Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pizza Love

Thanks to my ever-giving and long-suffering readers and my brilliant idea to get them to cough up the substance of their heaving, pizza-laden minds for absolutely no compensation whatever, my top-secret recipe file is now 18 pizzas thicker.

Eighteen pizzas...eighteen thicker pizzas...eighteen top-secret, thicker pizzas...mmm.

You all are a creative bunch, let me tell you. I love that people with adventurous, untamed palates read this blog. I also love that more than a few of you don't mind a little (or a lot) of the ol' BBQ sauce on your pies. We're just keepin' it real, aren't we, little Okies?

In throwing myself into the painstaking, tummy-gnawing process of reading the entries and choosing the winner, I had to make a few rules post hoc. First, if I could come up with a marketing handle used by a major pizza chain for a given recipe, it was out - e.g., Sicilian, Four Meat, Greek, etc. I'm sure doing this wiped out some seriously delicious pies, but I emphasized creativity in my call for entries, so that's what had to take precedence here.

Second, if it was so creative that I couldn't imagine actually eating it, the recipe was out - e.g., fish eye pizza, sundry-and-stinky-sock pizza, baby food medley pizza. Not that anyone came up with entries as zany as those, but I couldn't very well expose the people who brought the true-to-life crazy without making a few enemies, right?

Third, I had to pay some attention to execution. A few of you had some ideas for flavor profiles that really made my mouth water, but when you wrote about how you'd actually put the ingredients together, I got turned off. There are some basic rules for pizza construction, in my opinion (on the conservative side though it is), and all creativity and originality has to happen within those bounds.

Okay, enough pontificating. The Joe Momma's bucks go to:

Kelly Cook and her Chicken Tikka Masala pizza!

How about chicken tikka masala pizza? Garlic naan crust (Indian flatbread), slightly spicy tomato cream sauce, topped with shredded tandoori chicken, fried basil leaves and paneer (Indian cheese). I may have to whip one of those up myself!

First, anyone who utters "Chicken Tikka Masala" has my full and complete attention. My second thought was, "Nah, it'd just be too weird." But then, Kelly brought the idea home with the garlic naan bread crust, fried basil leaves and paneer cheese. Lord have mercy oh my Krishna Joe Momma, that made me hungry.

Kelly, e-mail me to claim your prize. You'd better hurry, or I might eat your Joe Momma's bucks in a fit of wanting and desire for my first true love - no, not the sweaty high school football player I met when I was 15, but rather, the pizza pie.

Did you know the whole reason the sweaty high school football player and I even started dating was because we worked at the same pizza place? True story. The pizza love, it runs deep.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Playin' in the 918

If you're hanging around the house with the kids this morning and by 10 a.m. find yourself looking for a way to break up the Wiggles episodes and sweet potato-flinging sessions, gather everyone in the backseat and head to Hunter Park for the first-ever Playin' in the 918 event with 918Moms.com.

Come under the shade, play in the splash pad and decorate cupcakes with Tulsa-area parents and their kids. And, guess what. It's free. Yum!

Hunter Park is in south Tulsa at 9242 S. Yale Ave.

After you get home and the kids are napping, hop on 918Moms.com and check out the forums, blogs, calendar and directory - in short, all the ways to get involved in the 918Moms.com community. They're nice guys and gals. I say that mostly because I'm one of them, and I want you to think I'm docile and sweet and nice. Because I am - I swear.

See y'all later on at Hunter Park.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Not Your Mother's Pizza

Just about everyone I've described it to who hasn't been to Joe Momma's to try it themselves has cringed when I listed the ingredients: Lots of beef, tons of cheese, bacon, pickles, onions and mustard. We're talking a bacon cheeseburger taking on the pizza form. The geniuses at Joe Momma's has performed a perfect crossover. I'm wearing at least three 16-inch bacon cheeseburger pizzas on my thighs right now, and I don't even mind that much. In fact, I'm kinda proud.

The T-Town area boasts several great indie pizza places (Brother's Pizza, The Hideaway, Pie Hole, Umberto's and Savastano's come to mind), but only one is smack dab in the middle of the new restaurant row forming in the Blue Dome District, and only one hosts not only a trivia night every Thursday, but also a karaoke night every Tuesday. On a huge, elevated stage. It'll make you feel like a star, man, a star.

In fact, there's something hip and fun and exciting happening at Joe Momma's every single night of the week. Even on Sundays you can get 10 percent off your bill if you bring that morning's church bulletin along. Check the Joe Momma's Web page for a complete list of weekly events. While you're at it, sign up for the Joe Momma's newsletter. Not only is it packed with news from the hippest kids from the hippest part of town, it also usually features a 100-percent non-lame coupon. Last time it was for a free order of Mamma's Bread, which is enough cheese and bread to stop up two Israel Kamakawiwo Ole's for five and a half weeks, so it was a heckuva deal.

This week, I can do y'all one even better. I have a $25 gift certificate - handmade by Joe Momma's owner Blake Ewing himself - for one imaginative TDT reader.

Here's how to snag it: Impress me with your personal pizza creation. Tell me toppings, tell me sauce, tell me crust, tell me all. Wow me with your palate, yes, but also grab my attention with your creativity and zany mind. Come up with a pizza that doesn't force me to suppress my yawn reflex, and I'll hand over the Mamma's bucks.

I'll keep this contest running until Monday (June 29) night at 9 p.m.; enter as many times as you wish.

Bring it on, TDT readers, bring it on.

Joe Momma's on Urbanspoon

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Things to Do in Tulsa This Weekend

Holy moly, macaroli. Tulsa is overflowing with stuff to do this weekend. In case you missed the rundown on the KRMG Morning News with Joe Kelley this morning, or if you're looking for even more ideas on what to check out before heading back to work Monday morning, check it:

Festivals and Conventions

  • Green Corn Festival. Yeah, Tulsa temperatures are scorching, and we're all dreaming of sandy beaches and giant bodies of cold salt water. If you have the courage to hang around, grab a stick of butter and head to Bixby this weekend for the Green Corn Festival, now through Saturday in downtown Bixby. It's a family-style picnic, complete with music, arts and crafts, a carnival, bingo and, of course, lots and lots of corn. Check bixbyoptimist.com for more.
  • Skiatook Bluegrass Festival. What's summer in Oklahoma without a little bluegrass music? So says the Skiatook Bluegrass Association as they put on their fifth annual Bluegrass Festival, which features lots of food and art and, of course, music. Tickets are $12 Friday and Saturday night, and be sure to check out the Youth Fiddle Contest. Get to skiatookbluegrass.com for directions and more info.
  • JazzFest. The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame's annual festival celebrating Tulsa's jazz heritage. This year featuring Eldridge Jackson and Listening Pleasure. It all happens Saturday from 6-11 p.m. At the Jazz Depot, downtown on First Street.
  • Trek Expo 2009. The only logical thing to do is head to the UMAC at 71st and Mingo for this - ahem - highly visual experience - Trek Expo 2009. Bring your Klingon translator guides to this festival, which starts today and wraps up Sunday. Here's the kicker: Leonard Nimoy, the original Spock himself, will be in attendance. At $60 for an all-weekend pass, you can't miss this event - you just can't do it, Captain.
  • Biker Boyz 2009. Join the baddest biker boys in town at the Tulsa Convention Center for their 6th annual convention. It attracts bikers from across the U.S. for three days of motorcycle events, vendors, parties and more - be sure to catch this event before it wraps up on Sunday. Visit bikerboyzweekend.com for details.


Free Stuff to Do

  • Sidewalk Astronomy. Head out to Riverwalk Crossing Friday night for a little amateur astronomy with the Astronomy Club of Tulsa. It's free and open to the public, and you won't believe some of the telescopes they'll have there – they look more like they belong at NASA than next to some river in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
  • Rhythm by the River. Check out local musician Susan Herndon at the new 41st Street Plaza on Riverside. Get there at 6:30, and if you want food or drinks, bring a bit of extra cash. Feel free to bring blankets, lawn chairs and family out to enjoy the park and some free, live entertainment.
  • North Tulsa SummerFest. Need one more stop for your Friday night agenda? Head to the northeast campus of Tulsa Community College for the second annual North Tulsa SummerFest, replete with food, games, live music and more. Grab the flier from the TCC Web site to learn more about this swingin' shindig.
  • Oxley Nature Center Grand Opening. Head to Mohawk Park Saturday for the celebration of the grand opening of the new Mary K. Oxley Nature Center. From 9-5, the public can enjoy hikes, rugged skill demonstrations and new Oxley Center exhibits. Just remember to bring a blanket and a picnic lunch, because you're gonna need the energy for the action-packed day ahead. See the Oxley Center Web site for more.
  • Sand Springs Criterium. Don't let anyone tell you there's nothing to do but spend all day at church on Sundays in Tulsa, Oklahoma. For example, Sand Springs is hosting its third annual Sand Springs Criterium, an exciting bicycle race starting at Charles Page Triangle and rolling through downtown Sand Springs this very Sunday, starting at 9 a.m. Donations will go to the memorial funds of the two cyclists struck and killed by an SUV during a ride on Avery Drive earlier this month. The event is free and open to the public.

Help a Charity Out


  • Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Michael Bay film starring Megan Fox and Shia LaBoeuf. If you have to ask about it, you'll never know.
  • My Sister's Keeper. A heart-wrenching film starring Cameron Diaz, who breaks out of her cast type in her role as the mother of two young daughters bound by a rare cancer, and Abigail Breslin, the cutie-pie from Little Miss Sunshine.
  • Midnight Movie: Back to the Future. At Circle Cinema Friday and Saturday night starting at, of course, midnight.

Randomness of the Week
  • Old Crow Confessions. Looking for an AA meeting with booze and music? Find it at Tulsa's own Nightingale Theater for a mere five-spot. A dimly lit, sometimes raucous evening where anyone quaking with a confession can rise before the room and unburden themselves. Old Crow whiskey will supply the courage and loosen the tongues. The floor is open for unscripted true stories of all persuasions. Get there a bit before 10 p.m. for the best seats - you'll want the best view possible of this show, dubbed "recession-style theater at its cheapest and most nourishing."
As usual, tune in bright and early on Friday morning (and every other morning, if you're worth the paper you're printed on) to 740 AM and/or 102.3 FM for KRMG Morning News with Joe Kelley for a preview of what's doin' in T-Town over the weekend.

Wild Brew, Brew Wild

You'll be talking backwards and forwards, too, when you get done at Wild Brew 2009, Tulsa's own "crawl-in-one" microbrew beer tasting event.

T-Town's kick-ass brew-slurping festival - we're talking more than 80 brews from around the world here, y'all, including Tulsa's own Marshall Brewing Company - will be Saturday, Aug. 1, at Central Park Hall at Expo Square. The event will kick off at 5, with a patron-only hour, which I hear is more than worth the extra $50, starting at 4.

What's all that beer without some food and music? WB has got you covered. Look to groove with the likes of Mid-Life Crisis Band and nosh on anything from barbeque from Albert G.'s to sushi from In the Raw.

WB is the annual fundraiser for the Sutton Avian Research Center. All proceeds help to support conservation, education and research for endangered, rare and neglected species of birds and their habitats. Tickets are $50 and are available at the Wild Brew Web site.

Mark those calendars, folks, and go ahead and grab a few tickets to this event. That early-bird pricing is only good through July 24.

Photos from Wild Brew committee and Web site.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

You, Too, Can Do Thirsty Thursday

Thanks to Tulsa arts guru Holly Wall for the awesome post that's about the befall us all. Bring it on, Holly!

Mmmm… beer.

Know what’s better than a cold beer on a hot summer evening? A cold beer you got for a buck at a Drillers game on Thirsty Thursday.

Yes, sports fans, baseball season has arrived.

Let me preempt this by saying that I am not a sports fan. I’m one of those artsy fartsy types, remember, and therefore inclined to loathe any display of athletic competition.

But, of all the sports I dislike, baseball is probably the one I dislike the least. I spent a couple of years living in central Missouri, paying my way through college by slinging beer at sports bars. And in central Missouri in the summer, life pretty much revolves around beer and Cardinals baseball, forcing me to watch a game nearly every time one was on. Eventually, I sort of began to like them.

When I moved back to Tulsa and rediscovered the Drillers, I began to love them.

For the past four years, I’ve spent nearly every Thursday evening during the season at a Drillers game. Urban Tulsa Weekly has some pretty decent season passes for us writers, but I don’t think I’ve ever sat in a bad seat in the stadium, even without the UTW freebies. And whether the boys win or lose, they’re always fun to watch. Even more fun is watching the people seated around me, sweating their ever-lovin’ hinies off but loving it anyway.

Last Thursday I took my son to his first Drillers ball game. The Drillers played a double header against the Springfield Cardinals, farm team for the St. Louis version.

Honestly, I couldn’t tell you the outcome of either game. Watching baseball (doing anything, really) is much more difficult when you’ve got a rambunctious toddler to keep in check, and every time I tried to watch a bit of the game, my kid would pull Sam’s hair, dump Fritos onto the bleachers and then attempt to eat them off of the ground, bite me or try to drink my beer.

Regardless of how much of the game I saw (or didn’t see), I had a great time, proving that the experience of being in the stands, cheering the players on (even though, for the most part, I had no idea why I was cheering), is just as important as who wins or loses.

On Thursdays, fans get their choice of 12 ounces of Miller Lite, Choc beer or soda for just a dollar. Or, if you’re not the beer-drinkin’ type, head out on another night, like Friday, when a fireworks display follows the game, or Monday night, when female fans get spa-style pampering. There’s some kind of promotion happening at every home game, so go to www.tulsadrillers.com for a full schedule.

Hey, folks, it's Tasha again. I just want to say that there's no easier way to stay connected to the Drillers (other than by reading this blog, of course) than by following them on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to check out Facebook Fridays and Twitter Tuesdays during July. Help the Drillers reach 1,200 Twitter followers by July 14, and all followers get free tickets to all three Tuesday games in July. Word.

See y'all at Driller's Stadium, (for now) at Tulsa County Fairgrounds at 15th and Yale.

Happy Pamper

We all know the phrase, "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful."

That goes double if I paid $6 for my hair cut.

We've all lost 30 percent or more of our retirement accounts. Gasoline prices are on the uptick, ready to stick it to our summer vacation and back-to-school budgets. Job security in Tulsa isn't as bad as it could be, but no T-Towner can deny that the more-or-less 7 percent jobless rate is on his mind as he puts on his extra-fancy pants to head to the office each day.

Even so, we still want to be pampered. Thanks to local cosmetology colleges--there are nearly 100 in this land where the wind goes sweepin' down the plains--it's possible to get the latest beauty treatments without tapping the cash value of our life insurance policies.

Read the rest of this story in Consumer Watchdog in Urban Tulsa Weekly.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Beware the Food Critic

Last Friday I had the pleasure of being invited by Sage Culinary Studio owner Catherine deCamp to judge a sort of Iron Chef-style competition among eight 11- to 14-year-olds in one of her summer camps for cooks-in-training.

The kids had been plugging away at recipe after recipe for an entire week, only to come in Friday, get handed an arm-full of the secret ingredient (apples!) and cook for two long, smoldering hours for three women they'd never met.

These women were not to be idle masticators, eating the food as guests. Oh, no. We were judges, and Catherine had prodded us to criticize freely.

Poor Catherine. She really shouldn't have done that.

Never mind that these kids came to camp to learn to cook, meaning they'd probably spend a minimum amount of time in the kitchen at home. Never mind that they'd been slaving away over hot stoves and ovens for longer than most kids their age can manage to do just about any one thing. Never mind that they were 11 freakin' years old.

At least, I never minded. I gave 'em hell. I was the Simon Cowell of the Sage Iron Chef Competition.

It was sad, really - an overgrown bully of a food critic telling prepubescent kiddos that their dishes were unimaginative, that their chicken breasts were like drywall, that they shouldn't have made such a heavy dessert to cap off two courses of salad - and by the way, little Jane and Janey, who does two courses of salad? - all while they stood quietly, not daring to look me in the eye.

I'm surprised no one cried, especially Tulsa Kids editor Betty Casey. She did have to sit right next to me, after all, which I'm sure was embarrassing in that way that happens when you have to escort your inebriated grandmother with wine-induced delusions of grandeur out to the van, all the while whispering, "Grams, could you use your inside voice, please?"

Not that I would know anything about exactly how embarrassing that would be.

Thank you, Catherine, for asking me to help judge your Iron Chef Competition. Thank you, fellow judges, for not stabbing my feet under the table with the heels of your pumps. Thanks most of all to you, Sage students, for not looking up my address so that you could camp out on my front lawn to wait for me to emerge so you could pelt me with dodgeballs.


Check the Sage Culinary Studio Web site for more information on cooking summer camps. They're a great way to keep the kids from running up the water bill and destroying the lawn with sprinklers and Slip 'N' Slides before school takes 'em back in.

Plus, kiddos learn a life skill that's just not taught at school these days - a life skill that has benefits for you as the kid's caregiver, since after a class at Sage, there will never be a reason why you can't come straight home from work and prop your feet up as you command your three-year-old to whip you up an Italian masterpiece for supper.

I can't wait.

The Winner Dwells Downtown

To enter, I forced you to do a teensy, weensy bit of homework. Who was it who commissioned the building of the home of the Philtower Lofts, the Philtower Building. Good ol' Waite Phillips, that's who. And when was his vision fulfilled? In 1928.

Though several of you submitted the correct answers, the resourceful AND lucky respondent is...

Brigid! Congrats, woman. E-mail me to claim your prize.

Thanks for playing, everyone. Don't forget, you can still score tickets to the Downtown Living Tour at Dwelling Spaces, as well as at the TFA Web site. You don't want to miss this event, people, so get on the ball.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Father's Day in Tulsa

Still wondering what to do for good ol' dad on his one and only day of the year (that is, besides his birthday). It's okay - I have a few quick-fix ideas for you.

Oklahoma Aquarium. Show dad he's your favorite fish in the sea. On Father's Day, dads get in Oklahoma Aquarium for free. Ha! That rhymed. Keep in mind that it's one free dad admission per paid admission.

Circle Cinema. Dad a film nut? Take him in to Circle Cinema and procure for him some free popcorn. When you give him that bag of buttery goodness, you can say something really sweet, like, "Dad, you're the best POP ever." Don't thank me. I do this for a living.

Tulsa's Signature Brew. What dad wouldn't love a cold one on Father's Day? Take him a few of those oversized, 22-oz. bottles of Marshall brew, and Dad won't be able to thank you enough. There's still time to head to liquor store, y'all, so head out.

Don't Get Cheap. But, saving a few bucks while pleasing the heck outta Dad is certainly allowed. Head to the blog of Tulsa's very own 918 Coupon Queen for her list of Father's Day deals.

Have some tips on how to flatter Father this year on Dad's day? Leave 'em in the comments.

Aquarium photo by Laura Ritchhart of Beach Bum Wannabe. Marshall photo from Marshall Brewing Web site.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Power Lunch: Avalon Steakhouse

Psst – hey, you. Looking for a secluded lunchtime respite with easy access from downtown? Want someplace to whisk away those potential clients for a stellar lunch without being interrupted by someone you know every five minutes at one of the swanky Brookside bistros?

Look no further than 10 minutes from the IDL on Historic Route 66. Thanks to the gleaming silos beckoning from the parking lot just south of I-44, it’s impossible to miss Avalon Steakhouse.

Read the rest of this restaurant review on the Food Page in Tulsa Business Journal.

Stuff to Do in Tulsa This Weekend

There's a lot going on in the T-Town area this weekend, folks, so let's strap in and get this show on the road:


Outdoor concerts galore this evening. Head to KingsPointe Village at 61st and Yale to hear Grady Nichols wail on the sax, or grab a picnic dinner and stop at LaFortune Gardens for Hot Rod & The Cruisers. Both events are free and open to the public and get started at 7 p.m.

Love the Tulsa Zoo? Show how much by showing your face at the 19th annual WALTZ on the Wild Side, held tonight starting at 7 p.m. at the Tulsa Zoo & Living Museum. Get your fill of food from 40 Tulsa restaurants as you take in 80 acres of African-themed entertainment and activities. General admission tickets are $150 per. Call 669-6614 for more details.

Got a killer salsa recipe? Put it to the test at the first-ever Tulsa SALSAFEST, kicking off at 4 p.m. at Chapman Centennial Park, downtown at 6th and Boston. Look for live music, salsa dancing lessons, lots of kids' activities, a salsa tasting and, of course, a salsa contest. Don't doubt for a moment that there will be delicious food around, thanks to Tulsa's favorite Fresh-Mex joint, Elote Cafe & Catering.


Maybe a concert is more your speed. If so, gitty up to Osage Event Center at Osage Million Dollar Elm Casino, 951 W. 36th Street North. Keith Sweat will be on stage, and tickets to see him are $40. Get 'em while they're hot by calling 699-7667, or stop by the Osage Event Center Box Office at the Tulsa casino location.


Got black gold running through your veins? Then it'd be more than fittin' for you to head to Glenpool this weekend for the Black Gold Days festival. It's the largest annual celebration in the city, and there will be plenty of crafts, carnival, gospel and bluegrass music to go 'round. Don't miss out on the Talent Showcase, Western music night on Friday and a parade on Saturday. For more details, visit the Glenpool Chamber of Commerce on the Web.

Enjoy peeping in rich people's windows? Then you'll really enjoy the 2009 Greater Tulsa Parade of Homes. Get your guides to the 150 homes on the tour today at your nearest QuikTrip location. Homes are open every day until Sunday, June 28, from 1-7 p.m. This event is free and open to the public, especially those looking for tips, hints and inspiration on home improvement. Check out the Home Builders Association of Greater Tulsa Web site for more information.

The weather this weekend will be perfect for a drive to Bartlesville for the finale of 2009 OK Mozart. Check out the Woolaroc Outdoor Concert with Amici New York & Time for Three, the Classical All Stars Matinee and, of course, the Grand Finale Concert with Amici New York and Tulsa's own Tony Award winner Kristin Chinoweth. Hop on the OK Mozart site for ticket prices, availability and further info.

I like Pinto horses as much as the next person, but there's only one way to tell who's the champion, and that's at the Pinto World Championship at Expo Square this weekend. Horses, ponies and miniatures will compete for World Championship titles at this international event. Check out events like driving and jumping, meander through the huge trade show and hang around for the evening performances. Check pintoworld.com or exposquare.com for more details and scheduling.

You might get to see an emu race if you strike out for Fair Meadows at the Tulsa County Fairgrounds (21st and Yale). Races of the horse variety start at 6 Friday and Saturday evenings and a bit earlier at 4:05 on Sunday. Stop in at the Fair Meadows Sports Bar & Grill while you're around for crab cakes and a pulled pork sandwich. It sounds like a weird pairing, I know, but you'll just have to trust me on this one.


Opening this weekend is the much-anticipated-by-moi movie Year One, starring Jack Black and Michael Cera. A pair of loser hunter-gatherers are banished from their village and are forced to wander the old-testament world in search of redemption and, of course, girls.

Look also for The Proposal, the new Sandra Bullock romantic comedy also starring Ryan Reynolds. Dragon lady manager Bullock takes the hand of one of her underlings in marriage to avoid deportation to her native Canada.


Can you hear the girls squealing yet? The Jonas Brothers are coming to town Monday night at 7 p.m. Opening acts are Jordin Sparks and Honor Society. Prepare thine ears for high pitches emitted at max decibels.

Oops, she did it again. Britney Spears will be in concert at BOK Center Sept. 15, and tickets go on sale this morning at 10 a.m. Get your clicker ready and pelt the BOK Center servers within an inch of their lives.

Keep your peepers on this site for more updates on what do to with your weekends here in T-Town. Be sure to listen in to the KRMG Morning News with Joe Kelley (on the AM dial at 740 and the FM dial at 102.3) every Friday morning at 6:20 (brutally early, I know, but when it comes to doing Tulsa, the early bird gets a gold star for the day) for an brass tacks audio version of my weekly weekend rundown.

Cheers, kids. Get out there and live it up this weekend.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Dwelling Downtown

Downtown Tulsa is bursting with new digs with that urban-chic feel. More than 1,500 lofts and apartments are available, with several new loft construction projects underway in some of Tulsa's legacy buildings.Since urban living isn't exactly the first thing that comes to mind when folks think of home life in Oklahoma (anyone else repeatedly asked by non-Midwesterners what it's like to live in a log cabin, tee-pee or on a farm, and by the way how's the dustbowl thing coming along?), a little guide through the choices is mighty nice.

As part of its mission to enhance Tulsa's livability, the Tulsa Foundation for Architecture will host its third annual Downtown Living Tour June 27th and 28th.

Five spaces, some open and some still under renovation but scheduled to soon hit the market, will be open specifically for this event.

Tour stops are the Mayo Hotel and Luxury Residences; First Street Lofts; Wire Rope Building Lofts; along with two additional urban living spaces.

Tour hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Advance tickets are available at the TFA Web site and at Dwelling Spaces, 119 S. Detroit Ave., for $20 per person, or $35 for two. The price includes transportation to each site by the T-Town Trolley.

Tickets will be available on both days of the tour during tour hours at Cafe Topeca, 115 W. Fifth Street, Ste. 169.

To kick off the weekend tour, the TFA will host a Patron Party on Friday, June 26, 5-7 p.m. at a pad near Third and Kenosha. Tickets for this exclusive event are available for $50 and include two weekend tour tickets, food from local restaurants like Blue Dome Diner, Daily Grill, Elote Cafe & Catering, Impressions, Joe Momma's and F.B. Oscar's Gastropub. Select wines from Girouard Vines and an assortment of beers from James E. McNellie's Public House will also be available. Tickets to this swanky little shindig can be snagged at the same locations were tour tickets are sold.

Speaking of Girouard Vines, it's Tulsa's only downtown winery. Chris Girouard, the Tulsa face of the operation, has come up with a red wine he calls Tulsa Art Deco. The label features the Tulsa Fire Alarm building and architectural information from the Tulsa Foundation for Architecture. Labels for his other wines are in the works, so be on the lookout for those.

Tulsa Foundation for Architecture is a resource that recognizes, records and encourages preservation of the built environment and advocates future development that enhances Tulsa's livability. Through awards programs, speakers, tours and publications, TFA promotes and encourages preservation and rehabilitation of significant architecture; conserves historic architectural drawings and related materials; identifies valuable architectural works of merit; and educates Tulsans about the built environment.


TFA is busy, but not too busy to be generous. The foundation wants to give one lucky TDT reader two tickets to the Patron Party and two tickets to the Downtown Living Tour, redeemable any time on either date, at the winner's fancy.

It's easy to enter. Simple answer this question correctly:

Who commissioned the ORIGINAL construction of the home of one of the first rehabilitated downtown loft projects, Philtower Lofts, the Philtower Building? One bonus entry goes to each contestant who tells me the year ORIGINAL construction was completed.

Okay, lucky people. You have until Friday, June 19, at 1 p.m. to enter. Good luck, and delightful dwelling!

Rock and Roll on Saturday Night

Looking for a place to rock out this weekend? Set your sights on Flytrap Music Hall downtown as it hosts the second annual Tulsa Cares Fest, a music festival that benefits Tulsa CARES. It's Saturday night from 7 p.m. until midnight, and Flytrap Music Hall is at Second and Greenwood.

The mission of Tulsa CARES is to provide programs for low-income individuals living with HIV/AIDS in northeastern Oklahoma.

Tulsa Cares Fest is packed with hot local artists, including My Solstice, Stars Go Dim, Callupsie, Ptiaradactyl, Joe Mack, Cracker Wagon, Blood Runs Cold and Bring Down the Hammer.

Admission is $8 in advance. Head to the Flytrap Music Hall Web site for tickets, or pay $10 at the door.

Or, cross your fingers and hold your mouth in just the right way and head to the comments. If you can post how Tulsa Cares Fest is feeling on Myspace today, you get one entry to win a pair of tickets to Saturday night's show. If you add Tulsa Cares Fest as a friend on Myspace, you get two extra entries.

Post to let me know the date and time you added TCF to your Myspace friends, and no cheating. I'm a mother now, and I have a sixth sense about these things. All transgressors will go on my list of people to photograph while sneezing for the coffee table book I'm putting together.

Trust me, you don't want a full-bleed shot of you sneezing lying on every coffee table in Tulsa.

You have until tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon at 1 p.m. to enter. I'll announce the winner later that evening.

While you're perusing the Tulsa Cares Fest page on Myspace, remember that though HIV/AIDS isn't generally a newsworthy topic in Tulsa, Oklahoma, it's still a growing problem.

“We are still living in the middle of an epidemic,” said Tulsa CARES Executive Director Sharon Thoele. “The only difference now is that we don’t talk about it. We want to open the door to this conversation in a way that is inviting to everyone. Hopefully, this event will serve as a reminder that the epidemic isn’t over and that medication isn’t a cure.”

Tulsa CARES Fest is sponsored by Fly Trap Music Hall, Williams, Whole Foods Market, Urban Tulsa Weekly and Aaron S. Harman, D.D.S.

Good luck, rockers! See you in the comments.

Photo by Gavin Elliot as published by Tulsa CARES on its Web site.


It's 3am and you're awake, staring into the glow of your laptop computer.

It's been a month since you got the dreaded pink slip. You've had leads, even landed a few job interviews, but no job offers, not yet.

The unemployment rate in the state isn't great at 6.2 percent, and at least we're not auto-industry laden Michigan with its 12.9 percent jobless rate, but still. How to stand out against all those applicants? Isn't there a better way to land a job than to send 400 resumes to nondescript HR post offices boxes? And, by the way, how much do singing telegrams cost these days?

Then, you've got mail--e-mail, that is. It's from your mom. She asks if "this Facebook thing" is populated by ax murderers and child molesters and ice cream men and, if not, maybe it could help you in your job search.

The answer? Of course. How? Indeed.

Read the rest of this story in Consumer Watchdog at Urban Tulsa Weekly.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Maker Gets Handmade

Up for grabs here at TDT over the weekend until this afternoon was a headband handmade by local celebrity/crafter Cristi Martin. I asked you all to go on a little scavenger hunt through her online storefront at Etsy.com, and you dutifully posted her latest tweets, too.

Thanks to everyone for playing, and thanks for your interest in Tulsa's handmade community. G'night!

Wait, what? What's that you say? I didn't announce a winner? Hey, I know that. You just didn't let me finish.

As I was writing before I was so rudely interrupted by the imaginary audience in my head, it's a good night for a handmade headband giveaway. Let's get on with it, shall we?

Who was lucky 13?

Congrats to another local maker, Renee! E-mail me at tashadoestulsa@gmail.com to claim your flippin' sweet headgear. You guys, Renee makes some of the most beautiful wedding and baby invitations, and they're 100% handmade. She's talented, so take a minute and check her out.

No, seriously, thanks to everyone for playing, as well as for your interest in Tulsa's handmade community. Don't mind me. I have frogs and snakes in my house and can't be taken seriously at this time.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Get to Know Your Town: Shoot It.

No, I'm not suggesting you go on a murderous rampage through Tulsa with an illegally obtained firearm. I am, however, asking you to warm up your trigger finger.

If you want to know your town more deeply, or even if you're new here and you're looking to get acquainted with your environs, one of the best ways to do that is through the lens of a good camera.

Not sure where to start? There's a group in town to help you.

The Tulsa Digital Photography Group, a local group for amateur and professional shutterbugs alike, descends regularly on Tulsa landmarks, usually with a directive like a scavenger hunt or a mission that pairs an experienced photographer with a novice and unleashes them on a learning experience together. Armed to the hilt with multiple cameras and equipment slung over their backs and shoulders, the members of TDPG traverse the Tulsa area, capturing and sharing this city in ways that double-dare you to try to look at the city the same way as always.

The group is open to everyone, from beginners to professionals, high school kids to retired ladies and gents. It combines once-a-month learning sessions at Hardesty Library with bimonthly photo shoots at locations about town, including Woodward Park, the Blue Dome Arts Festival and, over the weekend, Tulsa Zoo.

If you love the technical, the TDPG has gear heads who will talk shop all day long. If you love the art, there are friends there who feel the same way.

Membership in the TDPG is a mere $1 per month, but no one is turned away. Models can join the group free of charge and post a photo of themselves so the group has ready access to them if there's a shoot.

The next TDPG meetup is a library session June 24 starting at 7 p.m. Come at 6:30 for a little meeting and greeting. The topic for the session has yet to be determined, so stay tuned for that.

One of the most popular posts on this site is one of the first I ever wrote: You, Too, Can Do Tulsa. It was the call to action that got this blog started, so it's where I send the TDT curious to let them get a feel for what this site is all about.

Go ahead and add field photography to that list I made two years ago about timeless ways to get to know your town. Then, take some shots. Share them at the Tasha Does Tulsa group on Flickr, and forgo a trip through the drive thru this week so you'll have the cash for a year's membership in the Tulsa Digital Photography Group.

These are top-notch, extra-fun ways to become Tulsa literate. Don't come complaining to me when you win a photography award or score a show at a local gallery in the process.

Photos in this post thanks to Marty Coleman (first shot) and Amanda Emerson (second and third shots). Grazie, you two.

Got 5 Minutes?

Wandering aimlessly on the Interwebs this rumbling, stormy Sunday? Head to the PLANiTULSA site and play around for a few minutes. That's all the time it takes to affect the course of history in this here town.

If you're in a quiz-taking mood (and judging by the enormous number of quiz results I see pass through my Facebook stream every single day, most of you usually are), log on to the Tulsa Parks Master Plan Survey.

More than 140 parks, from splash pads to community theaters to nature centers and Tulsa's zoo, cover 60,000+ acres in the city of Tulsa. Help Tulsa Parks celebrate its upcoming birthday (100 years! Woot woot!) by helping to guide the future growth and development of the parks system in this city. Look for the final plan this fall, and don't forget to crash the Parks' birthday party at Owen Park Aug. 8.

Time is running out on these opportunities to stamp your name into the wet concrete that is our city's future. Okay, that was a really bad analogy. But you get my meaning.

After you finish with the surveys, feel free to come back here and tell us how you voted. We wanna know why you think the way you do. We want to discuss and ponder and maybe fight a little. It'll be fun, trust me.

See you in the comments.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Have Some Handmade

Some of you may not know this, but Tulsa has a really rich handmade community.

By "handmade community," I mean a big group of hot chicks and cool dudes who make stuff by hand.

From Tulsa Craft Mafia to indie girls scattered throughout the area to homegrown T-shirt companies, we T-Towners have the ability to consume everything from funky, custom-fit dresses to personal, pint-sized Sasquatches. I ask you, who doesn't need a Sasquatch the size of one's thumb? I have one, and it has come in handy on multiple occasions.

Anytime you support local cottage industries, you're not only joining the cool kids' club. You're also helping to keep your disposable income circulating right in your own hometown. In this day and age, that's a very good thing.

Want a chance to sample some homegrown goodies without whipping out your wallet? In the coming weeks, I'll have a few chances for you. For now, I just have a little ol' headband made lovingly by hand by Cristi, the gal behind Felix & Jayne.

Oh, wait. You know Felix & Jayne? You say you saw them in 360 West Magazine and Handmade News and on the front page of Etsy and in the middle of all the fun action at Dwelling Spaces? Well, in that case, I have a big, bossy headband made lovingly by hand by Cristi, the gal behind Felix & Jayne! And Cristi wants one of you fine people to have it.

Here's how to win: Knit me a sweater. Ha! Just kidding. I knit my own sweaters. Instead, you can check out Felix & Jayne on Twitter and leave the latest tweet in the comments on this post.

Really, really want this headband? Increase your chances of winning it with extra entries. Here's how: Point your browser to Felix & Jayne's home on the multinational handmade market Etsy.com. Scavenge through the F&J shop for items made with the color that overwhelmingly dominates my closet, orange.

Come up with the names and links to two items, stick 'em in the comments on this post and win an extra entry. Feel free to list as many items as you can find. Just keep in mind that two linked items = one comment on this post = one extra entry. So, don't list more than two items per comment, or I'll chase you with Cheez Whiz.

I'll pick a winner using Random.org Tuesday afternoon at 1 p.m. Good luck! And try your own hand at crafting - robots, LED-adorned tank tops, screen printed baby bibs, whatever. Just try not to have a ball - I dare you.
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