Saturday, January 20, 2024

Kansas City Eats - AWP Edition Post # 3

A Taste Of Kansas City 

So if this is your first time visiting our fair city, I have a few eating establishments to call your attention to.   We have a wide range of culinary options here, but I will start with something Kansas City is especially known for.- Bar-B-Que.

In the downtown area a short drive from the conference and at the Arts Crossroad District is Jack Stack Bar-B-Que. The downtown location is converted historic Freight House with atmosphere to wow. 25-foot ceilings, fireplace lounge and full-service bar. This is a place I highly recommend. My personal favorites  are the beef ribs and burnt ends. 

There are so many Barbecue locations across the city - I mean, that and Jazz are what we are known for.  I would be remiss if I did not tell you about Arthur Bryants Barbecue. Located at 1717 Brookland Ave in K.C. it is famous for BBQ fit for a President. It has over the years served Presidents Harry S Truman, Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama.   Note, people don't go there for the esthetics, it's all about the food. President's have had it flown back to D.C.   Burnt Ends are great, ribs are great, the only drawback is they don't have beef ribs but I will till eat Bryant's pork ribs any day.

Johnny's Power & Light District  I can attest to their food a wide variety. They are walking distance from my work, so I have dined there a few times. 

Yard House  at 1300 Main KCMO.   Cuisine is Amaracana  

Buca di Beppo Italian Restaurant - located in the Country Club Plaza district 310 W. 47th Street  Another Personal Favorite for Italian Dining Ive dinned here many times.

The Melting Pot  450 Ward Parkway, KCMO This is another Cuntry Club Plaza location.  I have not eaten here for some time, but ever time I've been there it has been a delightful experiance. 

The Mix  4855 Main St. KCMO.   If you like salads, (I do) the mix is a fun place to go. Build your own salad from seemingly endless options.  This is Just South of the Country Club Plaza.

The Brick - 1727 McGee KCMO  Great appetizers and main dishes. An array of Burgers and they have an onion block to die for.  

The Phoenix - 302 W. 8th KCMO. Jazz and great Food Nightly

#FoodKansas City.  #FoodKC.  #AWP24  #AWPKCMO

Monday, January 15, 2024

AWP is Coming to Kansas City - Part 2


Kansas City is hosting the AWP Conference this year and I've waited for this since it was kicked aside over concerns related to the spread of Covid.  Actually, I was waiting for it even before it was announced.  Kansas City is an excellent site for the conference for several reasons (besides I won't have to fly in). 

  • We have excellent convention facilities.
  • Fantastic food.
  • Many unique sites to visit.
Kansas City actually is a culturally rich city for the arts.  

  • We have a world-class center for performing arts.  The Kaufman Center for Performing Arts is just one of the jewels of the Arts in K.C. 
  • South of the Kaufman Center is the Kansas Cities Arts District.  An area of Private Galleries,  Shops, Food, Bars and Coffee Shops.  
  • East of the Downtown area you will find 18th and Vine. This area has a rich Jazz History and the Jazz Museum is yet another jewel of the city,  
  • The Negro Leagues Museum is also in the 18th & Vine District. It shares a lobby with the Jazz Museum. 
  • Kansas City has a famous shopping area called the Country Club Plaza.  It's south of Kansas City. Unfortunately you you will be too late to see the miles of Christmas lights strung there and delighting visitors from Thanksgiving until just after the first of the year. 
  • East of the Plaza is the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art. You will see two buildings, the mamoth origional and a new venue on the same grounds that was designed for providing natural lighting for the art displays.  Outside 0n the grounds is a sculpture garden and you will see the giant shuttlecocks which have become famous in KC.
  • North of the Convention Center you will find the Main branch of the Kansas City Public Libaray.  This is worth seeing. Both the Parking garage with giant book spines and the elegent inside. It is a not just a functional library, but a spot that I recomend finding a book and getting comfortable in one of the many area you will find seating. 
  • Slightly east of the Convention Center is the Power and Light -  Foor, Drink -music and after sporting events often a spontanious party location. 

Kaufman Center for Preforming Arts

J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain (east edge of Plaza)

 Nelson Atkins Museum

American Jazz Museum 

These are just a few of the many sites that I feel are noteworthy. 

Next Up I will share information about notable places to eat. 


Tuesday, January 09, 2024

Confession Tuesday -Major Snow Edition


Dear Reader:

It's been a week since my last confession.  Come with me to the confessional. 

This morning I awoke to major snow here in Kansas City. It Happens. This was the most severe of this winter. Our street was not plowed.  It is a few blocks off a beaten path, but it is not on the city plow route and I think it is usually plowed by someone in the neighborhood.  I confess that my efforts to get to work were stymied  I got stuck at the other end of the block, and somewhere around an hour and a half later I got the car backed maybe 200 feet from the drive and was stuck again. Eventually, with two very nice neighbors, we got it back safely in our drive. 

After exceeding my book reading goal by 1 book last year, I have upped my goal from 24 to 28 books. I confess I have finished the first of the year. A Biography on Frida Kahlo.  She is a fascinating individual who endured enormous pain in her life and crafted art that was often reflective of her pain. 

AWP is coming fast.  February 7th. I confess I can't believe how fast that seems to be closing in. 

Last night I wrote a new draft poem, working late into the night. I have struggled the last few days to feel effective with my pen. I did three drafts and I confess I believe it is a keeper, however, it still requires a rewrite. 

They have finally cleared the road out front, I confess I feel optimistic about getting to work tomorrow. 

I confess I recall being really angry about something but for the life of me, I cannot recall what it was. 

That's about it for today, my friends.  Until next time, be safe.

Best wishes,

Michael Wells

Tuesday, January 02, 2024

Confession Tuesday January 2, 2024

 My Friends:

As a fallen-away confessor, I am back.  I don't have nearly enough digits to count the weeks since I was last in this confessional. I might have given enough for the months, but let's just agree it has been too long.

I confess that today was kind of a slow day at work and it drug on till all of a sudden, I realized it was 4:16 PM and I knew I could make it to the end. 

I actually met and exceeded my reading goal for the month by one book. I confess I was shocked that I reached it.

Believe it or not, poetry was not my number-one reading genre this year. Now I don't count the Poetry books I go back to from time to time for inspiration or to explore what some poets are doing about ampersands, form, etc. I reread parts of many poetry books throughout the year and these are in addition to my totals to meet my goal challenge. I confess I really enjoy memoirs. I think it was Mary Kerr, the poet and essayist that turned me on. to Memoirs. 

I confess that I periodically pinch myself every time I remember AWP is in Kansas City this year.  I will do a series of AWP-related posts in the next couple of weeks, so put on your seat belts and get ready. 

I'm sorry folks, I confess that's all for today. 

Stay safe,  and check back soon. 

#AWP  #ConfessionTuesday  #Reading2023

Monday, January 01, 2024

2023 Is History - Welcome to 2024

 Small Victories 

I ended up reading 25 books last year. My goal was 24. 

What's more, I expanded the reading genres considerably. I generally read mostly poetry, biographies, and memoirs.  This is how my reading broke down :

  • Memoir 8
  • Novels  7
  • Poetry 6
  • Historical / Political 2
  • Biography 2