10 things I like about Kansas City

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Yeah, I hate this city but there are some things I do like, no love about the city. Not many, I thought and I wondered if I could even come up with ten. The first thing I did was just look around and gave a halfhearted thought of the first things that I do brag about in KC. Not much came up but here we go.

1.  The city looks beautiful

If you go downtown if looks great and when you’re on any of the D link skywalks at Crown Center and look towards downtown it truly is nice sight. It’s one of the perks of working downtown for me. The ride going to and from work is the only time I feel like I’m in a city. When you get to where I live it looks like the hood but seeing the people and corner stores makes it feel normal .At night when the bars, because there really aren’t many clubs out here at all, are lit up and the streets are flooded with people going back and forth you really feel like it’s not the same lame boring place that KC really is at all.

2.   Jazz

At one point I stayed going to The Blue Room. As a Hip Hop producer hearing live music by musicians is always inspiring. The perk of First Friday in the Crossroads district that gets overlooked by the wine and stuck up people is seeing people outside playing Jazz. Westport had a few guys on certain corners playing the sax or a guitar. I don’t frequent Westport or those First Fridays because the vibe is just not “real” to me. A place on The Plaza that was a Jazz hotspot has closed down. As much as the city wants to become a city known for the arts and classical music the Jazz still holds strong.

3.   The murals

There aren’t as many now but when I first got here man you couldn’t go through the inner city without seeing them. There were no rapper stuff just inspiring stuff. On Troost there are two that include Martin Luther King Jr., one of Walt Disney, a mural of a Native Americans face.  There is this building by my job that has many paintings of various people that represent the many cultures that is nice to speak about the diversity this city really doesn’t embrace.

Downtown the African American history that this city is known for is showcased and is the only place you’ll see any acceptance of that history. The Michael Jackson mural is gone as well as the one mural that just spoke volumes which was of a brother breaking a chain wrapped around his head.

4.   The graffiti

Now I could say that since the graffiti doesn’t say anything about trying to get people to rise up they haven’t been taken down. Still those pieces of graffiti are beautiful. I tried to get a lot of footage for two of my videos and still when I would travel around I’d see stuff and could kick myself for not seeing them on my three day weekend last spring when I was shooting footage. I would assume most of it is old because I personally haven’t seen any new stuff since the Jackson mural.

5.   The metro

Now things will really change in April for the worst but for now it’s cool. I mean it’s great. Troost and Main have a Max bus route which runs every ten to fifteen minutes as well as the regular buses on that route, so a bus is coming sometimes every five minutes. In the morning you can’t really miss a bus to get you work where I live. Same can be said for getting home. One day I saw a bus I needed leaving and watched a guy run that bus down just to have the next bus come in five minutes. We even ended up right behind that bus going down the same route by time we hit Linwood. A bus goes to KCI and there are buses that take you to the stadiums on game day. My girlfriend is like you will be pissed when I get to where she is because the bus system is so not the same there. I think she even got spoiled by how things work here. I figure I will be driving in a year. Again things will really switch up in a few months and I’ve heard for the worst.

6.   Libraries

The libraries are a nice get away recreation center for the homeless. As long as they don’t go to sleep or cause a ruckus they can be seen in the library from the time it opens to the time it closes. I go to the one downtown the most and love to see them just hanging out and I do find it strange when I notice them on Twitter, Facebook, and even Tagged… Yeah not really getting two out the three sites homeless people are on. Throughout the week movies play at all the city libraries and there you will have to deal with the smell and snoring. I’ve been to a few movies and I like how the host of whatever the theme is for that month is keeps it professional. It would be easy for the host to just play the movie but they tell the reason they’re playing the movie an do Q&A’s short Q&A’s .

7.   The diversity

There are various African countries represented here as well as a healthy Haiti migration. There are also Russians, many Hispanic cultures, Malaysians, Chinese, those from Vietnam and the Middle East. The thing is it’s not embraced at all. That’s another subject for another post. Still can’t deny how multi-cultured KC is and that’s feels good to see it.

8.   The way the city areas intertwine with one another

Now this is like the diversity thing, for an example it’s a tricky but distinct thing that I’m talking about. Where I live in on Armour Blvd. a block or two from Gilliam which has a park and across the street from there heading to Wickham you have condos. The other side before you get to the park is this small ghetto ass building. Hell, on the corner of Gilliam and Armour you have a section 8 apartment building and across the street is some upscale building, beside the section 8 spot is another somewhat upscale place. The city is like that all over. You go down Troost and there is Rockhurst University and UMKC housing the next block it’s back to a urban setting. I always loved how you can walk into a good area from the hood. Where it goes bad is the fact many Africana Americans don’t walk through certain areas as if they’re not allowed to and people from both worlds will not, do not and feel no need to even begin to acknowledge each other. But the way the city is set up is a good thing even if the people refuse to interact with one another.

9.   local public broadcasting networks

At one point I wouldn’t miss This Week In Review on KCPT. I remember I didn’t even know it was local because the host of the show is English. I for the most part stopped watching the show because at some point it seem like they kept two guests who truly were closed minded racist and they spoke on behalf of a section of the city which seem to be the main focus of KC. As KKFI there was a show that came on in the middle of the night where two guys would talk about politics and I don’t know their names but I know they loved Real Time with Bill Maher because they would quote him a lot. There was also a nice African American show on the weekend then there was The Show Me Mixshow that I listened to from the first episode and stopped about five months and would stop listening to for a about a month every so often with hopes that new artists or at the least new music would be played. That didn’t happen. KCUR has Up To Date , Central Standard, KC Currents and the Fish Fry show really are my favorites. There also is the classical music movement that pops from nine pm to midnight and on Sundays a New Age thing that can be really good. I don’t know if the Celtic music thing on Saturdays is a local show, but it’s crazy how I love that music.

19.   The history of this city

This city has a deep and rich history and this too is a love and hate thing because for some reason all the history isn’t really embraced. Like I said you can see a mural of the KC Monarchs and that’s about it pass the Negro League Museum which on the famous 18th and Vine that the city seems reluctant to invest in at all. Westport was a military spot long ago. The guy behind The Plaza from what I heard was mob connected. I also heard that Troost was a place of middle class well educated African Americans that fell victim to redistricting and has never recovered. What is now Crossroads used to be a industrial area and you can still see that. This city you can tell was so much more than what is wants to be today.

This city should be so much more than what it is but to do that all parties need to be allowed to shine not just the white people and the fine arts movement the city so desperately wants to be. The city is willing to sacrifice the Jazz, African American history, Latino history and other races contribution, Blues, Country, underground Rock and Hip Hop that really is all over the city. The bus routes will be switched to accommodate those who don’t ride the metro and do not want buses in some areas after a certain time. I’ve seen bus stops vanish because people don’t want a stop by them, it’s not anything new but it’s sad the people who rely on the bus aren’t involved in those choices. If you visit KC and don’t go pass the attractions you will never know of it’s flaws and true beauty of multi culture diversity and I think that’s the point nowadays for the city. It’s about the tourists experience and not the residents who live in the city.

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