It's not just a Cowtown
Kansas City surprised me with it's beautiful neighborhoods like Mission Hills and Valentine. It surprised me with it's fun nightlife scene with places like the Grand Emporium. I was surprised by the culture this city has in places like Writer's Place and the Nelson-Atkins Museum. There are neighborhoods that I don't feel very safe in, but I find myself driving through them because the architecture is so interesting and the history of the place just leaps out at you. I still live in Kansas City, so my memories are still being made. My best memory so far was the time I walked through the Country Club Plaza at 3:00 a.m. when it was snowing.
I miss my friends the most when I'm not here, but other than that I miss sitting in my living room looking out across Brush Creek at the Plaza.
Sculpture - Abraham Lincoln and his son Tad
At first glance, you might think it's a little odd to see a statue of the great Republican Abraham Lincoln at Kansas City's monumental City Hall, a bastion of the machine politics of the Democratic Party. And you might think that at your second glance as well!
Indeed, it was a private individual, a retired Insurance executive named Orville Anderson who personally spearheaded a fundraising campaign which collected over $140,000 to pay for the commission and installation of this traditional and representational work. The sculpture, dedicated in 1986, is the work of American artist Lorezno Ghiglieri:
Independence is a separate city from Kansas City, but many people consider it to be just an extension of the greater Kansas City metropolitan area. Independence has been around since 1827, making it one of the oldest settlements west of the Mississippi. It has a long history as being the place where the trails to the west started, namely the Oregon and the Santa Fe. Missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons) arrived here, although because of religion persecution, were eventually driven from the state. Independence was involved in the Civil War, as Missouri was a swing state, with both the Union and Confederacy wanting it for it's own. The 33rd President of the United States, Harry S. Truman, resided here as well. The city is rich in history, a great place to explore for a day
Charlie Parker at Rest
You hear it said the hottest and brightest flames die out quickly. That might be a partial explanation for the early passing of the innovative and legendary jazz artist Charlie Parker. Of course, his years of hard living and habitual drug use were major factors as well. In his brief lifetime, however, Parker gained world fame for his saxophone chops, and in the words of Wikipedia "played a leading role in the development of bebop, a form of jazz characterized by fast tempos, virtuoso technique, and improvisation based on harmonic structure. Parker's innovative approaches to melody, rhythm, and harmony exercised enormous influence on his contemporaries." See Wikipedia article for more info.
Parker did not wish to be buried in his native Kansas City, but in New York City where he felt more appreciated. Thanks to his mistress, his remains lay at rest in a secluded and somewhat neglected Lincoln Cemetery, Blue Summit, Missouri. (Some sources call this Kansas City - a cruel irony, I suppose. The website listed below includes a map to find this out-of-the-say cemetery.
Image(s) shown copyright frank thompson photos. Do not copy, download, or reuse in any form without written consent of copyright holder.
What to do in Westport at Night
Surprisingly enought there are quite a few bars/pubs and clubs in such a small amount of city blocks. So here I will write down the honorable mentions.
America's Pub : 510 Westport Rd.
A loud dance club with a younger crowd. The bar is always packed, and features live music on weekends. There is a cover charge, but the pub stays open until 3.
Harry's Bar & Tables: 501 Westport Rd.
An upscale cigar and martini bar that also serves excellent food. The bar is a great place to wind down, as it is relatively quiet compared to other Westport haunts, and is open until 3 am.
Blayney's : 415 Westport Rd.
A great blues bar featuring live music six nights a week. There is a cover charge and the bar is open until 3. If you're looking for some live music other than dance, this is the place to go.
Have A Nice Day Cafe : 4115 Mill St.
It is a dance club with a 70's atmosphere, featuring frozen drinks served in fishbowls. There are often happy hours where drinks are very cheap.
Mill Creek Brewery : 4050 Pennsylvania Ave.
A crowded brewpub located in the heart of Westport. The bar serves up excellent beers and excellent food, and offers pool and darts as well.
Hurricane : 4048 Broadway Blvd
Has an upstairs patio and an outdoor stage hosting the live bands seven nights a week. Downstairs in the club, booths lining the walls for quiet conversation, and a DJ, spinning everything from techno to 1980s classics.
Stanford and Sons Restaurant and Comedy Club : 504 Westport Road
A full service restaurant, comedy club, dance club, billiards bar and more. The restaurant, located on the first floor, features steaks, pasta, sandwiches, salads and Stanford's popular Flower Pot Bread. Local, regional and national comics take the stage upstairs nightly. Dinner and show packages are available. This place is popular. Reservations really recommended!!
Westport has so many things to offer. I've only touched the tip of the iceburg.