One of my favorite parts of Oklahoma City is the Paseo Arts District. It’s a really neat little cultural area full of fun shops and restaurants. But you could say that about a number of places. What makes the Paseo different? It’s difficult to put it into words. Part of it includes the events, workshops, and classes the Paseo offers. Part of it is the people themselves. And part of it is just the experience.
Located in Northwest Oklahoma City, the Paseo sits between Western and Walker and between 23rd street and 30th street. Most of the Paseo shops are found on Paseo St, which is a weird, short curve that starts at 30th and eventually becomes a part of 28th street before it hits Walker. Since most of OKC is built on a grid, the fact that this street curves around and doesn’t fit the norm immediately sits the tone for the area.
There are now 17 different art galleries in the Paso along with boutiques like Kathy’s, restaurants like the Paseo Grill and The Other Room, and even a theatre. What’s great is that you can park and walk to almost all of these different locations.
One of my favorite shops is Craig’s Emporium. Stepping into Craig’s is like stepping into another world. There are lanterns hanging from the ceiling, a waterfall in the back corner, a suit of armor against the wall, and much more. Craig’s offers jewelry, incense, candles, clothing, and so much more. They’re always getting in new items, too. Craig’s is my go-to place for unique gifts.
I love the amazing arts festivals and events the Paseo hosts. One, the Paseo Arts Festival, was just last weekend. The entire district is filled with artists from all over Oklahoma displaying their awesome paintings, sculptures, drawings, and other types of art. You’ll find some very unique pieces, and they’re all very reasonably priced. Another event is the Paseo First Friday Gallery Walk. Held the first Friday of every month, the Gallery Walk features some of the newest works from Paseo artists. You can walk between the different opening galleries all evening long, checking out some of the best new works, enjoying live entertainment, and even attend a wine tasting or two.
The businesses in the Paseo also offer different classes. A Jeweler’s Art, for example, offers a number of different classes in making your own jewelry. There are group and individual classes that start at the beginner level and go up to advanced. They also have a different metalsmith teach a class each month. If you’re not into jewelry, you might want to take an oil painting class at the Paseo Studio & Gallery or learn to make pottery at Paseo Pottery.
If you’re in OKC and looking for something to do, spend a few hours at the Paseo. Who knows, you may find that perfect piece of artwork you’ve been looking for. Find out more about the Paseo at www.thepaseo.com.
Other blogs about the Paseo:
Doug Dawgz has a great blog on the history of the Paseo District.
The News OK blog has an article on the Paseo being named one of America’s 10 Great Neighborhoods for 2010.
The Oklahoma City Area Real Estate blog has a few images of the Paseo.
Finally, the My Amicus Internship blog has a lot more images. They really show off how beautiful the Paseo area can be.