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Spring’s Fling With Flowers (The Birds and the Bees Simplified)

This year spring made an dramatic entrance with a shock of color that seemed to occur over-nite. Though the earth moved into the position known as the vernal equinox in the same fashion that it does each year, the temperature of the air and soil woke the trees from their dormancy earlier than usual. Dormancy is the way that trees survive the cold. They continue …

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Venturing Into New Territory – Neighborhood Bars Part 2

Cattlemen, steamboat captains, explorers and traders were likely the customers of Kansas City’s earliest saloons. Not unlike today’s pubs and bars, those early saloons served as a place to share a drink, spin a tale, seek companionship or start a brawl. In 1870 there were 80 drinking establishments in Kansas City. The Pendergast brothers established the American House Hotel and Saloon in the West Bottoms …

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The Many Lives of 901 Tracy Avenue

A few years ago I visited Weird Stuff Antiques on 901 Tracy in Northeast Kansas City. I couldn’t help myself. The space was so full of “stuff” that it was actually spilling out onto the street.¬† I’m not actually an antiquer. I’m more likely to buy a WWII compass with a broken crystal just so that I can tell myself a story about it than …

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The Undeniable Beauty of Dreariness

Kansas City isn’t known for days that begin with impenetrable fog. However, days of early¬† warmth have provided the ideal environment for this atmospheric phenomenon. The low lying clouds that we call fog occurs when the temperature between air and dew-point is less than 4F. When the water vapor condenses, tiny water droplets stand suspended in the air. The effect is the glorious soupy, cloudiness …

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GKC Volunteer Team

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead We can feed the hungry, pick up trash, offer help with minor repairs, garden, spend time with with someone who is new to the country, leap tall buildings with a single bound…you know the every day stuff that being a …

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The Night Air Once Carried the Melodies of Fiddlers

I’ve long admired the limestone masonry that overlooks the Westbottoms. Looking east from the Westbottoms, it can be seen standing protectively, giving the impression that it has some regal authority. Until yesterday I’d never taken the time to seek it out and explore the surroundings. The view was stunning. Sadly it also serves as a microcosm of some of Kansas City’s challenges. Littered with glass …

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Venturing Into New Territory – Neighborhood Bars Pt.1

Written and Photographed by Ingrid Keizer Some of my most memorable experiences have taken place in neighborhood bars. The truth is that I’m not a big drinker but I find that the discussions shared by “regulars” shed a lot of light on a neighborhood’s culture and history. It can also offer perceptions that I’d not considered. I like that. Hearing childhood stories of “being taken …

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Segregation and the Birth of 18th and Vine

I’m a shameless dreamer. I can lose hours on cerebral travels to the past. Kansas City offers endless material for those time travels. One of my favorite times to imagine is the 1920s when musicians like Big Joe Turner, Bennie Moten, Duke Ellington and Charlie Parker were cooking up tunes that would help create the future of what music would become. I like to imagine …

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Happy Birthday to the GKC!

The GKC is almost 11 months old and with thanks to you, readership has exceeded expectations. That’s a big deal because the GKC isn’t part of a publishing conglomerate headquartered out of state. The GKC is local. We shop here, eat out here and own homes here. Most importantly, Kansas City is our town too. We really care about what happens here. In the next …

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IL LAZZARONE in the City Market

Written and Photographed by Ingrid Keizer Yesterday afternoon I began embarking on the “grueling” process of visiting neighborhood bars recommended by readers. (I know what you’re thinking. It is a tough job.) After the first stop, my husband started hinting around about being hungry and I remembered that a reader had recommended Il Lazzarone. When I read the recommendation, I googled it and questioned whether …