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BRINGING THE ARTS & COMMUNITY TOGETHER The Arts Council of Oklahoma Cityâ€™s mission is bringing the arts and community together. Each year we strive to bring more arts opportunities and experiences to everyone in Oklahoma City, from pre-school aged children to the elderly. One initiative, Arts After School, puts teaching artists in schools with at-risk children. After school is a crucial time: many parents are still working and children often have little to do. This program is sometimes the only art these children experience. The Arts Council reaches nearly one million people each year, but only 350 children participate in Arts After School. There is a greater need in Oklahoma City and we want to meet it. To do that, we rely on the financial support of our community. What you donate to the Arts Council of Oklahoma City, we turn into arts programming for those who need it most.
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Whether or not central Oklahoma winds up having a white Christmas, our days will be merry and bright for certain: there are too many festive celebrations to leave room for gloom. Slice’s guide to holiday merriment has the details you need to add joy to your world.
On the cover
Call it “juvenile and crass” or “brilliantly scathing” – either is often correct, and sometimes both simultaneously – the metro-focused commentary website The Lost Ogle is a huge, hilarious presence in social media, and surprisingly adept at tackling major stories.
12 SLICE // DECEMBER 2013
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Finding The Lost Ogle
Come Home For Christmas
A Y VER
METRO HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS
Over the River: A Flair for Fun Let Them Eat (Rum) Cake!
Satirical: I Seriously The Lost Ogle Brad Who? N35˚ 19' 44" W 96˚ 55' 26"
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We get in the spirit of the season with a holiday-themed story bonanza. Cover design by Scotty O’Daniel
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Whether you call it a tuffet or a hassock, the season is right for these decorative places to rest feet or seat extra guests – become the monarch of your own ottoman empire. 20 From the Editor UP FRONT 24 Chatter The gifts of a new Flaming Lips EP, fancier dining for Thunder fans and art therapy for local seniors, among other topics of conversation. 30 Retrospective Remembering the way we were with a look back at the lovingly lavish Christmas decor of OKC’s legendary John A. Brown department store. 34 Exchange A conversational give and take about Temple Run 2, the gift of chocolate and the limitless value of caring for others with Chris Sperry, executive director of the HOPE Center of Edmond. SPACES 50 A Home of Christmases Past, Present and Yet to Come Four generations have a new nexus for holiday merriment, as the Goodin family prepares to deck the halls of their beautifully remodeled home.
TRAVEL 59 Over the River and Through the Woods Luminarias glow and sausages sizzle in community festivities with flavors all their own – enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of the season in San Antonio and Fredericksburg. 64 77 Counties In her ongoing travels through the state, author and photographer M.J. Alexander heads to Shawnee to check out the birthplace of Brad Pitt. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it. MINGLING 68 Making an appearance on central Oklahoma’s social scene. COMMUNITY 71 A Peace Within In the final excerpt from his recent book “Vibrant,” behavioral psychiatrist Dr. R. Murali Krishna remembers mak-
14 SLICE // DECEMBER 2013
December 2013 ing a push for the ability to volunteer, and offers a few thoughts on the lessons learned along his life’s journey. PRACTICAL MATTERS 76 Techno Cool A gadget enthusiast takes a quick, critical look at a camera phone worthy of the name, a super-small portable printer and a way to head off power surges remotely. PURSUITS 79 A rundown of local events and entertainment, including a top 10 list of must-see attractions. FARE 90 Marvelous Mainstay A bundt pan, a handful of ingredients and a treasured family recipe make mouthwatering holiday magic … whether or not the rum cooks off. 92 Down Home for the Holidays While the name “Hillbilly Po’ Boys” might or might not sound inviting, everything else about this little shack is, food and ambiance alike. 94 Eat & Drink Take a gastronomic tour with Slice’s citywide dining guide. 102 Last Laugh 104 Last Look
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Volume 4 Issue 12
PUBLISHER Elizabeth Meares EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Mia Blake EDITORIAL Features Writer John Parker Associate Editor Steve Gill Contributing Writers M.J. Alexander, Mark Beutler, Lauren Hammack, R. Murali Krishna, M.D., Michael Miller, Caryn Ross, Russ Tall Chief, Elaine Warner, Sara Gae Waters ART Art Director Scotty O’Daniel Graphic Designer Brian O’Daniel Contributing Stylist Sara Gae Waters
for all seasons
Contributing Photographers M.J. Alexander, Justin Avera, David Cobb, Simon Hurst, Claude Long, Michael Miller, Elaine Warner, Carli Wentworth ADVERTISING Executive Director of Advertising Cynthia Whitaker-hill Account Executives Jamie Hamilton, Elizabeth Young Account Manager Ronnie Morey ADMINISTRATION Distribution Raymond Brewer
401 NW 23rd St • OKC • dutchfloralandhome.com Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 6pm 16 SLICE // DECEMBER 2013
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Volume 4 Issue 12
CORPORATE Chief Executive Officer & President Richard M. Franks Chief Financial Officer Todd P. Paul Chief Marketing Officer Forbes C. Durey ADVERTISING Director of Sales Darla Walker Director of National Advertising Nathen Bliss MARKETING AND EVENTS Corporate Director of Marketing & Events Cathy Hale Director of Events & Community Relations Meredith Parsons Marketing & Events Coordinator Meghan Athnos CIRCULATION Director of Audience Development Kerri Nolan Corporate Office Open Sky Media, Inc. 1250 S. Capital of Texas Hwy, Building 3, Suite 395 Austin, TX 78746 Phone 512.263.9133 firstname.lastname@example.org, sliceok.com READER SERVICES Main Office - Editorial & Advertising SLICE 729 W. Sheridan, Suite 101 Oklahoma City, OK 73102 Phone 405.842.2266 Fax 405.604.9435 email@example.com, sliceok.com Advertising Inquiries firstname.lastname@example.org Job/Internship Inquiries email@example.com Story Ideas and Letters to the Editor Your views and opinions are welcome. Include your full name, address and daytime phone number and email to editor@sliceok. com. Letters sent to Slice magazine become the magazineâ€™s property, and it owns all rights to their use. Slice magazine reserves the right to edit letters for length and clarity. Single Copies Single copies are $4.95 each. For rack locations, see sliceok.com/subscribe or contact our main office. Back Issues Back issues are $9.50 (includes P&H) each. For back issue availability and order information, please contact our main office. Bulk Orders For multiple copy order information, please contact our main office. Subscriptions Slice Magazine is available by subscription for $14.95 (12 issues), $24.95 (24 issues) or $34.95 (36 issues). Subscription Customer Service Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. CST P.O. Box 16765 North Hollywood, CA 91615-6765 Phone 818.286.3160 Fax 800.869.0040 firstname.lastname@example.org sliceok.com/subscribe 18 SLICE // DECEMBER 2013
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DECEMBER 2013 // SLICE 19ÂŠPDGGGGG
From the Editor
HE’S COMING TO TOWN I MIA BLAKE
20 SLICE // DECEMBER 2013
am in a deep state of denial. Christmas is not coming. Not yet. It can’t be. I’m a devout daylight worshipper (albeit slathered in SPF 50 and hidden in the shade of a big umbrella thanks to the genetic tendency to roast a deep crimson), and Central Standard Time is my Kryptonite. Leaving work in the subterranean, post-5-p.m. darkness of winter sends me scurrying to Google to find out if in fact December 21 will be the shortest day of this year, so I can begin the countdown to my happy place again. I’m convinced I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (but in the humorous, droll way, not the serious, worrisome way) and was so excited when last year’s winter solstice downward spiral seemed to be checked by the novelty of having a fireplace in our new house … finally, the endless nighttime has an upside. Let’s build a fire! Oh, and let’s chop wood. And stack wood. And hope that spiders don’t hitchhike into our house on said wood. I soon learned that any breath of wind sent wood smoke back down the chimney and billowing through the whole house, so my joy at the newly-acquired fireplace was somewhat short-lived. I now keep the Oklahoma Mesonet website open 24/7 on my cell phone to check the “windcast” before we even think about lighting a fire. The attempt at a romantic Valentine’s Day fireside dinner (and subsequent wood-smoke-induced migraine) taught me that daring to tempt fate when winds top 5 mph was to be punished … and punished severely. This year, I’ve decided that my approach to the winter doldrums will be to simply not acknowledge that winter is here. Lah, lah, lah, wind chill what? Icecouldn’t-hear-you. Bring on global warming, the sooner the better. Denial, thy name is Mia. If pressed, I can admit there are some things I do like about winter. I enjoy hot cocoa in the afternoon instead of coffee. The exhilarating bite of cold weather (as long as I can hop back into my toasty car if needed) or the rare snowfall or even a blizzard – I figure, go big or go home. The camaraderie of my friends and family at the gatherings leading up to Christmas and the big shebang is great. And let’s not forget – it’s boot season! We’ve got your holiday entertainment options covered in spades with our compilation of happenings beginning on page 36. When reading through the dazzling array of celebrations and anticipating all the cheer and goodwill this month will bring, I felt my Grinchy heart grow at least a size or two. But lest I get too comfortable with all the wholesomeness of the season, we’ve taken a look at the intriguing pop culture phenomenon The Lost Ogle, a website known for its scathing wit and sharp (and sometimes crass) take on hometown media, local celebrities and events. Along the way, the site’s relative obscurity has been eclipsed by some serious investigative reporting. Read about it on page 42. Merry Christmas!
DOWNTOWN in December PRESENTED BY DEVON
November 15-January 1 Devon Ice Rink at Myriad Gardens d Devon’s Saturdays with Santa d Chesapeake Snow Tubing
SandRidge Tree Lighting Festival d SandRidge Santa Run 5k d Free Water Taxi Rides d Automobile Alley’s Lights on Broadway OneMain Financial’s Bricktown Canal Lights d Deluxe Winter Market d Sonic Segway Santa d Continental’s Free Movie Mondays A Vintage Christmas on Film Row presented by Dunlap Codding d Little Willie’s Triple Dog Dare presented by Newmark Grubb Levy Strange Beffort Santa’s Adventures on the Oklahoma River presented by OKC Boathouse Foundation d Holiday Pop-Up Shops in Midtown d Oklahoma City Ballet’s The Nutcracker OKC Philharmonic’s Christmas Show d OKC Arts Council’s Opening Night
For a full list of events visit DowntownInDecember.com or call 405-235-3500
All she wants for Christmas is her two front teeth! If you’re wanting a brighter, healthier smile for Christmas, you don’t need to wait for Santa. We’ve got you covered. Call to schedule an appointment, and we’ll have you smiling throughout the holiday season. Happy Holidays!
Dr. Susan Whiteneck ~ Dr. Sara Spurlock
Call (405) 321-6166 or visit NormanDentist.com
Early Childhood Education Foster Care
For more than 100 years, Sunbeam Family Services has provided help to Central Oklahoma’s most vulnerable citizens.
If you would like to find out more about Sunbeam or contribute, visit www.sunbeamfamilyservices.org or call 405.528.7721.
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22 SLICE // DECEMBER 2013
UP FRONT Seat Yourself
Unobtrusive storage, a comfortable footrest or – especially during the holiday season – a party time “parking” spot. Ottomans like these make fabulous furnishings you’ll flip (not trip) over. See page 28.
CHATTER Topics of conversation from around the metro 24
RETROSPECTIVE A quick look back at a treasured piece of local history 30
EXCHANGE Discussing emotion and change with HOPE Center director Chris Sperry 34
DECEMBER 2013 // SLICE 23
UP FRONT | Chatter
A PREGNANCY (IN PROGRESS) TO REMEMBER
Getting in Tune THE IRRESISTIBLE MUSE FROM BEYOND THE WORLD
One of the more exciting aspects of living creatively is that inspiration can come from anywhere: a memory of a long-ago birthday party, the play of sunlight on leaves, a big-budget sci-fi epic … wait, what? On the heels of their June album “The Terror,” the Flaming Lips, OKC’s musical shunners of the mundane, were an unusual choice to submit a song for the soundtrack to space saga “Ender’s Game” – Steven Drozd told “The Atlantic” that “I don’t know how we were picked” and that the band wasn’t familiar with the book ahead of time. But not only did that song wind up playing over the credits, getting into the film’s narrative groove to write it touched a chord with the Lips, who simply kept going. Their EP “Peace Sword” includes that titular original track plus five others that followed during the creative process; it’s available now digitally and on CD, as well as a limited edition vinyl version (inscribed with a special message to author Orson Scott Card) released November 29.
LOST IN THE SHUFFLE
SLICE STAFF SUGGESTIONS TO ENFESTIVATE YOUR PLAYLIST “Little Drummer Boy”
by Bing Crosby and David Bowie
“The Chipmunk Song”
by Alvin and the Chipmunks (he still wants a hula hoop)
by Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band
“Christmas Wrapping” by The Waitresses
“Run Rudolph Run” by Chuck Berry
“Carol of the Bells”
basically any version ever
“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Rowlf the Dog
24 SLICE // DECEMBER 2013
Think about everything that’s happened since February 2012 (for example, Gingrich and Santorum were still vying for the Republican nomination) and you’ll get an idea of how long 22 months is. Now imagine you’ve been pregnant continuously that whole time, and you’ll get an idea of what OKC Zoo resident Asha the elephant is in for. This is her second pregnancy – her first calf Malee is about two-and-a-half years old – and she still has a way to go: while it’s too soon to celebrate (there’s an old proverb about not counting your pachyderms before they’re hatched), OKC Zoo enthusiasts may get a nice early Christmas present in December 2014.
For four months, beer lovers were bereft when it came to quaffing products from the OKC-based Black Mesa Brewing Company – for the record, the excuses “The dog drank our beer” and “The big vat thingy got a flat tire” pale in comparison to the totally legit “A tornado wrecked our brewery” – but not only are they now back thanks to a temporary relocation to Missouri, they’re better than ever and celebrating a milestone: Black Mesa’s first ever bottled beer is in stores now. The Double ESB (beer enthusiasts may tell you that stands for Extra Special Bitter; to Black Mesa and others equally inspired by Woody Guthrie, it’s properly Endless Skyway Bitter) is a whopping 9.6 percent ABV – that’s 19 proof. Cofounder Brad Stumph says the two-fisted brew is the result of “want[ing] to have a little fun with the situation; [it] uses the same ingredients as our ESB, but has double the ABV. It’s our statement that Black Mesa is coming back twice as strong.” Welcome back, gentlemen – we know just what to raise as a toast.
Hang in There, Baby!
’Tis the Season…
For Holiday Gift Giving
Holiday Open House
Thursday, December 5th | 1-7pm
Oklahoma’s Premier Art Gallery 6432 N. Western Avenue 405.840.4437 | howellgallery.com
22012201 WestW Main Street, Norman OK 405.360.2515 Main St Norman, 73069
DECEMBER 2013 // SLICE 25
UP FRONT | Chatter “As we struggle with shopping lists and invitations, compounded by December’s bad weather, it is good to be reminded that there are people in our lives who are worth this aggravation, and people to whom we are worth the same.” - Author DONALD WESTLAKE
Calendar Watch December 21 First day of winter December 25 It’s Christmas time in the city (and everywhere else) December 26 Kwanzaa begins December 31 Get some sleep; we get to start the whole thing over from scratch tomorrow
Art can be a creative outlet, a means of selfexpression, even in some cases an avenue for communication that would have been lost. That’s why the Fine Arts Institute of Edmond has partnered with the Alzheimer’s Association to offer free art experiences for people in the early stages of dementia. In the “Drawing on Memories” classes on the first Monday of each month, a trained art therapist helps guide participants through the process of painting and drawing, helping men and women stay connected and maintain a means of expressing themselves even after their verbal and organizational abilities have diminished. Drawing on Memories is open to anyone who’s been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia, and while classes are free, reservations are required; call 340.4481 to learn more. 26 SLICE // DECEMBER 2013
ON THE PAGE A HOME MORE THAN THE SUM OF ITS PARTS An aging hippie fiercely beloved by the preschool students she teaches about everything from dinosaurs to weather; a tenured professor with a passion for wild birds; a cheery Native blackjack dealer; a bevy of sharp-elbowed roller girls; a Vietnamese émigré with an eye for jade – all of these are the title characters in “Red Dirt Women,” Susan Kates’ memoirslash-character study about the contemporary Oklahoma female. As much as it’s about any of the conversation subjects, the book is about Kates herself; her trepidation about moving to the plains in the first place, her love for Frankoma pottery and Annie Oakley, her son’s tendency to agree to anything if there’s Coke involved, the emotionally wrenching process of adopting that son from his young, borderline-destitute birth mother – also an Oklahoma woman. In the foreword, author and friend Rilla Askew calls it “a wonderful evocation of contemporary plainswomen’s engagement with the land and its history … and, as in Kates’ own experience, a quest for home.”
THE DINING ARENA
There are tons of great places in downtown OKC and beyond to grab a bite or enjoy a lengthier meal before, during or after the Thunder game – let’s be clear about that – but how many of those places are actually under the same roof as the court? Answer: more than you might think. Chesapeake Arena has undergone some extremely tasty renovations and menu revampings in preparation for this season, and thanks to the combined prowess of SAVOR and Levy Restaurants, fans have more, and more delicious, culinary options mere steps from their seats. Zesty Stromboli on house-made dough at the Red River Bistro, chipotle barbeque wings with garlic parmesan fries at WingN-It near Loud City, a tender pork Porterhouse with smoked apple butter and Armadillo Eggs (peppers stuffed with brisket and cheese, then breaded and fried) in the sleek sit-down ambiance of the Center Court Grill … it’s a good thing there are still dozens of home games; Chesapeake patrons have a lot of research on their plates.
The holidays are coming…
Keep it real.
VISIT OVER 30 LOCAL SHOPS AND A CHRISTMAS TREE LOT THIS HOLIDAY SEASON NOV 29TH — DEC 22ND THURSDAY — SUNDAY 1000 N. WALKER, MIDTOWN OKLAHOMA CITY
Stop in today and pick up a hostess gift and festive floral. Calvert your holiday with real greenery, garland and foliage.
SPECIAL THANKS TO ST. ANTHONY HOSPITAL CONTINENTAL RESOURCES FOWLER TOYOTA • MIDTOWN RENAISSANCE KOSU & THE SPY • SLICE MAGAZINE • AEQU
5308 N. CLASSEN BLVD • 405.848.6642 • www.CALVERTS.com
DECEMBER 2013 // SLICE 27
UP FRONT | Details
Top: Alligator embossed off-white leather tapered ottoman from Mister Robert Fine Furniture & Design, Bottom: Striped stonewashed twill Maxim swivel ottoman from 30A Home
28 SLICE // DECEMBER 2013
OTTOMAN EMPIRE By Sara Gae Waters // Photos by Carli Wentworth
IN THE NEVER-ENDING SEASON OF “EAT, DRINK AND BE MERRY,” I can’t help but confess that sometimes I just want to pull up a chair and take a load off. Holiday parties are great. Love them. But sometimes standing in heels for a couple of hours can get tiresome. Solution? Sit! But where? If there is ever a time to have some extra seating around, this is it. An ottoman can be just the ticket. The funny thing is, not many people seem to use that word anymore. During a few preparatory phone calls for this article I found myself repeating it … “Ottoman. OTTOMAN.” Then I started to improvise: Pouf, cube, bench … Ahhh, yes, we have those! It’s true that the ottoman seems to be a much more stuffy word than pouf or tuffet – a holdover from the days of “Leave It To Beaver.” That is, unless you put some fabulous adjectives in front of it – and of course the description must deliver. Could anyone resist a sunset orange tufted leather ottoman? Not me. So, here’s an array of ottomans to help expand your seating options when your guests need to land for a bit, or if you just simply need a stylish place to prop up your feet after all the holiday cheer!
Clockwise from top left: Cranberry upholstered ottoman and Normandy cross leg bench from Mister Robert Fine Furniture & Design // Top: Brown linen square ottoman with dark stained legs from Home Goods, Bottom: Modern houndstooth fabric covered ottoman from Mister Robert Fine Furniture & Design // Top: Zebra cube with nail trim from Mister Robert Fine Furniture & Design, Bottom: Cream fabric bench with grey wash legs from Home Goods // Sunset orange tufted leather ottoman from 30A Home
DECEMBER 2013 // SLICE 29
o r t Respective
Splendid Season By Mark Beutler // Photos courtesy Oklahoma Historical Society
OKLAHOMA CITY’S LEGENDARY JOHN A. BROWN DEPARTMENT STORE CAME ALIVE with the sights and sounds of the holiday season every year from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. The downtown location was noted for its lavish windows and elegant Christmas displays. Strings of multi-colored lights and gaily decorated trees helped make the season bright. In its day, Brown’s was the place to shop. The store was named for John A. Brown, a farm boy who, with his cousin, started the business in Guthrie in the early part of the 20th century. By 1932, Brown bought out his cousin and relocated to Oklahoma City, where the store remained a fixture for decades. During the chaotic “urban renewal” years of the 1960s and ’70s, many retailers fled from downtown, but Brown’s kept their location on West Main Street. They expanded to other locations including Capitol Hill, Norman and Penn Square, before finally selling to the Dillard’s Corporation in 1984. Here’s a fond look back at how the John A. Brown Co. appeared during the height of its holiday grandeur.
30 SLICE // DECEMBER 2013
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DECEMBER 2013 // SLICE 31
HAPPY HOLIDAYS, OKLAHOMA! BY THE NUMBERS 14
inches of snowfall during OKC’s whitest Christmas: the blizzard of Christmas Eve 2009
years (and counting) Oklahomans have found themselves humming the B.C. Clark jingle
sales tax collected by the state of Oklahoma in December 2012
percentage increase that represented over 2011; that’s a good sign of economic growth
highest temperature in OKC on Christmas, in 1922
lowest temperature in OKC on Christmas, in 1983
height in feet of the SandRidge Christmas Tree in downtown OKC
length in feet of the Chesapeake Snow Tubing slope in the Bricktown Ballpark
32 SLICE // DECEMBER 2013
number of times since 1890 OKC has had at least a trace of snow on the ground on Christmas morning
years the company intended it to run; they made a replacement in 1961 that was quickly withdrawn after listener complaints
By Steve Gill
total number of Academy of Country Music Awards won by Oklahomans Reba McEntire and Blake Shelton, who sang the duet “Oklahoma Christmas”
year Kwanzaa (from a Swahili phrase meaning “first fruits”) was introduced in hopes of unifying African-American communities in the wake of the Watts riots
age of Ponca City singer Gayla Peevey when she recorded “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” in 1953
1990 year wild turkey became Oklahoma’s state game bird
year (pre-statehood) mistletoe became Oklahoma’s official “floral emblem”
year Nat King Cole opined those two things “help to make the season bright”
people expected to count down the final seconds of 2013 at Opening Night
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Start out in all kinds of different roles. The qualities that make successful leaders and citizens are the very qualities that children learn and develop when exposed to the arts. Qualities that include creativity, confidence, problem solving and communication. When we invest in tomorrowâ€™s leaders by giving them learning opportunities through the arts today, we all see the returns in the form of better communities and a stronger economy. Now thatâ€™s a win-win situation. Support Allied Arts today and play the role of hero for our kids and our communities.
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DECEMBER 2013 // SLICE 33
UP FRONT | Exchange
FEELING HOPEFUL By Lauren Hammack // Photo by Carli Wentworth
Conv A er with sation Ch Sper ris ry
IT WOULD BE HARD TO FIND A MORE FITTING NAME for a nonprofit than the HOPE Center of Edmond. As the calendar dwindles to one page, the HOPE Center is looking ahead to 2014, its 30th year of serving the Edmond community by providing food, clothing, household items and financial assistance for rent and utilities. The HOPE Center’s Executive Director, Chris Sperry, spoke with us this month about the importance of volunteerism, the innate goodness within us all and the one message that transcends all socio-economic and cultural lines: hope.
What is your hometown? Midwest City. A Bomberette? No, a Titan. How long have you been at the HOPE Center of Edmond? I came as a volunteer in January 1998, and I’ve been executive director for six years. What’s the best part of your job? I’m a people person. I like clients and volunteers and I love feeling like we’ve made a difference in all their lives.
What’s a risk worth taking? Giving someone the benefit of the doubt. What day is your birthday? December 21. Happy birthday! What can they get you for your birthday? Pandora charms. Chocolate in a gold box with a “G” on it! What will you accomplish by the end of this year if it kills you? I hope to memorize Mozart’s Sonata in C. I’m close.
What is your husband’s name? Ken.
What are you currently learning to do? Speak Spanish.
Do you have kids? Yes, we have four – two boys and two girls.
What can’t you resist watching on TV? “Justified,” a very wellwritten series on FX.
What’s the best lesson you’ve taught your kids? Be kind no matter what. Have your kids volunteered at the HOPE Center? Yes, my three older children have all worked here. What are you currently obsessed with? Temple Run 2! I’m on level nine. And what does that mean to the layperson? That I no longer have to be embarrassed by my level in Temple Run 2. Can you do anything most people have to call in a professional to do? I can sew. I can make curtains. And I can do taxes. 34 SLICE // DECEMBER 2013
What TV character reminds you most of yourself? Claire Dunphy on “Modern Family.” Whom do you think you could be mistaken for? Cheryl Woods, our volunteer coordinator. People always ask if we’re sisters! What were your parents and teachers wrong about? I’ve come to the point in my life that I’m convinced my parents were brilliant. My teachers were a different story – stuff they thought was important turned out not to matter much. What was the last movie that made you cry? An old classic, “The Green Berets.”
Is there a character trait you’d gladly give up? I’d like to be – how should I put this – “less spontaneous.” Which trait is one of your best? I’d like to think it’s kindness and concern for people. What bump in the road turned out to be a blessing in your life? Years ago, I applied to go to PA school, but the timing just didn’t seem right, so I decided against it. The decision not to do it led to this opportunity at the HOPE Center. What do you value most in your friends? Honesty. What’s the last book you read? “Never Go Back,” a Jack Reacher novel by Lee Child. What examples did your parents model? My mom has volunteered for Meals On Wheels since I was young. I grew up helping out with that and it taught me the importance of caring for other people. Both my parents taught me the value of hard work, education and the value of people and family. What words have you eaten? “Never” and “always” and whatever follows those words. If you could have another name, what would it be? Celeste.
What do you wish you were better at saying “no” to? Overcommitting myself. What advice would you put inside a fortune cookie? Be happy. What traditions does the HOPE Center have for the holidays? Every year, we have a program called Adopt-AFamily, which matches families in need with sponsor families at Christmastime. How would someone learn more about becoming a sponsor family? The sponsor application is available on our website at www.hopecenterof edmond.com. The new year is a milestone for the HOPE Center. Thirty years is impressive! What makes 30 years especially significant is that we’ve been privately funded all that time. Our success is directly related to support from the community. How will you all mark the anniversary? We’re hosting a gala on March 29, where we’ll be raffling off a house from McCaleb Homes! What do you want others to know about the HOPE Center? That this is a place where people who need assistance will be treated with respect and kindness … and leave feeling hopeful.
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GIANT By Steve Gill and John Parker
While some may argue whether the holiday season is truly the most wonderful time of the year, it’s hard to challenge the assertion that it’s a great, great time for the metro. Central Oklahoma simply does Christmas right, and with so many entertainment options, consider this compendium of recommendations our present to you. Happy holidays, Slice readers! “IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE – THE MUSICAL”
Through December 15, Sooner Theatre Frank Capra’s classic film fable follows George Bailey as he lurches from broken, desperate man, to beneficiary of heavenly intervention, to a raucously joyful second chance. For audiences, the story seems to conjure up a heartfelt appreciation for grace, the spirit of Christmas and the American Dream all in one. Now imagine this nostalgic must-see performed as an acclaimed musical by Tony Award-winner Sheldon Harnick and Grammy winner Joe Raposo. Lisa Fox will direct the production’s memorable characters – George, Mary, Clarence the angel, nasty Mr. Potter and, cutest of all, Zuzu. It’s the Sooner Theatre’s gift to us all this season. 36 SLICE // DECEMBER 2013
“A TERRITORIAL CHRISTMAS CAROL”
Through December 22, Pollard Theater, Guthrie Newer isn’t necessarily better – the Pollard discovered that when they staged a different Christmas play back in 1990, and public reaction was such that they went back to this one the next year … and every year since. Sometimes the best option is to stick with what works. The Stephen Scott adaptation of Dickens’ redemption song recasts the money-grubbing miser as a tyrannical land baron on the plains of a pre-statehood Oklahoma. As artistic director W. Jerome Stevenson put it, “the heart of the show can be anywhere you want it to be.”
THE CHRISTMAS SHOW
December 5-7, OKC Civic Center That venerable venue’s full name is the Civic Center Music Hall, with emphasis on “Hall,” as in “that which should be decked.” Challenge accepted! The OKC Philharmonic proudly presents the second installment of its Pops series, closing out 2013 not with a whimper but a jingle, in this zest-filled, tinsel-festooned, singing, dancing, musical extravaganza. Starring Broadway vet and towering tenor George Dvorsky and the fullthroated Gwendolyn Jones (she’s played Mrs. Claus for Radio City Music Hall), The Christmas Show makes its name an understatement with a vast cast and carefully choreographed numbers that pull off an impressive feat: according to producers, “our show balances the glitz of Broadway with the spirit of Christmas found only in Oklahoma.” The musicians of the OKC Philharmonic are under the direction of maestro Joel Levine, while the show itself is helmed by the redoubtable Lyn Cramer. Merriness abounds!
DOWNTOWN IN DECEMBER
Through December 31, Downtown Oklahoma City
Name something you love about the Christmas season, and the odds are that there’s something along those lines scheduled as part of this event – or, more accurately, series of events. It’s a month-plus of holiday goodness in practically every permutation, compressed into the heart of the metro. Aptly calling it Oklahoma City’s “winter wonderland,” Downtown OKC, Inc.’s Gentry McKeown explains the appeal in a nutshell: “ice skating, snow tubing, festivals, shopping and more … all surrounded by twinkling lights. It’s the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit.” She even left a few things out of that lavish litany; look at all this! DEVON ICE RINK Open 7 days a week in the Myriad Botanical Gardens, the outdoor rink hosts public skating, private parties and special events. Food and drink will be served outdoors, or dine inside at the new Park House restaurant. CHESAPEAKE SNOW TUBING Cruise down one of the country’s largest manmade snow tubing slopes at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Even if the weather’s nice, riders can slide from the upper deck all the way onto the field – close to 150 feet of fun. There’s also a second, smaller slide to accommodate children and moderate thrill-seekers. SANDRIDGE TREE LIGHTING Guests will enjoy live music, food and fun as Mayor Cornett throws the switch on the season November 29. Snack on popcorn and cookies, jam out to the music of Banana Seat, get a photo with Santa … and do it all for free.
DELUXE WINTER MARKET More than 40 vendor booths proffer local art, handmade crafts, food and specialty gifts November 30-December 1 at the Bricktown Events Center.
FREE MOVIE MONDAYS Continental Resources hosts free weekly screenings at Harkins Theatres in Bricktown; just check online for titles and links to request passes in advance.
SATURDAYS WITH SANTA Drop by the Devon Rotunda to spill your heart’s desire to the man himself every Saturday before Christmas. Pictures are free – just bring your own camera! WATER TAXI RIDES Thursday through Sunday evenings during December, all ages are welcome to take a free nautical tour of the beautifully adorned Bricktown canal.
LITTLE WILLIE’S TRIPLE DOG DARE Why’s it called that? In the 2nd annual take-no-prisoners race December 7, participants climb up and then back down the stairs of both towers of Leadership Square and the Oklahoma Tower – that’s 138 flights in all, and while you can be part of a relay, some will attempt the whole shebang solo. Some may even try to do it twice. For details and to register, visit littlewilliestripledogdare.com.
SANDRIDGE SANTA RUN On December 14, take your pick of a 5K race, a one-mile Fun Run and the free Santa Claus Kid’s Dash, plus a warm-up with Rumble the Bison and the Thunder Girls. Proceeds raised will benefit NorthCare.
All this plus the Holiday Pop-Up Shops in Midtown, Santa’s Adventures on the Oklahoma River, A Vintage Christmas on Film Row, surprises from a Segway-mounted Santa … whew! Get downtown and enjoy it all; visit downtownindecember.com for a full schedule and further details. DECEMBER 2013 // SLICE 37
“ HOLIDAYS AT HOME
December 5-8 & 12-14, UCO Jazz Lab Always fabulous and phenomenally fun, UCO Musical Theatre’s annual holiday revue showcases young performers twirling their lassos for a ride to stardom. Case in point: You won’t see singer Erin Clemons this year, but you can catch her in the “Les Miserables” cast on Broadway next March. See if you can divine who’s destined for fame in “Holidays at Home.” Fourteen featured vocalists and the JingleBelles and MistleTones will warm your heart and tickle your ears with more than two dozen pop rock festive tunes, Christmas gospels and holiday classics. Reservations strongly recommended.
COWBOY CHRISTMAS PARADE
December 7, Stockyards City When you think “parade,” the first image that comes to mind is likely to be 76 trombones, or a giant Snoopy balloon, or a flatbed trailer covered with flowers. That’s … not quite what’s in store at this event. Given that this particular parade is in Stockyards City, they have a special kind of horn section: the 200 pointed prongs on the hundred-head herd of cattle that lead off the proceedings. They’re followed by antique cars, Native American dancers, rodeo cowboys and plenty more, including an appearance from the jolly old uniquely western elf, Cowboy Santa.
EDMOND’S TREE LIGHTING AND PARADE OF LIGHTS December 7, Downtown Edmond
Mark Twain identified two elements that make a parade worthy of praise: A procession of delights for the eyes is a must, but more important is the symbolism behind the event. It should exalt the spirit and stir the heart. Edmond Electric’s annual Parade of Lights excels at both. Last year’s downtown celebration of the season was a spectacle of 40 entries that included a fire truck tricked out with a mantle of lights, miniature horses, vintage Model As and a visit from St. Nicholas himself. As always, the parade will be preceded by the mayor’s tree-lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. in Shannon Miller Park at Main and Jackson. The parade hits the street at 6:45, starting from Main and University. In a season full of meaning, this year’s parade will be that much more significant because of who will fill the honorable post of parade marshal – wounded veterans. Who better to share the season’s tidings of peace with? 38 SLICE // DECEMBER 2013
December 5-8, OCU Kirkpatrick Auditorium What is the spruce tree without lights and ornaments, or gift boxes without wrapping paper and bows? If someone’s planning a Christmas production, don’t they owe it to their audience to throw in a little holiday razzle-dazzle? Well, fear not: Oklahoma City University’s American Spirit Dance Company has you covered and then some in its annual December blockbuster. Fastpaced, bursting with energy and expertly choreographed, the Broadway-style production directed by Jo Rowan features familiar tunes and more than 150 colorfully costumed dancers performing in a variety of styles from ballet to tap, including an immense – and thoroughly impressive – kickline of Santa’s Helpers. They even set
PHOTOS: EDMOND PARADE BY COOPER ROSS, INSIGHT VISUAL MEDIA, CANTERBURY CHORAL SOCIETY BY MICHAEL ANDERSON
“HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS”
THE MORE, THE MERRIER Keep the holiday spirit flowing with these additional treats
THE OKLAHOMA NUTCRACKER Dec 1 The Norman Ballet Company’s holiday tradition puts a Sooner state spin on the Tchaikovsky legend. Nancy O’Brien PAC, 1809 Stubbeman Ave, Norman, 364.1818 HIP HOP NUTCRACKER Dec 6-7 An updated version of the holiday classic presented by OKC’s Race Dance Company follows Carlos and a magical toy soldier on a journey of self-discovery and battles against ninja mice. Bishop McGuinness High School, 801 NW 50th St, OKC, 410.498, racedance.com THE NUTCRACKER Dec 7-8 The Oklahoma Community Orchestra provides the Tchaikovsky score while the Central OK Ballet Company handles the twirling, kicking and dream journeying for a seaonal favorite. Yukon Fine Arts Auditorium, 850 Yukon Blvd, Yukon, 425.1990, okorchestra.org THE NUTCRACKER Dec 13-22 Snowflakes and sugar plum fairies, a brave toy soldier and a fearsome Mouse King - and perhaps most importantly, the skilled dancers of the OKC Ballet with musical backing from the OKC Philharmonic. Enjoy the holiday tradition. OKC Civic Center, 201 N Walker Ave, OKC, 848.8637, okcballet.com
Harpist Gaye LeBlanc
December 8, OKC Civic Center The spectacularly sonorous Canterbury Choral Society is a thunderous 125 members strong … but this is Christmas; ’tis the season to spare no effort in sharing the glories (and “Gloria!”s) of holiday music. That’s why the annually sold-out show the choir anchors features a ton of special guests: the piping voices of the Canterbury Youth Choruses, the rich, crisp sound of the OCU Faculty Brass Quintet, organ and harp accompaniment to ageold classics and a world premiere (courtesy of OCU alumnus David Janssen) alike – even the audience is invited to participate in belting out favorite carols. Visitors are invited to donate to the Regional Food Bank and Christmas Connection via special collections at the venue, and to stay for a cookie reception after the concert. Organizers have taken some pains to make the evening sound terrific.
CHICKASHA FESTIVAL OF LIGHT Through Dec 31 A tremendous outpouring of community spirit, the massive (more than 3.5 million lights) celebration is a wonder for all ages. Shannon Springs Park, Chickasha, 224.9627, chickashafestivaloflight.com EDMOND OUTDOOR ICE SKATING Through Jan 5 Strap on your skates and do a double axel or two, or just slowly loop the rink and enjoy the festive atmosphere. Free parking, concessions, indoor restrooms and seasonal fun. Festival Market Place, 30 W 1st St, Edmond, 274.1638, expressice.com HOLIDAY HAPPENING Dec 5 The Sam Noble Museum’s annual fete features live music, crafts, storytelling and shopping, plus a mammoth in a really big hat. Sam Noble Museum, 2401 Chautauqua Ave, Norman, 325.4712, snomnh.ou.edu TERRITORIAL CHRISTMAS Dec 5 Deck the halls pre-statehood style at this annual celebration, using traditional 1880s decorations and period costumes. Harn Homestead Museum, 1721 N Lincoln Blvd, OKC, 235.4058, harnhomestead.com UCO WINTERGLOW Dec 6 Train rides, karaoke, photos with Santa and treats for all ages fill the annual seasonal kickoff at Central’s Old North. UCO Nigh University Center, 100 N University Blvd, Edmond, uco.edu/winterglow DRIVE-THRU CHRISTMAS PAGEANT Dec 6-8 A living nativity complete with children and animals is the centerpiece of an outdoor depiction of the life of Christ. Boys Ranch Town, 5100 SE 33rd St, Edmond, 341.3606, obhc.org/ boysranchtown MESTA PARK HOLIDAY HOME TOUR Dec 7-8 Bundle up and explore the gaily decorated splendor of a venerable neighborhood that’s a thing of beauty even without the lights and tinsel. Mesta Park, 801 NW 17th St, OKC, mestapark.org NORTH POLE HOLIDAY ADVENTURE Dec 8 The actual arctic is really far away, and not filled with treats, arts and crafts or games
(unless you count competitive shivering). So area kids are invted to the snowcovered frolic in Mitch Park instead, for all that and more. Mitch Park MAC, 1501 W Covell Rd, Edmond, 359.4630, edmondok. com/parks
HOLIDAY GIFT GALLERY Through Dec 24 A hand-carved wooden top, exquisitely crafted emerald earrings or all kinds of goodies between - the Firehouse’s exhibition space is given over to creatively wrought gifts in this annual assortment of beauty for sale. Firehouse Art Center, 444 S Flood Ave, Norman, 329.4523, normanfirehouse.com
DONNY & MARIE CHRISTMAS IN OKC Dec 3 What more needs to be said? The Osmonds bring a song and dance spectacular to Oklahoma City for an early dose of Christmas cheer. Chesapeake Arena, 100 W Reno Ave, OKC, 800.745.3000, chesapeakearena.com OCU CHRISTMAS VESPERS Dec 6-7 More than 250 OCU singers and orchestral musicians, comprising four separate vocal ensembles, will celebrate “Songs of Comfort and Joy” at this sonorous annual musical ceremony. OCU Chapel, 2501 N Blackwelder Ave, OKC, 208.5227, okcu. edu/ticketoffice WELCOME, YULE! Dec 14 John Blackwell directs the Oklahoma Choral Artists in a joyous burst of seasonal merriment - guests include the Edmond Youth Chorus and OKC Handbell Ensemble, and proceeds benefit the Mid-Del Food Pantry. Del City High School, 1900 S Sunnylane Rd, OKC, 820.337 JOY TO THE WORLD Dec 20-21 Cory Evans directs this conglomeration of community choir members, sharing the gift of song in a not-for-profit celebration of the spirituality of Christmas. Rose State PAC, 6420 SE 15th St, Midwest City, 297.2264, joytotheworld2013.com
A CHRISTMAS CAROL Through Dec 8 Why wait until Christmas to get in the holiday spirit? Jewel Box helps to make the season bright with an adaptation in which Dickens himself takes the stage. Jewel Box Theater, 3700 N Walker Ave, OKC, 521.1786, jewelboxtheatre.org JUNIE B. IN JINGLE BELLS, BATMAN SMELLS Through Dec 18 A series of kids’ books is the basis for this tale of colliding concepts and holiday cheer, presented by the kids at Oklahoma Children’s Theatre. OCU Kirkpatrick Auditorium, 2501 N Blackwelder Ave, OKC, 951.0011, oklahomachildrenstheatre.org IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: A LIVE RADIO PLAY Through Dec 21 Merry Christmas, you old theater house! Go behind the scenes with the spirit of Christmas as Carpenter Square Theater tells the story of a 1940s radio cast telling the story of George Bailey’s holiday decision. Carpenter Square Theater, 800 W Main St, OKC, 232.6500, carpentersquare.com THE MOST FABULOUS STORY EVER TOLD Dec 5-22 Broad-minded adults only, please; this cheerful comedy follows the adventures and occasionally rocky romance, from biblical times to the present day, of extremely long-lived characters Adam and Steve. OKC Civic Center, 201 N Walker Ave, OKC, 297.2264, okctheatrecompany.org
DECEMBER 2013 // SLICE 39
December 21, Chesapeake Arena Pyrotechnic prog-rock powerhouse TSO kicks out the jams all year round, but this particular holiday has been especially good to the band’s creative output and audience popularity. Still, all good things must come to an end, and after 15 years on the road the group is closing one chapter of its legacy by retiring the double-platinum rock opera “The Lost Christmas Eve” … right after playing it one more time. Released in album form in 2004, the final chapter in the band’s Christmas trilogy tells the story of an inexperienced angel exploring New York City on Christmas Eve in search of righteousness – his journey encompasses several souls representing the best and worst of human nature, as well as elements of classical music, folk, R&B and blistering rock and roll. Busy as the Trans-Siberian December schedule is, they’re in town for one day only, and tickets to the two shows (3 p.m. and 8 p.m.) on the first day of winter will be hot commodities.
and marvel at the 80-90 entries lining up outside the Tigers’ lair. Stroll east along Main Street and pick a prime spot for parade viewing. Pop out the chairs and hot chocolate and thoroughly enjoy this year’s “Hometown Christmas.” Easy, huh?
GINGERBREAD HOUSE CONTEST
December 14, Edmond Historical Society Participating in this construction project doesn’t require an architectural license, or even an entry fee; the only drawback is that it’ll be hard to keep yourself from snacking on the results. The Edmond Historical Society’s holiday contest is open to all ages over 5 – there are separate categories for children, teens and adults, with prizes to reward the best looking, most creative, most materially impressive gingerbread wonders. Just make sure to register in advance, and that your house is totally edible. Tidings of comfort and tastiness!
NORMAN CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY PARADE
December 14, Downtown Norman Here’s the perfect family plan for Saturday, Dec. 14: Wake up the little ones with the magic words, “Who wants to see Santa in the parade today!?” Pack up the family, hot chocolate and portable chairs and head to Norman High School. Let the Norman Kiwanis Club serve you a delicious pancake breakfast. Listen for a tiny bell ringing (proceeds go to charitable causes). After breakfast, walk outside
40 SLICE // DECEMBER 2013
help OKC celebrate in the finest Western style. The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum is all set to throw open its doors for the 19th annual ball, at which guests enjoy a lavish buffet and an evening of dancing, while Murphey and friends provide the classic carols, range standards and other music. It’s an all-ages show with room enough on the dance floor for all … if Santa shows up, as he has before, even he may lift up his boots and take a spin or two.
LYRIC’S “A CHRISTMAS CAROL”
COWBOY CHRISTMAS BALL
December 20, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum Guitar-wielding troubadour Michael Martin Murphey may be around retirement age, but he’s been fascinated with Western culture, especially its lyrical side, since he was a pup. Since even cowboys make a special effort to observe the Christmas season, Murphey has made it a point for nearly the last two decades to
Through December 28, Plaza Theater Ecce Humbug – Behold the miser! The national-caliber actor Chris Bloch, fresh off a Washington, D.C. run of the Dickensian classic, takes the stage as hardhearted scornmeister Ebenezer Scrooge in Lyric Theater’s annual production. A generous grant from Devon Energy locked the show into Lyric’s schedule and helps transport audiences onto the mean streets of Victorian London for a traditional retelling of the much-venerated tale – driven by the supernatural, but built around the universal regret for choices we could have made and the inspiring knowledge that we can all choose to become better people, every one. Directed by Michael Baron and featuring a cast laden with the metro’s premier thespians, it’s a treat for any age, an experience that is at once memorable for decades and fresh each time it is seen anew.
PHOTOS: TRANS SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA BY BOB CAREY
aside time at the end to slow the tempo and take a moment of reverent reflection in commemorating the birth of Christ. It’s recommended for ages 6 and up, but for practically everyone within that range.
December 31, Downtown OKC It all culminates with this. A month loaded with merriment, mirth and memories in the making ends with a shebang, as the Arts Council of Oklahoma City and more than 50,000 revelers ring in the new year in deliriously delightful style. Nine venues throughout downtown boast in excess of 25 performances of various stripes: headlining blues and soul balladeers Matt Stansberry & The Romance, spur-of-the-moment comedic stylings from the OKC Improv troupe, elite illusionist David Thomas and his award-winning World of Magic Show and much, much more – and that’s not including the spate of activities especially for children. Surrounded by throngs of friends and neighbors, giddy with the cumulative effect of hours of multifarious celebration, bathed in the radiant glow of a sky-sundering fireworks display and suffused with the limitless promise only found on the cusp of a brand-new year … why wouldn’t you get in on that? DECEMBER 2013 // SLICE 41
42 SLICE // DECEMBER 2013
FINDING THE LOST OGLE By John Parker // Photos by Simon Hurst
An “obscure local social blog” launched in 2007 has grown into a groundbreaking new-media force in Oklahoma politics, traditional newsgathering and local pop culture, winning national attention along the way. With a mix of “Colbert Report” humor and no hesitation in circulating hometown, untouchable news, everyone who’s anyone reads The Lost Ogle (although they may not admit it).
t’s Tuesday night at the 51st Street Speakeasy just off the Western Avenue strip. Spotlighted on a small stage in dimly lit barroom No. 2, 35-year-old Patrick Riley is hosting The Lost Ogle trivia night with comedian Spencer “Spence” Hicks. They’re seated at a portable banquet table. Spread out before them is a packed house of teams scootched up to tables
topped off with cocktails and pints of beer. The conversations generate a din that overpowers the whistling solo from “Young Folks” playing over speakers. A waitress hoists a plate of bacon-wrapped chicken over her head as she weaves through. The mood is part rowdy poker night, part adult house party. Riley leans in to a mic and his baritone voice interrupts over the PA. “Time for team names, everybody.”
Layoffs underway at Chesapeake Energy’s headquarters, a few blocks north, inspire two crowd-pleasing team monikers that Riley peels off: “I Survived the Chesacide” and “I Got Fired by Chesapeake – Need Prize Money.” And only days after terrorists struck the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Riley announces another team name the crowd instantly, if reluctantly, comprehends:
DECEMBER 2013 // SLICE 43
Adjectives used to describe it run from derision to devotion. And depending on which post they refer to, they can all be pretty accurate. Disdainful descriptors include “juvenile,” “offensive,” “sexist,” “mean,” “crude.” On the complimentary side – “hilarious,” “witty,” “refreshing,” “nonconformist,” “important.” Even Riley himself will reel off a few sideswipes: absurd, stupid, sarcastic, a joke. And he’s the first to admit the copy editing sucks. “There’s Malls in Kenya?” A mix of groans and high hoots flood the room. Seconds later, a player shouts, “Not anymore!” Cleverly tasteless humor is a hallmark of TheLostOgle.com, the website Riley has run for six-and-a-half years. The quasi-anonymous publisher and principal writer, along with his contributors, have turned what was once described as an “obscure local social blog” into a hightraffic, new-media entity unlike anything ever seen in Oklahoma. 44 SLICE // DECEMBER 2013
Yet due to Riley’s interests beyond comedy – specifically the foibles of local media, prominent Oklahomans and state politicians – TLO’s more substantial topics draw readers that include the governor’s office, legislators, on- and off-air news professionals, corporate insiders and metro high society. As a humor site, TLO reliably lures readers with headlines like the “20 Hottest Women in Oklahoma City Media,” or “This Lady Got Life in Prison for Murdering a Disabled Dwarf With a Crystal Ball.”
“THEY GRABBED THIS UNDERCURRENT OF POP CULTURE, OF LOCAL CULTURE, RIGHT AT THE TIME OKLAHOMA CITY POPS UP AS A CULTURALLY INTERESTING PLACE. WHAT THEY’RE DOING IS TEACHING A LESSON ABOUT THE NEW ERA OF JOURNALISM AND SOCIAL MEDIA.”
– KEITH GADDIE, OU POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR
It’s Riley’s other feats – like scooping traditional local media on major stories that national outlets then snap up – that earned TLO’s status as the new media kid in town. During the Chesapeake layoffs, for example, the oil and gas conglomerate that formerly employed more than 4,700 in OKC refused to reveal its termination numbers. It was a bad PR move in a nail-biting metro that had already witnessed company cofounder/local hero Aubrey McClendon blasted from corporate control with the finesse of a 1920s gusher. Most local news media could only ferret out layoff tidbits – like the sacking of the corporate beekeeper. TLO, meanwhile, posted a confidential Chesapeake email suggesting 500 or more employees could lose their jobs. Forbes. com credited TLO and posted the scoop the same day. It got limited play, if at all, locally. When Chesapeake later confessed its OKC layoff tally, it was 640. TLO also sued the governor. The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma needed a plaintiff to sue for emails that Gov. Mary Fallin wouldn’t release. They asked Riley. While traditional media had their own use for the eventually released cache, TLO zeroed in on the juicy stuff: Have you heard about the governor’s chief of staff griping about a state senator staring at her breasts? TLO readers did. Last year, Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch praised TLO’s expose of ESPN’s polarizing personality Skip Bayless. TLO published records that showed the Northwest Classen High School graduate had phenomenally overbilled his basketball prowess there. Bayless, a self-described star starter, scored 21 points in his senior season; the top ace tallied 407. “Showing Woodward- and Bernstein-type initiative, The Lost Ogle, an Oklahoma City-based website, did the legwork to discover the truth about Bayless’ high school basketball career,” Deitsch wrote. Oh, and the FBI reads the site, too. Agents credited TLO as a source for part of its information in a federal search warrant affidavit. When a Reuters News investigative team landed in town to explore alleged malfeasance at Chesapeake, they met with Riley for an off-the-record discussion about local goings-on. Riley still won’t talk about it. OU political science professor Keith Gaddie characterizes TLO’s rise since 2007 as a right-place, right-time, right-idea phenomenon. “They grabbed this undercur-
“TO ME, IT’S STARTLING AND REFRESHING AT THE SAME TIME. AT A TIME WHEN EVERYBODY’S TAKING THINGS WAY TOO SERIOUSLY, IT’S JUST FUN TO HAVE SOMETHING LIKE THE LOST OGLE TO READ AND CHUCKLE. I AGREE WITH THEM VERY LITTLE, BUT I LOOK FORWARD TO READING IT.”
– MIKE McCARVILLE, McCARVILLEREPORT.COM
rent of pop culture, of local culture, right at the time Oklahoma City pops up as a culturally interesting place,” he said. “What they’re doing is teaching a lesson about the new era of journalism and social media. They’re a part of something bigger – which is: America’s coming to Oklahoma.
The world’s coming here, and it won’t leave. We’re going to change, and a lot of people aren’t going to like it, but they represent that new, more diverse Oklahoma that’s coming up.” Riley has an abbreviated take: “We just talk about the things that everybody’s thinking.”
DECEMBER 2013 // SLICE 45
“IF YOU STUMBLED ACROSS THIS LINK ON YOUR NIECE’S FACEBOOK PAGE, I SHOULD WARN YOU THAT THE LOST OGLE IS AN IRREVERENT SATIRICAL NEWS AND ENTERTAINMENT WEBSITE. IT’S NOT FOR EVERYONE, ESPECIALLY IF YOU’RE NICE AND KIND-HEARTED. IF YOU TAKE EVERYTHING WAY TOO SERIOUSLY, AND POKING FUN AT OUR STATE’S FINE PEOPLE AND WAL-MART CULTURE BOTHERS YOU, STOP READING NOW …”
- TLO’S DISCLAIMER ON THIS YEAR’S OKLAHOMA STATE FAIR PHOTO CONTEST
‘A LITTLE PR/MARKETING MAGIC’
LO can be described as a derivative of Comedy Central’s “Colbert Report” and “Daily Show” – but in blog form and focused entirely on Oklahoma. The first insider test to “get” The Lost Ogle is its name. It’s a reference to the omnipres-
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ent Ogle family news dynasty that includes brothers Kelly, Kevin and Kent – the longrunning fixture anchors at channels 9 and 4. Kelly and Kevin Ogle, in particular, are known for their conventional-opinion segments called “My Two Cents” and “The Rant.” In that context, the “Lost Ogle” is kind of like the embarrassing brother the Ogles locked away long ago in an electrical shed at the foot of a broadcast tower. Now he’s busted out and is shamelessly exercising his birthright to transmit his opinions to hapless Oklahomans everywhere. Riley grew up in Oklahoma City. He’s the son of G. Patrick Riley, a nationally rec-
ognized artistic mask maker, sculptor and arts educator who retired from OKC public schools. His mom is an accountant. Both had good senses of humor, Riley said. “My mom has some sharp little sarcasm – a cynical quick wit. I think I picked up some of that,” he said. The seeds of The Lost Ogle blew in on a hurricane. Katrina huffed the New Orleans Hornets out of their arena in 2005 and into the Ford Center for two seasons. Leveraging his English degree from the University of Central Oklahoma, Riley was working full time as the marketing/communications manager for a prominent
“IT’S ACTUALLY KIND OF FUNNY TO ME BECAUSE I’M PORTRAYED TO BE THIS WILD CHARACTER WHO GETS DRUNK, OR SOMETHING. I DON’T EVEN DRINK. I DON’T DRINK AT ALL. I DON’T DO DRUGS. I DON’T SMOKE CIGARETTES. I’M A VEGETARIAN. THERE’S SO MUCH THEY’RE ASSUMING ABOUT ME – WHO I AM OR WHO I’M NOT.”
– CHRISTINA FALLIN, DAUGHTER OF GOV. MARY FALLIN
OKC medical laboratory when he created HornetsCentral.com on the side. That site’s sensibility wasn’t far off from TLO’s. Besides NBA ball play, topics included snarking on local and national sports media and glorifying Honeybees cheerleaders. When the Hornets packed up, thenmarried Riley hit on the idea of an “offbeat local blog about Oklahoma people, places and things,” as he described it. He emailed a couple of local bloggers he didn’t know, but whose writing he liked – Tony Hanadarko and Clark Matthews. “Hopefully, by pooling the resources of 3-5 gifted people and using a little PR/marketing magic (my day trade), we could get something pretty cool going,” he wrote to Tony. After rejecting names such as WhatWouldLindaCavanaughDo.com, the three founded TLO in May 2007. The distraction of starting TLO helped Riley through a divorce and to discover new interests. Before TLO, his near-exclusive use for TV was watching sports – scarcely local news or politics. Perhaps age had something to do with it, he says, but his interest in both grew. Early influential sites for TLO’s direction included Gawker, Deadspin and WWTDD.com – a humor site asking “What Would Tyler Durden Do?” Durden is the reckless uber-man role model in the Chuck Palahniuk novel, and subsequent cult film, “Fight Club.” As with Durden and Colbert, Riley mostly writes in a persona in his TLO posts. It’s that alter ego who has the cojones to describe the then-wife of one of the planet’s richest billionaires, local oil company tycoon Harold Hamm, as “that hot piece of plastic surgery.” Or call local Christian publishing executive Ryan Tate one of the “the world’s greatest assholes” for praying
with his staff before announcing firings, haranguing them and threatening to sue. Recipients of that kind of TLO treatment don’t always take it well. Alex Weintz, Gov. Fallin’s spokesman, only had this to say about TLO’s takedowns related to the governor: “I would appreciate their humor more if they would leave the governor’s kids alone.” “There’s an element of me in everything you’re going to read, and even sometimes I don’t really know which one’s writing a post sometimes,” Riley says. “But I go over the top with the absurdism of everything. It’s me playing just a very snarky character that’s making jokes. It’s like being a comedian.” One element present on the site and in Riley is a sarcastic nature. It’s something in real life that gets under some people’s skin, he says. “I’m a love me or hate me kind of guy. Some don’t like my sarcasm. That’s portrayed on the site, but then again, I’m playing a character and ultimately just trying to make people laugh.” In conversations about his site, Riley takes an analytical approach and doesn’t joke much. He’s a marketer at heart – one who can write. Gaddie says Riley’s the “kind of guy that this medium was built for. Someone who’s funny, who isn’t funny in person necessarily. But he’s deeply funny.” When he does joke, it pounces like cute on a Facebook kitten. As he mused about how he can be annoying sometimes, he said maybe a psychologist would conclude that, deep down, he’s a mean-spirited person. “My girlfriend will sometimes complain. She’s like, ‘Quit making fun of me.’ And I’m like, ‘All right.’ Then I’ll go put on a collar and a leash, and she’ll just walk me around the house – joking! Joking about the collar. It’s just a leash.”
‘STARTLING AND REFRESHING’
rom Riley’s “office” in his twobedroom house, TLO directs socialmedia traffic counts that threaten to rival the metro’s traditional broadcast and print. It averages about 25,000 page views a day – a tally that varies depending on the allure of a topic. Its roughly 18,000 Twitter followers earlier this year compared to 27,000 for NewsOK.com, a site bristling with resources from the multi-billion-dollar Anschutz Company and a 140-member news staff at the state’s largest newspaper. On Facebook that month, roughly 25,000 people “liked” NewsOK. Riley’s boot-strap enterprise was clocking about 14,000. Mike McCarville, the conservative journalist behind the inf luential website McCarvilleReport.com, is the pundit who christened TLO as an “obscure local social blog” in its early years. TLO eagerly lapped up the gift as its signature motto. McCarville, a fan of the politically progressive site, recognizes its evolution to a major media presence. “To me, it’s startling and refreshing at the same time,” he said. “At a time when everybody’s taking things way too seriously, it’s just fun to have something like The Lost Ogle to read and chuckle. I agree with them very little, but I look forward to reading it.” McCarville has seen TLO’s ripples in Oklahoma’s political class. The site’s readers include young political professionals, agency secretaries, mid-level administrators – the rank and file of Oklahoma politics. “If they mention some politician, that politician knows about it in about eight seconds,” he said. Another fan who doesn’t necessarily side with TLO’s political takes is Nate Webb. A lobbyist with Capitol Gains, he was Fallin’s former congressional chief of staff. He considers TLO another incarnation of classic political satire and a bona fide member of the state’s political “lexicon.” “I think it’s one of those things that people in political circles look at with their eyes kind of squinted to make sure they’re not in there,” Webb said. “And then they can kick back and relax and laugh at somebody else. DECEMBER 2013 // SLICE 47
“I’ve heard some people say ‘these guys need to move onto something else,’ but those are the people that usually have a target on their back at that particular time.”
ne of the site’s leading regular targets is Christina Fallin, the 26-year-old daughter of the governor. She’s drawn TLO’s lampooning about her cotton-candy pink hair, two marriages, electronica punk band and high profile in local and national media. In TLO’s world she’s a “self-absorbed narcissist” and “attention-crazed wannabe hipster.” “The only thing Christina hasn’t done yet is release a sex tape, reality show or perfume. Expect one of the three to happen soon,” Riley wrote as “Patrick.”
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Fallin, a former lobbyist whose endeavors include photography and business consulting, says she’s been mad at TLO posts in the past. She realizes Riley makes money creating a caricature of her, she said. “It’s actually kind of funny to me because I’m portrayed to be this wild character who gets drunk, or something,” she said. “I don’t even drink. I don’t drink at all. I don’t do drugs. I don’t smoke cigarettes. I’m a vegetarian. There’s so much they’re assuming about me – who I am or who I’m not.” While she takes the parodies in stride, she’s more concerned about people close to her who haven’t lived in the public eye their entire life as their mom ascended from state representative to congresswoman to lieutenant governor and now the state’s highest office. “My friends have ended up in The Lost Ogle in pictures, and they text message or
call me and they’re like, ‘What am I doing on this?’ They don’t know how to take it. That’s the part that kind of makes me mad, because this isn’t something a person can get used to very quickly. I’m used to it.” Riley says he has no personal animosity against the governor’s daughter, but the site has a certain focus. “Yeah,” he said, “we’ll come after her a little bit and make fun of her for being this weird hipster. And she’s done some incredible things to make us take notice. The easiest way to make The Lost Ogle? Just do some of the things that she does – just being so out there and visible like that.” TLO has been sued twice – legal actions that fizzled out shortly after payment of the filing fee. In solving one of them, Riley met with the plaintiff and smoothed things over, and he ended up advertising with TLO. Threats of lawsuits, however, are more common. On the advice of an attorney, he formed a limited liability company to separate his personal assets from TLO’s corporate identity. In a nod to pop-culture trivia, it’s named Vandelay Entertainment. With nearly seven years’ Ogling, Riley says he’s at a crossroads. He’s thinking about dropping the popular State Fair photo contest because of the trend against bullying and not letting the joke get old. The contest involves TLO readers sending in photos of the “real” State Fair – such as an obese man riding a Jazzy-style power chair while two-fisting a turkey leg and a churro. “I think he needs another gallon of soda to put in his little basket,” TLO remarked. Last month, Riley was inducted into the Oklahoma City Community College Hall of Fame for TLO. He enjoys the freedom of running his own business, which earns him about as much as he drew in his last marketing job, he said. Investors have made him offers to grow TLO, but he’s turned them down. He calls himself an “overachieving underachiever,” wary of giving up content control to a partner. “I think, really, if I would be better organized – more planning, more driven – I could be like Walter White in the empire business,” he jokes. “But that’s just not how I’m programmed. I don’t work that way. I’ve been successful in the private sector. I’m enjoying life.”
PHASE II NOW OPEN!
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P.O. BOX 31625 • EDMOND, OK 73003 • 405-359-0275 • WWW.BILLROBERTS.COM DECEMBER 2013 // SLICE 49
SPACES | Discerning Design
The music room features a baby grand piano and dĂŠcor of European provenance. The antique French bookcases were originally shorter, but have been extended to the ceiling by craftsmen who also added longer fluting on the side columns. The blue marble fireplace is new.
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A Home of Christmases Past, Present and Yet to Come By John Parker // Photos by David Cobb
A DICKENSIAN TRIBUTE TO THE GOODIN FAMILY’S TRADITION SEEMS FITTING WHEN YOU CONSIDER HOW THEY CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS EVE. Each yuletide, Jan Goodin’s now-90-year-old grandmother, Helen Loveless, dresses in her holiday best for the three generations gathered around the family’s silky black, baby grand piano. Her fingers flit joyfully through the keys as she leads the family in merry Christmas carols, transitioning from one to the next with nary a stop. “Mimi” (to her grandkids) revives a time of the past when family members and friends entertained each other. “We’re all usually in tears when it’s over,” Jan says. This year, Jan looks forward to family tradition in a grand new setting. The Goodin family – Jan, husband Ken, 18-year-old Caroline and 15-year-old Natalie – vacated their 13-year-old home for an exhaustive year-and-a-half renovation. Under the direction of Anders and Terry Carlson of AC Dwellings, crews knocked down walls to liberate living spaces and replaced a towering fireplace in the family room that blocked sunny views of the family’s infinity-edge pool and the fairways and greens of the golf course beyond. The Goodins also gained a library, a larger kitchen for their shared love of cooking and more, adding about 5,000 square feet to the home. “We identified all the space on the property that was not being used or was otherwise wasted, and we decided to address it in one way or another,” Ken said. He gives glowing credit to Anders Carlson’s ability to optimize a home’s untapped potential. “What he did was break down barriers to solving things.” The family enjoyed their first Christmas in their new surroundings last year – a time Jan looks forward to repeating. “I can’t wait. I’m getting so excited,” she said. “I would have liked to have enjoyed it longer last year. I wasn’t ready to put it away because it was all fresh and new.” Last Christmas was especially memorable due to Ken’s extraordinary present for Jan: commissioned life-size bronze sculptures of their daughters, which now flank either side of the pool. Caroline, a member of the Oklahoma City University golf team, is posed in mid-swing. Natalie, a sophomore at Deer Creek High School, is dancing – one of her passions, along with voice, acting and pom squad. The gift was a year in the making, during which Ken kept all of it secret. “That is a tradition, too,” a smiling Jan said. “I hate surprises, but he does it every time.” DECEMBER 2013 // SLICE 51
SPACES | Discerning Design
Above: The dining room formerly suffered from being boxed in by a wall that blocked the current open view to the kitchen. A relatively small room, mirrors expanded the views. The coffered ceiling stamped the room with its own alluring architectural signature. “Terry took what she called a dead room and turned it into a live, functional room connected to the rest of the space,” Ken said. “It was very subtle, but had a huge impact on us and the flow.” // Right: Garlands and Old World treatments grace the entryway and staircase. The renovation process included buying trips to locales such as the renowned antique shows in Round Top, Texas. The pendant lights were repurposed from circa-18th century Italian lanterns.
’Twas the night before Christmas and all through the room The Goodins’ sweet carols chased away every gloom All ’round the piano the family did draw For Mimi was playing, and all cheered “Hurrah!”
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The interior of the Goodin home was built on patina style, designer Terry Carlson says. Worn, antique European pieces with signs of wear add romanticism and grandeur. Colors are chalky and in muted hues that amplify a sense of resilient age. The contemporary design elements – and what distinguishes it from a pure Old World look – are open, easily connecting rooms, abundant avenues for sunshine and lighter color tones to reflect it all. “The mix is the beauty,” Carlson says. “It’s not expected. It’s fresh.”
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SPACES | Discerning Design
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The Goodins love the addition of a larger kitchen with two prep islands. The hood above the stove behind the folk-art chandelier on the right was originally an antique hutch, repurposed from utility on a floor to a ceiling.
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SPACES | Discerning Design
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The family roomâ€™s fireplace was relocated to allow for an expanse of windows, bringing sunlight and a golf course view into focus.
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Getting Away | TRAVEL
Over the River Through the Woods
By Elaine Warner
Holiday Lights on the River Walk
A Texas Town With Spanish Accent SAN ANTONIO AT CHRISTMAS IS A MAGICAL PLACE. The River Walk sparkles with colored lights and glows with the soft illumination of luminarias. Some say the small paper bags weighted with sand and holding candles originate from the custom of lighting small bonfires along the path to guide worshipers to midnight mass on Christmas Eve. Others attribute the paper sacks to the enchantment of Spanish traders by Chinese lanterns. Whatever the origin, luminarias are a delightful part of San Antonioâ€™s Christmas observances. Native Americans were here first but Spanish exploration changed everything. By 1718 the first of five missions in the area was founded (San Antonio de Valero, now known as the Alamo). Spain
reigned until Mexican independence was won in 1821. Texas became independent of Mexico in 1836 and was admitted to the Union in 1845. Hispanic culture had over a century to take root in San Antonio soil and still has a strong influence on the city. Nowhere is it more evident than on the Paseo del Rio, or River Walk. Though much of the Spanish flavor is more homage than actual heritage, the illusion is delightful. Arched bridges take walkers from one side of the river to the other and colorful boats travel up and down the waterway. In December, boats of carolers serenade pedestrians. Over 200 trees dripping with strings of lights line the river and on weekends, 6,000 luminarias shine at waterâ€™s edge.
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TRAVEL | Getting Away
For a truly traditional spectacle, attend La Gran Posada on December 15. This reenactment of the journey of Mary and Joseph winds through downtown ending at San Fernando Cathedral, a block from the River Walk. The posada is one of the oldest Hispanic Christmas customs.
Mi Tierra – Mi Favorita
You can’t beat the ambiance at Mi Tierra Café Y Panaderia in the Market Square. Operated by members of the Cortez family for over seventy years, this open-24hours eatery is a local favorite for great Mexican food. It’s always colorful with all sorts of Mexican decorations but really outdoes itself at Christmas. It’s like being inside a snow globe filled with glitter! The market area is also a great place to shop for pottery, jewelry, piñatas, tiles, you name it. If it has a Spanish flair, it’s here. Need more Mexican food? Aim for Saturday, December 7, for the Tamales! Holiday Festival in one of the city’s newer entertainment districts, Pearl. This is the fourth 60 SLICE // DECEMBER 2013
Clockwise from top left: Market Square sports lacy Mexican picado banners // Tasty treats at Mi Tierra’s panaderia // Santa hats and floral crowns – fun at Mi Tierra
Lines are long but the tamales are worth the wait at Tamales! Holiday Festival
year for the street festival which features tamales, entertainment and children’s activities. You’ll find everything from the expected – beef and pork in a masa covering to pumpkin and raisin tamales wrapped in banana leaves. The lines are long but the wait’s worth it.
PHOTOS: THIS SPREAD BY ELAINE WARNER
Though you’ll hear music throughout the town the whole holiday season, the first week in December is truly special: December 1-7 is a week-long mariachi music festival. Over 1,000 musicians are in town performing, competing and attending workshops and jam sessions. If you’re looking for a celebration with a South-of-the-border twist, nobody says “Feliz Navidad” better than San Antonio.
OTHER HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS:
• “Holidays in Bloom” at San Antonio Botanical Garden • Six Flags Fiesta Texas “Holiday in the Park” • Sea World’s “Christmas Celebration” • Santa’s Railroad Wonderland, Texas Transportation Museum • Holiday Lights Tours by Alamo Helicopter Tours Check visitsanantonio.com for more holiday events. From pork to pumpkin – tamales at Tamales!
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TRAVEL | Getting Away
Getting Gemütlich FREDRICKSBURG IS THE IDEAL SPOT TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS WITH A GERMAN ACCENT. The community was settled in the late 1840s by a group of German immigrants brought to Texas by the Adelsverein, a consortium of German noblemen hoping to establish a new Germany in Texas. The German language was still used in Fredericksburg schools into the early 1900s. Today’s visitors still get a strong sense of the heritage through the architecture, food and customs maintained by Fredericksburgers. The historic district of town, like many German river towns, is strung out along Main Street rather than being built around a town square. The Marktplatz pays homage to the traditional German marketplace.
Major symbols of the season can be found in the Marktplatz. It’s hard to miss the 26-foot Christmas pyramid, a sort of layer-cake-carousel decorated with a variety of carved figures ranging from angels and the holy family to nutcrackers and snowmen. Small pyramids, which spin by using the heat generated from candles, originated in the Erzgebirge – the Ore Mountains area on the border of Germany and the Czech Republic. It is said to have been the precursor of the evergreen Christmas tree. The Fredericksburg pyramid, made in the Erzgebirge, is the largest in the United States. A traditional tree trimmed with lights, stars and gingerbread men stands nearby, and at night all the trees in the park are wrapped in rainbows of color.
From top: Fredericksburg buildings trimmed with clear lights // A simple pyramid for sale at the After Glow
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An outdoor Eisbahn (ice skating rink) in the Marktplatz is open through the New Year’s holidays. On Friday, December 6, the town holds its annual Light the Night Christmas Parade and After Glow. Booths sell everything from Christmas ornaments and items imported from Germany to local arts and crafts. Sausages and sauerkraut, beer and wine accompany more Texasstyle treats. The day is capped with a lighted parade – check in advance for reserved bleacher seating.
PHOTOS: (FACING PAGE) FREDERICKSBURG BUILDINGS BY TRISH MCCABE RAWLS, SIMPLE PYRAMID COURTESY FREDERICKSBURG CVB, (THIS PAGE) SHOPPING IN MARKTPLATZ BY STEVE RAWLS, PIONEER MUSEUM, CHRISTMAS PYRAMID AND PEACH TREE GIFT GALLERY BY ELAINE WARNER
Back to Basics
Fredericksburg is well-prepared to host visitors with over 350 B&B and guest accommodations plus a number of popular chain motels. Among the more interesting choices are Sunday Houses, small in-town cottages built in town by early settlers whose farms were away from the settlement. Newer accommodations have also been built in this style. Generally, there is no caretaker on the property, and while most have small kitchens, no food is provided. But you won’t go hungry. There are several good spots for breakfast: the Rathskeller, Old German Bakery or Hill Country Donuts and Kolaches among them. Several restaurants specialize in German dishes. The only one I’ve tried was the Fredericksburg Brewing Company. The food was good and the beer’s a big draw (pun intended!).
Clockwise from top right: Shopping in the Marktplatz // “Stockings are hung” in the 1847 home at the Pioneer Museum // Impressive 26-foot-tall Christmas pyramid from Germany in Fredericksburg’s Marktplatz // Christmas items at the Peach Tree Gift Gallery and Tea Room
WHILE YOU’RE HERE:
• Before you go, check www.visitfredericksburgtx.com • Take a walking tour of the historic district. Brochures are available at the Visitor Information Center, 302 E. Austin. • Visit the Pioneer Museum Complex with authentic structures preserved from the 19th century pioneers • National Museum of the Pacific War – okay, this doesn’t sound Christmas-y, and it isn’t, but this museum, originally started in honor of Fredericksburg native Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, features a critical part of American history. An important part of its mission is reconciliation – and that’s central to the season. • Stroll and shop. Fredericksburg has over 150 shops and galleries. Benches on the sidewalks are always popular with non-shoppers holding packages!
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TRAVEL | Wanderlust
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the Curious Case of
William Bradley Pitt
INKED ONTO THE TONED UPPER LEFT ARM OF (ARGUABLY) THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMAN IN THE WORLD are seven lines of letters and numbers. They are latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates of places in Cambodia, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Namibia and two identical listings for a city on the French Riviera, denoting the birthplaces of each of her children. The newest line, the seventh, reads: N 35° 19' 44" W 96° 55' 26" Location: Western Hemisphere. Nation: United States of America. State: Oklahoma. Town: Shawnee.
The arm belongs to Angelina Jolie; the new coordinates are to the birthplace to her paramour, fourth-generation Oklahoman William Bradley Pitt, born in Shawnee 50 years ago this month, on December 18, 1963. Shawnee looms large in the history of the Pitt family. His greatgrandmother, Una Coker, was part of the 1920 high school diploma program at Oklahoma Baptist University. His father, William Alvin Pitt, grew up in Shawnee, was president of the Shawnee High School Class of 1959 and met his wife-to-be, Jane Etta Hillhouse, in town, while both were students at Oklahoma Baptist. They married in 1962, at the age of 21.
Editor’s Note: This is the 16th installment in a continuing series as author and photographer M.J. Alexander chronicles her travels across the state of Oklahoma.
By M.J. Alexander DECEMBER 2013 // SLICE 65
TRAVEL | Wanderlust
Their eldest child, William Bradley Pitt, drew his first breath at the ACH Hospital in downtown Shawnee the following year. The young family left for Tulsa in 1964, and soon settled in Springfield, Missouri. But they returned to Shawnee every year for Thanksgiving, and for a week in the summer to visit family, including William Alvin Pitt’s mother, Betty Russell, who still lives in Shawnee. Fifty years later, there is little indication that one of the most recognizable men in the world is from this town of 30,000. Inside Santa Fe Depot, sprawling home of the Pottawatomie County Historical Museum, there is no mention of Brad Pitt: Golden Globe winner, four-time Academy Award nominee and philanthropist, whose two-syllable name has become shorthand for a kind of effortless hunkiness, and spawned a dozen ancillary meanings in the international urban dictionary. Do they get people who come to the museum wanting to see items having to do with Brad Pitt? “Those that know will ask. I think I saw something once that had his picture on it, but I can’t remember where it is.” 66 SLICE // DECEMBER 2013
So there’s nothing in town about Brad Pitt? “Well, there is a brick. In front of the old hospital.” The place is downtown, on East 9th Street, set back from the brick-paved streets, located between the old movie palaces – the Hornbeck and the Ritz – and next to the grand nine-story Aldridge, which has been converted to apartments for residents 62 and older. Out front, installed between the sidewalk and the curb, are a few dozen bricks paying tribute to residents and businesses. In the bottom left, three rows below the big stone for Wall’s Bargain Center, is a brick, 4 inches by 8 inches, memorializing: Wm. “Brad” Pitt Dec. 18, 1963 As I crouch down to photograph the walkway, a woman coming out of the senior center with a cigarette and lanyard calls out: “Are you OK?” Yeah, I’m fine, thanks. “Oh, I thought you fell.” No, I’m just taking pictures. She looked over and shrugged, leading me to believe that the
OKLAHOMANS ARE NOT SHY ABOUT CLAIMING LINKS TO THE FAMOUS, HOWEVER TENUOUS. The Trade Winds Motel in Clinton has spent decades promoting itself as the “Elvis Stayed Here” motel, and maintains the decor of The King’s favorite room – 215 – just as it was when he would stop for the night while driving between Memphis and Las Vegas. Duncan brags of being home to director Ron Howard, though he left town with his family at the age of 4. Tulsa is happy to claim Blake Edwards, who moved away at the age of 3. Guthrie promotes silent movie cowboy star Tom Mix, who was born in Pennsylvania but worked odd jobs in Oklahoma Territory – including on the Millers’ 101 Ranch and allegedly bartending at Guthrie’s Blue Belle Saloon – on his way out to Hollywood. Kingfisher built a large sign at its city limits, reminding folks that it is the birthplace of Sam Walton, though the family left for Florida when Sam was 5.
Shawnee also likes to fuss over most of its celebrities. Its favorite native son is Gordon Cooper, one of the seven original Mercury astronauts. He is memorialized with a huge mural on the side of The Jim Paul Dance Company building downtown. Among the residents more famous than Brad Pitt in his hometown: • Louis Funk Fluke, Arkansas-born designer of the Oklahoma state flag
Brad Pitt brick was not a tourist draw along the lines of stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Back in Hollywood, reminiscing about the role as cowboy hitchhiker J.D. in 1991’s “Thelma and Louise,” Brad Pitt recounted how his background played a part in the performance that launched his career: “It was a character who was from my area, pretty much, so I got to use my accent there, which helped.” In Shawnee, you could drive by the Louise Fluke monument at Centennial Park, down Wanda Jackson Boulevard and past the Gordon Cooper Technology Center. Don’t be fooled by the sign for Tangles Salon on North Harrison, next to B & M Firearms and Ammo, which looks like it might have an image of a young Brad Pitt on its sign. Upon closer inspection, it turns out to be a clip-arty ’80s-era blond man with blow-dried hair. It does not matter that his hometown does little to acknowledge its most famous native. Hollywood’s reigning golden couple carries with them, tattooed onto her arm and infused into his DNA, a bit of Shawnee.
• Bo the three-legged railroad dog, who died in 1921 and has two exhibits in the Santa Fe Train Depot Museum. Shawnee’s website shows the beloved Bo in silhouette for its “Bo Bites: Fun Facts.” • Wanda Jackson, who was born in Maud but has a boulevard named after her in Shawnee. • Tutu, Oklahoma’s only Egyptian mummy, brought to St. Gregory’s University by Father Gregory Gerrer • Father Gregory Gerrer, namesake of the Mabee- Gerrer Musem • Governor Brad Henry • The guy who wrote the words to “Home on the Range,” and is buried in Shawnee’s Fairview Cemetery. • Leonard B. Rogers, who disarmed a bandit in Okla- homa City and donated the pistol to the Santa Fe Depot Museum, where it is on permanent display in a wooden frame with a red velvet background.
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MINGLING | On the Town Elizabeth and Dr. Charles Clogston, Stephanie and Dr. Dave Easley
Luke and Lauren Hobbs
Pam Heinen, Nancy Matthews Matt and Jill Bown, Mo and Cindy Gessy
CANTERBURY’S 45TH Photos by Justin Avera
Canterbury Choral Society follows its season-opening concert with a 45th anniversary bash on Film Row. Avis Scaramucci, James Tolbert
Photos by Claude Long Visitors enjoy a rockin’ open-air event fueled by food trucks and Oklahoma beer, while raising $26,000 for local nonprofit Edmond Mobile Meals.
ORCHIDS IN OCTOBER Photos by Claude Long
Brava to Avis Scaramucci, longtime supporter and recipient of the 2013 Crystal Orchid at the Myriad Gardens’ annual Orchids in October luncheon.
Linda Rice, Robert Meinders
LYRIC’S BROADWAY BALL Photos by Claude Long
Lyric Theatre marks its golden anniversary with a glitzy gala celebration at the Skirvin Hilton, to the fundraising tune of $250,000.
Mark Walker, Jeffrey Meek
Jane Jenkins, Meg Salyer
Beverly Funke, Amy Bankhead, Rose Lang, Mary Pointer
Want more photos? Sign up for our Snapshot! newsletter at sliceok.com/newsletter. 68 SLICE // DECEMBER 2013
TASTE OF WESTERN Photos by Claude Long
The October showcase of restaurants along Western Avenue boasts such varied and delicious flavors, it’s almost spooky.
Heather Griswold, Katie O’Brien, Cynthia Whitaker-hill
Margy Rose, Hoang Lam
Gary Goldman, Edie Roodman, Susan Goldman
Sarah Jeffers, Jasmin Rivera, Kortney Haynes
Amy Hubble, Mike Carroll, Mandy Briggs, Jimmy Arter
RED SHOE GALA Photos by Claude Long
Jazz, auctions and snazzy footwear help the Ronald McDonald House Charities of OKC house the families of sick children.
Dixie and Jim Stengle, Tena Slaughter
Kim Henry, Dr. Freda Deskin, Julia Chew, Susy Calonkey
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COLE & REED 25TH
Organizers raise funds for ASTEC Charter Schools and honor civic leaders who have helped others to new opportunities.
It’s a night of silver celebration as OKC accounting firm Cole & Reed marks its 25th anniversary.
John Stinson, Jessica Schambach, Al McAffrey
Deidre Brown, Ayana Wilkins
Ryan Morrison, Meghan Spears
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Luxury and good times combine as Mercedes-Benz of Oklahoma City celebrates fashion and fun. DECEMBER 2013 // SLICE 69
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From India to Oklahoma City | COMMUNITY
A Peace Within
Behavioral psychiatrist Dr. R. Murali Krishna is president and COO of Integris Mental Health, as well as co-founder and president of the James L. Hall Jr. Center for Mind, Body and Spirit. The following excerpt, the final in an ongoing series, is from his recent book, “Vibrant: To Heal and Be Whole,” co-authored by Kelly Dyer Fry, in which Dr. Krishna recounts the difficult journey of his own life and uses those experiences to encourage readers toward choosing to become happier, more purposeful people.
HELPING THE HURTING WHEN MURALI CROSSES ONE FINISH LINE, HE LOOKS FOR ANOTHER. He continues to raise the bar. When he says he wants God to use him up before he dies, he means it. One project begets another and yet another. Titles and accomplishments are fleeting. “What good is a title or accolade if you cannot do something good with it? You are given talents, strengths and accomplishments for a purpose, and that purpose is to really make a difference in the community in which you live.” After the Oklahoma City bombing, Murali traveled back to Rajam, where he had established his first practice. G.M. Rao, a longtime friend and successful businessman, extended an invitation to host a party in Murali’s honor. People in India had seen and read about his role in the Oklahoma City bombing, and there was great pride among his native friends and family. Murali and Sam were surprised that what they thought would be a small gathering was actually a celebration with more than 800 people. Friends, family and former patients showed up to celebrate and honor the local doctor who had made an impact in a faraway city in Oklahoma. One man approached Murali with his sick granddaughter. She was suffering from polio. Murali explained to the gentleman that he no longer practiced general medicine, but the man had unwavering faith in him because he had once saved his life many years ago. Murali could see the pain in the grandfather’s eyes, but he knew he was unable to make a difference for the child. Murali was saddened to see that the man had nowhere to turn. So many people suffer while searching for answers. Whether in India or Oklahoma City, too many people go without help, without continuity of care. They bounce from emergency room to emergency room with no aftercare.
The wheels started to turn. When Murali was elected president of the Oklahoma County Medical Society, he knew what he wanted to accomplish. He had a new platform from which to speak. He knew he could use that platform for good. He knew too many Oklahomans were going to bed hurting. “I knew they didn’t know where to go to fix their hurt.” But while Oklahomans were hurting, he saw doctors all around him traveling to Third World countries to volunteer. “They faced difficulties in travel, primitive conditions, mosquitoes, disease. They travel so far. They are giving something and expecting nothing in return but the joy in their patients’ faces. They get hugs and flowers. It is a spiritual experience. They come back recharged. It is divine work.” Murali understood the joy the doctors experienced. He and Sam traveled to India each year to volunteer and help out in any way they could. But there was a still number stuck in his mind. It haunted him. Twenty percent. One in five. That’s how many people were hurting in Oklahoma. That’s how many uninsured Oklahomans went to bed at night with little or no help. Sure, they could wait for hours in an emergency room, but that brought no continuity of care and no follow-up doctor visit. Something had to be done. Murali asked doctors why they traveled around the world, but failed to help out in their own hometown. The answer was glaring. Lawsuits. Doctors here could not afford to do volunteer work and risk getting sued. “I asked them, ‘If I could wave a wand and make the liability go away, would you care for these uninsured patients?’ They said, ‘Oh, heavens, yes.’”
Murali knew very little about the legislative process. But he deeply understood the need to remove barriers for doctors who wanted to help. He also knew that volunteering was not something that could be put off until retirement. He once knew a doctor who suffered an accident and was unable to continue in his practice. “His biggest regret is that he would never be able to do the volunteer work he had always planned to do when he retired. Some people realize early they want to live life beyond their own needs. Lucky are those people who realize that fact. That’s why they live every minute, every second.” Murali set out on a path to connect doctors with those in need. Where to begin? Oftentimes in life, like-minded people find one another. Paths intersect. Passions connect. Sue Hale, Pam Troup and Jackie Jones were working with Central Oklahoma Turning Point, a major health initiative to improve the overall health of Oklahomans. National polls showed the state at the bottom of the list for a myriad of health indicators. The group set out to make a difference. And that is when the passions collided. Murali and Jana Timberlake, executive director of the Oklahoma County Medical Society, met with Sue and Pam. They determined they needed a summit to address the issues of the uninsured. Against all odds, it happened. Eleven hospitals were represented at the summit with top administrators sitting shoulder to shoulder. The meeting lasted several hours. At the conclusion, all were in agreement to form an ad hoc committee to further study the problems facing the uninsured. Jon Lowry was the statistician who gathered anonymous data from all the emergency rooms, which was where uninsured patients turned when they were sick. The yearlong study revealed eye-opening facts. Ultimately the Health Alliance for the Uninsured was formed, and Pam Cross was hired as executive director. DECEMBER 2013 // SLICE 71
COMMUNITY | From India to Oklahoma City
But the highest hill was yet to be climbed. The ever-looming threat of legal action still created fear among doctors and all the other health care providers. Again, paths cross. This time, it was Senator Susan Paddack and Representative Doug Cox. They agreed to help Murali and his cohorts navigate the Legislature to try and pass a bill in 2007 that would protect health care workers from litigation resulting from volunteerism. Senate Bill 930. Murali was ill-prepared for politics. “I just knew I had a passion. As human beings, we all have an inner deep longing to connect and help others. If we can uncover it, it will come out. I’ve yet to see it fail. It is inherent in each of us.” Murali knew he could convince the legislators if they would listen. So he set out every Wednesday to talk with them face to face at the Capitol. He and Jana walked the halls week after week. It paid off. The bill passed 99 to 1.
And it was off to the governor’s desk. Then the phone call came. Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry was going to veto the bill. Murali was heartbroken. Coincidentally, he was scheduled to speak to a group of civic leaders the next morning. Stan Hupfeld had asked him to stand in for him. “I had the podium and I was going to use it for good. I pleaded with them to help. To use whatever influence they had to persuade the governor not to veto this very important legislation. “After the meeting, I saw Tom Price, a senior executive with Chesapeake Energy, out in the hall. He immediately flipped open his phone and called the governor’s office.” The next day at a friend’s wedding, another person close to the governor also agreed to try and reach out to him. And Central Oklahoma Turning Point stepped up to the plate en masse and sent
faxes to the governor in support of the bill. Murali doesn’t know which effort changed the governor’s mind or if it was a combination of all, but Senate Bill 930 was not vetoed. It became law. There were no hard feelings between Gov. Henry and Murali. The governor later called him and asked him to serve on the state’s Board of Health. Today, more than 100 doctors volunteer their time to care for the uninsured. Hupfeld, Bruce Lawrence and the Integris family, along with Di Smalley at Mercy Health Center, continue to support and nourish the program. Nurses, pharmacists, dentists and other health professionals across Oklahoma County also give freely to those less fortunate. Medical students donate hours and hours to the cause. One medical student is honored annually with the R. Murali Krishna Award for Outstanding Community Service.
Dr. R. Murali Krishna on
LIFE AND LESSONS LEARNED NAMASTHE. Murali places his hands palm to palm. They are centered over his chest, level with his heart. He smiles slowly. “Namasthe. My spirit to your spirit.” The Indian doctor is more likely to give you a big hug than offer this ancient greeting, but the sentiment is just as strong. “You are centering yourself, acknowledging your own spirit and offering it to another. It is all about connecting.” Connecting with one another and connecting with the Creator. It’s one of the many lessons Dr. R. Murali Krishna would like to pass on to his grandchildren and their children. TRUST IN GOD “I have seen evidence of the Divine presence. I want my family and future family to know that. It is not as if He came and sat down beside me; yet it is that clear to me. “You have to look for it.” Future generations should learn the lessons he learned from [his grandfather] Thatha. “Look for the good in people. We are more than skin and bones. There is a definite presence of something extremely powerful, extremely loving and extremely healing. But you must go through your own journey to discover its fullness.” 72 SLICE // DECEMBER 2013
He knows his family will not be shielded from suffering, but he wants them to know they can trust in God. “Don’t let the immediacy of a situation dominate your actions. One may not always realize the meaning of suffering. But over time you will gain clarity and understanding. It happened to me even though it was over a long period of time. Trust in God. Sign off every night knowing that He is in control.” BE GRATEFUL AND GIVE FREELY “All the gifts – mental, physical, material and spiritual – given to you by the Creator are possessed by us for a very temporary time. They are gifts meant to be given away. What good is a gift if you do not use it for good? Be grateful for your gifts and use them to make a difference in the world.” He hopes future generations will have a strong sense of gratitude. “Everything we possess is fleeting, even your gifts. Don’t delay giving back. Everything is given to us for only a short period of time. Connect and be part of your community. Do what you can do to nurture your community. Don’t get preoccupied with recognition. Do it because you want to do it. There is no better satisfaction than knowing that through your energy and your determination, you have helped create something. Know that part of
your purpose is to leave the world a little bit better. In that, you will receive the ultimate recognition from God.” BE PRESENT; BE A WITNESS Murali wishes patience and calm for generations to come. “As you grow through the years, you will begin to see things differently. I want you to slow down and savor every moment. Look for the beauty around you and in those you come across. And don’t carry hard feelings with you. Forgive. Let go of anger so it won’t destroy you. “If you need to make a change in your life, make it. If you can’t, try to reframe the negative situation. Work at developing a new attitude.” Murali knows the power of the mind. He knows each of us is filled with intelligence – intelligence that we barely begin to use to its capacity. It is not what happens in our lives, but rather how we react. “You don’t have to have all the answers. So many things are out of our control. The one thing that is in our control is how we view what is happening. How we perceive it, process it and react to it is within our control. Step back and be an objective witness to what is unfolding. Picture yourself as if you were seated in an audience watching a drama unfold on a
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KC’s newest multi-vendor marketplace offers “a little bit of everything, and something for everyone.” Boomers Marketplace is a 10,0 0 0 - s q u a r e foot retail mall with over 50 different vendor showcases. The unique blend of vintage collectibles, painted furniture, contemporary fashion and home decor makes for a one-of-a-kind shopping experience. The in-house sweet and savory Bluebonnet Bakery adds to the warm, friendly atmosphere and is a wonderful place to enjoy lunch or dessert. Boomers Marketplace and Bluebonnet Bakery’s convenient location makes it easy to visit; its vast selection makes it hard to leave. Stop in and discover a new favorite destination to explore.
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stage. Be present. Don’t judge yourself. Stay off the roller coaster. Be a witness. The more you can be a witness to what is happening, the more joyful your life can be. “That is what life is meant to be.” The basis of being a witness to your own life is mindfulness. “If you detach and practice being a witness during happy times, you will better be able to detach in stressful situations. It can greatly enhance your life.” Through his many years of talking to patients, Murali fully grasps that we are more than the sum of our parts. “You are not your sensations. You are not your thoughts. You are more than your thoughts and sensations. If you could go to a store and buy all the elements that make up the human body, put them in your hand and shake them – you would never develop a human being. At the center of all of us is our spirit. “That is the real you.” DREAM BIG “Anything is possible. I want future generations to fully embrace big dreams. If you put your mind to it and work hard for it, anything is truly possible. Be realistic as to the amount of energy it takes but know that you can follow your heart and make things happen. “With the right mindset and attitude and willingness to share your insights, you have significant inf luence over other people. You can impact others in a positive way. It is not about controlling others, but using the gifts you were given to lead and motivate. “I have been blessed with gifts in my life. I have turned tragedy to triumph. I made a deliberate choice to heal, be whole and live vibrantly. I will continue to fight to raise the level of awareness of diseases of the brain. And most of all … “Please God, use me up before you take me.”
Proceeds from “Vibrant: To Heal and Be Whole” endow the Dr. R. Murali Krishna Family Eliminate the Stigma Award. Visit sliceok.com/ vibrant to order ($24.99) and receive a complimentary copy of Dr. Krishna’s “Natural Relaxation” CD while supplies last. Find Dr. Krishna online: web: drkrishna.com // fb: rmkrishnamd // tw: @drrmkrishna
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I’VE BEEN VERY HAPPY WITH THE NOKIA LUMIA 920 I bought for my business use. It works great as a phone and information device and the Bluetooth works flawlessly. Now Nokia has brought out a new model, the Lumia 1020. Is it an upgrade? If you take pictures with your phone, the answer is a resounding yes! The Nokia Lumia 1020, hands down, has the best camera system in a phone you can buy. In reality, it’s a camera with a fullfledged smart phone attached. Lots of new features center on the camera’s 41 megapixel sensor and the software that runs it. It has better low light performance and better zoom performance, and overall is a well thought-out advance. If you ever meet with your clients away from the office, and the deal is not done until the paperwork is signed (Legal doesn’t like the e-signature), I’ve got something for you. The Planon Printstik PS905me full page printer. The world’s smallest Mobile Printer. It prints by USB or wirelessly via
GO! GO! GADGET! Bluetooth from your iOS, Android or Windows phone. Most printers are just too large to be considered mobile, but not the Printstik. It measures just 1"x2"x11" with 20 pages of paper inside. The printer uses a thermal printhead on special paper rolls, similar to an old fax machine, so there is no ink or toner to spill. The internal battery allows you to carry the print stick along with your mobile device to give you a truly mobile printing solution wherever you go. The Belkin WeMo Switch (just $49) is a great device for turning on or off anything with a plug from your cell phone. Add the app to your phone and add the WeMo switch to your wireless network, and you can remotely turn on or off anything plugged into the Belkin WeMo Switch. I don’t know about you, but there are always things in this Oklahoma weather that I want to turn off in the face of a bad storm. Powering off is the best way to protect my computers from lightning and surges. If I put this in front of my uninterruptible power supply, it will do an orderly shutdown of my computers and prevent the kind of damage I see all the time from voltage spikes.
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Western Inspired A p pa r el
A handful of Slice's suggestions for the best places to go, things to do and treats to experience around the OKC metro over the weekend.
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Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve 6pm to 11pm nightly
After years of doing business as both companies, Young Brothers has retired the Southwest Tile name.
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78 SLICE // DECEMBER 2013
PURSUITS Not Far Away
He’s been a force for visual innovation for decades – this month’s opening at the OKC Museum of Art provides a good look at the legacy in progress of Chuck Close. See page 81.
TOP 10 Prime starting points for making the most of the month 80
SPOTLIGHT Timeless and truly modern takes on “The Nutcracker” 82
SEE & DO December’s music, theater, visual arts and other delights 84 DECEMBER 2013 // SLICE 79
PURSUITS | High Points
The Top By Steve Gill
IT’S A BIG, BUSY METRO OUT THERE – IF YOU CAN’T MAKE IT TO EVERYTHING, HERE’S WHERE TO START.
Through December 7, OU Rupel Jones Theater No dancing, singing candlesticks in this musical – it’s a gripping tale of friendship, compassion and the costs of survival faced by two orphans, an African slave and a lost English heir, against the grim, remorseless march of the Industrial Revolution. But remember that darkness is often the precursor to dawn as the OU University Theater presents “Coram Boy.”
Through January 26, Sam Noble Museum Kevin Carroll is an inspirational speaker, author and “agent for social change” – and still found time to assemble “The Art of Sport + Play,” an exhibit composed of memorabilia from his world travels that reflects the ubiquity of his personal credo: Gameplay is a universal experience, and embracing the spirit of playful creativity is good for the mind and spirit, regardless of age or circumstance.
December 6, OU Memorial Union You say it’s over 3,200 miles to Barrow, Alaska? No matter: The Assistance League of Norman will be taking guests farther, faster via The Polar Express, the theme for its 2013 Holiday Gala. The evening of dinner, dancing and live and silent auctions laden with delights and treats including a hot chocolate bar (ooooh!) celebrates and enables the ALN’s community philanthropic efforts.
December 7, Boone Pickens Stadium Both teams have conference losses, and while both are bowl-bound, neither has realistic national championship hopes. You think that’ll keep this from being a ferocious struggle? Stillwater will be a madhouse as OU’s and OSU’s football teams finish their regular seasons; the perfect atmosphere for the annual renewal of the Bedlam rivalry. 80 SLICE // DECEMBER 2013
Horace Bristol, “Five Bombers in Formation in Clouds,” 1942
Career Snapshot Through March 16, Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art While Horace Bristol might not be a household name, his views of the world – and the camera that helped him share them – helped shape the American mindset in the 1940s. In “On Assignment,” the Fred displays a selection of Bristol’s socially conscious photographs depicting Dust Bowl-displaced Okies, humanizing post-war Japanese life and more.
Down But Not Out December 7-January 31, Istvan Gallery
Faint heart never won fair maiden, but the women of the OKC female art collective FRINGE found room in their hearts to embrace the concept of making time during the heat of the holiday season for having a bit of a respite, even if impromptu. If you find yourself needing a breather from bell-jingling, drop by the gallery for the festively restful exhibit “Swoon.”
A MEAL AND A MISSION
Lisa Jean Allswede, “Autobiography”
BIGGER THAN BIGGER THAN LIFE
December 13-February 16, OKC Museum of Art Partially paralyzed for the last 25 years, he remains a vibrant, vital force for innovation in his chosen field. In the traveling exhibit “Chuck Close: Works on Paper,” the museum unleashes a glittering spectrum of techniques – etchings, linocuts, lithographs, woodcuts – the influential artist has utilized in executing decades’ worth of massive-scaled portraits. You’ll be amazed at how engrossing it is to take a Close look.
PHOTOS: OSU GIRL COURTESY CITY OF STILLWATER, CHUCK CLOSE COURTESY JORDAN D. SCHNITZER
Chuck Close, “Leslie,” 1986
December 13, Cox Center Domestic violence is an ugly subject … but ignoring the issue doesn’t fix anything, and having the courage and resources to face the problem can change lives. It can save lives. The YWCA raises critically needed funds and provides ample inspiration through firsthand survivors’ tales at its uplifting annual Women Who Care Share luncheon.
ORANGE YOU READY FOR SOME BASKETBALL?
December 14, Chesapeake Arena Marcus Smart’s continued ascendance, the potential prowess of a women’s squad with four returning starters and top 50 prospect Roshunda Johnson … there are ample storylines to follow during the return of the venerable AllCollege Classic, an all-OSU affair in 2013 as the Cowboys and Cowgirls take on Louisiana Tech and South Florida.
December 18, Chesapeake Arena He came out of the frightful prospects of the Bed-Stuy projects; The Black Album was a hit from pole to pole; Jay Z is the master of his fate; he is the captain of his flow. Retirement proved about the only impossibility for the multimillionaire rapper-slash-entrepreneur … but this way OKC fans get the chance to bask in his all-star rhymes. DECEMBER 2013 // SLICE 81
PURSUITS | Spotlight
A TALE OF TWO PERFORMANCES
By Russ Tall Chief
OKLAHOMA CITY BALLET NUTCRACKER
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show numerous times performed by various companies, so I feel like I owe the audience my best performance every time I come on stage.” The central role of the young Clara is shared by two company members, Amanda Herd-Popejoy and Callye Crespo, both with extensive experience performing the part. “I love to embody a child and express the innocent joy of Christmas time,” Herd-Popejoy says. “I think audiences relate to the role even more now that her character is performed by a professional dancer rather than a child or student.” Many ballet companies commonly cast professional dancers in the role of Clara. So Oklahoma City Ballet’s decision to elevate the performance level of the role in recent years is not surprising, particularly as the company grows in both the number of dancers in the company and also their technical abilities. “It is a challenge to balance the innocent, whimsical nature of a child while maintaining a high technical level in the performance,” Crespo says. “But as I perform the role now as an
PHOTOS: OKC BALLET NUTCRACKER BY ROCKY CHEN, HIP HOP NUTCRACKER COURTESY RACE DANCE COMPANY
isions of sugar plums, dancing snowflakes, evil mice, exotic characters and gifts from around the world leap to life in Oklahoma City Ballet’s “The Nutcracker,” set to Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s enduring score performed by the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. In this annual holiday tradition, the Oklahoma City Ballet masterfully preserves E. T. A. Hoffmann’s story, written in 1816 and later adapted in 1892 with ballet choreography by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov. Join young Clara as she takes a magical journey with her favorite Christmas toy, the Nutcracker, which comes alive to defeat the evil Mouse King in battle before whisking her away to fantastic faraway kingdoms. “Our version of the Nutcracker evolves each year,” explains Robert Mills, the ballet’s artistic director. “Often the changes are subtle, such as updating costumes, which we have done. More apparently, however, we have a larger company this year, so we have added more dancers to the production, which makes for a fuller, more exciting performance. For the true fans of ballet, it is always exciting to see a new dancer interpret a new role in a performance, which the Nutcracker always offers opportunities for us to do.” This year, Oklahoma City Ballet’s principal dancer, Miki Kawamura, shares the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy with company member DaYoung Jung, who has also performed the roles of Clara and a dancing doll, as well as the sensual Arabian Dance. The 2013 holiday season marks Kawamura’s fourth year performing the Sugar Plum Fairy in Oklahoma City. “Sugar Plum is most technically challenging,” Kawamura says. “The role requires tremendous stamina and a lot of subtle foot movements.” Yui Sato, Oklahoma City Ballet’s other principal dancer, performs the role of Cavalier this year. Sato, who has also been featured in the Arabian and Spanish Dances in past productions, has been continuously concentrating on strengthening his upper body in preparation for the spectacular lifts. “I especially enjoy the solo variation of Cavalier,” Sato says. “It is a great opportunity for me to challenge and prove myself in the pure classical technique of the piece.” Sato shares the Cavalier role with Alvin Tovstogray, a company member from the Ukraine, who explains that the Nutcracker is a much bigger tradition in the United States than in the Ukraine. “I believe since The Nutcracker is such a strong tradition here that audiences have huge expectations,” Tovstogray says. “Many people have seen the
adult, I can return mentally to when I was Clara’s age and I performed the role as a student here at the ballet school, which helps me retrieve and convey that sense of excitement I felt.” Crespo is one of hundreds of dancers trained at Oklahoma City Ballet’s school that have regularly appeared over the years in the ballet’s productions such as The Nutcracker. In a bold and unprecedented initiative for the school, the Oklahoma City Ballet recently formalized a partnership between its school and American Ballet Theatre, America’s National Ballet Company, to become the sixth certified school in the country to offer the ABT National Training Curriculum. The first three years of the collaboration have been underwritten by Oklahoma City native and ABT trustee Christian Keesee. “It is an incredible milestone that will help solidify our company as a regional force,” says Shane Jewell, the ballet’s Executive Director. Oklahoma City Ballet school students will participate annually in examinations demonstrating that they have attained ABT’s high standard of training in ballet, which will be helpful to students pursuing a professional career in dance or applying to colleges. Jane Vorburger, School Director for The Dance Center of Oklahoma City Ballet, says the ABT training will allow Oklahoma City dancers a unique opportunity to be seen outside of this region by teachers from around the world. Around a hundred students from the Oklahoma City Ballet’s school are participating in this year’s Nutcracker. As Oklahoma City Ballet’s school incorporates the ABT training, Mills says he is excited about the potential to continue to build the ballet’s professional company by hiring highly skilled students that have trained in the school and performed as students with the company. “When I am standing backstage and I see 10 little angels standing in the wings watching the Sugar Plum Fairy perform, I want the training we offer at the ballet to prepare those students to have the ability to perhaps one day join the company and perform that role. That’s the kind of continuity I want to offer at the ballet.” In addition to incorporating ABT training into its school, the Oklahoma City Ballet recently accepted an invitation from the Colorado Springs Philharmonic to perform its version of The Nutcracker in Colorado during the upcoming 2014 season.
OKLAHOMA CITY BALLET’S “THE NUTCRACKER” Civic Center Music Hall December 13-15 and 20-22 For tickets, visit www.okcballet.com or call 405.848.TOES (8637)
RACE DANCE COMPANY’S HIP HOP NUTCRACKER
hile the Oklahoma City Ballet offers a traditional holiday Nutcracker, Oklahoma City now has a new contemporary Nutcracker as Race Dance Company presents the “Hip Hop Nutcracker.” Race joins forces with Oklahoma City public high school dance programs to perform a similar production to the classic Nutcracker, but with a new story, interpreted with numerous hip hop dance styles, performed to updated music. The Hip Hop Nutcracker offers both subtle and also dramatic variations to the classical tale. While the traditional story follows Clara on her fantastic voyage to exotic kingdoms around the world, this new interpretation of the Nutcracker, conceived by Race artistic director Hui Cha Poos is more rooted in reality. The Hip Hop Nutcracker follows Carlos, a young man who seeks to find a missing piece of his life. After Carlos receives a Nutcracker as a gift, like Clara, he also embarks on a magi-
cal journey. However, in this version, instead of battling a Mouse King, Carlos’s Nutcracker battles Ninja Mice, defeating them with an army of dancing robots. As Carlos weaves his way through the Land of Possibilities, he discovers the endless opportunities and potential life has to offer. In the Land of Hidden Treasures, he meets members of his family who reveal to him the greatest Christmas gift of all. “I wanted to do a classic show but with a twist to showcase a style of dance that Oklahomans are not accustomed to seeing on stage,” Poos says. “Oklahoma has a huge hip hop culture, and I wanted to use this as an opportunity to showcase some of the variety and talent we have to offer. Since the only time we had free was winter, it was a natural fit. I wrote the synopsis and everything else fell into place.” Nearly a hundred dancers from throughout the Oklahoma City Public School District are participating in this year’s production, including talented dance students from Millwood High School, Capitol Hill High School, Northwest Classen High School, Putnam City West, U.S. Grant and Putnam City North High School. Members of Race Dance, Juniors of Race and Men of Race mentor and rehearse the students in preparation for the performances. RACE, an acronym representing “Radical Application of Creative Energy,” is Oklahoma’s first professional jazz/hip hop/contemporary company. Since its founding in 2008, this non-profit organization has produced and participated in over 50 performances throughout the city. In 2010, the company was selected as one of the “Oklahoma Gazette’s” top 5 performance companies in Oklahoma. In 2011, they received the Great Inspirations Award from Creative Oklahoma. “Race’s mission is to bring about social awareness and change through dance performances and dance education,” Poos says. “I felt it was important to involve local kids in schools who are not likely to be a part of a production like this and use it as an opportunity to mentor them. What ended up happening was more powerful and important than any of us could have imagined. Communities were brought together, students learned to hold themselves and each other accountable and dance programs are thriving. We hope to be a staple in bringing these communities together for generations to come and continue to improve and expand on this idea.”
RACE DANCE COMPANY’S “HIP HOP NUTCRACKER” Bishop McGuinness High School December 6-7 | 7:30 p.m. Tickets available at www.racedance.com and at the door
DECEMBER 2013 // SLICE 83
See & Do EVENTS
Looking for the sights and sounds of the season?
Visions Dec 3 The Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits honors special Oklahomans who see ways to inspire and improve the community and make the future look better for all. OKC Golf & Country Club, 7000 NW Grand Blvd, OKC, 463.6886, oklahomacenterfornonprofits.org
Check out our Holiday Happenings feature on page 36.
1st Friday Gallery Walk Dec 6 The historic arts district’s name means “stroll,” which happens to be the preferred form of locomotion while taking in its wonders during a monthly display of arts and culture. Paseo Arts District, 3022 Paseo St, OKC, 525.2688, thepaseo.com Assistance League of Norman Gala Dec 6 Warmed by the glow of another year making a difference, league members and guests enjoy the magic of a Polar Express reception, dinner and dancing. OU Memorial Union Ballroom, 900 Asp Ave, Norman, 321.9400, norman. assistanceleague.org Tea With the Queen Dec 7-8 Two opportunities to tour the Overholser, relish a bit of music appropriate to the august occasion and sit down for a spot of refreshment with the extremely long-lived monarch (she’s nearing 200 at this point) Queen Victoria. Overholser Mansion, 405 NW 15th St, OKC, 235.3700, oklahomashakespeare.com 2nd Friday Circuit of Art Dec 13 A monthly community-wide celebration of creativity, focused on historic Downtown Norman. Norman Arts Council, 122 E Main St, Norman, 360.1162, normanarts.org Live on the Plaza Dec 13 Vendors, artists, residents and passerby unite for a monthly fiesta. OKC Plaza District, 1618 N Gatewood Ave, OKC, 367.9403, plazadistrict.org Women Who Care Share Luncheon Dec 13 The YWCA brings together professional women determined to end domestic violence in this annual luncheon, featuring an inspirational firsthand story and socializing among hundreds of communityminded ladies. Cox Center, 1 Myriad Gardens, OKC, 948.1770, ywcaokc.org Full Moon Bicycle Ride Dec 17 The night air might be a trifle crisp, but that’ll encourage bikers to keep their heart rates up on this group moonlit meander through downtown Oklahoma City. Myriad Gardens, 301 W Reno Ave, OKC, 445.7080, oklahomacitybotanicalgardens.com
will be presented Dec 13. First Fidelity Bank, 131 E Main St, Norman, 364.7152, normanparkfoundation.com
of the little black dress. Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr, OKC, 521.2491, okhistory.org
Small Works Show Through Dec 27 Major talent in miniscule doses marks this third annual show, featuring works from Rick Fry, Skip Hill, Bert Seabourn, Corazon Watkins and others. Santa Fe Depot, 200 S Jones Dr, Norman, 307.9320, pasnorman.org
James Sullivan Through Jan 4 SMU professor of sculpture and design Sullivan has developed a knack for spinning straw into art - his faceless and abstract human forms are nevertheless strangely evocative. [Artspace] at Untitled, 1 NE 3rd St, OKC, 815.9995, artspaceatuntitled.org
The Company You Keep Through Jan 4 Six local female artists who have been fond acquaintances for several years explore the nuances of their relationships with a group exhibition of their work: portraits of one another. IAO Gallery, 706 W Sheridan Ave, OKC, 232.6060, iaogallery.org Life Imitates Art Dec 6-28 Two masters of their crafts exhibit the differences approach can make, as photographer Carl Shortt and acrylic painter Sue Hale present paired views of the same landscapes, along with examples of their individual work. In Your Eye Gallery, 3005 Paseo St, OKC, 525.2161, inyoureyegallery.com
Premiere on Film Row Dec 20 Fowler Honda sponsors the downtown OKC street festival; it’s family-friendly, petwelcoming, free to wander through and filled with treats for the ears and taste buds. Film Row, 706 W Sheridan Ave, OKC, 232.6060
Swoon Dec 7-Jan 31 Mistresses of multiple media, OKC women’s art organization FRINGE comes together during the holiday season for an art show celebrating the life of the party. Istvan Gallery, 1218 N Western Ave, OKC, 604.7947, fringeokc.com
Opening Night Dec 31 Who’s ready for a new year? The Arts Council of Oklahoma City rings in 2014 with great vigor and enthusiasm, including concerts at multiple downtown venues and a massive fireworks show. Myriad Gardens, 301 W Reno Ave, OKC, 270.4848, artscouncilokc.com
GALLERIES Martini Travels Through Dec 10 Inspired by an impromptu lunch with artist Harold Stevenson, this collection is the result of years of travel and research by photographer Terry Zinn: Locally concocted beverages shot against beautiful backdrops and landmarks in destinations around the world. PhotoArt Studios, 1738 NW 16th St, OKC, 557.0924, photoart.com Norman Tree Photo Contest Through Dec 13 Tour a forest of Oklahoma trees without leaving downtown, as the Norman Park Foundation presents the cream of its annual photo contest; awards
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The Illuminated Garden Through Dec 20 Inspired by the quiet, delicate, sensual beauty of flowers, Argentinian artist Ana Maria Hernando lights up the OK Contemporary gallery with brightly colored, intricately layered installations and paintings. Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, 3000 General Pershing Dr, OKC, 951.0000, oklahomacontemporary.org Faces of Bettina Steinke Through Dec 22 Looking back at Steinke’s life involves seeing many other lives as well, since she spent over 60 years capturing the faces, aspects and emotions of people from all walks of life. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St, OKC, 478.2250, nationalcowboymuseum.org Reigns Supreme Through Dec 30 Extravagant in impact if not subject matter, the Oklahoma History Center’s exhibit draws on the Oklahoma Historical Society’s fashion collection to portray over 75 years
To Pioneer Through Jan 4 Mixed media artist Denise Duong becomes a challenger of the unknown in this collection of new works laced with bold color palettes and expanding her craft into unexplored territories. Oklahoma Heritage Museum, 1400 Classen Dr, OKC, 523.3231, oklahomaheritage.com Cowboy Artists of America Through Jan 5 For 48 years now, the association of outstanding Western painters and sculptors has made an annual habit of flexing its creative talents in a show of over 100 wonders. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St, OKC, 478.2250, nationalcowboymuseum.org Libertad de Expresion Through Jan 5 A collection of Cold War-era works whose creators explored cosmopolitan modernist styles, this exhibit celebrates freedom of expression in America - Latin America, to be precise. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave, Norman, 325.3272, ou.edu/fjjma Masterworks of Native American Art Through Jan 5 Cultural traditions spanning thousands of years are fertile fields for artistic exploration; these selections from the museum’s Fred and Enid Brown collection concentrate on pieces crafted during the last 50 years. Sam Noble Museum of Oklahoma History, 2401 Chautauqua Ave, Norman, 325.4712, snomnh.ou.edu Traditional Cowboy Arts Association Through Jan 5 Craftsmanship is paramount in the intricate, impeccable work of these preservers of saddlemaking, silversmithing and rawhide working arts. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St, OKC, 478.2250, nationalcowboymuseum.org Dark Light Through Jan 12 Celebrating an innovative force in contemporary Native American pottery, this exhibition collects mica-rich ceramics by Christine Nofchissey McHorse. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave, Norman, 325.3272, ou.edu/fjjma
The Art of Sport + Play Through Jan 26 Play ball! Author Kevin Carroll did, for years and in any sport he could find. He found his love for athletic competition to have universal analogues, a common drive and delight explored in this energetic exhibit. Sam Noble Museum of Oklahoma History, 2401 Chautauqua Ave, Norman, 325.4712, snomnh.ou.edu Art in Recycled Trash Through Feb 14 Organized in partnership with OKC Beautiful, this exhibition features 2- and 3-dimensional pieces made from materials rescued from a trip to the dumpster and rendered into creative treasures. Science Museum Oklahoma, 2100 NE 52nd St, OKC, 602.6664, sciencemuseumok.org Untamed Through Mar 1 Wild horses couldn’t drag this exhibit away from the museum, but they do prove a powerful attractive force for viewers in a collection of mustang-themed paintings by Jennifer Cocoma Hustis. Science Museum Oklahoma, 2100 NE 52nd St, OKC, 602.6664, sciencemuseumok.org On Assignment Through Mar 16 One of the great photojournalists of the earlyand mid-20th century, Horace Bristol used his camera as a tool for social and cultural awareness, documenting the Great Depression, World War II, postwar Japan and more. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave, Norman, 325.3272, ou.edu/fjjma Allan Houser and His Students Through May 11 Part of a statewide effort to honor the exceptional artist’s 100th birthday, this collection uses his works and his proteges’ to highlight Houser’s skill as a teacher. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St, OKC, 478.2250, nationalcowboymuseum.org Chuck Close: Works on Paper Dec 13-Feb 16 Well-respected for his realistic portraits of family and friends in paintings of epic scale, Close also spurred and continues to drive innovations in printmaking techniques through ongoing collaborations. This richly textured retrospective gives viewers a close look at the varied avenues of his creation. OKC Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, OKC, 236.3100, okcmoa.com Come on Down Dec 13-Apr 13 Sculptor Lisa Hoke raves about her vulnerability to the thrill of color in product packaging, a love on ample display in her site-specific wall frieze - 15 feet high and over 150 feet long - assembled from mass-produced merchandise. OKC Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, OKC, 236.3100, okcmoa.com
Happy Holidays from Our Family to Yours MARK T. HANSTEIN, DDS Bringing over 27 years of dentistry to the Oklahoma City and metro area
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Bank of Oklahoma Plaza | 201 Robert S. Kerr, Suite 521 235.7288 | www.okcdrhansteindds.com
NICHOLS HILLS PLAZA 63RD & N. WESTERN | 405.842.1478 www.ruthmeyers.com
NOV 29 - DEC 28
:: ADDITIONAL FUNDING PROVIDED BY :: ALLIED ARTS // OKLAHOMA ARTS COUNCIL // THE OKLAHOMAN TRI-STATE INDUSTRIAL GROUP // MARK & BEVERLY FUNKE AND SNB
TICKETS :: 405.524.9312 // LYRICTHEATREOKC.COM DECEMBER 2013 // SLICE 85
PURSUITS | See & Do
MUSIC UCO Wind Symphony Dec 5 The school symphony pumps out works by Bach, Osterfield, Lauridsen and Margolis, led by flute soloist Emily Butterfield. UCO Mitchell Hall Theater, 100 N University Blvd, Edmond, 974.3375, uco.edu/cfad Noon Tunes Dec 5-26 Free lunchtime serenades in the Downtown Library: B.C. Jazz Ensemble Dec 5, Cleveland Elementary Choir Dec 12, Rice Dance Band Dec 19 and Mark Galloway Dec 26. Downtown Library, 300 Park Ave, OKC, 231.8650, mls.lib.ok.us Blue October Dec 6 The Houston quintet is borne into OKC on a fresh wave of their ambient post-grunge sound - their latest album is called Sway, which describes both their current flexible outlook on life and listeners’ likely reaction to the quietly danceable tracks. Diamond Ballroom, 8001 S Eastern Ave, OKC, 866.977.6849, diamondballroom.net Sutton Series Concerts Dec 6-8 The OU School of Music welcomes listeners to a slate of musical mastery, ending the semester with the Holiday Pipes concert Dec 6 and a group performance featuring its brass, percussion, organ and combined choirs Dec 8. OU Catlett Music Center, 500 W Boyd St, Norman, 325.4101, music.ou.edu Purple Bar Performances Dec 6-28 A cozy setting, ample menu and outstanding music from local artists. Nonna’s Purple Bar, 1 S Mickey Mantle Dr, OKC, 235.4410, purplebarokc.com Winter Wind: Jimmy LaFave Dec 8 The Performing Arts Studio presents some gently twanging Red Dirt vibes from singersongwriter LaFave before shutting the series down for the holidays. See you in 2014! Santa Fe Depot, 200 S Jones Dr, Norman, 307.9320, pasnorman.org
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THE WRONG SIZE BRA Stop in for a FREE FITTING
SHOPPES AT NORTHPARK
12062 N May Ave • Oklahoma City, OK 73120 405.936.0030 • Mon-Fri 10-6 • Sat 10-4
The Conservatory Dec 10-22 Sonic jams of all descriptions in an OKC hotspot: Every Time I Die Dec 10, Vanna Dec 12, Power Trip with Windhand Dec 15 and Thy Art Is Murder Dec 22 - adds and adjustments posted online. The Conservatory, 8911 N Western Ave, OKC, conservatoryokc.com Blue Door Shows Dec 12-15 Self-billed as “the best listening room in Oklahoma,” it certainly has some of the best music: Dar Williams Dec 12, Michael O’Connor and Jeff Plankenhorn Dec 13, Ian Moore Dec 14, a Woody Guthrie tribute Dec 15 and more - check online for updates. The Blue Door, 2805 N McKinley Ave, OKC, 524.0738, bluedoorokc.com Gloriana Dec 15 The Gossin Brothers and Rachel Reinert make up this resonant country trio, who says that though each of them has been playing all his or her life, they never really clicked until they all came together. Riverwind Casino, 1544 W Hwy 9, Norman, 322.6464, riverwind.com Jay Z Dec 18 He’s won 17 Grammys, sold over 50 million albums and become a brilliantly successful entrepreneur - Mr. Carter is on top of the rap world, and ready to dazzle OKC. Chesapeake Arena, 100 W Reno Ave, OKC, 800.745.3000, chesapeakearena.com Randy Rogers Band Dec 27 An often rowdy, crowd-rocking Texas quintet, the RRs bring a dose of Trouble (that’s their latest album title) to Riverwind to shake off the postChristmas blahs. Riverwind Casino, 1544 W Hwy 9, Norman, 322.6464, riverwind.com
SPORTS Cowgirl Basketball Dec 1-29 The OSU women defend their home court against North Texas Dec 1 and Texas-Pan American Dec 29. Gallagher-Iba Arena, 1046 W Hall of Fame Ave, Stillwater, 877.255.4678, okstate.com Lady Sooner Basketball Dec 1-29 The OU women tip off against Creighton Dec 1, Western Illinois Dec 4, Duke Dec 8, Maryland Eastern Shore Dec 15 and Samford Dec 29. Lloyd Noble Center, 2900 S Jenkins Ave, Norman, 325.2424, soonersports.com
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Thunder Basketball Dec 1-31 The Thunder take aim at another run to the Finals by hosting Minnesota Dec 1, Indiana Dec 8, the L.A. Lakers Dec 13, Orlando Dec 15, Chicago Dec 19, Toronto Dec 22, Houston Dec 29 and Portland Dec 31. Chesapeake Arena, 100 W Reno Ave, OKC, 208.4667, nba.com/thunder WWE Monday Night Raw Dec 2 If the names Randy Orton, CM Punk, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose pique your brawlloving interest, it’s time to order tickets - pro wrestling is headed back to town. Chesapeake Arena, 100 W Reno Ave, OKC, 800.745.3000, chesapeakearena.com Sooner Basketball Dec 2-30 The OU men tip off against Mercer Dec 2, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Dec 5, Tulsa Dec 14, UT-Arlington Dec 17 and Louisiana Tech Dec 30. Lloyd Noble Center, 2900 S Jenkins Ave, Norman, 325.2424, soonersports.com Cowboy Basketball Dec 6-30 The OSU men defend their home court against South Carolina Dec 6, Delaware State Dec 17 and Robert Morris Dec 30. Gallagher-Iba Arena, 1046 W Hall of Fame Ave, Stillwater, 877.255.4678, okstate.com BEDLAM 2013 Dec 7 It all comes down to this for OU and OSU, as Sooners and Cowboys renew their annual gridiron rivalry in the final game of both teams’ regular season. Boone Pickens Stadium, 700 W Hall of Fame Ave, Stillwater, 744.5745, okstate.com All-College Classic Dec 14 The 78th annual basketball tournament goes all-orange this year, as the OSU men take on Louisiana Tech and OSU women face South Florida. Chesapeake Arena, 100 W Reno Ave, OKC, 800.745.3000, okcallsports.org Barons Hockey Dec 3-31 OKC’s ice warriors face a small-scale Texas invasion this month, with four - count ‘em, four - home games against the Stars, Dec 3, 20, 21 and 30. Cox Center, 1 Myriad Gardens, OKC, 232.4625, okcbarons.com
THEATER Coram Boy Through Dec 7 Compassion, intrigue, music and murder await in a tale of two friends, both orphaned, trying to make their way in the hostile and closed-minded world of the industrial revolution. OU Rupel Jones Theater, 500 W Boyd St, Norman, 325.4101, ou.edu/content/finearts Dreamgirls Through Dec 8 Music is their craft, the motive force that buoys them and the industry whose treacherous waters they must navigate as an R&B trio called The Dreams aims for the top. St. Luke’s UMC, 222 NW 15th St, OKC, 609.1023, stlukesokc.org Becky Shaw Dec 4-7 A fledgling relationship starts with a dismal first date and goes downhill from there in a sour, acerbic - and extremely funny - bit of seasonal counterprogramming. OU Old Science Hall, 640 Parrington Oval, Norman, 325.4101, ou.edu/content/finearts
ON THE RADAR Eagle Watch Jan 3-5 Bundle up and bring binoculars - though the weather is chilly, it’s the perfect season to observe the lake’s magnificent feathered residents. Arcadia Lake, 9000 E 2nd St, Edmond, 216.7471, arcadialakeok.com
SPREAD THE WORD
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CONSIDERING A YEAR END GIFT?
You’re Invited to Dr. Hansen’s 60th Birthday Party Thursday, December 19th • 4pm-7pm 13313 N. Meridian, Ste. A3 • Oklahoma City, OK Hosted by Staff
YOUR GIFT CAN: • Provide care for mothers who choose to keep their babies — Hope Pregnancy Centers
• Train volunteers who help during disasters — Oklahoma Disaster Relief • Provide senior adults with living expenses — Baptist Village Communities • Help students receive a Christian education — Oklahoma Baptist University • Support your Southern Baptist Church
www.lorihansenmd.com Find us on Facebook to stay connected with Dr. Hansen’s Birthday Specials
The Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma
800.949.9988 | Give Online www.bfok.org
415 Couch Drive Oklahoma City, OK 73102 (405) 236-3100 www.okcmoa.com
DECEMBER 2013 // SLICE 87
Â˝ Price Off Select Appetizers During Happy Hour 3-6pm Brunch Every Saturday and Sunday 10-4 Book Private Parties/Events in Our North Room
6714 N. Western Avenue | Oklahoma City | 405.607.4072 | www.westbar.com 88 SLICE // DECEMBER 2013
FARE Rich in Spirit
It’s not just about the tasty temptation of mighty big sandwiches; Hillbilly Po’ Boys offers a hefty dose of atmosphere at no extra charge. See page 92.
MARVELOUS MAINSTAY A luscious family recipe for bravura bundt cake 90
EAT & DRINK Variety is on the menu in Slice’s citywide dining guide 94
DECEMBER 2013 // SLICE 89
FARE | In the Kitchen
90 SLICE // DECEMBER 2013
MARVELOUS MAINSTAY By Caryn Ross // Photo by Carli Wentworth
IT JUST WOULDN’T BE THE HOLIDAYS WITHOUT RUM CAKE. This super moist version has been a fixture on my table since I was a kid. Mom would make numerous cakes to take to parties or serve at holiday dinners, and would even deliver one to our priest each Christmas. So, when I went off to college and Mom gave me a recipe box filled with her favorite recipes, I am sure she was hoping I would someday cook a few of these. Well, this particular one has served me well for many years! It was my best seller when I cooked out of my home selling cakes and pies to friends and family. Some of my patrons even requested I not “cook” out the rum in the glaze and just pour it over straight out of the bottle – made for a very merry cake!
Mama’s Rum Cake 1 box Duncan Hines yellow cake mix 1 small box French vanilla instant pudding 4 large eggs ½ c water ½ c plus 2 T Myers’s Rum ½ c canola oil 1½ c pecans, chopped 1 sleeve graham crackers, crushed into crumbs 1 stick unsalted butter, melted Glaze ½ stick unsalted butter ½ c sugar ¼ c Myers’s Rum Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a Bundt pan well with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle 1 cup of chopped pecans in the bottom of the pan and set aside. In a large mixing bowl combine the cake mix and pudding. Stir well. Using an electric mixer, beat in the eggs, water, ½ cup rum and canola oil. Mix for 2 minutes until there are no lumps. Set aside. Make the filling by using a medium-sized bowl to combine the graham cracker crumbs, remaining pecans, 2 tablespoons rum and the melted butter. It will be very thick, which is perfect. Assemble the cake by pouring half of the cake mix into the Bundt pan, spreading it out evenly. Place a “snake-like roll” of the filling mixture in the center of the cake batter in Bundt pan. Continue the filling all around the center of the pan and then top with the remaining cake batter. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean from the center. While the cake is baking, make the glaze by using a small saucepan to simmer the butter, sugar and rum until it comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and set aside. Allow the cake to cool 5 minutes and then invert cake onto a serving platter. Brush cake with glaze all over. Continue until all of the glaze is used. Cover and allow to sit for at least 24 hours before serving.
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FARE | Matters of Taste
DOWN HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS By Steve Gill // Photos by Carli Wentworth
ATMOSPHERE CAN BE A TOUGH THING TO BALANCE. You want to give your dining establishment some kind of character to differentiate it and draw in potential customers (which is why you don’t see a lot of restaurants named “FOOD PLACE”), but it’s easy to carry a theme overboard, especially if that theme borders on condescension. All of which is to say that I was a trifle apprehensive about trying out a restaurant called “Hillbilly Po’ Boys & Oysters,” especially given that I’m from a part of the state whose citizens tend toward redness of the neck, and have a few roots in the proverbial backwoods myself. Fortunately, I needn’t have worried. The little wooden building on N.W. 9th isn’t a greasy spoon diner at all, nor a corporation’s idea of what “hillbillies” would look like. In fact, a great deal of effort has clearly gone into designing the space and the menu, with great results. The decorative touches are just right for the tone: Framed memorabilia on the forest-paneled walls includes Johnny Cash album covers and a poster for Burt Reynolds’ “Gator,” 92 SLICE // DECEMBER 2013
water is served in Mason jars and the plates are unornamented metal discs, the floors and tables and chairs are wooden (by the way, every place should spring for chairs like these high-backed, comfy-cushioned, easy-rolling marvels) – even the “lights” over the bar are Mason jars filled with strands of green Christmas lights, so when they’re flashing, they give the appearance of containing fireflies. And whatever misgivings I might have had about the printed menu’s cornpone-isms of “dippin’ sauce” and “skeeters” and “just the way Granny used to” were easily overwhelmed by the quality of the food. Patois or not, these hillbillies can cook. The other part of the restaurant’s name is actually a bit of an oversimplification – the dozen or so protein options listed under Po’ Boys certainly can (and arguably should) be stuffed into two-handed toasted baguettes, but they’re all also available on a bed of rice or fresh local greens, thereby providing a bit more variety for any diners who might be feeling a little carbed out after scarfing down the
Crawfish S.O.S. Speaking of which, you really gotta try the Crawfish S.O.S., a slab of toasted bread slathered in a slightly spicy cream sauce laden with chunks of blackened minicrustaceans. The Camp Fire Drip Beef (like a slightly Cajunized French Dip) and blackened shrimp po’ boys are both solid choices, but my recommendation is the Smokey Mountain Meatball, whose supremely savory mozzarella-stuffed meatballs are topped with a rich, slightly smoky marinara and melted parmesan. There’s even a tiny bit of tang to the fruit salad thanks to its honey-lime chili marinade.
Don’t expect jukebox-rocking. The radio is firmly locked on classic country, and that doesn’t mean Billy Ray Cyrus or Blake Shelton’s early work – think more Merle, Willie, Loretta and Conway. Stay for dessert. It doesn’t matter that there’s only the one option, or that Sara Sara Cupcakes is literally two doors down: The bread pudding should be a lock in your evening plans. It could be a product of the Apple Pie Moonshine glaze, but the texture, flavor and especially the aroma are simply great – I believed our waitress when I commented on the scent and she replied, ”I know; I just want my whole life to smell like that!”
Cocktails are made with moonshine – but don’t worry about raids from revenuers, the spirit in question isn’t bootleg hooch. Their Redneck Cherry is Mexican Coke (that’s the good stuff) and Midnight Moon cherry-infused moonshine, sweetened with a brown sugar syrup and loaded with maraschino cherries that have been soaked in the spirit. They are, to put it mildly, potent. To top it all off, the service is brisk and thoughtful – the staff is enthusiastic about the menu’s dishes, and when my brother ordered a bottled beer (the massive Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout) the bartender brought it to him with a glass, went away, then came back with a small ice bucket for the bottle. After the “official” trip on this review’s behalf, I’ve actually been back a couple of times for lunch on my own, trying to pin down what I like about Hillbilly Po’ Boys … and I think I might have figured it out: It just feels right. A quiet harmonica on the speakers, the creak of floorboards and even the rumble of a train passing a few feet away combine for a surprisingly soothing soundtrack and – for me, at least – reawaken some childhood memories. As the holidays and their attendant stresses approach, it’s a good time to discover a spot that reminds you a little bit of home. Merry Christmas, y’all.
HILLBILLY PO’ BOYS & OYSTERS 1 N.W. 9th St., OKC 405.702.9805 Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
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Eat & Drink KEY $ $$ $$$
most entrees under $10 most entrees $10 to $25 most entrees over $25 outdoor dining reservations accepted new or updated entry
Have an addition that you’d like us to consider? Send establishment name, address, phone number and a brief description (40 words or less) to dining@sliceok. com. Submissions must be received two months prior to publication.
AMERICAN ANN’S CHICKEN FRY HOUSE This Route 66 classic provides a blast from the past in its copious decorative memorabilia, and excellent chicken-fried steak big enough to sate the hugest appetites. 4106 NW 39th, OKC, 943.8915 $ CAFÉ 7 A fast, casual restaurant with a very cool concept: widely varied salad, sandwich, pizza and pasta options, all priced under $7 and served up in 7 minutes, 7 days a week. 14101 N May, OKC, 748.3354; 120 N Robinson, Suite W 175, OKC, 748.3354 $ CAFÉ 501 Rustic stone oven pizzas, fresh, uniquely designed salads and delicious specialty sandwiches on house-made artisan breads – add classic atmosphere and enjoy. 501 S Boulevard, Edmond, 359.1501; 5825 NW Grand, OKC, 844.1501 $$ CLASSEN GRILL Don’t be thrown by the seen-better-days exterior; the food inside is deftly done diner deliciousness, especially the breakfast options. The eggs benedict and cheese grits can make your day in advance. 5124 N Classen Blvd, OKC, 842.0428 $ DEEP FORK GRILL The dimly lit, crisply elegant atmosphere perfectly complements the contemporary menu of superb seafood (wood-grilled cedar plank salmon is the house specialty), steaks and accoutrements. 5418 N Western, OKC, 848.7678 $$ DISTRICT 21 A bastion of creativity from chefs just starting out, this sleek restaurant is run by Francis Tuttle’s culinary school - a great, inexpensive way to sample worldwide flavors. 12777 N Rockwell, OKC, 717.7700 $ FANCY THAT No longer restricting customers to a quick lunch and bakery treats, this Main Street café’s robust expansion into evening and weekend hours is cause for celebration … over dinner. 215 E Main, Norman, 307.0541 $$
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FLINT Approachably casual style in the front of the house, with impeccably serious attention to detail in the kitchen; it’s the Colcord Hotel’s winning combination for contemporary cuisine. 15 N Robinson, OKC, 601.4300 $$ INTERURBAN CLASSIC GRILL Great food at a reasonable price in comfortable, casual surroundings. Favorites like chicken-fried steak are always on the menu, but there are plenty of options for the health-conscious as well. 4 metro locations, interurban.us $$ KAISER’S AMERICAN BISTRO Founded in 1918 and serving contemporary classics like a top-notch buffalo burger, Kaiser’s boasts a great view… if you can tear your attention away from the ice cream & soda fountain. 1039 N Walker, OKC, 232.7632 $ LEGEND’S A Lindsey Street landmark for over 40 years, this casually upscale, three-diamond AAA restaurant still serves exceptional seafood, steaks and more down-to-earth fare amid welcoming surroundings. 1313 W Lindsey, Norman, 329.8888 $$
French toast is something special) and Stumptown coffee. 123 E Main, Norman, 701.1143 $ VAST Keeping your attention on the steaks, seafood and other globally inspired American cuisine might be surprisingly difficult: the view is truly unparalleled in Oklahoma. 280 W Sheridan, 49th floor, OKC, 702.7262 $$ WAFFLE CHAMPION The little food truck that could has finally expanded into a Midtown diner, bringing more joy to those addicted to its gourmet sweet or savory waffle options. 1212 N Walker, OKC, 525.9235 $ WHISKEY CAKE High-quality locally sourced ingredients served in a charmingly homey atmosphere; that’s a prime recipe. Enjoy – and don’t forget the namesake dessert. 1845 NW Expressway, OKC, 582.2253 $$
MUTT’S AMAZING HOT DOGS Now this is a hot dog – Mutt’s inspired creations feature prime meats like chicken, bison and duck, topped off with tantalizing and unexpected flavor profiles. 1400 NW 23rd, OKC, 525.3647 $
180 MERIDIAN GRILL Intended to unite east and west through blending the essence of Asian cuisine with American culture, its intriguing menu spans sirloin with teriyaki butter, hoisin barbeque duck pizza and ample sushi options. 2541 W Main, Norman, 310.6110 $$
NEBU You shouldn’t have any trouble finding this airy, accommodating provider of chef-prepared sandwiches, sushi, pizza and more – it’s in the garden wing of the colossal Devon tower. 280 W Sheridan, OKC $
DOT WO GARDEN With an elegantly appointed new location, Dot Wo continues its crowd-pleasing legacy of over two decades by pairing sumptuous classics of Chinese cuisine with fiery, fresh sushi. 6161 N May, OKC, 608.2388 $$
PACKARD’S NEW AMERICAN KITCHEN They’re not kidding about the “new” – the entire menu is infused with thoughtful, innovative ideas for a tasty and truly unique dining experience. 201 NW 10th, Suite 100, OKC, 605.3771 $$
GRAND HOUSE A number of Chinese restaurants concentrate on their cooking to the exclusion of any other aspect of dining – Grand House is the happy exception that goes the extra mile to provide enjoyable ambiance alongside its excellent cuisine. 2701 N Classen, OKC, 524.7333 $$
PICASSO CAFÉ Its neighbors are painters, potters and sculptors, so it’s no surprise its management strives to make their cuisine a work of art. Creative arrangements of pizza, sandwiches, salads and surprises abound. 3009 Paseo, OKC, 602.2002 $ POPS A little out of the way but undeniably worth going the extra mile, the Good Egg Group’s roadside café has burgers, salads, shakes and the irresistible draw of an unbelievably broad soda selection. 660 W Highway 66, Arcadia, 233.2020 $
GUERNSEY PARK A hidden treasure on an Uptown back street, it’s home to tasty Asian fusion with a hint of French influence in dishes ranging from oxtail ravioli to curry salmon. 2418 N Guernsey, OKC, 605.5272 $$ O ASIAN FUSION Sublime quality in a wide span of culinary influences – freshly rolled sushi to fiery curry – in a cool, vibrant environment. Call ahead; it becomes a packed house in a hurry. 105 SE 12th, Norman, 701.8899 $$
REDROCK CANYON GRILL Rotisserie chicken, Southwestern enchiladas, pork chops and steak by the lake served expertly in a casual, energetic, hacienda-style atmosphere of stone walls and mahogany beams around an open kitchen. 9221 E Lake Hefner Pkwy, OKC, 749.1995 $$
SAII ASIAN BISTRO & SUSHI BAR With a dark, rich ambiance that elevates it over its surroundings, Saii serves expertly prepared Japanese, Thai and Chinese dishes plus an extensive and adventurous sushi menu. 6900 N May, OKC, 702.7244 $$
SATURN GRILL A star of the lunchtime stage, its surprising daily specials and inspired, tasty twists on ordinary sandwiches, salads and pizza keep it crowded on weekdays. 4401 W Memorial, OKC 463.5594; 6432 Avondale, OKC, 843.7114; 1012 N Walker, OKC, 606.8182 $
VII ASIAN BISTRO The bright, sleek interior and personable staff make a good impression, confirmed by the savory spate of Chinese and Vietnamese menu options … especially the glass noodles with shrimp and crab. 2900 N Classen, OKC, 604.2939 $
SCRATCH Isn’t that the best place for food to come from? Entrees, sides, rotating specials and more are all carefully concocted in-house, as are the tantalizing craft cocktails. 132 W Main, Norman, 801.2900 $$ SYRUP The most important meal of the day is also the most enticing at this unique breakfast boutique serving a heaping helping of signature dishes (the crunchy
BAKERY BIG SKY BREAD COMPANY Enjoy cookies, scones, brownies or granola, but don’t fill up before the main attraction: the incredible bevy of fresh-baked bread. 6606 N Western, OKC, 879.0330 $ BROWN’S BAKERY An incredible selection of delicious traditional and specialty
cakes, cookies, breads and other baked goods. 1100 N Walker, OKC, 232.0363 $ KITCHEN NO. 324 The venerable Braniff Building on the SandRidge campus downtown hosts this seasonally inspired café, coffee curator and craft bakery serving rustic American cuisine. Aroma alone summons crowds. 324 N Robinson, OKC, 763.5911 $ LA BAGUETTE BAKERY & CAFÉ A spacious, comfortable seating area combined with the exquisite baking mastery that is the brand’s trademark makes this a tres chic, and very popular, destination for brunch and beyond. 1130 Rambling Oaks, Norman, 329.1101; 924 W Main, Norman, 329.5822 $ NONNA’S BAKERY Family recipes are the foundation of these unbelievably scrumptious treats – walk in and pick or call ahead and special order cream pies, decadent cakes and much more. 1 Mickey Mantle Dr, OKC, 235.4410 $ SARA SARA CUPCAKES Located in a charming little converted house, the ambiance and milk bar make great atmospheric additions to the varied menu of specialty cupcakes – selections range from traditional chocolate to blueberry honey and even bacon, egg and cheese. 7 NW 9th, OKC, 600.9494 $
BAR // PUB FOOD 51ST STREET SPEAKEASY A converted house with a perpetually packed porch and patio, the joint jumps with energy and the top-shelf spirits and beers flow with abandon. 1114 NW 51st, OKC, 463.0470 $ ABNER’S ALE HOUSE Beers and whiskies of the best, plus knockout renditions of accompanying dishes, with the aim of recreating the true English public house vibe. 121 E Main, Norman, 928.5801 $$ BELLE ISLE RESTAURANT & BREWERY Live music, handcrafted beers and a great burger selection fill this bustling bar in the landmark 50 Penn Place. 1900 NW Expressway, OKC, 840.1911 $ BLU FINE WINE & FOOD A popular bar option among OU students and Normanites, blu stands out due to quick, courteous service and a menu with gourmet range – try the hummus. 201 S Crawford, Norman, 360.4258 $$ CLUB ONE15 The nightclub vibe is in full effect with energetic music and three bars, though the robust menu including fajitas, pasta bowls and seafood is quite a draw of its own. 115 E Sheridan, OKC, 605.5783 $$ DEEP DEUCE GRILL The funky, comfortably run-down vibe of its namesake district lingers in this alternative to Bricktown crowds, featuring burgers, beer and a people-watching patio. 307 NE 2nd, OKC, 235.9100 $ JAMES E. MCNELLIE’S PUBLIC HOUSE Designed to bring Ireland’s pub culture to our city, this Midtown hotspot features 350 varieties of beer, including difficult-tofind options from all over the world. 1100 Classen Dr, OKC, 601.7468 $$ MONT, THE Though frequented by many purely for its primo patio and Sooner Swirls from the bar, the Norman landmark also boasts a tempting suite of pub food with a zing of Southwestern flavor. 1300 Classen Blvd, Norman, 329.3330 $ O’CONNELL’S IRISH PUB & GRILLE Beloved by students, alumni and townies alike, this OU Campus Corner landmark has been serving up burgers, beer and
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FARE | Eat & Drink
festive atmosphere since 1968. 769 Asp, Norman, 217.8454 $ PUB W Multiple atmospheres for whatever hangout vibe you like, and a menu of “new classic” fare from barbeque wings to thick pork chops, plus plenty of beers. 3720 W Robinson, Norman, 701.5844 $$ REPUBLIC GASTROPUB Dedicated to bridging the gap between beer bar and upscale eatery, this contemporary public house in Classen Curve pairs a vast selection of quality brews with imaginative menu items designed to complement one another. 5830 N Classen Blvd, OKC, 286.4577 $$ SAINTS An inviting Irish bar nestled in the Plaza District, its whiskey and beer selection dovetails nicely with classic dishes like shepherd’s pie, bangers and fish and chips. 1715 NW 16th, OKC, 602.6308 $$ SEAN CUMMINGS’ IRISH RESTAURANT & PUB Classic Irish fare (lamb stew, bangers and mash, even beef or salmon boxtys) mixed with favorites and delivered with engaging and gracious service. Plus, naturally, there’s Guinness on tap. 7523 N May, OKC, 755.2622 $$ URBAN WINEWORKS If its delicious madein-Oklahoma wine isn’t draw enough (and it should be), the haute culinary creations featuring rabbit, duck, pork belly and more should certainly entice diners to the Plaza. 1749 NW 16th, OKC, 525.9463 $$ VZD’S RESTAURANT & CLUB Live music is a staple on weekends, but the unusually broad, tasty bar menu draws a substantial lunch crowd as well. Try the turkey burger, the chili or both. 4200 N Western, OKC, 524.4203 $ WES WELKER’S The food shows great variety and imagination - from duck nachos to sirloin broiled in bourbon butter. And in terms of enjoyment, the bevy of TVs and 83 available beers ain’t bad either. 3121 W Memorial, OKC, 608.2200, $$
BARBEQUE EARL’S RIB PALACE Beloved by locals in a setting far from starved for competition, the award-winning barbeque chain pounds out hit ribs, pulled pork and smoked turkey as well as a top-tier burger. 6 metro locations, earlsribpalace.com $ IRON STARR URBAN BARBEQUE Named for notorious outlaw Belle Starr, Iron Starr specializes in “a unique and tasty spin on comfort food.” The entrees are excellent, but the sides are equal players here as well. 3700 N Shartel, OKC, 524.5925 $$ LEO’S BAR-B-Q Dense, rich flavor and tender texture through and through, delivered in genuine unpolished style for commendable value – no wonder it’s a recurring favorite among OK connoisseurs. 3631 N Kelley, OKC 424.5367 $ RUDY’S COUNTRY STORE & BAR-B-Q It’s hard to get more casual than a set of picnic benches, where food comes on cafeteria trays with plastic utensils and paper towels... but as the lines attest, the brisket and other barbeque staples speak for themselves. 3450 Chautauqua, Norman, 307.0552; 3437 W Memorial, OKC, 254.4712 $$
BURGERS // SANDWICHES
selection of salads (veggie, tuna, pasta…) make it an ideal spot for lunch when you’re near OU. 333 W Boyd, Norman, 360.2233 $
canal. The menu draws raves for burgers and wraps, but especially the monstrous made-to-order cheesesteaks. 200 S Oklahoma, OKC, 208.4000 $
COW CALF-HAY A City Bites spinoff that easily stands on its own, the selections are ample and interesting and the delicious never-frozen patties are mmmmmassive. 3409 Wynn, Edmond, 509.2333, 212 N Harvey, OKC, 601.6180 $
TUCKER’S ONION BURGERS With one burger (and variants), one side dish (fries), one salad and beverages, the menu is easy to remember. With this level of bravura execution, the meal is hard to forget. 324 NW 23rd, OKC, 609.2333; 5740 N Classen Blvd, OKC, 286.3331 $
FLATIRE BURGERS Beloved by (and generally crowded with) UCO students, this bravura burger joint excels at innovative additions to the classic patty and bun, like sauerkraut, carrots, pineapple relish and habanero salsa. 100 N University Dr (at UCO), Edmond, 974.4638; 6315 NW 39th Expressway, Bethany, 603.2822 $ GARAGE BURGERS & BEER, THE Even if your focus isn’t on a televised game, conversation will probably revolve around the huge, juicy burgers and fries – both available in several tempting flavor possibilities – anyway. 4 metro locations, eatatthegarage.com $ IRMA’S BURGER SHACK Hand-cut fries, hand-breaded onions rings and simply great burgers. Try the No-Name Ranch burger – lean and flavorful, thanks to a unique breed of cattle raised in Wynnewood using organic techniques. 1035 NW 63rd, OKC, 840.4762; 1120 Classen Dr, OKC, 235.4762 $ JOHNNIE’S CHARCOAL BROILER Fresh-ground hamburgers cooked over real charcoal set Johnnie’s apart. Try the incredibly popular Cheese Theta or Caesar burgers, and don’t forget a side of their outstanding onion rings. 4 metro locations, johnniesok.com $ LOUIE’S GRILL & BAR Casually cool and come-as-you-are, these popular neighborhood bar-type hangouts excel at inexpensive burgers, sandwiches and pizzas. 12 metro locations, louiesgrillandbar. com $ LOUIE’S ON THE LAKE An unbeatable view of scenic Lake Hefner from the patio adds to the ambiance of this classic eatery, which features a tasty spate of entrees under $10. 9401 Lake Hefner Pkwy, OKC, 751.2298 $ MULE, THE Solid beer and beverage selection plus a delectable array of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and melts (ingredients range from fontina to figs) fill the menu at this relaxation destination in the Plaza District. 1630 N Blackwelder, OKC, 601.1400 $ NIC’S GRILL It’s small, it’s crowded, it’s cash-only… and it’s incredible. The colossal burgers, easily among the metro’s best, and mounds of fresh fries make this holein-the-wall diner pure paradise. 1202 N Pennsylvania, OKC, 524.0999 $ S&B’S BURGER JOINT Good news: these burgers’ exquisite flavor combinations – including such showcase ingredients as peanut butter or a coffee crust – come in slider form as well, the better to sample more selections. 5 metro locations, sandbburgers.com $ SERVICE STATION Once a filling station, the building still has vintage décor and is home to Bentleys, Packards and dipsticks, but now they’re the names of its delicious half-pound burgers and fries. 502 S Webster, Norman, 364.2136 $
BISON WITCHES BAR & DELI The monster sandwiches are loaded with standout flavors, but the best way to enjoy them is in halves, accompanied by a bread bowl of fresh hot soup and a bag of pretzels. 211 E Main, Norman, 364.7555 $
SOONER DAIRY LUNCH The menu’s masthead, “Serving Norman since 1954,” should serve as a fairly strong recommendation all by itself – this modest little drive-in has been cheerfully feeding its staunch fans burgers, fries, tots and shakes for six decades and counting. 1820 W Main, Norman, 321.8526 $
CAFÉ PLAID & BAKERY Fresh sandwiches begging to be combined with a sensational
TEXADELPHIA A popular spot thanks to numerous flatscreen TVs and the nearby
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COFFEEHOUSE // TEA ROOM ALL ABOUT CHA Universal standards and more adventurous concoctions (the sweet potato latte is a wonder) in a bright, bustling atmosphere that still has room for quieter lingering. 3272 S Broadway, Edmond, 340.9959 $ ARAVALLI This weekday waystation in the Devon Energy Center is a prime spot for breakfast pastries and coffee, lunch gelato and desserts and a daily rotating handful of grab-and-go entrees. 333 W Sheridan Ave, OKC, 278.7000 $ BEATNIX CAFÉ, THE While it’s certainly possible to get a sandwich, cup of hearty soup or powerhouse latte to go, doing so would mean missing out on the lovely laid-back vibe that pervades this stressless dawdling spot. 136 NW 13th, OKC, 604.0211 $ CAFÉ EVOKE Outstanding coffee drinks and other beverages from one of the area’s great caterers; if patrons wish to stick around for soup, sandwiches, snacks or sweets, so much the better. 103 S Broadway, Edmond, 285.1522 $ COFFEE SLINGERS Rocking a brisk, urban vibe thanks to its Automobile Alley location, this has become a gathering place for genuine java enthusiasts, especially during the monthly educational sampling seminars called “cuppings.” 1015 N Broadway, OKC, 606.2763 $ CUPPIES & JOE The name’s not really a misnomer, but if it listed all their features it’d be too long. For cupcakes and coffee and pie and live music and a cozy, trendy vibe and more, park around back and take a peek. 727 NW 23rd, OKC, 528.2122 $ ELEMENTAL COFFEE Seriously spectacular coffee roasted in-house - the passionate staffers are always eager to share knowledge about the process - augmented with locally sourced treats, including a variety of crepes on weekends. 815 N Hudson, OKC, 633.1703 $ MICHELANGELO’S COFFEE SHOP & WINE BAR Enjoy exceptional coffees, a wellstocked pastry case with chocolates and sweets, a surprisingly robust wine catalog and even breakfast and lunch selections. 207 E Main, Norman, 579.3387 $ PARAMOUNT, THE A Film Row joint with a screening room attached, it serves a few options for breakfast and lunch and snacks to go with its movies, but it’s the all-day beverage menu that delivers the stuff dreams are made of. 701 W Sheridan, OKC, 517.0787 $ RED CUP Comfortably ramshackle surroundings encourage curling up for conversation over spectacular PrimaCafe coffee, baked treats, vegetarian-friendly breakfast and lunch specials and live music. Highly recommended! 3122 N Classen Blvd, OKC, 525.3430 $ T, AN URBAN TEAHOUSE Proving that an establishment’s focus can be narrow and broad simultaneously, this endearing retreat doesn’t do coffee or sandwiches, but does offer over 100 varieties of tea and expert counsel to explore a world of possibilities. 7518 N May, OKC, 418.4333 $
CONTINENTAL BIN 73 WINE BAR Diners can fill up on filet mignon or simply top the evening off with tapas while enjoying the full bar and chic ambiance. 7312 N Western, OKC, 843.0073 $$ BLACKBIRD A Campus Corner gastropub pairing delectably creative food – pot roast nachos! – with an expansive beer, wine and whiskey list. 575 S University, Norman, 928.5555 $$ CAFÉ NOVA Lunch, dinner and late at night, the simple but innovative fare and hopping bar in this Western Avenue spot aim to please hipsters, families and white- and blue-collar joes and josephines. 4308 N Western, OKC, 525.6682 $$ CHEEVER’S Dress up or down for the Southwestern-influenced recipes and love of seafood that drive the contemporary comfort food found in this converted florist’s; truly one of the city’s finest destinations for dining out. 2409 N Hudson, OKC, 525.7007 $$ COACH HOUSE, THE Definitively among the metro’s most refined, elegant, upscale dining experiences, the rotating menu of seasonal cuisine highlights regional specialties prepared with classical perfection by master chef Kurt Fleischfresser. 6437 Avondale, OKC, 842.1000 $$$ KYLE’S 1025 For an evening of understated sophistication, Kyle’s magnificent steaks, prime seafood, assortment of tapas or even meatloaf are a must. 1025 NW 70th, OKC, 840.0115 $$ LOTTINVILLE’S WOOD GRILLE Rotisserie chicken and wood-grilled salmon are the featured players among a host of Southwestern-influenced entrees, salads and panini; the Sunday brunch is epic. 801 Signal Ridge, Edmond, 341.2244 $$ MANTEL WINE BAR & BISTRO, THE Marvelous steaks, seafood and other specialties (don’t miss the lobster bisque), combined with a refined, intimate atmosphere and outstanding service, make a truly memorable meal. 201 E Sheridan, OKC, 236.8040 $$$ MELTING POT, THE If the occasion is special, here’s where to make a meal into an event. Specializing in four-course fondue dinners, this elegant restaurant rewards time investments with delectable memories. 4 E Sheridan, OKC, 235.1000 $$$ METRO WINE BAR & BISTRO, THE A perennial favorite that feels comfortably upscale without exerting pressure to impress on its clientele, the far-reaching menu covers culinary high points from vichyssoise to crème brulée. 6418 N Western, OKC, 840.9463 $$ MICHAEL’S GRILL Thoroughly urbane dining in an elegant, intimate setting – the steaks, chops, seafood and pastas are excellent, and the Caesar salad prepared tableside is legendary. 2824 W Country Club, OKC, 810.9000 $$$ MUSEUM CAFÉ, THE A setting as inspiring as the Oklahoma City Museum of Art warrants something special in terms of cuisine… et puis voila. Ethereally light or delectably robust, this European-inspired menu delights for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. 415 Couch, OKC, 235.6262 $$ NONNA’S EURO-AMERICAN RISTORANTE & BAR A cozily appointed, thoroughly opulent atmosphere housing distinctive cuisine, specialty drinks and live music in The Purple Bar and fresh-baked goodies to top off a grand evening. 1 Mickey Mantle, OKC, 235.4410 $$$ PARK AVENUE GRILL A one-of-a-kind dining experience inside the luxurious Skirvin Hilton, blending traditional steak
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FARE | Eat & Drink
and seafood cuisine with the high style of its original 1930s setting. 1 Park, OKC, 702.8444 $$$
HEALTHY // ECLECTIC
PASEO GRILL Quiet and intimate inside, cheerful and comfortable out on the patio, with an award-winning menu full of distinctive flavor combinations – try the duck salad. 2909 Paseo, OKC, 601.1079 $$$
COOLGREENS This health-conscious establishment has a menu, but customization is encouraged; every available component in their salads, wraps and frozen yogurt is naturally delicious. 4 metro locations, coolgreens.com $$
ROCOCO RESTAURANT & FINE WINE An “east coast-style” restaurant, built around a diverse menu of hand-crafted international dishes from Penne Bolognese to Petrale Sole, set off by carefully selected wine and exceptional service. 12252 N May, OKC, 212.4577; 2824 N Pennsylvania, OKC, 528.2824 $$
EARTH NATURAL CAFÉ & DELI, THE Super, super fresh sandwiches, salads, soups and baked goods in one of the most vegetarianand vegan-friendly menus you’ll ever see, plus organic fair-trade coffee and tea. 750 Asp, Norman, 573.5933 $
SEVEN47 A Campus Corner hotspot boasting sleek, swank décor, an appealingly broad menu including a tantalizing brunch and a consistently celebratory vibe make this winning combination. 747 Asp, Norman, 701.8622 $$ SIGNATURE GRILL Unassuming locale; magnificent culinary rewards. Chef Clay Falkner’s expertly considered menu mixes French and Italian techniques, presenting a wide spectrum of amazing flavors in a few select dishes. 1317 E Danforth, Edmond, 330.4548 $$$
LOCAL Utilizing some of the finest, freshest regionally sourced ingredients available to fuel chef Ryan Parrott’s creative cuisine, its menu changes seasonally but its welcoming full-family atmosphere is constant. 2262 W Main, Norman, 928.5600 $$ LUDIVINE The experience is never the same on successive visits, because the menu adjusts constantly to reflect availability of elite-quality, locally sourced ingredients. 805 N Hudson, OKC, 778.6800 $$$
ICE CREAM // YOGURT
VIN DOLCE Primarily a venue for the endless, joyous pursuit of discovering the perfect glass of wine, downtown Edmond’s hot spot also serves gourmet tapas and homemade sweets. 16 S Broadway, Edmond, 285.5333 $$
IL DOLCE GELATO Rich, creamy and decadently delicious, with two dozen flavors daily handmade from scratch on location; the cioccolato scuro is unbelievably sublime. 937 SW 25th St, Suite B, Moore, 794.7266; 1318 N Interstate Dr, Norman, 329.7744 $
WEST The staff is speedy, the décor sleek and modern, and the entrées – like bucatini with meatballs or roasted salmon and ratatouille – are wide-ranging but elegantly simple. 6714 N Western, OKC, 607.4072 $$
ORANGE LEAF FROZEN YOGURT Dozens and dozens and dozens of decadent-tasting, waistline-friendly flavors, topped however you like since you’re making it yourself. Just don’t try them all at once, since it’s charged by the ounce. 9 metro locations, orangeleafyogurt.com $
FRENCH LA BAGUETTE BISTRO Brothers Alain and Michel Buthion have firm roots in the city’s culinary landscape, and La Baguette combines fine dining (linger over multiple courses whenever possible) with an exceptional bakery, deli and butcher shop on site. 7408 N May, OKC, 840.3047 $$ WHISPERING PINES B&B A secluded getaway on the south end of Norman, this inn houses a treasure of a restaurant serving sumptuous, savory French-inspired cuisine in quiet comfort with first-class service. 7820 E Highway 9, Norman, 447.0202 $$$
GERMAN DAS BOOT CAMP Longtime fixture for Deutsch festivities and feasting Royal Bavaria has brewed up a second round of the same exceptional cuisine (and magnificent beer) for a faster-paced location in downtown Norman. 229 E Main, Norman, 701.3748 $ INGRID’S Authentic German fare at its best, including outstanding Oklahoma-made bratwurst. Join the Saturday regulars for breakfast and try the apple French toast, and no one can resist Ingrid’s bakery counter. 3701 N Youngs, OKC, 946.8444 $$ OLD GERMANY RESTAURANT Justly renowned for its Bavarian delights – the schnitzels, soups and cevapcici sausages are spectacular. Reservations strongly recommended; it’s a small place and dinner’s already a lengthy process without waiting in line. 15920 SE 29th, Choctaw, 390.8647 $$$ ROYAL BAVARIA Excellent renditions of traditional dishes like Wienerschnitzel, Jagerbraten and a variety of sausages, plus fantastisch house-brewed beers, make the time consumed a worthy investment. 3401 S Sooner, Moore, 799.7666 $$$
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PEACHWAVE YOGURT A full 50 flavors – every one low-fat or non-fat – conveyed to your taste buds via the finest, freshest ingredients in completely delicious customized combinations. 3 metro locations, peachwaveyogurt.com $
INDIAN GOPURAM – TASTE OF INDIA A full-service Indian establishment whose richly appointed interior and attentive staff give the feel of fine dining, even during the inexpensive and plentiful lunch buffet. 4559 NW 23rd, OKC, 948.7373 $$ KHAZANA INDIAN GRILL Don’t let the thought of a buffet throw you off this place. The food is superior and very fresh; the staff is delightful. New to Indian food? Alert a server and you will be guided through the cuisine. 4900 N May, OKC, 948.6606 $$ MISAL OF INDIA BISTRO A Norman institution for over 30 years, specializing in tandoori-cooked delicacies and boasting healthy, natural, delicious cuisine, served amid splendid ambiance. 580 Ed Noble Pkwy, Norman, 579.5600 $$ TAJ CUISINE OF INDIA A tremendous selection of Indian staples and delicacies – the menu has sections for vegetarian, tandoori, South Indian and Indo-Chinese specialties – plus full lunch and dinner buffets. 1500 NW 23rd, OKC, 601.1888 $$
ITALIAN // PIZZA BELLINI’S RISTORANTE & GRILL Tasteful in décor and Italian offerings alike, this romantic nightspot quietly, confidently exudes elegance. 6305 Waterford Blvd, OKC, 848.1065 $$ BENVENUTI’S Subtly flavored minestrone to rich, hearty ragouts, the splendid menu
keeps the booths full and diners planning return trips; don’t overlook the Sunday brunch. 105 W Main, Norman, 310.5271 $$
if the house specialties’ unconventional toppings (figs, truffle oil, walnuts) don’t appeal. 230 NE 1st, OKC, 270.0660; 4709 N Western, OKC, 602.3477 $$
CAFFE PRANZO The atmosphere raises first-time diners’ hopes; the execution exceeds them. Classic dishes, as well as less ubiquitous options that should be better known, are elevated to greatness. 9622 N May, OKC, 755.3577 $$
JAPANESE // SUSHI
EMPIRE SLICE HOUSE Reigning over the Plaza District in New York style, it offers whole pizzas or slices along with full bar service – making it a great place to go late at night or when seeking a primo patio. 1734 NW 16th, OKC $ GABRIELLA’S ITALIAN GRILL AND PIZZERIA A fresh chapter in the Giacomo family’s delectable legacy of success in Krebs, McAlester and South Padre; one bite of the chicken piccata or homemade Italian sausage should win diners’ hearts with ease. 1226 NE 63rd, OKC, 478.4955 $$ HIDEAWAY PIZZA If you’ve been serving pizza to a devoted following for over half a century, then you must be doing something right. In this case, that’s incredible pizza in jovial surroundings. 7 metro locations, hideawaypizza.com $$ HUMBLE PIE PIZZERIA There’s really no need to be humble about pizza made the way a true Chicago pizzeria would make it. Take your choice of toppings and relish what is quite possibly the best crust known to man. 1319 S Broadway, Edmond, 715.1818 $ JOEY’S PIZZERIA A creative pizzeria on OKC’s Film Row, Joey’s serves first-rate appetizers and salads along with its mouthwatering pies. Can’t get enough? Have your pizza, then have another for dessert; The Surfer Dude can pinch hit as entrée or dessert. 700 W Sheridan, OKC, 525.8503 $$ OTHELLO’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT Garlic bread and mussels to tiramisu and coffee – everything you’d hope for from a romantic, comfortably shabby Italian café. The adjoining bar regularly hosts live local music. 434 Buchanan, Norman, 701.4900; 1 S Broadway, Edmond, 330.9045 $$ PIZZA 23 The tempting selection of specialty pies is available for takeout, but dining in is recommended: the crisp, urban décor and good beer selection add savor to the flavor. 600-B NW 23rd St, OKC, 601.6161 $$
CAFÉ ICON Tempting sushi and Japanese specialties — and much more — fill the menu’s pages to bursting with visually splendid and palate-pleasing treats. 311 S Blackwelder, Edmond, 340.8956 $$ GOGO SUSHI The name reflects the restaurant’s attitude toward speed and convenience, but doesn’t mention the robust menu or tantalizing specials. Go go check it out! 1611 S Service Rd, Moore, 794.3474; 432 NW 10th, OKC, 602.6333 $$ IN THE RAW DUNWELL SUSHI A chic, colorful, open-concept restaurant on the Bricktown canal offering excellent sushi, even more impressive specialty rolls and a wide assortment of sake. Try the bananas tempura for dessert. 200 S Oklahoma, OKC, 702.1325 $$ MUSASHI’S Exquisitely flavorful Japanese cuisine prepared with genuine artistry, thanks to the skilled chefs performing at tableside hibachi grills. Nobody does the onion volcano better. 4315 N Western, OKC, 602.5623 $$ SUSHI BAR, THE Sushi staples done with élan, as well as options starring more adventurous ingredients like sweet potato and jack cheese, in a bustling, comfortable environment. 1201 NW 178th, OKC, 285.7317 $$ SUSHI NEKO An established OKC favorite combining style (sleek, brisk, classy) with substance (in the form of an especially wide-ranging and creative sushi menu). Flavor favors the bold! 4318 N Western, OKC, 528.8862 $$ TOKYO JAPANESE RESTAURANT It’s neither huge nor lavishly appointed, and the menu focuses more on traditional dishes than experimental flights of fancy; it is, however, palpably fresh and routinely cited as among the metro’s best. 7516 N Western, OKC, 848.6733 $$
SOPHABELLA’S CHICAGO GRILL A quiet, classy gem offering premier tastes from Chicago and beyond – the menu includes Coquilles St. Jacques alongside pepperoni rolls – in comfort and style. 7628 N May, OKC, 879.0100 $$$
AVANTI BAR & GRILL Gather around the hammered copper bar for the casual elegance of Italy and the Mediterranean with contemporary twists: crab falafel, bolognese pizza, osso bucco and more. 13509 Highland Park, OKC, 254.5200 $$
STELLA MODERN ITALIAN CUISINE A luscious spate of modern Italian cuisine for a casual lunch, romantic dinner or brunch that’s a bit of both, framed by stylish surroundings. 1201 N Walker, OKC, 235.2200 $$
BASIL MEDITERRANEAN CAFÉ Whether entrees like Chicken Bandarri, a pita stuffed with savory beef Souvlaki or a fresh bowl of tangy tabouli, flavor leaps from every corner of the menu. 211 NW 23rd, OKC, 602.3030 $
UPPER CRUST WOOD FIRED PIZZA A chic, contemporary restaurant in Classen Curve, this uptown pizzeria and wine bar specializes in wood-fired, thin crust New York-style pies. 5860 N Classen Blvd, OKC, 842.7743; 1205 NW 178th, Edmond, 285.8887 $$ VICTORIA’S PASTA SHOP A shabbycomfortable atmosphere with local art on its walls and the art of pasta on its plates – the chicken lasagna and linguine with snow crab are especially excellent. 327 White, Norman, 329.0377 $
HAIGET’S Vegan-friendly – as well as friendly in general – this unexpected Edmond gem rewards the adventurous with outstanding Ethiopian and Kenyan specialties. 308 W Edmond Rd, Edmond, 509.6441 $$ MEDITERRANEAN IMPORTS & DELI Selected groceries and a menu stocked with options from a simple Greek salad to eyewatering cabbage rolls; the food is authentic, quick and spectacular. 5620 N May, OKC, 810.9494 $
VITO’S RISTORANTE Homestyle Italian cuisine in an intimate setting where the staff and management treat customers like guests in their home. It’s a small space, so calling ahead is recommended. 7521 N May, OKC, 848.4867 $$
NUNU’S MEDITERRANEAN CAFÉ & MARKET The tangy, tantalizing, fresh and healthy flavors that characterize the cuisine of Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine and their neighbors, faithfully reproduced from generations-old recipes. 3131 W Memorial, OKC, 751.7000 $
WEDGE, THE Wood-fired pizzas crafted from fresh ingredients and made-from-scratch sauces; there’s a build-your-own option
QUEEN OF SHEBA Practically the definition of a hidden treasure, an excellently spiced, extremely vegan-friendly menu of varied
Ethiopian delights awaits the adventurous. Bring friends and be prepared to linger. 2308 N MacArthur, OKC, 606.8616 $$ ZORBA’S MEDITERRANEAN CUISINE For over 20 years, Zorba’s has pleased adventurous palates. Serving recipes passed down through generations, they proudly showcase the flavors of Cyprus, Spain, Greece and Morocco. 6014 N May, OKC, 947.7788 $
MEXICAN // LATIN AMERICAN 1492 1492 offers authentic Mexican cuisine in an elegant atmosphere, a fusion decor with an open bar, possibly the best mojitos in the universe and a romantic setting. 1207 N Walker, OKC, 236.1492 $$ ABUELO’S MEXICAN FOOD EMBASSY In a word: huge. The restaurant itself, the variety, the plates, the flavors, the experience. No passport required. 17 E Sheridan, OKC, 235.1422; 3001 W Memorial, OKC, 755.2680 $$ BIG TRUCK TACOS It’s nearly always standing room only at lunch, but don’t let that stop you – shove an elbow in at the counter and enjoy fast, fresh, imaginative taco creations. 530 NW 23rd, OKC, 525.8226 $ CAFÉ DO BRASIL OKC is a long way from Rio, but the supremely savory menu in this Midtown hot spot covers the distance in a mouthful. Even brunch is a spicy, inimitable treat. 440 NW 11th, OKC, 525.9779 $$ CAFÉ KACAO A sunlit space filled with bright, vibrant flavors from the zesty traditions of Guatemalan cooking. Lunch possibilities beckon, but it’s the breakfast (and brunch) specialties that truly dazzle. 3325 N Classen, OKC, 602.2883 $ CANTINA LAREDO A sophisticated take on traditional Mexican food, specializing in fresh fish specials and certified Angus beef dishes. 1901 NW Expressway (in Penn Square Mall), OKC, 840.1051 $$ CHUY’S If you’re just feeling a trifle peckish, you might have your hands full with this one – the portions are substantial, the Hatch chile-fueled flavors are strong and the vibe is playfully enthusiastic. 760 N Interstate Dr, Norman, 360.0881 $$ FUZZY’S TACO SHOP At home in high-traffic areas because it helps create crowds, Fuzzy’s dishes up jumbo burritos and big, flavorful salads – and, with special serious emphasis, shrimp tacos – quickly and in plenitude. 752 Asp, Norman, 701.1000; 208 Johnny Bench, OKC, 602.3899 $ IGUANA MEXICAN GRILL Whether “down by the railroad tracks” or returning to its roots in Nichols Hills Plaza, Iguana offers unique Mexican flavor in a fun atmosphere at reasonable prices, including awesome deals on Iguana Tuesdays. 9 NW 9th, OKC, 606.7172; 6482 Avondale, OKC, 607.8193 $$ INCA TRAIL Maintaining a cultural culinary heritage that includes flavors from around the world results in great variety, from piquant ceviches to silky-smooth homemade flan. The Pollo a La Brasa comes highly recommended. 10948 N May, OKC, 286.0407 $$ LA BRASA Flavors of Peru make for a powerfully delicious dining experience in a spate of ceviches, sandwiches, fried rice and sensational entrees. 1310 NW 25th, OKC, 524.2251 $$ LA LUNA MEXICAN CAFÉ Its cantina-style atmosphere is undeniably festive, and only adds to the enjoyment of classic fajitas, enchiladas and bolder dishes like the carne ranchera. 409 W Reno, OKC, 235.9596 $$
MAMA ROJA MEXICAN KITCHEN A festive atmosphere on the scenic shores of Lake Hefner sets off a menu loaded with handrolled tamales, vendor-style tacos and signature dishes. 9219 E Lake Hefner Pkwy, OKC, 302.6262 $$ MAMAVECA MEXICAN RESTAURANT A tasty take on familiar Mexican favorites plus a rare treat for culinary explorers: the diverse delights of Peruvian cuisine, which incorporates the combined flavors of four continents. 2551 W Hemphill, Norman, 573.4003 $$ PURPLE BURRO Casual and lighthearted (if you couldn’t guess from the name), it specializes in New Mexican cuisine fueled by the heat of green chiles in classics like chicken enchiladas and chile verde stew. 231 S Coltrane, Edmond, 359.8400 $$ TAMAZUL Ceviches and crudos join tacos and fajitas in this lively, upscale tour of Mexican and Oaxacan cuisine, featuring the state’s first mezcal bar. 5820 N Classen, OKC, 879.4248 $$ TARAHUMARA’S CAFÉ & CANTINA Beloved by locals (there’s usually a line but it moves quickly), this airy, unassuming ristorante serves huge, tasty portions of Tex-Mex classics plus less ubiquitous fare like carnitas de puerco and mole poblano. 702 N Porter, Norman, 360.8070 $$ TED’S CAFÉ ESCONDIDO The gold standard of OKC-area Tex-Mex: residents may prefer another eatery, but when they attempt to make converts, Ted’s is the point of comparison. Fast, fresh and amply portioned, it’s often very crowded and always supremely delicious. 4 metro locations, tedscafe.com $$
Fine Dining at
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Serving as a capstone experience for students, District 21 offers seasonal, modern american cuisine in a shared-plate environment.
Open Tuesday through Friday, with dinner seatings between 6 and 8:30 Call 717.7700 for reservations 12777 N. Rockwell Avenue d21dining.com
YUCATAN TACO STAND Fast, fresh and often fiery Latin fusion cuisine like paella and tamales wrapped in banana leaves alongside signature nachos and taco combinations … plus a selection of over 75 100-percent-agave tequilas. 100 E California, Suite 110, OKC, 886.0413 $ ZARATE’S LATIN MEXICAN GRILL And now for something a trifle different: In addition to the familiar joys of enchiladas and chimichangas, the chef’s Peruvian heritage shines in South American dishes featuring plantains, yuca and imported spices. 706 S Broadway, Edmond, 330.6400 $$
SEAFOOD FISH CITY GRILL Shrimp and grits, tilapia po’ boys, oysters on the half shell … anyone who secretly wishes Oklahoma had a coastline should feel right at home in this Spring Creek Village stopover. 1389 E 15th, Edmond, 348.2300 $$ HILLBILLY PO’ BOYS Unassuming name; mighty appealing flavor in the form of fresh oysters, thoroughly tasty seafood sandwiches and the licit thrill of the fabulous moonshine bar. 1 NW 9th, OKC, 702.9805 $ JAZMO’Z BOURBON STREET CAFÉ Its upscale yet casual environment and Cajun and Creole-inspired selections provide a nice backdrop for both a night out in Bricktown and watching the big game at the bar with a bowl of gumbo. 100 E California, OKC, 232.6666 $$
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PEARL’S CRABTOWN A 20,000-foot Bricktown warehouse is home to Crabtown, where the Cajun Crab Boil is a favorite and guests are encouraged to “leave the silverware at home and dig in.” 303 E Sheridan, OKC, 232.7227 $$ PEARL’S OYSTER BAR A perennial winner in “best of the metro” polls for its fresh, flavorful seafood and spicy Creole-inspired dishes: Shrimp Diablo, Tabasco Caesar salads and more. 5641 N Classen, OKC, 848.8008 $$
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DECEMBER 2013 // SLICE 99
FARE | Eat & Drink
SHACK SEAFOOD & OYSTER BAR, THE A massive selection of nicely spiced Cajun and Creole cooking, plus fried and grilled seafood, in an atmosphere that’s as casual as can be. 13801 Quail Pointe Dr, OKC, 286.5959 $$
SOUL FOOD BIGHEAD’S Fried alligator appetizers and frog leg platters, oyster po’ boys with a tangy remoulade and simmering, savory seafood gumbo – it’s a bayou treat right nearby. 617 S Broadway, Edmond, 340.1925 $$ THE DRUM ROOM Crispy, juicy, savory fried chicken (among the city’s best) stars along with fried okra, waffles, other treats and a fully loaded bar. 4300 N Western, OKC, 604.0990 $$ MAMA E’S WINGS & WAFFLES Now with two locations after a star turn on The Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” this labor of love is adored by locals looking for classic Southern dishes flavored with authenticity. 3838 Springlake, OKC, 424.0800; 900 W Reno, OKC, 231.1190 $
STEAKHOUSE BOULEVARD STEAKHOUSE Perfectly soigné ambiance down to the least detail and cuisine easily ranking among the metro’s elite – a sumptuous, if expensive, masterpiece. 505 S Boulevard, Edmond, 715.2333 $$$ CATTLEMEN’S STEAKHOUSE The very definition of an Oklahoma institution – it’s over 100 years old in a state that’s only 106 – its immense corn-fed steaks and irreproducible atmosphere are history served anew every day. 1309 S Agnew, OKC, 236.0416 $$ HOLLIE’S FLATIRON STEAKHOUSE This plush, cozy restaurant in front of the Warren Theatre features fresh, tasty entrees seared on a flatiron grill and a kick of Southwestern spice running through the menu. 1199 Service Rd, Moore, 799.0300 $$ JAMIL’S STEAKHOUSE Saving room for steak, lobster or prime rib is difficult when your gratis appetizers are a Lebanese bounty – Jamil’s has been feeding Oklahoma exceptionally well since 1964. 4910 N Lincoln, OKC, 525.8352 $$ JUNIOR’S Some of the biggest oil deals in boom and bust days were finalized at this landmark Oil Center building restaurant, where hand-cut Angus steaks and lobster fight for attention with knockout fried chicken. 2601 NW Expressway, OKC, 848.5597 $$$ MAHOGANY PRIME STEAKHOUSE The service is outstanding and the ambience casually welcoming, but the star is the steak: the finest hand-selected custom-aged beef, broiled to perfection. It’s where great steak is the rule, not the exception. 3241 W Memorial, OKC, 748.5959 $$$
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100 SLICE // DECEMBER 2013
MICKEY MANTLE’S STEAKHOUSE Named after a legendary Oklahoman, this lushly atmospheric social spot in Bricktown serves powerhouse entrées, sides and amenities that have become the stuff of legends themselves. 7 S Mickey Mantle, OKC, 272.0777 $$$ OPUS PRIME STEAKHOUSE Aspiring to the ultimate in upscale dining via hand-cut USDA Prime Black Angus steaks, a wine selection comprising over 1,000 labels and an ambiance of intimate elegance. 800 W Memorial, OKC, 607.6787 $$$ RANCH STEAKHOUSE Driven by customaged hand-cut USDA Certified Prime tenderloins and ribeyes, the effortlessly opulent Ranch offers exceptional food, warm hospitality and unbridled Southern
comfort. 3000 W Britton, OKC, 755.3501 $$$ RED PRIMESTEAK Visionary design and atmosphere house super-premium steaks that are among the state’s very finest, accompanied by vibrant, imaginative flavors and refined amenities to make world-class dining. 504 N Broadway, OKC, 232.2626 $$$
THAI PAD THAI Dine in comfortably or quickly carry out beautifully executed exemplars of the form: delicately flavored or searingly spiced soups, curries, fried rice and noodle dishes like its namesake. 119 W Boyd, Norman, 360.5551 $ SALA THAI Pineapple curry, basil squid, fried rice with crab, cinnamon beef with rice noodles... the variety is exceptional, and the inexpensive create-your-own lunch special makes it a popular midday option. 1614 NW 23rd, OKC, 528.8424 $ SWEET BASIL THAI CUISINE The enormous aquarium adds to Sweet Basil’s cozy ambiance, which when coupled with its outstanding curries and soups recommends it as a date spot. Be aware that it is on the higher end of Norman’s price range for Thai. 211 W Main, Norman, 217.8424 $$ TANA THAI BISTRO There’s a lot to like about the food in this little spot, from the red snapper filet to the plain old (so to speak) pad thai. Pay attention to the soups, and do not play chicken with the spice level. 10700 N May, OKC, 749.5590 $$
VIETNAMESE CORIANDER CAFÉ Updating traditional Vietnamese recipes with modern sensibilities via local ingredients, this vegetarian-friendly café makes a quick, casual, comfortable dining alternative. 323 White, Norman, 801.3958 $ LIDO Spring rolls to vermicelli bowls, this venerable diner runs the gamut of Vietnamese and Chinese cuisine, and even finds room for a few French specialties. 2518 N Military, OKC, 521.1902 $$ PHO CA DAO Vermicelli bowls, rice platters and even banh xeo crepes are there for investigating, but the main draw is still piping hot pho (with choice of meat) and icy cold bubble tea. 2431 N Classen Blvd, OKC, 521.8819 $ PHO BULOUS Super fresh, super fast, reasonably priced and perhaps Edmond’s finest take on the namesake soup… although some of the specialties like Honey Ginger Chicken or Wasabi Salmon also merit closer inspection. 3409 S Broadway, Edmond, 475.5599 $
Slice Volume 4, Number 12, December 2013. Slice is published monthly by Open Sky Media, Inc. at 729 W. Sheridan, Suite 101, Oklahoma City, OK 73102, 405.842.2266. © Copyright 2013 Open Sky Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction of Slice content, in whole or part by any means, without the express written consent of the publisher is strictly prohibited. Slice is not responsible for the care of and/or return of unsolicited materials. Slice reserves the right to refuse advertising deemed detrimental to the community’s best interest or in questionable taste. Opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the author and do not necessarily ref lect those of ownership or management. Basic annual subscription rate is $14.95. U.S. single-copy price is $4.95. Back issues are $9.50 each
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DECEMBER 2013 // SLICE 101
The Ghost of Christmas Past By Lauren Hammack
AS HOLIDAY TRADITIONS GO, mine follow a predictable pattern of descending dangerously deep into the fourth quarter with a “what-meworry?” ambivalence that suggests my holiday preparations are either 1.) finished by Labor Day or; 2.) done by a staff of 30. Why I punish myself with last-minute shopping year after year will require therapy to decode, but this is exactly what I was doing a couple of Christmases ago when I set out at the eleventh hour to buy several cans of hot chocolate from Godiva – and if you’ve never had it, consider this recommendation my gift to you. Still believing in Christmas miracles, I was on a mission to get in and out of the mall quickly on a December Saturday. After an hour of hovering, creeping and finally scoring a parking place, I pushed my way inside and immediately saw a family friend, Joe, who decided to walk to Godiva with me. As we elbowed through the throngs of holiday shoppers, it seemed that the mall population had burgeoned to epic proportions that afternoon, which only ratcheted up the herd’s collective, pre-holiday stress. The Christmas noose was tightening for us all and I, for one, had the bulging eyeballs to prove it. The mood had spread to the otherwise civilized atmosphere of the Godiva chocolate store, which had shelved its customary personal service and polite decorum until mid-January. For now, the staff was woefully outnumbered by pushy customers who had packed themselves into the store’s 36 square feet to paw at every last delectable in stock. Boxes were strewn about like Christmas morning as the distracted clerks could no longer tend the shop the way they might during non-holiday weekends. One of those lapses caught our eye as I collected my cans of hot chocolate. Near the entrance, what had once been a lovely platter of fresh, chocolate-covered fruits had clearly been abandoned, left uncovered in the chaos. A clerk had probably begun her shift by offering delicious samples and Christmas cheer to grateful customers as they moseyed by, but the eventual swell of frantic shoppers had brought that to an abrupt end – at least, this is what Joe and I reasoned as we moved in closer to get a look at the samples. I never saw bigger strawberries than the ones on the Godiva sample platter. Half-pounders, at least, and ripened under the sun of some place where strawberries are happy to grow. They were dipped in heavenly chocolate and God help me, the third and fourth ones were just as exquisite as the first two I popped in my mouth. Joe helped himself to samples as if he’d been on a five-day fast. From a distance, the two of us looked like vultures on a carcass, and the feeding frenzy created some interest among the other vultures who 102 SLICE // DECEMBER 2013
swooped into the store, producing a slight breeze with the flapping of their wings. As other predators came closer to the kill, Joe claimed the largest of the samples, a chocolate-dipped banana, rolled in nuts. Soon we were a constituency of six or seven rabid taste-testers, passing the tongs to one another and reveling like Whos in Whoville. As the clamor lured even more customers to the sample platter, it created a break in the action at the front counter, redirecting the attention of the clerks to the free-for-all in progress. Joe had just begun inhaling the chocolate-dipped banana when a female clerk rose among the other cashiers to figure out the cause of the commotion. In an instant, she catapulted herself over the line of customers to where we stood, hovered over the remains of the day. “THOSE … are NOT … SAMPLES!” she shrieked. A deep blue vein bulged from her forehead as she confronted Joe, who was easily twice her size. We’d been eating the INVENTORY! We were shoplifters! Joe offered to pay for what we’d eaten as the clerk pressed the rest of the staff for an inventory of what had been sold from the platter earlier in the day. It was all too much for the clerk. She had witnessed a crime in progress and frankly, it was just the provocation she needed to spiral off to a very dark place. Not so for me. Like the ghost of Christmas past, I simply vaporized, slipping discreetly into the crowd toward the register to purchase a few cans of hot chocolate, posing as just another weary holiday shopper. With strawberry seeds in her teeth.
Ho Ho Ho! Merry Christmas!
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www.theosmarketplace.com DECEMBER 2013 // SLICE 103
Peace on Earth Photo by Kimberli Robberson
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104 SLICE // DECEMBER 2013
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