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A sense of place – researching setting


Day 5, US research trip, Believe No One

Believe No One takes Fennimore & Simms to the United States Mid West.
These blogs document the places we visited and people we met during the research trip.

Saturday, May 5th 2012

Tulsa Sheriff's Office

Tulsa Sheriff’s Office










I always thought that sheriffs were rural law enforcement officers, but Tulsa has a Police Department and a Sheriff’s Office, and there’s also the State Bureau of Investigation with a headquarters in Oklahoma City and labs out in Tahlequah. Tulsa PD is a Municipal Police Department, which might make you think that municipal PDs are a feature of big cities, but a municipal PD may be just one officer, right up to 40 000. Some sheriff’s offices run a restricted service, such as keeping the county jail, or they might be responsible for countywide law enforcement. Then you’ve got Highway Patrols and State Patrols, and I haven’t even looked at the Marshal Service, yet. I can see that United States Law Enforcement is going to take some untangling.

We stumble upon this odd and marvellous pair of buildings – an architectural trompe l’oiel – each building looks blade thin until you’re right up to it.

Architectural trompe l'oiel

Architectural trompe l’oiel


Tulsa has a wealth of Art Deco buildings, but we also walk past acres of ‘vacant lots’ – entire blocks that have been razed to the ground. We’re told that much of this part of downtown Tulsa is earmarked for redevelopment: Oklahoma State University has building work planned and projects are ongoing in the Brady Arts district.


The 'Blue Dome'

The ‘Blue Dome’


The adjacent ‘Blue Dome’ district’s derelict warehouses are slowly being reclaimed. We visit James E McNellie’s Public house favoured by students, and I have a very welcome glass of pear cider with my lunch. Low-rise, redbrick warehouses predominate in this quarter; a wholefood/deli type place is about to open across the street, and the area has a pleasant Bohemian feel.


Northern Cardinal lge
High on the power cables we catch glimpses of a bright red bird. It’s the Northern Cardinal, and quite common here – in fact one scooted past us, flying low like a blackbird, at the hotel.

Shaggy ink cap fungus

Shaggy ink cap fungus

On the grass verges (which are kept beautifully trimmed), a crop of shaggy ink cap fungus, also known as “lawyer’s wig”.









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