If you know someone who wants the real Kansas City this weekend, send them this link
The Kansas City Star
Today’s column is about the fascinating Bud Selig, who turns from the worst ever at his job to the best depending on your perspective.
There’s also one particularly amazing fact in there about a man who’s about to turn 78. I do hope you’ll take the time to read the column.
But I wanted to talk to you today about Kansas City. This is not another plea to be less paranoid about what the thousands of outsiders who’ll be in town this weekend will think of our city, to be more sure of what we have here, less apologetic about the heat, or even less self-deprecating about our lack of mass transit.
This is an offer to be your tour guide this weekend or, more likely, provide a link you can e-mail someone who might be coming into town.
Just some humble suggestions to supplement everything surrounding the game. Hopefully it might help bring out the badass Kansas City that people who live here know, but is sometimes hard to translate for tourists:
FanFest runs from Friday to Tuesday at the convention center downtown, and if it’s like the ones I’ve been to in other cities, it’s worth your time. That night, the Crossroads District — 20th and Main is a good intersection to aim for — will buzz with First Friday.
You’ll see art, hear music, drink some drinks if that’s your thing. Eat dinner down there, too. Extra Virgin is a great place. Lidia’s is also very good and close — though Garozzo’s is the king of italian here.
Right next to Lidia’s in the Freight House district is Jack Stack for your barbecue fix — though Oklahoma Joe’s is the king here — and Grunauer, a sort of foodie German place that’s a terrific place to drink.
One other option for drinks is the Power and Light District. Usually the crowd is too wanna-be Jersey Shore for me, but when big events come to town it tends to be awesome. Also, Young the Giant is playing a concert there that I’d only miss to see one of my best friends get married.
For my money, Succotash is the best breakfast spot in the city. I’d recommend the Farmer’s Market at City Market, but if you’re coming from out of town, I’m not sure you’ll be in the market for fruits or vegetables or flowers — though they do sell the best jam I’ve ever had there, you might want to take a jar home.
After that there’s more FanFest stuff — including a Q&A with Frank White at 1 that might get awkward — but I’d steer you toward the wonderful Negro Leagues Baseball Museum near 18th and Vine. They’re having a party fundraiser Saturday night with barbecue and live music that the Lady and I will try to make.
Unfortunately, Buck O’Neil is no longer around to give personal tours, but museum president Bob Kendrick has restored pride in the place. I always say this: even if you’re not a seamhead, it’s worth your time. My mom couldn’t care less about baseball, but she said it was one of the most powerful American history and civil rights exhibits she’s seen.
The Plaza would be a good spot for your Saturday. Tons of restaurants, bars, shops. A good place for husband and wife to split up for a few hours, each doing their own thing and then meeting up at, say, Gram & Dun for a drink and their awesome potato chips.
You can stay for dinner — it’s one of my favorite spots in town — or not travel far and fill up at Plaza III (very expensive but delicious steakhouse), Westport Flea Market (best burgers in town), the Peanut (best wings in the world), or Grand Street Cafe (trust me, you’ll love it).
And if you’re in the mood for pizza, the only chain I’ll mention on here is Coal Vines, because you can say hi to my friend Zach.
Speaking of drinks, if you come here and don’t try any Boulevard beers we cannot be friends. Wheat is their most popular, but my favorite is Tank 7 if you can find it. Pale Ale is also delicious. And their Amber. And Pilsner. And, well, you get the idea.
There’s actually a 5K run at the Power and Light District in the morning, but if you’re hungover or lazy, try breakfast: the Farmhouse, You Say Tomato, or, if you’re looking for a greasy spoon to soak anything up, Cascone’s.
If you’ve got more museums in you, the National World War I Museum is an interesting place with a baseball twist this weekend.
Also, off the baseball grid, the Nelson-Atkins is a pretty sweet place.
This would be a good day to go to one of the best lunch spots in town, the Classic Cup.
Sunday afternoon gives you two really good choices. You can either watch the Futures Game at Kauffman Stadium, or Big KC’s Salute to Baseball at the gorgeous Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts — truly a local gem. There will be a reunion of the 1985 World Series team, a tribute to Ewing Kauffman, and a panel discussion with Reggie Jackson, John Schuerholz and Joe Posnanski.
If you’re feeling frisky that night, either go to the Power and Light District or, if you’re into this sort of thing, Death Cab for Cutie is playing at Crossroads, the best concert venue in town.