Living in Kansas City

Lifestyle

Relax and take a deep breath. Yes, that’s how fresh air is SUPPOSED to smell! Visitors from the East or West Coast often comment that the Kansas City area is an undiscovered jewel. But Kansas City offers much more than just a breath of fresh air. A whole lot more.

In an article entitled America’s Top 5 Cities to Keep on Your Radar, the Huffington Post raved that “Kansas City is THE place to be” and one of the “coolest cities to visit right now.” Livability.com recently ranked suburban Overland Park, Kansas as one of the “top 10 best cities for kids” based on schools, playgrounds, libraries, recreational venues and low crime rate.

Our beautiful city has much to boast, as we celebrate the Kansas City Royals and their World Series baseball win. Refusing to quit, the Royals had eight comeback victories in the 2015 post season. A well deserved victory for a fabulous group of athletes.

Kansas City is also prominent in the  “Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes,” a collection of recently uncovered Bob Dylan lyrics set to melodies written by Elvis Costello, Marcus Mumford of Mumford and Sons, Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes, Rhiannon Giddens of the Carolina Chocolate Drops and Jim James of My Morning Jacket.

One of Mumford’s songs is called “Kansas City,” a rollicking folk tune about a jilted lover who laments: “And I love you dear but just how long / And I keep singing the same old song / I’m going back to Kansas City.”

You can see his performance of the song in this video,  it includes a cameo appearance by actor Johnny Depp on guitar.

Schools

SOR is located in the Blue Valley School District which continues to earn national recognition for educational excellence. In 2014, all five Blue Valley High Schools were cited by the Washington Post, Newsweek and the Daily Beast as some of America’s finest. Blue Valley recently posted the highest SAT scores in district history – more than 350 points above the national average.

Speaking of great schools, Kansas City is surrounded by three major universities – the University of Kansas, the University of Missouri and Kansas State University. The local University of Missouri – Kansas City campus offers in-state tuition rates for residents of both Missouri and Kansas.

Things To Do

In the Kansas City area, there’s no shortage of events, restaurants, sports, music, museums – you name it. Here are just a few of the attractions that make Kansas City a very special place:

Kansas City BBQ – Kansas City is often referred to as the barbeque capital of the world, and with over 100 barbeque restaurants to choose from, it’s not easy to pick number one. But Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que (formerly Oklahoma Joe’s) must be considered at or among the top of the list. Joe’s KC Bar-B-Que was listed in Men’s Health magazine as “one of the 13 places to eat before you die” and USA Today raved that Joe’s ribs were “the tastiest ribs in America.”

Jazz District – Centered at the corner of 18th and Vine, more than $30 million in civic investment has helped revive this historic area of jazz clubs, restaurants and museums, including the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. In the spring of 2013, the museum rolled out the red carpet to welcome Harrison Ford who starred in “42”, a movie based on the life of Jackie Robinson.

Kauffman Performing Arts Center – This stunning addition to the Kansas City skyline opened in September, 2011, and joins the Lincoln and Kennedy Centers as one of the few artistic venues featuring two distinct performance halls. In September, 2012, after just one year of existence, nearly a half million people had attended an event at the Center. The Kauffman Center provides a strategic cultural link between the Power & Light and burgeoning Crossroads Art Districts.

Crossroads Arts District – What was once a drab collection of century-old warehouses downtown has been transformed into a vibrant center of boutiques, local restaurants, studios and art galleries. A March 15, 2014 article in American Airlines’ magazine described the Crossroads as a “cultural mecca” and “one of the most concentrated art gallery districts in the nation.” Today, more than 400 local artists and 100 independent studios call the Crossroads home.

Nelson-Atkins Museum – Famed for the giant shuttlecocks that grace the grounds, the Nelson-Atkins museum is internationally recognized as one of the finest museums in the world. Unlike some other classic museums that may seem sterile or stuffy, the Nelson-Atkins is a charming, Midwestern treasure featuring art and historical artifacts that people truly enjoy, including a recent exhibit of Naismith’s original rules of basketball that attracted thousands of visitors.

Power & Light District – Anchored by the 18,000-seat Sprint Center, the bustling Power & Light District features 50 bars, shops and entertainment venues encompassing a 9-block neighborhood. The P&L has become the place to go for fans to watch their local sports heroes on the giant screen, and sometimes even meet them! When the KC Royals won the 2014 American League Division series, several players Tweeted fans to meet them at the Power & Light District for a post-game celebration, then picked up the $15,000 tab!

The Plaza – The Plaza is considered by many to be the first shopping center in the U.S. Reflecting the architecture of its sister city, Seville, Spain, The Plaza area defines the term “upscale shopping.” Each year on Thanksgiving evening, more than 200,000 people invade the Plaza to watch 80 miles of multi-colored holiday lights illuminate this 15-block area.

Westport – Your parents may have visited Westport, or even your great-great-great grandparents! Westport is the oldest community in Kansas City and was once a stopping point for 19th-century pioneers to load their stagecoaches and head west on the Santa Fe Trail. Today, it’s a place where historic charm and youthful exuberance come together in gastronomic harmony. If you’re tired of the big box, franchise restaurants, you need to check out Westport, where more than 40 local eateries specialize in specialty recipes.

The Legends – When you think of Kansas City, you immediately think of Hollywood, right? If not, you will once you visit The Legends – a unique shopping experience that pays homage to the many Kansans who found fame on the world stage. The Legends is filled with famous-brand factory outlets and anchored by tenants such as Walmart, Cabela’s and Nebraska Furniture Mart. If that’s not enough to entice you to visit, Kansas Speedway is nearby, as well as Sporting Park, Hollywood Casino and Schlitterbahn Waterpark, home of the world’s tallest water slide.

KC Sports Scene – Aside from the three major universities that surround the Kansas City area, there are plenty of professional sports to go around. The Kansas City Royals shocked the baseball world in 2014 when they fought their way to the final inning of Game 7 of the World Series with the tying run just 90 feet away. After the way the 2014 season ended, the Royals possessed the desire and determination to make sure they would win the 2015 World Series. The last time was in 1985. The resurgent NFL Chiefs play at the totally renovated Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas Speedway accommodates up to 72,000 NASCAR fans and is located just 15 miles west of downtown. In 2013, Sporting Kansas City hoisted a second MLS championship trophy at their $180 million, state-of-the-art soccer stadium. If the relaxed atmosphere of minor league sports appeals to you, check out the Kansas City T-Bones or the Missouri Mavericks, who play baseball and hockey, respectively.

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