Kansas City is known for being split between Missouri and Kansas map wise and by those who live in the two states straightens out how the Missouri side has the teams and everything else visitors want to see and Kansas side has the logic of the name. But one major divide has since I been here has never really addressed and that is the bushy white affluent people from those who aren’t. Here in KC the city is summed up as the Brookside, Plaza and Waldo crowd and then there are pretty much the rest of us. On a regular weekend the worlds rarely if ever merge. I mean if you drive through city going down Cleaver 2 you can go from the hood to the Plaza and notice just where the divide takes place. Westport is a block or two from the hood and those in the hood seem to not dare even go there. This point was noticed by me when I first moved out here and it hit me that Labor Ready is on 39th street and the street over is Westport. On Westport a few places were looking for dish washers and some needed to people to help paint the walls. Those on the 39th waiting for their name to be called to do a days work wouldn’t dare go the next street over and try to look into the dishwasher or remodeling jobs. So the city seems to know it’s unspoken bounds and all goes well if you want to call that well.
With the Big 12 here having their tournament here in KC the NCAA must not have figured that situation the mixing of lifestyle in the decision. It’s so crazy catching the MAX (a bus route) and seeing the total unwillingness to communicate and connect. Who’s not reaching out you say? Those who live in the Plaza area as if that was a hard question. It’s because other than asking how much the fare was it looked as if it pained those people to have to talk to the bus drivers. If there was a real good example it was Friday when a group came on the bus with K. State sweaters on. They never asked the bus driver where to get off at or anyone on the bus either. You could hear them talking amongst themselves about where to get off but they never took the time to even ask the bus driver. So they get off the bus and end up walking four blocks in the rain because they didn’t want to ask anyone where the closet stop was. The closest stop at Grand gets you off right at the corner of the Sprint Center too. Now I could say the bus driver could have played a part in getting them to the right spot, but since I take the bus and I’ve seen how foul those people going to the games have been to not only other passengers but the bus drivers, I could see the need to not speak until spoken to. Let me not give the impression that folks were causing problems, they really weren’t at all. It was more of a manners thing that was lacking. Since people had to stand on these buses all you heard was how people were stepping on toes and bumping and not even willing to say ‘excuse me”. The ladies first thing was thrown out the window if the ladies and children weren’t part of their group.
I’m not foolish enough to kick it like this is a KC thing only, I’m from the 757 and this complaint can be made from Norfolk to Williamsburg. But the difference is in KC that bus drive shows just how close both worlds are and in this country a lot of places are seeing the gap between one part of town and the other get smaller as well. So if one side is willing to try to close the gap and the side that it hailed as the face of the city isn’t willing to talk what does that say about the people from that area? I mean is not talking to people different from you that big a burden? So don’t ask people who are regular bus riders where the stop is so now you find yourself getting off the bus blocks from where you need to get to be because of that lack of not wanting to speak.
Kansas City was truly summed up with last week thanks to the Big 12. P&L (Power & Light District) got more money and thanks to the way buses had to re-route do to the events there saw less faces of color around the area. It’s sad that the only faces you did see that weren’t white enjoying themselves at the P&L were the players of the teams and their families. People who live close to the city still found themselves outside looking in. And going back to the buses, the bus drivers looked so pissed about the whole thing. Not for the extra work because I’m sure a few bus drivers were getting overtime, but because of having to deal with those from the Plaza area. What’s sad about it is the people who were complaining were the ones who again weren’t regular commuters of the MAX. Something tells me next year there will be buses strictly for the games with special pick up places and everything. What a way to truly keep the division of the people in the city.