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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Get Carded at the Library

Hey, how about reading something other than the back of the shampoo bottle for a change? If you feel like you don’t know your volcanoes, vivisection, or Vietnam War (among other topics) like you should, the Metropolitan Library System has you covered. If you live or own property in Oklahoma City or Oklahoma County, just bring two forms of ID (one showing proof of residence) to your nearest library and get hooked up like a tow truck with your very own library card. But if your county is Cleveland, McClain, or Pottawatomie, you still oughttocomeandsee– the Metropolitan Library System has a reciprocal service agreement with the Pioneer Library System, HQ’d in Norman. (This means MLS cardholders can do the same at any Pioneer Library). Yes, there are virtually no limits to the things you can learn as a card-carrying member of the library. Lather, rinse, repeat, and then get yourself there!

library, community, family-friendly, kids
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



The Library Makes You Better

As fun as it is to “Like” everything that comes across your feed, we all know those captions on your friends’ Instagram photos aren’t making you any smarter (and don’t even get us started with the Facebook, Twitter, or ::gasp:: Snapchat). So if you’re interested in self-improvement or learning something new, what to do?

Well, we’ve got good news for you Curious Carols and Wondering Williams. As a brand-new MLS card holder (congratulations!), you may not be aware that the Metropolitan Library System offers enough activities to choke a camel. From local art to LEGO robotics to live concerts to learning about email and ebooks, your library’s the place to gain knowledge, explore, study, and improve yourself. Check out just some of the activities in which you can participate in the next few weeks:

Chess Club
GED prep
Internet basics
Tai Chi
Concerts
Children reading to dogs
Quilting Club
LEGO Robotics
Movie Night
Book Club
Healthy Pregnancy
Teen Service Team
Adult Education and Literacy Classes
Anime Club
Art Class
Gaming Club
And more!

For a full list of activities and events, just point your way over to metrolibrary.org’s calendar page.

family-friendly, kids, library
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Ralph Ellison’s Visible Legacy

(Photo: © United States Postal Service. All rights reserved.)

Ralph Waldo Ellison was born in 1914 (or 1913 – there is some debate on the date). Oklahoma City’s most notable literary figure and the author of Invisible Man, Ellison grew up in the Deep Deuce neighborhood and loved music (jazz as well as classical). He began playing the cornet at age 8, eventually majoring in music at the Tuskegee Institute after graduating from Douglass High School in 1932. But it was a meeting with writer Richard Wright after moving to New York City in 1936 that directed his path toward authorship. He published many reviews, short stories and essays from 1937 to 1944. Invisible Man was published in 1952, winning the 1953 National Book Award. Ellison then traveled and lived abroad (including in Rome) for a few years before returning to the U.S. in 1958 to teach at Bard College. In 1964 he began teaching at Rutgers and Yale before receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1969 and becoming a permanent faculty member at NYU in 1970. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1975, and continued teaching and publishing essays, receiving the National Medal of Arts in 1985 and publishing a collection of essays, Going to the Territory, in 1986. He died in 1994.

Oklahoma City’s Ralph Ellison Library was first dedicated in his honor in 1975, and in 2012 artist David Phelps unveiled a sculpture honoring Ellison at the library. As part of its Literary Arts series, the U.S. Postal Service issued a 91-cent stamp honoring him on Feb. 18, 2014, and on March 6, 1914, a portrait of Ellison was hung at the State Capitol on the fourth floor. The Ralph Ellison Foundation was also founded in 2014 to highlight “the accomplishments of the acclaimed author Ralph Waldo Ellison” and to empower “the lives of others through his philosophy, talents, and writings in the areas of Literacy, Music, and the Arts.” You can “check out” many of his works at your local branch of the Metropolitan Library System.

More info on Ralph Ellison:
-Library of Congress
-Interview with The Paris Review (Spring 1955)
-PBS’ American Masters
-Journal Record article on Ralph Ellison Foundation

history, library, oklahoma city history
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



No Soothsayers Necessary: Sequoyah Voting Begins Soon

Beware the ides of March, kids, because you’ll no longer be able to vote on the Sequoyah Book Awards. While a previous blog post gave some info on these awards, we thought we’d let you know that voting for the different categories will be open soon, from February 1st through March 15th. Children in grades 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12 who have read at least three books from each masterlist can vote on their favorite for the Children’s, Intermediate, and High School Sequoyah Book Awards, respectively. Watch the Oklahoma Library Association site for more info.

kids, library
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Things to Do & See: January 27 - February 2, 2015

Tuesday, January 27
Edgar Cruz; 2 p.m.; Belle Isle Brewery; 843-9601; Admission is free. 
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.

Wednesday, January 28
Bringing Books to Life; Myriad Botanical Gardens, South Lobby of the Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Admission is free.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Varekai by Cirque du Soleil; 7:30 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.

Thursday, January 29
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Erie BayHawks vs. Oklahoma City Blue; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.
Christopher Titus; 7 p.m.; UCO Mitchell Hall Theater, 100 N. University Drive; 974-3375; Tickets are $25 apiece.
Varekai by Cirque du Soleil; 7:30 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.

Friday, January 30
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Tickets are $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Lake Erie Monsters vs. Oklahoma City Barons; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.
H&8th; 7 p.m.; Hudson Ave., between N.W. 6th & 10th; Event is free.
Varekai by Cirque du Soleil; 7:30 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.

Saturday, January 31
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Tickets are $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Varekai by Cirque du Soleil; 4 & 7:30 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.
Lake Erie Monsters vs. Oklahoma City Barons; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.
Academy Award Nominated Live Action Shorts Films; 8 p.m.; Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive; 236-3100; Tickets are $9 for adults.

Sunday, February 1
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Tickets are $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Varekai by Cirque du Soleil; 1:30 and 5 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.

Monday, February 2
Quilting Club; 11 a.m.; Ralph Ellison Library, Meeting Room A; 424-1437; The event is free.
Orlando Magic vs. Oklahoma City Thunder; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.

calendar
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Get artsy in The Paseo

In recent years, we in Oklahoma City have loved seeing the development of defined districts with their own flavor and happenings. And a lot of those have emerged around historic neighborhoods that formed decades ago, in the early days of the city. This week, let’s explore some of them, starting with The Paseo Arts District and its history that dates back to the 1920s.

This thriving district, located mostly between Walker and Lee avenues and NW 30th and 28th streets, features Spanish revival architecture with original stucco buildings. Its clay tile roofs are still intact, and The Paseo is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, according to The Paseo District’s website.

The Elms, an art gallery and studio built in 1920 at 2810 N Walker, was home to the first Oklahoma City artist studio and gallery and is an art gallery today, JRB Art at the Elms. After several years, small businesses and jazz clubs were added to the district. The Paseo transitioned into an arts district in the ’70s and held its first Paseo Arts Festival in 1977. The festival continues the tradition over Memorial Day weekend annually. In 1987, the City of Oklahoma City designated the Paseo neighborhood as its first neighborhood revitalization project, and it’s been a thriving cultural scene ever since. The Paseo Arts Association helps foster this artistic vibe.

If you go, you can tour art galleries, take art classes, shop, eat or mix with artists on a regular basis. Or, you can stroll through the entire district during the Paseo’s First Friday Gallery Walk. More than 60 artists from about 20 galleries participate in this event, from 6-10 p.m. on the first Friday of each month, and it includes themed exhibits, refreshments, guest artists and other entertainment.

arts and culture, paseo district
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Embrace Midtown as it develops

To see OKC’s renaissance in action, you don’t have to look any farther than the Midtown District, centered around Walker Avenue and 10th Street, near St. Anthony Hospital, the city’s first hospital. This now-bustling hub attracts restaurants and bars, retail stores and restaurants. It continues to develop for people who want to live, work and play in the heart of Oklahoma City, and it includes housing, retail, night life, hotels and history, with many of its original buildings being brought back to life.

Specifically, the Midtown District extends from NW 13 south to 4th Street and from one-half block east of Robinson and west to Classen Boulevard. More than 10,000 people live within one mile of 1100 N Walker Ave.

Public and private investments have created a thriving district of diversity within its 387 acres. Midtown includes the city’s first grocery store and kindergarten, surviving territorial Victorian homes and a strong restaurant and night-life scene.

Find out more.

retail, midtown, nightlife, restaurants
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



The commercial district that became Automobile Alley

Developed in the 1920s as a commercial district north of downtown, the revitalized district now known as Automobile Alley has its own vibe as restaurants and retailers return to it in droves. The area along Broadway Avenue once housed the city’s car dealerships – 52 of the Oklahoma City’s first 76 auto dealerships, by some accounts. It is now characterized by those dealers’ buildings and their neon signs – as well as a colorful light display each holiday season.

These two- to three-story commercial buildings were identifiable by their brick look and large expanses of glass on the front and large garage doors. Before it became the center of Oklahoma City’s auto business, Victorian homes built in the 1890s and 1900s lined the streets designed for horses and wagons.

Today, visitors can dine there, shop there, work there or partake in a variety of services, all within walking distance. They can also experience all of the district’s flavor with extended shopping hours at the Auto Alley Shop Hop on the third Thursday of every month.

See for yourself – take a tour of some of Oklahoma City’s oldest and most interesting places outside of downtown.

automobile alley, restaurants, retail
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Things to Do & See: January 20 - January 26, 2015

Tuesday, January 20
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Riversport Run; 6 p.m.; The Boathouse District, 725 S. Lincoln; 552-4040; Event is free.
Tinkering Tuesdays; 6 p.m.; Midwest City Library, Family Place; 732-4828; Event is free.

Wednesday, January 21
Bringing Books to Life; Myriad Botanical Gardens, South Lobby of the Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Admission is free.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Juggling Club; 4 p.m.; Belle Isle Library, Rooms A-B; 843-9601; Event is free.

Thursday, January 22
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Family Story Time; 6:30 p.m.; Edmond Library, Room C; 341-9282; Event is free.
Todd Barry; 7 p.m.; ACM@UCO Performance Lab, 329 E. Sheridan; 974-4700; Tickets are $20 in advance and $24 at the door.

Friday, January 23
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Tickets are $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
60th Annual OKC Boat Show; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; State Fair Park, Cox Pavilion & Centennial Building; 948-6704; $7 at the door and children under 12 are free.
Canton Charge vs. Oklahoma City Blue; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.
Professional Bull Riding; 8 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.

Saturday, January 24
60th Annual OKC Boat Show; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; State Fair Park, Cox Pavilion & Centennial Building; 948-6704; $7 at the door and children under 12 are free.
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Tickets are $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Professional Bull Riding; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.
Austin Spurs vs. Oklahoma City Blue; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.
Bleu Edmonson; 9:30 p.m.; Wormy Dog Saloon, 311 E. Sheridan; 601-6276; Tickets are $6.

Sunday, January 25
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Tickets are $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
60th Annual OKC Boat Show; Noon to 5 p.m.; State Fair Park, Cox Pavilion & Centennial Building; 948-6704; $7 at the door and children under 12 are free.
Professional Bull Riding; 2 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.

Monday, January 26
Art Moves- Gaye Leblanc; Noon; Downtown Library; Event is free.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Oklahoma City Thunder; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.

calendar
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Follow Then Lead

If you really want to get to know a town and stay on top of the comings and goings, Twitter is the perfect tool. However if you are new to a city or new to Twitter the Twitterverse can be a tad overwhelming and intimidating. I mean what is a parody account? In attempt to help your transition to full-fledged Oklahoma Citian and/or Twitter expert here is a good beginner list of accounts to follow. Of course this is not an exhaustive list. If there is anyone you feel we’ve left out put them in the comments below for all to see.

General news, info and events
@BetterLifeOKC – Get the 4-1-1 on the 4-0-5
@okcchamber – Greater OKC Chamber
@VisitOKC – Oklahoma City CVB

Sports
@okcthunder – Oklahoma City Thunder – NBA basketball
@OKCBarons – Oklahoma City Barons – AAA Affiliate of the NHL Edmonton Oilers
@okcblue- Oklahoma City Blue – NBA Development League affiliate of the Oklahoma City Thunder
@okc-dodgers – Oklahoma City Dodgers – AAA Affiliate of the MLB Los Angeles Dodgers
@EnergyFC – Oklahoma City Energy – OKC’s USL Pro soccer team, affiliate of MLS Sporting KC

City stuff
@cityofokc – City of Oklahoma City
@MickCornett – Mayor of Oklahoma City

Media and Blogs
@AboutOKC – About.com’s OKC guide
@JournalRecord – Daily business news
@NewsOK – Daily news
@OKCBiz – OKC business monthly
@OKGazette – OKC alternative weekly news
@OKCTalk – Local message board
@OklahomaRock – Local music news, shows, bands, more
@YelpOKC – What’s good in OKC

networking, oklahoma city, social media
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (2)



Sharing is Caring

We here at the Better Life can scream all day and night about how great and wonderful Oklahoma City is (and we do) but no one sells a city better than you. Whether you have lived here a week or 25 years, your opinion is important to your friends, family and peers. Where do people go to express their opinion? Social media of course. We want you to sing from the mountain top about the greatness of our hometown. Because if you tell two friends and they tell two friends… well you get the picture.

You might be asking yourself, “Besides retweeting and sharing your accounts how do I properly sum up the amazingness of OKC in just 140 characters?” That is where we come in. We’ve made proselytizing about OKC easy with some eye-catching videos and publications that were designed specifically to be easy to share on social media.

For starters check out www.velocityokc.com for Oklahoma City’s digital magazine VeloCity. The publication is packed with features on OKC life, style, architecture, industry, culture, accolades, personalities and more. VeloCity also features stunning photography and video to show off OKC to the unfamiliar. You can also find an archive of past editions that are easy to share with your friends and family.

A companion to VeloCity is www.GreaterOKC.tv. If you are looking for the perfect video about something specific to Oklahoma City, there is a good chance GreaterOKC.tv has it. There are hundreds of videos on Oklahoma City’s districts, education, business climate, museums, the arts, restaurants, recreations, renaissance and so much more. Each video has a social media button for easy sharing with all your social minions.

Lastly, looking for one video to perfectly sum up what life in OKC is all about? Be sure to watch our relocation video Be Part of a City on the Rise. The video gives great examples on why Oklahoma City is the perfect place to live, work and play. 

P.S. Try and use the hashtag #OKC in your posts so other people searching for info on Oklahoma City can get your intelligent insights.

oklahoma city, publication, velocity
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Accolyte

Did you know Oklahoma was one of the top moving destinations in 2014? Or that National Geographic named Oklahoma City one of the best trip destinations in the world? Oklahoma City has been on a bit of a hot streak lately, and the national media has taken notice. The accolades have flooded in for our economy, quality of life and everything in between. This praise is great because it is not us bragging about our city, it is impartial national publications who keep noticing the great things happening in our community.

It seems like every day a new accolade or honor is being announced and it is a daunting task to keep up to date with the latest news. You can check the Better Life website for an always-fresh list of accolades. Be sure to share with your friends and family to show them we aren’t the only ones singing the praises of OKC.

community, oklahoma city
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tools for Success

You’ve heard us talk about it before but if you are new to our great city or even thinking about a move to Oklahoma City, you should check out www.abetterlifeokc.com. It is a great resource for everything you need to know about calling OKC home.

While we are on the subject of social media, dive into the resources page at www.abetterlifeokc.com/resources for more social media fun. You’ll find all kind of handy links that will help you immerse yourself in Oklahoma City’s digital world.

For starters, that is where this adventurous little blog lives. Bookmark it and share it with the world (or at least someone you know). You’ll also find links to some stunning OKC photography and video. The Community Links/Resources page highlights some great newspapers, blogs and social media accounts that will help you keep you in the know and your finger on the pulse of all things OKC.

moving, oklahoma city, social media
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Things to Do & See: January 13 - January 19, 2015

Tuesday, January 13
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Los Angeles D-Fenders vs. Oklahoma City Blues; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.

Wednesday, January 14
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Allied Arts’ Campaign Kickoff; 5:30 p.m. ; National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd.; 478-2250.
Special Skate Night: The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway; 6 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Eric Church; 7:30 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.

Thursday, January 15
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
The First 50 Years of Oklahoma Art Opening Reception; 5:30 p.m.; Gaylord Pickens Museum, 1400 Classen; (888) 501-2059; Admission is free.
Shop Hop; 6 p.m.; Automobile Alley, 1015 N. Broadway; 488-2555; this is event is free.

Friday, January 16
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
OKC RV & Boat Show; 11 a.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Admission is $6.
Premiere on Film Row; 6 p.m.; Film Row, Sheridan Avenue in Downtown; Free to attend.
Texas Stars vs. Oklahoma City Barons; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.

Saturday, January 17
OKC RV & Boat Show; 9 a.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Admission is $6.
Gardening Boot Camp; Will Rogers Garden Center, 3400 NW 36th St.; 713-1125; $40 for three-session camp.
Winter Wildlife Tea and Cocoa Party; 3:30 p.m.; Oklahoma City Zoo; 424-3344; $15 for ZooFriends’ members and $18 for nonmembers.
Texas Stars vs. Oklahoma City Barons; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.
Charlie Robison; 9:30 p.m.; Wormy Dog Saloon, 311 E. Sheridan; 601-6276; Tickets are $12.

Sunday, January 18
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
OKC RV & Boat Show; Noon; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Admission is $6.
Rochester Americans vs. Oklahoma City Barons; 4 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.

Monday, January 19
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
MLK Parade; 2 p.m.; The parade starts at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral at 127 NW 7th.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day Concert; 3:30 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; The concert is free.

calendar
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Better Life: Giving you the 411 in the 405

With a start of a new year, we thought it might be time for a quick refresher of what we are all about. Here at Better Life HQ our goal is simple. We want to help you better get to know your new hometown. Oklahoma City is a diverse metro with new pockets of development and events being added at the blink of an eye. Even for the most seasoned of OKC natives, staying on top of everything to do in our city can feel like an endless task.

We understand that moving to a new city can be overwhelming and intimidating. However, with a little knowledge (our part) and an open mind and an adventurous streak (your part), you will quickly find out OKC is place where you can get involved quickly and make a difference.

The blog is posted to the website every Tuesday, rain or shine. In Oklahoma City it is mostly shine though. You can also sign up to get the blog e-mailed to you each week here. Don’t worry, we don’t spam you consistently. Just one e-mail, every Tuesday. We pinky swear.

And of course we want to hear from you. Are you new to OKC? What kind of things are you interested in learning about? If you’ve lived here a long time what do newcomers need to know? Let us know in the comments below, shoot us an e-mail or get a hold of us on Facebook and Twitter.

P.S.- Although we focus on people new to OKC, we love nothing more than helping people who have lived in our community for a while rediscover their hometown and find cool new things to do in OKC. Also, nothing promotes a city like its residents. If you love OKC and you know someone who is new to our city or thinking about moving, be sure to share the blog with them.

moving, oklahoma city
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



A Guide to Relocating

Besides our blog (of course), a great resource for new residents is the Oklahoma City Relocation Guide. What is a relo guide, you might ask? Well, it's exactly what it sounds like, a guide to relocating: everything you could want to know about moving to OKC in one, very handy publication. It has great info on housing, education, employment, health, weather and so much more (plus a lot of pretty pictures). The latest version of the guide can always be found here. Also, keep your eyes peeled because the 2015 edition will be available soon. Also, don’t be shy … share the guide with your friends, family and peers to help make their transition to Oklahoma City seamless.

moving, oklahoma city, publication
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



BetterLife: The Website

One more tool you need for your relocation arsenal is www.abetterlifeokc.com. A Better Life OKC is more than just an awesome blog about how cool Oklahoma City is; it is also a great and easy-to-use relocation site. Remember the Relocation Guide from earlier? The website goes into more depth for people who are moving (or at least thinking of moving) here. If you are curious about OKC there is a good chance the Better Life has the info you are looking for.

If you are moving to Oklahoma City, housing is a tad important right? The website has information on everything from historic neighborhoods to urban, suburban and pastoral neighborhoods. There is even an apartment listing, a list of realtors and moving resources.

The site has everything you need to know about life in OKC, from educational options to employment and health. Heck, we even have a cost of living calculator so you can compare the cost of living in OKC to most metros in the U.S. Spoiler alert: OKC is one of the most affordable metros in the country. There is so much great content and data we can’t even begin to highlight all in this space. You need to check it out for yourself. 

housing, moving, oklahoma city
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Home and Heart Community Art Show

Want to experience some pretty cool art while making a difference in our community? On Friday, nearly 40 artists who are experiencing homelessness will display their work in an art show in OKC titled the “Home and Heart Community Art Show.” The show will take place at the Homeless Alliance from noon to 8 p.m. The featured artists participate in “fresh stART,” a program designed to provide people experiencing homelessness in Oklahoma City with a supportive environment for creating art.

In addition to providing a potential source of income, open studio art programs enable people experiencing homelessness to express themselves creatively, manage emotional issues, develop social skills through positive interaction with a peer group, and develop a greater sense of dignity and skills transferable to employment. Find out more about the Homeless Alliance.

arts and culture, community, nonprofit
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Things to Do & See: January 6 - January 12, 2015

Tuesday, January 6
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Texas Stars vs. Oklahoma City Barons; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.

Wednesday, January 7
Bringing Books to Life; 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, South Lobby; 445-7080; Admission is free.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Wednesday Night at the Movies; 6 p.m.; Downtown Library, 46th Star Room; 231-8650; Admission is free.

Thursday, January 8
Lego Club; 4 p.m.; Capitol Hill Library, First Floor; 634-6308; Admission is free.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
River Sport Ride; 6 p.m.; 900 N. Broadway; Free and open to all ages and experience levels.

Friday, January 9
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Utah Jazz vs. Oklahoma City Thunder; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.
Iowa Energy vs. Oklahoma City Blues; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.
Live on the Plaza; 7 p.m.; Plaza District; Free.

Saturday, January 10
RARE: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species; Regular museum hours; Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History; 325-4712; Regular museum admission.
My Generation: Young Chinese Artists; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Dr.; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Reno Bighorns vs. Oklahoma City Blues; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.

Sunday, January 11
Coyote Songs; Regular museum hours; National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd; 478-2250; Regular museum admission.
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Oklahoma Bridal Show; Noon; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens, 232-4625.

Monday, January 12
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.

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Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Rock Around the Clock

This week we say goodbye to 2014 and usher in 2015. If you want to celebrate the New Year in style, the place to be in OKC is Opening Night. If you are new to our great city, you might be asking yourself what, exactly, is Opening Night? Well, it is an epic New Year’s Eve celebration all around downtown. Great music (of all kinds of genres), food, drinks, fireworks and even improv comedy performances – Opening Night has a little something for everyone.

Put on by the Arts Council of Oklahoma City, Opening Night is OKC’s premier New Year’s Eve party. Wristbands are just $8 in advance and you can pick them up at 7-Eleven Stores of Oklahoma, metro Homeland stores, Science Museum Oklahoma and MidFirst Bank locations. You can also get wristbands for $10 at the event. Children under 5 are absolutely free.

What are you waiting for? Go get a wristband and then check out the schedule and map online because what better way to say “hasta la vista” to 2014 than with thousands of your new best friends?

downtown, festivals
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Race for the Prize

Looking to stay a little more active in 2015? Why not get a jump start on your New Year’s resolution by participating in the 2nd annual Opening Night Finale 5K? Before putting on your dancing shoes on New Year’s Eve get one last run in for a good cause.

Presented by INTEGRIS the run starts at 4 p.m., just east of Bicentennial Park downtown (where the Opening Night Finale takes place). This isn’t your normal race, though as there is also a costume contest and the prizes are original works of art. The best part? Every participant gets an Opening Night wristband. That is what we call a win-win.

fitness, running
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Best of 2014

It is time to say goodbye to 2014 and what a year it has been for OKC. Oklahoma City celebrated its 125th birthday, the Thunder had another great season, pro soccer came to OKC, GE announced a huge project in our town and much, much more.   

This time of the year is filled with “Best of Lists.” Best of music, best of movies, best of television … you get the idea. So why not us? So here are our favorite posts of the past year. Below is a good example of what this blog is all about so you can easily share with your friends and show them why this blog is such a good and entertaining resource. Consider it a “Here-are-five-important-things-a-newbie-to-OKC-needs-to-know” list:

  • Trails Without Tribulations- Oklahoma City has an extensive and impressive trail system for outdoor enthusiasts.
  • A Work of Art- From our world-class art museum to many festivals, art is an important part of life in OKC.
  • Live on the Music- OKC is melting pot of music. Everyone from the Flaming Lips to Garth Brooks and jazz pioneer Charlie Christian have called OKC home. Live music can be found all over the metro on any given night.
  • Par for the Course- With more than 3,000 hours of sunlight each year and more than 33 courses in metro OKC alone, golf is a hidden recreational gem in the Sooner State.
  • Show Off Oklahoma City to Visitors- Oklahoma City is home to some amazing attractions and museums.

Always remember our blog is a resource for you. Never hesitate to hit us up on Facebook or Twitter with questions or ideas. All our posts are also tagged by topic so you can easily find past blogs for information, everything from attractions to downtown and much more.

So with that we bid 2014 a fond farewell. Stay tuned because we have a sneaky suspicion that 2015 will be even better.

museums, music, outdoor recreation, arts and culture, attractions, golf
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: December 30, 2014 - January 5, 2015

Tuesday, December 30
OKC125; All day; Downtown OKC Underground; 990-2448; Admission is free.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Portland Trailblazers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.

Wednesday, December 31
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Opening Night Finale 5k; 4 p.m.; Bicentennial Park; 270-4848; $35 to participate.
Charlotte Checkers vs. Oklahoma City Barons; 6 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.
Opening Night; 7 p.m.; Downtown OKC; 270-4848; $10 at the event.
Phoenix Suns vs. Oklahoma City Thunder; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.

Thursday, January 1
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
The Book of Mormon; 7:30 p.m.; Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker; 297-2584; Ticket prices vary.

Friday, January 2
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 11 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Washington Wizards vs. Oklahoma City Thunder; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.
The Book of Mormon; 8 p.m.; Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker; 297-2584; Ticket prices vary.

Saturday, January 3
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
The Book of Mormon; 2 & 8 p.m.; Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker; 297-2584; Ticket prices vary.

Sunday, January 4
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
The Book of Mormon; 2 & 7 p.m.; Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker; 297-2584; Ticket prices vary.
Charlotte Checkers vs. Oklahoma City Barons; 4 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.

Monday, January 5
OKC125; All day; Downtown OKC Underground; 990-2448; Admission is free.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.

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Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Last minute gifts made easy…

There is one shopping day left before the big day. Wait … ONE DAY?! We are still running around picking up last-minute gifts. If you are still searching for the perfect gift or stocking stuffers for your favorite people, consider stocking up on some local flair so your loved ones can rep the 405 in 2015. If you hadn’t noticed the people of OKC have a lot of pride in our city so it is easy to find OKC clothes, art, coffee mugs and just about anything you can think of. In fact, here are 5 boutiques that offer great OKC-themed gifts. Of course this isn’t an exhaustive list. Check out this list for a great list of retail in OKC.  Also if we missed your favorite place let us know by posting in the comments or hitting us up on Facebook or Twitter.

  • Shop Good- Located off Automobile Alley on 9th St., Shop Good offers clothing and home goods with a local spin. Plus the donate part of their profits to local charities.
  • Plenty Mercantile- A great shopping destination in Automobile Alley with an eclectic variety of goods you won’t find anywhere else.
  • Red Dirt Emporium- Their mission statement is simple, introducing locals and visitors alike to the best Oklahoma has to offer. Everything from clothes to music, art and more. Red Dirt Emporium is located in Bricktown.
  • Painted Door- Located in the heart of Bricktown the Painted Door has been a staple of local shopping for more than 20 years in OKC.
  • On a Whim-  On a whim is located in Classen Curve on offers one-of-kind clothing, housewares and gifts for all ages.
local goods, retail, shopping
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Share the story of OKC

We love to show off our city to out-of-town guests and there’s no better time than the holidays. Once you finish your holiday feast, head out to explore some of the exciting activities in the city.

  • Treat the whole family to an unforgettable experience at the Myriad Botanical Gardens & Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory.  We love the tranquil setting and the out-of-this-world playground area, but our favorite activity during the holidays has to be the ice-skating rink. Hours for the ice rink have been extended throughout the holiday season.     
  • Science Museum Oklahoma, one of our favorite destinations for family fun, houses so many hands-on science experiments that we have a hard time choosing where to start. From the Tinkering Garage and Gadget Trees to daily shows in the planetarium and dome theater, the museum allows your inner child to run wild.
  • We love to share the history of our great state, and the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is the perfect locale to take an inside peek at the spirit, passion and grit symbolized by the American West. There are exhibits for the tikes, too, including the Chuckwagon and Prosperity Junction.
  • Come on, the wild is calling! Did you know the Oklahoma City Zoo & Botanical Gardens ranks among the top three family-friendly zoos in the nation? If you haven’t visited in a while, check it out. 2014 has been an exciting year as the zoo celebrated 110 years. 2015 is sure to be just as exciting as with the expected arrival of a baby elephant before the end of the year.
  • The 45th Infantry Division Museum, the nation’s largest state-operated military history museum, offers an inside glance at Oklahoma’s military history. Stroll through Thunderbird Park to see more than 60 types of equipment, including tanks, artillery, personnel carriers and aircraft.
  • Boot-scoot over to Oklahoma City’s Historic Stockyards City, one of the largest livestock markets in the world, to immerse yourself in authentic cowboy culture. This unique district offers a glimpse into Oklahoma’s cowboy scene. Satisfy your hunger at Cattlemen’s Steakhouse, then head over to catch a live show at the Centennial Rodeo Opry.
  • Enter the Oklahoma History Center and let the fascinating lives of Oklahoma oil barons, pioneers, American Indians and Oklahoma’s famous citizens bring the past to life. From the mighty Land Run to nostalgic Route 66 lore and from the stirring Civil War to high-flying airplanes, there’s something for everyone at the Oklahoma History Center.
  • OKC 125: A Photography Exhibition provides an interesting perspective on downtown Oklahoma City. The exhibit features works by 125 individuals who captured their favorite downtown sites in 125 minutes.
museums, Myriad Botanical Gardens, outdoor recreation, restaurants, western heritage, zoo, adventure district, attractions, downtown
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Fun and games

For sports enthusiasts, Oklahoma City has plenty to offer this holiday season. The Oklahoma City Thunder plays at the Chesapeake Energy Arena tonight, Friday night and New Year’s Eve. The OKC Blue also takes the court on Friday at the Cox Convention Center. Don’t miss Family Fun Day as the OKC Barons take the ice to face the Charlotte Checkers on Sunday, Dec. 28. We can’t resist soft drinks and hot dogs and the opportunity to skate with the players following the game.  

thunder, basketball, hockey, live sporting events
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Skip the kitchen this Christmas …

If you are looking to skip the hustle and bustle of cooking Christmas dinner this year, visit one of the following restaurants that will be open on Christmas Day:

restaurants
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: December 23 - December 29, 2014

Tuesday, December 23
OKC125; All day; Downtown OKC Underground; 990-2448; Admission is free.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Portland Trailblazers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.

Wednesday, December 24
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.

Thursday, December 25
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.

Friday, December 26
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 11 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Charlotte Hornets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.
Los Angeles D-Fenders vs. Oklahoma City Blue; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, , 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.

Saturday, December 27
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Hosty Duo; 8 p.m.; Grandad’s, 317 NW 23rd St.; 604-0922; Admission is $5.

Sunday, December 28
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Charlotte Checkers vs. Oklahoma City Barons; 4 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Oklahoma City Thunder; 6 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.

Monday, December 29
OKC125; All day; Downtown OKC Underground; 990-2448; Admission is free.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.

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Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun

If you are a regular reader of this blog (if you aren’t you should be) then you know 2014 was a pretty big year for OKC.  2014 marked the 125th anniversary of our great city’s founding. Yes the town born in a single day (true story) celebrated its Quasquicentennial. Oh, and what a 125 years it has been. From land runs and rugged wildcatters looking for oil to the Oklahoma City Thunder and construction of the 50-story Devon Tower, our fair city has seen some things. While the city continues to evolve in dynamic new ways, one thing stays the same: the people. The original settlers of the city claimed their lands on April 22, 1889, and did so with an independent and entrepreneurial streak that lives on in the citizens to this day. With the land run, Oklahoma City has a history and a founding that is truly unlike any other city. People from around the country gathered on one day to take a chance, start a new life and work together to build a city from scratch. That wildcatter spirit and sense of teamwork is still at the heart of OKC 125 years later.

So as 2014 draws to a close, we wanted one last chance to look at some of our favorite history posts from the past year. These posts help tell the story of our city but there are many chapters yet to be written. You can also access the history posts on your own here.

history, oklahoma city history
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways.

125 Reasons We Love OKC from Greater OKC Chamber on Vimeo.

As you can tell, we have been pretty fired up to celebrate OKC’s 125th birthday all year long. You’ve heard of birthday parties and even birthday weeks, we made it a birthday year. In fact, we came up with 125 reasons we love Greater OKC and put them in this little video. Give it a look and be sure to share with your friends, family, peers, pets or even that weird neighbor next door. Help us spread how awesome of a city we live in. Of course, OKC is so awesome there are a lot more than 125 great things to talk about. What do you love about OKC? Leave it the comments or hit us up on Facebook or Twitter. We want to hear from you!

attractions, oklahoma city
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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