"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

OKC Saturday--shadows, sounds & traffic cones-I

If OKC's downtown needs a logo and symbol these days, it ought to be one of those tall skinny fluorescent traffic cones.
So I thought as a sat in Kitchen No. 324 yesterday, scribbling notes from a photo trip downtown, looking out at the street barricades and men working, listening to the constant friendly bubbling of talk in the restaurant. 
Between sips of coffee and lunch, here's the stream in my reporter's notebook:
Saturday construction sounds--hammers and power tools and jackhammers and closed streets and traffic cones and hard hats and backhoes.
Old  brick and new brick, old elegant architecture and new angular designs and glass facades. Boarded up windows and windows open to the blue sky.
The shadows of open rafters and steel beams and scaffolding. Construction cranes and skyscrapers and abstract metal sculptures. More condos and parking garages taking shape. Colored insulation sheathing  new buildings  framed in scaffolding. 
Project 180 barricades and walkways--building streets, sidewalks, parks. 
So much energy
Resurrecting the city from the oxymoron"Urban Renewal" that killed downtown years ago.
The sound of so much energy. Not just of energy companies but of people working on Saturdays, people living downtown. 
New town homes and condos everywhere, lofts, new hotels, people out walking dogs, jogging, gathered in open air grills in Deep Deuce and coffee shops and cafes in Automobile Alley. The moan of diesel locomotives. More crowds in Bricktown. Film Row construction. People heading to the OKC Museum of Art Ansel Adams exhibit.
The mix of cultures--Asian, black, Hispanic, Indian, gringo. People holding hands--30 somethings and people stooped with age.
Not much car traffic, but oh so much people traffic.


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