Be Warned

Oklahoma City Travel Blog

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Dante tried in poetic verse to map it, Milton toiled arduously to describe it, Rodin chiseled endlessly to depict it, but none of these men nor any other could portray Hell as accurately as those who built Oklahoma.

Any visitor to Oklahoma should quickly learn the nearest evacuation routes: Interstate 35 to the north and south, 40 to the east and west, 44 to the northeast or a plethora of smaller highways in between. By air, it is wise to purchase either a more flexible ticket or one out of OKC or TUL within 48 hours of arrival. However, neither road signs at the border nor welcome signs at the airport read, “Lasciate ogne speranza voi ch'intrate;” a more suitable greeting to those wishing to visit this place.

Cities such as Los Angeles, Phoenix, Atlanta, Houston and others receive much criticism for sprawl, though Oklahoma City (the term “city” in this case must be taken very loosely) exclusive of its suburbs covers slightly more land than Houston and out-sprawls Phoenix by over 100 sq. mi. Pair that immense size with a mere 29 bus routes and no trolley, subway or light rail and it is clear that a car is needed and pedestrian activity is all but forbidden. Furthermore, sidewalks are rare and the weather is generally unpleasant and often enough dangerous. Thus, exploring the city by foot is not recommended and is largely impossible.

Oklahoma City lacks mountain vistas and ocean views, as its dominant geological feature is the horizon. The soviet-style architecture downtown is the most outstanding feature of the area, albeit bland, uninspiring and gloomy. The area lacks amenities that cities of comparable size boast, with limited public arts and fewer activities in general. Shopping in Oklahoma City is an unnecessary activity if one comes from elsewhere, as stores present in other cities are not here and there are few interesting boutiques. One could purchase the same items in the same stores at home as there is nothing unique about this experience here. One may relish the dining scene here provided he or she could live off country-style cooking. Diversity in the dining scene is sub-par and few cuisines are represented. Other venues and amenities are present, though largely limited. All in all the city is a small town simulacrum of urbanity, functioning as a backwoods pastiche of the American urban landscape.

William Shakespeare wrote, “what is the city but the people?” which ultimately makes Oklahoma City even more appalling than it appears to the physical senses sans human interaction. The people have a reputation for being friendly, though this is an unfounded stereotype. Beyond the often unintelligible dialect prevalent in people in this town is the paradoxical thinking of the people. The people consider the area to be a cosmopolitan, global, mega-city; a cradle of civilization, yet they value the small town atmosphere and bitterly refuse the area to develop an urban feeling, wishing instead to keep the cons of city life away from this place. Outsiders are virtual infidels, yet the people take offense if someone wishes to not live or visit this town. Strangely enough, they are not welcome in this city anyway. In truth, the people are rude, cold and passively hostile to people not from the state. Expect to stand out fairly easily if visiting based on dress, attitude and/or accent.

Ultimately, it would be wise to avoid this horrid place. One is sure to have a much greater time spending time and money elsewhere. Heed this warning or regret it later. 
lattesipper says:
Wow. That must have been therapeutic for you.
Posted on: Nov 02, 2008
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