I am working on a project in Kansas City this week and had a bit of time on Saturday to explore the town. It as a scorcher here and the weather was a hot and humid 95 degrees.
I am so glad that I rented a car so that I could drive around rather than walk. When I travel I typically take Uber and it would have been nearly impossible to walk through the city yesterday without melting.
Now the first thing I noticed as I started walking around with my camera is this city is full of murals! And I love it.
What makes Kansas City such a cool downtown was the different districts that all have a different vibe. There was the jazz district, the art district, the warehouse district and they all have a unique personality.
As I strolled through each neighborhood, the murals in each district really reflected the local mood of the neighborhood.
You have not truly lived until you have had Kansas City BBQ. I am a BBQ Pit National City (San Diego) guy and I always have felt that it is the best BBQ that I have ever had. But someone said, “Hey the BBQ in Kansas City is Amazing”, so I did my Yelp Roulette and asked my phone, “Where should I eat?”. It directed me to the best BBQ in the city – Gates.
When I walked in it was dimly lit and you had to wait in this long cafeteria line to order. The lady was very fast and expected you have your order ready to yell out in 2 seconds. Since I never went before I really had to prepare for 5 minutes how I was going to say it. When she called on me I said, “BBQ Beef on Bun, No Sauce, with Fries”. I think I managed to sound like a local. She handed me a plate that looked just like the plates we get at the good old BBQ Pit. I had heard the sauces were the most famous thing about the place so I tried both the sweet and mild BBQ sauce as well as the original.
I have to say the sauce blew me away. It was a tangy BBQ sauce with some cumin and other spices in it. The beef sandwich was amazing and it perfectly smoked, moist and cut thin. Sometimes the BBQ Pit will give you dried slices but this beef just melted in your mouth. I have to say this was the perfect BBQ Sandwich. I am hooked.
Downtown has several different areas that have totally different vibes. So I headed off to the Convention Center and saw some amazing architecture and art as well. There is literally art all over this city. It is very unique.
This place rivals the Walt Disney Music Hall in LA for beauty. It was absolutely stunning to walk around it and watch how the light and shade transformed the glowing lines throughout the day.
This part of town was particularly amazing. There were so many great local restaurants and there was literally a 3 block alleyway filled with local artist work all over the walls. Amazing.
I just loved the feel of this neighborhood and how old and full of character it was.
The West Bottoms are where all the old agricultural factories are and also housed the US Stockyard Exchange – the place where everyone would come to sell their cows. It’s now the hippest place in the city. There were music festivals here as I walked around. Again, what another amazing place to find in Kansas City.
In West Bottoms I happened upon this huge empty yard filled with shipping containers. There was no one around but it was so cool.
Just kidding, there wasn’t really a gun district but I loved all the Gun Show signs in the city. People here love their guns and they are proud of it.
This is the happening spot right smack in the middle of the city. In this area you can watch Royal Games for free with thousands of other fans on the big screen. It’s like being at the game - but its free.
Charlie Parker started in this small area of Kansas City and created the Kansas City Jazz Sound. This is a historic and very important area of Kansas City.
I searched this mural out. I think it was put up many years ago and it is starting to show it’s age but it is an amazing piece of art right in the city.