Photo: David Dennis
1. We are too much city for just one state.
Straddling the border of Missouri and Kansas — we’ve got twice the amount of stuff to do. For vibrant nightlife, we have the Power & Light District with its great open container laws. For hipster bars and eclectic shops, we can pop into Westport and hunt for vintage treasures at Boomerang then make our whiskey dreams come true at Julep Cocktail Club. We’ve got First Fridays in the Crossroads, where local and national artists and musicians can have a cultural rendezvous. And if you time it right, you can stuff yourself with free cheese and crackers as you walk through the galleries and street parties in our historic arts district.
Plus, our museums range from the famous Nelson-Atkins Museum to the less-well-known Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. For the performing arts, we’ve got the architecturally beautiful Kauffman Center and the outdoor Starlight Theatre that looks like the entrance to a castle. In a city like this, you can never be bored.
2. We can BBQ with the best of them.
You don’t have to travel to Tennessee for perfect BBQ. In Kansas City, we’ve got our specialty burnt ends and our sauce is distinct from all the rest — with a tomato-based kick of molasses.
We’re always willing to eat inside of an old gas station (and you should be too), so Oklahoma Joe’s is our place to go. But, then again, if you want to hang out amongst the stars and some former presidents, Arthur Bryant’s and their special sauce need a quick visit. While these two joints may be among the most crucial in Kansas City, there are about twenty other beloved spots that we locals lay claim to as our favorites. And trust me, we can tell the differences between all of them.
3. We’re home to the largest specialty brewer in the Midwest.
Boulevard Brewing Co. is loved by every KC local with its bestseller: ‘Unfiltered Wheat Beer.’ (Yeah, that’s actually its name.). Plus Boulevard puts out some delicious seasonal releases and, for true beer lovers, the Smokestack Series.
And since Boulevard likes to celebrate local, they’ve partnered with other local businesses to create some new masterpieces — like the locally-loved Chocolate Ale that came from a collaboration with Christopher Elbow of Elbow Chocolates.
4. We aren’t called the “City of Fountains” for nothin’.
We have more fountains than any other city in the world (besides Rome because…it’s Rome). And every April, when most of the city’s fountains turn back on after their winter hibernation, we celebrate Fountain Day.
5. We will always be Royal.
Because our sports teams are awesome, even when their performances are not entirely awesome. Yeah, so we may have only one World Series under our belts, but after last season, our Royals are back with a vengeance. After all, we did help inspire Lorde’s hit song.
We’ve also rewritten the National Anthem to better suit our pride in being the “home of the Chiefs,” and Sporting Kansas City gives us one of the precious few professional soccer teams in the United States. And on top of all that, Kansas Speedway holds two NASCAR weekends each year and we’re just around the corner from KU and Mizzou’s epic collegiate rivalry. Just make sure you choose your team carefully — you could lose some friends over it.
6. We know our jazz.
While not the birthplace of jazz, we are considered the place where jazz grew up. Now clubs like Mutual Musicians Foundation — famous since the 1930s for its post-midnight jam sessions — are keeping the spirit alive. We’ve got some festivals too, like the 18th and Vine Jazz and Blues Festival and KC’s largest *free* music fest Jazz in the Woods (pictured).
7. Our internet is faster than everyone else’s.
Several years ago, Google decided to use KC as a starting region for Google Fiber. As a result, our Internet bandwidth is among the fastest in the country. Google’s decision to set up here also reflects the tech growth happening across the city. Our tech and startup industries are both thriving and even have their own community within the Kansas City Startup Village. This may be one of the reasons more and more post-grads are ditching the idea of living in NYC and giving KC a try instead.
8. Our food actually comes from our farmers.
And we’ve got the billboards to remind us: “1 Kansas farmer feeds 128 people + you.”
Each year that 100+ number keeps growing. Our farmers don’t just give us vegetables, but our meats as well. Kansas City has more than 30 Farmers’ Markets, including the region’s largest: City Market. Farm-to-table is something we live by and it shows not only in our own meals at home, but also in the quality of the food throughout KC’s many restaurants.
9. We can live here AND we can afford it.
Kansas City has one of the lowest costs of living in the country. I’m talking under $1,000 per month for a one-bedroom apartment in many of the city’s most active districts. This means that we get to enjoy all of the food, music, nightlife, sporting activities, etc. and still pay rent for our affordable and spacious homes. For this reason, and because of the job opportunities already mentioned, Glassdoor recently listed us as one of the 25 Best Cities For Jobs — so, hell yeah!