it’s already been months since i returned to oklahoma after living in haifa, israel, and florence, italy, for eleven years and sometimes i still feel like a fob* in my own hometown. granted, a decade is a considerable chunk of time in the development of a city, especially oklahoma city, and it’s not like i didn’t visit, but sometimes i don’t even recognize where i’m standing. take bricktown, for example (for you non-okies, bricktown is a newly renovated area next to downtown oklahoma city).
when i left, it had inched forward from a hollow warehouse district frequented only by Spaghetti Warehouse patrons and junior high kids looking for a thrill at the halloween haunted house, to an area with a handful of restaurants and a freshly dug winding dirt tunnel. that tunnel is now a canal that carries boats full of okies and their visitors taking in the *new* bricktown with its tree-lined promenades, colorful restaurants, happening clubs, a ball park, movie theatre, bowling alley, stadium and concert arena — all within about a five-block radius. unrecognizable to say the least. i guess it was an appropriate senior session location for chase: the kid who i remember being only waist-high when the renovations began, now totally grown up. seems to me that around here, things only get better with time.
*short for “fresh off the boat.” nickname for a newcomer who doesn’t quite know what’s going on.