Friday September 3
More than 2 weeks on the road now- we're getting into the last leg of the trip report...
I returned to a coffee house I last visited 10 years ago in Wichita called Riverside Perk. It was in my old "Let's Go USA Book" which I used to rely on heavily for traveling in my post college days. Unfortunately on this visit the coffee was not what i remembered. It was weak and disappointing (my 2nd disappointing coffee house of the trip) I stopped at one cup. This warranted a return to the Vagabond Cafe whose coffee fared much better...
I left Wichita with hopes of saying "goodbye" to dorothy, the tinman, scarecrow and cowardly lion unfortunately..
only the Tin Man showed up to greet me.
Seriously, Clifton Square is a victorian building converted into a shopping mall. When I was there last time, the entire cast, well actually Dorothy, Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion in addition to the Tin Man were there to greet me, I have them on my 35 mm photo. I guess they're off eating Bierocks somewhere (Well the cowardly lion did have an "old style" Brooklyn accent so perhaps he's eating a knish instead)...
I was on the road again this morning heading South East...
I arrived in Tulsa OK just in time for lunch at Ike's Chili House
Arriving at the height of lunch hour Ike's is a busy greasy spoon serving up some good ol' stick to your ribs chili
It's been 20 years since I last visited Tulsa. That does not include my stop over 14 years ago during an ice storm when I was moving from Seattle to Pittsburgh, although I decided to have the same thing that I enjoyed back then at a dive across from my motel that I guess I'll never know the name of
Frito Pie. I kind of took a liking to this dish- The dish actually came with a small tub of chopped onions and jalapeno that you add at will. I'll have to admit this probably would have looked alot prettier had I taken the photo prior to adding the jalapenos. I and probably would have had no regrets if I had the opportunity to enjoy another half a serving or so but one serving was probably enough. When I left Ike's
I was happy.
From Tulsa it was a short 20 minute ride to Claremont, Home of Will Rogers and his Museum
Part Choctaw Indian, Will Rogers stated that he never met a man he didn't like, well I wasn't born yet, so the jury is still out there..
The museum was interesting
Quite a bit of memorabilia and Mr. Roger's personal items
This is supposed to be a replica of his study
And his tomb is also located on the museum grounds as well
One thing I found interesting is that there was a screening room which showed his movies. I never knew he acted in movies, I just thought he was a "humorist and folklorist" I guess you learn something new everyday..
After visiting Will Rogers it was time to visit JM Davis and his museum also in Claremont
JM Davis was a local hotel owner who collected guns and kept them at his hotel... Although I really couldn't care less about guns (even from an historical perspective) I do have to note that this museum includes the oldest known gun in existence-
It was invented in China back in the 1300's and its my understanding that the first person to test out this gun at the time is our own Michael Hoffman
Besides guns, the museum also had other interesting collections and historical tidbits including
This nice beer stein collection which is more my speed
Even though I ignored most of the gun collection, overall the JM Davis Museum was pretty interesting.
It seems my overall impression with Tulsa is that it was starting to get lost in the translation, instead of Heartlanding through the Breadbasket
I felt more like I was Wandering Around the South
- it seems Tulsa had more in common with Arkansas than it does with the western and central part of the state which has more heartland characteristics.
I returned to Tulsa and checked into my downtown hotel, The Crowne Plaza....
I then drove to my dinner stop.. Elmer's BBQ
Located in the funky neighborhood of Brookside.
Prior to starting this trip, I had consulted with Howie Baratz
told me that BBQ was competitively mediocre in Tulsa. I checked yelp and urbanspoon and it seemed that Elmer's seemed to stand out a little from the rest of the competition at the time although even that seemed to change on almost a daily basis.
Elmer's offers a really neat atmosphere..
The wall is also filled with celebrities who have eaten here...
Elmer's is Famous for it's "Badwich" (named after Tony Bad
?). An interesting configuration of chopped beef, rib, bbq bologna and either smoked sausage or hot links.
Two mistakes with my ordering you have the option to order it as a sandwich - or "a'la carte" which comes with texas toast.
I ordered it a' la carte.
You also have the option for smoked sausage or hot links, the waitress recommended hot links and of course I ordered smoked sausage and missed "the kick" the hot links would have given it, reading yelp reviews after the fact was really a kick in the pants.. I chose bbq beans and corn as my side.
This wasn't bad bbq, it was actually pretty good, and I enjoyed both the slightly sweet and spicy bbq sauces. However after spending two days in Kansas City at LC's
it certainly wasn't in their category.
After heading back to my hotel I took the short walk to
Oneok Field- new ballpark for the Tulsa Drillers- double A farm team for the Colorado Rockies.
When I got there- I went to purchase my ticket- and was told the game was sold out- standing room only- it figures! This is what happens to me when I don't get my tickets in advance!
Well I guess I could hope that some season ticket holders won't show up at the game and I can nab a seat...
I walked around the ballpark prior to the game, I thought it was interesting that what should have been the front of the ballpark was actually facing a gated parking lot
Inside, the new ballpark has all the bells and whistles
As well as a view of the Tulsa skyline
Like most minor league baseball teams, the drillers have a colorful mascot. In this case it looks like a steer
As well as an interesting between inning race
In this case a bunch of funny looking ethnic characters and a hotdog.
The Driller's hosted the Springfield Cardinals that evening - I don't remember the score but Tulsa won
After the game I walked back to my hotel and called it a night
<message edited by wanderingjew on Sun, 10/3/10 7:42 PM>