Category Archives: Oklahoma

Listening to HearHere audio storytelling travel app’s podcasts through Oklahoma and Texas panhandle

Say you’re driving through the middle of nowhere — or so it seems — and wondering where you are. HearHere, a travel app featuring 1-2 minute (about my attention span) audio stories linked to the places you are driving through, can help with that, as we’ve learned today while driving through western Oklahoma. Who knew that El Reno, OK has an annual Fried Onion Burger Festival? Or Clinton, Oklahoma has a Route 66 Museum (not to be confused with the National Route 66 Museum we chanced upon further down interstate 40 in Elk City) and a well-preserved downtown lined with old red brick buildings. Or that Watonga, OK is home of Clarence Nash, the voice of Donald Duck? We learned a lot too about Native Americans, tornados, wind farms, cattle drives.

Scissortale Park, OKC (the scissor-tailed flycatcher is the Oklahoma state bird)

The only problem: the podcasts can end up making your long drive even longer because they frequently made me want to get off the Interstate and see what the podcast was talking about. HearHere is the baby of actor Kevin Costner. After listening to a few audio stories, we bought a year long subscription for $35.

Here’s the NYTimes write up: When contemplating a road trip, any number of images might come to mind — and Kevin Costner probably isn’t one of them. Yet that may be about to change. The actor and director is a co-founder of HearHere, an app that uses your location and interests to play audio snippets (some narrated by Mr. Costner) about the history, culture and natural wonders of the places you’re driving through. There are morsels about the things you see (like landmarks) and the things you don’t, like the people who walked the land before you. The app, which rolled out last year, more recently announced an expansion, blossoming from road trip stories set on the West Coast to more than 8,700 stories across the United States, including details about the early history of Portland, Maine; the burning of Washington by British troops in 1814; and the first racially integrated housing in Philadelphia. Available only on iOS. Cost: Free for the first five stories; after that, $29.99 for 30-day unlimited access; $35.99 for a one-year unlimited subscription; $69.99 for three years.

The sculpture is a take on the weird tail of the Oklahoma state bird.

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Filed under Oklahoma, Texas, Uncategorized

Sheesh Mahal, Zorba’s, Cafe Kakao, automobile alley– Oklahoma City

We are here for a funeral, sadly. But a girl’s gotta eat and so we have. Last night it was Greek good at Zorba’s and tonight very good Indian/Pakistani meal at Sheesh Mahal on May Avenue. On Friday, we had very good Guatemalan food at Cafe Kakao, then stopped to visit little pockets of coolness including the Paseo arts district, The Plaza area, Heritage Hills (huge old oil baronesque homes) and automobile alley, old brick car showrooms turned into restaurants and high end design stores including coffee slingers and for good. We are pretty sure we had a conversation (about sex toys no less) with Wayne coyne, lead singer of The flaming Lips, who was painting the sidewalk pink and green outside his psychedelic- colored warehouse in automobile alley. And then to Johnnies for one more classic Oklahoma City meal, burgers and fries. No stop in OK CY is complete with out visiting the memorial to the victims of the 1995 federal building bombing downtown, which we did. br /> 2015/02/img_0828.jpg 2015/02/img_0836.jpg 2015/02/img_0835.jpg

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Big Step – trying out a new BBQ join in Kansas City! Oklahoma Joe’s

HomeScreen_8-21g short bottom.jpgAfter considerable family debate, we have decided to try out a new BBQ joint tomorrow in Kansas City during our annual Christmas drive to western Kansas. This is a big deal since the debate for years has been solely between Gates and Bryant’s – with Gates usually winning.

Not that we aren’t happy with Gates, but we’ve been hearing considerable buzz about Oklahoma Joe’s which contrary to the name was actually started by two Kansas City champion amateur bbq-ers. The Oklahoma name comes from their initial partnership with the owner of something called Oklahoma Joe’s Smoker Company (the owner’s first/middle name was “Joe Don”…classic) and their decision to open their first bbq join in 1996 in Stillwater Oklahoma, home of Oklahoma State University and not incidentally, where my stepdaughter spent her early childhood. Apparently the second Oklahoma Joe’s opened soon after beside a gas station in Kansas City. The first one closed, and additional Oklahoma Joe’s restaurants opened in Kansas City. (I guess by then it was too late to call them “Kansas City Joe’s.) Stillwater seems to have an affinity for restaurants that include the name Joe’s — the only other restaurant I remember there was called Eskimo Joe’s, which opened in 1975 and vowed to serve the coldest beer in Stillwater. Hence the name.

Here’s more about Oklahoma Joe’s below. Wish us luck!

Oklahoma Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que has earned local, regional, national, and even international attention for the quality of its barbecue and the uniqueness of its original gas station location.

Oklahoma Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que has earned local, regional, national, and even international attention for the quality of its barbecue and the uniqueness of its original gas station location. It has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, USA Today, The Denver Post, The Chicago Sun-Times, Vanity Fair, numerous airline magazines, local magazines, and The Kansas City Star.  

Oklahoma Joe’s has also been featured on local and national television programs, including Anthony Bourdain’s “A Cook’s Tour” and “No Reservations”, the Travel Channel’s “Man vs. Food”, among many others.

In 2009, Anthony Bourdain named Oklahoma Joe’s as one of “Thirteen Places to Eat Before You Die” in an article for Men’s Health magazine.

Oklahoma Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que has been the Zagat #1 Rated barbecue restaurant in Kansas City every year since 2004. Zagat also named Joe’s famous sandwich, the Z-Man, the Best Sandwich in Kansas in its “50 States, 50 Sandwiches List”. In 2013, The Daily Meal website and USA Today both named Oklahoma Joe’s Kansas City’s ribs “America’s Best Ribs”.

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Filed under DINING, Kansas City, Oklahoma

Dark stormy night in Iowa/memories of Moore, Oklahoma and twister

Another dark and stormy night in Iowa after a surprisingly sunny day. The same weather as yesterday when a storm suddenly darkened the sky and tornados touched down near Des Moines. Fortunately no loss of life or serious damage reported. Unlike Moore Oklahoma where a tornado struck yesterday, killing 10 people. We stayed at a hotel in Moore in 2007 when we were attending my stepdaughter’s graduation from the u of Oklahoma in Norman. Even back then Moore was recovering from a 1999 tornado.

The weather was clear that day. But not four years earlier in Oklahoma City when we attended my stepdaughter’s high school graduation during a a tornado warning. And we were sitting outside on metal bleachers in a football stadium. The tornados had technically passed by graduation time but we still got rained on.

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Filed under DESTINATIONS - Iowa, Oklahoma