I love Kansas City. I think it is one of the most forgotten about cities in the Midwest, if not the United States. KC lies in the middle where “The South” starts and the heart of the Midwest stops (at least the parts where farming is the prevailing stereotype of the area). My aunt calls it the “heart of America”, and that’s pretty spot on. You’re practically in the middle of the U.S. by geographical location[wiki].
This is where my mind had the ability to open up and understand that there is a lot more in the world that I have yet to experience, yet alone grasp the reality of. Small town Iowa and inner-city KC are two, vastly different worlds.
Diversity is just the tip of the iceberg. In one place, you can forget to lock the doors of your house when you go to bed and feel relatively okay, if not safe, with it when you find this out a few days later. There are parts of KC where you should probably keep your car doors locked and windows rolled up just to add a layer of protection that you don’t really need 99.8% of the time, but…. just in case.
Within the past fives years, it has changed a lot. There is such a push to revitalize the downtown core that old warehouses are being turned into condos for “luxurious loft living”. Driving through there on a Sunday, it was fairly empty and lacking traffic on nearly every block, but the signs of change are everywhere. Street work, new construction, etc.
There once was a time, and I think this goes for much or America, where bridges were built out of utility, giving decor or appearance an after thought. Those bridges of major river crossings and such were the ones to get royal treatments, but not the most simple of bridges get cosmetics added to them to add a little flare or appealing look rather than guard rails or cement protecting the sides. Highway 71 through downtown is a prime example of that, and is that ever nice to have. Makes getting to and from my grandma’s house and my aunt’s house so much easier, not to mention shorter in terms of travel time.
Can’t forget to mention that Sprint Center. That sucker is impressive from the outside, but we never got a chance to see what it looks like on the inside. According to my aunt and uncle, they are pushing that venue big time, pulling in all sorts of concerts to the arena so people get out and know that it exists.
The push for a NHL team is there as well. My uncle Mark seems to think that if a hockey team didn’t work in KC during the days of the WHA, a NHL team wouldn’t do so well. That was over 30 years ago. Rebecca and I agree that if the city did get a team, we’d certainly check out some games when we were in town to visit family (another Canadian team is where our hearts desire, but go KC before Las Vegas, please!).
Downtown, The Plaza, Westport, a quick u-turn into Kansas, and a drive by of Kauffman and Arrowhead Stadiums in a whirlwind tour of Kansas City, MO. Not too bad, and we even got to have breakfast with my grandma and great aunt before leaving the city on our next stop on the tour. It’s tough to spend such a short period of time with family after so long of not seeing them, but at least the time was good, if not cherished.
Oddly enough, Rebecca and I both came to the conclusion that Missouri is actually flatter, if not less hilly, than Iowa. It’s amazing how much you notice after being gone for as long as I have from the Midwest. I even opened my cousin Sarah’s eyes to the numerous places that you can get fried chicken from in KC as much as you can get good barbecue.
I (heart) KCMO