Wednesday, December 19, 2012
No place like it
The Country Club Plaza, Kansas City, Missouri.
Kansas City is a great music town. It always has been. It's a great arts town, including but not only because of the Nelson-Atkins museum. The symphony is good, the theater is good, also should mention the city has a great dance scene. It's a fabulous food town. And the people are nice. No, really -- they are.
This past weekend I was wined and dined, welcomed so heartily I was kind of blown away by it all. People cooked for me, picked up every single check except once when it was energetically appropriate for us to split the bill. I literally did not have the time and/or headspace to see everyone who wanted to book some time with me. One of my very favorite friends of all time referred to me as a "visiting dignitary." How sweet is that? I felt well loved. Even that aspect of the trip, the socializing, was intensely healing.
We of the megalopolis here, stretching from the District to Boston, are nice, too, but it's so different. People in Kansas City stop, take a moment to acknowledge one another. Not everyone of course; I'm referring to the cultural norm. Here on the midatlantic and New England coast, appropriate behavior includes being slightly aloof - it's our pack behavior. In Kansas City, the cultural norm is to be polite but also to engage with each other, even strangers. Just because that's how it's done there.
I used to feel slightly embarrassed to have grown up in Kansas City because I wanted to be cool, and Kansas City, to my mind, was not a cool city. The truth is, Kansas City is not seen as a cool city, but it is really cool. It is.
I (heart) Kansas City. And - it's good to be back in the swamp I call home.
Gigantic shuttlecock on the grounds of the Nelson-Atkins museum. There are several, scattered about. Startling!