The entire state of Oklahoma has been under a state of emergency since last night because of extreme winter weather. We have had freezing rain and sleet since early this morning and beginning just before noon, heavy snow. It is about 6 inches of snow on top of a layer of ice in my neighborhood and no sign of letting up. Everything is shut down. We had tickets for a play last night that was canceled and rescheduled for Saturday - "maybe". School was canceled, businesses closed early, the airport is closed, nothing is open but the police and fire stations and of course, the Walmart. I am curious to see how much snow we will get overnight. It could set a record. I realize that people in more snowy northern climes may laugh, but this is a lot of snow for us.
Coliseum Apartments, 625 South Elgin, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Tulsa is home to a great many old Art Deco Buildings. Many are recognized as landmarks and are on the list of historic places. But there are many more old buildings that reflect the classic art deco style but have not gained the attention of their more famous cousins. The Coliseum Apartments are one of these. In the detail below look at the decorative brick work and stone trim that encloses the dorway and runs around the top. Famous or not I think this is is worth a second look.
My interest in photography goes back to 1964 when I was stationed in South Korea as a young Army Lieutenant. I bought a nice 35mm camera, a Pentax Spotmatic and made use of the photo lab in our recreation center. At the time print film was black and white. If you wanted color you shot color slides. Later when color film got better and cheaper I shot mostly in color. Since my first digital camera I shoot color exclusively.
Lately I have joined a number of photo bloggers in converting some things to black and white or sepia. My old friend black and white has some advantages. In today's photo I like black and white because it brings out the contrast in the brick facade of this old apartment building. Also, if we had a photograph of this building when it was new, it would surely be in black and white. I hope you find this interesting.
Sunday was mild and sunny so we stopped by the house after church and picked up Smokey for a Sunday drive. We drove out to Keystone Lake and stopped on a hilltop with no one in sight and let Smokey run around off the leash.
We thought he would go sniffing through the woods but instead he went straight for a nearby building to sniff at the trash can. Why chase squirrels when there might be a hot dog in the can?
Nothing interesting in the can. That's OK Smokey, you can have a dog biscuit when we get home.
One week ago I posted a Sepia version of this place. Sue and I met some friends here for dinner last Saturday evening before we went to the Tulsa Symphony. The food was excellent and the atmosphere was fun. This is the ultimate pub. They boast of having 60 different beers on tap and several hundred in the bottle, 350 varieties in all from all over the world. They have a pdf of their beer list if you would like to look HERE.
We enjoyed this place enough that my friend Worth and I met here again for lunch today. We had the char-burger and a side of tabouli, both of which were excellent. The menu is a bit limited as you would expect for a pub but is very good. You can see a pdf of the food menu HERE. Their web site is interesting, see it HERE.
The Ouachita (Wa '-chi-ta) Mountains run east of Broken Bow into southwestern Arkansas. In spite of the coudy skies, there is a lot of muted color in this picture. Click to enlarge.
The Ouachita are very old and their craggy tops have eroded away leaving low formations that used to be the heart of the mountains. They are similar in structure and related to the Appalachian Mountains. Unlike most other mountain ranges in the United States, the Ouachitas run east and west rather than north and south.
Here is another part of Broken Bow Lake. Next time we are down here I will bring my fishing gear.
There are a good number of white tailed deer in the park. They are accustomed to cars driving through but shied away when we stopped close by. There were a group of 5 young deer who were grazing by the road. They were interested in the leaves of this shrub.
Sue and I spent Thursday through Saturday at Bevers Bend State Park near Broken Bow Oklahoma. The weather was damp and grey but we enjoy a relaxing retreat there. This is Broken Bow Lake formed by a dam on the Mountain Fork River.
Below the dam is a trout fishery. A special license is required and there are restrictions on the kind of fishing equipment allowed and the number and size of fish permitted. I have never fished for trout but I understand that it is something of an art.
Far below a solitary fisherman tries his luck in the cold clear water of the Mountain Fork.
Susan and I spent Thursday through Saturday down at Beavers Bend State Park way down in the far southeast corner of Oklahoma, near Broken Bow. The weather was grey and damp but we had a relaxing time and took some nice photos in spite of the weather. I will post some of them over the next few days. Of course Smokey had a nice time.
From Tulsa it is about a 3 hour drive to Beavers Bend. We drove down Thursday afternoon and rented a little cabin in the woods. The terrain here is hilly and the roads wind through pine forests. It lies in the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains of southwestern Arkansas and northwestern Louisiana. The elevation varies from 275 Feet to 2600 feet as you prowl around the hills. The land is a mix of Oklahoma State Park, National Forest Service, andWeyerhaeuser wood products. This is very different country than we are accustomed to around Tulsa. Oklahoma has a surprisingly diverse variety of geologies within its borders.
At the park office is a visitors center, museum and gift shop. This large totem was carved out of a 450 year old Bald Cypress by artist Peter Toth. The plaque at the base tells the story.
Built in 1924 as a Gulf Oil station, the Blue Dome is a Tulsa landmark and centers an older neighborhood currently enjoying a rebirth as a dowtown entertainment district. Across the street is the Blue Dome Diner and a block away is McNellie's, featured in yesterday's post.
I've been having some fun converting digital to sepia. McNellie's is one of a number of good restaurants and/or pubs that have inhabited some of the older buildings in several downtown Tulsa neighborhoods. I think we are going there Saturday evening to eat before the Tulsa Symphony performs. The cars out front would prevent me from claiming this to be a photo from the '30s.
Looking North from 5th Street on Boston Ave, downtown Tulsa to the BOK Tower. The resemblance to the World Trade Center Towers is not accidental. It was designed by the same architects and was built in the same way in 1975 when it was the center for The Williams Company. The lobby has marble walls and wall hangings which also have a similarity to the World Trade Center. At 203 m (667 ft) in height, the 52-story tower is the tallest building in Oklahoma and any of the surrounding states of Missouri, Arkansas, New Mexico, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
It has been more that 2 weeks since our Christmas eve blizzard and we still have snow on the ground. That is very unusual for eastern Oklahoma. It has been above freezing here today and sunny which will melt it soon. People are back running and biking on the Riverpark along the Arkansas. There were some diehards who never stopped even when it was 8*F (-13*C).
In the event that you would like to ride a bicycle down the trail but do not have one with you, you can rent one. Step up to the bike rack in the 41st Street rest area, insert your credit card in the slot and a bicycle is released from the rack. I have seen baggage carts available in airports which are dispensed this way. I suppose that some dishonest person might just keep the bike, but the bright pink paint makes these rather distinctive.
By the way, the brown fixture in the left foreground is a water fountain designed to serve both man and dog.
Usually the photos I post have been taken very recently. However, I have a large number of older photographs taken in years past. Right now Tulsa is a mass of icy slush which does not always photograph well. So allow me to share some oldies with you.
While on a tour of England and France with Tulsa Community College in May of 2000 I took a large number of photographs with a film camera using Kodachrome. A CD of digital images were produced by the developer at the time the film was processed and printed. I have converted some of these to black and white (or sepia) using Paint.Net. Brightness and contrast was adjusted to satisfy myself. I will be sharing these from time to time. I hope you enjoy them.
My friend Micki has asked me for a list of recommended American novels. I have compiled a short list that I hope will be helpful as a place to start. On the odd chance that someone else might find it interesting I will put it here. Let me say in advance that it is based on my personal preferences and is missing many excellent books that are worthy of attention. It is in no particular order. Please do not be offended if I have omitted your favorite American novel. It is my list.
A LIST OF AMERICAN NOVELS
Mark Twain:Adventures of Huckleberry Finn F. Scott Fitzgerald:The Great Gatsby;Tender is the Night John Steinbeck: The Grapes of Wrath; Of Mice and Men; East of Eden William Faulkner:The Sound and the Fury; As I Lay Dying Robert Penn Warren:All the King's Men Ernest Hemingway:A Farewell to Arms; The Sun Also Rises; The Garden of Eden James Dickey: Deliverance Norman Mailer:The Naked and the Dead Harper Lee:To Kill a Mockingbird Kurt Vonnegut:Slaughterhouse-Five; Breakfast of Champions J. D. Salinger:The Catcher in the Rye Jack Kerouac:On the Road Jack London:The Call of the Wild John Cheever: The Wapshot Chronicals; The Stories of John Cheever Joseph Heller:Catch 22 John Irving: A Prayer for Owen Meany; The World According to Garp John Updike:Rabbit at Rest; Rabbit Is Rich; Rabbit Redux; Rabbit Run William Faulkner: Absalom, Absalom!; The Sound and the Fury Elizabeth Faulkner: The historian
Frank Herbert:Dune Robert Heinlein: Stranger in a Strange Land Orson Scott Card:Ender's Game
A reader felt I should add more BOOKS BY WOMEN. She suggested:
Eudora Welty: The Optimist's Daughter Amy Bloom:Away Geraldine Brooks:People of the Book Kate Chopin: The Awakening Edith Wharton: House of Mirth Willa Cather:My Antonia Toni Morrison: The Bluest Eye
In a little park just north of Tulsa's Boston Avenue Methodist Church stands a statue of three young people joined in a dance of friendship -- a Jew, a Christian, and a Muslim. The statue was created by artist Phyllis Mantik of Stillwater. It depicts a Jewish boy wearing the star of David, a Christian girl wearing a cross, and a Muslim boy wearing traditional Muslim clothing. The children are dancing in a circle holding an olive branch. The statue was dedicated in September, 2006 to honor commitment to the the Trialogue Series, a forum for Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
The church is at 1301 S. Boston Ave in downtown Tulsa. A news article from the Tulsa World can be read HERE.
Just before Christmas I posted a photo of the entrance to Trinity Episcopal Church in downtown Tulsa. I liked it even though it had the front end of a car sitting in front of it. I was not totally satisfied with that, and besides I have been doing a lot of thinking about color shots as opposed to black and white. I cropped this a little tighter to get rid of the bumper, and also looked at it in black and white. Tighter was good but the only thing the black and white did was to make the red doors black. The red doors were the main thing that made the photo interesting. So color it is. Not everything looks better in black and white. (click to enlarge)
Over the weekend I posted a black and white photo of the pedestrian bridge and low-water dam that span the Arkansas River just north of 31st and Riverside in Tulsa. Here is another angle on the low-water dam. There is little difference in the color and the black and white except for the blue tint of the sky reflected in the water.