When Dr. Melanie Ketchandji moved to Tulsa with her husband and young daughter, she knew Tulsa would be a big transition from living in Houston. Once she completed her residency in Urological Surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in 2015, her family made the decision to move to Tulsa so she could join the Urology team with Utica Park Clinic. The transition to Tulsa was made a little easier when Dr. Ketchandji decided to live in the Brady Arts District of Downtown Tulsa. “Coming from the Houston metroplex, I was looking to live in an area that gave me some of that city vibe.” She shares.
Dr. Ketchandji and her husband decided to rent an apartment in the heart of the Brady District, within walking distance to several restaurants, galleries and popular drinking spots. Downtown Tulsa offers a vast majority of local restaurants, with several new establishments built in the Brady District in the past few years, including a new speakeasy called, “The Lounge”. “The Lounge is the best kept secret in Downtown Tulsa,” she shares. “They have a martini cart, and it’s great for date night. My husband and I also enjoy going to Valkyrie (a popular cocktail lounge), afterwards for drinks.”
As a family, they like to spend time at the Guthrie Green, which hosts numerous events throughout the year, such as, free yoga, free movies during the summer and free live music. They also enjoy visiting the museums in the Brady District, especially during "First Friday," which is an art crawl every first Friday of the month. “All of the museums in the Brady District open their doors to the public for free from 6-9pm. There are multiple street bands and free bands inside the restaurants around the museums as well,” says Dr. Ketchandji. Their favorite restaurants to visit include: Antoinette’s Baking Co., Laffa for Mediterranean food and Chimera Café. “My husband and I like to hang out there on Saturday mornings.”
Aside from restaurants and museums, Dr. Ketchandji enjoys the Riverside area of Tulsa. “Riverside offers a lot of running tracts and I am looking forward to ‘A Gathering Place’ which will be complete in 2017,” she shares. “A Gathering Place" is a project which will transform nearly 100 acres of Tulsa’s waterfront into a dynamic and active space. It will feature a lodge, boathouse, nature walks, two land bridges, sporting areas and a pond. “Downtown Tulsa is a miniature Austin,” says Dr. Ketchandji. “The art scene is electric and growing, with lots of fun festivals and marathons. The food scene is interesting with new restaurants being added in the downtown area. It has all of the ingredients of a major metroplex, but at a much smaller scale, making it easier to sample all it has to offer.”