Sunday, March 2, 2014

Midtown - Carless Rating #8

With all of the walkability ratings that we've done here at Carless In OKC, there's one glaring omission when you consider that we live downtown, and that's Midtown. 

Carless Rating: Midtown - 21/25

Midtown is our home base. It is one of the closest districts to our apartment building, with an array of restaurant options, most of which are super affordable. Our favorites (so far) are Irma's and Boulevard - we've got a thing for home cooking, being recent transplants from the South. Our closest TimeCar location is in Midtown, in in the parking lot of Brown's Bakery. We can have drink at our favorite bar, McNellie's, where the beer list never fails to astound us, and the atmosphere is bustling and cozy. There's not one but two bakeries in Midtown, Brown's (where I like to buy donuts), and the amazing Prairie Thunder Baking Company. At Prairie Thunder, one can eat a delicious breakfast or lunch (we've only eaten breakfast there so far, and it's SO tasty), pick out a delectable dessert pastry (the almond croissants always call my name), and then take home a loaf of their fresh-baked bread, which is delicious, rustic, and made without any preservatives. Yes please!

Prairie Thunder Baking Company

You've heard us harp repeatedly on the necessity of a downtown full-service grocery store, and if we had our choice, we'd put that store in Midtown. It's the perfect location, and there's already a good bit of development going on in the area, so it would be a very natural part of the growth and diversification that's happening there. 

We're still making the rounds in Midtown. I'm anxiously awaiting my first trip to Waffle Champion, and one of these days I'll finally have a bison burger from Kaiser's. Tell us about some of your favorite places in Midtown! We would love your suggestions. 

McNellie's Pub
And now for the walkability rating!

Midtown is located just about half a mile from our apartment (actually less, because we take a shortcut), which would get an A rating for distance.
The walk to and within Midtown gets a B rating for pedestrian infrastructure. We are able to take safe, well-maintained sidewalks all the way to Midtown. There are usually crosswalks and crossing signals when we need them, but the pedestrian infrastructure isn't always very ADA-accessible. 

Midtown has a good array of transportation options. There's obviously the road and car infrastructure, with the added bonus of the roundabout at Classen and 10th, which drivers seem to be figuring out a little more every day. Bus route 5 runs through the area, and Bus route 4 to a lesser extent. There are also sidewalks for pedestrians, but no bike lanes. The roads are also fairly narrow in the area, so it doesn't seem like the safest place to bike, although the roads leading into and out of Midtown are wider. I'll rate Midtown a B for transportation options. 
The land use in Midtown is good, and seems to be getting better. A lot of older buildings are being repurposed, and the density is fairly high in the residential areas. There are some areas that could be developed to make the land use even better; the area where the holiday pop-up shops were held would make a fantastic small park area (I'm having a total Leslie Knope moment here - there's a pit and everything). Land use in Midtown gets a B.
I love the atmosphere in Midtown! It feels like a special little community within the city, but I would, however, like to see Midtown start its own regular, monthly event like Automobile Alley's Shop Hop, Plaza District's Live on the Plaza, or Premiere on Film Row. Midtown's aesthetic also adds to the atmosphere with its classy vintage vibe. Midtown's atmosphere gets a B - that A is totally attainable in the future with a little more community involvement! The holiday pop-up shops were a great event and really demonstrated the potential of Midtown to host its own monthly shindig. (I just realized something: does H & 8th count as being in Midtown? To me, it's not the same. The Hudson & 8th St strip is its own little district as far as I'm concerned, and I'm ANXIOUSLY awaiting more development there. I'm talking about something in the area of the pop-up shops.)

More of this, please!

 Overall, Midtown gets a solid 21 out of 25! All the elements are there for Midtown to score even higher, so let's all support and encourage the district so that they'll know that we want more Midtown!


  1. Great blog. I've lived OKC for years, raised a family here, and this is one thing that continually bothers me - the lack of walkable spaces that we have. I love all the restaurants in the midtown area.

    1. Thank you! Midtown is definitely one of our favorite places, particularly because it is in walking distance of our building in downtown. Now if only there was a grocery store...