A Love Letter to Kansas City

Before I left the country in February of last year for Copenhagen, Denmark, I was so sure I wanted to be gone. I was convinced that the change would do me good that I wouldn’t mind the weather and that being a fish out of water wouldn’t bother me the way it did in my twenties. What I forgot to account for was that leaving Kansas City was like breaking up with a lover with whom I was still madly in love. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know people in cities like New York and San Fran write songs and love letters to their cities and many of those folks may even think of Kansas City as fly over country but this is my love letter to my city.

Dear Kansas City,

I missed you so very much while I was gone and not just because I missed my house and my own bed. I missed the food and the culture because Kansas City has as many independently owned and phenomenal restaurants as New York City (per capita) and gives more to the arts (per capita) than most cities in the U.S.

I missed my neighborhood because back in 2007 I began a “Neighborhoodology” project than involved taking photographs of my West Plaza/Westport neighborhood through each season to record and document the eclectic wonder and weirdness (we don’t suffer from strict zoning laws) along with the incredible and exciting development as houses undergo repair and refurbishment.

I missed my city because it has all of the benefits of any major metropolitan area minus the headaches. And so far, housing is still affordable, especially if you’re willing to put in a little work.

But mostly (mostly) I missed the kindness. I have moved quite a bit growing up and have lived on three continents so I know something about what makes a city feel like home. Kansas Citians are kind.

The kind of people that mean it when they say they’ll help you move or have you over for dinner. They’re the kind of people that find your wallet on the ground and return it to you, money and cards intact. They’re the kind of people who win a World Series and have a parade without violence or even one arrest. They’re the kind of people who will stop what they’re doing to help you — -just ask my friend Kansas City Slim.

I love you Kansas City and I missed you so very much.

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