Tuesday, May 8, 2012

1300 block east

The Restless Ribbon. Peoria. Technically, South Peoria Avenue in Tulsa Oklahoma. Stretching from Admiral Boulevard, south to 71st Street, Peoria was, and to some extent still is, much more than a strip of asphalt. Peoria was the main artery into the heart of Tulsa's Brookside area.The main avenue of culture, and counterculture, in the area. The place where something was always going on.
Hosting structures as diverse as oil baron's homes and museums, to public parks, gas stations and grocery stores, clothing stores, car dealers and tiny hamburger stands, Peoria feeds to a wide variety of homes, businesses, and recreational areas.
Establishments came and went. Many stayed. Names such as Pennington's, The Trade Winds, Git-N-Go, Shakey's, Safeway, KAKC and John Zink Company may be absent now, but will be recognisable to most who might have lived in the area. Others, such as C&F Racing Equipment, Don's Playboy Burgers, Der Weinerschnitzel, Chalmers Auto Parts, Rebel Jeans, Arthur Treacher's  and Green Renault might not ring as many bells, but are still a large part of Peoria History. More like Claud's , Moss Seat Covers, Ninde, Coney I-Lander , The Brook, City Veterinary and of course, Weber's Root Beer are still there and thriving.
Regrettably, save for a small clutch of trendy eateries, watering holes and boutique shops  in the heart of the Brookside district, Peoria just isn't "happening" like it used to. It now looks like any other street in a rapidly descending into third-world urban area.  But 'back in the day' , that stretch of concrete was a constant hub of activity. People came to do business. To eat. To cruise. To see and be seen. Just to drive around, hang out in the parking lots, listen to the radio and meet up with friends. Or maybe meet some new ones.
So hopefully, we can pay homage here to 'the Ribbon' . Through people's memories, anecdotes and photos, we can preserve the sociological and cultural history of  an iconic place and time in the city of Tulsa, and relive the good times, the likes of which shall never be seen again.

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