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Old 03-04-2012, 12:43 AM
 
Location: Wausau, WI
21 posts, read 61,689 times
Reputation: 11

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Hello Kansas City people!

I'm from WI, and am planning a short two-day trip to KC, to visit a friend who is temporarily staying there. I've been studying up on KC, but would like the opinions of locals on some things. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Trip will be in about a week, and

1. How is the Kansas City Zoo?
2. Is the Phoenix Bar a good place for live jazz?
3. Has anyone been to the Piropos in Briarcliff?
4. What is the best mall and/or area for shopping?
5. Any interesting places that most tourists would miss?
6. What places should a visitor definitely see?
7. What/where is the best night life?
8. What's the weather like this time of year?
9. Is the 888 Asian Market an interesting place to go?
10. Anything else that a clueless out-of-towner should know?

Thanks in advance, and looking forward to experiencing Kansas City!
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Old 03-04-2012, 09:41 AM
 
Location: Middle America
35,817 posts, read 39,334,463 times
Reputation: 48613
1. How is the Kansas City Zoo?

I think it's a really nice zoo...my SO and I are transplants, and whenever we have guests visit from other areas, we usually take them to the zoo, and people always seem impressed. It's in a wooded natural area, Swope Park, and well-integrated into the natural landscape. It is a ton of walking, which, depending upon the type of late-winter, early spring weather you have, can be okay or not okay. To me, it's most pleasant when it's not super chilly.

2. Is the Phoenix Bar a good place for live jazz?

Never been. I've typically gone to Cafe Trio, Californos, and Jardine's for live jazz, but I believe Jardine's has switched management since I was last there, and I can't really vouch for it if that's the case.

3. Has anyone been to the Piropos in Briarcliff?

Nope.

4. What is the best mall and/or area for shopping?

Personally, I'd steer clear of most traditional malls in favor of shopping in the Country Club Plaza.

5. Any interesting places that most tourists would miss?

I don't know if most tourists miss it, but I would definitely hit up the 18th & Vine historic district (the historic epicenter of black culture in KC and the birthplace of its jazz scene), and go to the Jazz Museum and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. The National WWI Museum at the Liberty Memorial is one of the best-designed museums I've ever visited (and I'm really not a military history girl), and while most people stop at the Liberty Memorial for its photo op views of the skyline, not so many check out the museum in its base. Our new performing arts center is worth a look, as well, for its interesting architecture. The Steamboat Arabia museum in the City Market is also fairly underrated. From a non-museum standpoint, one of my favorite places in the city is the Kauffman Memorial Garden, but there are lovelier times of year to visit it.


6. What places should a visitor definitely see?
The above, plus The Nelson-Atkins Art Museum and nearby Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art,

7. What/where is the best night life?

Depends on what you're looking for. Power & Light District, a more corporate entertainment venue downtown, has a lot of chain establishments all situated around a central courtyard. Westport and Martini Corner have more hometown-type establishments situated in neighborhoods, the Plaza has places sprinkled throughout. The Crossroads Art District has a variety of venues that are a little higher end and artsy, Waldo is a good place for dives, etc. It really depends on if you're looking for large,clubby atmospheres, small, intimate crowds, dancing, music, cocktails, whatever.

8. What's the weather like this time of year?

It's been mild but kind of all over the place this winter. It's only snowed a couple of times, with no accumulation, and we've only had a couple of colder snaps. I've done an eyebrow-raising amount of walking around in shirtsleeves in the past couple of months, but it's pretty inconsistent. The other day, we hit about 71 degrees, and the next morning, it was snowing. A few days before that was tornado watches. For clothing packing, go with stuff you can layer. You won't need heavy winter coats, but lighter weight jackets may come in handy. It could be sunny, rainy, snowy, or stormy.

9. Is the 888 Asian Market an interesting place to go?

I haven't been, but it gets really good reviews.

10. Anything else that a clueless out-of-towner should know?

If you're planning on using public transportation at all, check the hours of runs. Our public transportation isn't the most useful, IMO. If you use cabs, be sure to check that they take credit/debit cards...it's not a given that they do. Even when we've called for a cab and expressly requested one that takes cards, they've sent ones who do not, and the cabbie will keep the meter running while you go somewhere to find cash.

Thanks in advance, and looking forward to experiencing Kansas City![/quote]
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Old 03-04-2012, 10:13 AM
 
1,830 posts, read 3,109,249 times
Reputation: 532
1. How is the Kansas City Zoo?

It feels more like a research park than a zoo, which I prefer. Is not like most zoos where animals are cramped for the sake of display - some are display areas, but otherwise that means it could be hit/miss on seeing some animals. There's a new lift that goes over zoo, pretty cool.

2. Is the Phoenix Bar a good place for live jazz?

Phoenix is a good place as is Blue Room on E18th and Foundation for late night weekend jam sessions that can go all night. Jardine's is good place but is changing hands. Jazz (cajun restaurant) on E39th sometimes has good NOLA leaning jazz.

3. Has anyone been to the Piropos in Briarcliff?

There are many better restaurants but depends on what you like. Here's a restaurant thread...
Top 5 places to eat...

For ethnic eats, W39th, Westport and City Market are the best areas. The Plaza has a lot of chain and non-chain upscale places.

4. What is the best mall and/or area for shopping?
The Country Club Plaza (called The Plaza) on W47th (outdoor shopping in Spanish Moorish architecture) and Oak Park Mall in Overland Park are the two most popular. Crown Center has a mini mall with things to do for kids.

5. Any interesting places that most tourists would miss?

The typical list is Plaza, Westport, Power&Light, Crown Center (more for families), Nelson Atkins/Kemper/WWI museums, City Market on weekend days with Steamboat museum. Many others depending on tastes or if with kids.

See this city guide..
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1238514/pics/bus/maxmwk.gif

6. What places should a visitor definitely see?
Depends on tastes, what do you like to see in other cities? For an usual bar, check out Manifesto, access from alley behind 19th/Main. Be prepared that all drinks are $11. Interesting place to check out for one drink. The guy won an international contest for mixology. They make some of their own spirits/mixers.

7. What/where is the best night life?
Depends on tastes... Plaza, Westport, Power&Light (weekends or if there are events), Martini Corner. Crossroads has a few scattered music places and 60+ art spaces.

8. What's the weather like this time of year?
It can range 40s-70s in March, usually cool to cold and sometimes rainy nights. Better than average weather in Midwest this year.

9. Is the 888 Asian Market an interesting place to go?

Never been. We cook SE Asian and go to River Market's Asian markets at 3rd/Grand area and E5th Street. Chinatown Market has a real fish counter with all kinds of live crabs, live lobster, etc. Little Saigon is best for herbs.

10. Anything else that a clueless out-of-towner should know?
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:41 PM
 
1,830 posts, read 3,109,249 times
Reputation: 532
Oops, couple typos.. Jazz restaurant is on W39th, not E39th. On Manifesto I meant unusual, not usual.
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Old 03-05-2012, 02:44 AM
 
Location: Wausau, WI
21 posts, read 61,689 times
Reputation: 11
Thank you very much to both of you, TabulaRasa and Xenokc! You both clearly took a lot of time and thought when replying to me. I am glad to have gotten ideas from locals, as there are things I just couldn't learn from tourist websites. I'll definitely use a lot of the info you two provided. Thanks again!
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Tower Grove East, St. Louis, MO
12,064 posts, read 27,204,220 times
Reputation: 3739
Quote:
Originally Posted by andy1987 View Post
Hello Kansas City people!

I'm from WI, and am planning a short two-day trip to KC, to visit a friend who is temporarily staying there. I've been studying up on KC, but would like the opinions of locals on some things. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Trip will be in about a week, and

1. How is the Kansas City Zoo?
I can't bring myself to pay for a Zoo because I'm from St. Louis and ours is freaking awesome and everyone tells me I'd be disappointed. If the weather is nice though, and you like zoos i can't imagine it'd be a bad place to spend a day.
2. Is the Phoenix Bar a good place for live jazz?
I'm more of a blues fan myself, so I'm not help here.
3. Has anyone been to the Piropos in Briarcliff?
Agree with Xeno that there are better options. Also, if it were me, I'd go to the Piropo's in Parkville -- I haven't eaten there but the views are lovely and Parkville is an adorable little town.
4. What is the best mall and/or area for shopping?
The Country Club Plaza should have everything you'd want and more and in a gorgeous Spanish-inspired setting.
5. Any interesting places that most tourists would miss?
I liked Tabula's suggestion of 18th and Vine -- the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is definitely worth seeing -- and you like jazz so I'm sure you'd like the jazz museum as well!
6. What places should a visitor definitely see?
Nelson Atkins, the World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial7. What/where is the best night life?
I prefer Westport over everything else.
8. What's the weather like this time of year?
It's a bit of a crapshoot, but I've never before seen such a warm winter!
9. Is the 888 Asian Market an interesting place to go?
I'd never heard of it until I googled it; sounds interesting. I really love the farmer's market at the River Market too and they have an Asian grocery store at which we buy our giant bags of jasmine rice!
10. Anything else that a clueless out-of-towner should know?
Can't think of anything in particular.
Thanks in advance, and looking forward to experiencing Kansas City!
Have fun and tell us once you've left how it was!
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