Thursday, November 10, 2011

Worse than West End, more like off the deep end

Watch my years. Ten years from now, Bricktown will be nothing more than the redneck hub of downtown OKC. Mickey Mantle's and very few other upscale eateries will survive, yet they will be outposts of culture in a district dominated by metal green roofs, Bass Pro fishin shops, Toby Keith's crappy restaurant, more chains galore, House of Bedlam, and a BUNCH of highly-lucrative parking lots. The parking lots will unfortunately remain lucrative because rednecks will still be fooled into thinking Bricktown is somehow "classy" but nobody else will be fooled. The crowd at Mickey Mantle's will remain the "old days" when Bricktown was still only marginally tacky (ie., now).

The only good things that will give it a glimmer of hope (to transform into a real urban district) going forward is its proximity to Deep Deuce and the ACM. Did ACM make a bad decision in choosing Bricktown over Film Row or other downtown districts? How do they and other people TRYING to improve Bricktown feel about the grip of the parking mafia?

I think in a decade we'll see a Bricktown that, while not much different from today, is remarkably different in that it has chosen its path--that ambiguity of the district that led to constant debate/questions/hope about its future (what will it be? where will it go? etc) will be gone. It will be officially the red-headed step child of downtown OKC, but I hardly doubt it will matter. Why would OKCers miss the opportunity we HAD there when I envision Deep Deuce, Midtown, Film Row, and others will all outperform our wildest expectations.

Oh and hey, at least there might be hope for a real C2S district as well, after all.


Doug Dawg said...

There's a bit too much of Chicken Little in this post for me to agree with its thrust, Nick. I'm not particularly pleased with the "House of Bedlam" approval, but that displeasure does not cause me to convert my thinking to thinking that (1) Bricktown is analogous with what occurred with Dallas' West End, (2) that this relatively small blip in Bricktown's "integrity" is a benchmark denoting the end of Bricktown in any sense of its nuances, or (3) that the sky is actually falling.

No good reason exists to go off the deep end when describing events that go against your or my way of thinking.

I'm not saying that you are wrong ... you will likely be alive 10 years from now for your tale of remorse to be proven true one way or the other and I will probably not be. If I am not, and if Bricktown remains a vibrant piece of the city, perhaps you will remember what I said in this small comment.

NR said...

Doug, what has been happening for the last few years? This isn't an isolated occurrence at all. Also, the West End analogy isn't new at all. Anytime flack is raised it comes across as a knee jerk reaction, but as strong as my words were chosen, I chose them for a reason. These are very real concerns that people have been bringing up for the last five years.

Evidently, we are now seeing the truth behind the downtown codes--they simply aren't strong, or clear, enough to prevent harmful suburban design. We thought we had great codes. Evidently, we don't..

As for ten years from now, I really hope I'm wrong. I really hope that some day Lower Bricktown is filled in and this Chris Johnson development is torn down. But it's not likely, at all. I'm trying to turn sentiment against these shoddy developments so that it becomes harder to do in the future, that is all we can do.

I can blast individuals all day long and they're going to continue to pass these projects either because they don't care, don't know what they're doing, or both. I don't give any wiggle room or forgiveness because there is no way that a serious urban design commission could have passed that project.

You Doug, however, have always been above punitive posts like mine here, and that's honorable. You've taken the high(est) road, I haven't here. Was this post un-called for or too harsh? I would say hardly, so that puts it somewhere in the middle. But my point is that I think SOMEONE needs to start putting the pressure on. I've given out way too many passes in the past. Passes are now a thing of the past. No longer after all the taxpayer resources we keep pumping into downtown over and over. I don't care about SR or Chris Johnson's interest, I care about the city and community's interest, which keeps being pushed aside.

Doug Dawg said...

Nick,like I said, you will be alive to see if your predictions are accurate but I will not likely be. I've been wrong before. You will be there 10 years from now to tell the truth and about how your dire predictions about Bricktown turned out, made 10 years earlier.

Of course, I may also be wrong ... I may be alive 10 years from now. If so, we will both see what Bricktown is like in 2021. If so, I will buy you a beer, in Bricktown, of course.