Tulsa: 7 Reasons To Check It Out

Tulsa: 7 Reasons To Check It Out

 

I had a great time in Tulsa – thank you, Jack White, for putting it on my radar.

 

Here’s what I especially loved about it – and why you might want to check it out also.

The aesthetics and the vibe of the downtown area are super cool. I’m always fantasizing about gritty old buildings that can be converted into lofts. In Tulsa’s case, old buildings are most likely to be transformed into bars and restaurants.

The people are super friendly. Everyone was incredibly nice and helpful. I met even more people working in hospitality and the arts than I usually do. And as always, they are absolute fonts of knowledge on what to do (and what to skip) in their cities.

I have written about this before and will do it again now. If you are in a new city, find one spot that you love and sit at the counter. You’ll get the lay of the land very quickly and the best recommendations! And, btw, big shout out to the Hodges Bend staff, especially the bartender (Tyler?) for all the stellar restaurant recommendations.

What impressed me on this trip was how many young Tulsans are moving back to their hometown after living in bigger cities like Denver or New York. They’re excited to be back and from what I can tell are shaking things up, especially on the restaurant scene and the arts.

The culture. Tulsa has a strong art scene. The Philbrook Museum is world-class. But music is really at the heart of the city. I like music, but it’s not “my thing” so I can’t talk about it in depth other than to tell you that almost every conversation in Tulsa will start with what music you’ve seen. Not surprisingly, virtually every bar and restaurant features live music.

Tulsa also benefits from the civic-mindedness of its moneyed families, e.g., the Kaiser family just spent $500 million to create Gathering Place – a state of the art riverside park spanning 66 acres along the Arkansas River. It includes an enormous skateboarding park, playgrounds including ones specifically for autistic children, bike trails and a spectacular boathouse which features a “cabinet of wonder” art installation by world-renowned artist Mark Dion. It is magnificent. And, on top of that, the Gathering Place has an endowment to keep it FREE in perpetuity.

One thing that perplexed me was Tulsa’s size. To me, it felt like a really small city. It reminded me of Bentonville (pop: 44K). Imagine my surprise when I found that Tulsa city proper has a population of 400K and total Metro Tulsa is almost a million.

 

Scroll down for my seven top reasons to check out Tulsa. I highly recommend you tack on a few days and visit the city the next time you’re in that neck of the woods.

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Tulsa, Denver, Boise, Utah: Watch Out. Here I Come!

Tulsa, Denver, Boise, Utah: Watch Out. Here I Come!

 

I start this epic cultural immersion tomorrow (August 8th). Lots of art, restaurants and bars, and quirky, iconic landmarks like the Golden Driller (above left). What makes this trip even more exciting is having great friends join me along the way.

 

I will be writing only intermittently while traveling but I will post to Instagram daily. Please follow me. I will be back to my regular writing schedule on Monday, August 26th.

 

Read on below for my UPDATED travel itinerary. And if anybody has recently been to any of these cities, please send along recommendations.

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SuperReal at Cipriani: A Spectacular Creative Experience

SuperReal at Cipriani: A Spectacular Creative Experience

 

It’s not a pop-up museum, it’s not even art, but it is the most outstanding creative pitch by an agency for the Instagram age that I’ve ever seen. Bravo Moment Factory!

 

SuperReal is a made-for-Instagram event created by Moment Factory (out of Canada) in collaboration with Cipriani’s event space at 25 Broadway (formerly Cunard HQs). Gorgeous space and a first-rate Instagram experience. It’s a brilliant move by Cipriani to partner with Moment Factory to show all potential event planners the scope of what they can get if they plan their next major event here. First-rate creative pitch – and we’re all paying for it at $24 a ticket, except or kids under-5 who get in for free (and they LOVED it!).

It does not, however, match the SuperReal promo hype if you are going strictly as a civilian, without your work hat on. If you go expecting anything close to what they tout below, you will be disappointed:

  • SuperReal is an unprecedented multimedia experiment that adds a layer of reality to our world. Immersed in cutting-edge art and technology, visitors will journey through multidimensional realms that blur the boundaries between real and virtual.

That said, it is absolutely worth checking out. I would go so far as to say essential viewing if you work in a creative field, whether it’s events, retail, hospitality, or entertainment.

I expected to be there for 15 minutes, but I was enthralled enough to stay for the whole show, which takes about 45 minutes. The grand hall, where most of this takes place, features five interactive environments meant to illustrate abstract concepts (photos/videos below).

I had not been familiar with Moment Factory, the studio that created this event. Highly recommend checking out their website (link here). They’re an internationally acclaimed multimedia entertainment studio – absolutely first rate. I have written before how boring all these Instagram events have become. Not SuperReal – they have taken it to the next level.

Tickets are $24, and it runs through September 2nd.

 

Scroll down for photos and videos from my visit this past Sunday. You’re Welcome!!

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Are Old Boomers The New Hipsters? I Think We Are!

Are Old Boomers The New Hipsters? I Think We Are!

 

I wrote about 88-year-old Jay Maisel yesterday. Such a badass and he’s even older than a boomer. He’s from the Silent  Generation.

 

Today, I want to write about some of my role models from the fashion and creative worlds who are being newly discovered and celebrated for their style, creativity, and gusto for life. They inspire me.

Another thing I’ve noticed, and I don’t know why this is happening, but in certain creative fields, there is a shift away from youth towards those with more than a few years on them. It’s gotten to the point where (to me) it looks like women in their fifties or early sixties are going out of their way to look older by dying their hair gray or not wearing makeup. I would go so far as to say we are in the throes of fetishizing seventy and eighty-year olds – especially those who are artists, style makers, or in some way leading an unconventional or eccentric lifestyle.

Where I see this show up most is in the art world, e.g., Yayoi Kusama, who at age 90 is the most Instagrammed artist in the world.

In fashion, I tend to gravitate to those sporting that cool streetwear style rather than those into high-fashion. My favorites are women like Sarah Jane Adams or Mrs. Naito. They inspire me to be more creative with my wardrobe.

Credit has to go to Ari Seth Cohen’s Advanced Style blog for starting this cultural shift to older women as influencers. That said,  I’m not a big fan of that vintage style with all those hats and accouterments – way too “costumey” for my liking. Nevertheless, that’s what got this movement off the ground.

 

Scroll down for more on all these fabulous people who influence and inspire me daily.

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Jay Maisel Documentary Is Great. Inspiring, Sad, Funny.

Jay Maisel Documentary Is Great. Inspiring, Sad, Funny.

 

LOVED this documentary. I’ve been smitten by this cool, mysterious building on the Bowery ever since I moved to the Lower East Side, almost thirty years ago.

 

In 2015, just after Maisel sold it and moved out (the basis of this movie), I did finally get inside. It left me breathless. For any New Yorker to see such an iconic building, which somebody had the gumption and the vision to make into their home for forty years, is absolutely mindblowing.  Link here to my post from that initial visit.

The minute I got word of this documentary, I planned to see it. But I missed the premiere. Both Jay Maisel and the filmmaker, Stephen Wilkes (his former intern), were there for the screening with Q&A afterwards. From what I hear, the Q&A was fabulous. It helps that Maisel loves the movie and he’s the most rambunctious and ornery 88-year-old I’ve ever encountered. Hearing him tell stories of what it was like to live in that iconic building in this neighborhood must have been fantastic. So bummed I missed it.

While this documentary isn’t going to be everybody’s cup of tea, I would recommend it to anyone interested in artists, real estate and the history of downtown NY. This is the area, back in the day, where all the artists were buying places to live/work e.g., Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns both also bought former banks. Jay Maisel even rented out space to two artists when he first bought the building: Adolph Gottlieb and Roy Lichtenstein were his tenants for a couple of years.

The movie is also poignantly relevant for many of us who have either helped parents move or have gone through a major “empty nester” moment ourselves. Disposing of beloved possessions is not easy but Jay Maisel takes collecting (or is it hoarding?) to another level!

The fact that it took the movers four months to pack up his possessions says a lot. As does the fact that it took 37 vans to make the move. It was further complicated by the fact that the movers could not figure out what was junk and what was a treasure.

Maisel and his wife now live in Brooklyn in a 5,000 sq. ft house that cost $15 million. This is significantly smaller than the bank. So Maisel is surrounded by fewer of his possessions – and he’s not happy about that although he does have 3,000 sq. ft of storage space in NJ.

For those of you not familiar with the Bank or its sale, Maisel had bought the Germania Bank building at 190 Bowery in 1966 for $102K and sold it for $55 million to Aby Rosen in 2015. It was the biggest private sale in the history of NYC real estate. And Maisel did not want to sell (he said he had always planned to die in his beloved building) but by 2015, taxes and upkeep had risen to over $300K annually. He simply could not afford to stay there.

 

IF YOU ARE AT ALL INTERESTED, WATCH THE TRAILER, YOU’LL THANK ME!

 

 

Bottom Line.

Highly recommend finding where this might be playing or streaming! It is being screened at various art houses around the country at the moment.

In NYC,  it is playing at Film Forum through next Tuesday (unless it gets extended). It will also be shown at DOC NYC in November. Link here. 

And if you made it all the way to here, I know you will enjoy reading this interview with Jay that covers more about the sale including how much both he and Aby Rosen (the buyer) disliked each other (fortunately their lawyers were great pals). Plus his thoughts on living in Brooklyn (hint: he misses Manhattan).

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Growing Up Poor Has Made Me Rich In So Many Ways

Growing Up Poor Has Made Me Rich In So Many Ways

 

Two recent articles on finances made me feel so grateful for everything my parents taught me about money – AND inspired today’s post!

 

One article was on Warren Buffett’s belief that parents need to start teaching their kids about money by the time they’re five years old. The other was on how having our finances in order, makes us happier and more confident.

In looking back on my life, I consider myself incredibly lucky to have grown up the way I did. And strangely, although I grew up in an impoverished household, I never realized we were poor. Everyone around me was in a similar situation. We were all non-English speaking immigrants from Europe who had made our way to Australia.

My parents and I lived in a house that was a shack. My father, who was not a carpenter, built it by hand (along with all of our furniture). Whenever my parents got a little money, the house would get a bit more finished.

I do recall that we had a vegetable garden and fruit trees which turned me on to fresh produce at a very early age. Being able to go into our backyard to pick an apple, a plum, or a pear right off one of our trees, went a long way to making me feel rich as opposed to poor.

Here’s how I grew up:

  • We didn’t have a car until I was almost a teenager. My parents got around on bikes.
  • No television, no phone.
  • No indoor plumbing. We had an outhouse and once a week, an old school “honey wagon” would come by to pick up/replace the bucket (in Australia, these outhouses were called dunnies).
  • No AC (even though Australia gets super hot – we would sleep out in the yard if the house was too hot).
  • We NEVER went out for dinner.
  • My mom always cooked from scratch – never processed foods, never soda.
  • No sitter for me EVER. On the rare occasions my parents had somewhere to go, the neighbor’s German Shephard was brought in to watch me. He’d growl whenever I tried to get off the couch. May have something to do with my aversion to dogs to this day.
  • Neither of my parents graduated from high school. They worked in factories. My dad was, however, a master welder, so he was never lacking for a job.
  • To supplement our income, my parents worked on farms on weekends picking crops. A truck would pick us up well before sunrise and take us out to the fields. I considered this the most fantastic adventure. And that’s probably why, to this day, I love getting up at the crack of dawn. Picking peas was my favorite! My mom would let me eat as many as I wanted. So tasty!

I don’t recall specific conversations with my parents about money, but I do know they instilled in me, at a very early age, the importance of saving and being debt-free.

The message I got from my parents was that money was hard to come by and that we, as a family, would always live within our means. I have no memories of ever coveting, or badgering my parents, for anything that was beyond our reach. It was ingrained in me that if you didn’t have the money for something, you didn’t get it. My parents also did not believe in credit cards. I do have two credit cards but have always paid them off in full each month.

Being debt-free was vitally important to my parents. They never took out a loan or a mortgage. I’ve done likewise, and all I can say is that my early frugality (learned from my parents), has allowed me to live as I do now. And for that, I will be forever grateful.

 

Read on below for highlights from the Warren Buffett interview on the #1 mistake parents make in teaching kids about money. If you are a parent, this is a must-read.

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Feeling So Good – And Here’s Why.

Feeling So Good – And Here’s Why.

 

Three health tips. All part of my daily routine and all having a major impact on how I feel, physically and mentally.

 

Let’s start with blueberries!

They’re my go-to with my cereal, every morning. Sometimes I mix it up with strawberries, but unless Whole Foods is out of them (or I’m traveling), blueberries are integral to how I start my day. I find them very tasty.

I wasn’t even aware of their health benefits, e.g., blueberries have the highest quantities of antioxidants, as well as other phytochemicals that are believed to lower blood pressure, improve memory, and make aging a healthier process.

Per SlashGear:

A total of five studies on blueberries were recently published in The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences.

The research looked at different health effects associated with eating blueberries, including changes in inflammation, memory, and avoiding age-related diseases.

Who knew those blueberries packed so much goodness?

 

Read on below for an update on how I’m doing with my shift to “mindful” drinking plus the latest on how walking and weight loss have been shown to keep Alzheimer’s at bay.

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Moms Are Getting High And Kids Are Out Of Control

Moms Are Getting High And Kids Are Out Of Control

 

Parenting on pot is THE only way to parent these days.’

 

I’ve read about this a million times but hadn’t seen it in action. Until recently.

Twice this past week, while out to dinner with friends, we were seated near tables of hyped up kids, running helter-skelter around the restaurant, bumping into tables, crashing into waiters — ruining people’s dinners while moms look on, completely unperturbed.

In each instance, it was at a high-end restaurant (pun intended). And it was on the early side, before 7 pm. Two different restaurants, two different parts of town, two different sets of moms completely oblivious to the havoc they were creating around them. Moms just chillaxing, not concerned one iota that their kids were running wild.

At first, we thought the moms were tipsy, but that did not appear to be the case. In observing their tables, there was not much evidence of wine or cocktailing.

Which made me curious to figure out what the heck was going on.

In doing some research on current parenting styles, I ran into several articles on moms getting high. While I knew this was happening, I didn’t realize the extent of it. Or the fact that there’s now a whole sub-genre of writing covering stoner moms within the mommy blog category.

One post in savvymom specifically caught my attention. One mom wrote: “I’m more patient after a couple of hits.” Based on our most recent restaurant experiences, this is clearly what we had run into.

Everything was suddenly clear. The moms at both of these restaurants (each with three spawn under the age of ten in tow), were high!  That’s how they were able to maintain their composure. While we were all highly agitated that our dining experience had been hijacked by their out-of-control kids, the moms had a “couple of hits” worth of patience in them.

There are now even cannabis coaches, especially for moms to find just the right dosage to help them cope when they feel overwhelmed but still need to parent at least somewhat effectively. Coaches position themselves as assisting moms to become their best selves through cannabis.

Vice also just ran an interesting piece on how Wine Mom is transforming into Stoner or Weed Mom. Not surprisingly, California and Colorado are at the forefront of this culture shift (with Canada not far behind).

 

Read on below for more on stoner parents.

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