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Old 09-09-2010, 08:11 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
7,496 posts, read 8,958,637 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TabulaRasa View Post
The bummer about Santa-Cali-Gon Days is that the festival directly conflicts with the Irish Festival in KC. Consequently, haven't made it to the former, yet.
go to both!
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:15 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
7,496 posts, read 8,958,637 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cp1969 View Post
Nice pictures, kcmo. It's been a while since I've been to Independence. I think the Vail Mansion might have been the last thing I visited there.

I need to get back out there and get brushed up on what's new.

What's the theater on the square? I can't read the sign. I love to go to old theaters like it.
Thanks,

That's a movie theater.

The Pharaoh Theatre - Proudly servicing Kansas City

Indy also has the Englewood, but it's closed right now for renovations. I hope it opens. That's more of an art house though like the rio.
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Old 09-09-2010, 10:04 PM
 
3,329 posts, read 4,812,940 times
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From a tourist perspective, the most noticeable differences are on the square with many renovated buildings and a few new eateries and coffee shops. I'd recommend checking out the remodeled bowling ally on the square if you're into that. The theatre is a really nice place to see a movie. It's thoroughly modern with digital screens.
Some hot dog place called Updog is going in across the street and also a bakery next door to that. I can't leave out Game Cafe. What a neat concept. I think you can go in and play board games with other patrons and food is served.
Independence isn't rich or trendy, so these things have taken a while to materialize. But the improvements will be very noticeable to anyone who hasn't been in a while.

As a resident I've been impressed with the aesthetic improvements to streets like 39th, Crysler, Santa Fe and it's bike path, parts of Winner Road, and the Maywood district among many others. That bike path is part of a system that eventually will cross the city east to west linking some parks along the way. So far 1.5 miles of it is completed in the western part of town.
There's still a lot of work to be done, but the city is certainly going in the right direction in many areas.
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:49 AM
 
1,783 posts, read 1,998,040 times
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I stayed in Independence earlier this year and probably will again later in the year. I did not get to explore all of the areas pictured, but my hotel was near the Independence Events Center since we were there to see the Mavericks play.

I felt like I was in suburban hell. Outside of sleeping or going to watch the Mavericks play, I could not get on I-70 fast enough into downtown. Chain restaurants, massive parking lots, a giant mall. Worse yet, the group I was with was so impressed with "how new everything is". It was awful. Obviously by your pictures I will need to explore Indpendence a little more off of 70 next time I visit.
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
7,496 posts, read 8,958,637 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoomBoxing View Post
I stayed in Independence earlier this year and probably will again later in the year. I did not get to explore all of the areas pictured, but my hotel was near the Independence Events Center since we were there to see the Mavericks play.

I felt like I was in suburban hell. Outside of sleeping or going to watch the Mavericks play, I could not get on I-70 fast enough into downtown. Chain restaurants, massive parking lots, a giant mall. Worse yet, the group I was with was so impressed with "how new everything is". It was awful. Obviously by your pictures I will need to explore Indpendence a little more off of 70 next time I visit.
Yea, it's typical suburbia out that way. But Independence is labeled as ghetto by much of the metro area, especially in JoCo. That's the reason I posted the thread to pretty much show that the city has a pretty typical suburban side as well as a historic and charming side in addition to the more well known ghetto side .
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Old 02-04-2011, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Kansas City, MO
3,339 posts, read 2,637,413 times
Reputation: 2204
Default Independence

Great thread.

I've been searching the forum to see what people think about Independence because the place has long been subjected to rampant stereotyping. This is only the second thread I've gone through so far and I have yet to see anything negative on this forum. But Independence is a place that is undeniably and widely stereotyped and this is a case where people are not afraid to hold back. I happen to have had the privledge to become intimately acquainted with this community in a way that most outsiders do not and wanted to offer a counter to the damaging stereotypical image that exists. I want to make it clear I'm talking about the historic part as well as the obviously nice suburban southeast, as it is a rare combination of historic neighborhoods in a good school district in a major metropolitan area and close to the core of the city.

I have an ex-girlfriend of 3 years who grew up in Independence and went to Chrisman, which apparently is a good school, even though Truman is often thought of as better. When she was still living at home, it was in a historic neighborhood that was the typical upper-middle-class neighborhood in its time. The Brookside of Independence. I'm not sure what it's called, but it's along Winner Rd southwest of the Square, between there and Englewood. Both of her parents are professionals, yet they chose/choose to live here, and this seems typical of the neighborhood. Her best friend's mother, who lives a couple doors down, is an architect. My point is I was surprised to see the social dynamic in Independence after having always heard the rampant stereotypes. These people live here because they grew up there and know the truth.

Independence does have some problems, but they seem to have a knack for dealing with them. Some of the validity the stereotypes stem from is the fact far western Independence, the part that was in the KCMO school district, was going down hill. The fact the community took action to gain control of schooling for all the children within the city's boundaries, essentially rescuing them from the KCMO district, is admirable. I've heard it's been a success for the sudents, as well as property values and stabilizing the area.

Independence does not deserve the reputation it gets. It's all too often I hear meth jokes and demeaning comments referring to the conservative, blue-collar nature of Independence. In reality, the place is pretty nice and is very Americana - the oft-romanticized America of the past. The negative rhetoric seems to be mostly coming from those who fit the very political mold you would think would be praising that community's progress. Then again, Independence is vast-majority white, conservative, and Christian. The Square is great as is, but it also has great untapped potential. The older and historic areas of Independence still have a solid middle-class population and the neighborhood-oriented retail is reflective of that fact. They must be doing something right. The place has community pride and is a true community. It has its own identity and is distinct from Kansas City, not merely a suburb. It's like a small town attached to the side of a large city. They should better market themselves as such to attract new blood to ensure the continuation of such. However, with the ignorant and negative stereotyping and rhetoric out there, that's easier said than done.
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Old 02-04-2011, 10:08 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
7,496 posts, read 8,958,637 times
Reputation: 3053
Quote:
Originally Posted by MOKAN View Post
Great thread.

I've been searching the forum to see what people think about Independence because the place has long been subjected to rampant stereotyping. This is only the second thread I've gone through so far and I have yet to see anything negative on this forum. But Independence is a place that is undeniably and widely stereotyped and this is a case where people are not afraid to hold back. I happen to have had the privledge to become intimately acquainted with this community in a way that most outsiders do not and wanted to offer a counter to the damaging stereotypical image that exists. I want to make it clear I'm talking about the historic part as well as the obviously nice suburban southeast, as it is a rare combination of historic neighborhoods in a good school district in a major metropolitan area and close to the core of the city.

I have an ex-girlfriend of 3 years who grew up in Independence and went to Chrisman, which apparently is a good school, even though Truman is often thought of as better. When she was still living at home, it was in a historic neighborhood that was the typical upper-middle-class neighborhood in its time. The Brookside of Independence. I'm not sure what it's called, but it's along Winner Rd southwest of the Square, between there and Englewood. Both of her parents are professionals, yet they chose/choose to live here, and this seems typical of the neighborhood. Her best friend's mother, who lives a couple doors down, is an architect. My point is I was surprised to see the social dynamic in Independence after having always heard the rampant stereotypes. These people live here because they grew up there and know the truth.

Independence does have some problems, but they seem to have a knack for dealing with them. Some of the validity the stereotypes stem from is the fact far western Independence, the part that was in the KCMO school district, was going down hill. The fact the community took action to gain control of schooling for all the children within the city's boundaries, essentially rescuing them from the KCMO district, is admirable. I've heard it's been a success for the sudents, as well as property values and stabilizing the area.

Independence does not deserve the reputation it gets. It's all too often I hear meth jokes and demeaning comments referring to the conservative, blue-collar nature of Independence. In reality, the place is pretty nice and is very Americana - the oft-romanticized America of the past. The negative rhetoric seems to be mostly coming from those who fit the very political mold you would think would be praising that community's progress. Then again, Independence is vast-majority white, conservative, and Christian. The Square is great as is, but it also has great untapped potential. The older and historic areas of Independence still have a solid middle-class population and the neighborhood-oriented retail is reflective of that fact. They must be doing something right. The place has community pride and is a true community. It has its own identity and is distinct from Kansas City, not merely a suburb. It's like a small town attached to the side of a large city. They should better market themselves as such to attract new blood to ensure the continuation of such. However, with the ignorant and negative stereotyping and rhetoric out there, that's easier said than done.
What a freaking awesome post. Thank you.
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Old 02-04-2011, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Kansas City, MO
3,339 posts, read 2,637,413 times
Reputation: 2204
Independence really does offer a small-town ambiance, complete with a major fall festival, but with the convenience of having a regional suburban shopping/restaurant area and being minutes away from the city and good jobs. People like that type of environment, but they are thwarted away because of a combination of stupid stereotypes and just not knowing its available. Right now, you have to either be a city nerd or very adamant about what you want to discover a place like Independence.

More recently though I've realized the general public doesn't quite think the way some of us do. For example, I strongly associate the physical aspects of a "small-town environment" as being inclusive of the complete package. I think of the old house, with a front porch, and being in a walkable area. Whereas Liberty, Blue Springs, Lee's Summit and even Olathe satisfy most people's want of such an environment, with only a few choosing to live in or regularly use the actual historic centers of those towns. The community-centricity of the people who live there is just as important. I think this is why sometimes its hard to understand why people rave over what appears from the outside to be pure generica and lacking of any sense of community.

That said, it would be neato to see some low/mid-rise apartments and condos or townhouses built on the Square, even if catered to retirees. I could see some mega project, if done right, succeed on the Square. Something of a walkable community for retirees with a grocery store and pharmacy. Something like that if successful and replicated might even help retain more retirees who are otherwise moving south.
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Old 02-06-2011, 12:11 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
7,496 posts, read 8,958,637 times
Reputation: 3053
^ Independence is in the process of building metro KC's largest master planned new urbanism community in the Little Blue Valley.

I have been told it's being modeled after Denver's Stapleton area.

This project could change how people view Independence, but then again, the city has already done a ton that "should" be changing its perception.

Bringing in those KCMO schools was something that city should be complimented for on a national scale. That was a bold, risky move, yet it was the right thing to do. The city really does deserve more credit.

Here is more info on the Arcadia project:

Arcadia Land Company



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Old 02-06-2011, 01:43 AM
 
Location: Kansas City, MO
3,339 posts, read 2,637,413 times
Reputation: 2204
I remember reading about this project a few years ago. Has ANY part of it been built? I even remember something about streetcars being a part of it, though I'm not sure how realistic that is.
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