Friday, February 20, 2009

Interview: Sindy Does Tulsa

I love the I Am Tulsa profiles in one of our local magazines, Tulsa People.

The feature, a partnership between the magazine and Tulsa's Young Professionals (TYPros), highlights those Tulsans who have worked to make Tulsa a more exciting place to live. Mary Beth Babcock, owner of Dwelling Spaces, as been featured, along with Mike Villafuerte of events planning agency Notable Events, Corine Fiagome with Tulsa's YWCA and Cory Hoffart, founder of Green Collar Energy.

I'd like to add to the conversation by featuring interviews with Tasha Does Tulsa readers here every couple of weeks or so. Some fascinating people read this blog, and just because they're not risking opening a business during a bum economy or putting in 40 hours a week on 27 nonprofit boards around town doesn't mean their stories don't deserve the spotlight.

To kick things off is Sindy of the blog Sindy in Tulsa. A quick visit to Sindy's blog makes it pretty obvious that she ain't from 'round these parts. She was born in Schneeberg (it means Snow Mountain) in the eastern part of Germany. The town is southwest of Berlin, close to the Czech border.

Sindy has traveled extensively, having lived 10 years in Dresden and globetrotting from Italy, France and Austria to the Czech Republic and parts of eastern Europe. She moved to Tulsa in June 2006, after just three short visits here.

Sindy's blog is a way for her to keep her friends and family in Germany up to date about her life in America. She writes about her and her husband's two dogs, her hobbies, food and our crazy Oklahoma weather.

What was your first impression of Tulsa?

On the first drive from the airport I noticed how sprawling the city is. Coming from Europe where everything is a lot closer together that really struck me. Tulsa has about the same number of inhabitants as Dresden but takes up a lot more space. I also was very glad to see all the parks and how green Tulsa is. The signs and billboards were pretty overwhelming, and the very straight streets only confused me. I was used to navigating winding and often narrow streets that spread out from a central square. So it took me awhile to get used to the grid and all the numbers. I also was surprised to find hardly any sidewalks or public transportation. There were some other things but most important to me was how friendly and open the people here are.

What are some ways Tulsa is different from where you grew up?

Actually there are not that many once you get over the language and culture differences. The greater part of my childhood was spent in the GDR, which was a lot like the 50s here. And in some ways the neighborhood we live in now reminds me of that. Tulsa to me feels more like a small town, where everybody knows each other. I quite like that; it makes me feel so much more at home.

If you could, what would you change about Tulsa?

Whenever I talk to other Europeans about what we miss here, two things usually come up: bread and IKEA. I know it sounds shallow but as every American who ever went to Europe knows, the bread there is different. Thankfully there are a now some places in Tulsa that bake very yummy bread.

The other thing is the lack of an IKEA store. I am highly addicted to their cool and affordable designs, and it would be great to have a store closer by.

Since I moved here a lot of people have become more environmentally conscious and I hope this trend will continue. There are great ways out there to live a healthy and happy life, be it the local farmers markets or your own vegetable garden. I’m really glad I made the move to Tulsa. It is turning out to be one of my best decisions so far.

What are you favorite things to do for fun in Tulsa?
We like to go hiking with our two dogs up on Turkey Mountain. Whenever I say that, the locals give me a funny look; but, as I understand, the area has changed quite a bit. Then there are the festivals; I especially like the Mayfest and the Blue Dome Arts Festival. The Philbrook and Gilcrease museums are great too. The Christmas Market at the German American Society is a must for us because I always get a bit homesick around the holidays. I also like Woodward Park and the Rose Garden, and any other park near our place. Then there is window shopping in Brookside and on Cherry Street, and browsing in any bookstore I can find.

Thanks for letting us peer into your life, Sindy! Not only are you one hip chick, but you also have the coolest accent ever.


Anonymous said...

Great idea. Keep the interviews coming.

Holly Wall said...

I love this idea!!

Maria said...

Ha ha. That's my son with Corine. :)

Amanda said...

Yay! Cool feature. Sindy rocks.

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