1 / 1



October 29, 2021 - Joy Reed Belt

Remember the song, “What a Difference a Day Makes?” Well 12 months can really make a difference. This time last year Oklahoma City was undergoing “the ice storm of the century.” The recent weather in Oklahoma City has been mild and quite beautiful. Nevertheless, when a neighbor reminded me of what we all went through this time last year, I decided to revisit “Ice Princess,” the Blog I wrote this time last year.

RB and JoyJoy Patiently Waiting for Their Hamburger Patties

Well I don’t know how your Halloween plans are coming along, but this year I began playing my role of “Ice Princess” several days early. On Monday afternoon, due to freezing rain and ice laden trees, the power totally went out in my home as well as in my Gallery, JRB Art at The Elms. After struggling 24 hours without heat or electricity, I decided, with the encouragement of colleagues and friends, to move to the Colcord, a pet friendly hotel in downtown Oklahoma City. Ordinarily I would have toughed it out at home but it was super cold and I was undergoing a series of procedures on my back in an effort to eliminate chronic pain. So I decided I really needed a comfortable place to rest. What I discovered is that staying a few days in a hotel is akin to suddenly becoming a Princess. There are people available and willing to do things for you. Almost any reasonable request will be granted to make sure you have an enjoyable stay. The staff seems to think it’s normal for you to kick back and relax. They have no expectations that you are particularly charming or productive.

The Colcord Lobby (Colcord)

JoyJoy, my six year-old drop-eared Yorkie, really loves these digs. On her birthday we were welcomed for dinner in the nice restaurant downstairs where she was surrounded by admirers. She was invited to sit beside me in a booth and delicately eat her $8.00 hamburger patty while I ate mine. When we go for our short, purposeful periodic jaunts outside, she enjoys it when a porter opens an umbrella and hands it to her Mommy because the umbrella partially covers her. After all, it has been very cold and wet for the last several days. But most of all, I think she appreciates the constant companionship we have been sharing. Living together in a room on one of the two hotel pet floors has given JoyJoy and I the opportunity to meet so many wonderful dogs. There is Roo, the stylish miniature poodle, Percy, the bloodhound, Simone, the blond cocker spaniel, and Natasha, the Shih Tzu, Moose, the Short Haired German Pointer and Dover, the Beagle. Walking the hallway and lobby area is a little like attending a United Nations Assembly for dogs. These dogs look and act like four legged humans. But JoyJoy and I have been able to make the distinction because the dogs aren’t wearing masks. When we arrived at the hotel, Joy Joy immediately realized she was outnumbered, outclassed and outranked and continues to be on her very best behavior. I am thankful and impressed.

Portraits of JoyJoy of Waterford, Devonshire and The Paseo
As is my habit, after checking into the hotel and securing our room, I immediately began assessing the art and decor. After all, I visited this building many years ago before it became a hotel. One of my first clients, Amarex Petroleum, had their offices on the top several floors. The handsome carved art nouveau elevators and the beautifully marbled walls are as impressive now as they were then. I am happy to report that the building’s transformation, several years ago into a hotel, was done thoughtfully and tastefully. The
color palette assembled and utilized in the lobby, restaurant, entertaining and private rooms are presented in a varied, but compatible, range of colors and patterns. I am particularly impressed with the solid doors, well crafted baseboards, the metal fittings and fixtures on every surface. Particularly worth noting, is the type and placement of mirrors throughout the building. No, unfortunately the art is not original which is something I really do enjoy seeing in hotels. But since most hotels are owned by larger holding companies, assembling the sheer number of necessary artwork that is required can be overwhelming. Corporations rationalize that working with local artists in several locations simultaneously isn’t terribly efficient. Hence the preponderance of manufactured art in the hospitality industry. Nevertheless, even without much original art, this hotel is interesting, tasteful and has many welcoming and relaxing elements. The human hotel guests consist of a combination of business travelers and tourists. But the majority of guests appear to be exhausted and consequently fragile Oklahoma City refugees that are seeking light, comfort, and warmth. And I think the hotel is admirably providing all of us that respite.
We are all tourists in life, aren’t we? Our arrival gives us a starting point, but where our journey takes us is dependent, as noted by Robert Frost, on many roads taken and so many roads not taken. While today I can enjoy being an Ice Princess, my tomorrows are largely unknown but hopefully they will include JoyJoy.

Back to Blogs