wish that I could crawl in her brain and figure that out. I haven’t done it yet, I haven’t figured it out, but there is a slight brilliance to it that she can forecast just by talking to them [about] what they’re thinking about doing in the future.” Visit jrbartgallery.com.

JRB Art at the Elms’ May exhibition 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday JRB Art at the Elms | 2810 N. Walker Ave. jrbartgallery.com | 405-528-6336 Free

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Projector Club screens the 1988 anime classic Akira May 16 in honor of Tower Theatre’s monthlong tribute to animation. | Image Toho Co. / provided

Pet project

Tower Theatre’s Stephen Tyler has grown film-loving Projector Club on the fly. By Ben Luschen

Tower Theatre has had its Projector Club for almost as long as it has been showing movies in its revived theater. But the actual purpose of the club took a lot longer to develop. Stephen Tyler, a co-operating manager at Tower and the person chiefly responsible for booking and programming the Uptown 23rd District venue’s film schedule, said he first threw the Projector Club name on the theater’s website without a plan for what the club might become. He included this mention as a way of saying film was an important part of Tower’s history and a special part of its future and that anyone interested in learning more should subscribe to the linked email newsletter. Almost immediately, he heard from community members wanting to know more. “They’d find it on the website and ask, ‘What is this?’” Tyler said. “We were just like, ‘Yeah, it’s something we’re working on. It’ll be really cool; stay tuned!’” Projector Club is now Tower’s more intensive film series targeted at hardcore film fans. The club’s screenings open up to the public earlier and close later, which makes them feel more like events. A guest panel introduces the movies and discusses them afterward. Projector Club’s first official screenings began in April and included director Christopher Nolan’s 2014 film Interstellar and the 2015 franchise-reviving Mad Max: Fury Road as well as Studio Ghibli’s 1997 favorite Princess Mononoke. The series continues 7 p.m. May 16 with a screening of Akira — a Japanese animated cult classic — fol-

lowed by a panel discussion led by Harold Storey of the Tunes/Toons podcast. The club’s screenings are open to the public. Admission is $10. Projector Club might have started as pure marketing, but public interest is shaping it into something more tangible. “The minute you make something even a little bit special,” Tyler said, “everyone wants to be involved in it.”

Coming together

Tree & Leaf Clothing’s Dusty Gilpin worked with Tower Theatre to design a special logo for Projector Club. Tyler hopes to develop a strong brand around the series. “The goal is that when people start to see that badge, that’s one of those things where people know, ‘Oh, they’re not just going to be playing the film; there’s something else connected to that,’” he said. Any kind of film that can be discussed at length afterward could potentially become a Projector Club feature. Tyler said films that get selected usually have something to do with interest from himself, a scheduled host or the general community. “There’s really no restriction on what we will or will not show,” he said, “unless we personally feel it’s outside of what we want to be doing.” While Projector Club is starting to take shape, Tyler said it will likely continue to evolve into the future. “Going forward,” he said, “we have some additional ideas about what this can become — everything from some sort of a loyalty-type program to one day even having some really significant events.”

Tyler is intrigued by the idea of bringing in major filmmakers and acting legends for special screenings that would either be restricted to or give preference to established club members. Still, Projector Club could end up growing in ways he has yet to imagine.

Monthly themes

Projector Club’s screenings are often informed by Tower’s new monthly screening themes. In March, the theater led into the film release of Ready Player One with a series of films dedicated to the material referenced in the movie and its source novel. This month’s theme is AniMayTion, highlighting popular animated films. Not every themed screening is an official Projector Club event, but Tyler said the two have a very symbiotic relationship. The themes not only give Tyler a focus for his monthly programming efforts, they make marketing the screenings a little easier because they share a common thread.

The minute you make something even a little bit special, everyone wants to be involved in it. Stephen Tyler “You quickly find out that there are a lot of people who love different films for different reasons,” he said, “whether it’s because you grew up wishing you were a Goonie or having your mind blown seeing Akira when you were 12 and trying to find out how people even drew like that.” Future monthly topics include partnering with SoonerCon in June for a series of geek and nerd culture films and

a July series of music-themed movies. Tyler said scheduled themes and Projector Club screenings are sometimes influenced by the film podcasts that help host club events. In addition to Tunes/Toons, other podcasts involved w it h t he club include T he Cinematropolis, WAFTI Show, Okie Geek Podcast and Okie Show Show. “They’ve all participated in some form,” he said. “They’re still helping guide the direction it goes and how to improve the event.” The AniMayTion theme was selected by Tower to celebrate recently acquiring the rights to show Studio Ghibli films in its theater. Tyler said one of the only limits to the movies they can screen is what the theater has the rights to. Over time, he hopes Tower can compile a massive film catalogue through deals with different studios and distributors. “I hope in the very near future that there’s not a film ever suggested to me that I can’t immediately go find and get access to,” he said.

Finding a place

Tyler was a child of the ’80s. He was born in the same year E.T. the Extraterrestrial was released and was always in the theater for the biggest summer blockbusters. At home, he would find new favorites like The Goonies and The Last Dragon by channel-surfing throu gh his parents’ cable subscription. His passion for film is as strong now as ever before — perhaps stronger. “I’ll sit and talk to somebody for hours about something I just watched,” he said. In that respect, it is a dream come true for Tyler to program the film lineup for a venue like Tower. He has lived in Oklahoma City all his life and for years thought about the untapped potential of the historic theater as he passed. “That sort of prepared me for when I found myself near that building and in contact with the people that owned it in a situation where they were looking for someone to help them,” he said. “I was actually like, ‘Hey, I have been onand-off thinking about this for about 20 years.’” Through Tyler’s guidance, Tower has established a unique niche for itself in OKC’s fast-growing cinema market. “We’re never going to be competing against Cinemark or AMC,” Tyler said. “They’re going to be showing first-run movies, so we’re going to do something different.”

Akira 7 p.m. May 16 Tower Theatre | 425 NW 23rd St. towertheatreokc.com | 405-708-6937 $10

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ARTS & CULTURE oNE OKC returns to NE 23rd Street and N. Rhode Island Avenue for a celebration of the community’s achievements, includes children’s activities. | Photo Laura Eastes

share what’s to come and celebrate the northeast Oklahoma City community. “Our goals this year are No. 1: showcase and strengthen the economic growth in northeast Oklahoma City,” Alberty said. “And goal No. 2 is to build greater unity within the northeast Oklahoma City community and the OKC metro area.”

co mmu n i t y


Agents of change oNE OKC returns as northeast OKC’s premier community event highlighting the vibrant, economically and culturally rich vision of its future. By Laura Eastes

Exactly one year ago, several thousands of people gathered for the second annual oNE OKC: A Northeast Renaissance block party along a closed stretch of NE 23rd Street near N. Rhode Island Avenue. There, inside a large white tent called the Building Tomorrow tent, a local development team displayed its renderings for rehabbing a shuttered auto shop. When the crowd members asked where this new development would be, developers pointed across the street. On May 19, when Northeast OKC Renaissance Inc. brings oNE OKC back to NE 23rd Street, the crowd will see the finished product, a $4.3 million investment resulting in OKC Community Clinic, which is the first development project along NE 23rd Street in 38 years. The clinic opens its doors for tours and free health screenings during oNE OKC, which will again feature the Building Tomorrow tent and showcase the developments and revitalization efforts that will follow. “We are building a street festival that connects the community to the great opportunities happening in northeast Oklahoma City,” said Quintin Hughes, a Northeast OKC Renaissance Inc. board member and creator of oNE OKC. “But it is also for the broader metro community to really see and be a part of the changing narrative of northeast Oklahoma City. What people might essentially think of when you say NE 23rd Street, typically there is a negative connotation. We really want to be part of changing the story. I view the event … as a catalyst.”

Highlighting development

In many ways, oNE OKC is a traditional

community street festival with live music, children’s activities, vendors and food trucks. Its design is based on the successful downtown and district street festivals like H&8th Night Market and the Paseo Arts Festival. oNE OKC is also on a unique mission to “showcase the vibrancy of northeast Oklahoma City and the economic development in the community,” said Marissa Alberty, who serves as co-chair of this year’s event. “Its a chance to connect with the community, whether you are from the community or live outside of the community, and see the really good things that are going on,” Alberty said. Indeed, northeast Oklahoma City is experiencing a revival that it hasn’t seen in decades. The minority-majority community, which has traditionally been challenged in economic development, received a boost back in 2015 when the Oklahoma City Council approved the development of a tax increment finance (TIF) district to support the Northeast Renaissance Urban Renewal Plan. Championed by Ward 7 Councilman John Pettis, the plan was designed to benefit the blighted NE 23rd Street corridor between Interstate 235 and the Oklahoma River and spur development along and near NE 36th Street. Improvements to the Northeast Town Center shopping center, which attracted a Save-A-Lot grocery store and a Dollar Tree, along with the twophase multi-million dollar development project that will result in OKC Community Clinic as well as restaurants, retail and creative work spaces, are the early results of the TIF district. oNE OKC is a tool to keep neighbors updated on the redevelopment progress,

The idea for oNE OKC came years ago when Hughes learned about an organization in Birmingham, Alabama, attempting to bring attention to previously economically depressed areas through block parties. Prior to the parties, the organization helped new businesses and entrepreneurs operate temporarily from those areas, offering the business owners and nearby residents a glimpse of what revitalization looked like. “I pondered, ‘Could we pull something like that here?’” Hughes said. “I was afforded that opportunity when I was asked to become a member of the Northeast Renaissance Steering Committee.” In 2016, through a partnership between the Northeast Renaissance Steering Committee and Leadership Oklahoma City’s LOYAL Class XI, oNE OKC debuted as an outdoor event on the campus of Douglas Mid-High School. Alberty was one of the participants in the 2016 crowd. The chief of staff for Teach for America – Oklahoma City arrived motivated to learn more about the community and find ways to get involved. In 2017, Alberty joined oNE OKC’s programming committee and oversaw the Building Tomorrow tent. “I feel very passionate about helping to make the community better because I believe when communities are thriving, schools will thrive as well,” Alberty said. “For me, it is an indirect way to impact education and the work that I do.” Both Alberty and Hughes said the volunteers behind oNE OKC are passionate individuals invested in the northeast Oklahoma City community. They already see interest from the community’s next generation, as young adults in college and high school are getting involved. As northeast Oklahoma City continues its journey of revitalization, Hughes said oNE OKC will proceed as the event to highlight and celebrate the community’s triumph. “I expect for it to be a staple event,” Hughes said. “I expect its success to coincide with the successful transformation of northeast Oklahoma City.”

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Books Bard’s Book Club read plays by Shakespeare and several other authors and join a discussion about the characters, language, plot and more, 6-7:45 p.m. May 15. Shakespeare on Paseo, 2920 Paseo St., 405235-3700, oklahomashakespeare.org. TUE Mother’s Day Book Club celebrate Mother’s Day by reading Tell Me More and discussing it with our moms, 7-9 p.m. May 9. Commonplace Books, 1325 N. Walker Ave., 405-534-4540, commonplacebooksokc.com. WED Reading Wednesdays a story time with naturethemed books along with an interactive song and craft-making, 10 a.m. May 16. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, oklahomacitybotanicalgardens.com. WED River Bend Barbara Shepherd signs her book about a pregnant woman who finds out her husband is dying, 6:30-8 p.m. May 14. Full Circle Bookstore, 1900 Northwest Expressway, 405-8422900, fullcirclebooks.com. MON Signing: Penny Miller join local author Penny Miller as she signs her books Color Full and Color Blind, 3:30-5 p.m. May 12. Full Circle Bookstore, 1900 Northwest Expressway, 405-842-2900, fullcirclebooks.com. SAT Where the Dead Sit Talking Brandon Hobson signs his novel that takes place in rural Oklahoma about a Cherokee boy in foster care, 6-7:30 p.m. May 10. Best of Books, 1313 E. Danforth Road, 405340-9202, bestofbooksok.com. THU

Film Oh Lucy! (2017, Japan, Atsuko Hirayanagi), a dark comedy about an unfulfilled middle-aged woman who takes an English class where she discovers her alter ego, Lucy, 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. May 11-12, 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. May 13, 5:30 p.m. May 17. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. Spirited Away (2002, Japan, Hayao Miyazaki), a 10-year-old girl moves to the suburbs with her parents and stumbles across a world of spirits where humans are changed into beasts, 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. May 12. Tower Theatre, 425 NW 23rd St., 405-708-6937, towertheatreokc.com. SAT Tropical Malady (2004, France, Apichatpong Weerasethakul), features a romance between a soldier and a country boy set in Thailand, 7:30 p.m. May 10. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. THU

Happenings Beans and Cornbread Luncheon and Firstep Art Sale the lunch benefits Firstep residential programs that assist Oklahomans who want to recover from substance abuse with an art sale featuring artwork by Firstep residents, 10 a.m. May 17. Christian Life Center St. Lukes United Methodist Church, 222 NW 15th Street, 405-568-4469, okcmetroalliance.com. THU

Beats & Bites an evening outdoors full of live music, food trucks, vendors and more, 6-11 p.m. May 12. Riverwind Casino, 1544 W. State Highway 9, 405322-6000, riverwind.com. SAT Cocktail Cruise this evening offers stunning views of the downtown skyline with cocktails; all ages are welcome, 8 p.m. May 11-12. Regatta Park Landing, 701 S. Lincoln Blvd., 405-702-7755, okrivercruises. com/specialty-cruises. FRI-SAT Crawfish Crawl a crawfish boil with Oklahomasanctioned corn hole tournaments and over 30 vendor booths and an adoption fair, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. May 12. Events at 10 West Main, 10 W. Main St. Suite 135, 405-494-9504, eventsat10westmain.com. SAT Design Appetit 2018 a multi-day event serving the mission of Focus on Home by providing furniture to families transitioning out of homelessness, 6-10 p.m. May 10-12. The Criterion, 500 E. Sheridan Ave., 405-308-1803, criterionokc.com. Growing a Bouquet Garden learn about the easiest flowers to grow in central OKC, from old friends like zinnias, sunflowers, marigolds and snapdragons to lesser-known beauties such as Asiatic lilies, lisianthus and ammi, 11 a.m.-noon May 12. CommonWealth Urban Farms, 3310 N. Olie Ave., 405-524-1864, commonwealthurbanfarms.com. SAT LIVE! on the Plaza join the Plaza District every second Friday for an art walk featuring artists, live music, shopping and more, 6-10 p.m. May 11. Plaza District, 1618 N. Gatewood Ave., 405-426-7812, plazadistrict.org. FRI May Flower Power Market features vendors selling hand-crafted and vintage items as well as food and art, 6-9:30 p.m. May 11. Stash, 412 E. Main St., 405-701-1016, stashok.com. FRI Mother’s Day Dessert Cruise bring mom on a river cruise and enjoy bite-sized desserts and mimosas at the cash bar, 1-2:30 p.m. and 3:30-5 p.m. May 12. Oklahoma River Cruises, 1503 Exchange Ave., 405-702-7755, okrivercruises.com. SUN Rail Fest features live music, a model train show, model railroad vendors, train rides, food trucks and more, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. May 12. Moore Central Park, 700 S. Broadway St., 405-793-5090, centralpark. cityofmoore.com. SAT Rhythm Restoration Food Drive donate groceries to help fill the shelves of Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, Through May 11. Caliber Collision, 8216 Northwest Expressway, 405-621-1613, calibercollision.com. River Tours (Narrated) this fully narrated tour also offers a fun and informative look at historic and contemporary landmarks along the Oklahoma River, 6-7:30 p.m. May 12. Regatta Park Landing, 701 S. Lincoln Blvd., 405-702-7755, okrivercruises.com. SAT

Food Anthem’s Brew Garden Anthem pairs with Plant Nite for beer garden making with beer and succulents, 7-9 p.m. May 12. Anthem Brewing Company, 908 SW Fourth St., 405-604-0446, anthembrewing.com. SAT Fermented Salsa Workshop discover the benefits of fermenting your vegetables and how easy it can be to make, 1-3 p.m. May 12. SixTwelve, 612 NW 29th St., 405-208-8291, sixtwelve.org. SAT Live Trivia bring your friends for an evening of trivia, fun and food, 8 p.m. May 15. Hudson’s Public House, 1000 NW 192nd St., 405-657-1103, henryhudsonspub.com. TUE

Splendor in the Gardens Wine and dine at sunset with south of Franceinspired dishes created by several local chefs and spirits provided by Joullian Vineyards. Following a reception in Park House featuring appetizers from local eateries, diners can stroll through the botanical gardens to the Great Lawn, where a well-appointed (and very long) table awaits. The event is 6-9 p.m. May 17 at Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave. Tickets are $150. Call 405-445-7080 or visit myriadgardens.com. MAY 17 Photo Myriad Botanical Gardens/provided 30

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Gabriel Iglesias Fans call him “Fluffy,” but comic and actor Gabriel Iglesias is also known for roles in films including The Nut Job and Magic Mike and TV shows All That and Christela. His 2016 standup special, I’m Sorry for What I Said When I Was Hungry, is currently available on Netflix, and the streaming platform recently went back for several more helpings of the funnyman, ordering two specials and a multi-cam sitcom. He takes the stage 7 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. May 18 at Riverwind Casino, 1544 W. State Highway 9, in Norman. Tickets are $55-$60. Call 405-322-6000 or visit riverwind.com. MAY 18 Koch Communications/provided

Myriad Kitchen: An Intro to Healthy Cooking an overview of eating well and using in-season fresh fruits and vegetables with ingredients donated by Whole Foods, noon-2 p.m. May 12. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405.445.7080, oklahomacitybotanicalgardens.com. SAT Ostrich Egg Breakfast Join The Oklahoma Zoological Society (ZOOfriends) for the 32nd annual Ostrich Egg Breakfast at the Oklahoma City Zoo! This unique family event includes all-you-can-eat smorgasbord of pancakes, sausage, bacon, scrambled hens’ eggs, waffles and of course, omelets cooked to order by the best volunteers in OKC, 9 a.m.-noon May 12. The Oklahoma City Zoo, 2000 Remington Place, 405-425-0618, zoofriends.org. SAT Wednesday Night Trivia put your thinking cap on for a night of trivia, beer and prizes with Geeks Who Drink, 7 p.m. Wednesdays. Anthem Brewing Company, 908 SW Fourth St., 405-604-0446, anthembrewing.com. WED

Youth Art Adventures bring your young artists ages 3-5 to experience art through books with related art projects, 10:30 a.m.-noon Tuesdays through June. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave., 405325-3272, ou.edu/fjjma. TUE Bookmarks for Mother’s Day a fun and educational event as we make flower bookmarks for Mother’s Day, 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. May 12. Science Museum Oklahoma, 2100 NE 52nd St., 405-5242905, sciencemuseumok.org. SAT

City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-2363100, okcmoa.com. SAT

Performing Arts Three Decembers an opera based on the unpublished play by Terrence McNally about a Broadway actress during the AIDS crisis, 8 p.m. May 11, 2 p.m. May 13. Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker Ave., 405-297-2264, okcciviccenter.com.

Active Beats and Balance Yoga Class a free class for all skill levels to the soundtrack provided by DJ Brian of Mutt Radio, 5:45-6:45 p.m. May 15. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-4457080, oklahomacitybotanicalgardens.com. TUE Great Strides Walk an opportunity for family, friends, students and colleagues to come together and make a difference in the lives of people with cystic fibrosis, 10 a.m. May 12. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, oklahomacitybotanicalgardens.com. SAT RED Day Run renew, energize and donate with Keller Williams Realty’s race supporting Edmond nonprofits, 9 a.m. May 12. Downtown Edmond, 32 N. Broadway Ave., 405-705-7749, downtownedmondok.com. SAT

The Coded Life: Beginners explore the concept of computer programming, learn how to write in functions, compare and contrast code online and scratch the surface of the designing process, 1-4 p.m. May 12. Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, 3000 Pershing Blvd., 405-951-0000, oklahomacontemporary.org. SAT Drop-In Art: Monochromatic Paper Reliefs use varying shades of paper to create monochromatic works of art and get inspiration from The New Art: A Milestone Collection Fifty Years Later exhibit, 1-4 p.m. May 12. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. SAT Pattern Hunter kids get to be detectives and artists with a scavenger hunt and drawing their findings, 9:30-10:30 a.m. May 12. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405.445.7080, oklahomacitybotanicalgardens.com. SAT Summer Camp Contemporary keep kids creative and learning in camps featuring visual arts, music, hip-hop, fiber, clay, performance, robotics and more, through August 10. Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, 3000 General Pershing Blvd., 405-951-0000, oklahomacontemporary.org. Tiny Tuesdays: Dancing Lines and Watercolor find colorful inspiration in the galleries and create watercolor paintings, 10 a.m.-noon May 15. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. TUE Watercolor Cut and Collage explore water and wonder through making watercolor collages; for ages 3-5, 11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m. May 12. Oklahoma


Sean Vali

dnagalleries.com 405-525-3499 Mother’s Day Buffet Let your mother know how much you care with this foodfilled outing! Get your fill on carving stations, vegetables, fresh salads and more delicious side options. Plus, shop the museum store and receive 20 percent off one item. The buffet is 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday at National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St. Tickets are $17.50-$35. Call 405-232-1184 or visit nationalcowboymuseum.org. SUNDAY Photo National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum /provided

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CALENDAR Yoga in the Gardens bring your mat for an alllevels class with Lisa Woodard from This Land Yoga, 5:45 p.m. Tuesdays. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, oklahomacitybotanicalgardens.com. TUE

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Yoga with Art relax and stretch in contemporary art-filled spaces with yoga instructed by This Land Yoga, 10 a.m. Saturdays through May 26. 21c Museum Hotel, 900 W. Main St., 405-982-6900, 21cmuseumhotels.com. SAT

Visual Arts Apichatpong Weerasethakul: The Serenity of Madness features films by award-winning artist Apichatpong Weerasethakul who was born in Thailand and earned a master of fine arts degree in Chicago., Through June 10. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. The Art of Oklahoma celebrate the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood with a diverse collection of art created by or about Oklahomans– and the cities and landscapes they call home. Enjoy works by John Steuart Curry, Oscar Brousse Jacobson, Nellie Shepherd, David Fitzgerald and Woody Big Bow, Through Sept. 2. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. Chromatic Ritual features paintings and fused glass creations by Fringe: Women Artists of Oklahoma with a portion of sales to The Homeless Alliance, Through June 1. Verbode, 415 N. Broadway Ave., 405-757-7001, fringeokc.com. Decomposition: Discovering the Beauty and Magnificence of Fungi the kingdom of fungi is on display at SMO’s smART Space Galleries exploring the uses, benefits and beauty of fungi, Through Aug. 12. Science Museum Oklahoma, 2100 NE 52nd St., 405-602-6664, sciencemuseumok.org. Do You See What I See? Painted Conversations by Theodore Waddell explores Waddell’s abstract expressionism like never before by redirection the visitor’s attention to the importance of what they do not see rather than what they do see on the canvas, Through May 13. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405478-2250, nationalcowboymuseum.org. The Experimental Geography Studio University of Oklahoma professor Nicholas Bauch and his digital geo-humanities class combine new media art with scholarship in geography, through May. Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, 3000 Pershing Blvd., 405-951-0000, oklahomacontemporary.org. Hardline perceptual artist Jason Wilson uses inspiration from his grandmothers’ quilts, Through May 28. Paseo Art Space, 3022 Paseo St., 405-525-2688, thepaseo.com. Jeff Tabor Recent Paintings features art by Jeff Tabor including media such as oil, acrylic, watercolor, gouache and printmaking, through July 1. Norman Santa Fe Depot, 200 S. Jones Ave., 405-307-9320, pasnorman.org. Letting Go of the Wheel introduces a new artist from Weatherford, Texas, Carolyn Bernard Young, a registered Choctaw artist featuring sculptural and hand-built vessels, Through May 31. CMG Art Gallery,

Indie Trunk Show Get your shopping done with vendors including local artists, crafters and small business owners. Choose from handmade goods, home décor and more! The show is 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday at Oklahoma State Fairgrounds, 3001 General Pershing Blvd. Tickets are $6. SATURDAY Photo Indie Trunk Show/provided

1104 NW 30 Street, 405-808-5005, cmgartgallery.com. Life and Legacy: The Art of Jerome Tiger one of Oklahoma’s most celebrated artists, Jerome Tiger, produced hundreds of works of art and won numerous awards throughout the country. Celebrate the life and legacy of this remarkable painter, Through May 13. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-478-2250, nationalcowboymuseum.org. The New Art: A Milestone Collection Fifty Years Later features 52 works including paintings, prints, sculptures and drawings; it is a collection that has shaped the museum and Oklahoma in the art world, Through May 13. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. OU School of Visual Arts Student Exhibition features student works in multiple mediums, including photography, drawing, video, sculpture and painting, Through May 13. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave., 405-325-3272, ou.edu/fjjma. Photoproxy Oklahoma artist Jordan Vinyard uses performers by situating them as caricatures of humans interacting with technology to examine current culture and human behavior, Through May 13. IAO Gallery, 706 W. Sheridan Ave., 405-232-6060, iaogallery.org. Resembling Reality features Beth Hammack’s paintings with colors, textures and shines, Through May 28. JRB Art at The Elms, 2810 N. Walker Ave., 405-528-6336, jrbartgallery.com. Rose State: Images of Community students in Rose State Community College’s art history program curate an exhibition of photos sourced from their communities, Through May 29. Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, 3000 General Pershing Blvd., 405-951-0000, oklahomacontemporary.org. Seasons on the Prairie features the vibrant watercolors of Oklahoma City artist Deborah Burian known for her unconventional florals, Through May 29. Contemporary Art Gallery, 2928 Paseo St., 405-601-7474, contemporaryartgalleryokc.com. Sportopia Paul W. Waddell looks at Oklahoma’s sports culture and its contributions on art culture and the community, Through May 13. IAO Gallery, 706 W. Sheridan Ave., 405-232-6060, iaogallery.org.

VDubs on Auto Alley Street Festival Do you like vintage Volkswagens? Attend this street festival to view vintage and new Volkswagens with a VDub car show, art exhibit, pop-up park and urban camping in the Boathouse District. The street festival is 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday in Automobile Alley, 1015 N. Broadway Ave. Admission is free. Visit vwclubokc.org. SATURDAY

Live music submissions must be received by Oklahoma Gazette no later than noon on Wednesday seven days before the desired publication date. Late submissions will not be included in the listings. Submissions run as space allows, although we strive to make the listings as inclusive as possible. Fax your listings to 528-4600 or e-mail to listings@okgazette.com. Sorry, but phone submissions cannot be accepted.

Photo VW Club of Oklahoma City/provided O kg a z e t t e . c o m | m ay 9 , 2 0 1 8 go to okgazette.com for full listings!


MUSIC own and start doing my own thing.” The song might be about the insecurities of another person, but deciding to put out “Insecurities” and begin her own solo music project helped Massad conquer some of her own self-doubts. She was ready to take the reins on her own musical career and guide it in her own direction. “I think this song really helped me come out of my shell, just writing what I wanted to write and being able to perform it on stage,” she said.

Sophia Massad | Photo Austin Edwards / provided

f e at u r e

Starting young

Highly regarded

OKC singer-songwriter Sophia Massad triumphs over self-doubt on her new single “Insecurities.” By Ben Luschen

Sophia Massad has no patience for romantic partners who discourage or insult their counterparts as a mechanism for dealing with their own insecurities. Her conviction comes from firsthand experience. “It sucks,” Massad said. “There’s no reason to be in a relationship with someone who’s putting you down.” The local musician, singer-songwriter, vocal coach and music production student — known for her solo indie-rock project and as one of two lead vocalists in The So Help Me’s, the five-piece stargazing mathrock band — makes her disdain perfectly clear on her new single “Insecurities.” Deliberately pounded keys and rhythmic drums give the song a satisfying cathartic feel. Massad’s biting lyrics reveal raw and transparent frustration. “I know you and all your insecurities,” she sings. “You’d let them rule you and let them hurt me.” “Insecurities” was released May 4 and can be downloaded at sophiamassad. com. It is one of several singles Massad plans on releasing over the next few months in lieu of an EP or album. Her solo project features a revolving cast of

supporting musicians, but the players on the single include The So Help Me’s drummer Ethan Neel, Pax guitarist Tristan Todd, bassist Chris Anderson and keys from Johnny Manchild. Massad wrote the song in January 2017, one month before officially joining The So Help Me’s. She was not out of music, but she was not making the kind of music she enjoyed either. That stagnation was just one part of her overall discontent. One night, when she was particularly fed up with life and the people around her, she stormed off and wrote something totally from her heart. And then she promptly trashed it. The song was just too real and she felt too vulnerable. But the song’s melody and chorus never left her, even months later. She eventually decided to write it over again, reviving the tune for an Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma (ACM@UCO) songwriting class. She was nervous about how her class would receive “Insecurities,” but the feedback was really positive. “People were really into it,” she said, “so I just decided to start a project of my

At age 16, Massad filled her mother in on a life decision few parents would be too keen to hear. “I was like, ‘Listen, Mom; high school is cool, but I want to do music,’” she said. Massad dropped out of high school to record a radio-pop self-titled debut EP, which was released in 2014 when she was 17. Other parents might have balked at such a decision, and while Massad said her parents did not love her desire to leave school, they were musicians themselves and knew music was the path she always wanted for herself. Massad comes from a very musical family. Her brother is Erich Massad, who was in the first graduating class of ACM@UCO and is vocalist/guitarist for the band Moongiant. Her parents were in bands and constantly played music at home when she was growing up. “Every single night, they were playing music,” she said. “I thought they had written a bunch of Crosby, Stills and Nash songs and Beatles songs. I was like, ‘You all are great songwriters!’” Her parents let her pursue her music dream under the condition that Massad complete her high school education later. “They trusted that I would do it and that I would finish high school,” she said. Not only did Massad keep her promise, but she completed her fouryear high school course load in just three total years. The promise of a musical future free from outside impediment was a powerful motivator.

“Because it’s so behind the scenes,” she said, “I walk in as a pretty girl and people go, ‘Oh, she’s just pretty,’ you know?” Massad is routinely the only woman in her music production classes. She said most people at ACM@UCO assume she is strictly a vocal major. They definitely don’t expect her to be able to name off every type of microphone she needs in a recording situation or know how to solder a guitar — two skills of which she is proud. “I definitely studied harder than a lot of guys,” she said. “I even feel like it’s a really good place for women to be, just because women definitely are more detailed when it comes to that kind of stuff. Like, if I’m mic’ing drums, I’ll be so much more particular about my snare sound than a lot of guys would be.”

I think this song really helped me come out of my shell. Sophia Massad While she has a passion for music production, Massad is trying to keep her options as open as possible. That not only includes proficiency in performance and recording skills, but an interest in a wide variety of genres and styles as well. “I’ll wake up one day and be like, ‘Today I’m super stargaze. Yesterday I was all rock ’n’ roll, and today I’m dressed like it’s the ’60s,’” she said. One day, she might be building a guitar; the next, she could be writing a pretty song. Like many good creatives, she never wants to impose stringent limits on herself. “If you look at other artists — like people who are painting or people who are writing — they’re doing different stuff all the time,” she said. “You don’t see them putting themselves into a box, so I don’t see why musicians have to do that. It’s all fluid.”

Diverse talent

Creating her self-titled debut at 16 did more than put an album under her belt or help her work through a phase of what she thought being a music performer was all about. It opened her eyes to the magic of music production. Massad is a dual vocal and music production major at ACM@UCO. The technical side of recording and album arrangement is one typically full of males. Massad said it is hard for her to earn respect in the studio as someone who knows what they are doing.

“Insecurities” by Sophia Massad | Image provided

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Second helping

Walker Lukens joins Spoon in a return visit to OKC. By Ben Luschen

Walker Lukens loved his last show in Oklahoma City. Luckily, he gets a return visit to the city May 17 opening for Austin, Texas, colleagues Spoon at The Jones Assembly. Genre-bending singer-songwriter Lukens’ last gig in OKC was in March as a headliner for Tower Theatre’s 405 Pitstop South by Southwest Festival preview series. While he plays the undercard role for his date with veteran indie rock unit Spoon — known for founding members vocalist/guitarist Britt Daniel and percussionist Jim Eno — Lukens’ impressive songwriting talent and inventive style are more than enough of an attraction on their own. Doors for Lukens’ return visit with Spoon open 7 p.m. May 17 at The Jones Assembly, 901 W. Sheridan Ave. Tickets are $30. Aside from a touring relationship with the band and being based in the Texas capital city, Lukens and Spoon are connected through Eno’s production work on Lukens’ most recent album Tell It to the Judge, released in September. Partially through Eno’s influence, the album carries a bouncier and more rhythmic groove than Lukens’ more ballad-heavy previous release. Most recently, Lukens made head-

lines with his Song Confessional project at Austin’s South by Southwest Festival. Fans entered a mobile recording booth and shared their stories, which were then turned into songs on the spot by expert songwriters, including Lukens, Major Grizz, Bright Light Social Hour, Israel Nash, David Ramirez, Riders Against the Storm and more. The project, originally a one-off idea, was so successful that Lukens plans to make it into a touring project set to premiere at a later date. Oklahoma Gazette recently caught up with Lukens about his album, the Song Confessional project and his past experiences in the Sooner State. Oklahoma Gazette: I know you’re from Texas. Growing up, did you get to trek through Oklahoma very often? Walker Lukens: All the time, dude! Home to the biggest McDonald’s in the world! OKG: It’s nice to hear you shout out Vinita. Lukens: Oh yeah. The biggest McDonald’s in the world — and it kind of lit up my little 8-year-old world. I have family that lives in Minnesota, so I drove through it a few times on family trips.

Walker Lukens | Photo Chris Corona / provided

OKG: I’m sad to report that since then, there have been at least one or two restaurants that have unseated that McDonald’s as the very largest. But it’s still a sight to behold. Lukens: Not in my house, dude! Still the biggest one in my house. OKG: What’s it like touring with Spoon as opposed to doing a show where your band is headlining? Lukens: It’s a whole hell of a lot less worrisome. For one, they have a huge fan base already and most of the promotion is being directed towards them. When you do a headlining tour, I would say the biggest pain in my neck is all the promotion you have to do for the tour. It’s a lot of work, so to get to just go to a show in a town and play for other people’s fans is great. OKG: You put out Tell It to the Judge last year, and that album has a connection to Spoon because a few of the songs were produced by drummer Jim Eno. What’s the story behind meeting Jim for the first time and getting to do music with him? Lukens: We have a mutual friend, and she works for Jim helping out at his studio. One night, back when Spoon was kind of taking a break, she was like, ‘Hey, I’m at a bar with Jim Eno, and he was asking what bands in town he should look into recording. I told him about you, and he pulled up his Shazam app and had Shazam’d your song earlier that day.’ I was like, ‘Whoa,’ and she said I should come there. I asked her where she was, and I was just two doors over.

There’s all this artifice, all these layers in releasing music that get really tiring. Walker Lukens I walked over there and sort of had the awkward introduction conversation. This is like summer 2013. At around the same time I met Jim, Spoon decided to hit the studio again. I just stayed in touch and didn’t push too hard. He basically said he was too busy to do an album, but he said he would do a song. I was on tour when I sent him the demo for “Every Night,” and he said it was awesome. When I got back, we did “Every Night” and planned to do a few more after that. It just sort of worked out. OKG: You’re known for blending a lot of different styles within your music — particularly your recent work. Is that a conscious decision? Do you enjoy bringing components of different musical traditions together?

Lukens: I think it’s a conscious decision not to shy away from it. A lot of songwriters I know, they actually do that a lot. They’ll write some songs and maybe one of them is in another style and they’ll say, ‘Oh, well that one doesn’t really sound like us.’ For me, I really like to just go for it, maybe at my own peril. There was someone who wrote a review of our show in New York last week, and they said, ‘I’m not really sure what it is, but I really like it.’ That’s kind, but at the same time, it’s like, ‘Yeah, you’re not alone.’ OKG: I’ve been reading about your Song Confessional project, and I want to know what the origin of that was and what the execution of it was like. Lukens: Well, first off, I want to say I’m going to be bringing it to Oklahoma before too long. I think there are a lot of origins to the project. Probably the biggest one is that so much of my creative energy is tied up into the record you heard. That record was finished in 2015, and then I had to be really patient and wait to put it out the smart way. There’s all this artifice, all these layers in releasing music that get really tiring. And if you want to be really serious [about music], there’s just no way around that; it’s just the way it is. The other thing that happened is that last summer, someone reached out to me and said, ‘Hey, my fiance really loves one of your songs. Could I hire you to play it for our first dance?’ I said, ‘Yeah, sure. That’d be awesome. Are you sure you only want me to do one song?’ And he said, ‘Well, I’d really love it if you could play my favorite Frank Sinatra song.’ And he starts telling me about his favorite Frank Sinatra song and it had this really deep meaning to him, but the thing I realized in talking to him is that he didn’t know Frank Sinatra didn’t write that song. He had this whole meaning he had given to it. It just got me thinking about what if there was a world where someone was like, ‘I want you to write a song for my wedding that you’re going to sing about my wife and it’s about my wife because I told you everything there is to know.’ That’s really where it started for me. It turned into this South by [Southwest] project, and I think it’s turned into something we’re going to spend the next couple of years doing — just doing events where people come and tell stories and me or whoever is around makes songs out of it. OKG: I’m excited for you to bring it through Oklahoma. Lukens: I’m sure we will. It’ll be cool.

Spoon w/ Walker Lukens 7 p.m. May 17 The Jones Assembly | 901 W. Sheridan Ave. thejonesassembly.com | 405-212-2378 $30

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Consummate scribe

Radney Foster expands his writing repertoire with a book of short stories. By Ben Luschen

Radney Foster, one of the most lively Nashville-based songwriters in a city full of them, was wide awake at 9:30 a.m. for a phone interview with Oklahoma Gazette, far earlier than the interview times scheduled by most other nightdwelling musicians who are not located several time zones away. But it wasn’t an inconvenience for Foster, a longtime singer-songwriter also known for penning tunes other artists made hits (like Keith Urban’s “Raining on Sunday”). His day started hours before, getting his kids ready for school. “I lead this crazy split life,” Foster told Gazette, “because when I’m on the road, I don’t go to bed until 2 in the morning, and then when I come home, I’m a dad.” Foster plays 8 p.m. May 16-17 at The Blue Door, 2805 N. McKinley Ave. The shows are in support of his 2017 album For You to See the Stars, which is accompanied by a book of short stories based on each album song. Admission to either show is $35-$40. The rollout process for See the Stars has been a unique experience for Foster, who released his solo debut Del Rio, TX 1959 in 1992. In addition to playing his normal slate of theater and listening room gigs, his book publisher also has him doing bookstore readings around the country. When the album and book first came out, he toured with about three readings and three playing gigs each week. After six weeks, he knew they needed to work out another arrangement. “I told my book publisher, ‘We’ve got to do something different because I’m not seeing my family at all,’” he said. Now Foster designates one week each month to do nothing but book promotion. It works a lot better with his existing work and home schedule. Each bookstore reading Foster does is promoted on his website in the same way as his concert dates. Usually about half the people who show up for the events are his hardcore music fans, some of whom might not be accustomed to attending free author readings. “People started calling the bookstore like, ‘How do I get a ticket?’” Foster said. Though his appearances at The Blue Door will be musically oriented, Foster does plan on reading a few passages from his new book as well. He has played the listening room many times in his career and said it is one of his favorite spots in the country. “There’s a vibe there that’s really cool,” he said. “The audience is always really respectful. You can hear a pin drop when you’re playing or telling a story, but they tend to explode when 36

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you’re done, if they really liked it.”

No words

About three years ago, Foster came down with cases of pneumonia and laryngitis so bad that it was totally impossible for him to travel and sing — much less speak even a few words. The sickness did more than rob his fans of shows; it threatened his source of income. “That’s an existential crisis for a guy like me,” he said. “I was pretty freaked out by it.” His voice was completely gone. To communicate with his family, he had to write out messages on little pieces of paper. Foster, during his sickness, spent a lot of time thinking about the music he was working on and writing personal notes to himself. One day, he realized that one of the unreleased songs he wrote might make a good short story. On a sheet of paper, he wrote out the thought to his wife, saying that he thought he’d write that in part to keep from going crazy lying in bed. His wife, instead of giving him a vocal answer, took the pen and jotted down her own response. “She wrote on the little piece of paper, ‘You should, because you’re driving me crazy!’” Foster said. There is a corresponding short story for each song on the album, including a re-recording of “Raining on Sunday.” Some songs inspired stories, and some stories inspired songs. The writing process, Foster said, was one of the most intensive he has experienced. Technically, this is Foster’s first published work of fiction, though it could be argued that albums qualify as published works. Foster has been a journal writer since his college years and wrote prose through that outlet for decades. “I recommend it for anyone who wants to work creatively with words,” he said. “If you’re a singer-songwriter, I just think your songwriting will get better. It certainly helped mine. You get to play around with things before you’re worried about whether it’s going to be a song.”

Radney Foster | Photo provided

in Literature and Lamar’s 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Music as institutional validation. Foster said he never considers the debate on songwriting “too eggheadedly,” but he does think the awards were not only deserved, but past due. Lamar was the first artist outside of the classical or jazz realms to win a musical Pulitzer. “I’m sure it took those Pulitzer folks a hell of a long time to get around to jazz,” he said. “And what was that argument like back when they were giving it to Art Tatum or John Coltrane?” For the record, the first non-classical Pulitzer was awarded in 1997 to Wynton Marsalis’ jazz oratorio Blood on the Fields. The prize was first presented in 1943. Foster said it is hard to compare songwriting to writing a fictional short story, mostly because there are certain strict forms and functions a song is expected to fulfill. But at the same time, a well-crafted message is just that, no matter how it is delivered. “I like to feel like I’m a storyteller,” he said. “And if I’m going to tell a story with chords underneath it, I’m going to treat the chord structure and the lyrics with respect.” Visit radneyfoster.com.

Writer’s way

Foster does not consider himself the biggest hip-hop fan, but he recognizes good songwriting when he sees it. And that is exactly what has given him such respect for rapper Kendrick Lamar. “The To Pimp A Butterfly record is an absolute piece of art,” Foster said. “It really is.” In the ongoing discussion on the artistic merits of songwriting as opposed to creative prose, proponents will frequently point to Bob Dylan’s 2016 Nobel Prize

For You to See the Stars book cover | Image provided

Radney Foster 8 p.m. May 16-17 The Blue Door | 2805 N. McKinley Ave. bluedoorokc.com | 405-524-0738 $35-$40

LIVE MUSIC These are events recommended by Oklahoma Gazette editorial staff members. For full calendar listings, go to okgazette.com.

Wednesday, May. 9 Black Veil Brides/Asking Alexandria/Blessthefall, Diamond Ballroom. ROCK

Charlie Daniels/The Marshall Tucker Band, 7 Clans Paradise Casino. COUNTRY

Thursday, May. 10 Clint Hardesty, Bluebonnet Bar. BLUES Jackson Taylor & The Sinners, Grady’s 66 Pub. COUNTRY

Jeff Plankenhorn, The Blue Door. ROCK Joe Mack, The Patriarch Craft Beer House & Lawn. SINGER/SONGWRITER

Mallory Eagle/Adam Duran, Tower Theatre. COUNTRY

MT Terror, Blue Note Lounge. POP Of Sea and Stone/Brightwire/Brad Fielder, Red Brick Bar. FOLK Pax, Bleu Garten. ROCK

Sunday, May. 13

Ian Lamson/The Lucky Losers, Puebla Tacos and Tequileria. BLUES Joel Melton/Joe Baxter, The Blue Door. SINGER/ SONGWRITER

John Calvin Abney, The Oklahoma City Zoo. FOLK Kalyn Fay, Commonplace Books. ROCK Mike McClure/Dylan Stewart, Bluebonnet Bar. COUNTRY

Mutoid Man, 89th Street Collective. METAL Original Flow and The Fervent Route, VZD’s Restaurant & Bar. HIP-HOP Ravens Three, Full Circle Bookstore. FOLK

Saturday, May. 12 15 and Change/Mojo Thief, Red Brick Bar. ROCK Abbigale Dawn, Bluebonnet Bar. SINGER/SONGWRITER

Charlie Daniels/The Marshall Tucker Band, Grand Casino Hotel & Resort. COUNTRY Danner Party, Blue Note Lounge. ROCK David Lee, Sooner Theatre. ROCK

The Blue Note Quartet, Remington Park. JAZZ

From Parts Unknown/Don’t Make Ghosts, HiLo Club. ROCK

The Chad Todd Band, Okie Tonk Café. COUNTRY

Wight Lighters, Hollywood Corners. ROCK

Helen Kelter Skelter, Blue Note Lounge. ROCK

Friday, May. 11 The Casey Abbe Band, JR’s Pub & Grill. COUNTRY

Stone Sour/Palaye Royal, Diamond Ballroom. ROCK

David Lee, Sooner Theatre. ROCK

Dylan Stewart, Bluebonnet Bar. COUNTRY Hosty, The Lobby Cafe & Bar. BLUES

Scott Keeton, Remington Park. ROCK

Functional Polly, Full Circle Bookstore. INSTRUMENTAL

Celtic Jam, Full Circle Bookstore. INSTRUMENTAL

Apocalyptica Formed 25 years ago by four music students at Helsinki’s Sibelius Academy, the orchestral rock group Apocalyptica has since released classically inspired cover versions of metal and rock songs and original compositions, collaborating with members of Slipknot, Gojira and Rammstein. To celebrate this anniversary, the band will play music from its 1996 debut Plays Metallica by Four Cellos. The show starts 8 p.m. May 17 at Tower Theatre, 425 NW 23rd St. Tickets are $40-$53. Call 405-708-6937 or visit towertheatreokc.com. MAY 17 Photo Right Angle PR/provided

Holly Beth Band, Whiskey Chicks. COUNTRY Jason Boland & The Stragglers, Riverwind Casino. COUNTRY

Matthew Mayfield, VZD’s Restaurant & Bar. SINGER/SONGWRITER

Monoculture, Opolis. ROCK Panhandle Dirt, Fuel Bar & Grill. RED DIRT

Direct Connect Band, Elmer’s Uptown. BLUES

Monday, May. 14 Dustin James Clark/Paul Lee Kupfer, Red Brick Bar. COUNTRY

Stefan Prigmore, Othello’s. COUNTRY

Tuesday, May. 15 Abbey Road/Satisfaction, Tower Theatre. COVER

Wednesday, May. 16 Cody Woody/Ben Brock, JJ’s Alley Bricktown Pub. COUNTRY

Van Darien, The Deli. AMERICANA

Live music submissions must be received by Oklahoma Gazette no later than noon on Wednesday seven days before the desired publication date. Late submissions will not be included in the listings. Submissions run as space allows, although we strive to make the listings as inclusive as possible. Fax your listings to 528-4600 or e-mail to listings@okgazette.com. Sorry, but phone submissions cannot be accepted.

go to okgazette.com for full listings!

free will astrology Homework: Do you allow your imagination to indulge in fantasies that are wasteful, damaging, or dumb? I dare you to stop it. Testify at Freewillastrology.com. ARIES (March 21-April 19) The Torah is a primary

sacred text of the Jewish religion. It consists of exactly 304,805 letters. When specially trained scribes make handwritten copies for ritual purposes, they must not make a single error in their transcription. The work may take as long as 18 months. Your attention to detail in the coming weeks doesn’t have to be quite so painstaking, Aries, but I hope you’ll make a strenuous effort to be as diligent as you can possibly be.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) Born under the sign of

Taurus, Edmund Wilson was a renowned twentiethcentury author and critic who wrote more than 30 books. He also served as editor for Vanity Fair and The New Republic, and influenced the work of at least seven major American novelists. When he was growing up, he spent most of his free time reading books: 16 hours a day during summer vacations. His parents, worried about his obsessive passion, bought him a baseball uniform, hoping to encourage him to diversify his interests. His response was to wear the uniform while reading books 16 hours a day. I trust you will be equally dedicated to your own holy cause or noble pursuit in the coming weeks, Taurus. You have cosmic clearance to be single-minded about doing what you love.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20) It’s possible you could

pass for normal in the next three weeks; you might be able to fool a lot of people into thinking you’re an average, ordinary contributor to the dull routine. But it will be far healthier for your relationship with yourself if you don’t do such a thing. It will also be a gift to your less daring associates, who in my opinion would benefit from having to engage with your creative agitation and fertile chaos. So my advice is to reveal yourself as an imperfect work-in-progress who’s experimenting with novel approaches to the game of life. Recognize your rough and raw features as potential building blocks for future achievements.

CANCER (June 21-July 22) “Paradise is scattered over the whole earth,” wrote the scientific poet Novalis, “and that is why it has become so unrecognizable.” Luckily for you, Cancerian, quite a few fragments of paradise are gathering in your vicinity. It’ll be like a big happy reunion of tiny miracles all coalescing to create a substantial dose of sublimity. Will you be ready to deal with this much radiance? Will you be receptive to so much relaxing freedom? I hope and pray you won’t make a cowardly retreat into the trendy cynicism that so many people mistake for intelligence. (Because in that case, paradise might remain invisible.) Here’s my judicious advice: Be insistent on pleasure! Be voracious for joy! Be focused on the quest for beautiful truths! LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) These days, your friends and

allies and loved ones want even more from you than they usually do. They crave more of your attention, more of your approval, more of your feedback. And that’s not all. Your friends and allies and loved ones also hope you will give more love to yourself. They will be excited and they will feel blessed if you express an even bigger, brighter version of your big, bright soul. They will draw inspiration from your efforts to push harder and stronger to fulfill your purpose here on Planet Earth.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) One of the advantages

you get from reading my horoscopes is that I offer confidential information about the gods’ caprices and leanings. For example, I can tell you that Saturn -- also known as Father Time -- is now willing to allot you a more luxurious relationship with time than usual, on one condition: that you don’t squander the gift on trivial pursuits. So I encourage you to be discerning and disciplined about nourishing your soul’s craving for interesting freedom. If you demonstrate to Saturn how constructively you can use his blessing, he’ll be inclined to provide more dispensations in the future.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) Vincent van Gogh’s painting The Starry Night hangs on a wall in New York’s Museum of Modern Art. He created it in 1889

while living in a French asylum. Around that same time, 129 years ago, a sheepherder in Wyoming created a sourdough starter that is still fresh today. A cook named Lucille Clarke Dumbrill regularly pulls this frothy mass of yeast out of her refrigerator and uses it to make pancakes. In the coming weeks, Libra, I’d love to see you be equally resourceful in drawing on an old resource. The past will have offerings that could benefit your future.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) Love everyone twice as

much and twice as purely as you ever have before. Your mental health requires it! Your future dreams demand it! And please especially intensify your love for people you allegedly already love but sometimes don’t treat as well as you could because you take them for granted. Keep this Bible verse in mind, as well: “Don’t neglect to show kindness to strangers; for, in this way, some, without knowing it, have had angels as their guests.”

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) After meditating

on your astrological aspects for an hour, I dozed off. As I napped, I had a dream in which an androgynous angel came to me and said, “Please inform your Sagittarius readers that they should be callipygian in the next two weeks.” Taken back, my dreaming self said to the angel, “You mean ‘callipygian’ as in ‘having beautiful buttocks’?” “Yes, sir,” the angel replied. “Bootylicious. Bumtastic. Rumpalicious.” I was puzzled. “You mean like in a metaphorical way?” I asked. “You mean Sagittarians should somehow cultivate the symbolic equivalent of having beautiful buttocks?” “Yes,” the angel said. “Sagittarians should be elegantly well-grounded. Flaunt their exquisite foundation. Get to the bottom of things with flair. Be sexy badasses as they focus on the basics.” “OK!” I said.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) Now is a favorable time to discuss in elegant detail the semi-secret things that are rarely or never talked about. It’s also a perfect moment to bring deep feelings and brave tenderness into situations that have been suffering from half-truths and pretense. Be aggressively sensitive, my dear Capricorn. Take a bold stand in behalf of

compassionate candor. And as you go about these holy tasks, be entertaining as well as profound. The cosmos has authorized you to be a winsome agent of change.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) In his 1931 painting

The Persistence of Memory, Salvador Dali shows three clocks that seem to be partially liquefied, as if in the process of melting. His biographer Meredith Etherington-Smith speculated that he was inspired to create this surrealistic scene when he saw a slab of warm Camembert cheese melting on a dinner table. I foresee the possibility of a comparable development in your life, Aquarius. Be alert for creative inspiration that strikes you in the midst of seemingly mundane circumstances.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) “My whole life is messed up with people falling in love with me,” said Piscean poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. She spoke the truth. She inspired a lot of adoration, and it stirred up more chaos than she was capable of managing. Luckily, you will have fewer problems with the attention coming your way, Pisces. I bet you’ll be skilled at gathering the benefits and you’ll be unflummoxed by the pitfalls. But you’ll still have to work hard at these tasks. Here’s some help. Tip #1: Stay in close touch with how you really feel about the people who express their interest in you. Tip #2: Don’t accept gifts with strings attached. Tip #3: Just because you’re honored or flattered that someone finds you attractive doesn’t mean you should unquestioningly blend your energies with them. Go to RealAstrology.com to check out Rob Brezsny’s expanded weekly audio horoscopes /daily text message horoscopes. The audio horoscopes are also available by phone at 1-877-873-4888 or 1-900-950-7700.

O kg a z e t t e . c o m | m ay 9 , 2 0 1 8


puzzles 1

New York Times Magazine Crossword Puzzle MIS-UNABBREVIATED By Peter Wentz | Puzzles Edited by Will Shortz | 0429


100 Cry of devotion from a non- academy student? 1 Projects 105 Source of the line “They 5 Nowhere close shall beat their swords into 11 First name on the Supreme Court plowshares” 15 Delight 106 Things that may be rolled or wild 18 Supercollider bit 107 Soprano Tebaldi 19 Online tracker 20 Country whose capital lent its 108 Some fasteners 110 They aid in diagnosing ACL tears name to a fabric 21 “____ reading too much into 112 Funny face? 116 Old White House nickname this?” 117 Morning-zoo programming? 22 Meadows filled with loos? 123 Panama City state: Abbr. 25 Originally 26 Bar that might be dangerous 124 Substantive 125 “Don’t doubt me!” 27 Ax 126 Clue 28 Be agreeable 127 Divinity sch. 30 Negligent 128 Chatty bird 35 Old letter opener 129 Provider of aerial football views 37 Blotto 130 Actress Kendrick 38 Where sailors recover from their injuries? DOWN 42 No longer edible 1 Best Picture nominee with 43 Square figure three sequels 44 Actor Paul of There Will Be 2 Pac-12 school that’s not really Blood near the Pacific 45 Lead-in to -tainment 3 Completely, after “in” 46 Quashes 4 Like wet makeup 48 Chart again 50 Checkpoint offense, for short 5 Media watchdog grp. 6 Parent co. of HuffPost 52 Gusto 55 Goings-on in accelerated classes? 7 Hundred Acre Wood denizen 8 Agrees to 61 “My man” 9 Lord’s domain 62 Subject for The Source 10 Fixation magazine 11 Slice for a Reuben 63 Sch. of 30,000+ on the 12 Things that have slashes Mississippi 13 With nothing out of place 64 Bill’s support 65 It dethroned Sophia as the No. 14 “What other explanation is 1 baby girl’s name in the U.S. in there?!” 15 Former Today show host 2014 16 Word before pan or after 67 Home for a Roman emperor 69 Onetime Bond girl ____ Wood Spanish 17 Investment figures 71 “So obvious!” 20 GMC truck 74 Common core? 23 Like poor months for oysters, 75 Like it’s said 76 Prime-time time 80 Dog that doesn’t offend people? 24 Mentally wiped 29 Stiff 87 Come down hard, as hail 31 Sch. with an annual Mystery 88 Barnyard male 89 First name on the Supreme Court Hunt 32 Words of compassion 90 Dreyfus Affair figure 91 Subject for Ken Burns, briefly 33 Stuffed 34 Weak period 93 Burg 36 Fifty Shades of Grey subject, 96 Went by air? briefly 99 Dorm monitors

















48 56




65 73







63 69













Accounts receivable Karen Holmes


Digital Media & Calendar Coordinator Hannah Meeske

104 107




112 119












70 Second U.S. feature-length computer-animated movie, after Toy Story 71 Modern subject of reviews 72 Row maker 73 Elite court group 77 Ecuadorean coastal province known for its gold 78 Micronesian land 79 Some future execs 81 Inclined to stress? 82 Bygone gas brand with a torch in its logo 83 Druid’s head cover 84 Studio sign 85 Ransack 86 Boca ____ 92 2007 female inductee into the National Soccer Hall of Fame 94 Hex





95 Our, in Tours 97 “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” girl 98 Stave off 100 Rice dishes 101 Of service 102 Gore’s successor as vice president 103 Green-skinned god of the underworld 104 Harley-Davidson competitor 109 ____ Against Evil (IFC series) 111 Totally awesome, in slang 113 Role in Thor, 2011 114 Islamic spirit 115 Second letter after 118-Down 118 Second letter before 115-Down 119 Word with camp or care 120 LLC alternative 121 That: Sp. 122 Dr. ____

Stumped? Call 1-900-285-5656 to get the answers to any three clues by phone ($1.20 a minute).

Sudoku easy | n°100028788 Fill in the grid so that every row, column and 3-by-3 box contains the numbers 1 through 9. www.printmysudoku.com


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New York Times Crossword Puzzle answers Puzzle No. 0422, which appeared in the May 2 issue.


Marketing Manager Kelsey Lowe Accounting/HR Manager Marian Harrison


38 Symbol of China 39 Onetime Blu-ray rival 40 Blue-green 41 Albright’s successor as secretary of state 42 Craft-shop item 47 “The Sweetest Taboo” singer, 1985 49 Combo bets 51 Absolutely harebrained 53 Astonishment 54 Cryptanalysis org. 56 Queens player, for short 57 Pledge 58 ____ Poly 59 Green org. 60 Caesar dressing? 66 Some neckwear 67 Italy’s ____ d’Orcia 68 Laid up








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