Tulsa's future - up in the air?
The city prepares for the new year ahead.
I saw a lot of movies this weekend. But really, what else was there to do? The city was paralyzed by a winter storm, which seems to be an annual event at this point.
I was visually stunned by “Avatar,” got my action fill with “Sherlock Holmes,” “It's Complicated” quenched my romantic comedy thirst and I got a big dose of thought-provoking drama with “Up in the Air.” You've probably seen the trailer, so I won't bore you with the details. But the basic premise is this: George Clooney plays a man who flies around the country and fires people. Now, there is a lot more to it than that, but you get the idea.
Over the course of the movie, Clooney travels to several cities (mostly Midwestern), each one introduced by showing an aerial shot of the city skyline. One of those cities just happened to be Tulsa. The scene doesn't last for long, and it wasn't a pivotal moment in the movie, but I was surprised to see it mentioned in this context. For the past couple of years, while the economy has been in the gutter, Tulsa, for the most part, has remained above water.
Perhaps the inclusion of Tulsa was more of a random choice. We seem to pop up in lots of movies and television shows (“Friends,” for example) for no reason whatsoever. But the aerial shot in the movie was the second reference to Tulsa in less than 30 minutes. The first one, when one character says to another, "You don’t want to spend Christmas stuck in Tulsa," was particularly surreal given the time of year and the weather.
But I digress.
Seeing our skyline in this movie, I felt so lucky that we were able to brave the economic storm and actually grow as a city while many others were in decline. And this is coming from someone (me) who actually lost a job during this recession. But despite all of that, I am glad that I am one of a relative few. Tulsa became confident in its growing role as a real American city in 2009, not simply the second-largest city in Oklahoma.
As we head into 2010, there are many things up in the air. That never changes. But the fact that Tulsa will continue to thrive isn’t one of them.
Happy New Year!