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Posts tagged ‘University of Oklahoma’

Food Friday: The Hive

So I mentioned in my review of The Bookmark Cafe that my daughter, Mae, worked here on her first semester at OU. The Hive is a small cafe in a larger complex called Cross Village. In this same building is Acre Provisions, a grocery store just for college kids, and Basic Knead, a walk-up restaurant that serves pizza and pasta. All 3 spaces run together on the ground floor with apartment-like dorm rooms above.

The Hive is set up the same way The Bookmark Cafe is- they serve different coffee drinks along with light snacks. There is plenty of space to sit, not only indoors but in the outdoors area as well. They are also in Starbucks “We Proudly Serve” program, so you will get drinks like you find at Starbucks. You will also find students working here as well. All of the times we stopped by in the fall of 2021, we had great service and the drinks were always good. I will also give them 5 strips of bacon. They are located south of Lindsay Street on Asp in the Cross Village complex (southeast of the towers). Can’t really see it from the road, if you find Acre Provisions, it’s around the corner.

Now a bit of the history behind The Hive- Cross Village was opened in the fall of 2018. It was a new concept at OU, the dorm apartments were on the top floors while the ground level was just for restaurants, shops, and other businesses. This was originally to cater to upper-class students at OU. Cross Village is further south of the well-known dorm buildings Walker, Adams, and Couch, so the older students weren’t as close to the younger freshmen. Cross Village took the place of the original Cross Center, “The Men’s Quadrangle” dormitory built in 1952. Cross Center had fallen into disrepair and was mostly used as storage, so then a plan was developed in 2016 to replace the older buildings. Cross Village was supposed to be a public-private collaboration but by the end of the first full school year there were clear problems. Cross Village never filled to full occupancy with only 30 percent of the units rented out to students. With a legal dispute now on the horizon, all restaurants and shops were closed on July 30, 2019. Over the next two school years, there was plenty of legal wrangling and by May 2021 a new entity stepped up to help the university run Cross Village. To get the occupancy up, freshmen were now allowed to move into the new complex. After a two-year absence, all restaurants and shops were able to reopen. The Hive has stayed busy throughout this time, catering to students who live on campus. (If you want a full run down on all the legal and financial information, just Google it. I could write a book with all that went down in the building of Cross Village.)

Food Friday: The Bookmark Cafe

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you would know that my contributing writer Mae has been absent. Well, she had to get through a rigorous high school schedule and now that she has graduated (PC Pirate class of ’21) she is studying at the great University of Oklahoma (proud 3rd generation Sooner). To help pay for this new adventure in education, she is working for food services as a barista. Her first semester she spent at The Hive, a coffee shop on south campus (more on it in another post) but now she is at The Bookmark Cafe in the first lower level of Bizzell Memorial Library.

This is just a small coffee shop, very similar to the ones you see in bookstores, where they have coffee, lattes, frappuccinos, along with light sandwiches and pastries. Last Sunday was my first visit and I was impressed, the space that had once been where the newspapers and magazines were kept was transformed into a study lounge with separate rooms for groups. Bookmark Cafe has a large area with tables and booths for group or individual study. They are part of Starbucks “We Proudly Serve” program, where they do serve up the same drinks that you can find at a Starbucks. Many of the pastries are cooked on site with the salads and sandwiches coming from Cow On the Fly. I didn’t get a chance to try any of the food yet, because of the snowstorm the previous week, the food delivery hadn’t come in yet. The double chocolate chip frappuccino that I had was awesome though. The staff is all students, they were all friendly and happy to be at Bookmark.

Now for some history- there was nothing like this when I was a student at OU in the early 1990’s (BA in Journalism, ’94). The coffee shop craze hadn’t hit Oklahoma yet. I guess there were some around but to me, coffee was just something that my grandparents drank. I had never heard of a frappuchino, latte, or macchiato. Bizzell Memorial Library was built in 1928 for the growing university and expanded, first in 1958, then again in 1982. Lower level 1 is part of the 1982 addition. Like I mentioned earlier, it held the periodicals. I used to sit at the microfilm readers and journey through the past with their newspaper collection. The Bookmark Cafe officially opened for the spring semester 1998 to give students a quiet place to study. The official grand opening was held on February 11, 1998 (I didn’t know this information until Wednesday of this week as I was researching, so the fact I’m publishing this on the same date 24 years later is just a coincidence). In August of 2013 construction began to transform the space into the study area it is now, Bookmark Cafe was temporarily moved but returned to its now larger location in September 2014 with a ceremony held on November 7, 2014, to mark the reopening of the lower level. In March 2020, it closed, not to reopen until January 2022.

Overall I will give them 5 strips of bacon, just for the fact that my child works there, but I would like to try more of their menu items. Project for the rest of the semester. So if you find yourself in Norman and near campus, stop into the historic library and grab a treat.

Weekend Fun by Mae

My weekends can go one of three ways.  Some weekends are dull as a rock, sitting on my butt watching cat videos for two days straight.  Other weeks I am a busy bee, running around over fifty miles or more away from home.  Then there’s the weekends I spend doing one of the above with Bubbles.  Considering that, it is no surprise that I have been to many of the recent events going on in our state. This includes; Septemberfest in Oklahoma City, OU vs Tulsa football game in Norman, and of course, the State Fair of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City.  They were all super fun in their own unique way, making me more than happy to go again next year.

Septemberfest

In 2007 I went to Septemberfest for the first time.  It was a different kind of experience that I had no intention of forgetting. There was a lot of excitement in the air as I rode the tractor train with other kids my age.  I walked along in front of the Governor’s Mansion, stopping to pet the Governor Brad Henry’s huge dog.  There was free stuff everywhere, and craft tables inside the Oklahoma History Museum.  The only part I didn’t like was the civil war cannon with a blast that shook the ground.  (They could have told me what they were doing!!!)  But even this wasn’t going to ruin my fun.  I went again this year, this time with my friend Bubbles. Just when I expected everything to be the same, Bubbles asked, ” What’s with the fence?”  I looked up to see that nothing was around the Governor’s Mansion.  As it turns out the festivities were moved across NW 23rd Street to the parking lot of the Oklahoma History Center.  They had a petting zoo, where I held a baby duck, pet a donkey, and touched a horses nose. Bubbles had a good time too, as me and her talked to and pet the fur-bearing creatures.  We wandered over to the food company area, getting free samples such as chocolate milk and beef sticks (Which are awesome!!!).  We went into the Oklahoma History Center to try some of the craft stuff, where we made a deer out of cups, and raccoon puppets out of paper bags.  When we were done in there, we went back out the parking lot to the Shape Your Future challenge table. Bubbles decided not to do the challenges, but I dominated them.  We stopped to get some Kona Ice before we left.

The bathrooms were in the Oklahoma History Center, they were clean.  My bathroom review for Septemberfest is five toilets.

riding barrel train

Mae riding in the barrel train at Septemberfest in 2007.

OU vs.Tulsa

I started playing the clarinet for my school band in sixth grade, and ever since then I have wanted to be in the Pride Of Oklahoma at The University of Oklahoma.  So when we got the opportunity to go to the OU vs.Tulsa game in Norman, I jumped to it because I wanted to hear the Pride in person.  Before the game the Pride parades around campus, then gives a brief concert.  There’s nothing better than hearing “Boomer Sooner” being played by over 300 musicians.  Over at the stadium me and my mom found our seats in the south end zone after we stopped and got some lunch.  The hot dogs, also known as Ballpark Dogs or Stadium Dogs, are and always have been the crowning jewel of an OU game.  The Super Pretzels aren’t bad either, despite being extremely salty.  OU scored the first touchdown, and even if we did win, I still think the Tulsa players where slipping fifties to the refs for some of those plays.  Both bands did an amazing job.  For such a small band Tulsa did a very good job.  The game itself was an experience in its own right, and the atmosphere was one of excitement and pride.  I am truly excited to be a part of the Sooner Nation.

I used not one but two bathrooms while I was on campus, the library bathroom and the south end zone stadium bathroom.  The library bathroom was in the newer section but still kind of small.  The bathroom in the south end zone was clean and smelled nice, even being used by so many people.  My rating for both bathrooms is five toilets.

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The Pride of Oklahoma on Owen Field, 2015.

State Fair

I have been going to the fair every year since I was just a few months old.  My parents like to go when the crowds are low, so this year we went on a rainy Sunday morning. The rides weren’t operating because of the lightning, but everything else was open.  I had deep-fried cookie dough for breakfast, which is my new favorite thing.  It is crispy on the outside, but warm and gooey on the inside.  Most of the buildings had fun stuff inside them.  We went into the livestock barns, where a sheep scared me (sorry, I’m a city girl).  We also watched the cows in the show ring and saw the new babies born to the goats and pigs.

I did use the bathroom in the animal barn, it only rates three toilets.  It’s big but was dirty and smelled bad.

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Cute sheep at the fair, 2015.

Mae

AAA Glidden Auto Tour in Oklahoma

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1929 Duesenberg at the Masonic Temple in Guthrie, OK, 2015.

Just when I think it’s going to be a boring week, I get word over the weekend that the American Automobile Association’s Glidden Automobile Tour is in town.  It is being hosted by the Okie Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America all around the metro area August 30- September 4, 2015.  Today I went to the stop in Guthrie, OK at the Masonic Temple and being a car nut, it was totally worth the trip.

The cars featured are all pre-1943 and still in running order, they do have to drive to their destinations.  I passed a few around town while running some errands, so I knew I was going to be in for a treat.  The cars started arriving in Guthrie around 11a.m., most were still getting there when I showed up.  Do you know how cool it is to have an old Ford following you through the streets of downtown Guthrie?  I just stood on the corner and appreciated the rolling works of art as they arrived.  There is just a sound with these old cars that you can’t recreate with a newer vehicle.  And since some of these cars had hand controls for the gas, it was fun to see how smoothly the owners operated controls.

There were of course the usual Fords- Model A and Ts, some sweet Chevrolets, a few Buicks, and a couple Cadillacs.  But I like the different stuff, the cars you don’t always see.  My favorite was the show stopper 1929 Duesenberg (shown above).  There is nothing in the world I like better than Duesenbergs and have appreciated many in museums, so to have this one drive up to the show was just the coolest thing I’ve ever seen.  There was a beautiful butter yellow 1937 Cord convertible, a red 1913 White speedster, a 1914 Dodge Brothers touring car, a 1931 Oakland, and a 1914 Chandler.  I got to talk to the owner of a 1938 Chrysler Royal Convertible Coupe, it had been a barn in Texas until 1963 when it was restored to original.

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The gold 1938 Chrysler Royal, Guthrie, OK, 2015.

The best part about the rolling car show is that it’s in town for 3 more days.  On September 2, 2015, the cars will be displayed downtown Oklahoma City on Broadway in what’s known as Automobile Alley (Broadway between NW 4th and NW 13th, more on the name some other day) between 10a.m.- 2p.m.  Then on September 3, 2015, they are traveling to Chickasha, OK to be displayed at the Grady County Fairgrounds from 11:30a.m.- 1p.m.  Last day to see them will be on Friday, September 4, 2015, when the cars go to the University of Oklahoma and are on display at the Lloyd Noble Center from 10a.m.- 2p.m.

Like I said it is totally worth a visit even if you’re not a car person.  You will see automotive brands that don’t exist any longer.  And for a little history, this is the first time the tour has been in Oklahoma City since June 24, 1910.  Yeah, you read that right 105 years ago.  The American Automobile Association started these endurance races in 1904 by Charles Glidden to promote the use of the automobile.  The races continued until 1913 when they stopped because they were too popular.  In 1946 the tours were restarted and continue to this day.

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A Plymouth with a Packard, Guthrie, OK, 2015

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An Auburn with a Dodge Brothers, Guthrie, OK, 2015.

Taking 2 Pre-Teens to the Fred Jones Jr. Art Museum

A few weeks ago I decided to do something crazy, I took my daughter, Mae, and her best friend, Bubbles, to the Fred Jones Jr. Art Museum in Norman.  If you don’t know Norman, the museum is located on the campus of the University of Oklahoma, it sits on the southeast corner of Boyd Street and Elm Avenue.  Now my daughter had been there before, a few years ago they had a temporary exhibit of Disney animation but this was Bubbles first visit.

The museum has an interesting mix of art work, from African statues, to Japanese woodblock prints, to American Indian pottery, to the masters like Van Gogh, Renoir and Monet.  On this trip they were also having a limited time showing of the works of Oscar B. Jacobson (more on him later).  The girls at least stopped and looked at most of the exhibits, there were some they liked more than others.  The contemporary art on the lower floor was really what they liked the most, especially the interactive exhibits like the one that you blow into and the art changes.  I was able to have some fun at their expense when I went into the gallery that apparently had a sign saying that the material might not be suitable for younger people.  I didn’t see the sign and was halfway down the gallery when a painting with male parts was right in front of me.  Now the girls had been behind me and one of them let out a gasp, before I knew it they were both running out of the gallery.  I tried and tried to get them to come back (all while laughing at them) but they both had red cheeks from embarrassment.

The best part to me was the glass displays on the main floor as well as the exhibit of Oscar B. Jacobson.  I had heard about him but never had the chance to see his work until this visit.  Why would I have heard of him, I’m no art expert but I am a history lover and I knew he was the first director of the School of Art at the University of Oklahoma.  He took over that position in 1916 and held it until 1954.   He also founded the University of Oklahoma Museum of Art in 1936 in what is now called Jacobson Hall on the North Oval of the campus.  He was a painter who specialized in southwestern landscapes.  I’m no art critic and can only draw stick people on a good day, but his work really stood out to me for his use of brighter colors to showcase the scenery of Oklahoma, Colorado, and New Mexico.  I’m not big on landscapes but these were really nice.

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I know that some of you might want to know, why the name changed?  It became the Fred Jones Jr. Memorial Art center in 1971 after Mr. and Mrs. Fred Jones (yeah, the Ford people here in OKC) donated the money for the museum.  It officially became the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art in 1992.  In 2005 a new addition, the Lester Wing, named for Howard and Mary Lester, was added and in 2011, the Stuart Wing was opened as well.  So who was Fred Jones Jr.?  He was the son of the aforementioned Jones’s.  He had been killed in a plane crash in Arkansas around Christmas 1950.  He was a senior at OU after serving in World War II.

So what is my recommendation any kid who is interested in art will like this museum, no matter the age.  But I think even then waiting until they are maybe around 8 would be good.  Anything younger than that and they might get bored real quick.  It was a nice, quiet visit.  The staff was very friendly and more than happy to talk about the artwork on display.  Best part of the whole trip was- it’s Free.  That’s right, free.  Thanks to a gift from the OU Athletics Department, it is free for everyone.

 

Address: 555 Elm Avenue, Norman, OK

 

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