The Best City in the United States, rejected. - 5/11/2013
Kansas City is not that bad unless you go to the bad parts of it. The only bad parts are the East Side, Kansas City, Kansas, and Independence. The Northland is BEAUTIFUL. If the Northland was it's independent city, I bet it would be on the "Top Best Places to Live List". Also Johnson County, Kansas is very nice too. Kansas City's downtown is actually not dangerous at all, it is one of the safest downtowns, and it is doing much better in crime than it has in the past. The roads aren't that bad here in Kansas City, they are nice, MO-DOT is always doing construction work to make our roads better. The mayor HAS NEVER SAID that he wanted to close the zoo down, and unfriendly people? I don't know what part of Kansas City you come from, but in the Northland, the people couldn't be friendlier, and they are always very kind. There are some bad drivers in Kansas City, but that's just because they are idiots. The Kansas City School District is VERY BAD, but in the Northland, two VERY GREAT school districts are in the area. Park Hill School District has won the Missouri Quality Award, and North Kansas City School District is very good also. The Northland also is a pretty Christian region, many churches and private schools, and the Kansas City Royals are improving, and the Chiefs have some of the loyalist fans in the nation. Sporting KC, who plays in Village West, the very western edge of the Kansas City Vincity, in one of the only good parts of Kansas City, Kansas. If you are a sports fan, Kansas City is one of the best places to move to, in the middle of everything, we have an NFL team, an MLB team that is doing much better than they have in their past, and Sporting KC is an excellent soccer team, almost always at the top of the Eastern Conference, and for you hockey fans, even though the Sprint Center does not have an NHL team, the Independents Event Center, a smaller, but still nice arena, in the suburb that outdates Kansas City, Independence, has a Central Hockey League team named the Missouri Mavericks, who are usually good, and their games are very fun. Also Kansas City has a indoor-football team named the Kansas City Renegades, who play in the Champions Indoor Professional Football League, at the older arena in town, Kemper Arena, we have a women's soccer team who plays in the National Women's Soccer League, named FC Kansas City, who play in Overland Park, Missouri, we have a nice NASCAR racetrack out by Sporting Park, where Sporting KC plays and who is hosting the 2013 MLS All-Star Game, in Village West, Kansas City, Kansas, we have a women's football team named the Kansas City Storm, who play at North Kansas City High School in the suburb of North Kansas City, we have a tennis team, who will be leaving to move to Dallas though after the 2013 season, named the Kansas City Explorers, and for you people who don't like the Royals, or came from a small town, or just plain ol' want to have fun, there is a baseball team, not affiliated with MLB or their minor leagues named the Kansas City T-Bones, who are very succesful, and their games are fun to watch, who play out in Village West, along with Sporting KC, and the NASCAR Kansas Speedway, and lastly, even though AEG, the group that owns the Sprint Center, promised Kansas City and NBA team, it didn't happen, but in Kansas City, most people are college basketball fans, like very freakish fans, and they are divided among, Kansas, Kansas State, and Missouri, so we don't even need an NBA team,(we've hosted the Final Four more times than any other city in the U.S.) but if you are an NBA fan, Kansas City is in the middle of a lot of teams so you are in luck, to the southwest on I-35, you have the Oklahoma City Thunder, to the east via the Chicago/Kansas City Connector Highway (signed as Missouri and Illinois Route 110)you have the Chicago Bulls, west on I-70, you have the Denver Nuggets, north on I-35 you have the Minnesota Timberwolves, and east on I-70 you have the Indiana Pacers, so we've got you covered with NBA teams. Also Kansas City is very good for shopping, with the historic Country Club Plaza, which was the first shopping district ever to be built, we got the huge Oak Park Mall, out in Overland Park, Kansas, we have Crown Center, right near Union Station, LegoLand, and Kansas City Sea Life, we have the Independence Center out in Independence, though I would stay away from there at night, due to that is a crimeful area, and we have Zona Rosa, a nice shopping district in the Northland, not to far down from the airport, and connected to North Kansas City, Downtown, and Crown Center by a bus route, and we have The Legends, an outlet shopping district in Village West. Kansas City also has hosts the Big 12 Basketball Tournament every year, and has 4 arenas, and 2 convention centers. The arenas are: the main one in the Power and Light District, which is a major nightlife district, the Sprint Center, and the oldest one, Munincipal Auditoriam, and an older but not as old as Munincipal, Kemper Arena, and the Independence Events Center in Independence. The two convention centers are the main one, Kansas City Convention Center (also commonly known as Bartle Hall) and the smaller Overland Park Convention Center. Kansas City also is a kid-friendly place, featuring Worlds of Fun, a theme ride amusement park, and Oceans of Fun, a waterpark attached onto Worlds of Fun, the Kansas City Zoo, Schliterbaun Waterpark, out near Village West, many museums, such as the Harry S. Truman Library, the Nelson Atkin's Museum of Art, the Steamboat Arabia Museum, and the Negro League Baseball Museum. Also for you art and performing art lovers, we have the state-of-the-art Performing Arts center called the Kauffman Center (not to be confused with Kauffman Stadium, the Kansas City Royals' stadium), which is newly built in the Performing Arts District. Okay then, my point is Kansas City is NOT a total "in the hood", dangerous, uneducated, unfriendly city, it is the exact opposite, a nice, safe, in most parts, educated, and friendly city. Oh yeah, and by the way, I have NO CLUE where you think that our Chiefs fans are rude, go to the Oakland Raiders games, and see how mean they are to Chiefs fans, they'll beat them up, and Mia from Platte City, I don't know where you got your ideas about the Northland, maybe your mistaking the Northland for Platte City, because to most Kansas Citians, Platte City really isn't part of the Kansas City Area, it is the first city outside of the area, it is north of the airport (which that is hard to get because are airport is on the extreme north part of Kansas City, and it is outside of the I-435 loop, so it is pretty disconnected from Kansas City, even though a lot of people in Platte City, work in Kansas City, and no bus routes even go that far north, the farthest north they go is to the Airport, and only one bus route goes there, so I totally disagree with Mia, the Northland is one of the best parts of Kansas City.
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Kansas City, MO - Going, Going, and Almost Gone - 1/6/2011
I’d like to put my two cents in regarding living in Kansas City for nearly 14 years. Let’s talk about the good first, because there is plenty good about KC, MO.
• The older neighborhoods (e.g., Midtown, Waldo, Brookside) are beautiful – gorgeous old properties, flagstone walls, huge trees, and a great mix of people. The area surrounding West 39th Street is especially endearing with its great vintage homes, funky bookstores, and dive bars full of the great local (and generally well read and traveled) weirdos. I’ve lived in lots of places around the U.S., and the 39th Street area is hands-down the best. Just an awesome vibe in general. Friends and family visiting from “real” cities would remark about how surprisingly fun and appealing midtown is.
• The city has plenty of great restaurants and bars, as well as museums, music venues, and casinos. Some great parks in the area, and the zoo is decent. Westport is good for the younger party crowd to get their drunk on. The River Market is fantastic, and a walk along the Missouri River at sunset at Berkeley Park is one of life’s better experiences. With all its hills, rivers, and trees, KC is quite pretty in the Midwestern sense.
• You can rent a pretty cool apartment or buy a great old house with character for not much money compared to other major cities.
• While I’ve never been to New England, I’d say you couldn’t ask for a prettier autumn than that which KC offers – brilliant trees and golden sunshine tempered with epic thunderstorms.
And now for why I had to leave:
• The CRIME. My gawd but it’s increased exponentially in the past three years or so. You’re an anomaly if your house hasn’t been robbed or you’ve never had your car stolen. At the very least, you’ll have your license plates or stereo stolen at least twice a year if you have to park on the street. The gangbangers and wannabes are taking over. The baggy pants and gold teeth crowd are now pushing aside the hippies and med students for sidewalk space, and the gunshots keep getting closer to the once “good” neighborhoods. If you read the papers, there’s at least one shooting a day. KC isn’t that big, and yet there was something like 100 murders in 2010. I used to feel completely safe walking the dog at midnight, but after a few experiences with large crowds of thugs flashing their gang symbols and crackheads blocking the sidewalk with their tweaked-out scuffles, I’d advise doing your walking during the daylight hours. You wonder when your trip to the convenience store will be your last, because it’s getting robbed and shot up. Again. And your insurance rates will be a painful indicator of the crime in the area.
• City infrastructure and management are both inept and corrupt. You pay taxes out the nose for spectacularly failing schools and metal plates on the streets.
• Utilities are rising at an alarming rate, as is the price of groceries. What’s the use of cheaper rent when your gas bill alone is $300 and a hundred bucks will buy you three lousy sacks of mediocre food??
• Summers are frankly pretty awful. While it’s green and lush, it’s like trying to breathe soup. Too many bugs, and everything gets moldy or rots.
I could go on for pages with more pros and cons regarding KC, but there it is in the abbreviated form. I honestly feel that KC is going the way of Detroit, and it makes me incredibly sad. The good people are sick of the crime and political bs and moving away. Elvis has left the building, so to speak. So many of those once immaculately maintained grand old properties are now abandoned or crawling with Section 8 parasites, because regular people can’t afford to heat or maintain them anymore. Like a depressingly large number of historic American neighborhoods, Kansas City’s core is being left to decay.
As for the surrounding areas, I never spent much time in them. Suburban KC, MO (Lee’s Summit, Blue Springs, KC North, etc.) seems pleasant, but dull and way too far out to commute. Kansas City, Kansas, especially the Strawberry Hill area, has a lot of the same architectural charm as MO, but the crime and poverty there are also appalling. Neighboring Johnson County, KS (Overland Park, Leawood, Shawnee, etc.) is largely insufferable with its spoiled housewives trying to run you over in their SUVs because they’re too busy talking to their manicurist on their cell phone to pay attention to the road and the florid faced businessmen in tassled loafers barking at the waiters to hurry up with their $14 cocktail. Their bronzed and hair-extensioned teenage offspring drive better cars than some lawyers I know. Ugh.
It's been a few months, and I'm still homesick for KC, or at least the way it used to be. I really didn’t want to leave, but I’m just not in a position to go down with the ship.
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