Internal monologue as my plane starts to board for Kansas City – “It is finally warming up in DC this weekend. And of course I chose to go to a place where it’s pretty much the same temperature as Antarctica. No, no it will be great. Think of the barbecue…yumm yeahhhhh barbecue. You’ve earned that barbecue. You know you’ve been working out, getting your fitness on and stuff. Treat yo self to some amazing ribs and chicken (partially drooling thinking about it)” *checks weather app again to see if maybe, just maybe, the temperature has changed” “…oh my gosh how is the high 12 degrees???!!!” How can people live like this? Okay family is worth it. Seeing family is worth the cold.”
Kansas City, Missouri, USA
I got to Kansas City, Missouri early Friday morning over MLK weekend. My niece had a volleyball tournament in KC, and since I didn’t get the chance to visit my sister and her family over winter break, so I decided this is a perfect opportunity to visit the fam and explore a new city!
I only a few hours to explore the city. And man I have to say Kansas City is a hipster’s paradise! Amidst a backdrop of a run-down industrial town are pockets of inspiring artistic creativity and down-home comforts.
I started this adventure with a cup of coffee of course! You’ve got to visit Oddly Correct. Situated near South Hyde Park in KC, Oddly Correct was a perfect people-watching spot. When I walked into Oddly Correct I fell in love with the cafe’s atmosphere. Alt-rock softly played while groups of young hipsters chilled along the wood counter that lined the large open windows facing the main street. Everyone wore a beanie and had a flannel on with cuffed jeans. Oddly enough I was wearing the same! The artwork is minimalist and sporadic. On the brick wall behind the counter was an octopus sitting in a coffee cup and a few modern-folk pieces were hung around the cafe. But the vibe was real and true – people came here for some good coffee and great conversation. Make sure you sit down and enjoy your coffee here. The coffee is presented in beakers – which is so perfect! Also another awesome thing is the cafe is nut-allergy friendly. The cafe does not provide almond or soy milk, instead the cafe’s milk alternative is oat milk!
When I was all caffeined and ready to rock, I walked out of the cafe and just looked around the street. Across from Oddly Correct was some really cool tile work (see below). It really displayed the once-propserous mid-century boom of KC. But I love this about KC – it’s old charm and unexpected elegance amidst rough and tough brick. Around the corner from the cafe I discovered a great local pottery spot. KC Urban Potters is an amazing shop and studio that features local Kansas City artists. This place is a definite must for some good gift shopping!
I then walked about a mile to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. First off, this museum is always free! So awesome! When you visit this museum first stop has to be the Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park. It’s a 22-acre park designated to Henry Moore. The sculpture best known here are the two shuttlecocks positioned on opposite sides of the yard – displaying the position of two shuttlecocks falling on opposite sides of a badminton court. Also take time to look at the detail of the museum itself. I loved the quotes that lined the museum’s outside. My favorite? “Art deals with things forever incapable of definition and that belong to love, beauty, joy and worship the shapes, powers and glory of which are every building, unbuildng and rebuilding in each man’s soul and in the soul of the whole world.” This museum is for every kind of art lover – from ancient Egyptian pieces to Toulouse Lautrec and even mid-century modern furniture. I could stay here for days…that is if it wasn’t for the amazing BBQ in KC!
Art deals with things forever incapable of definition and that belong to love, beauty, joy and worship the shapes, powers and glory of which are every building, unbuildng and rebuilding in each man’s soul and in the soul of the whole world.
I rounded out the day with some dinner at Q39. I honestly like my BBQ experience to be kind of grungy – I’m talked it’s just you, the pit, and some picnic tables. But Q39 was more refined barbecue dining experience. It had a cool modern flair mixed with industrial decor. A good point to Q39 is that you can make reservations! But to be honest the barbecue was average. The chicken was fine and my sister’s brisket was good. But nothing I’d honestly want to go eat again. When I go back to KC I definitely want to try Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que. I think this place is more my style. It is situated in a gas station and from everything I hear the line starts forming before the door opens at 11:00 AM. So you have to get here early unless you don’t mind waiting in line.
Keep on exploring!