KC = Awesome

13 09 2011

As you know (or are learning at this very instant), I leave for England in two weeks.  Two.  Weeks.  If you’re wondering, that’s the same amount of time as it would take to watch the movie Airplane 232 times in a row.

A representation of Hannah and I on the way to London

So that’s the update on my life.  However, this blog post isn’t about my life.  This blog post is about something related to my life.  After my trio of critical blosts* about the criticisms of The Golden Compass, I decided to write something positive.  So, I’m writing about what I’ve been thinking lately, reinforced by a great special in the Kansas City Star.  That is this:  Kansas City is possibly the most underrated city in the entire United States of America.

*I literally just made up the word ‘blost’ as I was typing.  It means blog post.  Because I’m all about efficiency.

Really.  KC is great.  A lot of people in the USA look towards the coasts for the great places to be and live–the skyscraper jungle of New York City, or the bright lights of LA, or the fun beach city of Miami.  Sure, those things are great tourist attractions (more so to me because I haven’t been to any of them, not even the states in which they reside).  But I don’t think that you have to look away from the midwest.  In fact I wouldn’t want to live in NYC or LA or Miami.  Too many people.  Here are the reasons why KC is so underrated and great:

1.  Size

KC is big enough to be nationally relevant and interesting, but small enough to feel cozy.  It is its region’s hub of activity and commerce, yet a 40 minute drive from downtown can lead you to a nice, calm rural area.  It is big enough to draw national concerts, performances, and conventions, yet small enough to live in a nice suburb and still be extremely close to the action.

2.  Sporting Facilities

In the last few years, KC has become able to boast of a collection of top-notch sporting facilities.  Think about it:

  • Sprint Center–one of the better indoor stadiums in the country, probably the best one without a full-time tenant
  • Kauffman Stadium–beautiful, spacious baseball park; recent renovations have made it to be one of the nicer parks
  • Arrowhead Stadium–one of the toughest places to play in the NFL (fans have a lot to do with that)
  • Kansas Speedway–NASCAR-spec speedways aren’t exactly common
  • Livestrong Sporting Park–new 2011 soccer park, has been deemed the best soccer-specific stadium in the USA by some

Now I'm not a soccer fan, but this looks really cool

3.  The Arts

KC has all the art amenities (not anemones, we don’t have any of those) that you would expect from a big city.  The Liberty Memorial houses the National World War I museum, the only of its kind in the country (and it is a fascinating museum).  The Nelson-Atkins Art Musem is a well-done museum of art (go figure).  KC has a professional symphony orchestra, ballet company, and opera company.  Musical venues are everywhere–the Folly Theater, the Music Hall, the Lyric Theater, the Beaumont, the Uptown Theater, Starlight Theater (how many cities have an amphitheater like that, I wonder).  But, in less than a week, KC’s new crowning jewell will open:  the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

I'd say this is pretty darn stunning

4.  The People

It has been my observation that the midwest is in general a nice group of people.  Kansas City in particular is populated by good people.  Just one example: They are passionate and loyal about their sports, regardless of how good the teams are.  That tells a lot about a city.

When I travel to London, I will probably be in awe of the city’s size and history.  But it isn’t Kansas City.  KC is home.





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