Make your own cool


One of the pleasures of my new job is that I can get my work done anywhere there's an Internet connection, and that's given me a chance to visit many of the local hotspots -- Wi-Fi hotspots, I mean. Recently, for instance, I met a friend for lunch at the Chimi's at Lincoln Plaza, and, when duty called as we were leaving the restaurant, I just took my laptop across the parking lot to Cafe Cubana, bought something to drink, and got back to work.

Hanging out in coffee houses is a good way to learn about new things that are going on around town. I met someone for coffee at Shades of Brown, then stayed around to finish a project. The barista, hearing that I was a blogger, told me about an effort to kick-start some excitement around Tulsa, and she handed me a flyer:

make your own cool!

Will a convention center bring your favorite band to town? Can an expert identify just what it is that makes your neighborhood pub unique? Do you want your downtown to be dead after five? Or worse, do you want to see a 20 screen megaplex and a Banana Republic on Archer and Cincinnati?

Tulsa is our town. Brookside, Cherry Street, Brady District, Tulsans made them what they are. This town is not dead, and it's us who are responsible for keeping it alive. So get out there! Make some noise! Write letters, sing loud, pay attention, get involved! Support those already in the trenches for Tulsa and get out there and do it for yourself. If this town will ever be a creative mecca, it will be because Tulsans took the risks and made the effort. Grab a guitar, a ballot, a hammer, a newspaper, a book, and let's make something of this town.

This message brought to you by:

The Tulsa Kick Ass Initiative

If you can overlook the minor vulgarity at the end, that's good stuff. Instead of whining about how boring Tulsa is for young people, instead of hoping that a new arena will transform Tulsa into an urban mecca, instead of waiting for the city government to do something (as if government could create cool), instead of praying for high-end, national retailers to appear magically downtown, young Tulsans can make things happen themselves, just as Tulsans made Cherry Street and Brookside happen when few people could see the potential. That's what ypTULSA has been trying to do, with its efforts with Nelson's Buffeteria, Greenwood Jazz Festival, and the East Village.

This new group, the TKAI, seems to be geared more toward late teens and early twenties. The group's ringleader is 20-year-old Jamie Pierson, the aforementioned barista and an aspiring entrepreneur. (Jamie has been blogging a year longer than I have, and her blog is interesting reading.)

If you're interested in the Initiative, there's a meeting at Hodgepodge Books, 11th & Detroit, Monday, starting 8 p.m.-ish. Or you can visit their place on You can reach Jamie by email at

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on July 14, 2005 7:38 PM.

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