With Tulsa being in an oil-rich region it meant that there is some magnificent architecture all over the place. There’s lots of building from the early 20th century with the sort of amazing detail that isn’t seen much nowadays. The Boston Avenue Church is located slightly out-of-town but was worth the walk. It was recommended to me by the couple I met in one of the bars yesterday. Otherwise I probably wouldn’t have found the place. I really like looking at sports stadia. Indoor arenas, especially the more modern variety, tend to have a boring generic look though. Not the one in Tulsa though. This arena was designed by Cesar Pelli, the architect behind the Petronas Towers in Malaysia.
While walking around yesterday, I spotted a large mural painted on a brick wall. My immediate thought was something to do with wondering why Joe Strummer would be on a Tulsa wall. It was actually Woody Guthrie, someone who the Clash front man bore a resemblance too, quite probably deliberately. Up until a few years ago I’d never heard of Woody Guthrie. I then watched the excellent Wilco and Billy Bragg documentary and subsequent album, Mermaid Avenue, that paid homage to the legendary singer-songwriter. I had no idea that Woody was from Oklahoma so it was a pleasant surprise to see a small museum honouring him in Tulsa. There were some nice exhibits to look at and a good documentary with clips from artists influenced by Woody, which was almost a who’s who of modern popular music.
By the time I got down to the Arkansas River it had began to rain and the area didn’t look too great in this weather. I headed back to the hotel for a swim in the indoor pool. This weekend there was some sort of cheer leading competition taking place at the Tulsa Convention Center and the hotel was heaving with visitors. Wherever you turned there seemed to be kids and parents. While I understand that cheer leading does have a bit of sporting merit, I found it slightly disturbing to see children, maybe about five or six years of age, wearing enough hairspray to add a foot to their height, covered in bows and plastered in makeup. Some of the little brats were giving it the full-on diva behaviour. I know it’s not quite as bad as those child beauty contests but without sounding old-fashioned, what’s wrong with gymnastics or trampolining as a sporting hobby? The pool had been taken over by these kids and their equally loud and annoying parents, so much so that I spent about five minutes in the hot tub and before feeling compelled to leave.
This evening I managed to find a couple of decent enough bars containing friendly random locals to talk to. On the way back to the hotel I was going to stop into a place showing professional rodeo on the big screen. Granted rodeo is probably more of a sport than a sideshow activity such as cheer leading, but I decided not to stay in the hostelry. Quite a few of the clientele were regaled in cowboy hats in a non-ironic way. Much like a pool full of screaming cheerleading youngsters and their rowdy parents, I just didn’t feel as though I fitted in. Also the event was sponsored by Wrangler. I thought they went bust in the 1990s!