One Great City: OKC!

I haven’t been back in New York for two weeks, yet Oklahoma City and the wondrous long vacation of the winter holidays already feels far away. I suppose part of it is the quick shift from lazing around my parents’ house watching football and drinking scotch, to returning to the hectic life of subways and 9-5 work days in New York. It was great to have such a long visit to Oklahoma, and I did find time for some adventure, which will all be recapped soon. I thought I would start with some photos from wandering around Oklahoma City, beginning with this shot of the Devon Tower at night. It’s astonishingly tall for Oklahoma City, like some sort of alien ship that plummeted into the center of the city. It’s still not quite finished, but it’s at its final height, dwarfing the surrounding buildings.

Right across from the Devon Tower is the newly renovated Myriad Gardens with its Crystal Bridge. For the holidays, there were changing colored lights inside the greenhouse. Although it was quite cold (luckily no blizzards like in past Christmases), there were people out wandering among the lights and ice skating in a small rink in the gardens.

The best lights, of course, were at Chesapeake. The natural gas company meticulously covers all the trees on its campus with lights, creating a sharply illuminated forest.

Here is another view of the Chesapeake lights.

My parents and I visited the State Capitol building while I was in town (always a fun and free attraction), and explored its empty halls. Everyone, including visitors, it seemed, was on vacation. Here are some iPhone cheating photos I took with the Hipstamatic Disposable camera app:

Although the Oklahoma State Capitol was designed with a dome, it didn’t get a dome until 2002, over eight decades after the rest of the building was completed in 1919. The money that was originally going to fund the dome was diverted to WWI, and the dome that is now standing was finally funded with private donations. The colors are meant to mimic the blue skies of Oklahoma and the vibrant hues of the Indian Blanket, the official state wildflower.

The Oklahoma State Art Collection in the capitol building is pretty impressive, with works by Okies like Ed Ruscha, Woody Crumbo, Nan Sheets, and Doel Reed. The metal animal mask shown above is by Ken Little.

Here’s an exterior shot of the capitol, where you can just make out the American Indian sculpture that stands on top of the dome. It’s called “The Guardian,” and although he might look small from here, he is actually 17.5 feet tall. He also makes the Oklahoma Capitol five feet taller than the US Capitol.

In addition to “The Guardian,” there are a few other statues on the grounds of the capitol, including this dynamic cowboy sculpture.

I’ll end with a shot of Lake Hefner, which was built in 1947. Yes, this lake was built. Most lakes in Oklahoma are manmade, and Hefner was set up as a city reservoir. It’s popular with windsurfers and kite boarders because the wind on the plains just never stops in Oklahoma City.

More Oklahoma posts soon!

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