Imagine one of your favorite things, whether it be a restaurant, store, or a thing to do, suddenly disappearing. Yeah, that shit sucks. Now imagine moving across the country and having everything that you've grown accustomed to change or not be available anymore. It has been six months of me living in New York, and luckily over Christmas break, I was able to fly home to Kansas City, Missouri to visit and see some of my favorite things and people. This blog post is dedicated to them.
Yes, a gas station is on the top of my list of favorite things in KC. This place is more of a lifestyle than a gas station. They're literally open 24 hours a day (even Christmas Day), with all the snacks you could possibly want, besides jalapeño poppers. Looking at my bank statements from the summer when I lived in KC, I would see a $4 charge at least ten times a week for a QT run. Do I even need to mention the $0.49 cent large drinks during the summer?!! I can't even count how many times I have got out the bed at 2AM and forced my sister or brother to ride to QT with me, so yeah, QT is definitely #1 on the list.
2. The Point
A bar, lounge, occasionally a restaurant, or the turn up spot for the night... I'm kind of upset that this place closed, because they did a great job at being a lowkey go-to spot for pregaming or if you and a friend needed something to do on a Friday night. From sketchy bartenders with
cheap ass drinks and a nameless DJ who knew how to blend music for different crowds, The Point was the kind of place that you would end up at on average about three times a month. Thirsty Thursdays or Sundays for the game, the $2 drinks, or an order of fries that required you to use half the bottle of ketchup, I felt like I owned stock in The Point because I was always there, or always brought new customers who became regulars that actually spent money there. One day, you will open back to the public, or maybe that's just wishful thinking.
3. Kona Grill
There is nooooo way you could have persuaded me to try sushi after trying it once. I remember my parents having a party at our house and someone brought a sushi platter. I tried one and didn't touch another piece of sushi for almost a decade, until I stumbled upon this great gem: Kona Grill. I can give credit to this restaurant for introducing me to Happy Hour, and my usual order: a Crab Crunch Roll fried with extra eel sauce. Who wouldn't return after seeing all of the options for under $5, you just have to make sure you get a good table, because it will definitely get crowded between 4 and 7pm.
4. The Plaza
The "Country Club Plaza," as tourists would call it, is just a fancy part of the city where you can go to shop, eat, or walk around and enjoy the ambiance of a Spain-inspired, high-end shopping center. Ever since middle school, the Plaza was a place that parents could drop you off at, and you could go to the movies, pretend to shop, and even grab dinner at a few restaurants. Until this day, you can enjoy many restaurants for happy hour, be entertained at many bars, and shop around for a last minute outfit at a few good stores.
5. The Rink
We all remember Skateland closing sometime around 2010. We also remember everyone and their mom wanting to go every weekend after the movie ATL came out. Somehow it turned into a dance floor instead of a skating rink, which still confuses me to this very day. Six years later, I stumbled across Winwood, another skating rink up north of the river. This was the skating rink for the 18 and over crowd, who actually came to skate. Not normal skating as something to do after a few months of not going, these people went skating two to three times a week, and you could see it by the way they skated on Thursday and Sunday nights, they were in their own little world. Occasionally, I would drag a friend or two to put on what the pro's call "brownies" (the brown skates) to go skating with me, because I have hopes that one day, I will be as good as the people who skate more than once a week. Let me just add that to my 2018 goals....
6. The Crossroads District
The visually creative individuals in KC do not get as much recognition as they should. Sure, there are art shows and galleries you can visit, but why not add a spin to express and show your work. First Fridays, which takes place on the first Friday of each month, is a popular event where you can enjoy art galleries, studios, small businesses, and live entertainment. Literally anyone can attend, its free, and meant for all ages. What better ay to enjoy a summer Friday evening by trying different food trucks, local vendors, watching a live band perform, and seeing kids juggle fire for tips?
7. The hidden gems:
Everyone knows Kansas City is known for its barbecue, but I am not the biggest fan of bbq, so I made a list of places that I usually go to when I'm in town & my favorite items to order. Making this list actually made me hungry, so I hope if you're in KC, you try a few of these places. I've even included a few pictures below that I posted on Snapchat.... follow me btw: mikervin93!
Nara - Japanese Sushi Grill with $4 sushi rolls. I order the Plum Wine and Shrimp Shumai.
Red Door Grill - Jalapeño dipped fried chicken specials on Thursdays, best $10 you will ever spend.
Sol Cantina - Chicken Nachos with extra queso... It's worth the extra $1, and could definitely feed 2 people.
Wings n Things / Go Chicken Go - Support the local black businesses, and who doesn't love chicken?!!
Q39 - Fire smoked chicken sandwich with chipotle mayo and spicy ketchup.
Genghis Khan Grill- cozy Mongolian food, put whatever combination you want in a bowl, and they'll cook it in front of you.
D'Bronx - Turkey club deluxe with Russian dressing or a huge slice of pizza with any topping yo see!
Now that I've narrowed down my list of favorite things and places to go while I'm at home in KC, I should find a good time in the next few months to return home to enjoy some of these places with some of my favorite people.