6 November 2004
Saturday spottings (everywhere a sign)
This being possibly the last really warm (middle 70s) Saturday until spring, I loaded up the CD player with Carolina beach music and hit the streets with the windows down.
Signs all over town are showing name changes. The Hilton Inn Northwest is mutating into a Crowne Plaza; Eckerd's drug stores have dropped their old logos, though relatively few have any CVS signage up.
And sometimes there are signs in response to signs. Back in June, Texas-based IBC Bank completed its acquisition of what used to be Local Oklahoma Bank, and this fall they had rented billboards around town saying "IBC is LOCAL", a reference to the name change. Little Advantage Bank, based in Spencer, put up some billboards of its own on the east side saying "We Really Are Local."
Advantage Bank, I note, used to be Spencer State Bank, back when you'd think that a state-chartered bank in Spencer would almost have to be named that. Steve Martin once observed that banks have to be named something like "Security National Trust and Federal Reserve," because "nobody's gonna put their money in 'Fred's Bank'," and I once faked up a radio ad for "State City National Bank and Truss Company" for reasons which are mercifully lost to history. Fred may have failed to get his name on the sign, but bank names have definitely taken a turn for the weird: the new bank in the tower at 1601 Northwest Distressway, a building named with brazen simplicity "The Tower," is called "Valliance Bank," which to me sounds like a fatal collision of "valley" and "dalliance." Not that I'd ever engage in such a thing, though Ondrya Wolfson might:
I am a Val, I know. But I live in, like, a really good part of Encino so it's okay.
Okay, fine, for sure, for sure. Sheesh. Meanwhile, in a less-than-really-good part of Oklahoma City, the Riverfront Skatepark is nearing completion: most of the concrete is in place. And regardless of what you may think of sk8terbois, this is a Good Thing: cleaning up the banks of the newly-christened Oklahoma River is essential to making it a serious destination for travelers and bored-out-of-their-skulls locals.
Finally, one last sign: Hyroop's, styled "The Big and Tall Place," probably should have thought twice before proclaiming a "Store Wide Sale," and definitely shouldn't have proclaimed it on the side of a big fat balloon.Posted at 4:37 PM to City Scene