Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Pearl: Polishing it Up

Welcome to Part II of the Pearl Saga!
I've mentioned before that this area is special to me and you may be wondering why.  Or maybe you're not but I'm still going to tell you ;)  
You see, when I'm not teaching I work with my folks at their construction company.  I've worked off and on for them since I was 18 (or longer if you count coming to work with my parents as a child and doing odd tasks! ;).  Their shop has been located right in this area for the past 30 years so I've certainly seen the evolution of the area over that span of time.
As a child, I remember being petrified to be down here for extended amounts of time.  I always worried when my dad worked late and I hated waiting in the car while he would run inside for a minute.  I'm happy to report that those fears left several years ago and now, this is an area where I feel extremely comfortable and my fears are barely and rarely present.
A few years back, I began attending 6th Street Task Force meetings with my folks off and on and as a result, I became SO excited about the future of the area!  I've since spoken incessantly to my local friends about this area and have driven so many of my out-of-town friends down this stretch to tell them about what it will be; what it IS becoming!  
This past weekend the vision of what this area will become was much more clear.  Myself, I've been able to see the potential for years!  My mom and I have driven down this street more times than one could imagine pointing out which buildings we think would be cool for certain types of business, dreaming of the evenings we can get off work and walk down for a drink in OUR DISTRICT!  This past weekend, steps were taken to show ALL of Tulsa what potential this street has; what us dreamers have had in our heads for years.
You have to admit, it's exciting!
What's truly exciting is that there are some small business owners that have already committed to the area and are in the process of setting up shop!  An old friend of mine is set to open her art bar, Lot 6, next month!
And the man who turns forgotten buildings into Tulsa gems, Blake Ewing, will soon be launching his newest restaurant, The Phoenix Cafe which will also house local art and a bookstore!
And did you know that there is already a Farmer's Market every Thursday in the Pearl District?  It's true!
For the event last weekend, there were several pop up shops, much like the one I was a part of.
Another longtime Pearl District resident, Hawley Furniture, was set up. I want everything in their shop!
Mod's served up some gelato and drinks throughout the weekend.  If you haven't visited their diner yet, go ahead and make it a date.  You'll thank me later.
I'm honestly not certain of this company that was set up but I think they were the Gadget Company?  Correct me if I'm wrong!  Regardless, they had lots of fun whatzits to play with :)
Speakers were on hand, as were many local media outlets.
There was constant street entertainment all day long and no shortage of an audience!  
I LOVED watching the young breakdancers!
Food was also aplenty!  Good friends of mine, Vitter's Catering, supplied the sweets for the weekend :)
It was a nonstop, smile-filled, positive, colorful, exciting, inspiring, pride-filled event.  
I know sometimes it's hard to envision what something could become but sometimes, you've just got to let yourself dream a little and believe in something.  I cannot wait to see the changes continue to take place and for the dreamers' visions to come alive!

4 comments:

  1. Though I am new to Tulsa, I LOVE what has been happening in/near downtown. Thanks for such great documentation of the weekend. Exciting times!

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  2. This makes me very excited to move to Tulsa :) I'd love to hear any info you can offer on best areas/places to live in...I'm hoping to rent a house within walking distance of things like a farmer's market. Hopefully a more artsy/young people area of Tulsa?

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  3. GREAT job reviewing this event, girl! I enjoyed hearing about your history with the area, and your photos are beautiful too.

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  4. This is the best recap of the event I've seen! Thank you so much for doing this. Your pictures are amazing! What an inspiring blog!

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