Let it be known that I absolutely love Kansas City, Missouri. Really- it is legitimately one of my favorite places. It’s not the flashiest; it’s not the most energetic. But it is one of the most comfortable yet engaging cities I’ve ever been.
I might have this love because I am an admitted homer. Growing up in St. Joseph meant there wasn’t a whole lot to do. We always heard when we were growing up that the reason St. Joe didn’t have many stores or restaurants (that weren’t locally owned [and, therefore, usually quite delicious] Chinese places) was due to the relative proximity to KC. We were as close to the airport as downtown KC, and closer than south KC, so companies knew what our lives were. We went to KC often, and the fear was that business would be lost if companies opened their doors in Joetown. Specifically, every Joetowner who has lived there until 2006 or so, we wanted a damned Olive Garden. And an Old Navy. We spent years hearing rumors of “it’s going in by the mall!” or “it’s going next to the South Belt Wal-Mart!” My childhood and teenage years, therefore, featured frequent trips to KC, and especially to Barry Road.
Barry Road, as an adult who lives approximately 10 minutes from it now, is a real pain in the ass to get on and off of from I-29. It probably was not quite so bad when my parents, aunts, and uncles were driving us there when I was 10. The Olive Garden was located near Metro North Mall- a place that now, honest to God, is essentially just a Macy’s. It was a spectacle, an event, to get to eat there. I thought the Olive Garden was Reba McEntire level “fancy.” And, therefore, I found Kansas City to be a world of wonders. What’s even better about this knowledge now is the fact that Barry Road about as corporate and cookie cutter as a well-to-do suburban-esque area gets in any town. Well, with the exception of a few great, local restaurants… especially Malay Cafe… anyway. That wasn’t REALLY Kansas City. Experiencing REAL Kansas City as an adult who lives in its general vicinity has been a wonderful treat- one I’m happy to have before I move to Chicago. Unique and wonderful restaurants, fantastic sights and atmosphere- Kansas City is a true midwestern city. Friendly and warm, fast-paced when it wants but slow when it needs to be, and full of people who smile back at you on sidewalks.
I have not, however, experienced all of Kansas City. And it is this sad fact that has resulted in the following, ever-growing, Kansas City Bucket List. It’s a list of things I want to do in KC but haven’t yet been able to do.
Kansas City Bucket List
1. Attend a Sporting KC game. It’s the only professional sport I haven’t seen in KC, and they’re supposed to be a blast.
2. Have great seats at a Royals game. So I love the Royals because I’m a glutton for punishment. They’re my hometown team, man, what can I say? My family has always gone to games, and I usually get to about 4 or 5 per summer. This coming year my parents have a 15 game ticket package that includes opening day! Anyway, I’ve had some really, really good seats at a Royals game. I’ve never had GREAT seats. Like… front row by the batter’s circle or something. Or behind home plate. Basically I’d like a seat where I can yell at Luke Hochevar for being terrible, like I usually do, but he can hear me.
3. Attending opening day for the Royals. THIS WILL BE DONE. YAY!
4. Go to the three museums in KC I’d love to see but haven’t- Union Station, the American Jazz Museum, and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
5. Go to a legitimate jazz club in KC. Seems like 4 & 5 should happen together.
6. Sing karaoke at Westport Flea Market once again.
7. An ongoing goal- try a little of everything at Mud Pie Bakery.
8. Have delicious vegan pizza at Waldo Pizza.
9. Do something fun and summery in Brookside.
10. Find something cool on the Kansas side of the city that isn’t Sporting KC.
So uh… yeah! That’s where it is right now! I’m sure I’ll think of more, but I wanted to at least put it out there. I’m big on lists. I’m a bit of a planner. Anyway, deuces.