U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Missouri > Kansas City
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 04-03-2017, 08:47 PM
 
Location: First Hill, Seattle
5,469 posts, read 5,774,125 times
Reputation: 7181

Advertisements

It seems like yesterday that I was posting on this forum about moving to Kansas City from Los Angeles. Time sure flies. I recently accepted an offer for a position in the Seattle area, and I'll be moving in the next few weeks. I thought it might be helpful to share my impressions about the city after living here for 3.5 years.

The Good

The People

The people are overall very friendly here, and I mean genuinely friendly. I've met some very awesome people and some not so awesome people, but I truly think that of all the places I've lived, the people here are overall the nicest.

Getting around

Kansas City is such an easy place to get around. Traffic is easy, parking is easy, the freeways are good. I have some minor gripes such as the unnecessary stoplights on 71 but overall, it's a piece of cake.

Fall, Winter, Spring

I'm always shocked to hear people complain about the winters here, but I suppose if you don't have a basis of comparison, you might think they're bad. I've even seen some posters on here complain about it being long and snowy with no sunlight for weeks on end. Um, no. That hasn't happened in the past four winters I've been here. The general pattern is a few cold days and maybe a bit of snow followed by a warm up. Kansas City enjoys mild, sunny days every month in winter. They're really a piece of cake.

Fall and Spring are nice, long seasons for the most part, when you get increasingly warmer days starting in late February and have pleasant temperatures into early June. The weather starts getting tolerable again in mid September and will stay mild through November.

Traveling

I have done extensive travel both for work and for pleasure since being in KC, and there is no major city in the continental US that is more than a 3.5 hour flight. The airport isn't the newest and shiniest in the country but it is very easy to use. I've never waited more than 10-15 minutes to get through security. It's been a great "base camp" for me.

Outdoor Opportunities

There are so many parks in the region and the state. The amount of opportunities one has for an array of outdoor activities is really unparalleled in most other regions of the Midwest. This is the only part of the Midwest with a mountain range, besides the Porkies in far northern Michigan which are very remote. Plus you have beautiful lakes, streams, and rivers. There is a lot to experience within a four hour drive.

The Neighborhoods

River Market, Crossroads, Westport, Plaza, Brookside, Waldo. All great neighborhoods.

The Meh

Cost of Living

Yes, Kansas City is cheap when it comes to housing and property taxes. But I really don't think it's that cheap when it comes to everything else. You have state tax, local city tax, a high sales tax, personal property tax. Sales tax approaching 11% in certain areas like Zona Rosa and other elevated districts. That's pretty damn high. Utilities are expensive and I've noticed most larger apartment complexes make you pay for things like trash and water which I haven't experienced anywhere else I've lived. Groceries are more expensive than in California especially for fresh produce, but that's to be expected. So, while at first blush it is cheaper, I have felt like I've been "nickel and dimed" to some extent.

The Drivers

KC has some of the most polite drivers I've experienced. I've only heard people use their horns on a handful of occasions even when there is a clearly reckless or negligent action. On the other hand, many drivers are very distracted or are just completely oblivious. I'm talking about driving slow in the left lane of the freeway, lack of turn signals, etc.

The Bad

The Summers

They suck.
Period. Hot, hot, hot from mid June through mid-September. Weeks on end. It's far more miserable than winter IMO. Humid and hot. Not a lot to do outside without sweating your butt off, besides going to the pool. The reason I find winters so much better is that you frequently get a reprieve from the cold. You rarely get a reprieve from the hot in KC.

The Politics

I HATE the politics here. I'm talking on a state level, for both Kansas and Missouri. And it's conservative politics that I hate. The whole corporate welfare culture here is out of control. There is no sense of working towards the common good of all. It's a fractured, dysfunctional metro as a result. And I'm not just talking about Kansas, even though I have dreams sometimes about Brownback getting kicked to the curb and replaced with Justin Trudeau. There is such pushback to anything considered remotely progressive. The streetcar was one accomplishment that I had the pleasure of witnessing, but how much fighting/lawsuits did it take to get that tiny route up and running?

The city is liberal, but the suburbs are overwhelmingly conservative. And so is Jeff City. And the lion's share of the power lies with Republicans around here. And that was one of the major reasons for me moving. Any progress is met with fierce resistance and it stymies the sort of dynamism other cities enjoy.

Gay Dating

Sucks. Small dating pool, lack of educated, out of the closet gay guys who are looking for a relationship. Another big reason for me leaving. I think if I was straight, in a relationship, and looking to settle down and raise kids, KC would be a no-brainer. The good schools around here with the other positives would outweigh the gripes I've mentioned. But since that's not my lot in life, I'm moving on.


That being said, I'm going to miss it here overall. No place is perfect. Southern California certainly wasn't, Seattle won't be. I've had a good time here overall and have had some significant spurts of personal growth since I've been here. Kansas City will probably never be what I want it to be, but it still has a piece of my heart. I made the most of my time here and I have no hard feelings. But sometimes you gotta know when to fold 'em.

Last edited by Bluefox; 04-03-2017 at 10:10 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-03-2017, 10:14 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
10,705 posts, read 18,493,517 times
Reputation: 5409
Hey Bluefox, you have always been one of my favorite posters here. I hope you continue to post in the KC forums (even though us expats are not always liked haha).

I agree with everything you said about KC. I always describe the city as "simple" and "easy". You are correct. It's not really that cheap and the politics there (Jeff City/Topeka and the lack of regional cooperation etc) will always keep KC a third tier city when it could be so much more. But KC doens't really want to be "more". That's the rural culture that is embedded there. Things move and change slow there. VERY slow. But it's good to see urban KCMO at least seeing some decent residential construction. I don't think it's sustainable due to lack of urban jobs, but we shall see.

Seattle is great. It's not perfect, but I would love to live there for 5-10 years if I had a chance to get away from the east coast for a while.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-05-2017, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Kansas City, MO
481 posts, read 579,989 times
Reputation: 360
Good post Bluefox. I agree with most of what you stated, although I like the hot summers (mostly in June and July), but I agree, by late August I'm usually ready for some cooler weather.


Seattle is a cool city, I've been there a few times. The weather there just bugs me. The two times I've been, it rained almost the entire time, kind of like here the last few weeks...lol. But I have a couple gay friends that live there and they wouldn't live anywhere else.


Good luck and hope you continue to post on the KC forum.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-06-2017, 08:53 PM
 
Location: First Hill, Seattle
5,469 posts, read 5,774,125 times
Reputation: 7181
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
Hey Bluefox, you have always been one of my favorite posters here. I hope you continue to post in the KC forums (even though us expats are not always liked haha).

I agree with everything you said about KC. I always describe the city as "simple" and "easy". You are correct. It's not really that cheap and the politics there (Jeff City/Topeka and the lack of regional cooperation etc) will always keep KC a third tier city when it could be so much more. But KC doens't really want to be "more". That's the rural culture that is embedded there. Things move and change slow there. VERY slow. But it's good to see urban KCMO at least seeing some decent residential construction. I don't think it's sustainable due to lack of urban jobs, but we shall see.

Seattle is great. It's not perfect, but I would love to live there for 5-10 years if I had a chance to get away from the east coast for a while.
Thanks kcmo! I'll definitely still be hanging around this forum. As much as I think KC sometimes squanders its potential, I think it's moving in the right direction, even if it's not as fast as we might like, and I'll be interested to see what changes the next few years and beyond bring to the city. My biggest hope is the streetcar extension to UMKC. I think that, more than anything else, will be a game changer for the city.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shindig View Post
Good post Bluefox. I agree with most of what you stated, although I like the hot summers (mostly in June and July), but I agree, by late August I'm usually ready for some cooler weather.

Seattle is a cool city, I've been there a few times. The weather there just bugs me. The two times I've been, it rained almost the entire time, kind of like here the last few weeks...lol. But I have a couple gay friends that live there and they wouldn't live anywhere else.


Good luck and hope you continue to post on the KC forum.
Thanks! I'll be moving right at the beginning of summer so I'm sure the weatehr will be fantastic. Winter is going to be the big test for me. I don't dislike rainy and cloudy days as a general rule though, it will just be a matter of whether I can tolerate it for weeks on end . I'll be able to do outdoor stuff year round though, so I think that will offset it somewhat.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-06-2017, 11:10 PM
 
Location: Kansas City North
3,625 posts, read 6,759,161 times
Reputation: 4630
Since you mentioned Bruce R. Watkins/71 Highway, here's an article that tells the story of why it is the way it is.
Road Rage
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-07-2017, 11:05 AM
 
112 posts, read 61,893 times
Reputation: 90
Good post. Good perspective from a relative outsider. For what it's worth, I agree with most of what you said. I'm not gay, but I imagine the dating scene here for gay people is difficult. Having never been in the dating pool here at all, I would imagine it's difficult even for us straight folk too (compared to bigger cities). Lots of people here seem to marry fairly young, and it's a very family driven town. Plus, a lot of young people leave, only to return after they've gotten married and had kids.

The one place I'll disagree with you is the comment about corporate welfare. I think that is still a necessary evil around here. I get why it frustrates people. But KC is still very much swimming up stream when it comes to economic growth. Without the welfare, I fear things would completely stagnate. Economic growth is important for many, many reasons that go beyond putting money in corporate pockets. I hope KC gets to a point someday where the handouts aren't necessary. But for now, without them, I think KC really would suffer.

BTW, if you've only lived here for three years, you've experienced two of the least wintry winters on record. It's the first time in like 100 years that KC has had two winters in a row with under 10 inches of snow. So your comments on winter make perfect sense.

Good luck in Seattle!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-07-2017, 02:44 PM
 
1,298 posts, read 983,095 times
Reputation: 658
Quote:
Originally Posted by DallastoChicagotoKC View Post
The one place I'll disagree with you is the comment about corporate welfare. I think that is still a necessary evil around here. I get why it frustrates people. But KC is still very much swimming up stream when it comes to economic growth. Without the welfare, I fear things would completely stagnate. Economic growth is important for many, many reasons that go beyond putting money in corporate pockets. I hope KC gets to a point someday where the handouts aren't necessary. But for now, without them, I think KC really would suffer.
Sure, if the corporate welfare was effective in bringing companies to the KC metro from elsewhere, I might agree with you. But I think the welfare in question here is that which simply toggles employers back and forth across the state line. This is a net loss for the metro region, and a HUGE one at that. Nobody actually wins (except the shareholders, and perhaps the executives.)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-08-2017, 10:08 AM
 
112 posts, read 61,893 times
Reputation: 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by rwiksell View Post
Sure, if the corporate welfare was effective in bringing companies to the KC metro from elsewhere, I might agree with you. But I think the welfare in question here is that which simply toggles employers back and forth across the state line. This is a net loss for the metro region, and a HUGE one at that. Nobody actually wins (except the shareholders, and perhaps the executives.)
I agree that the border war is probably the least helpful part of the "corporate welfare" process. And is even counterproductive at times. But the thing to understand about that is that it's not just a Kansas City thing. In other metropolitan areas municipalities give tax incentives to move from one suburb to another or from the city to the suburbs or vice versa. In KC it is exacerbated by the fact that the states dole out incentives as well. But the overall theory of giving tax incentives to move your company from one part of town to another affects other metros too. Just in a little bit different way. Also it's possible that the border war has actually kept a few companies in the KC metro that might've looked to move outside the KC metro. The fact that we have two states both fighting for them may have helped keep them around. I don't have any specific examples, but I have to think there's been at least a couple of examples of that.

I was thinking more about the incentives given for urban development. People have been very harsh on tax increment financing incentives for downtown areas lately. And those I think are very helpful for companies looking to locate in urban areas.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-08-2017, 10:51 AM
 
376 posts, read 429,532 times
Reputation: 350
How funny; you're doing a reverse version of my migration. Mine was SoCal to Seattle (Bainbridge Island, to be exact) to KC. Seattle is a delightful city, but the weather can be hard to take. I have many friends and colleagues there and visit pretty regularly, and on my last visit, about a month ago, a friend told me she was ready to leave because they'd had 30 HOURS (not days) of sun since October. Caveat emptor.

Still, it's a wonderful place. The only downsides are the things I don't miss now that I live in KC: the ridiculous cost of living, and the traffic. But you can't beat the scenery, the coffee, the neighborhoods and the seafood. Enjoy.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-08-2017, 11:46 AM
 
Location: IN
20,168 posts, read 34,480,827 times
Reputation: 12508
Good post, the Pacific Northwest has always been on my short-list of places to move to as it is a good match for what I prefer. I was recently offered a position in the northern Rockies region, but a bit more rural than what I would ideally prefer.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Missouri > Kansas City
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top