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Kansas City 'Gooberizes' Columnist
Kansas City, the city of fountains where everything is up to date and they got some crazy little women, beckons to the vacationer with its heady mix of cosmopolitan flair and Midwestern friendliness.
(Sounds like a travelogue, right? Savvy readers will recognize this as the old “Took a trip and is trying to wrangle up a tax write-off by pretending it was for business” ploy. Journalists, particularly columnists, have been trying to sneak this spitball past the Internal Revenue Service for decades, all on the authority of a story that someone, somewhere actually got away with it. Well, who am I to go against tradition?)
During a recent business trip …
… the great city of the plains showed herself to be at once welcoming, fun and, in what can only be described as perfect for the American family, highly educational.
(The myth further states that the IRS LOVES educational.)
Sometimes known for blues, barbecue and a bawdy past …
(This is where those “crazy little women” enter the picture -- you know, from the song: “I’m going to Kansas City, Kansas City here I come… they got some crazy little women there and I’m-a gonna get me one.” And if you think I went to get me one, you are out of your mind. My mother warned me about women like that.)
Kansas City is now home to some of the finest museums to be found in any American city.
(That part is actually true.)
A personal favorite isn’t in Kansas City proper, but in neighboring Independence, home of the Harry Truman Library and Museum, a highly accessible, thoroughly engaging look at the life and times of our 33rd president (although Truman counted himself as the 32nd president, saying there was no need to count Grover Cleveland twice, as is official practice.)
(I love the Truman museum and always make it a point to stop when I’m in the KC area. I’m geeky that way.)
Not to be missed at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and American Jazz Museum, sharing a building at the legendary intersection of 18th and Vine. Entertaining and educational, they showcase some of Kansas City’s great contributions to American popular culture.
(OK, so I am totally gooberizing myself here. What can I say? I love baseball, I love jazz, and I love American history. It’s like they made these museums just for me. And it’s also like I tried to buy them, several pieces at a time, in their respective gift shops.)
If you find yourself with time on your hands and money in your pocket …
... Kansas City abounds with great shopping, dining and entertertainment as well, from upscale places in the suburbs to Crowne Center downtown to charming neighborhood establishments, including what appears to be one barbecue joint per three city blocks.
For beauty, fun and selection, though, it’s hard to beat the famous Country Club Plaza – high-end shopping in 1920s buildings modeled after the architecture of Seville, Spain.
(It was across the street from my hotel.)
Whether for business …
… or pleasure, Kansas City is a delightful destination for the American traveler, easy to get to but difficult to leave.
(That’s it. My look at Kansas City, or How I Spent My Summer Vacation. Think the IRS will go for it? Me neither.)
© 2010 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.
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