It can be really easy to take the world around you for granted. I have always tried to experience every place I’ve traveled to or lived in. It was mind-boggling to me when I got to New York and my roommate had never been to Rockefeller Center (it was just blocks away) or some of the other major landmarks in NYC. It was crazy to me when I took my grade school friend to places she had never lived before when I lived on the Upper East Side—after all, she attended Columbia and had lived in the city for almost 4 years.
I am that person that wants to go to the top of the Empire State Building. I want to go looking for the blue door from Notting Hill (which has been painted a different color, by the way) or places where Harry Potter was filmed. I want to see as many performing artists play the Good Morning America and Today Show free summer shows. I want to visit Dr. Seuss’ house and sip a latte at the most hipster coffee shop I can possibly find.
A life that lacks adventure is one that does not appeal to me.
However, moving back to Kansas City (several years ago now, WOW!) made me realize I had yet to discover all the fun that this specific part of the midwest can garner. I lived north of the river and had seen every area of the city. Thankfully, I had very open-minded parents who didn’t limit us to experiencing life in just one area. (Trust me, there are a lot of people who don’t let their kids go south of the river. This includes many of my cousins while they were growing up.) I had been raised with the pleasure of going to museums and concerts and eating at the Westport Flea Market or Westport Coffeehouse when it was convenient. But I had never personally chosen taken the time to explore Kansas City’s intricacies; visit its coffee shops, have conversations with local store owners, breathe the scent of a rose garden in the springtime.
So, I’ve been working on that. And I’d say it’s going pretty well. I go on frequent coffee “dates” with my friend Kevin, where we have bounced around to storefronts we have never visited and tried something new. It used to be weekly, but that was before he went on the Appalachian Trail. He is back, and we are trying again… as often as our unemployed asses will allow us. **Isn’t it funny how, when you have the money to spend you don’t have the time to explore, and when you do have time to explore you are always strapped for cash?
My sister has also been a very big part of this exploration. In fact, my entire family has. I moved to 39th Street when winter was just barely disappearing, and love the big, old 2 bedroom apartment I have found myself calling home. There are so many fun shops and personalities along the street I live on, and I am slowly experiencing that life. Most of the people I love live north of the river, so I do spend quite a bit of time up there still. I will say, it’s a tough balance. But it’s well worth it.
Right now, I am typing to cyberspace from the bar area at Heirloom Bakery & Hearth in the Brookside area. I just consumed a rich caramel iced latte out of a blue mason jar, and tantalized my taste buds with a fresh baked blueberry pop tart that was out of this world. (Warning: Once you try this, you’ll never be able to go back! But, who would want to?) Did I mention this place is totally Instagrammable? (I don’t want to take photos because I don’t want to draw attention to the fact that I am. Yeah… #NoShame applies most of the time.) But today I am enjoying just soaking in the sunshine and happiness that is palpable on a Tuesday morning in Kansas City.
This city is alive and the neighborhoods are proof of the talent and personality that people often overlook. Missouri isn’t just a flyover state. Kansas City is incredible. If you haven’t been here, come! It’s a cheap trip and I can give a list of fun recommendations. // I know my mom is reading this, and may just be the only person who is. HI MOM! LOVE YOU!