Why I Love Tulsa!
Moms from the Tulsa metro tell why they love living in Tulsa.
You can hear it echo all around town – it’s the topic of discussion at backyard barbeques, at the local Starbucks and in the school carpool lane – isn’t it great to live in Tulsa?! Our fair city has long been a fantastic place to raise a family, boasting a low cost of living, little traffic and a wealth of kid-friendly activities. But doesn’t it seem like Tulsa has recently become somehow, well, even greater? We’ve certainly been getting more national attention as of late. Major retail chains like Trader Joes, Costco and REI have taken notice and even the New York Times named Tulsa — where the livin’ is easy– as one of the top places to visit in 2015.
I chatted with some moms from the Tulsa metro area to ask them what they love about living and raising their children in T-town. Mindy Roe Galoob, a native Tulsan with two young boys, captured the essence of what she believes makes our city so special — a hopefulness she attributes to the gumption of our pioneering ancestors. She calls it the spirit of infinite possibility: “We can do anything!”
1. Rachel Hay
Occupation: Violinist, Tulsa Signature Symphony; Director and Teacher, Music Together of South Tulsa
Mom of: Ellen, 2.5 years and Baby Hay on the way at time of publication
Musician Rachel Hay loves Tulsa because of the music! Music reverberates in every corner of the city — from classical to jazz to country and rock. “Not very many cities of our size have two orchestras,” says Hay, whose husband is also a musician. Praising the varied nature of Tulsa’s music scene, she notes the family-friendly performance venues ranging from the big and more formal Performing Arts Center downtown to laid-back Guthrie Green (where her young daughter can be found hula-hooping on the lawn as her parents perform). Hay is also personally supportive of all the outreach that area musicians and their philanthropic backers do to encourage music appreciation in even the littlest Tulsans through no-cost programming at area schools and day cares.
2. Mindy Roe Galoob
Occupation: Director of Operations, Tulsa Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy
Mom of: Sam, 8 years; Isaac, 3.5 years
The Tulsa City-County library system of today makes the libraries Mindy Roe Galoob visited during her Tulsa childhood look like, well, child’s play. “The library system is so awesome now!” the non-profit guru exclaims. “There is so much programming; my family goes every week and we do whatever they have there…check out books, play games, do story time.” Praising the library’s innovation, Galoob calls some of the branches “nicer than Barnes and Noble” and certainly “much more accommodating for kids.”
tulsalibrary.org for branches, hours and events or to get your library card
3. Andrea Mohn
Occupation: Co-Owner, Antoinette Baking Co.
Mom of: Jill, 11 years; Ellie, 8 years
Baking queen Andrea Mohn loves watching the resurgence of downtown Tulsa — a revitalization she will soon have a hand in when the second location of her Brookside bakery Antoinette Baking Co. opens in the Brady District later this year. After working downtown for one of her very first jobs as a young adult, Mohn fell in love with the beautiful tall buildings but found the vibe dead after business hours. Calling Tulsa’s central business district “small, quaint and cool,” she delights in the fact that “people are finally seeing the wealth that is downtown.”
4. Natasha Gadiwalla
Occupation: Credit Analyst, AAON Inc.
Mom of: Athena, 7 years; Arianna, 4 years
Canadian transplant and world-traveler Natasha Gadiwalla loves visiting museums. It’s something she and her husband have always enjoyed doing on vacation and they now count themselves fortunate to have two fantastic, world-class art museums in their backyard. Funday Sunday at the Gilcrease and Second Saturday at the Philbrook are favorite weekend outings for Gadiwalla and her two daughters. “It makes for a fun family day,” Gadiwalla says. Plus, she adds, with super activities like crafts and scavenger hunts to make the museums accessible to even the littlest visitors, “the kids get to [really] experience the art.“ Another big perk, “it’s FREE!“
5. Jenelle Beavers
Mom of: Two girls ages 3 and 1
Area attorney Jenelle Beavers puts a voice to what many moms praise about Tulsa – “it’s just so easy to live here with kids!” Having previously lived in traffic-heavy, sprawling Washington DC, she marvels, “I can get from home to my daughters’ preschool in five minutes and then to work in another five minutes.”
Aside from the lack of bumper-to-bumper traffic, metro Tulsa is generally a breeze to navigate and most shops and restaurants readily welcome children. Whether it’s the River Parks she frequents with her family or their favorite ice cream spot, “everything is really accessible which makes everyone happier — me and the kids.”