Why do I love Kansas City? If you watched the World Series, you saw the Royals do the impossible- make it to post season play for the first time in twenty-nine years. And, you saw the fans rally behind this team like they’ve been winners all along. Great tailgates, sportsmanship and excitement filled this town for the entire month of October. It was amazing but you know what? So is this town.
What’s Kansas City really like? It struck me last week while talking to some of my blogging peers that they have absolutely no idea how cool Kansas City really is (well the part of KC that is the urban part. I live in the burbs. Not so epic). As luck would have it, this You Tube video popped up on my Facebook feed and gave me a big chuckle (and BTW, he makes fun of our sports teams losing. Can’t do that now, can he?)
While it gives you a great idea about the core of KC and it is funny as hell to anyone local (I have to admit I freaking burst out laughing when they said “this is where you see relics from a time past” and pointed at the Kansas City Star. I had the privilege to work for the paper when people still bought them), it doesn’t really give you the complete picture. Kansas City is one of the best kept secrets in the nation.
Kansas City straddles two states. I happen to live on the Kansas side. People hear that and they think of Dorothy, tornadoes and farms. Personally, I like to keep it that way. If people think they are going to have to huddle in a storm shelter when they visit or think it’s going to smell like cow shit then maybe they’ll stay away. I enjoy the fact that there’s absolutely no traffic (most of the time) and that it only takes me 20 minutes to get just about everywhere I want to go. Pure bliss.
I also love the fact that outsiders only think we eat BBQ (which yes, you can get amazing ribs all over the place) and that many of us sit all day in the heat with our smokers. That means when a large convention’s in town, all the BBQ joints are packed and all the incredible restaurants are left to us locals. I would name a few, but then you’d figure it out and they’d be busy too (a girl’s gotta keep her secrets). People also seem to think we’re all really fat (must be from all that pulled pork). I’ve looked around and they may have a point.
I am thrilled when people say, “Culturally, what is there to do?” as they give me that “I live in a big town and have access to everything” look. That’s when I shrug and walk away. Especially if I’m in a hurry to get to the ballet or take a trip to the Nelson or catch a show (and by show I’m sure you know I’m talking about a movie because Broadway never comes to KC. Right?) And, guess what? We now have sports teams that can win, so we’re not just about tailgating anymore.
Where’s there to shop in Kansas City? I like to tell people that they will be thrilled to find an entire collection of last year’s clothes at this year’s prices everywhere they go (the Midwest is a little slow). And, then I don’t happen to mention that we have a few of our own designers and yes, even a fashion week. Shhh. They may want to shop often. And, we don’t need New York prices and crowds.
Kansas City is an amazing place to raise kids. Good schools and community support. Museums, universities and culture to fill in any of the cracks. Solid extracurricular sports, arts and dance programs to keep the kids busy. And, the cost of living? Much lower than either coast, but if you like a fast, expensive life, we’re not for you.
But, you know what really makes Kansas City exceptional? The people. They’re friendly, care about others and they give to charity. They’re passionate. They’re believers. Just look at the Royals post-season support. Best fans in the nation. (Of course, wherever you are, I’m sure you think you have the best fans. I’m cool with that. Especially since the Giant’s fans seem to celebrate a little differently than we do in Kansas City.)
So, you can take your big city life. With all the recent press, Kansas City may not be so much of a secret anymore, I’m still harboring hope that we’ll continue to have a small town feel. That’s what makes this such a great town. Can’t wait for next year’s baseball season. We’re a team to watch.
What do you love about Kansas City?