Recently, the Huffington Post named Kansas City the ‘Coolest’ City in America.
No, you did not read that wrong.
Although I’m very unsure what kind of klout the Huffington Post actually holds with people, I will go ahead and agree with this. And no, it’s not just because I was born here. But I will admit that being born (and partly raised) here has had its advantages and my experiences in life have really taught me perspective on my home town.
The people here–although I complain about them 70% of the time–are 800x better than the majority of people I have encountered on the coast. In all honesty, that’s just the way it is. I was at the Royals game last night (Go Big Blue!) and I kept making faces at people because they were lacking in manners or were wearing something outrageous (I have no poker face… you can really almost always tell what I’m thinking.), and I still realize that had I been in a coastal city watching a ball game, my eyes would have fallen out of their sockets from the things I would see. How do I know this?
I’ve lived it.
I’ve lived in Northern California, Southern California, and New York. And while HuffPost may cite Kansas City as being super awesome, Forbes listed America’s Coolest Cities and cited my other 3 “hometowns” (AKA the places I have called my home at one point or another). That’s pretty rad. People are seeing what I have gotten to see and recognizing it as a splendid adventure. But isn’t life just a splendid adventure?
Forbes decided San Diego ranked #6. I went to college there. I lived on the beach. The people were scattered and bizarre, but the city is magical.
New York City got #11. We all know New York has some magic you can’t necessarily describe. I was fortunate enough to live in Manhattan for a year post-college and it was a blend of highs and lows, but I will never regret adventuring around that marvelous city.
Sacramento, CA got #11. That was what I actually considered my home town as a child. We moved there when I was 4 months old and lived in a small city (now relatively large city) outside of Sacramento for six or so years following that time while my parents worked for the Sacramento Kings. Even though I hadn’t lived there in years, I still figured out how to navigate the city pretty well from memory when my sister and I would drive back throughout college. It’s beautiful. Go figure.
As for Kansas City? Everyone’s pulling out their hometown pride for our sports teams this week. Yeah, we have a baseball team that made it to the post season for the first time in 29 years. That’s crazy. What’s worse is that other teams do it all the time and don’t get the fanfare we do. That’s because we GET sports. And we are loyal. We are “Royal”. Ha. So funny. And the Chiefs? They beat down on the Patriots on Monday. No one expected it, so we’ve decided to go for bragging rights. CALM DOWN PEOPLE.
But we are much more than sports. We are historic buildings, beautiful cemeteries, incredible food, crazy sunsets on a vast array of scenery. We are the working class, the middle class, and the upper middle class. We are fancy and we are trailers and we are hillbillies and we are city people. We have rivers and creeks and gorgeous landscape. We are do it yourself crafters and big minds and we have skyscrapers and are finally getting a light rail system. We experience four true seasons, have extreme weather, and enjoy a nice brew. We are cultured and interesting and fun. And it has always gotten overlooked.
So stop overlooking us. We aren’t just a flyover state. We are the Heart of America. And we’re also The Show Me State.
So get out here and let us show you.
Was that good enough for my imaginary travel brochure?