Today was one of those days... filled with sights that were interesting, unique and at times very emotional. Oklahoma City amazed us and this is merely a glimpse into our time there.

We actually entered Oklahoma yesterday, the 127th anniversary of its start. But more about that later.
We began our full day of OKC fun at Stockyards City. Founded in 1910, it was built to serve the nation as a primary source for meat processing and packing.

By 1915, Morris, Wilson and Armour all established huge packing facilities to slaughter the cattle, hogs and sheep which were transported first by cattle drive and later by railroad and truck. The area’s nickname for a time was “Packingtown.”
By 1961, faced with complete overhaul and updating of equipment, the packing plants decided to close. However, the Stockyards still retains its profitable cattle trading and related businesses. Since its founding, Stockyards City has been the place for cattlemen, horsemen, farmers, ranchers and real cowboys to come for apparel, equipment, supplies, a good meal, and the opportunity to catch up on what was going on over a cold sarsaparilla with fellow cattlemen. It's a pretty cool spot for us tourists, too.
I love picking up brochures wherever I go. That's how I found the American Pigeon Museum & Library.
We began our explore with a very informative video about this amazing bird. We had no idea of its history and significance.
In ancient China, whistles were affixed to pigeons to make "concerts" in flight.
The military history with the importance of the pigeon was incredibly interesting.
Through the last 40 years, the museum has collected historically significant items from various pigeon fanciers. We left with a new appreciation of this direct descendant of the Rock Dove. We will never look at a pigeon the same way again.
We knew we must visit the Memorial Park, the outdoor symbolic memorial honoring victims, survivors, rescuers and all who were changed forever on April 19, 1995 when the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was decimated. I don't think we knew how powerfully emotional it would make us.

After the emotion at the Memorial, it was cathartic to walk a few blocks to the Festival of Arts. Since 1967, this Festival has been Oklahoma City’s rite of spring. It is a community celebration of the visual arts, performing arts and culinary arts.
JJ Johansen's Tiny People Big Laughs "Fun Art for Everyone" captured me. I absolutely loved his stuff and when we get home, we're going to order from him. 
The 'people' are from a European train model maker. They are placed in everyday objects and photographed exquisitely. So fun.

The food was exceptional and I had to laugh at this shirt in line for pork products or "encased meats".

Wanting to know more about the Sooner State, we headed to the Oklahoma History Center, an architectural masterpiece, a decade in the making.
It is an 18-acre, 215,000 square-foot learning center exploring Oklahoma's unique history of geology, transportation, commerce, culture, aviation, heritage and more.
And how did it become state?... The Land Run of 1889! April 22, 1889, dawned bright and clear upon the estimated fifty thousand people who surrounded the Unassigned Lands. At noon, they all rushed for their 160 acres of land to homesteaded. Those who cheated and went in beforehand were called Sooners. Yes, interesting history indeed.

Wanting to rest a bit, drinks were had at the area now known as Bricktown, just east of the downtown business district. This was OKC's first warehouse and distribution district. Bricktown was founded just days after the Land Run of 1889, and was full of activity as a central hub of the state and the country, connecting via railroad, and later, major interstate highways. Up until the 1950s, it housed furniture and hardware stores, a biscuit company, cotton producers, wholesale grocers, a dairy, and even a school. Like many of these kinds of areas, it became delapitated until recent interest and renovations. What a cool spot at which to regroup.

We ended our big Oklahoma City Day at the Bleu Garten, one of the neatist places to be- ever!

The concept of The Bleu Garten can be found in its name.  The French word bleu is associated with one of the most influential culinary academies in the world.  Le Cordon Bleu, translated "Blue Ribbon", is thought of as a term to describe excellence in the kitchen. We use the German word garten because we modeled our ambiance after some of the cleanest and entertaining bier gartens in America, to give the consumer an outdoor dining experience that is completely unique compared to anywhere else in Oklahoma.
Diverse, welcoming, interesting and unforgettable, this is a town we really loved and know that one day, we will be back!

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Nickanddeb Bako said...

Wow what am amazing place. I love how you find the cool spots. Like the pigeon museum, who knew?

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