Best of OKC 2018

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free every wednesday | Metro OKC’s Independent Weekly | august 22, 2018

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inside COVER P. 15 Oklahoma Gazette’s 2018 Best of OKC issue is not just OK, see? It is packed with the best food, culture, goods and services, health options and more. They are the best around — nothing’s gonna ever keep them down. By Gazette staff Cover Kimberly Lynch Photos by Alexa Ace

NEWS 4 City Ed Shadid proposes a

resolution to shed light on council decision-making


6 Election runoff preview 8

Chicken-Fried News

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10 Commentary Oklahoma Gazette’s

EAT & DRINK 11 Review L&G’s on the Blvd

12 Feature Deckle Smokehouse BBQ


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51 Theater An Act of God at Pollard



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NEWS Ward 2 councilman Ed Shadid is pushing for more transparency in Oklahoma City Council’s economic development decisions. | Photo Brett Dickerson

items and, even more importantly, to determine how they will vote, the purpose of the open meeting law will have been circumvented. Public access to a mere ‘rubber stamp’ vote is all but useless.” A prior 1981 AG opinion states that the Open Meeting Act “reaches, not just ‘formal’ meetings, but the ‘entire decision-making process.’”



Open meetings

Ward 2 councilman Ed Shadid drafts a resolution to shed light on council decision-making. By Brett Dickerson

After weeks of sharply negative exchanges on the Oklahoma City Council concerning transparency of the body’s processes, there might be a way to lower tensions and empower the public. Oklahoma Gazette has learned that a proposed resolution has been drafted that, if passed by the council, will give the public more than 30 days to consider economic development proposals instead of the typical three to four days they currently have to engage an idea before the council votes. “I am cautiously ecstatic,” said Ward 2 councilman Ed Shadid, who advocates for the public knowing far more about city decision-making. “The council still needs to pass it, and that’s why I’m cautious. But I’m ecstatic because of the possibilities for the public. The public has a right to know how the sausage is being made.” Shadid has been sharply critical of what he perceives to be a lack of transparency in the process where the council votes for millions of dollars in economic development incentives and the sale of public property with mysteriously little discussion between members before voting.

The problem

Citizens have objected to an opaque process where proposals to spend millions in taxpayer dollars show up on the council’s agenda on a Friday afternoon and are then passed the following Tuesday with virtually no preamble or debate. The recent sale of the Santa Fe Parking Garage downtown with similarly little discussion has commanded 4

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even more of the public’s attention. But none have been as vocal and persistent about the matter as Shadid. He has said on several occasions and in a July 17 news release that he has witnessed for years a practice in which three or four members of the council would be invited to an informal meeting before and then another small group of council members invited after the public meeting. He said he has witnessed city manager Jim Couch and Alliance for Economic Development director Cathy O’Connor meeting with each group of three to four and discussing economic development proposals before they were ever on the public agenda. Then they would relay what the first group had said in the other meeting. If the two smaller groups were still not in agreement, the conversation would move back to the other group later. Shadid said this would continue until council members were close to agreement before a public vote would be taken.


A showdown of sorts happened during the Items from Council section of the council’s July 31 meeting. Terse words were passed between Shadid and Ward 8 councilman Mark Stonecipher in an exchange uncharacteristic of the usual banter between council members. Shadid said it was a regular practice to hold the serial meetings when it came to economic development proposals. Shadid accused city manager Couch of engineering votes for particular economic development packages by splitting the council into a series of smaller

meetings that would not constitute a quorum and then communicating concerns and ideas from one group to the other until the members were close to the agreement. Usually quiet Stonecipher interrupted Shadid, saying “That’s not true. I have never seen that.” Municipal counselor Kenneth Jordan maintains that the practice is legal and does not violate Oklahoma’s Open Meeting Act as long as there is less than a quorum of the council members present in the small meetings. The excha nge ended w ith Stonecipher asking Shadid to sit down “one more time” with he and Jordan to review case law. “You will lose if you take this to court,” Stonecipher said sternly as he pointed his finger toward Shadid on the other side of the council horseshoe.

The public has a right to know how the sausage is being made. Ed Shadid

Case law

Stonecipher and Jordan point to an Alabama case as the model for why the city’s current practice is legally sound. Shadid’s attorney, Cameron Spradling, argues that Oklahoma case law and legal opinions from Oklahoma attorneys general and the U.S. Supreme Court far outweigh an Alabama case. In a letter to Stonecipher and Jordan, Spradling cited four opinions by Oklahoma attorneys general that clarify the Open Meeting Act. All push for more transparency and the decision-making process to be in full public view. One of those opinions in 1982 by attorney general Jan Eric Cartwright said, “If government officials use their private or social time to discuss agenda

Over the last two weeks, Shadid and Spradling met several times with Stonecipher, Jordan and attorneys on Jordan’s staff. After a key meeting Thursday at the end of the day, Shadid told Gazette that he was “very, very excited” about the possibilities after attorneys agreed on a draft resolution that could be on the agenda of the Aug. 28 meeting of the council. The agenda for that meeting will be posted on Friday afternoon, Aug. 24. Details of the draft have been embargoed until it is posted on the agenda. “It was a good group effort,” said Shadid. “Everybody came up with a good solution.” Early Friday, Stonecipher sent a text message in response to Gazette’s requests for an interview following the meeting. “We have had three meetings. I thought they were productive meetings. It is important to remember that we get paid to govern, not litigate. So, we should always try and resolve our differences constructively and informally,” Stonecipher wrote.

Ryan resolution

According to Shadid’s attorney, the draft resolution about economic development proposals is patterned after the Ryan Resolution of 2010 that calls for the council to put proposals for new ordinances on the council agenda three times. The first time on the council agenda is to introduce the proposal. The second time is where the public will have an opportunity to engage with the council. The third time on the agenda is where the council votes. The draft resolution would give citizens over 30 days of public comment period to study a proposal and let their council member know their opinions.

Legal options

Shadid emphasized that he is positive about the latest developments. However, he is still prepared to go to court if the council decides not to adopt the resolution. He said the intent will be to establish “clear case law for the state.” “We can’t ask the attorney general for an opinion while in litigation. But if we don’t go to court, then we will ask for an opinion,” Shadid said. “This is much bigger than Oklahoma City.”


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Runoff is on

A breakdown of candidates and their policies prepares voters for Tuesday’s runoff election. By Nazarene Harris

With Election Day just around the corner, candidates have amped up their campaigning efforts while politics buffs add their predictions to the fray. Below is a breakdown of the candidates for seven critical runoff races that will appear on ballots statewide Aug. 28. Bill Shapard, a nonpartisan polling expert and founder of the state’s only nonpartisan and independent pollster, SoonerPoll, gave his predictions on what he believes outcomes will be.


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Military veterans and libertarians Chris Powell and Rex Lawhorn will run against each other for governor on Tuesday. On the Republican side, former Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett will face off against Tulsa businessman Kevin Stitt. Recently, Stitt and Cornett aired campaign advertisements that directly targeted one another, a move that Shapard said could swing voters either way on Tuesday. “I don’t think the misspelling is a big deal for Stitt’s voter base or for anyone really,” Shapard said of an ad launched by Stitt that misspelled the word ‘governor.’ “I don’t think anyone noticed it.” In the ad, Stitt claimed that Cornett was not a supporter of President Donald Trump or his policies. Cornett fired back by calling “bull Stitt,” a play on words that aimed to debunk Stitt’s accusations in a clever way. “I think Mick Cornett’s loyal voter base probably loved it,” Shapard said. “But he took a risk in doing that with Republicans because suggestive cussing on a TV ad might have hit a nerve.” In late July, SoonerPoll polled 483 Republicans at random to determine which Republican candidate they preferred to win for governor. Results showed that each candidate received exactly 181 votes, or 37.5 percent of the vote, causing Shapard to admit that this race is one he can’t predict. “It could really go either way,” Shapard said. Oklahoma’s new governor will take office in January when current governor Mary Fallin will depart after having served the maximum two terms for a total of eight years. In an article published in February by Stillwater News Press, Fallin said she is proud of the work she has done for criminal justice reform, education and the state’s economy. “What I hope to do is leave Oklahoma in a better place fiscally, as far as our state financial situation goes, so the

next governor doesn’t come in and have to face some of the challenges I faced coming in,” she said.

Attorney General

Republicans Mike Hunter and Gentner Drummond will have a final showdown for state attorney general on Tuesday. Incumbent Hunter and Drummond, a lawyer and businessman from the Tulsa area, have both been at the receiving and dealing ends of each other’s mudslinging and personal attacks since the early stages of their campaigns, with Drummond accusing Hunter of being too deeply tangled in Washington D.C.’s purse strings and with Hunter claiming that Drummond’s past business deals reek of dishonesty. The latest poll, conducted by SoonerPoll in late July, shows Hunter leading the race by nearly 10 percent.

Lieutenant Governor

Voters will determine Tuesday who will become Oklahoma’s next lieutenant governor, Republican Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner Dana Murphy or former Oklahoma Republican party chairman Matt Pinnell. The winner will serve as state senate president and will have significant access to the governor.

State School Superintendent

Republicans Joy Hofmeister and Linda Murphy will face off Aug. 28 with the winner facing Democrat Peggs School Superintendent John Cox on the Nov. 6 general election. Hofmeister and Murphy each have extensive experience in education and politics and both supported the teacher walkout in April. According to the latest poll by SoonerPoll, Hofmeister is ahead of Murphy by 13 points.

Labor Commissioner

Former labor commissioner Mark Costello’s widow, Cathy Costello, leads the Republican race for labor commissioner against Leslie Osborn by 10 points according to SoonerPoll’s latest numbers. Costello is a strong advocate for mental health reform while Osborn has extensive political experience, having served as the chairman of the House Appropriations and Budget Committee. She is currently a member of Oklahoma’s House of Representatives.

Corporation Commissioner

Incumbent Bob Anthony is the longestserving utility commissioner in the United States, having held his current role for 30 years. Term limits require

that if Anthony is reelected, this will be his final six-year-term. Anthony is running against fellow Republican Brian Bingman, a businessman and former state senator.

Kirk Pankratz

Ward 7 City Council

Johnson is a 41-year-old art teacher who is running on a platform of uniting Ward 7’s diverse community through creating jobs and community outreach programs.

After John Pettis resigned in May, a flock of candidates answered the call to fill his position as councilman for Oklahoma City’s City Council Ward 7 representative. Pettis’ father, John Albert Pettis Sr., is one of eight who will be on Tuesday’s ballet. Shapard said that while SoonerPoll has not conducted any preliminary polling to determine what the outcome of the Ward 7 election might look like, the race for city council representative is an interesting one to watch.

John Albert Pettis Sr.

Pettis 61, is the former mayor of El Reno and is running for the seat vacated by his son, John Pettis Jr., who resigned in May after being charged with three counts of embezzlement and one count of tax fraud.

Ed Alexander

Alexander, 71, is a retired former General Motors manager who hopes to unite his neighbors in Ward 7. Should he be elected, Alexander hopes to make city council meetings more welcoming and transparent and reduce utility bills for Ward 7 senior citizens. “I would like to try to do something to take some of that burden off of them,” Alexander said in a previous interview with Oklahoma Gazette.

Pankratz, 59, is the founder and former senior pastor at Church of the Harvest located in Ward 7.

Leslie Johnson III

Nikki Nice

Nice, 37, has lived in Ward 7 all her life according to a previous interview with Gazette. The radio co-host hopes to strengthen Ward 7’s neighborhoods and school systems.

Chris Harrison

Harrison, 43, listed his top three priorities for Ward 7 in a previous interview as “making health care more accessible, bolstering opportunities for employment and finding ways to work with Oklahoma City Public Schools.”

Lisa Butler

Thirty-six-year-old Lisa Butler served on the board of adjustments for the City of Del City before moving to Ward 7. In a previous interview with Oklahoma Gazette, she said she hopes to strengthen Ward 7’s economy.

Margaret Walsh

Walsh is a 65-year-old OG&E employee. In a previous interview with Gazette, she said she attempted to withdraw her name from the ballot but missed the deadline.

left to right, top Mick Cornett, Chris Powell, Kevin Stitt, left to right, middle Mike Hunter, Gentner Drummond, Joy Hofmeister, left to right, bottom Linda Murphy, Cathy Costello, and Leslie Osborn | Photos file / provided O kg a z e t t e . c o m | A u g u s t 2 2 , 2 0 1 8



friedNEWS Final showdown

Ballpark petty

A “Bring your dog to the park” night is a common promotion for baseball teams during the dog days of the summer, but last week, the Tulsa Drillers used the opportunity to make the kind of petty event perfect for a viral tweet. The Drillers’ promotion night included a visit from a giant boa constrictor, and the Twitter account used a short video of the snake to send out the tweet “Come to ONEOK Field tonight and meet Kevin Durant! [snake emoji].” The tweet received over 3,900 retweets and more than 11 thousands likes before it was removed from the account, possibly because it was being spammed by Durant’s various social media accounts used for defending his honor. The team included a new post with a screenshot of the original tweet and a custom Drillers jersey with Kevin Durant’s number made to look like the Thunder’s alternate “statement” jersey. Pettiness fuels Chicken-Fried News, and it’s always fun to get in another dig at Durant for joining the team the Thunder had down 3-1 in the 2016 Western Conference Finals before Klay Thompson’s historic game six saved their season. While Durant has gone on to win two titles with the Warriors and has cemented his legacy as one of the greatest forwards in NBA history, his support nationally has taken a hit for creating the modern equivalent of the Monstars from Space Jam, especially with the recent offseason addition of DeMarcus Cousins giving them five All-NBA caliber players. As the Thunder franchise has improved with the shrewd 2018 offseason, it only makes it easier to continue to be petty and feel good about it.

Thanks for The nominaTions!

Oklahoma City is in the midst of a renaissance. New schools, restaurants, retail and residential complexes are taking up space in the heart of Oklahoma. Old and new are colliding, and naturally, change is being met with resistance. One such protestor went so far as to riot throughout downtown streets Monday night naked, charging at any innocent bystander in his way. Four feet tall and weighing 2,000 pounds, a rodeo bull, referenced affectionately as “Rodeo Bull” by those who knew him, broke free from his stable at Oklahoma’s National Stockyards and had a final showdown with cowboys on the streets that his people once dominated. It seemed that Rodeo Bull experienced several mood swings during the protest. The bull was mostly seen running at a high speed through the streets and seemed angry, bystanders said. At other times, Rodeo Bull could be seen striding along gleefully as he

took in the new shopping venues along Walker Avenue and 10th Street. One bystander said he thought he even heard the bull whistling. “It was like he was approving of the new downtown,” local cowboy Leather Joe said. “At one point, he nodded at me and said, ‘I wanted to see all this for myself, and I want to let you know that your people have my blessing to continue on this path. The only thing that stays the same is that everything changes.’” Joe said the exchange was lifechanging. “Not only did he speak to my soul, but he started singing “Time Marches On” by Tracy Lawrence. That means something to me. I don’t feel guilty anymore. Not about the leather boots I buy from Langston’s and not about eating steak at Cattlemen’s [Steakhouse]. It’s what Rodeo Bull would want for me, for all of us.” Joe allegedly conveyed Rodeo Bull’s message to Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt over drinks at

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Cattlemen’s on Monday night after Bull’s protest. “I told him that Rodeo

thing to do.” Rodeo Bull might be gone, but his legacy remains and his message rings true: You can take the streets out of the wild, but you can’t take the wild out of the streets.

Runing (sic) four (sic) govornor (sic)

Bull said to continue on with downtown’s development, that the cow community approved of it. It was an emotional conversation; we just started tearing up, partly due to that heavy weight of guilt being lifted off our shoulders and partly because we missed Rodeo Bull,” he said. Tragically, Rodeo Bull collapsed and died during Monday night’s protest after police said he got too unruly. Several witnesses said they saw him letting loose at Fassler Hall an hour before police cornered him. “He had one too many. Who hasn’t done that?” local rodeo darling Bootstrap Pearl said. “It’s not like he drove home. He was walking, maybe running. … That’s the responsible

Let’s say you are a recent college graduate and your dream job is to be a copy editor at a major East Coast magazine or a slightly antagonistic group of anonymous satirical reporters working for an alterative weekly between Kansas and Texas. If that is indeed your dream, then the cover letter you submit to the editor-inchief should be pristine, smartly composed and free of dumb and obvious errors. If the letter doesn’t impress with its adherence to principles of the Associated Press stylebook, Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style; Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss; and Microsoft Word’s spellcheck function, it might end up posted in the hallway as an object of derision and doodling for generations to come. Just ask Kevin Stitt, “Conservative for Oklahoma.” The Tulsa-based founder of

Gateway Mortgage is currently embroiled in a testy runoff against former Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett to be the Republican gubernatorial candidate in November. Unfortunately, Stitt came off as goober-natorial when an attack ad against Cornett was identified as “authorized and paid for by Stitt for Govornor (sic) 2018,” and is now a fanboy favorite in the snarkfueled, pee-stained hallways of Reddit, where it will live on as another signpost on our country’s inexorable journey toward fulfilling the prophecy of Mike Judge’s Idiocracy. Now, Chicken-Fried News isn’t cynical or anything, but normally the high-dollar political advertising firms that throw their lot in with these food fights tend to employ fairly smart writers. In fact, one of our newest hires at CFN World Headquarters asked an important question: Was this done on purpose? Think about it. The ad goes live and immediately

causes the liberal grammarian elite to spew kombucha all over their Twitter accounts. In turn, Stitt rallies the common folk who are just dying to follow another populist multimillionaire conservative. If it was a ploy to bring the Trumpist anti-intellectual masses into line against the more genteel Cornett, it was damned shrewd. Still, shouldn’t anyone seeking a new position be able to spell the prospective job title? We don’t know about Gateway Mortgage, but we at CFN have higher standards than that, and that letter asking about the “coppee editur posishun” is going up on the bulletin board.



O kg a z e t t e . c o m | a u g u s t 2 2 , 2 0 1 8


co m m en ta ry


Bright lights

Oklahoma Gazette’s merger with builds strength for local journalism. By George Lang

Last week, a new era began for Oklahoma Gazette on the cusp of its 40th birthday. On Aug. 15, local business and civic news site acquired Tierra Media Group, parent company of Gazette, effectively merging the two sources for uncompromised, locally controlled journalism. As part of this merger, Gazette’s founder and publisher of four decades, Bill Bleakley, retired and passed control of Gazette to Pete Brzycki, our new publisher. When Bill was my age, he hired a 20-something smartass fresh out of University of Oklahoma and gave me my first full-time job as a reporter. Through my three separate tenures at Gazette, Bill has been an important part of my professional life, and I cannot thank him enough for taking a chance on me, both as the rookie I was in 1994 and the editor-in-chief I am today. This is one of those rare positive stories about print journalism. For nearly half my time in the business, I’ve


Opinions expressed on the commentary page, in letters to the editor and elsewhere in this newspaper are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ownership or management.

a u g u s t 2 2 , 2 0 1 8 | O kg a z e t t e . c o m

lived through painful constrictions in our industry and watched as corporate takeovers by multinational absentee landlords bled local newspapers dry and treated reporters like decimals on a ledger. It happens so often and to so many papers that its incidence starts to feel like the dull pain that no doctor can cure, so you just learn to hobble through the misery. But when came calling, it made sense. Pete got into the business of journalism out of real passion for how uncompromised reporting can make a difference in government, business and people’s lives. He does not worship at the foot of powerful forces or cower when those forces attempt to blunt the truth. If Gazette were to continue under new leadership, the best possible outcome was to have someone like Pete come into the picture. I’m grateful to be answering to someone who isn’t calling in from one of the coasts but can get my attention from

the next office. That’s the way things should be in local journalism. As readers, this impacts you in some important ways. First, because Gazette is being published by a native Oklahoman with a stake in the community and our paper’s ties to it; we are still the same staff we were when you picked us up last week. Second, Pete’s interest in the digital side of our publication,, means you will be seeing more breaking news on our site and regular reports from our new video reporter, Lance West. These advances will add new dimensions to what Gazette will bring you — not just every week, but every day. All of this comes at a time when the press is under attack — not just from economic forces, but from the highest reaches of power. When President Donald Trump refers to journalists as the “enemy of the people,” he is trying to sow distrust for one of the few real checks on government or business. And

it’s not just Trump. At the state and municipal levels, government entities try to keep otherwise public meetings private or hold late-night votes to avoid the sunlight that can be the best disinfectant. Gazette takes this as a challenge. We will continue to bring you great news, arts and culture, food and music coverage, all with the understanding that we carry a responsibility to be aggressively true when toxic forces say that the “truth isn’t truth.” Real journalism is not the “enemy of the people.” It is the enemy of the people who try to keep you in the dark. Oklahoma Gazette, now and in the future, is armed with bright lights. George Lang is editor-in-chief of Oklahoma Gazette and began his career at Gazette in 1994. He is married to Laura Lang, which greatly improves his likeability. | Photo Nazarene Harris

re v ie w


Line up

L&G’s on the Blvd delivers a Southern comfort buffet and a tough-to-beat price point. By Jacob Threadgill

L&G’s on the Blvd 4801 N. Lincoln Blvd. 405-524-2001 What works: The macaroni and cheese cuts like cake.

beginning of the year, he took control and brought in Platt College Culinary graduate Tamara Levingston to run the all-you-can-eat buffet ($7.99), which is open 11 a.m.-2 p.m. weekdays, with additional a la carte options available.

What needs work: The coleslaw was swimming in mayonnaise. Tip: The $7.99 price point for unlimited barbecue on Wednesdays is tough to beat.

There are few activities that make me happier than finding a good meal in an unexpected location. Over the last few weeks, I’ve highlighted high-quality restaurants connected to gas stations, a combination poke and doughnut place and a cafe inside of a bookstore. A few weeks ago, I got a call from a reader urging me to check out the soul food buffet connected to L&G’s on the Blvd, 4801 N. Lincoln Blvd. “I think it’s better than Florence’s,” the caller said of L&G’s. To quote Leo DiCaprio’s character from Django Unchained, “You had my curiosity, but now you have my attention.” Florence’s is an Oklahoma institution. If L&G’s is even in the same ballpark, it’s worth checking out. The business is currently co-run by co-owner Garland Lenoir, who has leased the space a few times over the years and uses it as an event center with karaoke on the weekends and everything from birthday parties to dance classes and reunions in the main portion of the building. Lenoir said he leased the restaurant portion of the property over the last year, but the lessee left it vacant. At the

Smothered pork chop with mashed potatoes, meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, green beans and corn | Photo Jacob Threadgill

The Salisbury steak is always one I’ll take home. Tamara Levingston

“I was in the third class to graduate from the culinary school at Platt, so I’ve been cooking forever,” Levingston said. “I didn’t cook when I was young. People always say, ‘I bet you were cooking with your mom.’ I did not. My older sisters did, and now I do all of the cooking for the holidays.” Levingston said that in her spare time, she’s a fan of Italian cooking and we chatted about our love of chicken Marsala. “If you finish with cream, it really sets it off,” she said. The menu at the buffet is fairly straightforward classic comfort soul food. I arrived for my first trip to the buffet on a Monday around noon. You pull into the parking lot for the property, which looks like an old hotel, and enter the door on the right side of the building; the main entrance is not open during brunch service. (Don’t make the same mistake I did.)

Enter the main dining room, where a server tells you to go ahead, grab a plate and pay after your meal. There’s a decent salad bar—the kind that reminded me of my college cafeteria or the line at Luby’s in a good way. There are no artisan lettuces, just regular and nutrient-rich romaine, and no heirloom tomatoes or bitter seasonal greens—the kind that we tell ourselves is better for us as we choke it down. The main entrees consisted of smothered pork chops in brown gravy, meatloaf, mashed potatoes, sweet corn, green beans, macaroni and cheese and yeast rolls. The standard meatloaf with ketchup topping hit the spot. While I usually like to mix a variety of meat (beef, pork and veal if I can find it) in my meatloaf at home, this traditional style was elevated as it mixed with the extra sweet corn and green beans cooked with chicken stock. The gravy used for the pork chops was thick and flavorful, injecting muchneeded moisture into the boneless chop. The star of the plate was the macaroni and cheese, which cut like a cake and is filled with cheddar, jack and Velveeta for extra creaminess. The buffet also serves chicken with dressing, beef tips with gravy and Levingston’s personal favorite, Salisbury steak. “When you cook all day, at the end of the day, you don’t want to see food, but the Salisbury steak is always one I’ll take home,” she said. I was about finished with my second plate when I began to think, ‘This could only get better if dessert magically appeared from the sky,’ when the server came by and asked if I wanted peach cobbler. I responded with a resounding “Hell yeah!” with a fervor that I didn’t realize I had toward cobbler. It was worth it when the server brought a peach filling topped with pie crust instead of a loose crumble. Levingston is a woman after my heart. “Everyone that comes in here says,

‘Give me mostly crust,’” she said. “I started putting less filling and more crust, and then I had one lady who said she only wanted filling. I have a big pot of the filling and have it ready on request.” I returned for L&G’s Wednesday buffet, which serves brisket, chicken and country-style pork ribs smoked on the premises by Lenoir, who starts at 5 a.m. every morning. The barbecue buffet is the same $7.99 price, which is an absolute steal, for freshly smoked meat in an all-you-can-eat setting. Lenoir admits he’s still learning to use the smoker, and while I wouldn’t say it’s competition-worthy, it’s certainly a great service for the hungry community. That’s a lot of bang for your buck. My favorites were the smoked chicken thighs and fresh baked beans. The accompanying potato salad and coleslaw had a little too much mayonnaise for my taste, but I understand that they’re shooting for wide appeal. Business at the buffet has been inconsistent. Lenoir said that some days they are slammed, and others, they will only have a few customers. While I don’t think the food surpasses Florence’s as my caller said, I think it’s a very good buffet at its price point. It’s certainly worth a trip even if you don’t work near Lincoln Boulevard. You can get in and out quickly, and the value is hard to beat.

The Wednesday barbecue buffet features brisket, chicken and country-style pork ribs along with corn, beans and other sides. | Photo Jacob Threadgill O kg a z e t t e . c o m | a u g u s t 2 2 , 2 0 1 8



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Deckle Smokehouse BBQ brings central Texas brisket and its inventive menu to Edmond. By Jacob Threadgill

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Growing up in central Texas, Andrew Liu said that he had little choice in the matter when it came to barbecue. “In Texas, everyone barbecues, but how good and passionate you are is a whole other story,” he said from inside Deckle Smokehouse, which opened at 324 W. Edmond Road in early May. Liu owns the restaurant with a group of four investors, but building off 30 years in the barbecue industry and a refined career as chef in the hotel industry, Liu is the primary pitmaster at Deckle Smokehouse, which gets its name from the point on a cow where the cut used for brisket is connected to the rib cage. Smoked brisket is Deckle’s topselling item, as it smokes in the restaurant’s custom-built 5,000 pound offset, double-decker smoker that took two years of engineering to design, for at least 12 hours, Liu said. Pork ribs at Deckle Smokehouse | Photo Jacob Threadgill


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He has been barbecuing for so long that he doesn’t even need to look at the smoker’s temperature gauge; he is able to tell the desired temperature just by looking at the fire in the offset section of the smoker. “Manning the smoker is peaceful, but it’s a lot of hands-on experience,” he said. “The way that we smoke it is between 200 and 250 degrees; anything over 250, the meat will start to burn. Our flavor is pure smoke; it’s not burnt meat. That’s why it is tender and juicy.” Liu is patient with customers, asking if they want slices from the point (deckle) or flat part of the brisket, and offers free samples of Deckle’s chicken, beef and pork ribs and fresh sausage. In true central Texas style, Deckle uses a mixture of three types of oak:


Deckle serves two types of in-house smoked sausage: spicy cheese and German. | Photo Jacob Threadgill

green, half-seasoned and fully seasoned. Liu’s goal is to create a moist cut of beef with a good smoke ring, but not one that is so overpowered with smoke flavor that the customer can’t taste the natural flavor of the meat. Oak burns slow, which is why you get great flavor versus too much smoke. When you use other woods, it becomes like an ashtray,” Liu said. “Because oak burns slow, it’s not as pungent. The hottest wood you can burn is mesquite, which gets real smoky real fast, but the meat is not done [the way I want].”

Inventive flavors

While some barbecue restaurants use the same spice blend across every cut of meat, Liu relies on his background running restaurants and hotel kitchens and his world travels to create a different flavor profile for every item on the menu. The German sausage is based on a recipe Liu coaxed out of his friend’s grandmother while staying in Germany for a month. The spice blend on the country-style pork ribs includes over 20 spices. Liu’s base barbecue sauce includes bloomed saffron. Liu has introduced indulgent menu items such as the bacon-fried okra, which puts bacon bits into the okra batter. The potato tower is made up of three fried potato pancakes: the first layer topped with cheese, the second beans and the third with brisket, sour cream and green onion.

“[The potato tower] is where carb lovers need to go,” Liu said. A chicken lollipop is Liu’s inventive answer for the ubiquitous chicken tender instead of doing a French cut on a drumstick or wing and pushing the meat to the cartilage-filled end, which is often seen on aesthetically pleasing Internet recipes that don’t work in practice, Liu said. “When you do the French cut on the drumstick, there is a lot of fat and you can’t cook it out—or if you cook it out, it becomes dry,” Liu said. “We use ground chicken. Kids love it because it’s like a fried chicken meatball. The chicken lollipops are served with a special sauce that gets sweet and tart flavors from tamarind. The green apple coleslaw has no mayonnaise, relying on oil and vinegar for moisture, and is made fresh throughout the day to retain the crispness of the ingredients. Fresh is key for Liu, who does everything from making french fries to baking brioche buns for sandwiches in the kitchen. “We make everything in-house,” he said. “I don’t buy frozen stuff. I don’t want boring food. If you compete directly with other people, you’re probably going to lose. If you start creating, you’re going to win because you’re always a step ahead.” Liu has taken his creativity and applied it to a pair of masochistic food challenges. The champion’s specialty is designed to be eaten by three people who must finish three pounds each of smoked chicken, pulled pork, turkey, beans, cheese bomb and apple coleslaw. The challenge costs $59.98 but is free if finished under time limits. Deckle Smokehouse also offers a hot turkey leg challenge that requires challengers to finish a two-and-a-half pound smoked turkey leg covered in a sauce made from the world’s three hottest peppers: Carolina Reaper, Trinidad scorpion and ghost pepper. Its Scoville rating is between 1.5 million and 2.2 million Scoville heat units. (The chart’s hottest level ranges from 880,000 to 3.2 million.) The hot turkey leg challenge includes the warning “must be of sound mind and sober to take this challenge.” “Our only challenger for the turkey leg made it only about 10 minutes,” Liu said. Business has been solid and growing slowly, which he said is on track for his group’s expectations. “I find that the most difficult part is because of the season or city, it is hard to find help,” he said. “If we grow too fast, too big, there is not enough people to help.” Visit

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best of okc

Best of OKC is Oklahoma Gazette’s opportunity to get truly type A on you, to extol the virtues of getting to the top of your game in Oklahoma City. When you reach No. 1 in your category of the 2018 Best of OKC issue, it means that a sizeable percentage of more than 1 million votes chose you above your closest competitors. That gives you, your organization, your restaurant or your place of business bragging rights all the way through next year. In this fair city, winning Best of OKC makes winning the Good Housekeeping seal of approval, getting an acrylic trophy from J.D.

Power and Associates or earning a Best New Music rating on Pitchfork seem like extremely small, almost microscopic potatoes. OK, so perhaps that was a little too type A, but for Gazette readers, Best of OKC is an invaluable fail-safe guide to the coolest things about living here. Most people have friends who can point them to the best places to eat, drink, shop or experience great performances, but with Best of OKC, you have hordes of readers giving you the best advice about the best things. Best of OKC is also the best issue to find the

most uses of the word “best” and the best uses of the word “best.” With this Best of OKC issue, Oklahoma Gazette has ventured into the realm of bests 34 times, and every issue gets more difficult because Oklahoma City just gets better, or “bestier.” We’re not complaining, though; we’ll take all these enormous strides toward excellence. Keep doing what we’re doing, and we’ll have to change the lyrics to the official state song to “You’re doing best, Oklahoma.” So be best.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Best of OKC 2018 Hall of Fame ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Here you will find a list of companies, restaurants and groups that have been voted the best in their category by our readers’ for more than 10 years!

Best performing arts group Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma 14 years Best local annual event or festival Festival of the Arts, Arts Council of Oklahoma City 12 years

Best fine jewelry BC Clark Jewelers 19 years Best women’s clothing boutique Blue Seven 11 years Best steakhouse Cattlemen’s Steakhouse 16 years

Best Place to buy liquor Byron’s Liquor Warehouse 12 years Best Mexican restaurant Ted’s Cafe Escondido 18 years

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Thank You For the NomiNAtioNs !


BEST CHEF BRUCE RINEHART BEST CATERER 2824 N Penn | 405.528.2824 12252 N May | 405.212.4577 EQD 210 Park Ave #150 | 405.605.5300


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Place to Buy Beer Place to Buy Wine Place to Buy Liquor 4401 N Western Ave | 405-524-8031 E

FOOD & DRINK Best tea or coffeehouse

Best seafood

Best new bar

Best Oklahoma winery

Best dessert

Best patio dining

Best local craft beer

Best wine dinner

Best diner

Best beer selection

Best food truck or food cart

Best bakery

Best cocktail

Best Mexican restaurant

Best margarita

Best Latin restaurant

Best Uptown 23rd district restaurant

Best happy hour

Best Italian restaurant

Best Plaza district restaurant

Best breakfast Best brunch

Best Western European restaurant, not Italian

Best Paseo Arts district restaurant

Best patio brunch

Best Mediterranean restaurant

Best Automobile Alley district restaurant

Best meal for a deal

Best Indian restaurant

Best late-night eats

Best Japanese restaurant

Best burger

Best Chinese restaurant

Best sandwich shop

Best Thai restaurant

Best barbecue

Best Vietnamese restaurant

Best Western Avenue district restaurant

Best pizza place

Best pho restaurant

Best downtown restaurant

Best soul food

Best new restaurant

Best restaurant

Best chicken-fried steak

Best fine dining restaurant

Best caterer

Best steakhouse

Best place to dine before an event

Best chef

Best sushi

Best neighborhood bar

Best server

Best vegan, vegetarian, glutenfree or healthy menu options

Best rooftop bar

Best bartender

Best gyro

Best nonsmoking bar

Best Bricktown district restaurant Best Midtown district restaurant

Best upscale bar

61 categories •

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best of okc LUNCH


Best tea or coffeehouse


All About Cha

several metro locations


2. Elemental Coffee Roasters 3. The Red Cup 4. Coffee Slingers Roasters 5. Urban Teahouse



Best Oklahoma winery

Put a Cork In It Winery 115 E. California Ave.

2. Waters Edge Winery 3. Canadian River Vineyards & Winery

427 NW 23rd St | (405) 604-8940

4. Clauren Ridge Vineyard and Winery D Q E

5. Strebel Creek Vineyards

Best local craft beer

COOP Ale Works 4745 Council Heights Road 2. Anthem Brewing Company


3. Stonecloud Brewing Co. 4. Prairie Artisan Ales 5. Roughtail Brewing Co.

Best beer selection

James E. McNellie’s Public House 1100 Classen Drive

2. TapWerks Ale House 3. Oak & Ore 4. The Jones Assembly 5. The Pump Bar

A New Musical Love Story

Live, On Stage

Best cocktail

Lunchbox at Edna’s 5137 Classen Circle

2. Frosé at The Jones Assembly 3. The Black Betty at The Pump Bar

February 27 - March 17, 2019 • Plaza Theatre

A Bluegrass Tale of Hope

4. Pain Killer at Bunker Club 5. JFK at Bunker Club

June 25 - 30, 2019 • Civic Center

Best margarita

Barrios Fine Mexican Dishes 1000 N. Hudson Ave.

2. Chelino’s Mexican Restaurant 3. ¡Revolución! 4. The Jones Assembly 5. Cultivar Mexican Kitchen

April 3 - 20, 2019 • Plaza Theatre

July 9 - 14, 2019 • Civic Center

The Musical Event

The Press vs. The President

Best happy hour

Sonic Drive-In

several metro locations 2. The Pump Bar 3. Ponyboy

September 4 - 22, 2019 • Plaza Theatre

July 23 - 28, 2019 • Civic Center

4. Henry Hudson’s Pub 5. Cafe 501

Best breakfast


several metro locations 2. Sunnyside Diner 3. Jimmy’s Egg 4. Neighborhood JA.M. 5. Jimmy’s Round-Up Cafe & Fried Pies

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Best brunch

Cafe Kacao

3325 N. Classen Blvd. 2. Hatch 3. The Jones Assembly 4. Jimmy’s Round-Up Cafe & Fried Pies 5. The Pump Bar


Best Japanese restaurant

Gorō Ramen The journey to opening Oklahoma City’s best Japanese restaurant, Gorō Ramen, began when chef and co-owner Jeff Chanchaleune became obsessed with instant ramen as a kid. “I ate so many [types of instant ramen] growing up, and I wondered, ‘Why don’t we have a real ramen shop in Oklahoma City?’” Chanchaleune said. He opened the food truck Kaiteki Ramen in 2014 to immediate success but yearned for a brick-andmortar location. He partnered with 84 Hospitality restaurant group owner Rachel Cope — fresh off Empire Slice House — to create a series of ramen pop-up diners called Project Slurp. After selling out pop-up diners and finding a 16th Street Plaza District location for Gorō, Chanchaleune wanted to finalize the menu the only way he knew how: tasting ramen from its source.

Chanchaleune and his wife Rachel traveled to Tokyo and Kyoto’s famed ramen street located in Kyoto Station. There, Chanchaleune settled on wanting to highlight the chicken-based tori paitan broth. “The first sip kind of reminded me of my mom’s chicken noodle soup,” Chanchaleune said. “I thought that it was so rich and savory, I knew immediately that I wanted to do it because it was different from what everyone else was doing, which was a Tokyo-style shoyu ramen or rich, pork-based tonkotsu ramen.” Instant ramen is antithetical to real ramen’s laborious effort to create a layered and rich broth. Creating the tori paitan is a 24-hour process. Three huge pots begin cooking in the morning. After eight hours, they are strained and the process is repeated throughout the day. Gorō’s menu is limited to four types of ramen

(two tori kaiten-based, one gluten-free and vegan and a chilled ramen perfect for the summer) and modeled after the Japanese tradition of small shops dedicated to one or two dishes. “There is more focus on quality when you have a smaller menu,” Chanchaleune said. Gorō Ramen also offers three types of nikuman, Japanese steam buns, and a variety of snacks including fried vegetables, chicken wings and chicken kara-age. The restaurant continues to turn out highquality food to crowds of patrons. “I didn’t expect any of this,” Chanchaleune said. “I just wanted to cook great food and have my own restaurant. I wanted to be successful, but I didn’t think it would be this successful. It’s really humbling, and I’m honored to be part of it all.”

Best patio brunch

Best late-night eats

Best sandwich shop

Best pizza place

3009 Paseo Drive

1734 NW 16th St.

1630 N. Blackwelder Ave.

1734 NW 16th St.

Picasso Cafe

Empire Slice House

The Mule

Empire Slice House

2. The Jones Assembly

2. Beverly’s Pancake House

2. City Bites

2. Hideaway Pizza

3. Hatch

3. Waffle Champion

3. Someplace Else A Deli & Bakery

3. The Hall’s Pizza Kitchen

4. The Pump Bar

4. The Pump Bar

4. Scottie’s Deli

4. Pizzeria Gusto

5. Pearl’s Oyster Bar

5. Guyutes

5. Neptune Sub Sandwiches

5. Eagle One Pizza

Best meal for a deal

Best burger

Best barbecue

Best soul food

Empire Slice House 1734 NW 16th St.

The Garage Burgers & Beer

Iron Star Urban Barbeque 3700 N. Shartel Ave.

Off the Hook Seafood & More

2. Big Truck Tacos

several metro locations

2. Swadley’s Bar-B-Q

several metro locations

3. S&B’s Burger Joint

2. Tucker’s Onion Burgers

3. Earl’s Rib Palace

2. Cajun King

4. Jimmy’s Round-Up Cafe & Fried Pies

3. Nic’s Grill

4. Back Door Barbecue

3. Mama E’s Soul Food

5. The Jones Assembly

4. S&B’s Burger Joint

5. Bedlam BAR-B-Q

4. Taste of Soul

5. Patty Wagon Burgers

5. Florence’s Restaurant

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best of okc Best chicken-fried steak

Cheever’s Cafe 2409 N. Hudson Ave. 2. Del Rancho

3. Ann’s Chicken Fry House 4. The Press 5. Jimmy’s Round-Up Cafe & Fried Pies

Best steakhouse

Cattlemen’s Steakhouse 1309 S. Agnew Ave. 2. Ranch Steakhouse 3. Mahogany Prime Steakhouse 4. Red PrimeSteak 5. McClintock Saloon & Chop House

Best sushi

Sushi Neko

4318 N. Western Ave. 2. Tokyo Japanese Restaurant 3. GoGo Sushi Express and Grill 4. Yokozuna 5. Grand House Asian Bistro

Best vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free or healthy menu options

The Loaded Bowl

Best Paseo Arts district restaurant

1211 SW Second St. 2. Coolgreens 3. Picasso Cafe 4. The Red Cup

Picasso Cafe

If you live in or around The Paseo Arts District, Picasso Cafe is the perfect neighborhood eatery with a menu ranging from vegan to meaty, and the fare is adventurous enough to warrant non-residents driving for the pleasure of dining there. Situated on the north end of the district at 3009 Paseo St., Picasso Cafe opened nearly a decade ago yet still holds its own in Best of OKC polling thanks to its constantly evolving menu and events like its monthly veggie dinner, a five-course herbivore

extravaganza that even flesh-centric foodies find a lot to love. Under the supervision of chef Ryan Parrott, Picasso Cafe splits its meatyto-leafy fare 50/50, but vegetarians and vegans can still feel like they are indulging. For instance, when it comes to hot chicken, the poultry enthusiast can get the spicy fried chicken sandwich on a brioche bun while the fungi lover in the family can get a Nashville hot chicken dish with maitake mushrooms subbing in for the hen.

Parrott and owner Shaun Fiaccone are busy at work on their next Humankind Hospitality Services offering in the district, taco-oriented Oso, but they have plenty of culinary expertise to spread around the district. Picasso Cafe will continue to be that rare destination where salmon spring rolls, an Indian taco, tikka masala, prosciutto pizza and a Cubano can all share menu space outside of a United Nations conference.

5. The Jones Assembly

Best gyro

Zorba’s Mediterranean Cuisine 6014 N. May Ave.

2. Basil Mediterranean Cafe 3. Greek House 4. Sweis’ Greek Cafe 5. Cous Cous Cafe

Best seafood

The Drake Seafood and Oysterette 519 NW 23rd St., Suite 111 2. Pearl’s Oyster Bar 3. The Shack Seafood & Oyster Bar 4. Off the Hook Seafood & More 5. Brent’s Cajun Seafood & Oyster Bar

Best dessert

Pie Junkie 1711 NW 16th St.

2. La Baguette Bakery 3. Cheever’s Cafe 4. The Jones Assembly 5. Jimmy’s Round-Up Cafe & Fried Pies

Best wine dinner

Flip’s Wine Bar & Trattoria 5801 N. Western Ave.

2. Mahogany Prime Steakhouse 3. The Metro Wine Bar & Bistro 4. Vast 5. The Pritchard

Best food truck or food cart

The Saucee Sicilian 2. Taqueria Sanchez 3. The Fried Taco 4. Phill Me Up Cheesesteaks 5. Rockin Rotollo Fresco Italian Cuisine

O kg a z e t t e . c o m | a u g u s t 2 2 , 2 0 1 8


best of okc


BOSSA Best Rooftop Bar NOVA caipirin

ha loun


405-525-9779 440 NW 11th & Walker


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Best new restaurant Best place to dine before an event Best upscale bar Best nonsmoking bar Best new bar Best downtown restaurant

The Jones Assembly

Best Mexican restaurant

Ted’s Café Escondido several metro locations

2. Barrios Fine Mexican Dishes 3. Chelino’s Mexican Restaurant 4. Abel’s Mexican Restaurant 5. Alfredo’s Mexican Cafe

Best Latin restaurant

Best chef Andrew Eskridge

Café do Brasil

440 NW 11th St., Suite 100 2. Cafe Kacao 3. 1492 New World Latin Cuisine 4. Cafe Antigua 5. La Brasa International Cuisine

Best Italian restaurant

Gabriella’s Italian Grill & Pizzeria 1226 NE 63rd St.

2. Stella Modern Italian Cuisine 3. Flip’s Wine Bar & Trattoria 4. Vito’s Ristorante

Best server Gwynevere Langer

Best bartender Jason Nguyen

In its first full year of operation, The Jones Assembly took home nine category wins in the 2018 Best of OKC reader poll. Chef Andrew Eskridge, server Gwynevere Langer and bartender Jason Nguyen are winners in their fields. The Jones also won for best new restaurant, best place to dine before an event, best upscale bar, best nonsmoking bar, best new bar and best downtown restaurant. Co-owner Graham Colton reflected on The Jones Assembly’s first year. What are your favorite memories of the first year at The Jones Assembly? The thing that has been really cool for us, and it sounds really cliché, is to see this big, crazy dream come true. You put a concept together, but it is such an understatement to conceive something like The Jones Assembly was a dream of all dreams. To have a space for people experience all types of different things at the same time: food, spirits, music, indoor, outdoor, upstairs, downstairs. There was no real model to follow. To use Russell Westbrook’s famous line, ‘Why not?’ That was our mentality: Why can’t we do this? Why can’t we put 1,700 people in our building for Pixies or a Willie Nelson concert and turn around the next morning and have brunch. We just dreamed big and bet on the city to support our crazy idea. The coolest thing is to see it take a life of its own. How did the menu under chef Andrew Eskridge come together? The main thing is not just that we’re serving elevated cuisine, but that we’re doing it for a tremendous amount of people every day. That is the hardest thing. It would’ve been easier for us to say, ‘Come get a burger and fries.’ We’re continuing to push our kitchen to make new relationships and new ideas. Our bread program is really special. Everything we bake in-house, from the pizza dough to our sandwich bread, as well as gluten-free options. For us to shut down and people to be leaving the building after a Friday night at 3 and 4 in the morning, and our bakers are showing up that early, that’s been a really cool thing to see. What was the philosophy when putting the bar together? It was my partner Brian Bogert’s vision to have the best beverage and cocktail program in the city. His vision, like the cuisine, it’s one thing to have a little cocktail bar and to execute incredible cocktails in a small quantity, but we do it every day on a large scale. It’s not just one [cocktail] menu; we have our tea room upstairs, and downstairs is brunch cocktails. Why can’t we strive for greatness in all these areas? Did you have a moment when you feel like it all came together? If I say anything at all, I’d love to just to echo that it is our partners, staff and our customers that continue to come back. The people that I work with on a daily basis make The Jones even bigger and more fun than what Brian and I thought it could be. It’s one thing to dream it and another to do it action. You see the Paul George event, Russell Westbrook coming in the night he signed his contract extension, Kings of Leon coming in for an after-party, Willie Nelson on the stage and Lady Gaga having lunch here before her show at Chesapeake [Energy] Arena. That stuff is almost like, ‘That is cool,’ but to keep it going and that energy, that’s when it’s really fun.

5. Patrono Italian Restaurant

Best Western European restaurant

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Ingrid’s Kitchen several metro locations 2. La Baguette Bistro 3. Fassler Hall 4. Old Germany Restaurant 5. Royal Bavaria

Best Mediterranean restaurant

Zorba’s Mediterranean Cuisine 6014 N. May Ave.

2. Basil Mediterranean Cafe 3. Cous Cous Cafe 4. Nunu’s Mediterranean Cafe 5. Mediterranean Imports & Deli

Best Indian restaurant

Taj Cuisine of India 1500 NW 23rd St.

2. Gopuram Taste of India 3. Sheesh Mahal

OKG @okgazette

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4. Fusion Kitchen 5. Himalayas Aroma of India

Best Japanese restaurant

Gorō Ramen

1634 N. Blackwelder Ave., Suite 102 2. Sushi Neko 3. Shōgun Steak House of Japan 4. Musashi’s 5. Tokyo Japanese Restaurant

Best Chinese restaurant

Grand House Asian Bistro 2701 N. Classen Blvd. 2. Golden Phoenix 3. Chow’s Chinese Restaurant 4. Szechuan Bistro 5. Fung’s Kitchen

Best Thai restaurant

Thai House Restaurant 500 NW 23rd St.

2. Panang Thai Restaurant 3. Sala Thai 4. Tana Thai Bistro 5. Charm Thai Cuisine

Patio iS oPEn! BourBon St. Cafe Riverwalk | Bricktown

100 E California | 232.6666 | O kg a z e t t e . c o m | a u g u s t 2 2 , 2 0 1 8


Four Paws Pet Grooming, Boarding, and Boutique

best of okc Best Vietnamese restaurant

Pho Lien Hoa

Thanks for voting us best pet groomers!

901 NW 23rd St.

2. Golden Phoenix 3. Lido Restaurant 4. Pho Cuong 5. VII Asian Bistro

Best pho restaurant

Pho Lien Hoa 901 NW 23rd St. 2. Pho 54 3. Pho Cuong 4. Pho Lan Asian Bistro 5. VII Asian Bistro

Best new restaurant

The Jones Assembly 901 W. Sheridan Ave. 2. The Press 3. Neighborhood JA.M. 4. HunnyBunny Biscuit Co. 5. Scottie’s Deli

Best fine dining restaurant

Mahogany Prime Steakhouse Make an appointment for your special pup today!

several metro locations 2. Ranch Steakhouse 3. Vast 4. Red PrimeSteak

5. McClintock Saloon & Chop House


Find us on Facebook

2308 N Robinson Ave. OKC, 73103 405-525-7297 Open Mon. thru Sat. 8am - 3pm

Best place to dine before an event

The Jones Assembly 901 W. Sheridan Ave. 2. The Bleu Garten 3. Museum Cafe 4. The Pump Bar 5. Jimmy’s Round-Up Cafe & Fried Pies

Best neighborhood bar

The Pump Bar 2425 N. Walker Ave. 2. Edna’s 3. The Jones Assembly 4. HiLo club 5. Bunker Club

Best rooftop bar

O Bar at Ambassador Hotel Oklahoma City 1200 N. Walker Ave. 2. Museum Cafe 3. Guyutes 4. Packard’s New American Kitchen 5. Bossa Nova Caipirinha Lounge

Best upscale bar

The Jones Assembly 901 W. Sheridan Ave.

2. O Bar at Ambassador Hotel Oklahoma City 3. Sidecar Barley & Wine Bar 4. Bar Arbolada 5. Vast

Best nonsmoking bar

The Jones Assembly 901 W. Sheridan Ave. 2. Bunker Club 3. Ponyboy 4. Bar Arbolada 5. The Liszt Nightclub + Lounge


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Best sushi

Sushi Neko Sushi Neko is an Oklahoma City institution. When it was founded in the late 1990s, sushi was an obscure delicacy in the city’s foodscape. Entrepreneur Carl Milam arrived from Boulder, Colorado, where he was exposed to sushi, and saw Oklahoma City’s need for a restaurant, said Kurt Fleischfresser, Western Concepts director of operations. “Carl’s vision was something else,” Fleishfresser said, noting that his commitment to high-quality ingredients has allowed Sushi Neko to remain popular as many other competitors have entered the metro area’s sushi market. “There are so many sushi places that have opened,” he said. “People have to drive by sushi places to get to Sushi Neko. We have such a high volume that it allows us to keep fresh fish at all times.” Chef Jeab Chansahdee Nittaya dutifully curates its sushi menu, where the Red Canyon roll remains a top seller. The rolls are filled with fried calamari, avocado and spicy sauce and then topped with baked crawfish, Japanese mayonnaise,

green onion and eel sauce. The menu at Sushi Neko is extensive with over 60 offerings for specialty sushi rolls in addition to preselected dinner and sushi boxes. Even if sushi isn’t your favorite cuisine, there are plenty of options to keep guests coming back. Sushi Neko has an extensive kitchen menu; the cherry blossom-smoked filet is a popular choice, as are the french fries (pommes frites Neko-style) that are toped in special seasonings. “They’re addictive; people go nuts over them,” Fleischfresser said of the french fries. Business at Sushi Neko remained strong even as its patio went through an extensive renovation for the better part of 2018. It reopened at the beginning of August with new windows, new signage, new heating and a new cooling system. Its patio furniture has been replaced with upholstered banquettes. “It’s almost like eating inside, but you’re on the front patio,” Fleischfresser said. “[The patio] was always popular, but now it is something else.”

Vote for Us Gazette Finalist.pdf



8:23 AM









Best soul food

Off the Hook Off the Hook has seemingly done the impossible by putting an Oklahoma twist on seafood. Created by husband-and-wife duo Corey and Loniesha Harris, Off the Hook has gone from a food truck in 2013 to its first brick-and-mortar location at 125 W. Britton Road in 2015. Its 1920 S. Meridian location opened in the second half of 2017. Its star is the super smothered seafood. Fried tilapia and five shrimp are smothered in a lobster sauce filled with crawfish, lump crab, baby crab, cheese, bacon and green onions and served over a choice of spicy rice or fries. “My motto is that we’re a little bit of Cajun and a whole lot of amazing. I’m born and raised in Oklahoma,” Corey Harris said. “This is an Oklahoma thing. … I don’t like people to look at us as being a soul food restaurant. We have some soul-inspired dishes, but I don’t like to being put in a box. I want people to enjoy it for what it is, which is off the hook.” Off the Hook offers soul food classics like cheese grits, fried okra,

collard greens and macaroni and cheese. It also offers perhaps the city’s best shrimp and grits, but it’s by no means a typical meat-and-three soul food restaurant. Its menu goes out of the proverbial box with selections like the melted lobster sandwich a grilled cheese with lobster, roasted poblano peppers, grilled onions and Sriracha mayonnaise on Texas toast. It’s Meridian location menu expands and has a full-service bar in a much larger space than its original Britton location, which has a drivethru window and less seating. The Meridian location offers a soft-shell crab sandwich, a brunch burger that tops a 10-ounce burger patty with smoked sausage, bacon, fried egg, cheddar, hashbrowns and strawberry jam. It also has six flavors of chicken wings that can’t be found at its Britton location. Regardless of how you might classify Off the Hook, there is something everyone can agree on: It’s delicious.

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best of okc Open for 28 years, Zorba’s Mediterranean Cuisine’s continued popularity with its devoted customers boils down to one main ingredient. “It’s being consistent,” said owner and head chef Ray Bastani. “Same owner since 1991, same chef since 1991.” Bastani, who moved from Iran to the United States in 1984 and worked in restaurants for several years before opening his own, said Zorba’s clientele also appreciates the restaurant’s “family-oriented attitude.” “We treat our customers just like they’re family,” Bastani said, “and we just have fun with the business. We’ve been blessed with Oklahomans being supportive throughout the years.” Bastani said the most popular items on the menu are the gyros and kebabs, but his favorite dish is the moussaka, made from layered eggplant and potato slices and seasoned ground beef. The menu also features

tastes of Persian cooking from Iran. “We do have a little bit of every Mediterranean country,” Bastani said. “Everything we make has the Persian influence, like the chicken bandarri, which is a chicken side cooked slowly with tomato garlic base, which is very popular.” Though Zorba’s is obviously popular with its customers, some of whom have been dining there since the early ’90s, Bastani said he does worry that people driving by might get the wrong impression, thinking the restaurant, which offers wine, beer, liquor and occasionally belly dancing performances along with its Mediterranean cuisine, is more upscale than it actually is. “Looking from the outside, Zorba’s looks very high-end, and we do have quality food,” Bastani said, “but we are a very casual and down to earth. We have a full bar and live entertainment every two weeks.”

Zorba’s Mediterranean Cuisine

Best Mediterranean restaurant Best gyro

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Best new bar

The Jones Assembly 901 W. Sheridan Ave. 2. Ponyboy 3. Kat’s Tavern 4. Bar Arbolada 5. The Liszt Nightclub + Lounge

Best patio dining

The Bleu Garten 301 NW 10th St.

2. Barrios Fine Mexican Dishes 3. The Jones Assembly 4. The Hall’s Pizza Kitchen 5. The Pump Bar

Best diner

Sunnyside Diner several metro locations 2. Classen Grill 3. Beverly’s Pancake House

Best local craft beer

4. Jimmy’s Round-Up Cafe & Fried Pies

COOP Ale Works

5. The Diner

Best bakery

La Baguette Bakery 2100 W. Main St., Norman 2. Brown’s Bakery 3. Holey Rollers 4. ButterSweet Cupcakes 5. Ganache Patisserie

Best Uptown 23rd district restaurant

Cheever’s Cafe 2409 N. Hudson Ave. 2. Pizzeria Gusto

COOP’s growth in sales since it was founded in 2009:

3. The Pump Bar 4. The Drake Seafood and Oysterette

Sales are up 30 percent compared to 2013, and it has grown 20 percent per year each of its first nine years.

5. Guyutes

Best Plaza district restaurant

Beers offered year-round versus seasonal:

Year-round: F5 IPA, Native Amber red IPA, Saturday Siren Dry-Hopped Pils, DNR Belgian dark ale, Horny Toad Blonde ale, Spare Rib Pale Ale, Elevator Wheat hefeweizen Seasonal: Alpha Hive Double IPA (February-July), Fly Me Away IPA (summer), Oktoberfest (August-October), Gran Sport Porter (January)

Empire Slice House 1734 NW 16th St. 2. The Mule 3. Gorō Ramen 4. The Press 5. The Pritchard

Best Paseo Arts district restaurant

Picasso Cafe 3009 Paseo Drive 2. Paseo Grill

Limited runs:

Territorial Reserve Bourbon barrel-aged series: Barley Wine (September - November), Rye Wine (June-August), Wild Wheat Wine (March-May), Imperial Stout (January). DNR Cask-it Series: Cherry Brandy, Tequila, Rye, Chocolate Bourbon.

Beer sales tap versus bottle/can: Pounds of hops used per year: Approximately 30,000 pounds

25 percent draft to 75 percent package

3. Sauced on Paseo 4. Scratch Kitchen & Cocktails 5. Buttermilk

Best Automobile Alley vvvdistrict restaurant

Hideaway Pizza 901 N. Broadway Ave. 2. Hatch 3. Cultivar Mexican Kitchen 4. Red PrimeSteak

5. Broadway 10 Bar & Chophouse

Best Bricktown district restaurant

Square feet of the upcoming COOP Ale Works facility in old armory building: 82,000 total square feet

Bricktown Brewery 1 N. Oklahoma Ave. 2. Charleston’s 3. Chelino’s Mexican Restaurant 4. Bourbon St. Cafe 5. Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill

O kg a z e t t e . c o m | a u g u s t 2 2 , 2 0 1 8


best of okc Best Midtown district restaurant

Barrios Fine Mexican Dishes 1000 N. Hudson Ave.

2. The Hall’s Pizza Kitchen 3. Stella Modern Italian Cuisine 4. James E. McNellie’s Public House 5. GoGo Sushi Express and Grill

NaaN, goat biryaNi, chickeN tikka 4621 N. May | OKC | 778-8469

Best Western Avenue district restaurant

The Wedge Pizzeria 4709 N. Western Ave. 2. Sushi Neko 3. Flip’s Wine Bar & Trattoria 4. Musashi’s 5. VZD’s Restaurant & Bar

Best downtown restaurant

The Jones Assembly r s fo ! k n s t h a vot ewe’re t h e ee why est! B es he com e of t on

901 W. Sheridan Ave. 2. The Loaded Bowl 3. Vast 4. Joey’s Pizzeria 5. Flint

Best restaurant

Cheever’s Cafe 2409 N. Hudson Ave. 2. The Jones Assembly



3. Ranch Steakhouse


(nw 35th and may avenue)



3600 n. may ave


4. Jimmy’s Round-Up Cafe & Fried Pies 5. The Pump Bar

Best caterer

Ted’s Café Escondido several metro locations 2. Rococo 3. Alfredo’s Mexican Cafe 4. Abbey Road Catering 5. Ned’s Catering

t s e B National Mexican Restaurant

Best chef

Andrew Eskridge The Jones Assembly 901 W. Sheridan Ave.

2. Kurt Fleischfresser — Vast 3. Jeff Chanchaleune — Gorō Ramen 4. Bruce Rinehart — Rococo 5. James Vu — La Brasa

Best server

Gwynevere Langer The Jones Assembly 901 W. Sheridan Ave.

2. Erin Roy — The Pump Bar

Best food truck or food cart

The Saucee Sicilian

The Saucee Sicilian’s success is baked right in, having topped Best of OKC’s best food truck category for the third straight year. Owners Gannon Mendez and his mother, Priscilla “Nonna” Jones, maintain a busy schedule to keep up with customers at festivals and food truck parks, and somehow, that elaborate truck with the flat-screen TVs seems to be everywhere. So what goes into keeping The Saucee Sicilian on the road and producing those prodigious pies? The numbers are staggering no matter how you slice it.

3. Kelsey Thurman — Ranch Steakhouse 4. Billy Noble — Barrios Fine Mexican Dishes 5. Katura Nelson — Jimmy’s Round-Up Cafe & Fried Pies

Best bartender



your purchase of $20 or more!

Dine-in or To Go. Valid at OKC area locations. Not valid with any other discounts or promotions. Limit one per check. Non-transferable. Excludes tax & gratuity. Expires 9/15/2018. ALOHA: 5OFF20_GAZETT



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Jason Nguyen The Jones Assembly 901 W. Sheridan Ave.

2. Rebecca Gin — The Pump Bar 3. Jolie Foster — HiLo Club


68,692 pizzas were made 41,227 meatballs were hand-rolled by Nonna 16,338 pounds of cheese 2,864 gallons of sauce 15,193 miles driven

4. Amber Taylor — The Pump Bar 5. Rainier Crespo — Bunker Club

2018 year to date

51,014 pizzas were made 25,860 meatballs hand-rolled by Nonna 11,286 pounds of cheese 1728 gallons of sauce 9,872 miles driven

Arts, Culture & Entertainment Best local living author

Best free entertainment

Best art gallery

Best local band/artist

Best bar for live music

Best museum

Best radio personality or team

Best live music club

Best local district

Best performing arts group

Best dance club

Best casino for gaming

Best visual artist

Best concert venue

Best casino for live entertainment

Best local annual event or festival

Best open mic/comedy night

Best LGBTQ+ bar or club

Best public art/mural

Best pre- or post- event spot

Best charity event

Best place to buy local art

Best bowling alley

23 categories •

O kg a z e t t e . c o m | a u g u s t 2 2 , 2 0 1 8


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Best local band/artist

My So Called Band

Norman-based ’90s tribute act My So Called Band played its first show in 2010, and vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Kyle Davis said he and his bandmates Carly Gwin, Zach Nedbalek, Arash Davari and Ricky Salthouse originally intended the show to be their last as well. What inspired you to form the band? The plan was just that we were going to do a show at The Deli. It wasn’t to start a band. It was just, ‘Let’s do one ’90s tribute show,’ and then we did that and it was really successful and really fun. So we decided to do one in Oklahoma City, and then we just kept doing it.

1221 NW 50th, OKC | 843-1722 D Q E 30

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What made you decide to focus on music from the ’90s specifically? The first music we fell in love with was ’90s music. I would say I’m a little young to have fully lived ’90s music. I only started actively listening to music in the middle of the decade, but still, that era was my first taste of what would become a music obsession.

What are some of your favorite songs to play? It kind of changes. Whatever are the newest songs are always fun. We’ve practiced a lot, and we’re going to bust out some new songs in the coming weekend. That’s exciting. And then some songs we won’t play for a year or two years, and then we’ll say, ‘Hey, let’s bring that song back. That would be fun.’ It sort of rotates. I’m always pushing the band to add more hip-hop ’cause I think that’s a fun challenge, but we started working on some pop songs. We’re going to do a Spice Girls song pretty soon that we’ve never done before just sort of because of the limitations. There are four guys in the band and one gal, and I can’t sing high enough to bust out some of the boy band/girl band stuff. We always try to be as authentic as possible and not do our take on a song, just play it like the record. … I think the more it sounds like the song people know and love, the easier it is for the crowd to get into it, and sort of feeding off of that is the real fun of the band. I guess I didn’t name any actual songs. … I’m very tired of doing “All Star” by Smash Mouth.

Best local district


Among the many Oklahoma City districts that emerged as major destinations since the turn of the century, Midtown experienced one of the most dramatic rebirths. In less than two decades, Midtown transformed from a faded area pockmarked with empty storefronts and disused buildings into one of the top places OKC residents want to live, work, shop, eat and spend their weekend evenings. While most people can identify their favorite restaurants or bars in the district, one of the true success stories is in residential housing. In 2006, the long-abandoned Sieber Apartment Hotel was transformed into a luxury building featuring 30 apartments and eight residential loft spaces. And while many classic buildings enjoyed successful renovations in the ensuing years, they were joined by new-build apartments like The Edge at Midtown and Lift that added dozens of new units, offering multiple price levels for entry into Midtown. Expect much more in the next few years as new projects are greenlighted and more people are attracted to this central and extremely walkable district. In February, the former Villa Teresa campus was approved for redevelopment into a $30 million complex featuring 11 condominiums, six flats, 10 townhouses and a hotel. If you can learn how to drive in a roundabout, you can make your way through Midtown, and even if you can’t figure them out, the district has just about everything within walking distance.

Best local living author

S.E. Hinton 2. Lauren Zuniga 3. Bob Burke 4. Carolyn Hart 5. Lou Berney

Best local band/artist

My So Called Band 2. SuperFreak 3. Hosty 4. Weekend All Stars 5. Violent Affair

Best radio personality or team

Joey and Heather KYIS 98.9 2. TJ, Janet and J Rod — KJ103 3. Rick and Brad — KATT-FM

4. The Morning Animals — WWLS-FM 5. Jack and Ron — KQOB-FM

Best performing arts group

Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma 1727 NW 16th St.

2. Oklahoma City Ballet 3. Oklahoma City Philharmonic 4. Dust Bowl Dolls 5. Adèle Wolf Productions

Best visual artist

Jay Roberts Mind Bender Tattoo and Fine Art Gallery 4012 N. Tulsa Ave. 2. Jason Pawley 3. Kris Kanaly 4. Denise Duong 5. D.G. Smalling

Best local annual event or festival

Festival of the Arts Arts Council Oklahoma City 500 Couch Drive 2. Paseo Arts Festival 3. deadCenter Film Festival 4. H&8th Night Market 5. Norman Music Festival

Best charity event

Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon 2. Hero Awards — Central Oklahoma Humane Society 3. Boots & Ball Gowns — Infant Crisis Services 4. Red Tie Night 5. Gumdrops and Lollipops Ball — The Anna’s

Best beer selection — James E. McNellie’s Public House | Best margarita — Barrios Fine Mexican Dishes | Best burger — The Garage Burgers & Beer | Best Latin restaurant — Café do Brasil | Best rooftop bar — O Bar at Ambassador Hotel Oklahoma City | Best patio dining — The Bleu Garten | Best diner — Sunnyside Diner | Best Midtown district Restaurant — Barrios Fine Mexican Dishes | Best pre- or post-event spot — The Bleu Garten | Best bowling alley — Dust Bowl Lanes & Lounge | Best veterinarian clinic — Midtown Vets | Best pet-friendly patio — The Bleu Garten | Best doctor (general practitioner) — Jeffrey Hirsch MD — SSM | Health St. Anthony Hospital | Best optical shop — Midtown Optical | Best yoga — 405 Yoga | Best place to get fit — YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City | Best national or regional hotel — The Edge at Midtown — NE Property Management

House Foundation

Best free entertainment

Festival of the Arts Arts Council Oklahoma City 500 Couch Drive 2. Paseo Arts Festival 3. Sonic Summer Movies — Myriad Botanical Gardens 4. Heard on Hurd

5. Sunday Twilight Concert Series — Arts Council Oklahoma City

O kg a z e t t e . c o m | a u g u s t 2 2 , 2 0 1 8




BEST OF OKC For now at least, everybody visiting Oklahoma Contemporary is there intentionally. “We’re at the fairground,” said artistic director Jeremiah Matthew Davis, describing the art center’s current location. “It’s best known for its horse shows and for its gun shows, which are awesome for Oklahoma City, [but the] people who are coming out to the fairgrounds for their corndogs in September or for the quarter-horse show in the spring, they’re not necessarily the people who are coming to the fairgrounds for contemporary art. … No one accidentally wanders into our space as it is currently. If you’re coming out here, you really want to

find us and you really want to be here.” Founded by Marilyn Myers and current board president Christian Keesee as City Arts Center in 1989, Oklahoma Contemporary changed its name in 2012 and began looking for a new location. Scheduled for completion in the fall of 2019, Oklahoma Contemporary’s new facilities will sit on a 6.1 acre site at NW 11th Street and Broadway Avenue. “We looked toward our future and how to best continue to expand our mission to provide amazing creative and artistic experiences across multiple disciplines and learning opportunities for the community, and that was part of the decision to move downtown,” Davis said.

In its current location, Oklahoma Contemporary faces challenges exhibiting works in the gallery due to low ceilings, limited lighting and the variety of classes, performances and other activities happening simultaneously in the same space. “The gallery is a hallway, the way it’s designed,” Davis said. “So in order to access different parts of our building, you have to cut through the gallery. So that means we have to always think about that in our layout and our exhibition design. There’s certain things that we can’t display because we know people are going to be moving through and traversing it in order to get back to the ceramics studio or the dance studio.”

Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center

Based on “fairly conservative” projections from current trends, Davis said Oklahoma Contemporary expects about 100,000 visitors per year after its new facilities open, including foot traffic from curious passers-by, but whether they’re returning visitors or just wandered in off the street on a whim, they will all be appreciated. “We’ve been spreading the word about what we do, looking to engage new audiences,” Davis said, “and practicing radical inclusivity and radical hospitality, making sure that everybody who comes through our doors feels welcome and feels like this is a place where they can find and make their creative home.”

Best art gallery

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Family owned and operated since 2014

Punk rock and pop culture play large roles in tattoo artist and painter Jay Roberts’ work, but his influences include almost anything he sees and hears. “Every day, I get online and it’s like a punch in the gut,” Roberts said. “I’m nowhere near where I want to be, so every day, I’ll see some awesome tattoo of a painting, or even a sculpture, music, everything is an influence. Everything inspires me.” Roberts will be included in a Mind Bender exhibition Oct. 13. Would you consider yourself primarily a tattoo artist? No, I love tattoos and I am a tattooer and it’s my livelihood, but I paint all the time, I draw all the time. I’ve been doing it forever. Is it my primary medium? I would say no, but I spend more time doing it, if that makes sense. … Every minute I’m not tattooing or drawing or painting, I kind of go crazy. It’s the only thing that makes sense. When did you start tattooing? I got my first machine a couple of years ago as a gift and had some crazy friends that knew I wanted to start doing it, so they said, ‘Learn on me, get better and eventually, because you give a shit, you’ll get better and

fix anything that’s terrible.’ I started my apprenticeship in 2012, got my license in 2014, so I’ve only been tattooing a couple of years, but I love it. … I’ve wanted to tattoo since I was a kid. I thought it was the most fascinating thing taking an image and putting it on someone permanently for the rest of their life. What was your first tattoo? I was 14, and I tattooed “UP THE PUNX” on my arm, and I thought it was the coolest thing. It actually said “UP THE P” for a solid six months, and I did a little stick-and-poke and finished it “UNX.” When a tattoo is an original design you’ve created, what is the creative process? It’s definitely developed with the person. Tattoos should be an experience. If someone’s walking in with a piece of paper and asks you to trace it, that’s one thing, but if you say, ‘I like these ideas. I’ve seen your work. Run with it,’ that’s what I’m trying to do more of. … It makes it original. You don’t want the same Google shit everyone has, every Pinterest idea. That’s just a fad. I want them to have an original piece that says something and let the artist run with it. That’s when they can get weird and have fun.

Best bar for live music

The Blue Note

2408 N. Robinson Ave. 2. VZD’s Restaurant & Bar 3. JJ’s Alley Bricktown Pub 4. The Deli 5. Lost Highway

thanKs fOr yOur vOtes!

Best dance club


5705 Mosteller Drive 2. Cowboys OKC 3. Dollhouse Lounge & Burlesque 4. Greystone Lounge 5. The Liszt Nightclub + Lounge

Best concert venue

Chesapeake Energy Arena 100 W. Reno Ave.

OKC’s first and Only traditiOnal

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2. The Jones Assembly

$30 First Treatment $200 Package of 5

3. The Zoo Ampitheatre 4. Tower Theatre 5. The Criterion


Best open mic/comedy night

$10 Glycolic Peel $20 Jessner’s Peel

The Loony Bin 8503 N. Rockwell Ave. 2. 51st Street Speakeasy 3. Sauced on Paseo

4. VZD’s Restaurant & Bar 5. Elecktra’s Open Mic at The Root

Best public art/mural

Plaza Walls project in 16th Street Plaza District 2. New Zealand OKC Thunder player Steven



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Adams by Graham Hoete on The Paramount building in Film Row 3. Welcome to Uptown murual on The Pump Bar building in Uptown 23rd District 4. Western Avenue murals 5. 21c fence mural by Denise Duong on W. Main Street and N. Classen Blvd.

Best place to buy local art

The Paseo Arts District

Paseo St. from NW 28th St. and N. Walker Ave. to NW 30th St. and N. Dewey Ave. 2. Festival of the Arts 3. DNA Galleries 4. Mind Bender Tattoo 5. JRB Art at the Elms

Best art gallery

Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center 3000 General Pershing Blvd.


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2. DNA Galleries 3. Little D Gallery 4. JRB Art at the Elms 5. Howell Gallery

Best visual artist

Jay Roberts

Best museum

Oklahoma City Museum of Art 415 Couch Drive

2. Science Museum Oklahoma 3. Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum 4. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum 5. Sam Noble Museum

Mind Bender Tattoo and Fine Art Gallery

O kg a z e t t e . c o m | a u g u s t 2 2 , 2 0 1 8


BEST OF OKC Best local district


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northeast of the downtown business district 2. 16th Street Plaza District 3. The Paseo Arts District 4. Uptown 23rd District 5. Automobile Alley

Best casino for gaming

Riverwind Casino

1544 State Highway 9, Norman 2. WinStar World Casino and Resort 3. Remington Park Racing & Casino 4. Grand Casino Hotel & Resort 5. Newcastle Casino

Best casino for live entertainment

Riverwind Casino

1544 State Highway 9, Norman 2. WinStar World Casino and Resort

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3. Grand Casino Hotel & Resort 4. Remington Park Racing & Casino 5. Newcastle Casino

Best LGBTQ+ bar or club

The Boom! 2218 NW 39th St. 2. HiLo Club 3. The Copa 4. Tramps 5. Partners

Best pre- or post- event spot

The Bleu Garten 301 NW 10th St.

2. The Jones Assembly 3. The Pump Bar 4. Edna’s 5. Bunker Club

Best bowling alley

Dust Bowl Lanes & Lounge 421 NW 10th St.

2. Heritage Lanes 3. HeyDay 4. Meridan Lanes 5. Sooner Bowling Center

Best public art / mural

Plaza Walls

Started in 2015 by curators/artists Kristopher Kanaly and Dylan Bradway with the cooperation of Mason Realty, the Oklahoma City Arts Commission and Urban Design Commission, the Plaza Walls rotating mural project has showcased the work of artists and students and provided OKC with a concrete example of street art as a community improvement project. More than 80 artists have contributed to the project since it began, and more than 100 murals have been featured. An estimated 400-500 gallons of paint has been used so far. Plaza Walls also serves as a public event space hosting an annual Mural Expo in September and other events throughout year. An estimated 200,000 people visit the Plaza District every year, and more than 25,000 people are expected to view the murals at the 20th Annual Plaza District Festival Sept. 29. More than 240,000 people drive past the murals on 16th Street each month.


The 430-foot long Plaza Walls alleyway boasts 5,160 square feet of wall space with 12-foot-high walls with en-

trances on Indiana Avenue and 16th Street. The Indiana wall alone is 54 feet long with 756 square feet of mural space. Photos of more than 60 murals from throughout the project’s history have been archived online by Google’s Cultural Institute.

This year, Plaza Walls features murals created by more than 30 artists. The work of 22 local, national and international artists will be exhibited during the Plaza District Festival. Plaza Walls’ Facebook page has more than

1,000 followers and its Instagram account (@plazawalls) has nearly 3,800 followers. 36

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40 categories •

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Nic’s Place

best of okc Best place to buy wine

Byron’s Liquor Warehouse 2322 N. Broadway Ave. 2. Freeman’s Liquor Mart 3. Broadway Wine Merchants 4. Moore Liquor 5. Beau’s Wine Bin & Spirit Shoppe

Best place to buy beer

Byron’s Liquor Warehouse 2322 N. Broadway Ave. 2. Freeman’s Liquor Mart 3. Moore Liquor 4. Grand Cru Wine & Spirits 5. Sean’s Wine and Spirits

Best place to buy liquor

Visit Nic’s Place! FuN. Food. cocktails.

tHaNk you For tHe NomiNatioN For oNe oF tHe Best Burgers iN okc!

1116 N Robinson Ave. OKC @nicsplacedinerandlounge

Byron’s Liquor Warehouse 2322 N. Broadway Ave. 2. Freeman’s Liquor Mart 3. Moore Liquor 4. Sam’s Wholesale Priced Liquor 5. Modern Liquors

Best pest control company

Mosquito Joe 2. A+ Pest Control

3. King Pest Control, Inc. 4. Kurt’s Pest Control 5. Acenitec Pest & Lawn Services

Best law firm

McAfee & Taft 211 N. Robinson Ave. 2. Dunlap Codding 3. Phillips Murrah 4. Rubenstein and Pitts 5. Fellers Snider

Best plumbing company

Brandon’s Plumbing 2. Plumb Crazy Plumbing 3. Anderson Plumbing 4. Cherokee Plumbing 5. Stone Creek Plumbing Service

Best local homebuilder company

Homes by Taber 2. Ideal Homes

for Thanks The nominaTion

best breakfast

3. Richardson Homes 4. Bill Roberts Custom Homes 5. Kent Hoffman Construction

Best electrical company

Dane Electric 2. Metroplex Electric 3. Integrated Electric 4. Ross Electirc 5. Ritchie Electric, Inc.

Best landscape / lawn service company

Manuel Garcia Garden Service 2. Nelson Landscaping

3. Squared Away Lawns, LLC 4. Echelawn Complete Lawn & Landscape 5. Swift Lawns

Best roofing company

Salazar Roofing 2. Elliott Roofing

Join Jimmy’s Cracked egg e-Club at

17 metro area locations! 38

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3. Land Roofing Enterprises 4. Statewide Roofing 5. Bohon Roofing

Best motorcycle de

Maxey’s Motorsp Maxey’s Motorsports likely earned the distinction of being chosen as Oklahoma Gazette’s best motorcycle dealer for the same reason it has stayed in business for 56 years: customer service and growing selection. Jim Maxey founded the dealership in 1962 selling 80cc Yamaha motorcycles. Jim’s grandson Tony Maxey took control of the dealership in 2016 from his father Dan. “It means so much to walk into the same building that my grandfather, grandmother and dad sold motorcycles [in],” Tony Maxey said. The power of a motorcycle engine isn’t the only thing that has changed over the years. The dealership has expanded to sell Honda, Polaris, Suzuki, Arctic Cat, Triumph, Genuine Scooters, Can-Am and the recent addition of Textron Off Road vehicles. Tony Maxey said that off-road motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles represent the largest growth market in the industry. “In Oklahoma, you can take them out to lake property or up into the

Best shooting range

H&H Shooting Sports 400 S. Vermont Ave., Suite 110 2. Wilshire Gun

Thanks for the nomination! Best Bar For Live Music

3. Big Boys Guns, Ammo & Range 4. Henry’s

FInd Us At 1613 N May Ave okla. City, OK 405.601.5605

5. Silverleaf Shotgun Sports

Best dry cleaner

Legacy Cleaners & Laundry several metro locations 2. Nichols Hills Cleaners 3. Scott Cleaners 4. American Cleaners 5. Swiss Cleaners & Laundry


# lost h ighwaybar

Best garden center

TLC Garden Centers several metro locations 2. Marcum’s Nursery 3. Calvert’s Plant Interiors 4. Tony’s Tree Plantation 5. Precure Nursery & Garden Center

Best cigar shop

The Cigar Box

2839 S. Douglas Blvd., Suite 105, Midwest City 2. ZT Cigars 3. Tobacco Exchange 4. Party Moore 5. Omerta Cigar Co.

le dealership

y’s rsports desert [in the northwestern part of the state],” Maxey said. “We carry Honda for off-roading and ATVs for hunting season and stuff like that.” Regardless of your level of adventure, Maxey Motorsports has you covered. The dealership sells a sixpassenger Polaris Ranger Crew utility vehicle that sells for $26,499 and has a 999cc engine. It also has a two-passenger Honda Pioneer 500 with a 475cc engine that costs $8,999. Motorcycle selection for new bikes ranges from the $27,700 Honda Gold Wing with a 1833cc engine to the 49cc Honda CRF50F for $1,499. Maxey’s Motorsport has a large selection of parts and factory-trained service technicians on staff for vehicle repair if you aren’t in the market for a new bike, ATV, utility vehicle or sideby-side. Tony Maxey said they he still sees customers who bought something in the store in 1962. “I’m just trying to continue the tradition that [my family] started,” he said.

Best vapor shop

OKC Vapes

several metro locations 2. The Vape Bar 3. Vapor World 4. Liquid Vapor Lounge 5. Prodigy Vapor Co.

Best car wash/detail center

Red Carpet Car Wash & Detail Center several metro locations

2. Okie Express Auto Wash 3. Classen Clean & Green Car Wash 4. Fast Lanes Super Center 5. SWASH

Best outdoor furniture

Statuary World Patio & Fireside several metro locations

2. Mathis Brothers Furniture 3. Hemispheres 4. Seasonal Living 5. Amini’s


Best new home furniture

Mathis Brothers Furniture 3434 W. Reno Ave.

2. Bob Mills Furniture 3. Ashley HomeStore 4. Suburban Contemporary Furniture 5. Hemispheres

Best bank

MidFirst Bank

several metro locations 2. Bank of Oklahoma 3. BancFirst 4. First Fidelity Bank 5. Great Plains Bank

1309 South Agnew • 1st Light South of I-40

405.236.0416 OPEN 6AM EVERY DAY

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best of okc Best credit union

Tinker Federal Credit Union several metro locations

2. Weokie Federal Credit Union 3. Oklahoma’s Credit Union 4. Communication Federal Credit Union 5. Allegiance Credit Union

Best meat market/butcher shop

Bill Kamp’s Meat Market 7310 N. Western Ave.

By the time the United States ratified the 18th Amendment, Prohibition had already been the law of the land in Oklahoma, included in the state constitution adopted in 1907. An amendment to the Billups Law passed the next year allowed dispensaries to provide alcohol for medicinal purposes to patients as prescribed by a physician (Sound familiar?) until this system was outlawed in 191After national Prohibition was repealed in 1933, Oklahomans quickly voted to legalize beer, but liquor would remain illegal in the state until 1959. Byron’s opened for business the same year.

2. Wheeler’s Meat Market 3. The Meat House

Originally constructed by Byron Gambulos as a sample liquor store designed to demonstrate the logistics of operating such a business in the state, discreetly named Byron’s Package Store officially opened for business in December of 1959 after the buyer Gambulos originally intended to sell the business to backed out.

4. Rhett’s Meat Market 5. Cossey’s Custom Cuts Meat

Best fine jewelry

BC Clark Jewelers several metro locations 2. Lewis Jewelers 3. Mitchener Farrand Fine Jewelers 4. Naifeh Fine Jewelry 5. Huntington Fine Jewelers

Best thrift store

Bad Granny’s Bazaar 1759 NW 16th St.

2. Goodwill Industries of Central Oklahoma 3. Uptown Thrift 4. The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command 5. Community Thrift Store

Best clothing consignment

Bad Granny’s Bazaar 1759 NW 16th St. 2. Daisy Exchange 3. Nearly New 4. Consigning Sisters 5. The Bottom Drawer

Best resale or consignment furniture

Bad Granny’s Bazaar 1759 NW 16th St.

2. Goodwill Industries of Central Oklahoma 3. K&N Interior Consignment 4. Mockingbird Manor Antiques & More 5. Old Plantation Antiques

Best women’s boutique

Blue Seven

Byron’s Liquo Warehouse Best place to buy a vehicle

Best pet-friendly patio

several metro locations

301 NW 10th St.

Bob Moore Auto Group

The Bleu Garten

7518 N. May Ave.

2. Bob Howard Auto Group

2. The Pump Bar

2. Lush Fashion Lounge

3. Fowler Auto Group

3. Louie’s Grill & Bar Lakeside

3. The Black Scintilla

4. Hudiburg Auto Group

4. Fassler Hall

4. Balliets

5. Joe Cooper

5. The Jones Assembly

Best motorcycle dealer

Best pet store

4112 NW 39th St.

several metro locations

5. Mode

Best men’s clothing

Blue Seven

Maxey’s Motorsports

A1 Pet Emporium

7518 N. May Ave.

2. Sooner Cycles & Power Sports

2. Barking Dog Bakery Boutique

2. Mr. Ooley’s

3. Ajax Kawasaki-KTM

3. Britton Feed & Seed

3. Gil’s Clothing & Denim Bar

4. EuroTek Premium European Motorcycles

4. Four Paws Grooming & Boarding

4. Steven Giles

5. Colvin Motorcycle Company

5. Pet Supply Animal Clinic & Grooming Salon

Best veterinarian clinic

Best pet groomer

5. Sam’s Best Buy

Best bicycle shop

Al’s Bicycles

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231 NW 10th St.

Four Paws Grooming & Boarding

several metro locations

2. Neel Veterinary Hospital

2308 N. Robinson Ave.

2. Schlegel Bicycles

3. Britton Road Veterinary Clinic

2. Groomer A Go-Go Pet Market & Salon

3. Wheeler Dealer Bicycle Shop

4. Nichols Hills Veterinary Clinic

3. Diamond Dog Pet Salon & Spa

4. Celestial Cycles

5. Wedgewood Pet Clinic

4. Pet Supply Animal Clinic & Grooming Salon

5. Melonbike


Midtown Vets

5. Soi’s Pet Salon

Thank you for voTing us one of The besT new bars in okC!

The original Byron’s store was 3,900 square feet and located at the corner of NW 23rd Street and Lincoln Avenue. The current store, now called Byron’s Liquor Warehouse, at NW 23rd Street and Broadway Avenue is 30,000 square feet.

Come See Why We’re one of The Best!

The fight to control liquor prices in the state grew violent, sometimes deadly, and after two fire bombings in the mid-1960s, Byron built an armor-plated pillbox guard tower equipped with machine guns on the roof of the store to defend the business from attacks. Byron’s offers more than 800 beers (including 50 different kinds of kegs), 3,500 wines and 5,000 spirits in stock and plans to add another 100-200 beers in the next year. Many will be refrigerated in a newly installed 18-door beer cooler after the law changes in October.

• Non-smoking swanky dive bar with an at home atmosphere! • Karaoke Every Thursday and Friday Beginning at 9:30 pm • Happy Hour Everyday From 12:00-7:00pm $2.00 Domestics • Seven TVs for all your sports viewing needs • Patio Seating & Pet-Friendly Open Mon. through Sun. 12pm - 2am In the Old ByGeorges location 901 NW 64th St. OKC, 73116 (405) 753-4287 Check us out on Facebook!

uor e

Best place to buy beer Best place to buy liquor

Best farmers market or farm stand

Best place for continuing education

400 N. Portland Ave.

660 Parrington Oval, Norman

OSU-OKC Farmers Market

University of Oklahoma

2. Edmond Farmer’s market

2. University of Central Oklahoma (UCO)

3. Farmers Public Market

3. Oklahoma State University—Oklahoma City

4. Paseo’s Farmers Market


5. Norman Farm Market

4. Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC) 5. Francis Tuttle Technology Center

Best naughty business

Christy’s Toy Box

Best public bathroom

2. Dollhouse Lounge & Burlesque

several metro locations

3. Adèle Wolf Productions

2. The Jones Assembly

4. Patricia’s

3. The Pump Bar

5. Red Dog Saloon

4. City Bites

several metro locations


k Than or f u o y ! s e t o the v

Come See Why We’re one of the best for seafood! Monday - Thursday: 11:00am to 10:00pm Friday: 11:00am to 11:00pm Saturday: 10:00 am - 11:00 pm Sunday: 10:00 am - 10:00 pm Saturday & Sunday Brunch 10:00am - 3:00pm

5. Bunker Club

Best florist

New Leaf Florist

Best new retail establishment

2. Capitol Hill Florist and Gifts

905 N. Broadway Ave.

3. Tony Foss Flowers

2. OKcollective Candle Co.

4. Floral and Hardy

3. Edmond Unplugged

5. Krisjohna Kane Floral Design

4. Smash Bangles

several metro locations

Tin Lizzie’s

(4 0 5 ) 2 8 5 - 0 9 1 1 3 0 0 5 S B r oa dway, E d m o n d, O K 7 3 0 1 3 w w w. b r e n t s c a j u n s e a fo o m

5. Ambary Health

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life & wellness Best place to volunteer

Best place to get fit

Best credit union

Best business that gives back

Best bicycle shop

Best casino for gambling

Best free entertainment

Best med spa

Best casino for live entertainment

Best live music club

Best LGBT bar or club

Best concert venue

Best place to get an aesthetic update

Best public art/mural

Best place to fix your smile

Best place to buy local art

Best local district

Best farmers market or farm stand

Best museum

Best naughty business

Best optical shop

Best fine jewelry

Best new retail establishment

Best florist

Best thrift store

Best nonprofit

Best tourist attraction

Best clothing consignment

Best vapor shop

Best public bathroom

Best furniture

Best place to buy a vehicle

Best bar for live music

Best women’s clothing boutique

Best pet-friendly patio

Best open mic/comedy night

Best place to dine before a show

Best place to treat your pet

Best bowling alley

Best place for continuing education

Best place to hike with your dog

Best place for a kid’s party Best place for a grown-up’s party

25 categories •


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Best post-game or post-concert spot

best of okc Best place to volunteer

Central Oklahoma Humane Society 7500 N. Western Ave.

2. Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma 3. Infant Crisis Services 4. Habitat for Humanity 5. Sunbeam Family Services

Best charitable company

Central Oklahoma Humane Society 7500 N. Western Ave.

2. Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma 3. Sunbeam Family Services 4. Salvation Army Central Oklahoma 5. Homes by Taber

Best nonprofit

Central Oklahoma Humane Society 7500 N. Western Ave. 2. Infant Crisis Services 3. Positive Tomorrows 4. Mutt Misfits Animal Rescue Society 5. The Anna’s House Foundation

Best doctor (general practitioner)

Jeffrey Hirsch, MD SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital 100 W. Main St., Suite 200

2. Kori Marie Lewis, MD — Mercy 3. TiTi (Fitzsimmons) Nguyen, MD — SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital 4. William Laban Bondurant, MD — Mercy 5. Robert Stepp, MD — Deaconess Hospital

Best plastic surgeon

Tim R. Love, MD FACS

Best place to buy CBD products

CBD Plus

Vice president of CBD Plus Jake Chilcoat insists that the company’s headquarters address, 420 N. Pennsylvania Ave. was purely coincidental. In fact, the Oklahoma State University graduate said he would like to dispel any kind of notion that CBD Plus is in any way affiliated with recreational marijuana. “We didn’t start this business to get people high,” Chilcoat said. “We started this business to help ease people’s pain.” Wendy Hampton, a CBD Plus franchisee, agreed and said that CBD Plus’ professionalism and honesty is what sets it apart from the competition. “We offer the best quality products at half the price that our competitors sell at,” Hampton said. “And that’s why we have loyal customers. But what brings them in the door to begin with is that we look, feel and are professional.” A large portion of CBD Plus’ customer base is over 50 years old, Hampton said. “People are already skeptical of the

product. For people like my parents, the over 50 and conservative crowd in need of pain relief, they’re not going to walk into someplace that advertises marijuana,” Hampton said. “We hope to be kind of an all-natural pharmacy, one that’s not intimidating, that’s approachable and knowledgeable and a place people can go to for help. We want to earn our customers’ trust,” Chilcoat said. All CBD Plus stores have the same clean-cut design and no-hype atmosphere. All of CBD Plus’ products, Chilcoat said, are organic, pesticide-free and tested by a third-party laboratory. After suffering from a traumatic car accident that left one of Chilcoat’s knees in shambles and kept him looking for pain relief, he approached family friend and CBD Plus CEO Ryan Vicedomini with an interest to get involved in the company. Chilcoat launched the company’s first franchise in Moore in early 2018. A few short months after its inception, CBD Plus has nearly thirty fran-

11101 Hefner Pointe Drive, Suite 104 2. James Lowe, MD — Lowe Plastic Surgery 3. Anureet Bajaj, MD — Bajaj Plastic Surgery 4. Juan A. Brou, MD — Premier Plastic Surgery and Aesthetics 5. Ivan Wayne, MD — W Facial Aesthetics

chise businesses across Oklahoma with stores in neighboring states expected to open in future months. CBD Plus has become the fastest-growing franchise business in history, Chilcoat said. The company and its stakeholders are proud to call Oklahoma home. “All of our franchisees are Oklahoma families,” Hampton said. “We are a family business.” Hampton said her husband recently quit his job in the oil and gas industry to work full-time at their CBD Plus franchise. All CBD Plus products are derived from hemp plants that are grown on a 10-acre farm that the company owns in Colorado. Production is finalized at the company’s headquarters in Oklahoma City, where products are distributed to franchise stores and sold as oils, creams and edibles. Once rules are finalized in Oklahoma, Chilcoat said, CBD Plus will expand its businesses to sell medical marijuana as well.

Best dental office

Dental Depot

several metro locations 2. OKC Smiles 3. Crown Heights Dental 4. J. Ashley Hancock, DDS 5. Dental 32

Best orthodontic office

Orthodontic Associates several metro locations 2. Dental Depot 3. Orthodontic Arts 4. Kierl Orthodontics 5. Heim Orthodontics

Best eye clinic

Dean McGee Eye Institute several metro locations 2. Midtown Optical 3. Cornerstone Eyecare 4. EyeCare Oklahoma, Inc. 5. Omni Eye Center LaserVision

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best of okc Best optical shop

Midtown Optical 1106 Classen Drive 2. Sam’s Optical 3. Black Optical 4. Dick Story Optical 5. Cornerstone Eyecare

Best women’s healthcare clinic

Lakeside Women’s Hospital 11200 N. Portland Ave. 2. Mercy 3. Integris Women’s Care 4. SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital 5. Women’s Healthcare of Norman


Best physical therapy center

Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Integris 4219 S. Western Ave.

2. Physical Therapy Central 3. Therapy in Motion 4. SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital

Giving artists the freedom to create.

5. Human Performance Centers

Best hospital


several metro locations 2. Integris Baptist Medical Center 3. OU Medicine 4. SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital 5. Norman Regional Health System

Best place to buy CBD products


several metro locations 2. Organics OKC Garden Supply 3. Herban Mother 4. Friendly Market 5. Ziggyz Cannabis Co.

August 24 GilliAn WElCH August 25 JOnATHAn TylER And THE nORTHERn liGHTs August 26 sunny sWEEnEy & WARd dAvis August 30 COOP sHOWCAsE August 31 THE MAvERiCKs September 1 WEEZinG (WEEZER TRiBuTE) September 10 GARy nuMAn September 12 HAnniBAl BuREss Tickets and Info TOWERTHEATREOKC.COM @towertheaterokc 405-70-TOWER | 425 NW 23rd St. OKC 44

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Best medical spa

Mariposa Aesthetics & Laser Center 4214 N. Classen Blvd.

2. Laser Light Skin Clinic 3. Advanced Aesthetics 4. Tim R. Love, MD FACS 5. Lowe Plastic Surgery

Best spa


131 Dean A McGee Ave., Suite 105 2. Bella Strada Salon and Spa Suites 3. Eden Salon and Spa 4. Farmhouse Spa 5. Willow Wellness & Massage

Best apartment community

The Garage Loft Apartments 113 NW 13th St.

2. Deep Deuce at Bricktown 3. Midtown Renassiance 4. Level 5. The Breighton

Best place to volunteer Best charitable company Best nonprofit

Central Oklahoma Humane Society From the tiniest kitten to the largest Great Dane, animals need homes, and Central Oklahoma Humane Society is the place where Oklahoma City loves to volunteer and get warm and fuzzy. But there is so much to do beyond walking and playing with prospective pets, and OK Humane has something to match your particular set of skills. Every weekend, a van lined with permanent kennels transports up to 40 dogs to cities that have fewer adoptable pets available. Frequent destinations are Chicago and Minneapolis. OK Humane covers all expenses, including hotel, food and gas, and many of those dogs have adoptive owners waiting for them in those cities. The Community Cat program needs drivers to assist with this growing program that brings spaying and neutering services to outlying areas. OK Humane’s Neonate Nursery uses

staff and volunteers around the clock to save tiny kittens and puppies — an excellent opportunity for those interested in pursuing veterinary medicine. Fostering can make the difference between life and death for dogs and cats, and foster pet parents can choose from cats, kittens, large dogs, small dogs, litters of puppies or bottle babies. OK Humane covers all food, medical and toy costs. Group volunteering is available for companies looking to put their employees’ efforts toward a good cause. OK Humane volunteers must be 16 years old or older, but the organization welcomes “micro-volunteering” opportunities in which schools or groups conduct donation drives. Also, children who love dogs and cats can ask friends and family to donate to OK Humane in lieu of birthday presents. Volunteers should be able to commit to a 2-3-hour shift each month.

home health agency

noW hIRIng




open DaiLy Lunch & Dinner Buffet Dinner Menu AvAilAble

A lA CArte | Wine & Beer | HAlAl MeAt PrivAte Dining UP to 60 | CAtering AvAilABle

Best yoga

405 Yoga A high school teacher, chef, physical therapist and a nonprofit manager exit a room. What is the last thing they say? At 405 Yoga in Midtown, it’s usually, “Namaste.” These professionals are just a handful of the diverse instructors at the Midtown studio. 405 Yoga is one of over two dozen yoga studios in the metro serving a growing population of Okies interested in the meditative exercise that has existed for centuries but has just begun to infiltrate the Sooner State. Since its inception last year, 405 Yoga has been a favorite among many an Okie yogi. Owner Meredith Vansant said 405 Yoga is the first power yoga studio in Oklahoma. The studio offers yoga classes, workshops, retreats and even an instructor training program. We chatted with Vansant to learn what makes 405 Yoga the place to get your Zen on. Your staff is diverse! Are they typical 9-to-5 professionals with a yoga side hustle? Our instructors are fully trained and come from all walks of life. We pay our instructors twice the amount the average teacher in Oklahoma receives, but we have found that they don’t do this for the pay. They love the practice and believe, like I do, that teaching yoga is a way of serving others. What is your studio’s philosophy? Kindness. Our motto is people first, profit second. Has yoga always been a part of your life? I was more of an athlete growing up. I run in the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. Our 405 Yoga

studio in Midtown is now a main sponsor of that marathon. I didn’t try yoga until I moved to Washington, D.C. after I graduated from college. I went there to work in policy, and I didn’t know anyone. I opened 405 Yoga’s first studio in D.C. to introduce people to the hometown kindness I grew up with. Now a lot more people know our area code! How many 405 Yoga studios are there? There’s the one here in Midtown, one in D.C. and we are opening one in Tulsa and one in Atlanta. You’re busy! Do you manage all of those studios? What other roles do you hold? I work and live here in Oklahoma City, but I do my fair share of traveling. The key to the success of 405 Yoga is the people who make this studio a family. Our managers, instructors and greeters, they make this doable. I am working on earning an MBA. I am the oldest of four children and a mom to my 4-year-old son, William. What do you think draws people to yoga? Between all of our responsibilities, it’s hard to spend time with ourselves. My hope is that during a yoga class, a person can really be in touch with who they are, even if that means getting to know themselves all over again.


Thanks for nominating us


Celebrating over 42 years of business! Stop in today to grab any of our party subs, chef salads, cookie trays, lean meats or pastries!

What’s your life motto? YOLO. Are you a vegetarian dog lover who lives in leggings? Yes! How did you know?!

M-F 7am-6:30pm • Sat 9:30am-4pm 2310 N Western 524-0887 O kg a z e t t e . c o m | a u g u s t 2 2 , 2 0 1 8


best of okc Best independent living community

Epworth Villa

14901 N. Pennsylvania Ave. 2. Commons on Classen 3. Concordia Life Care Community 4. Southern Plaza 5. Lionwood

Best church


several metro locations 2. St Luke’s United Methodist Church 3. Crossings Community Church 4. Frontline Church 5. Victory Family Church

Best pilates

Balance. Yoga. Barre. several metro locations 2. Pilates on Western 3. Four Graces Pilates Studio 4. The Pilates Nook 5. Absolute Balance Pilates

Best yoga

405 Yoga

1004 N. Hudson Ave. 2. Hidden Dragon Yoga 3. Yoga at Tiffany’s 4. This Land Yoga 5. Balance. Yoga. Bar.

Best place to get fit

YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City several metro locations 2. 405 Yoga 3. Four Star Fitness

4. Oklahoma School of Burlesque 5. This Land Yoga

Best men’s grooming lounge

Lakeside Barbershop 7513 N. May Ave. 2. Weldon Jack 3. Capital City Barbershop 4. Revel Eight Salon and Spa 5. Carwin’s Shave Shop

Best golf course

Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club

7000 NW Grand Blvd., Nichols Hills 2. Lake Hefner Golf Club 3. Earlywine Golf Club 4. KickingBird Golf Club 5. Belmar Golf Club

Best weekend in-state getaway

Beavers Bend State Park

4350 S. State Highway 259A, Broken Bow 2. Mount Scott / Medicine Park 3. Broken Bow 4. Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees 5. Tulsa

Best health food store

Uptown Grocery Co. several metro locations 2. Akin’s Natural Foods 3. Native Roots Market 4. Dodson’s Health Food & Vitamins 5. Omega Health Foods


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Best doctor

Jeffrey Hirsch MD SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital Oklahoma City family practitioner Jeffrey Hirsch is a household name among many in the OKC metro. The New York-born doctor graduated from University of Oklahoma’s College of Medicine in 1975 and has spent the past 39 years tending to the hurt and healing in the Sooner State. Ranging from adolescent to retiree, Dr. Hirsch’s patients can’t seem to get enough of him. His being voted Best doctor comes as no surprise to many. Hirsch’s Facebook page is filled with positive reviews and high ratings. Across websites like WebMD, and, a single bad review cannot be found. Hirsch and his staff, located at 100 W. Main St., Suite 200, treat patients with a variety of ailments. We sat down with Hirsch to find out what it takes to be the best doctor in Oklahoma City. What was your childhood like? I had a great childhood. I was blessed to have extremely supportive parents. What is your family like now? I have two great kids. My son, Adam, is a screenwriter in Hollywood and my daughter, Hannah, works in public health and graduated from the University of Oklahoma. My wife died from breast cancer about 20 years ago. I remarried a few years ago. What made you want to become a doctor? When I was a teenager, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had wonderful doctors, and after I saw

the way she was cared for and the impact that care had on her life, that was it; I knew from then on that I wanted to be a doctor. What has it been like to work in the same market for almost four decades? It has been a pleasure. I love Oklahomans, and I love my patients. They are kind people and proactive in their health. What do Oklahomans seem to have in common healthwise? In Oklahoma, we tend to have high instances of diabetes, heart disease and lung disease. We are still evolving, quite frankly, from families that used to have all-American high-fat breakfasts, smoke often and work in unhealthy environments. We are now considering our health more, we are taking a step back and questioning our habits and we are making our health a priority. I never tire of seeing the transformation. What’s one piece of advice you wish you could give all Oklahomans? Live life to the fullest and take care of yourself. What do you use for your allergies? I am one of the few Oklahomans who does not suffer badly from allergies. What’s your life motto? The Golden Rule: Treat others how you want to be treated.

NATIONAL Best retail store Best condo or apartment community Best national or regional hotel Best restaurant Best hotel restaurant Best chicken wings restaurant Best Mexican restaurant Best steakhouse

8 categories •

O kg a z e t t e . c o m | a u g u s t 2 2 , 2 0 1 8


best of okc Best retail store


several metro locations 2. Nordstrom Rack 3. Dillard’s 4. Kohl’s 5. Walmart

Best condo or apartment community

The Edge at Midtown NE Property Management 1325 N. Walker Ave.

2. Brookwood Village — Weidner Apartment Homes 3. Avana on Second Apartment Homes — Greystar 4. Steelyard — NE Property Management 5. Argon — NE Property Management

Best national or regional hotel

21c Museum Hotel Oklahoma City 900 W. Main St.

2. The Skirvin Hilton Oklahoma City 3. Aloft Oklahoma City Downtown - Bricktown 4. Courtyard by Marriott 5. Holiday Inn

Best restaurant


several metro locations 2. Whiskey Cake Kitchen & Bar 3. Texas Roadhouse 4. Chili’s 5. El Chico

Best hotel restaurant

Mary Eddy’s Kitchen x Lounge at 21c Museum Hotel Oklahoma City 900 W. Main St.

2. Red Piano Lounge at The Skirvin Hilton

Best national or regional hotel Best hotel restaurant

21c Museum Hotel Oklahoma City

21c Museum Hotel — a five-story building that houses 135 hotel rooms, a restaurant, a bar and a contemporary art museum that is open to the public — is nestled in a dusty corner of Oklahoma City’s Arts District. The hotel’s owners bought the old Fred Jones assembly plant and converted it into what is now a modern and trendy hot spot for locals and visitors alike. Food and beverage director Michael O’ Hara said by late next year, the surrounding neighborhood will be just as fresh and hip as the hotel is. “This whole area is going to be converted into a new neighborhood called West Village. There’s going to be residential complexes, restaurants and shopping outlets. It might look like a construction zone right now, but by mid 2019, it’s going to be totally different,” O’Hara said. Here is a breakdown of OKC’s best-voted place to rest your head and wine and dine.

Oklahoma City 3. Park Avenue Grill at The Skirvin Hilton Oklahoma City 4. Cafe Cuvée formally Viceroy Grille at Ambassador Hotel Oklahoma City, Autograph Collection Hotelier

The hotel’s restaurant, Mary Eddy’s Kitchen x Lounge, was named after Fred Jones’ wife, Mary Eddy Jones.

5. E.S. Founders at Embassy Suites by Hilton Oklahoma City Downtown Medical Center

Best chicken wings restaurant

Buffalo Wild Wings several metro locations 2. Wingstop 3. Hooters 4. Twin Peaks 5. WingStreet - Pizza Hut

The ground-floor art exhibit is free and open to the public, but there are small exhibits on the second, third and fourth floors of the hotel that are reserved for guests.

Each of the eight 21c Museum Hotels identifies with a specific colored plastic penguin designed by contemporary artists Crackling Art Group. 21c Museum Hotel Oklahoma City proudly displays several 4-feet-tall purple penguins throughout the hotel. The penguins are the one art collection that hotel customers are allowed to touch and move throughout the hotel.

The hotel’s ground floor includes 14 thousand feet of art exhibit space that can double as a venue for weddings and banquets.

Best Mexican restaurant

Uncle Julio’s Fine Mexican Food 1344 W. Memorial Road 2. Abuelo’s 3. Chuy’s 4. On the Border

Mary Eddy’s boasts 10 entree items and five dessert items on its menu. The most popular entree items are the OKC Hot Fried Chicken Sandwich, cast-iron lasagna and shrimp lettuce wraps while the most popular dessert item is the macaron ice cream that includes Fruity Pebbles ice cream and whipped cream.

5. El Chico

Best steakhouse

Texas Roadhouse several metro locations

2. Mickey Mantel’s Steakhouse 3. Saltgrass Steak House 4. Outback Steakhouse 5. LongHorn Steakhouse


a u g u s t 2 2 , 2 0 1 8 | O kg a z e t t e . c o m

The restaurant’s bar boasts 10 specialty cocktails, more than 100 spirits and over 100 wine labels. The most popular cocktails are the Laid Back, a cucumber-infused gin drink and the .357, a bourbon cocktail with coffee and banana flavoring. Mary Eddy’s Kitchen x Lounge is responsible for all of the hotel’s catering and room service needs. The restaurant is open every day of the week, usually from 6:30 a.m. until midnight.



“The Catch” by Patrick Desjarlait | Image National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum/provided

20th-century treasure

An exhibit at National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum takes a closer look at the influence of Native American artists. By Daniel Bokemper

Sept. 1, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum opens one of its most meaningful and illustrious exhibitions to date. American Indian Artists: 20th Century Masters chronicles Native American history, culture and identity across a myriad of mediums. Spanning the dusk of one summer through the dawn of the next, the presentation will be one of the institution’s most significant throughout the next year. However, some of the pieces might strike a familiar chord with the museum’s patrons. 20th Century Masters is, in part, leveraged by art that has grown synonymous with the gallery. Eric Singleton, the museum’s curator of ethnology, considered the development of this endeavor shortly after the success of a comparable exhibit at Maryhill Museum of Art in Washington in 2015. “My colleague at Maryhill, Dr. Steve Grafe, did a show called American Indian Painting,” Singleton said. “The entire show was borrowed from our collection. When he and I spoke, we felt it was a needed exhibition that highlighted the evolution of Native American art, primarily through painting.” American Indian Painting, while undeniably important, only echoed a fraction of the scope Singleton sought to cover with American Indian Artists. Shortly after Maryhill’s exhibition, the curator began considering a more comprehensive exhibition for the Oklahoma City museum.

“I thought maybe we could use Grafe’s framework and incorporate more than just oil paintings,” Singleton said. “Art is not just two-dimensional, and while some people get that, many are still in a 2-D mindset. When I give talks on Navaho weavings and both the skill and mastery it takes to be a weaver, basket maker or bead worker, it really opens up peoples’ minds.”

Artistic influence

Such a comprehensive approach can bring challenges to the curation. Even

narrowing down considerations just to the 20th century can leave one lost in innumerable, yet just as remarkable tangents. However, Singleton nailed down the exhibition’s trajectory via the influence of one Oklahoma educator. Oscar Brousse Jacobson, in tandem with professor Edith Mahier, brought attention to the Kiowa Six through the art program of the University of Oklahoma (OU) in the 1920s. Rather than propel the native artists toward a specific focus, Jacobson simply opted to endorse their art and provide the resources necessary to produce their ideas. This group’s influence would, in turn, account for much of the sheer diversity of American Indian Artists. “The Kiowa Six were among the first students of OU to focus on Native American art and culture,” Singleton said. “Many of the Six would go on to the Santa Fe Indian School, instilling their influence there. You get this incorporative aspect with this journey, this aspect of many nations coming together and forming a school dedicated to this work.” Through the Santa Fe Indian School, much of the artists featured throughout the exhibition were developed. The children of this school include T.C. Cannon, Kevin Red Star and Frank Big Bear. With them come strikingly different lenses with which to peer into Native American culture, history and tradition. “People tend to draw what they know. When you look at European and Western American art, people are painting what they idolize,” Singleton said. “Natives are doing the same thing, be it with ceremony, war dances, hunts, spirits and other religious scenes. When you move on to the likes of Fred Beaver and Jerome Tiger, though, you see similar scenes, but with a higher emphasis on the individual.”

Trendy craftsmanship

Many of the most vivid and fascinating

pieces of the exhibit come from that trend. With allusions to modernism and counterculture, many of the featured artists like aforementioned Big Bear and Red Star, provide the groundwork of many trends that grew popular decades later.

This art ... gives us a better idea of what it means to be an American. Eric Singleton “It’s a really cool phenomenon to look at Native art and to perceive it as so contemporary, so modern and abstract, but to know that it’s been like this for the better part of 70 or 80 years,” Singleton said. “They use bright colors and abstract form that some artists today are only starting experiment with.” The imagination and mastery of the exhibition reaches beyond the canvas, as a heavy emphasis is drawn to objects like clothing and baskets. Conjured from generations of meticulous and illustrious design, presumed utilities are shown for what they ultimately are: pieces of native art. “This is fine art you’re looking at. If you think about what it took to weave something like the Dakota Northern Plains dresses we feature, it’s amazing,” Singleton said. “You think about what it took mentally, that the artist matched patterns on both sides of the dress with regard to symbols and color coordination and with nothing drawn out ahead of time. Most of the time they just memorized this stuff. How could you even draw out some of these designs? You just can’t fathom it.” Though undeniably tethered to Native American culture, Native American Artists is likewise a reflection of American life. Moreover, witnessing this art is an experience that yields priceless enrichment. “This art is necessary because it gives us a better idea of what it means to be an American, and that diversity is America’s greatest treasure,” Singleton said. “This is just American art, another great part of the fabric that makes us who we are. These artists are just among the oldest Americans; their influences go back 25,000 years. You cannot remove the Native people from this country as much as you cannot remove the Grand Canyon or the landscape itself.” Visit

American Indian Artists: 20th Century Masters 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, noon-5 p.m. Sundays, Sept. 1, 2018-May 12, 2019 National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum 1700 NE 63rd St. | 405-478-2250 Free-$12.50

“Seminole Cook” by Fred Beaver | Image National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum / provided O kg a z e t t e . c o m | A u g u s t 2 2 , 2 0 1 8


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T H E AT er


Divine comedy Pollard Theatre Company opens its new season with An Act of God. By Joshua Blanco

Pollard Theatre Company opens its 32nd season Friday with An Act of God, a thoughtprovoking comedy directed by Timothy Stewart. Though the play debuted in New York City in 2015, this is Stewart’s first time directing it and the first time it will be performed in Oklahoma. Pollard’s press release describes the play as an “irreverent, sinfully funny new comedy … written by God and transcribed by David Javerbaum.” Javerbaum worked as a writer and producer for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, earning him 13 Emmy Awards over the course of his career. He also runs @TheTweetofGod, a popular Twitter account that has amassed over 5 million followers. These tweets provided a source of inspiration for the play, a basis the show’s artistic director, W. Jerome Stevenson, found particularly comical. “We don’t know what God is like. … And I thought, ‘Boy, it would really be compelling to kind of sit and talk with God for an hour,’” Stevenson said. “This is a fun example of how that conversation might surprise you and what that conversation might look and sound like and how it may completely blow your mind in terms of what you were expecting.” After entering the body of a chosen ambassador, God converses with the audience alongside two wingmen, archangels Michael and Gabriel, in a 90minute monologue that is quite literally An Act of God. Brenda Thomas plays an “ambassador to the Almighty” in Pollard Theatre Company’s production of An Act of God. | Photo provided

The purpose of the divine visit is to deliver to mankind a refined version of the commandments allegedly given to Moses thousands of years before. “[God] goes back and says, ‘You’re taking these Ten Commandments. You’ve been debating them and interpreting, and you’re getting it wrong. This is the message that I want to give you,’” said Brenda Williams, the actor filling the role of ambassador to the Almighty. “It’s honestly as if God himself came down and started calling us on all of our crap.” Williams was a member during Pollard’s founding in 1997 and works as a middle school teacher. After reading the original script, she passed it along to Stevenson, who thought the play would be the perfect fit for the theater and its upcoming season. Aside from a few minor variations, the production will remain true to its original rendition. “The director has a vision, and then it is always changing because you have different actors and they have a creative process themselves,” Stewart said. “And so as you create your vision, you have to incorporate everyone else’s vision too and try to bring it all together into one cohesive unit.”

Playing God

Of these variations, one of the greatest is the decision to use a woman as God’s medium. “Other than there’s a woman playing God, it’s staying pretty much the same,” Williams said. “He speaks through human form, which happens to be me. So even though I’m playing God, I’m

actually playing myself playing God.” Stevenson believes that if God were to choose an ambassador, the individual would be both recognizable and a pleasant conversationalist. To this end, he felt Williams was the ideal candidate for the role. The director has also taken care to avoid complicated scenes, shying away from elaborate sets and musical numbers, relying more heavily on dialogue and interpersonal connection. During the show, Gabriel will read off God’s commandments and Michael will take questions from the audience. The uproarious production is also designed to challenge audience members to reflect upon some of their own beliefs and rationales. “Hopefully in the process of laughing, you’ll do a little bit of thinking because it’s also a little bit provocative,” Stevenson said. But provocation does not imply controversy. To mitigate offenses, prospective viewers are encouraged to read about the play before attending. “Theater is there to make you think,” Stewart said. Williams earnestly expressed her hope for viewers to “come with an open mind and an open heart and listen to what’s being said and take the message away with them.” “Don’t rely on God for everything,” she said. “Try to stand on your own two feet.” The message, albeit presented through a comedic medium, is of a more serious nature. Those who attend expecting a religious doctrine will likely be met with surprise. Still, Stevenson and Stewart don’t believe the performance is controversial. Rather, they find it to be both informative and enjoyable. “We are not downplaying anybody’s personal beliefs or calling anyone’s faults out. What we’re doing is asking a broader question about how we work as human beings,” Stevenson said. “I instantly resonated with that because I thought there are lots of ways I can be better that have nothing to do with the time that I spend in the pew. It has everything to do with the way that I interact with the other human beings I’m blessed to be on this planet with.” Visit

An Act of God Friday-Sept. 8 The Pollard Theatre 120 W. Harrison Ave., Guthrie | 405-282-2800 $15-$25

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Submit your listings online at or e-mail them to Sorry, but phone submissions cannot be accepted. O kg a z e t t e . c o m | A u g u s t 2 2 , 2 0 1 8



C ulture

Alexandria Carr created, directed and wrote the OKC-set LGBTQ+ web series Scandalous Tales, and she will play Nova in season two. | Photo provided

So Scandalous

OKC writer-director Alexandria Carr readies the second season of her LGBTQ+ series, Scandalous Tales. By Jeremy Martin

The Facebook post that inspired Scandalous Tales wasn’t particularly salacious. Writer-director Alexandria Carr began working to create the show after her name came up in the comments section of a post lamenting the lack of an LGBTQ+ web series set in Oklahoma City. “A lot of my friends were tagging me, like, ‘You’re a dope writer; you should do it,’” Carr said. “I instantly had this idea. I wrote the first episode after we had our casting call, and we got everybody in and they were like, ‘This is dope.’ That’s when I was like, ‘I can really do something with this writing.’” Carr said she drew inspiration from the web series Between Women but she had different stories she wanted to tell. “I decided to talk about mental illness and everything that we don’t talk about,” Carr said. “It’s kind of hard to talk about. That’s one of the main reasons why we’re doing it, to kind of open that door so people can communicate better and bring awareness to the table of what not only we but what everybody goes through. … A lot of the storyline is literally stuff that I’ve seen firsthand, stuff I’ve dealt with firsthand.” The title Scandalous Tales came from a suggestion by actress Ashley J., who plays Neeyah, a woman who begins questioning her sexuality because of her increasingly strained relationship with her husband Jakob. Ron Marshall, who plays Jakob, said he has little in common with the character he plays, but he wants people to realize that people like Jakob exist. “He’s an ass, pretty much,” Marshall said. “I’m totally different from Jakob. Jakob is someone that abuses his power, his name, someone who manipulates people, takes advantage of people. It’s always fun being Jakob, because I get to be someone else, but also it sheds 52

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light on masculine men that are married that don’t look the part that society says, ‘He’s gay.’” Rather than focusing specifically on lesbian or gay characters, Carr said she wanted to show viewers the large and complex array of sexualities within the LGBTQ+ community in a way seldom portrayed in movies or on TV. When she approached Cam “Yoshi” Johnson about playing the pansexual character Veronica, Johnson said she was skeptical that people would understand. “I was like, ‘How are you going to show that to the world?’ because they don’t get it,” Johnson said. “They’ll either think that the character is bisexual or they’re really not going to understand that character as basically gender-fluid. So it was interesting how we were able to bring light to that and allow for this character to continue to develop so that people can understand, ‘OK there are people out here, they’re not just bisexual or gay or lesbian or anything like that.’ … Our series is more of a spectrum.” Playing Veronica, who also has a complex relationship with Jakob, also gives Johnson the opportunity to portray a multifaceted character with complicated motivations while challenging traditional gender roles. “The perception is that because I’m masculine, I would never be in a vulnerable state, and that just goes back to even in a woman-on-woman relationship where masculine women, they’re always seen as the tops,” Johnson said. “They would never let their femme woman Neeyah (Ashley J.) and Sasha (Corri James) have a complicated relationship in season one of Scandalous Tales. | Photo provided

top them, but that’s not true. This gives us a chance to kind of demolish these heteronormative ideas that we carry.” Carr said she knew she was on the right track after her mother said she was confused by some of the characters’ relationships and actions. “She was like, ‘I just don’t understand it,’” Carr said. “I was like, ‘That’s why I put it in there, so that people can understand it.’” Producer and assistant director Prisma Duque said some people are shocked to see that a wide variety of characters could exist in Oklahoma at all. “We still come off as a very conservative state,” Duque said, “so with the LGBT community coming out in such broad ways, it’s still surprising for a lot of people, especially the older people. Even people just a little bit older than us, they’re like, ‘I didn’t realize there were so many of you.’ But there are, and there’s even more where that came from.”

Supply and demand

Other than a “literally shoved together” trailer that Carr said the cast and crew “don’t speak of,” her first project as director was the series’ nearly 40-minute pilot. Carr, who previously wrote poetry and short stories and initially filled the director’s role out of necessity, said shooting the pilot was a crash course in the filming process. “One page of words takes three hours to film,” Carr said. “I never thought that would be how filming was. I’d never done filming before. … Timing was a big one. ‘Oh five minutes late, that’s fine.’ No, it’s not. That puts us five hours behind. So the process of learning that and also patience because there’s one take, two takes, three takes, 20 takes.” The pilot episode was released in September 2017, and episode six, the season finale, debuted in November. The show was scheduled for a weekly release, but rendering and editing issues caused a few delays. Duque said working on Scandalous Tales has given her a new appreciation for the people who make film and television shows.

“Once you start doing it yourself, you realize when you’re watching other TV shows and other movies, ‘Man, how long did it take them to film this one scene or one episode,’” Duque said. “When you’re waiting on a new season and you’re like, ‘Why does it take so long?’ Now we know.” Scandalous Tales fans — who have stopped cast members in grocery stores, at the makeup counter and, in Johnson’s case, at the VA hospital to demand a second season — aren’t always as understanding. Carr said the cliffhangers at the end of the season one finale were too intense for some people to watch. “People were getting up, turning around,” Carr said. “It made them uncomfortable because either they’ve been through that or they know somebody who’s been through that, and now it’s like, wow, they’re really talking about it.” The second season will deal heavily with the conflicts between religion and sexuality, and Carr promised it will be even more intense. “Season one was very scandalous, and there was just a lot of stuff going on,” Carr said, “but season two, people are going to be on the edge of their seat having to have to get an inhaler or something. … It’s going to be good.” The cast and crew of Scandalous Tales is scheduled to host a speed-dating event to raise funds for season two 6-9 p.m. Aug. 29 at Michael Murphy’s Dueling Piano Bar, 25 S. Oklahoma Ave. Visit

Scandalous Tales LGBTQ Speed Dating 6-9 p.m Aug. 29 Michael Murphy’s Dueling Piano Bar 25 S. Oklahoma Ave. $20



C U lture

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Slithering Stockyards

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Why? To give back to the community, to show our appreciation, to serve guests who ordinarily eat out as well as guests who ordinarily do not eat out, and to say thank you.

A local reptile enthusiast recently opened the Rattlesnake Museum in Stockyards City.

LIve MUSIc bY SeTH cLArk 11AM -1P

By Joshua Blanco

Oklahoma City’s one and only Rattlesnake Museum is open for business. The attraction slithered its way into town this summer, officially opening its doors to the public July 5. Stocked with 26 varieties of snakes, including every venomous species known to exist in Oklahoma, this might be the closest you’ll ever come to a live rattler. Carl Sandefer, the museum’s curator, is a longtime snake enthusiast who has spent several years working with a number of different animals. After leaving his position at The Oklahoma City Zoological Park and Botanical Garden, he started Creepy Hollow, an educational facility for schools to visit. He soon realized it was easier for him to travel to the schools instead, so he closed the operation and found work with an animal wholesale company that would “supply the fish and birds and reptiles for pet stores from Little Rock to Albuquerque.” His willingness to care for the animals did not go unnoticed. Whenever there’s an animal in need of a home, people often turn to Sandefer for help. “I’ve had … everything brought in,” he said. “I usually have pretty good luck finding homes.” He’s also one of the few willing to provide a home to venomous snakes, making him the go-to for those who happen to have an unwanted specimen on hand. “They can’t help that they were born venomous,” Sandefer said. “So I always just kind of took ’em in and started putting them in tanks and just kind of stockpiling.” One thing led to another, and before long, he realized an opportunity his compassion presented. Sandefer told the story of how he came up with the idea to open a museum.

Timber rattlesnake | Photo

“We finally looked around and said, ‘Man, we have quite a few. We should do something with this,’” he said. “I thought, ‘Well, this is the Stockyards — cowboys, rattlesnakes — it’s perfect. It goes together.”

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Snake stories

Inside, the snakes are clearly visible, their tanks stacked one on top of the other, creating a pathway for spectators to safely observe the reptiles from a comfortable distance. Sandefer greets his new visitors with a warm “Howdy, folks! Come on in.” He spends a large part of the day answering questions and conversing with his visitors on a variety of snake-related topics. “We tell them what to look for, what to listen for, how to see them — just stuff like that,” said Mark Perrine. “We get a lot of questions.” Perrine works alongside Sandefer as an animal technician, and it’s not uncommon for the two to engage in more interesting subject matter with their guests. “People like to tell their snake stories,” Sandefer said before recalling an incident in which he was attacked by a Western diamondback. His firsthand accounts are nothing short of impressive and are often riddled with educational merit. “Carl’s pretty good with those snakes,” Perrine said. “He seems to know what he’s doing.”

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Rattling expectations

Since opening shop, Sandefer has encountered people of all ages eager to learn about the snakes inhabiting their own backyard. continued on page 54

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ARTS & CULTURE continued from page 53

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“The kids are really fascinated with them,” Perrine said. “The parents can’t get them out of there half the time. They’ll have to go back through three or four times before they can get them to go.” Sandefer recounted the time he gave a snake shed to a young boy who was fascinated by the ones he had lying around the museum. “You’d have thought I gave him a Ferrari,” he said. “He was so happy.” However, the staff’s generosity doesn’t stop there. Entrance fees have remained donation-based since the be-


A U g u s t 2 2 , 2 0 1 8 | O kg a z e t t e . c o m

ginning. And while the money does help keep the place going, no one is required to donate. “If you can’t come up with the funds to go somewhere, you can come here,” Sandefer said. “I don’t want you to have to pay to learn about these animals. You can come and learn about these animals anytime.” Though Sandefer’s initial budget hovered around a mere thousand dollars, it was enough to get the operation up and running. To offset some of the overhead costs, the staff breeds rats Cottonmouth / water moccasin | Photo Rattlesnake Museum / provided

and mice, which they sell to pet stores and use to feed their own snakes. As a testament to their success, the snakes’ rattling tails are often overridden by the frequent sound of door chimes that accompany the entrance of each attendee. “We originally put that on so if we were working we could hear the people come in,” Sandefer said. “But yesterday we had to take it down because it was going off so much.” The line was out the door the week the museum opened. Some days the small space swarmed with approximately 500 people. The crew is already planning to expand the size of the museum. The renovations are expected to be complete by mid-September. Now it’s just a matter of acquisition. Perrine describes this as the hardest part of the job because it often requires him to take long drives to procure the museum’s newest members. “The snake business is just like the used car business,” Sandefer said. “You can get anything you want. Really it just depends on if someone calls us up or we see something that we can use, a different species or subspecies.” Aside from continuing to build his collection, Sandefer also hopes to

Pygmy rattler | Photo Rattlesnake Museum / provided

engage his crowd in other activities such as live feedings. Though the crowd is well out of harm’s way, it’s no easy task — not even for a skilled handler. “You can’t get careless,” Sandefer said. “It’s not if you get bit; it’s when you get bit.” So far, they’ve performed one feeding in front of an enthusiastic crowd. And with repeat visitors coming back for more, the crew is working to come up with innovative ways to educate the public on their cold-blooded companions. The Rattlesnake Museum is located on the corner of 15th Street and S. Agnew Avenue in Stockyards City and is open 11 a.m.-4 p.m. seven days a week. Visit

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Weekend Pride

Norman hosts its first-ever LGBTQ+ Pride Festival with a weekend of activities and a Sunday parade.

By Jacob Threadgill

When planning for Norman’s first LGBTQ+ Pride Festival began, organizers intentionally eschewed a traditional June date during national Pride month because a majority of University of Oklahoma (OU) students are not in session. This weekend’s activities for Norman Pride Festival will follow the first week of the fall semester at OU. Festival activities begin 4 p.m. Friday with music, food and drink for a kickoff party at TOLY Park. The festivities continue on Saturday with all-day activities at the Gray Street parking lot, 115 Gray St., and surrounding locations, including Red Brick Bar, 311 E. Main St. The festivities are capped on Sunday with a Main Street parade beginning at 7 p.m. All of the Pride Festival events are free. “We want it to be family-friendly and to show a different side of Norman than what people think of it as a party town because the gay culture hasn’t been prevalent before,” said Andrew Coulter, president of Norman Pride, a nonprofit established to promote awareness of the LGBTQ+ community in the city. “This is the first time that we’ve gotten on the forefront and let people know that the LBGT community does exist.”

Coulter said Norman Pride and its board members worked with the City of Norman to find a good location for the event and a weekend free of other activities when students are back in session. “It gives students an opportunity to be part of the festivities, and Normanites, people from Oklahoma City, Dallas and all over can come for the weekend and enjoy,” Coulter said. Saturday’s events include a morning Zumba lesson at 10 a.m., live music, live art, belly dancing lessons, a dance and fitness class and a drag show hosted by Keosha Simone beginning at 10 p.m. Sunday’s parade starts at 4 p.m. with a pre-party at TOLY Park, and the parade will line up outside The Depot, 200 S. Jones Ave., and begin at 7 p.m. It will go east on Main Street, south on Crawford Avenue and west on Comanche Street before ending at 8:30 p.m. TOLY Park will also host an afterparty from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. “I’m excited that a Pride parade is finally happening here,” said Joshua Boydston, associate director of Norman Arts Council. “I’m glad it’s happening in a prominent manner and that it will be part of an ongoing tradition going forward. I like that they’re

The board of Norman Pride includes president Andrew Coulter (upper right corner). | Photo provided

doing it at the start of the school year and think about students coming from Oklahoma and beyond that will be injected into this community knowing that you will be accepted for who you are. That’s what Norman prides itself on; we’re inclusive and want to build a community as diverse as the people who live in it.”

it’s super friendly. It has big-town city life and small-town charm.” As much as he enjoyed the city, he noticed there were no LGBTQ+ events or safe meeting places for large groups. Coulter started hosting LGBTQ+ nights at Louie’s Grill & Bar on Campus Corner, and the event outgrew the space and moved to Bison Witches Bar & Deli on Main Street. “Living in a college town, you kind of have to be more on your toes and on the lookout for things because you never know what you’re going to be faced with as far as people accepting it,” Coulter said. “The world is changing a lot now as it is. I thought that if we could have a night to show that there was a safe place to go that it might change things a little bit.” Norman Pride has hosted a series of fundraisers for Pride weekend festivities and raised about $12,000, Coulter said, but it has only been in the works for about four months. He said fundraising for the 2019 Pride Festival will be in earnest not long after this weekend’s events. “It’s been stressful; it’s a lot of pressure,” Coulter said. “It’s something completely different for Norman, and I can’t guarantee how people will react to it because it’s never happened before. The reaction on Facebook has been good, and all of the events that we’ve had has been amazing.” Visit

I’m excited that a Pride parade is finally happening here. Joshua Boydston

“I think it’s a wonderful thing for our community and it shows the city’s diversity,” TOLY Park general manager Sammie Richardson said. “Norman Pride has been doing fundraisers all over the town, and it gets businesses involved, and it’s why we’re happy to be involved. It goes to show how much Norman is expanding.”

Accepting community

Coulter moved to Norman about five years ago from Lawton, where he attended Cameron University after his parents moved to Norman and told him that he’d like the city. “I came down for a weekend and I fell in love with Norman right away because there is a lot to do, but it doesn’t have a big-town feeling to it,” Coulter said. “You get to know everyone, and

Norman Pride Festival | Free Kickoff 4-10 p.m. Friday Toly Park 227 W. Main St., Norman Festival 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday Gray Street parking lot 115 E. Gray St. Pre-party 4-7 p.m. Sunday Toly Park 227 W. Main St., Norman Parade 7-8:30 p.m. The Depot 200 S. Jones Ave. O kg a z e t t e . c o m | A u g u s t 2 2 , 2 0 1 8



With our roots in Oklahoma City, we’ve sprouted into one of the world’s fastest-growing companies. And we’re looking for highly skilled people to bloom in well-compensated positions.


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©2017 Time Inc. Used under license

©2017, Forbes Media LLC. Used with permission



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Oklahoma Gazette reporter Ben Luschen practices hovering for his virtual skydive over The Alps. | Photo iFly Oklahoma City Indoor Skydiving / provided

Virtually flying A Gazette reporter battles his ego inside iFly’s wind tunnel to sample a virtual reality fight. By Ben Luschen

Editor’s note: Oklahoma Gazette reporter Ben Luschen was invited to sample iFly Oklahoma City Indoor Skydiving’s virtual reality flight option. The following is his report. “Where would you like to dive?” asked the instructor behind the counter at iFly Oklahoma City Indoor Skydiving. Waiting for my response, she fiddled with the dark helmet and video screen that would eventually make my virtualreality-enhanced free fall possible. I wasn’t sure what my options were for a virtual skydive location, but I am a man who knows his favorite terrain. “Somewhere cold,” I told her, “preferably with mountains and snow.” “Ah, the Swiss Alps,” she said, configuring something on the visorless black mask. “That’s my favorite place to dive.” She placed the helmet over my head, and I adjusted it to fit my vision needs. When the device was primed, she lifted it from my head and asked me to step into the instructional room with the rest of my diving companions: two young strangers whose date I was almost certainly crashing. Nonetheless, I walked away from the counter full of life. Minutes earlier, I had been at Oklahoma Gazette headquarters, sitting quietly at my desk, typing away at another story to populate your favorite fiercely local and independent newsweekly. And now I was at iFly, 13600 Pawnee Drive, preparing for the closest possible thing one can get to skydiving

without actually boarding an airplane. I have never been skydiving before, real or simulated. I wondered to myself, “Should I be terrified? Am I about to lose my lunch?” Truthfully, I was not worried. The fear in skydiving comes from its inherent — or at least perceived — risk of splatting on the ground. Inside iFly’s vertical wind tunnel, divers are not technically even falling, but are pushed up by the force of an extremely powerful fan below. Any rookie flyer managing to “fall” a couple of feet to the bottom will be caught by a tightly strung safety net with virtually no threat of serious injury. Waiting in the training room, I silently laughed at the thought of someone sinking to the bottom of the air tube. I felt like Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible or Tom Cruise as Maverick in Top Gun or Tom Cruise as whatever his name is in Days of Thunder. I was beyond confident. I was cocky, sure of victory. The Alps, in all their ancient majesty, were now simply my playground. Epic wars have been fought over the beauty of these peaks and valleys, and there I was, about to swoop upon the gorgeous slopes, proclaim my dominance and duck out—having sufficiently feasted on their splendor and drunk on glory—within a tight 30second span. All of a sudden, the instructor entered the room. She mentioned something about an instructional video, which had apparently been playing while I day-

dreamed of my Cruise-esque HALO (high altitude low opening) jump. I was not worried because there was no way their film was more entertaining than the one I was playing in my mind. Our instructor rhetorically quizzed us on proper posture and the meaning behind several “vital” hand gestures she would use to communicate with us in the roaring air tunnel. I gave her my vague interest and nodded for her assurance, wondering how any of the tips could be more helpful than that classic bit of advice from history’s greatest film, Toy Story. “This isn’t flying; this is falling,” Buzz Lightyear says, “with style.” At least that was how I imagined it would be. However, as soon as I stepped up to the air tunnel, it was clear that, just like any good Cruise movie, my arrogance would be the cause of my downfall. The flight session I was signed up for included two non-VR flights and one final flight in our selected virtual location. During the first flight, the instructor was very hands-on and played a large role in guiding me as I fought for stability in my mid-air hover. I could tell my posture was not quite right — and the instructor told me as much after the first round of flights — but my earlier inattention combined with a general lack of coordination and bodily awareness made it challenging to correct myself. The instructor gave me a little more freedom the second time around, and I was not able to capitalize. There were a flurry of hand signals from a variety of employees, but my mind was too frazzled to respond to them. Eventually, I got flipped over in the wind and landed softy on the net below. Naturally, I tensed up and was not able to get back in the air. They turned off the fan, and I walked out of the tube instead of gliding up to the exit like you’re supposed to do. I had imagined starring in a blockbuster action movie, but I felt like I was

in the blooper reel of a Space Force recruitment commercial. After the second flight, it was time to strap on the VR helmets and take a simulated dive over The Alps. The helmet completely blocked my outer vision, meaning no guidance from any instructor could help me. I was on my own, and given my results from the last dive, I did not have high hopes for improvement. They flicked on the VR footage before my dive, and that part of the experience was everything I imagined. Shot on location with GoPro cameras, I was transported into a crystal-clear, 360-degree world far away from my reality. Though the VR did boost my overall experience, my brain was never tricked into thinking I was really free-falling through European skies. That was particularly true after I inevitably tipped over and fell to the net yet again, unharmed save for my ego. It should be noted that the other two people I flew with, Hugo and Haley, were able to maintain their aerial balance in every flight. Apparently it pays to listen to directions? Go figure. Our instructor was polite to me after the session was over, even though I was likely at least tied for first place in the race for worst flight student ever. She told me something about how I could improve my results the next time out, but again, I had no listening skills. When we were back on solid ground, I approached Hugo and Haley in part to ask about their experience, but in part to check if they thought I was some kind of fool. “Do you all have any tips?” I asked after we talked for a bit. “Maybe you could tell I wasn’t very good.” “I don’t know,” Hugo answered. “I don’t think I was very good either.” Hugo had spent his VR flight hovering over Dubai. Haley, who was by far the best flier in the group, had chosen Hawaii. “It was cool,” Hugo said. “I’ve always wanted to go to Dubai, but this is the closest thing I’ll probably get.” This was Hugo and Haley’s first time at iFly. Hugo read about the VR flights online and convinced Haley to try them out with him. Curiously, Hugo said he has a longstanding fear of heights and would never have imagined skydiving before this experience. Haley, on the other hand, said that skydiving has been on her bucket list for several years. Hugo said he was nervous going into the day but would now at least entertain the idea of jumping out of a plane for fun. “I think if you were actually flying, it’d be different,” Haley reminded him. Haley is right. Everyone is brave until they’re staring down at the hard Earth from 13,000 feet. Falling — with or without style — is often the easiest choice we can make. It takes no effort to fall, but you’ll never fly without trying. Visit O kg a z e t t e . c o m | A u g u s t 2 2 , 2 0 1 8


CALENDAR These are events recommended by Oklahoma Gazette editorial staff members. For full calendar listings, go to

Books English Queens - Fact & Fiction compare and contrast two books, one fact and one fiction, about British monarchs at this monthly book club, 10-11:30 a.m. Thursdays. Full Circle Bookstore, 1900 Northwest Expressway, 405-842-2900, THU Last Sunday Poetry Reading an open-mic reading combined with a reading by featured poet Audry Streetman, 2 p.m. Aug. 26. Full Circle Bookstore, 1900 Northwest Expressway, 405-842-2900, SUN Let’s Talk About It, Oklahoma! a discussion of the book Letter From Home by Carolyn Hart, 6-8 p.m. Aug. 27. Guthrie Public Library, 2701 NW 110th St. MON Mid-Oklahoma Writers a meetup for local writers featuring guest speakers and literary discussions, 7-9 p.m. Eastside Church of Christ, 916 S. Douglas Blvd., 405-732-0393. WED

405-445-7080, SAT Geeks Who Drink Trivia Night compete for prizes in a battle of the wits, 7 p.m. Aug. 22 & 29. Anthem Brewing Company, 908 SW Fourth St., 405-604-0446, WED Growing Hemp For Yield learn about growing hemp for the fiber, seed and CBD industries, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 25. Best Western Plus Saddleback Inn & Conference Center, 4300 Southwest Third St., 405-947-7000. SAT HD MMA XIII a mixed-martial art event featuring Julia Avila vs. Ashley Deen, Brian Grinnell vs. Teagan Dooley and more,7-11 p.m. Aug. 25. Firelake Arena, 18145 Rangeline road, 405-273-1637, SAT Hotdogs for the Homeless Volunteer Day pack lunches to distribute to the homeless population in downtown OKC, 10:45 a.m.-1 p.m. Sundays. Old School Bagel Cafe, 10948 N. May Ave., 405-286-2233. SUN Language & The Brain: How to Frame Powerful Messages learn about effective communication methods from linguistics professor Daniela Busciglio, 6-8 p.m. Aug. 22. The Paramount Room, 701 W. Sheridan Ave., 405-887-3327, WED Local Art Live! a meetup for artists and art lovers with food trucks, live music, an art gallery and more, 6-10 p.m. Aug. 25. The Douglass at Page Woodson,

Film Donnie Darko (2001, USA, Richard Kelly) Jake Gyllenhaal plays a disturbed teenager who begins to see ominous visions of a man in a rabbit suit, 7 p.m. Aug. 27. Tower Theatre, 425 NW 23rd St., 405-708-6937, MON Scarred Hearts (2016, Romania, Radu Jude) a man with tuberculosis narrates his attempts to feel human connection in a sanitarium in 1937, 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. Aug. 23. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, THU Tango & Cash (1989, USA, Andrey Konchalovskiy) two framed LAPD officers (Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell) must overcome their personal animosity and clear their names, 7 p.m. Aug. 28. Harkins Theatre, 150 E. Reno Ave., 405-231-4747, TUE Texasville (1990, USA, Peter Bogdanovich) highschool friends reconnect after decades apart in this sequel to The Last Picture Show, 1-2:30 p.m. Aug. 22. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-478-2250, WED The Westerner (1940, USA, William Wyler) Gary Cooper plays an accused horse-thief who runs afoul of the infamous Judge Roy Bean during a Texas range war, 1 p.m. Aug. 29. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-478-2250, WED You People (2017, USA, Laron Chapman) a satirical comedy examining racial stereotypes; won Best Oklahoma Feature at 2018’s deadCenter Film Festival, 7 p.m. Aug. 29. Tower Theatre, 425 NW 23rd St., 405-708-6937, WED

Happenings AMP Festival After-Party follow the music festival with drinks and dancing and music by DJ AFISTAFACE, 8-11 p.m. Aug. 25. The Paramount Room, 701 W. Sheridan Ave., 405-887-3327, SAT Art Forum: Writing About Yourself learn how to craft press releases, artist’s statements, biographical information and more from a panel of experienced writers and artists, 6-8 p.m. Aug. 23. [Artspace] at Untitled, 1 NE Third St., 405-815-6665, THU Back-to-School Essential Oils Workshop learn about using essential oils for health issues, detoxification and more with Lyndon Brecheisen, 1-4 p.m. Sat., Aug. 25, [Artspace] at Untitled, 1 NE Third St., 405-815-6665, SAT

Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper features the life-size, trompe l’œil paper costumes of Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave.

Bouquets from the Garden learn how to arrange fresh flowers from Lauren Palmer of The Wild Mother, 11 a.m.-noon Aug. 25. CommonWealth Urban Farms, 3310 N. Olie Ave., 405-524-1864, SAT Coloring Club an all-ages meetup offering free coloring materials, 5-7 p.m. Aug. 28. Guthrie Public Library, 2701 NW 110th St. TUE Deep Deuce Sessions a monthly concert and artwalk series in the historic neighborhood, 7 p.m. Saturday. Urban Johnnie, 121 NE Second St., 405-2084477, SAT Fiesta Fridays: Summer Lovin’ snap pictures with classic cars and listen to live music at this ‘50s-themed block party, 7-10 p.m. Aug. 24. Historic Capitol Hill, 319 SW 25th St., 405-632-0133, FRI

This exhibition is organized by Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Society of the Four Arts, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Frick Art and Historical Center, and Artis—Naples, the Baker Museum. Isabelle de Borchgrave, Marie de’ Medici, 2006, based on a 1595 portrait by Pietro Facchetti in the collection of the Palazzo Lancellotti, Rome. Photo: Andreas von Einsiedel.


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Friday Evening Glow take in the OKC skyline at sunset from the bank of the Oklahoma river with live music, food and drinks at this weekly patio concert series, 6-11 p.m. Fridays. RIVERSPORT Rapids, 800 Riversport drive, 405-552-4040, FRI Gardens Walking Tour Expand your Oklahoma plant knowledge and get inspiration for your garden with our educational walking tours, 10-11 a.m. Saturday. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave.,

Support the Girls Few who saw writer-director Andrew Bujalski’s mumblecore trendsetter Funny Ha Ha or his unsettling, meditative sci-fi throwback Computer Chess would expect him to set a broad comedy in a “sports bars with curves” called Double Whammies, but the trailer reveals Regina Hall (Girls Trip) taking the lead in what appears to be more character-driven than Bikini Carwash — even if everyone sounds like they’re talking at full volume and a car does, in fact, get washed. The film screens 5:30 and 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 and 5:30 p.m. Sunday at Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive. Tickets are $5-$9. Call 405-236-3100 or visit Friday-sunday Photo Magnolia Pictures provided

600 N. High Ave., 405-601-1989, thedouglasspagewoodson. SAT Meditation Tuesday learn guided meditation techniques in this all-levels group class, 6:45 p.m. Tuesdays. Chi Gallery, 2304 NW 17th St., 405-401-0540, facebook. com/ TUE Meet Me in St. Louis the Oklahoma City Chorus Perpetual Sound and the 2018 Youth in Harmony Chorus perform, 7-9 p.m. Aug. 25. OCCC Visual and Performing Arts Center Theater, 7777 S. May Ave., 405-6827579, SAT Music Industry Networking Night local musicians, promoters and fans are invited to socialize at this community meet-and-greet, 6-11 p.m. Aug. 29. The Root, 3012 N. Walker Ave., 405-655-5889, WED NO FEAR Ladies Conference with the theme of “firestarters,” this conference has a panel of speakers to motivate you on achieving your goals, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. August 25. Wyndham Garden North OKC, 6200 N. Robinson Ave., 405-286-4777, SAT Oklahoma Quilt Heritage Project learn about the history of quilting in Oklahoma at this lecture drawing from records dating back to the year 1800, 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Aug, 22. Clarence E. Page Building at Wiley Post Airport, 5810 Tulakes Ave.,

go to for full listings!

Sam Anderson True to its poem-length subtitle, New York Times Magazine staff writer Sam Anderson’s Boom Town: The Fantastical Saga of Oklahoma City, its Chaotic Founding... its Purloined Basketball Team, and the Dream of Becoming a World-Class Metropolis uses the Thunder as a narrative device for discussing the city’s history from its founding through the 1995 bombing and on. Anderson will be on-hand at several locations this week, signing copies and probably answering some spirited questions from OKC natives and Thunder fans. Find him 6 p.m. Wednesday and Full Circle Bookstore, 1900 Northwest Expressway; noon Thursday at Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive; 6 p.m. Thursday at The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, 620 N. Harvey Ave.; 6 p.m. Friday at The Auditorium at The Douglass, 600 N. High Ave.; and noon Saturday at Best of Books, 1313 E. Danforth Road, in Edmond. Visit wednesday-saturday Photo Jeff Bark / provided Bethany 405-603-7726. WED Open Fiber Night a weekly crafting meet-up for knitters, crocheters, spinners and weavers, 5-8 p.m. Thursdays. Yarnatopia, 8407 S. Western Ave., 405-6019995, THU Queen Mariah’s Variety Show a monthly stage show featuring various drag performers, 10:30 p.m. Saturdays. Frankie’s, 2807 NW 36th St., 405-602-2030, SAT Reconnecting to Earth Medicine learn about the basic healing properties of herbs at this introductory class taught by organic gardener Stephanie Holiman, 9-11 a.m. Aug. 25. Joy Mennonite Church, 504 NE 16th St., 405-236-4938. SAT Reiki/Energy Share learn about reiki healing and share good vibes at this community get-together, 6 p.m. Fridays. Beautifully Connected, 13524 Railway Drive, Suite J, 262-753-6852, FRI Remington Bark features dog adoptions, vendors, pet organizations, a dog costume contest and dog races, 6 p.m. August 25. Remington Park, 1 Remington place, 405-424-9000, SAT River Tour (Narrated) take a guided tour with an audio commenraty track, 6-7:30 p.m. $15-$20. Regatta Park Landing, 701 S. Lincoln Blvd., 405-702-7755, FRI-SAT Saloon Series experience happy hour at a recreation of a vintage Wild West saloon with live music and whiskey flights, 5:30-7:30 Thursdays, Thursdays, 5:30-7:30 p.m. through Aug. 30. . THU Sewing: Block of the Month Class make a different block each month to create quilt; bring your own scraps of fabric, a sewing machine and more, 6 p.m. Thursday. Mustang Parks & Recreation, 1201 N. Mustang Road, 405-376-3411, THU Sheena’s Summer Blowout Party a three-day celebration featuring live music and the Budweiser “Build a Bar,” Aug 24-26, Sheena’s Outpost, 11300 S. Pine St., FRI-SUN Toastmasters Meeting hone public speaking and leadership skills in a move-at-your own pace environment, 7-8:30 p.m. Thursdays. McFarlin United Methodist Church, 419 S University Dr, 623-810-0295. THU

Robinson Ave., 405-602-6880, www.eatatthegarage. com. WED Weekly Trivia put your knowledge to the test and let your intellectual superiority shine, 7:30-9:30 p.m. Thursdays. HeyDay, 3201 Market Place, 405-310-3500, THU Weekly Trivia put your knowledge to the test and let your intellectual superiority shine, 7:30-9:30 p.m. Wednesdays. Free. HeyDay, 200 S. Oklahoma Ave., Suite HD, 405-349-5946, WED Wheeler Summer Music enjoy food truck fare, craft beer, live music and local pop-up shopping at this free monthly event underneath the ferris wheel lights, 7-11 p.m. Fridays. Wheeler Ferris Wheel, 1701 S. Western Ave., 405-655-8455, FRI

Women Empowered an art show and silent auction raising funds for Women Lead Oklahoma, 6-9 p.m. Aug. 23. Plenty Mercantile, 807 N. Broadway Ave., 405-888-7470, THU

Food Edible Adventures: Pasta From Scratch learn how to cook homemade pasta dishes and basic sauces, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 25. Platt College, 2727 W. Memorial Road. SAT Edmond Farmers Market buy fresh food from local vendors, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays. Edmond Farmers Market, 24 W. First St., 405-359-4630, SAT Food Truck Fridays eat lunch at a variety of food trucks on Friday afternoons and hear live music, 11 a.m.2 p.m. Fridays. Moore Central Park, 700 S. Broadway St., Moore, 405-793-5090, centralpark.cityofmoore. com. FRI Live Trivia bring your friends for an evening of trivia, fun and food, 8 p.m. Tuesdays. Hudson’s Public House, 1000 NW 192nd St., 405-657-1103, TUE The Lost Ogle Trivia for ages 21 and up, test your knowledge with free trivia play and half-priced sausages, 8-10 p.m. Tuesdays. Fassler Hall, 421 NW 10th St., 405-609-3300, TUE

Trans Friendly Game Night an evening of board and card games hosted by PFLAG, 7-11 p.m. Aug. 23. Loot&XP, 2228 W Main St., 405-310-3230, THU

Moore Farmers Market shop for fresh produce and gardening products from a variety of local vendors, 8 a.m.-noon Aug. 4. Moore Central Park, 700 S. Broadway St., Moore, 405-793-5090, centralpark.cityofmoore. com. SAT

Volunteer Orientation Meeting learn about different opportunities to work with the arts center at upcoming events, 5:30 p.m. Aug. 22, and Sat., 10 a.m. Aug. 25, Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, 3000 General Pershing Blvd., 405-951-0000, WED-SAT

Paseo Farmers Market shop for fresh food from local vendors at this weekly outdoor event, 9 a.m.-noon Saturdays. SixTwelve, 612 NW 29th St., 405-208-8291, SAT

Wednesday Night Trivia test your knowledge on various subjects for the chance to win prizes, 8 p.m. Wednesdays. The Garage Burgers and Beer, 1117 N.

continued on page 62

go to for full listings!

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calendar OKCX Sunday Holey Rollers Ride a weekly group bicycle ride departing from Holey Rollers Doughnuts in the Paseo at an average pace of about 18 miles-perhour, Sundays, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. through Oct. 21. Holey Rollers, 3010 Paseo Dr., 405-212-2383, SUN Thursday Night Dirt Crits weekly criterium trials for all ability levels meeting at the Mountain Bike Trailhead and hosted by Oklahoma Earthbike Fellowship, 7-9 p.m. Thursdays. Lake Stanley Draper Trails, 8898 S. Post Rd. FRI 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, TUE

Visual Arts 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, THU-SUN

Oklahoma Theremin Society Music Meetup The handiwork of Léon Theremin, a Soviet Union scientist who also invented an electronic eavesdropping device that notoriously hid undetected in the US ambassador’s Moscow office for more than six years, the theremin is nearly 100 years old. It’s one of the first electronic musical instruments and one of the only instruments you can play without touching it. Feel the “Good Vibrations” in person 7-10 p.m. Tuesday at Trolley Stop Record Shop, 1212 N. Pennsylvania Ave. Admission is free. Visit tuesday Photo Bigstock

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continued from page 61 Surf and Turf this weekly all-you-can-eat feast in the Bricktown Brewery features prime rib, snow crab legs, shrimp and more, 4-10 p.m. Thursdays. Remington Park, 1 Remington Place, 405-424-9000, remingtonpark. com. THU


Drop-In Art learn to create works of art inspired by the museum’s collections, special exhibits, holidays and more, 1-4 p.m. Saturdays. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, SAT Reading Wednesdays a nature-themed story time for children age 2-5 with songs and crafts, 10 a.m. Wednesdays. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, WED Story Time with Erin Yeaman the cellist plays music and tells stories for children, 10:15-11:30 a.m. Aug. 25. Full Circle Bookstore, 1900 Northwest Expressway, 405-842-2900, SAT Summer Thursdays presented by the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, this free family event features movie screenings, story times and crafting projects, , 10:30 a.m. Thursdays through Aug. 30. Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum, 1400 Classen Drive, 405-235-4458, THU Watercolor Stories learn about Oklahoma artists and learn how to paint in watercolors at this art class for children age 6-10, 10 a.m.-noon Aug. 25. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, SAT We Don’t Eat Our Classmates Storytime hear the story of Penelope Rex’s firstly at school and participate in related activities and crafts, 11 a.m.-noon Aug. 25. Barnes & Noble, 540 Ed Noble Parkway, 405-579-8800, SAT

Performing Arts AMP Festival 2018 a street festival celebrating art and music made by women and featuring live performances, food trucks, shopping opportunities and more, noon-8 p.m. Aug. 25. Film Row, 700 W. Sheridan Ave., 405-208-8836, SAT Arab After Hours a weekly belly-dancing performance featuring dancers from the Aalim Belly Dance Academy, 8:30-10:30 p.m. Tuesdays. Hubbly Bubbly Hookah & Café, 2900 N. Classen Blvd. Ste K, 405609-2930. TUE Celtic Open Jam Session bring an instrument to play traditional folk music with others or listen, 1-4 p.m. Aug. 25. American Banjo Museum, 9 E. Sheridan Ave., 405-604-2793, SAT The Foreigner directed by Chuck Tweed, this play is a two-act comedy by American playwright Larry Shue, Aug. 23-Sept. 16. Jewel Box Theatre, 3700 N. Walker Ave. THU-FRI Gospel Brunch hear contemporary and classic


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gospel music performed by The Judge & The Jury accompanied by brunch cuisine and a Bloody Mary bar, 12:30-2:30 p.m. Sundays. Stella Modern Italian Cuisine, 1201 N. Walker Ave., 405.235.2200, SUN Lyricist Lounge an evening of hip-hop featuring food from the Krow’s Nest and hosted by Original Flow, 9 p.m.-midnight, fourth Sunday of every month. Saints, 1715 NW 16th St., 405-602-6308, SUN Make America Grin Again the music and comedy troupe Capitol Steps present lighthearted bipartisan political satire, 7:30 p.m. Aug. 23. OCCC Visual and Performing Arts Center Theater, 7777 S. May Ave., 405-682-7579, THU The Make Othello’s Great Again Comedy Show The long-running open mic returns; hosted James Nghiem, 10-11:55 p.m. Aug. 28. Othello’s Italian Restaurant, 434 Buchanan Ave., 405-701-4900, TUE

Art Show Opening an exhibition featuring works by painters Hollis Painter, Trep Heatherington and sculptor Todd Jenkins with live music by Two Nice Girls Trio and refreshments, 6-9 p.m. Aug, 23. Whispering Willows Art Gallery, 226 E. Main St, 405-928-5077. THU Back Roads and Dirt Roads photographs and collages by Stillwater artist Linda Guenther feature barns, windmills, livestock and other rural iconography, Thursdays, Fridays, Sundays. through Sept. 2. Contemporary Art Gallery, 2928 Paseo St., 405-601-7474, FRI-SUN Beginners Calligraphy Lettering Class learn the basics of artful hand-lettering in this hands-on class, 6-8 p.m. Aug. 29. Bill’s Steakhouse & Saloon, 1013 SW 89th St., 405-225-1211, WED Beyond Art Artist Talk: Christie Hackler the creator of installations featuring enameled steel butterflies will discuss her working methods and the ideas behind them, 2-3 p.m. Aug. 25. JRB Art at The Elms, 2810 N. Walker Ave., 405-528-6336, SAT A Burst of Color artist Tim Kinney’s latest exhibition features brightly colored and thickly textured paintings, Mondays-Fridays through Sept. 1. Norman Santa Fe Depot, 200 S. Jones Ave., 405-307-9320, FRI Creative Visions Botanical Watercolor Class learn to paint flowers and other botanicals with artist Kiana Daneshmand, 4:30-6 p.m. Wednesdays. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, WED

A Few of our Favorite Things view a selection of artwork from the center’s collection, including contemporary and traditional works by Native American artists, through Oct. 31. Red Earth Art Center, 6 Santa Fe Plaza, 405-427-5228, WED Figure Drawing bring your supplies for this class hosted by the Oklahoma Art Guild and featuring a nude model; age 18 and older, 7-9 p.m. Aug. 28. Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, 3000 General Pershing Blvd., 405-951-0000, TUE In the Principles Office: Tom Ryan the Art Student Learn the principles of art as Tom Ryan did with his instruction on “general illustration” with famed teacher Frank Reilly, through Nov. 11. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-4782250, SAT-SUN Ink & Draw a weekly meetup for illustrators, artists and comic book creators, 4-6 p.m. Sundays. The Paseo Plunge, 3010 Paseo Plunge, 405-315-6224, SUN Into the Fold: The Art and Science of Origami features origami artists from around the world and displays the techniques of artful paper folding and other unique applications of origami, through Jan. 13, 2019., 2019. Science Museum Oklahoma, 2100 NE 52nd St., 405-602-6664, FRI Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper features l’œil paper works by Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave showcasing four collections her work together for the first time, Through Sept. 9. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, SAT-SUN Reflection: An Exhibition of Glass and Light featuring works by artists Rick and Tracey Bewley using glass and light to creative reflection of colored geometric shapes mixed with metal structures., through Aug. 24. Oklahoma City University School of Visual Arts, 1601 NW 26th St., 405-208-5226, WED-FRI Seeds of Being curated by students enrolled in the university’s Native American Art & Museum Studies Seminar, this exhibition examines the impact of art in indigenous communities, through Dec. 30 Free, Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave., 405-325-3272, TUE-FRI Space Burial an exhibit using satellite dishes as a burial object for a space-faring culture and facilitates the dead’s afterlife journey, through Sep. 2. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave., 405-3253272, TUE-SUN Still Looking: The Photography Collection of Carol Beesley Hennagin an exhibition of selections from Hennagin’s extensive collection, including works by Edward Weston, Frederick Sommer and more, through Dec. 30, Through Dec. 30. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave., 405-325-3272, TUE-FRI

Norman Porch Fest local musicians play outdoor house shows throughout the Miller District, 6-10 p.m. Aug. 25. McMichael Music, 230 Alameda St., 405-360-1199. SAT

Studio Gallery’s Featured Show an exhibition featuring paintings, photography and handmade jewelry created by a variety of artists, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, through Oct. 31. The Studio Gallery, 2642 W. Britton Road, 405-752-2642, thestudiogallery. org. THU-WED

Sense and Sensibilty adapted from Jane Austen’s classic novel about social mores in 18th-century England, Through Aug. 25. Shakespeare on Paseo, 2920 Paseo St., 405-235-3700,

TESS Mission an interactive art installation inspired by NASA’s search for habitable alien planets, MondaysSundays. through Sept. 7. The Lightwell Gallery, 520 Parrington Oval, 405-325-2691, MON-FRI

Shelly Phelps Blues Revue a monthly variety show featuring music, comedy, performance art, drag and more, 7-10 p.m. Sundays. Frankie’s, 2807 NW 36th St., 405-602-2030, SUN

Visual Voices: Contemporary Chickasaw Art an exhibition featuring more than 65 works in oil, watercolor, textiles, metals and more by 15 contemporary artists, through Sept. 9. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave., 405-325-3272, FRI-SUN


Active Full Moon Bike Ride and Run enter a 5K run in scenic downtown or bring your bike for a leisurely ride as the sun sets, Last Tuesday of every month, 8 p.m. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, TUE Gusto! Family Fun Ride a social group ride for all levels; with pizza, 6:30-8 p.m. Aug. 13. Celestial Cycles, 2929 W Hefner Rd., 405-751-8809, MON

Monday Night Group Ride meet up for a weekly 25-30 minute bicycle ride at about 18 miles-per-hour through East Oklahoma City, 6 p.m. Mondays. The Bike Lab OKC, 2200 W. Hefner Rd., 405-603-7655. MON OKC Dodgers vs Colorado Springs Aug. 24-27. Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, 2 S. Mickey Mantle Drive, 405-218-1000, FRI-MON OKC Dodgers vs Omaha Through Aug. 23, 7:05 p.m. Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, 2 S. Mickey Mantle Drive, 405-218-1000, TUE-THU OKC Wednesday Worlds a fast-paced 30-35 mile ride heading east out of OKC at 20-25 miles-perhour, 6 p.m. Wednesdays. The Bike Lab OKC, 2200 W. Hefner Rd., 405-603-7655. WED Oklahoma City Dodgers vs. Colorado Springs Sky Sox cheer on our very own OKC Dodgers pitted against visiting team of the Sky Sox, 7:05 p.m. August 25. Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, 2 S. Mickey Mantle Drive, 405-218-1000, SAT

Must Be Nice / What Legacy Had Wrought Artist Summer Zah’s Legacy attempts to relate a Native experience free of misconceptions and racial profiling using striking conceptual collages. Kayla Seedig’s found-object art utilizes hair, makeup, packaging and other items to examine the falseness of gender binaries and the isolation and insecurities they can create for those who don’t conform. Seeing them both in a shared space should make for a singular experience and maybe even an exercise in empathy. The opening for both exhibits is 6-9 p.m. Friday at IAO, 706 W. Sheridan Ave. Admission is free. Call 405-232-6060 or visit friday Photo provided

go to for full listings!

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 them to Sorry, but phone submissions cannot be accepted.

For okg live music

see page 65

MUSIC Flock of Pigs are all over the place stylistically but all together 11 p.m. Aug. 31 at Opolis in Norman. | Photo provided


a lot in that house, so it’s meaningful to us. Renfrow: It was about utilizing our independence. Helms: We called it Rad City. Whose idea was it to lick the photo of Kim Jong-Un in the “Spooky Song” music video? Helms: I think that was the alcohol’s idea. Nick Lovatto (drums): It just came to me. Me and Kim were just hot and heavy in the moment. I had to lick his frame. Patrick Richardson: We shot that video last year when those tensions were stronger than they are now. There was the possibility that these two crazy people could end the world for all of us and there wasn’t a whole lot that we could do about it. So we might as well treat them as absurdly as we can.

Pigs fly Try to keep up with Flock of Pigs at your own peril. By Matt Carney

The shaggy college party band Flock of Pigs met at University of Oklahoma, played their first show at Norman Music Festival in 2016 and spent the ensuing years picking up sounds just as quickly as they put them down. Their 2017 EP Swine Flu seems less genre-agnostic than genre-ecstatic, a positive, hyperactive exercise in flinging everything at the wall and seeing it all stick. Rap-rock in jazz time? Sure. Third-wave ska call-andresponse? Check. Country guitar licks and hip-hop bars? Why the hell not? The band plays Aug. 31 at Opolis on the occasion of the release of its new song, “Let’s Go,” and its accompanying music video. I called bassist Patrick Richardson at midday recently, and true to the band’s form, got much more than I bargained for. He proceeded to dial up four other Pigs, and later, we were joined by vocalist Joseph Lee. Joe mentions going to counseling on “Ode to Ex.” Let’s talk about that. I’m on the older end of the millennial wave. You’re all on the younger end. Do you think you’re more comfortable writing music about therapy and mental health than your predecessors generally were? Because when I was in college, that sort of stuff was mostly reserved for wounded singer-songwriters, not fun, uptempo, fusion jam bands. Riley Richardson (trombone): I would say on the whole, yes. We’re more comfortable talking about that kind of thing. We’ve all had our own struggles and talk to each other about them. Patrick Richardson (bass): There’s something very powerful about taking that inside stuff and putting it up on a stage and to do it in front of people. I think it’s good for other people to receive it as well.

Why do you think that is? Riley Richardson: It makes a more authentic product. Patrick Richardson: It’s something honest and emotional that’s got a groove to it and makes people want to dance. You’re exposing people to tough ideas in a space where you don’t have to deal with the whole weight of them. Is there a particular songwriter who paved the way to talking frankly about anxiety and mental health? Patrick Richardson: Joe would probably have the best answer, and I think he would probably point to Frank Ocean. Ben Renfrow (guitar): It’s become kinda more ingrained in mainstream music, which I think is pretty cool, especially in hip-hop. Kendrick Lamar for sure. Whose house did you shoot the “World Premiere” video at? Patrick Richardson: Wyatt had lived there for two or three years at that point, and we were just on the verge of moving out, so it was an homage to all of the stuff that we did there. Wyatt Helms (keyboards): We partied

Well, with Joe entering the call, this marks the first time that I’ve ever interviewed an entire band at once. Helms: We’re very codependent. What’s one album or band that you all agree on? Joe Lee (vocals): Ooh. Helms: Probably Vulfpeck. Renfrow: Yeah, Vulfpeck. Lee: We all have some big respect for Kendrick too. Renfrow: Queen, especially Freddie Mercury. Prince. Lee: Odd Future. Renfrow: Not so much anymore. I always kinda got the sense that [Odd Future] weren’t going to age well. Band: [chuckles] How does it feel now looking back on that stuff that was so brash and childish and ridiculous, having seen some of the really remarkable stuff it has spawned, like the Earl [Sweatshirt] albums and Syd Tha Kyd and The Internet and stuff? Lovatto: [As if swooning] Ugh, the Earl albums. Renfrow: When I went to preschool in the car with my mom, I listened to Nirvana and shit. Sorry; I can’t cuss in Flock of Pigs | Photo provided

this interview. Band: [Laughs] Renfrow: But, you know, as I got older and matured my taste in music did too. I still love Nirvana— Helms: And now you listen to Primus. Patrick Richardson: On the Odd Future point, I think that we’re willing to embrace that childish, go-hard, sayanything mentality so long as we’re working hard while we do it. Renfrow: Musically, as long as we work really hard to perfect the product, that kinda validates our desire to be goofy. Is there a particular artist who really brings the knives out? Somebody who Flock of Pigs can’t agree on? Lee: Kanye West! Somebody please lay the contours of the Kanye divide within the band for me. Lee: I’m the big Kanye fan in the band. I’m not really sure, I guess. Who are the Kanye naysayers? Renfrow: I am; I don’t know who else is. I just don’t like Kanye. I like some of his songs, I like him as a performer. But as a musician — I focus on the music; that’s my shtick, and I just don’t get that much from Kanye when I listen to him. But as a performer, he’s definitely one of the best of the best. I’m trying not to step on Joe’s toes. What was it like working with Trent Bell? Riley Richardson: Yeah we love working with Trent. All of our professionally recorded stuff we’ve done with Trent. Developing a relationship with him through that process and him getting to know us and our sound has been great. Renfrow: Yeah! We’re BFFs. What does he do that you guys appreciate so much? Riley Richardson: He handles our ridiculousness and childish behavior pretty well. Lovatto: It’s nice when the person you’re working with wants to be as proud of the product as we are. Renfrow: He really pulled through with this last single that we did. Usually we go in for an eight-hour session. This time we went in at noon and we were worried because we were running out of time, but he just kept going, and 13 hours later, he was still at it because he wanted it to be perfect for us. We’re thankful for working with him.

Flock of Pigs 10 p.m. Aug. 31 Opolis 113 N. Crawford Ave., Norman | 405-673-4931 $12-$15

O kg a z e t t e . c o m | A u g u s t 2 2 , 2 0 1 8


A SeASonAl Guide to CentrAl oklAhomA

There is a lot to see and do throughout Autumn, and Gazette gives its readers direction on where to find the best festivals, shows, foods and more! FeAturinG A 3 month CAlendAr inCludinG: labor day events Fall theater Season Fairs, Festivals Special events Concerts, music and Clubs

Art exhibits and Shows day trips museums Sports Schedules

Along with expanded editorial content PubliShinG SePtember 19, 2018 Ad deAdline tueSdAy, SePt. 11, 2018

Attention publicity seekers!

• Submit calendar events at or email to • Please be sure to indicate ‘Fall Guide’ in the subject line. We do not accept calendar items via phone. • Deadline to submit items for our Fall Guide calendar is Wednesday, August 29, 2018 by 5pm.

CAll or emAil to reServe Ad SPACe or For AdditionAl inFormAtion. 405.528.6000

No cover for ladies smoke-free karaoke | wedNesdays | 7pm


9/13 - Replay 8/23 - Stars 9/20 - Superfreak 8/30 - Replay 9/6 - Dave and the Mighty Dance Band


t hel i s z t o k c . c o m

12000 North May Ave. OKC, OK The Shoppes at Northpark • 405-205-0807 64

A u g u s t 2 2 , 2 0 1 8 | O kg a z e t t e . c o m

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

Wednesday, Aug. 22 Filth/VCTMS/All Seems Lost, 89th Street-OKC. HARDCORE/METAL

Joel Melton, The Porthole. SINGER/SONGWRITER Shane Henry, Sidecar Barley & Wine Bar. BLUES

Thursday, Aug. 23 Abigail Williams/Ghost Bath/Wolvhammer, 89th Street-OKC. METAL Adam Miller/Aron Holt/Aaron Newman, VZD’s Restaurant & Bar. SINGER/SONGWRITER Born in November, Sidecar Barley & Wine Bar. R&B David Broyles & Jared Lekites, The Root. SINGER/


Koolie High & the Tap Band, Ice Event Center & Grill. JAZZ Paxton Pennington/Sam Westhoff, The Deli. SINGER/SONGWRITER

Young Readers/Origami Ghosts/Speak, Memory, Resonator. ROCK

Friday, Aug. 24 The Allie Lauren Project, Wheeler Ferris Wheel. R&B

Amasa Hines/Harold Bear & the Skin Rugs, Opolis. ROCK

Black Out Bob, Belle Isle Brewery. ROCK Calling for Eden, Blue Note Lounge. ROCK Lisa & Laura, Full Circle Bookstore. ACOUSTIC Norma Jean/Among the Missing, 89th Street-OKC. HARDCORE/METAL

An Evening with Gillian Welch Seeing Gillian Welch and her musical partner David Rawlings live in 2018 seems like something that would be an impossibility, considering so many of their deep-rooted songs sound like they were recorded at the radio station in O Brother, Where Art Thou? (Welch, of course, contributed to the soundtrack), and the photo from her 1996 debut Revival looks like it was shot just before she hopped a train with Tom Joad. But her 2003 breakthrough Soul Journey was actually released on vinyl for the first time this year, and before you ask, it was originally a CD, not a wax cylinder. The revival starts 8 p.m. Friday at Tower Theatre, 425 NW 23rd St. Tickets are $35-$40. Call 405-708-6937 or visit friday Photo by Henry Diltz / provided

Zuzu’s Petals, Bedlam Bar-B-Q. ACOUSTIC

Sunday, Aug. 26 Candlebox, Diamond Ballroom. ROCK

A Perfect Body, Royal Bavaria Restaurant & Brewery. JAZZ

Harpeth Rising, Norman Santa Fe Depot. FOLK

Plainswalker/Out of Sink, The Root. ROCK

Hosty, The Deli. FOLK

Ryan Paul Davis, The Patriarch Craft Beer House & Lawn. BLUES

Oklahoma Virtuosi, Myriad Botanical Gardens.

Stain the Skin, Oklahoma City Limits. ROCK

Renee Dion, Red Brick Bar. R&B

Steve Crossley, Louie’s Grill & Bar. R&B Summerland/John Keck, Red Brick Bar. ACOUSTIC/ SINGER-SONGWRITER

Saturday, Aug. 25 Aaron Hale & The Human Beings/Bobby Chill & The Wave, The Root. ROCK The Bourgeois/Trap Queen/Alumnus, 51st Street Speakeasy. ROCK Bob Powers, UCO Jazz Lab. SINGER/SONGWRITER Carter Sampson/TJ Mayes/Levi Parham, Grand Casino Hotel & Resort. SINGER-SONGWRITER Clinton Avery Tharp, Anthem Brewing Company. SINGER/SONGWRITER

Full Tilt, Belle Isle Brewery. ROCK The Infamists/Helen Kelter Skelter/Gnome, Blue Note Lounge. ROCK


Sunny Sweeney/Ward Davis/Mickey Lamantia, Tower Theatre. COUNTRY Tab Benoit, VZD’s Restaurant & Bar. BLUES Wild Ponies, The Blue Door. COUNTRY

Monday, Aug. 27 Jason Hunt, Sean Cumming’s Irish Restaurant. FOLK

Tuesday, Aug. 28 Country Clique, Friends Restaurant & Club. COUNTRY

Kyle Reid, Scratch Kitchen & Cocktails. SINGER/


Wednesday, Aug. 29 Upsetting/Planet What/LCG & the X, 89th StreetOKC. ROCK

Jessica Tate & John Rouse, Rococo. JAZZ Jokers to the Right, Fuel Bar & Grill. ROCK Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights, Tower Theatre. ROCK/COUNTRY Kaylea Harris, Rodeo Opry. COUNTRY Mad Honey/Brooding, Classen Coffee Company. ROCK

Meanstreak, Oklahoma City Limits. ROCK Rainbows Are Free/The So Longs, The Deli. ROCK Saint Monroe/Locust Grove, VZD’s Restaurant & Bar. ROCK Stephen Salewon Band/Annie Oakley, [Artspace] at Untitled. FOLK

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 Sorry, but phone submissions cannot be accepted.

go to for full listings!

O kg a z e t t e . c o m | A u g u s t 2 2 , 2 0 1 8


MUSIC Flock of Pigs are all over the place stylistically but all together 11 p.m. Aug. 31 at Opolis in Norman. | Photo provided


a lot in that house, so it’s meaningful to us. Renfrow: It was about utilizing our independence. Helms: We called it Rad City. Whose idea was it to lick the photo of Kim Jong-Un in the “Spooky Song” music video? Helms: I think that was the alcohol’s idea. Nick Lovatto (drums): It just came to me. Me and Kim were just hot and heavy in the moment. I had to lick his frame. Patrick Richardson: We shot that video last year when those tensions were stronger than they are now. There was the possibility that these two crazy people could end the world for all of us and there wasn’t a whole lot that we could do about it. So we might as well treat them as absurdly as we can.

Pigs fly Try to keep up with Flock of Pigs at your own peril. By Matt Carney

The shaggy college party band Flock of Pigs met at University of Oklahoma, played their first show at Norman Music Festival in 2016 and spent the ensuing years picking up sounds just as quickly as they put them down. Their 2017 EP Swine Flu seems less genre-agnostic than genre-ecstatic, a positive, hyperactive exercise in flinging everything at the wall and seeing it all stick. Rap-rock in jazz time? Sure. Third-wave ska call-andresponse? Check. Country guitar licks and hip-hop bars? Why the hell not? The band plays Aug. 31 at Opolis on the occasion of the release of its new song, “Let’s Go,” and its accompanying music video. I called bassist Patrick Richardson at midday recently, and true to the band’s form, got much more than I bargained for. He proceeded to dial up four other Pigs, and later, we were joined by vocalist Joseph Lee. Joe mentions going to counseling on “Ode to Ex.” Let’s talk about that. I’m on the older end of the millennial wave. You’re all on the younger end. Do you think you’re more comfortable writing music about therapy and mental health than your predecessors generally were? Because when I was in college, that sort of stuff was mostly reserved for wounded singer-songwriters, not fun, uptempo, fusion jam bands. Riley Richardson (trombone): I would say on the whole, yes. We’re more comfortable talking about that kind of thing. We’ve all had our own struggles and talk to each other about them. Patrick Richardson (bass): There’s something very powerful about taking that inside stuff and putting it up on a stage and to do it in front of people. I think it’s good for other people to receive it as well.

Why do you think that is? Riley Richardson: It makes a more authentic product. Patrick Richardson: It’s something honest and emotional that’s got a groove to it and makes people want to dance. You’re exposing people to tough ideas in a space where you don’t have to deal with the whole weight of them. Is there a particular songwriter who paved the way to talking frankly about anxiety and mental health? Patrick Richardson: Joe would probably have the best answer, and I think he would probably point to Frank Ocean. Ben Renfrow (guitar): It’s become kinda more ingrained in mainstream music, which I think is pretty cool, especially in hip-hop. Kendrick Lamar for sure. Whose house did you shoot the “World Premiere” video at? Patrick Richardson: Wyatt had lived there for two or three years at that point, and we were just on the verge of moving out, so it was an homage to all of the stuff that we did there. Wyatt Helms (keyboards): We partied

Well, with Joe entering the call, this marks the first time that I’ve ever interviewed an entire band at once. Helms: We’re very codependent. What’s one album or band that you all agree on? Joe Lee (vocals): Ooh. Helms: Probably Vulfpeck. Renfrow: Yeah, Vulfpeck. Lee: We all have some big respect for Kendrick too. Renfrow: Queen, especially Freddie Mercury. Prince. Lee: Odd Future. Renfrow: Not so much anymore. I always kinda got the sense that [Odd Future] weren’t going to age well. Band: [chuckles] How does it feel now looking back on that stuff that was so brash and childish and ridiculous, having seen some of the really remarkable stuff it has spawned, like the Earl [Sweatshirt] albums and Syd Tha Kyd and The Internet and stuff? Lovatto: [As if swooning] Ugh, the Earl albums. Renfrow: When I went to preschool in the car with my mom, I listened to Nirvana and shit. Sorry; I can’t cuss in Flock of Pigs | Photo provided

this interview. Band: [Laughs] Renfrow: But, you know, as I got older and matured my taste in music did too. I still love Nirvana— Helms: And now you listen to Primus. Patrick Richardson: On the Odd Future point, I think that we’re willing to embrace that childish, go-hard, sayanything mentality so long as we’re working hard while we do it. Renfrow: Musically, as long as we work really hard to perfect the product, that kinda validates our desire to be goofy. Is there a particular artist who really brings the knives out? Somebody who Flock of Pigs can’t agree on? Lee: Kanye West! Somebody please lay the contours of the Kanye divide within the band for me. Lee: I’m the big Kanye fan in the band. I’m not really sure, I guess. Who are the Kanye naysayers? Renfrow: I am; I don’t know who else is. I just don’t like Kanye. I like some of his songs, I like him as a performer. But as a musician — I focus on the music; that’s my shtick, and I just don’t get that much from Kanye when I listen to him. But as a performer, he’s definitely one of the best of the best. I’m trying not to step on Joe’s toes. What was it like working with Trent Bell? Riley Richardson: Yeah we love working with Trent. All of our professionally recorded stuff we’ve done with Trent. Developing a relationship with him through that process and him getting to know us and our sound has been great. Renfrow: Yeah! We’re BFFs. What does he do that you guys appreciate so much? Riley Richardson: He handles our ridiculousness and childish behavior pretty well. Lovatto: It’s nice when the person you’re working with wants to be as proud of the product as we are. Renfrow: He really pulled through with this last single that we did. Usually we go in for an eight-hour session. This time we went in at noon and we were worried because we were running out of time, but he just kept going, and 13 hours later, he was still at it because he wanted it to be perfect for us. We’re thankful for working with him.

Flock of Pigs 10 p.m. Aug. 31 Opolis 113 N. Crawford Ave., Norman | 405-673-4931 $12-$15

O kg a z e t t e . c o m | A u g u s t 2 2 , 2 0 1 8


A SeASonAl Guide to CentrAl oklAhomA

There is a lot to see and do throughout Autumn, and Gazette gives its readers direction on where to find the best festivals, shows, foods and more! FeAturinG A 3 month CAlendAr inCludinG: labor day events Fall theater Season Fairs, Festivals Special events Concerts, music and Clubs

Art exhibits and Shows day trips museums Sports Schedules

Along with expanded editorial content PubliShinG SePtember 19, 2018 Ad deAdline tueSdAy, SePt. 11, 2018

Attention publicity seekers!

• Submit calendar events at or email to • Please be sure to indicate ‘Fall Guide’ in the subject line. We do not accept calendar items via phone. • Deadline to submit items for our Fall Guide calendar is Wednesday, August 29, 2018 by 5pm.

CAll or emAil to reServe Ad SPACe or For AdditionAl inFormAtion. 405.528.6000

No cover for ladies smoke-free karaoke | wedNesdays | 7pm


9/13 - Replay 8/23 - Stars 9/20 - Superfreak 8/30 - Replay 9/6 - Dave and the Mighty Dance Band


t hel i s z t o k c . c o m

12000 North May Ave. OKC, OK The Shoppes at Northpark • 405-205-0807 64

A u g u s t 2 2 , 2 0 1 8 | O kg a z e t t e . c o m

puzzles 1

New York Times Magazine Crossword Puzzle IF I WERE YOU … By By Ross Trudeau | Puzzles Edited by Will Shortz | 0819


95 “What are you hauling in there?” and “How many axles 1 Begin you running?” 6 Commercial aunt since 1889 100 Course 12 Prep to find fingerprints 101 Actress Moreno 16 Checkup sounds 102 One putting others down 19 Deduce 103 Ivory, e.g. 20 Rabid supporters 106 In a state 21 Steel head? 108 Entering your middle name, 23 Land O’Lakes and then date of birth, then adding Breakstone’s? a “1,” etc.? 25 Part of the SkyTeam Alliance 112 Missile in a mating ritual 26 With severity 27 The only way to get respect, so 113 Best of all possible worlds 114 Amounts to they say 115 Amount to 29 Kind of torch 116 “… ish” 30 Commies 117 Nitpicky know-it-all 31 Ministering? 118 Scoring factor at a crossword 35 Giant in direct sales tournament 37 Pro or con 38 Vientiane native DOWN 39 Stag’s mate 1 Bros, e.g. 40 Laundry unit 2 Letter-shaped fastener 41 Inside the N.B.A. analyst 3 Subsequently beginning in 2011 4 Sadly unoriginal works 43 Wunderkinds, say 47 “Damn, I can’t seem to get a 5 In vogue 6 Box of 12? ball into fair territory!”? 7 Manning with two Super Bowl 53 Fabrication MVP awards 54 Chicago airport code 8 “I want my ____” (1980s 55 Wide divide slogan) 56 Lose an all-in hand, say 9 Suggestion from a financial 57 Vitriol adviser, for short 58 Aziz of Master of None 10 Rami ____ of Mr. Robot 60 Most susceptible to sunburn 11 Attack vigorously 61 Biblioklept’s targets 12 Title role for Jamie Foxx 62 Like a trip overland from 13 Like the Statue of Liberty at Venezuela to Bolivia? night 67 Musical closings 14 Most common U.S. surname 70 Easy buckets 71 Tiny, multitentacled creatures 15 Wee one 16 Trattoria option that means 75 Operating system since the “garlic and oil” early ’70s 17 Poem name whose singular 76 Mother ____ and plural forms are the same 77 Robinson Crusoe author 18 Slowness embodied 80 Fútbol stadium cry 22 Betrays, in a way 81 Ingredient in a Cuba libre 24 Treasure Island monogram 82 Expensive line of nonsense 28 Genetic messenger someone throws you? 31 Excessive lovers of the grape 85 Novel endings, maybe 87 Informal assertion of authority 32 Classical theater 33 Concrete 88 Indigo source 34 Temptation location 89 Part of NGO 35 Big name in soda cans and foil 90 Orders 36 Show grief 93 “Feed me!,” maybe 37 Guest bed, in a pinch 94 Tannery stock










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42 Extended writer’s blocks? 43 Scrapbooking need 44 Big success 45 Good source of calcium 46 Grasps 48 Hosiery shades 49 This Hebrew letter: ˘? 50 American Girl products 51 Keep watch for, maybe 52 Overdo it on the praise 57 The Lord of the Rings actor Billy 59 He fought alongside Achilles 60 Remote button 61 Aspirin maker 63 Narrow valleys 64 Oreo ingredient until the mid- ’90s 65 One ogling 66 “You just blew my mind!”










67 Medical breakthrough 68 “Movin’ ____” 69 Tiny 72 Wide-swinging blow 73 CBS’s Kate & ____ 74 Peddles 76 Harbor sight 77 Box of 12, say 78 “Ticklish” toys 79 Raced 82 [The light turned green! Go!] 83 Free trial version 84 Where you might open a whole can of worms? 86 Track down 90 Move in the direction of 91 Jerk 92 Rise to the occasion 94 Comedic duo? 95 Skipping syllables

Assistant EDITOR Brittany Pickering

96 Difficulty 97 2022 World Cup host 98 Alternatives to cabs 99 About to blow one’s top 100 3, 4 or 5, usually 103 What a 76-Down pulls 104 Certain buy-in 105 Vet’s malady, for short 107 Kerfuffle 109 Turf 110 Luxury-hotel amenity 111 Get gold from one’s lead?

Staff reporters Jacob Threadgill Jeremy Martin Nazarene Harris contributors Joshua Blanco, Daniel Bokemper Matt Carney, Brett Dickerson Circulation Manager Chad Bleakley creative director Kimberly Lynch Graphic Designers Ingvard Ashby Ofelia Ochoa marketing intern Kendall Bleakley

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New York Times Crossword Puzzle answers Puzzle No. 0812, which appeared in the August 15 issue.















Account EXECUTIVES Saundra Rinearson Godwin Christy Duane Kurtis DeLozier Philip Rodriguez EDITOR-in-chief George Lang

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

Sudoku easy | n° 100016532 Fill in the grid so that every row, column and 3-by-3 box contains the numbers 1 through 9.

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VOL. XL No. 34 Oklahoma Gazette is circulated at its designated distribution points free of charge to readers for their individual use and by mail to subscribers. The cash value of this copy is $1. Persons taking copies of the Oklahoma Gazette from its distribution points for any reason other than their or others’ individual use for reading purposes are subject to prosecution.






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free will astrology Homework: What’s the part of yourself that is least evolved and needs most transformation? Testify at ARIES (March 21-April 19)

The two pieces of advice I have for you may initially seem contradictory, but they are in fact complementary. Together they’ll help guide you through the next three weeks. The first comes from herbalist and wise woman Susun Weed. She suggests that when you face a dilemma, you should ask yourself how you can make it your ally and how you can learn the lesson it has for you. Your second burst of wisdom is from writer Yasmin Mogahed: “Study the hurtful patterns of your life. Then don’t repeat them.”

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Speak the following declaration aloud and see how it feels: “I want strong soft kisses and tender unruly kisses and secret truth kisses and surprise elixir kisses. I deserve them, too.” If that puts you in a brave mood, Taurus, add a further affirmation: “I want ingenious affectionate amazements and deep dark appreciation and brisk mirthful lessons and crazy sweet cuddle wrestles. I deserve them, too.” What do you think? Do these formulas work for you? Do they put you in the proper frame of mind to co-create transformative intimacy? I hope so. You’re entering a phase when you have maximum power to enchant and to be enchanted. GEMINI (May 21-June 20):

a while, you’ve gotten a decent education -- for free! Nonetheless, you shouldn’t depend on me for all of your learning needs. Due to my tendency to emphasize the best in you and focus on healing your wounds, I may neglect some aspects of your training. With that as caveat, I’ll offer a few meditations about future possibilities. 1. What new subjects or skills do you want to master in the next three years? 2. What’s the single most important thing you can do to augment your intelligence? 3. Are there dogmas you believe in so fixedly and rely on so heavily that they obstruct the arrival of fresh ideas? If so, are you willing to at least temporarily set them aside?

suffering, we may have not focused enough on the fine art of resolving unfinished business. So let’s do that now, just in time for the arrival of your Season of Completion. Are you ready to start drawing the old cycle to a close so you’ll be fresh when the new cycle begins? Are you in the mood to conclude this chapter of your life story and earn the relaxing hiatus you will need before launching the next chapter? Even if you don’t feel ready, even if you’re not in the mood, I suggest you do the work anyway. Any business you leave unfinished now will only return to haunt you later. So don’t leave any business unfinished!

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)

Are you ready to mix more business with pleasure and more pleasure with business than you have ever mixed? I predict that in the coming weeks, your social opportunities will serve your professional ambitions and your professional ambitions will serve your social opportunities. You will have more than your usual amount of power to forge new alliances and expand your web of connections. Here’s my advice: Be extra charming, but not grossly opportunistic. Sell yourself, but with grace and integrity, not with obsequiousness. Express yourself like a gorgeous force of nature, and encourage others to express themselves like gorgeous forces of nature.

“All the world’s a stage,” wrote Shakespeare, “And all the men and women merely players.” In other words, we’re all performers. Whenever we emerge from solitude and encounter other people, we choose to express certain aspects of our inner experience even as we hide others. Our personalities are facades that display a colorful mix of authenticity and fantasy. Many wise people over the centuries have deprecated this central aspect of human behavior as superficial and dishonest. But author Neil Gaiman thinks otherwise: “We are all wearing masks,” he says. “That is what makes us interesting.” Invoking his view -- and in accordance with current astrological omens -- I urge you to celebrate your masks and disguises in the coming weeks. Enjoy the show you present. Dare to entertain your audiences.

As you map out your master plan for the next 14 months, I invite you to include the following considerations: an intention to purge pretend feelings and artificial motivations; a promise to change your relationship with old secrets so that they no longer impinge on your room to maneuver; a pledge to explore evocative mysteries that will enhance your courage; a vow to be kinder toward aspects of yourself that you haven’t loved well enough; and a search for an additional source of stability that will inspire you to seek more freedom.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

CANCER (June 21-July 22):

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

If you have been communing with my horoscopes for



I think you’ve done enough rehearsals. At this point, the apparent quest for a little extra readiness is beginning to lapse into procrastination. So I’ll suggest that you set a date for opening night. I’ll nudge you to have a cordial talk with yourself about the value of emphasizing soulfulness over perfectionism. What? You say you’re waiting until your heart stops fluttering and your bones stop chattering? I’ve got good news: The greater your stage fright, the more moving your performance will be. In all the time we’ve worked on diminishing your

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

“When I picture a perfect reader,” wrote philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, “I picture a monster of courage and curiosity, also something supple, cunning, cautious, a born adventurer and discoverer.” I suspect he was using the term “monster” with a roguish affection. I am certainly doing that as I direct these same words toward you, dear Sagittarian reader. Of course, I am always appreciative of your courage, curiosity, cunning, suppleness, and adventurousness. But I’m especially excited about those qualities now, because the coming weeks will be a time when they will be both most necessary and most available to you.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

You do not yet have access to maps of the places where you need to go next. That fact may tempt you to turn



around and head back to familiar territory. But I hope you’ll press forward even without the maps. Out there in the frontier, adventures await you that will prepare you well for the rest of your long life. And being without maps, at least in the early going, may actually enhance your learning opportunities. Here’s another thing you should know: your intuitive navigational sense will keep improving the farther you get from recognizable landmarks.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

Healing isn’t impossible. You may not be stuck with your pain forever. The crookedness in your soul and the twist in your heart may not always define who you are. There may come a time when you’ll no longer be plagued by obsessive thoughts that keep returning you to the tormenting memories. But if you hope to find the kind of liberation I’m describing here, I advise you to start with these two guidelines: 1. The healing may not happen the way you think it should or imagine it will. 2. The best way to sprout the seeds that will ultimately bloom with the cures is to tell the complete truth.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)

Nineteenth-century British painter J. M. W. Turner was one of the greats. Renowned for his luminous landscapes, he specialized in depicting the power of nature and the atmospheric drama of light and color. Modern poet Mary Ruefle tells us that although he “painted his own sea monsters,” he engaged assistants “to do small animals.” She writes that “he could do a great sky, but not rabbits.” I’m hoping that unlike Turner, you Piscean folks will go both ways in the coming weeks. Give as much of your creative potency and loving intelligence to the modest details as to the sweeping vistas.

Go to 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.

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