I’ve always been fascinated by what’s happening on the edge of town.
Maybe it’s because that’s where I grew up in a nearby community. Maybe it’s because there’s a part of me that misses the peace and quiet that comes with living on the outskirts.
Throughout this summer I tossed my camera bag in the passenger seat and went for drives beyond my midtown bubble to see what life is like along Tulsa’s city limits.
I dodged potholes and waved at farmers, dump truck drivers and bicyclists. I got to enjoy an evening summer breeze as it blew past the prairie.
In the southwest corner on West 91st Street, I talked to a tomato grower on her second-to-last day of business for the year. On the northside along 56th Street North, I spent time with a man who closed his indoor skatepark business due to the pandemic and was returning to his roots at an outdoor skatepark, where he pushed the limits of his 40-year-old body.
At the southern tip of our city near East 131st Street and South Sheridan Avenue, I admired the sun setting over a neighborhood pond as multiethnic residents strolled past on the sidewalk of the new housing edition. Another evening I spent time near 273rd East Avenue watching a deer eat in an east Tulsa field until the sky was too dark to capture another image.
To the west, much of our city’s border is currently under construction. A new Gilcrease Expressway expansion will soon be full of speeding commuters, where if they look to the east, they will see the BOK Tower peaking over trees.
It was nice to go for drives and explore a part of our city we normally pass through coming to and going from Tulsa.
Sept. 18 is 918 Day, a civic holiday celebrating all things Tulsa. Maybe these images will inspire you to get out and go for a ride and enjoy the views.