Kansas City

If you’re looking for something fun to do in Kansas City on a Friday night, consider heading over to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. We started out with the $5 happy hour in the Bloch building lobby.

Then we had dinner in Rozzelle Court. The food — though delicious — is a bit pricey so we each ordered large salads and split an order of crab cakes. The atmosphere is the real show stopper. You feel like you are dining in a courtyard in old world Italy. If you look up, you can see about a dozen Rodin sculptures on the second floor balcony. Free music is also featured. We listened to a jazz duo as we ate dinner. 

On occasional Fridays, the Nelson hosts artist walks by recipients of the Charlotte Street Foundation awards. On March 8, fashion designer Peggy Noland shared slides of her wearable graffiti-type clothing and the ever-changing art installations on the exterior of her shop. One week, a cheshire cat adorned the front door of her Crossroads District shop Peggy Noland Kansas City; the next week featured a giant pink hand with purple nails. She has designed clothing for numerous music groups and is creating the costumes for a yet-to-be-named movie. Rihanna’s stylist discovered Noland on Instagram and hired her to create the costumes for the singer’s upcoming world tour.

Noland finished off the evening by taking us on a walking tour of five pieces in the gallery that influenced her work in some way. Abstract painter Mark Rothko was a major force, while Thomas Hart Benton was not. In the midst of the tour, she discussed creativity, ownership of an artist’s inspiration and where she found her ideas.

If you are looking for a similar evening of fun, check out the next Charlotte Street Artist Walk. Poet Glenn North will be featured on April 12 at 6 and 7 pm. The event is free but tickets are required. Include the happy hour and dinner in Rozzelle Court, and you will have a memorable night.

 

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Cool Kansas City Events: November

by Cathy on November 2, 2012 · 0 comments

in Kansas City,Travel

Proving that once again Kansas City is NOT a flyover state, there’s plenty to do around town in November. Check out these fun, frivolous festivities:

Friday, November 2, 2012
First Friday -
Excerpts from Kansas City Ballet’s The Nutcracker
6–7:30 p.m. FREE Family Fun Night, no reservations required
The Frost Studio in Kansas City Ballet’s Bolender Center
You and your family will experience the unique opportunity to peek behind the curtain of Kansas City’s favorite holiday tradition for a 90 minute Open Rehearsal.  Enjoy different sequences of The Nutcracker as you move throughout the Bolender Center, visiting multiple studios where the ballet is being worked on by the professional company, plus dancers from the Kansas City Youth Ballet. It’s a casual, come as you are, stay as long as you’d like evening.

Sunday, November 4, 7 pm
Rock legend Lindsey Buckingham performs at Johnson County Community College as part of the Performing Arts Series.

Wednesday, November 7, 6-9 pm
Kansas City’s Got Talent: Corporations from around the metro will be competing for top honors in the second annual corporate talent show at Boulevard Brewing Company, 2501 Southwest Boulevard. Proceeds benefit the Women’s Employment Network.

Saturday, November 10, 4-7 pm
Second Saturday in Weston
Stroll into Unique Shops & Galleries for late night shopping and enjoy in-store specials, local wine and beer, food samples and live entertainment. Have fun with every Second Saturday…shops open late in downtown Weston.

Thursday, November 29, 6:30  pm
Last Bite Cookbook Dinner at Story’s Restaurant in Prairie Village
Featuring Special Guests Pete Dulin and Roy Inman Dinner includes signed copy of Last Bite: 100 Simple Recipes from Kansas City’s best chefs and cooks and four courses from Chef Carl Thorne-Thomsen based on recipes from the book.

Ongoing

KC Strip – KC Trolley Tours: For only $10, you can hop a trolley and visit up to eight entertainment districts, as well as 100 restaurants and bars with exclusive specials. An easy way to experience Kansas City’s nightlife.

Howl at the Moon, “The World’s Greatest Rock ‘N Roll Dueling Piano Show“, is partying five nights a week in the heart of Downtown at the Kansas City Power and Light District. Howl at the Moon’s talented musicians will have you singing and clapping along to everything from Barry Manilow to Lady GaGa.

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I work as a freelance consultant, which means that my office is my home or a good coffee shop. I’ve sampled my share of coffee shops in Kansas City and my favorite is … The Roasterie in Brookside. This is also a locally owned company with an interesting story.

The most important criteria for judging a coffee shop is the coffee and the brew rocks. I’ve never had a bad cup of coffee here — my favorite is the Vanilla Latte. While you’re at it, order one of their amazing pastries. The cinnamon or blueberry scones are particularly good.

Best of all, the atmosphere is conducive to getting a lot of work done. One wall is entirely windows so the light is terrific, and if you are particularly lucky, you can snag a table on their outdoor patio. You’ll find a laptop on nearly every table because this is a favorite haunt of both the self-employed and the students at nearby UMKC. I’ve written half an e-book at this place! Judging by my lagging work output in recent weeks, I need to visit the Roasterie again soon! 

If you need to take a break from work, visit the cute shops right around the corner … The Dime Store, World’s Window, the Reading Reptile and the best gift shop/artist emporium in Kansas City — STUFF.

Leave a comment and tell me YOUR favorite coffee shop in Kansas City. I need to find some additional work locations!

(Photos courtesy of Man Seeking Coffee.)

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Cool Kansas City Events: October

by Cathy on October 1, 2012 · 0 comments

in Kansas City

Kansas City has slowly moved beyond its “fly-over-state” status to become a fairly interesting place to live. With that spirit in mind, here is the first monthly calendar of interesting things coming up in and around Kansas City. I plan to roll this out at the beginning of each month, with occasional updates. Check back often and send me any additional “cool kid” activities.

Oct. 2, 11:30-1:30: The Culinary Institute of KC’s “Staff” Lunch – Join the Culinary Institute on the first Tuesday of every month from 11:30-1:30 for a “open to the public” Staff Lunch where you get an incredible lunch at a great price. You eat whatever the chefs want to make (and they are VERY competitive!) It’s a full lunch including drink and dessert. They  serve until the food is gone and don’t take reservations.

Oct 5, 2-8:30 pm, First Friday at the Crossroads District – the granddaddy of all art districts. In addition to the usual gallery open houses, the night includes the Contemporary Autumn Showcase that highlights new artists Nina Irwin, Jeff Robinson and PMK. There will also be new works by returning artists. The showcase will play with the swirling light of dreams, the dark fantasies of humanity and the blending of reality with the surreal.

Oct 5, Owl City, the Beaumont Club — The doors open at 7 pm and the show begins at 8 pm.

Oct. 6, Noon – 9 pm, Parktoberfest — October festival at English Landing Park in Parkville, Mo. featuring food, drink, music and family fun.

Oct. 12, 3Oh!3, the Beaumont Club — Doors open at 6:30 pm and the show begins at 7 pm.

Oct. 12, Seinfeld Live, the Midland Theater – Doors open at 6 pm and the show begins at 7 pm.

Oct. 13, 12-2 pm, Farm to Table Kitchen Cooking Class at the City Market (River Market area): The Culinary Institute will teach a cooking class that uses the abundance ingredients found in the City Market including imported spices, Italian products and winter produce. Sign up early to ensure your spot. The price includes the cooking class, recipes and a market bag filled with produce.

Oct. 14, 7 pm, District Rhythyms: The Sequel — Free concert on the KC Live Stage in the Power & Light District

Oct. 26: Final Fridays, Art in Downtown Lawrence: Art, music and performances by hundreds of artists all over the downtown area as well as the new Warehouse Arts District. Maps can be found the evening of Final Friday at The Lawrence Arts Center, the Warehouse Arts District and many local galleries and venues. Events are free and open to the public from 5 until 9 pm, so pick up a map and start walking!

Ongoing Fun:

La Bodega Happy Hour ( two locations: Southwest Boulevard and Leawood): 50 percent off tapas, sangria, wines by the glass, well drinks, draft beer and domestic bottles. Monday-Friday, 2-6 p.m. and Saturdays, 2-4 p.m.. The Leawood location has a lovely outdoor seating area with fireplaces, cushy seating, and plenty of tables.

Homer’s Coffee House Weekend Live Music Live music every Friday and Saturday night, 7:30-9:30, no cover charge. Oct. 6: Moon City Big Band; Oct. 12: Charles David Smart; Oct. 13: Hallelujah Cowboys; Oct. 20: Sky Blue; Oct. 26: Brent Lee.

Leave a comment and let me know of other things going on around town. We’ll add it to the page. Thanks!

 

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Kansas City has become a rich stew of flavorful local artists but when we visited Art Westport a few years ago, we found it, well, a bit bland. Last night, though, we sampled the various art from local artists and found it quite tasty. The funky Westport area was alive with artists’ booths full of photography that makes you want to travel the world, crafted jewelry that makes you want to blow your paycheck in one night and paintings that are so varied, I couldn’t begin to describe them. Here’s just a brief sampling:

(Photography by Karen Geisler of Photographic Escapes)

(Work from artist Nyle Gordon)

(Jewelry by Michelle Babcock of Michelle’s Enamels)

Then we ate a late dinner at the Beer Kitchen, where we split a Reuben sandwich that a reviewer on Yelp.com said was “the best reuben you will ever eat. Period.” It was pretty darned tasty. We also split a “build-your-own mac and cheese” that we topped with burnt ends and bacon. It was so bad for ‘ya that it was GOOD. This place had over 200 reviews on Yelp — I know, 200! I don’t even like beer but this place is great. I did have a blackberry pear cider, though, and I liked it — a lot.

So, if you head over there today during this gorgeous weather, you can catch Art Westport on its last day. If you don’t make it this year, be sure to mark your calendar for next September. It was a winner.

 

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