Did you know Kansas City…
Kansas City is Surprisingly Diverse- According to the 2010 census, the racial composition of Kansas city includes 59% whites, 29% AA, 10% Hispanics, ~8% other races or combination or races and 2.5% Asians. KC has the second largest Sudanese and Somali population in the United States. Furthermore, if you want to expand your horizon, the city’s actually got two Little Italy neighborhoods, one in Columbus Park and one in North East, and Argentine is one of the area’s oldest Hispanic neighborhoods. Strawberry Hill, a historically Croatian community, is your best bet if you’re craving (and who isn’t?) povitica with a side of tamburitza music, while the bizarro food and music combo of your dreams is sure to be found at the Ethnic Enrichment Festival held each August in Swope Park. There is also a growing Arabic population given recent refugee movements. Politically, KC is a mix of liberal, progressive hipsters with conservative Catholic grandmas and grandpas, and everyone in between. It’s very unique. There seems to be a good blend of Left and Right here, and quite a lot of independence.
The Regional Geography–
The amazing thing about Kansas City is that it’s very trendy and industrial, but if you need to take a breather from city life, there are rolling hills less than 30 minutes away on every side. You can live the city-life if that’s your thing, or you can live out where the river bends, in any small town in the surrounding areas. Or, if you’re undecided, you can live just outside the city to where there’s an equal distance between the heart of downtown and those country roads you long for. If you seek peaceful quiet country life but also civilization and lively bustle, KC is the perfect place.
Regardless of your decision, the highways in Kansas City are interconnected and easy to navigate. It is exciting to have the possibility go in 15-20 minutes from the hospital if you live outside the city like me.
ROYALS– The Boys in Blue- Even before they became World Series Champs, Royals baseball games were always the best. Baseball season brings the city together. The feeling you get in that stadium is like nothing you have experienced before; it feels like a big family. The atmosphere is filled with genuine excitement and camaraderie. You may not even buy your ticket if you are a Med/Peds resident, you can win tickets on the pediatrics or internal medicine side including parking tickets. Regardless, there’s just something about a warm summer night at K Stadium, immersed in a sea of blue T-shirts, hot dog in one hand and beer in the other, cheering on a great team, while gazing at a gorgeous sunset and firework show after dark. Even If you did not watch baseball before, you will enjoy a night like that.
The Barbecue— Texas, the Carolinas and Memphis may each claim that their barbecue is best, but Kansas City begs to differ. The unique KC barbecue style involves a molasses- spiked sweet tomato sauce, and there’s no finer place to experience it than at the original Arthur Bryant’s on Brooklyn Avenue. Arthur Bryant’s famous customers have included former presidents Harry Truman, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. If you Take a drive to Joe’s BBQ on a cool autumn night, and immediately upon arrival, you’ll feel it. The place is packed, full of boisterous conversation and the aroma of mouth-watering BBQ. But really regardless of where you go, Q39, Arthur Bryant’s, Joe’s BBQ, just do not leave the city without trying how unique the KC barbecue style. The Other Food- To give an idea of the uniqueness of Kansas City’s food scene, there is even a Ramen bar. You read that right – Ramen Noodles. I have yet to try it, but it’s definitely piqued my interest. There are Vegan cafe’s, Farm-to-Table restaurants, bakeries, creperies, “Bruncheonettes”, hole-in-the-wall breakfast places, amazing BBQ joints, frozen cocktail bars, donut bars, tea places, steakhouses, Middle Eastern strip mall markets, fresh-pressed juice bars, upscale date-night dinner spots, the options are endless.
The Country Club Plaza, which opened in 1923, was the world’s first drive-in shopping center. Although back in the day it was built on land which was once home to pig farms, that distinctive odor has now been replaced by the smell of fresh-popped corn from Topsy’s and scented candles from Bath and Body Works. Today, the Plaza’s popularity and reputation have been recognized around the country. The entire 15-block district, with more than 150 shops and dozens of fine restaurants, makes the Country Club Plaza Kansas City’s premier retail, dining and entertainment destination… The Plaza is kept lively with a year-round calendar of music and special events, including the famous Plaza Lights and the widely recognized Plaza Art Fair.
The Farmers’ Market– Kansas City was actually ranked #10 on Travel and Leisure’s list of America’s best cities for hipsters, which cited the city’s readily available locally-sourced foods and plethora of farmer’s markets. Rain or shine, the region’s largest Farmers’ Market can be found at the City Market every Saturday and Sunday year-round. More than 150 vendor stalls burst with bedding plants, fruits, vegetables, meats, herbs, fresh baked goods and other sweets, cut flowers and crafts made by local artisans. At the City Market Farmers’ Market, you will find the finest produce, fresh from Missouri and the surrounding region, benefit from unsurpassed value, and support local farmers! The City Market has a rich history dating back to 1857 when the City Market Square began as a site for market commerce, horse trading, political rallies, revival, medicine shows and circuses. Do Not take your dog with you! Sorry!
The Jazz– New Orleans may be the birthplace of jazz, but Kansas City put its own special spin on things when this All-American music genre headed north. The American Jazz Museum hosts music performances throughout the year, and really gets swinging with the annual 18th and Vine Jazz and Blues Festival each October. Plus, each visit to the museum comes complete with a free photo op — posing with an 18-foot tall bronze head of native son Charlie “Bird” Parker.
KC CHIEFS — The Chiefs, on the other hand, are usually a pretty decent team. Ok, they haven’t won the Super Bowl since 1970!!! BUT they make it into the playoffs every couple of years. During football season, fans wear so much red and white. Arrowhead Stadium is considered by many to be the loudest venue in the NFL, but that’s just a portion of what makes a Chiefs game-day experience arguably better than any other. Once inside Arrowhead, the fun continues. Fans spontaneously start the “Tomahawk Chop” prior to kick-off and during time-outs. At the end of the national anthem, the entire stadium proudly shouts, “…home of the CHIEFS!” For touchdowns, the crowd gives their familiar touchdown song a unique and intimidating twist. Chiefs do make their fans happy and we still get free tickets every now and then as residents 😉 which is always a plus.
The Steamboat Arabia went down in the muddy waters of the Missouri in 1856, and there it has remained ever since. A 1988 salvage operation, while it did not recover the ship, brought up thousands of artifacts which are now housed in the Arabia Steamboat Museum. This museum contains one of the finest collections of well-preserved mid- 1800s relics, including food items that are (ugh) supposedly still edible. World’s oldest pickles, anyone?
WWI Museum- the National World War I Museum, housed inside (and underneath) the 217-foot tall Liberty Memorial, has one of the world’s largest collections of memorabilia from the Great War I. The replica of the blown-up French farmhouse is grim, but the Renault FT-17 tank and life-size trenches are pretty cool. Try the Reuben von Steuben at the museum’s Over There Cafe, but ask them to hold the mustard gas.
Always Things to Do around You There is always something cool happening just a few miles from where you live. The warmer months are full of outdoor concerts, movies on the lawn, excellent firework shows, 5K’s, embroidery stitching workshops, Beer Festivals, Coffee Cuppings, floral arranging classes, Art Festivals, antique shows, everything you could imagine. In the winter, you’ll find no shortage of warm, cozy cafes and coffeehouses in which to tuck away. You could visit a different one every week and still not have visited them all by the time winter is over. Worlds of Fun & Oceans of Fun; FUN is Calling!!! Especially if you decide on purchases season passes. Kansas City Zoo and more If I could describe Kansas City in one short sentence, I would say, without missing a beat, “It feels like home.”