Tuesday, December 30, 2008

BUZZ off, eh!

PlazaBUZZ Bob is going to take a little time away from his blogs... like a week and a half... you can handle it, I know you can.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

810's Weekly Sports Flop

It astounds me every single week how much 810, self-proclaimed sports bar, irritates the hell out of those that come in to watch the games. I've ranted about a similar instance before which you can read here. This weekend totally took the cake...

It started well when I walked in a little bit before noon with all of the games already slotted into the televisions. The first set of games went well and then the insanity started.

For a full half-quarter, none of the 3pm games were being broadcast on any TV anywhere in the bar. Half of the TVs were blank, in fact. There were 5 games in action.

One of the larger big screens is split into four games. I lost count after those 4 games being shown had been moved around 8 times in 30 minutes. For most of that time, there were duplicate games being shown on the big screen. They never broadcast the Falcons/Vikings game on any screen the entire afternoon. When I asked for a TV somewhere to be changed to the Falcons game my server said that her manager was TOO BUSY to make the change (The place was maybe 33% full).

When I asked again and complained about all of the games being moved from TV to TV, my server said that she would have a manager come talk to me and we could figure it out.


To top it all off, three of the five afternoon games came down to the last few minutes... the Eagles/Skins, Broncos/Bills and Falcons/Vikings... when those games where in the throes of outcome, they flipped the big screen from a four game split screen to a single game forcing everyone to frantically look for the other games elsewhere. Fortunately, I had the Falcons on my table TV so I only had to search for the Broncos on another TV.

810 absolutely blows as a sports bar. I've been to many in my life and it is absolutely the worst one that I've ever attended.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Laugh Your A$$ Off! Literally.

Just met @andienns on Twitter and she recognized the opportunity to have the PlazaBUZZ broadcast an event that is taking place this Friday, 12/19:

Plaza Wellspring, 49th & Main in US Bank building
Call 816-931-6533 for more info.

I'd go check it out if I didn't already have a function that evening! So, if you go, then let the BUZZ know how it went!

I Missed Out on FREE Hugs... BLAST!

"Walking the Black Dog" blogged about some peeps giving out FREE HUGS on the Plaza last weekend and I missed it.

Ohhhhh RUE!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Who's Got the Best Fish Tacos?

wants to know... Fish Tacos at:
  • McCormicks?
  • Extra Virgin?
  • Grand Street?
What say you, BUZZers?

Personally, I'm VERY partial to a lovely little place with an ocean pier view that rests at the end of Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach (OB), San Diego called "South Beach." But, that's just me.

The Reason for Little BUZZ...

I've not been doing much other than writing my book. A few days ago, after basically locking myself in the condo for two weeks, I was chin-scruffy, the dishes were stacked up, the bathroom needed cleaning and the trash was overflowing. I took the weekend off from the book and fixed most of that stuff.

I didn't know what book I was writing until I wrote it. When I finally read it from cover to cover, I realized how to strengthen the themes and bring fluidity to it. I realized what story I wanted to tell.

I'm currently through 100 pages of the rewrite. Book is 250 pages and just short of 80,000 words. I anticipate that it will grow to be no larger than 85,000 words after this rewrite. At that time, those of you on the edit list will be getting an email from the main character, Soupy Heller.

Soupy created a Twitter account last week. He's not active yet, but if you'd like to add him, feel free to follow @soupyheller.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Why Can't I (S)wipe at My Table?

I'm sure y'all heard about the waiter on the Plaza (Brio -- Oooo, That Smell!) let was convicted of credit card theft last week. If not, kansascity.com reports...
"John David Woody, 34, appeared in federal court Thursday on an indictment that a grand jury returned in secret on Nov. 18."

"Prosecutors alleged that while working at the Brio Tuscan Grille in July and August, Woody recorded the names and credit card numbers of five restaurant customers. He then used that information to purchase goods on the Internet, including thousands of dollars worth of DVD boxed sets."
Now America, in other parts of the world they bring the swipey credit card machine thingy to your table so that the card never leaves your sight. We're a country of innovators and we can't prevent this simple crime?

Funny what things we overly-control and what things we don't, ya know?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

West Plaza coated in snow

Pictures from West Plaza on this blustery winter day. Yes my dog is wearing a coat.

Monday, December 8, 2008

West Plaza Bernstein Project Update

More info on the construction dealio on the Plaza West side... whatcha gonna get?

From GlobeSt.com's Robert Carr:

Bernstein says, "'My sons and daughters are starting to take over the business, and I want to have a legacy building, something that everyone in the area will be proud of,' he says."

This, my friends, is what will make them proud...
  • 205,000 sq ft of office space
  • 131 hotel rooms
  • 6 levels of underground parking (1000 spaces)
  • 9000 sqft restaurant
  • 12,000 sqft advertising museum
  • 270 seat theater
  • Bernstein offspring & their ad agency
  • TBD retail
That's kinda hot. We should have all of this by the Fall of '09 if work begins this week or next as stated in a PlazaBUZZ post last week (oddly enough, I never gave the FREE used ear plug away). I'm all tingly inside.

Any bets on whether any of this stuff will be local retail? I thought not.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Quick Plaza History

Excellent article from William Worley and the KC Tribune about the history of the Country Club Plaza:
"What is not quite so clear is whether Nichols himself or his electrical and maintenance engineer, Charlie Pitrat, actually came up with the idea. The distinctive building that today houses M & S Steakhouse was quite remarkable in its early years. From the start, Nichols planned to get all he could out of his commercial buildings at the Plaza. When the Mill Creek Building opened as “the Suydam Building” in 1923, the 2nd floor housed no fewer than five boutique businesses—all operated by women."
A quick read and a must read.

TODAY: Plaza Photo Contest

From the NBC Action News web site, Mark Clegg reports:

Digital Labrador is hosting a challenge on the Country Club Plaza. Capture the beauty of the Plaza’s holiday lights – and you could win a great camera package.

Digital Labrador will host a photo workshop Saturday, December 6th. The event starts at their Crossroads District facility at 4:00pm to discuss shooting ideas. The contest then moves to the Plaza – where it’s game on. From 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., contestants can roam the Plaza, capturing its splendor.

Digital Labrador staff will be staged in three locations to assist with questions.

The prizes include a Canon EOS 40D camera body, and a Canon EOS Rebel XS kit.

To register or to obtain more information, call Digital Labrador at 816-841-9624.


Friday, December 5, 2008

Fogo Almost Go Go!

Fogo de Chao has been under construction on the Country Club Plaza for quite some time (47th & Seville Way across from Houston's), but they've recently removed the big 10' walls surrounding the building.

From their web site:
Welcome to Fogo de Chão (fo-go dèe shoun), a dining experience like no other. Sit back, relax and enjoy the truly unique steakhouse atmosphere from Rio Grande do Sul in Southern Brazil.

Our featured meats are seasoned to perfection and slow-roasted over an open flame to capture their individual flavor. The savory cuts are presented on skewers and carved tableside by our authentic Gaúcho chefs, at the guests' request.

Sounds absolutely yummy and heart-stopping. Will keep you posted on progress!

All Hatfield, No McCoy

Went down to the Country Club Plaza Barnes & Noble this evening to listen to Juliana Hatfield read a few excerpts from her book and play a few songs. There was a nice crowd in the Starbuck's cafe... numbered about 50 strong sitting and standing.

This event was actually the first music event that this store has conducted. Practically everyone in attendance got in line for autographs after she finished. Let's hope that more music is in store for the future.

Juliana herself seemed quite timid... very soft-spoken. I wasn't too impressed with the excerpts that she read for they seemed rather shallow. However, hearing a few acoustic songs, such as "My Sister" was good medicine for I wasn't feeling all that well.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

FREE Ear Plug for Plaza West-siders!

Buck up Plaza West-siders, you're eye sore is about to get some attention.

KansasCity.com's Kevin Collison reports that construction at 48th & Belleview should resume in the next week, or two.

FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY (like for the next .275 seconds), the PlazaBUZZ will be giving away FREE EAR PLUGS (actual ear plugs not pictured) to the first caller. Well, they are actually used ear plugs that I haven't used in awhile... BUT HEY, they can be yours if you can:
  • Figure out my phone number.
  • Dial as fast as The Flash.
  • Get me to actually answer.
  • Tell me a funny joke.
Good luck with all that!


Looks like we need to take a road trip to Marshall, MO!

From the Marshall-Democrat News' Sydney Stonner, Mayor Stephen Allegri said the town's recent turkey giveaway and tree-lighting ceremony was a great success, with at least 250 people in attendance.

"Downtown looks great," he said, "like the Country Club Plaza."

Whoaaaaaaaaa, Nelly. Really? Props to you, Mayor Allegri!

Artist Thomas Kinkade In Town to Sketch

Via KansasCity.com's James Fussell, Thomas Kinkade will talk and sketch at 7 p.m. on Saturday, December 6th, at Community Christian Church, 4601 Main St. A $10 donation is requested. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. A pre-show includes music by Everette DeVann, the Boys and Girls Choir of Kansas City and a talk by the church’s senior pastor, Robert Hill. For information, call the Thomas Kinkade Gallery at 816-753-3330.

Another Brick in the Wall

"A Home in KC" reports that they've finally started rebuilding the wall on Wornall in front of the Kirkwood (expensive-as-hell) condominiums. Apparently, there is a shroud of mystery around this great wall since Sarah's intitial story was pulled offline after she complied with a request to remove it.

Those damn South Plazans. We vill rebuild zis wall to keep zem out!

Anyone know the dealio?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Director Mary Zimmerman @ Nelson Atkins

This is a crazy-great week to get out and get cultured! Authors, musicians and directors... I shore love livin' on the Plaza! Check the events and other PlazaBUZZ posts for wassup this week.

From the KC Rep email I received yesterday:
Mary Zimmerman is the recipient of a 1998 MacArthur Fellowship for her original production of The Arabian Nights. She also won the 2002 Tony Award for best direction and 10 Joseph Jefferson Awards, including ones for best production and best direction.

Ms. Zimmerman gets her speak on this Thursday, December 4th in the Atkins Auditorium at 6pm. Cost is $10 for Nelson-Atkins members, $15 for non-members and $5 for students.

Live Acoustic Set: Juliana Hatfield

Just got a call from my friends over at the Plaza Barnes & Noble to tell me the exciting news that Author and Musician Juliana Hatfield will be performing a live, acoustic set in the cafe on Friday, December 5th, at 6pm.

Thanks for the news, Mike!

Raphael to Take a Nap

No word as to what Donatello, Leonardo and Michelangelo will do between December 14th and Valentine's Day, but Raphael is getting a make-over by none other than Shredder.

KC Star reports that the Raphael Restaurant will be closed during the above dates for renovation. Upon reopening, the Raphael will become the Chaz on the Plaza and will sport a brand-spankin' new menu.

Rumor has it that a Technodrome portal may be the reason for the planned renovation.

I, for one, am really looking forward to some turtle soup... or, at least, pizza, dude.

Dewey Decimal? NO! Dewey the Financial Feline

Forget Wall Street, Dewey the Cat from Main Street is making an appearance tonight on our own Main Street at the KC Public Library Plaza Branch.

Author Vicki Myron will be discussing her book, “Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World."

There may be some lessons that we can learn from Dewey, since his story is about coping during a financial crisis.

6:30 p.m., Kansas City Public Library Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St. Admission is free. Reception prior to event starts at 6 p.m. reception.

PlazaBUZZ Bob's Condo in the Star

Did an interview and a photo shoot a few weeks ago about the new property that I'm living in here on the Plaza. It was printed in the KC Star last weekend.
“When I walked in and saw the amazing view out of the bay windows, I knew I had made the right choice,” he said. “It went from being a house to a home in one night.”
Check out the full article online, "Mill Creek Terrace: Plaza homeowner enjoys unparalleled views, urban lifestyle."

Monday, December 1, 2008

When Not (and When) to See the Plaza Lights

One of my favorite bloggers, though I have a hard time keeping up with the number of posts, is "Greeen in Astor Place." A recent duo of posts notes when you should, and should not, take the time to visit the Country Club Plaza Lights.

Truth. If you're sole intent is to simply view the lights, then the off-hours of the night or early morning will definitely serve you better. If this is your bag, then I highly recommend that you get out on the Wednesday morning before Thanksgiving next year and not only see the Lights, but also the test flip-o-the-switch at 2AM.

I encourage you to read more from Green in Astor Place.

Move Bus, Get Out da Way

The holiday tour buses are now scheduled to make an appearance on your Country Club Plaza.

Heads up when you're out there on the streets... as you may recall from this post.

Just want y'all to be safe! Don't forget that we aren't the only light show in town. Holiday lights can be found at Longview Farm, Crown Center and the Chicago Street display in Blue Springs.

Now, if we could just get those tour buses to stop and do some shopping, eh?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Gotta Love the Power & Loss District

From Voices @ kansascity.com:

"The Power & Light District is expected to generate only $4.8 million in tax revenues this fiscal year.

That is far, far short of the $16.8 million in annual debt service needed to pay for its bonds, which are guaranteed by the city."

Way to go Power & Loss! We need some renewable energy sources here. STAT!

I think I'll stick to my home hood of the Country Club Plaza, y'all.

PlazaBUZZ on a Snowy Day

Catching up on my PlazaBUZZ alerts on a snowy day in front of a fire... mmmm.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

After the Plaza Light Test @ 2AM

@tessk, Katie and I met at the Starbuck's intersection on the Plaza and watched as they tested the lights before the big night. We, of course, hit Fred P. Ott's for last call after. BUZZzzzzzz.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Blogger Drama: Better Than DofOL!

In response to my response about BlogKC/LetsGoKC's response and plagiarism accusation, I've received the following:
"All you had to do was say 'oops, sorry my bad' and be done with it. Sure anyone can use the info from a public press release, the problem is that you copied my own words and represented them as your own."
Dear Sir, where we differ is in your words, "represented them as your own." First of all, there is absolutely no reason for me to claim your words as my own. I'm not all that fond of them in the first place nor am I willing to submit to a DNA test if you aren't sure that they are yours. I believe our real debate is to whether your words actually represent some original form of art or whether they are simply a Public Service Announcement.

I believe that practically everyone would say... all together... P-S-A. The words themselves can be moved around and could, perhaps, became amazingly original, but in this particular layout they are quite like milk toast.

Hey, guess what... buses are running twice as often... WOOT!

Besides, I did apologize, but came at you because of your negativism, which you still never apologized for.

Chill. Pill. Now. I have wine, no more time for whine.

Dickie V (& the Schwab)!


I stopped into the Country Club Plaza's Barnes & Noble to see if Dickie V was still in the house. Sho' nuff... signing away!

While snapping a photo, I met two wonderful B&N employees, Mike & Deborah. I mentioned that we're starting up a local BUZZ blog and that I'd love to post about the events that they have going on in the bookshop. Bingo! New friends! I look forward to chatting with them in the future about how best to stay informed about their happenings.

And for the TRIFECTA...

STUMP THE SCHWAB was there, too. So I asked for his Hancock. SWEET!

BlogKC & the Turkey Baster

In my earlier post, which provided some quick updates about to-dos around the Country Club Plaza, I copied a few paragraphs from a blog which had cited the KC MAX bus schedule additions and changes. Although I'd normally link back and cite, as all good bloggers do, I was running off to an appointment and it slipped my mind.

But, since the PUBLIC bus schedule can definitely be claimed as CREATIVE CONTENT, then I'd like to post a public apology to.... oh wait... BlogKC/LetsGoKC's Eric Rogers is that one that has labeled me a "plagiarist" and even commented that I stole the content... but oh Mr. Rogers, I didn't even grab that from your blog.


Dear Lawd, whatever will happen to this charitable, friendly, love your fellow human, giving season if I don't tell you who this evil blogger is?

I mean seriously, Mr. Rogers, why don't you want to be my friendly, polite neighbor?

My advice, for free with no need to quote me or cite the source, is to pull the turkey baster out of your a$$ and throw back some nog. Chill, dude.

Okay, and my gift to you is an apology. I'm nice guy that will make sure that he doesn't step all over (nor link to) your "copyrighted" content again without an apology for your attitude. Happy holidays.

UPDATE: The drama continues...

The Storm Has Arrived

As of last night, my feeds and alerts for the Plaza started going insane with stories that are being written, both large and small. I'll do my best to keep you, our readers, informed!
  • If you want to skip the crowd, the Plaza lights will be tested at approximately 2AM tonight, i.e. Wednesday AM.
  • CSA Travel Protection (Who?) names Country Club Plaza lighting ceremony as one of top 5 destinations for Thanksgiving.
  • Good interview (and quick read) with retiring Plaza Manager Barry Brady about how the Plaza caters more to tourists than residents.
  • FINALLY, Plaza MAX bus service special schedule has been released:
Since BlogKC/LetsGoKC needs to pull the turkey baster out of their a$$, I'll quote from the KCATA site instead (this is public information and as much as you think you may have added some flair, your post says the same sh1t as the KCATA).

MAX Offers More Frequent Service For Plaza Lighting Ceremony
#39-39th Street-Plaza and #57-South Oak Night Service Reroutes Nov. 27 to Dec. 26; MAX Reroutes Nov. 27 Only

On Nov. 27, from 4 to 11 p.m., MAX will offer more frequent service for the Plaza Lighting Ceremony. MAX buses will operate about every 15 minutes, instead of every 30 minutes.

Buses on 15-minute frequency:
• Begin from 74th Terrace & Broadway at 4:01 p.m.
• Begin from 3rd & Grand Park-and-Ride at 4:06 p.m.
Last northbound bus leaves the Plaza (47th & Main) at 10:46 p.m.
Last southbound bus leaves the Plaza (47th & Main) at 11:28 p.m.
Throughout the rest of the day, MAX will operate its holiday schedule, which is every 30 minutes.
Oh my gosh, that actually provides better info than your post! And hey, um, by the way, I didn't grab that from your blog, I grabbed it from another vile, filthy plagiarist... but I'm not gonna tell you who it was. Nah nah nah nah.

Monday, November 24, 2008

810 Sports, Eat My Shorts?

Man, rough day in 810 yesterday... I just have a hard time with their reactive vs. proactive television station policy.

[Photo via ArmyofMom]

Every single time that I sit in the 810 location to watch NFL games, I have to ask them to change the TV's back to the channels I was watching... at least three times per day. I'm a fantasy football guy, so I admit that I'm high maintenance (thanks, Nan) and would like to see as many games as possible. I walk around the bar when I arrive and figure out the best place to sit and see as many games as possible.

Per their regional manager, Mr. Doyle (who called me this morning to apologize and talk about how they can do a better job):
"Our policy is to change the station for new arrivals, but if someone was already watching a game on that TV, then we'll change it back."
Although I see Mr. Doyle's point--they are trying to accommodate everyone--I ultimately think that it's a lazy policy. I'm proactive about where I should sit. Why can't the hostesses be proactive about asking patrons what games they are interested in watching, then take the time to find them a location where that game is already on rather than sit them and then change the channels around on everyone else?

It was exacerbated greatly yesterday when a group of guys (who were really cool guys once we began conversing) wanted to watch the CFL's Super Bowl, aka The Grey Cup, and the hostess sat them in the middle of the room and changed one of the central TVs that had the Bronco/Raider game on.

Come on, already.

I offered the guys an olive branch, because I didn't feel like being an ass for the third time of the day, by flipping my table TV to the Grey Cup... which, at least, prevented 810 from changing the channel on more TVs.

810 Sports, don't you see the point here?

In Mr. Doyle's defense, he offered to send me a $20 gift card for my next visit.

Friday, November 21, 2008


The economy has had quite an impact on Country Club Plaza commerce.

Not only have we lost Sharper Image and Howard's Harold's, we've also lost the two proprietors (left) and their lucrative (or not so, we're not sure they ever opened their doors to the public) Plaza Meth Lab.

The devastating blow occurred when Carly E. Morris, 24, of Liberty died in October of 2007 after inadvertently drinking from a bottle of lye, a caustic chemical used in meth production, which she thought was a container of Sprite while visiting the apartment. She died three days later after the chemical burned holes in her trachea, esophagus and stomach, leaving behind what doctors described as "liquified tissue."

Apparently, killing your customers is not good for business.

PlazaBUZZ is glad to see these former residents have relocated to a more minimalistic abode.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

STOP! In the Name of...

From the KC Star's Watchdog:

Virginia Schaefer is concerned about pedestrian safety on the County Club Plaza [as you might recall from a previous PlazaBUZZ post], specifically at the intersection of 47th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. Schaefer says she was promised a new stoplight more than a year ago.

Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus. And there is a stoplight in your future, not just in your stocking.

Kansas City Public Works Department spokesman Dennis Gagnon says design work has been completed for a signal at the intersection and the project is out for bid.

"It is expected that the construction phase will begin shortly after the holiday season and should be complete in time for the pedestrian traffic increase that occurs in late spring and early summer," Gagnon says.

P-BUZZ commentary:
I dunno about you, but I stood in the middle of the street for almost 10 minutes on JC Nichols yesterday after running around the park a few times. Traffic coming south on that road, even school buses for goodness sake, will not stop to heed a pedestrian in that crosswalk right there.

80 Miles & 80 Pounds

Mole. Mmmmmmmole. Molay-molay-molay-molay.

Enjoy the Plaza lighting ceremony from Starker’s Reserve, 201 W. 47th St. Executive chef John McClure is serving a buffet of non-traditional foods, including a turkey mole taco bar, roasted squash salad, sweet potato mousse and roast pork loin with cranberries and pecans. Doors open at 5 p.m. There will be live music from 7 to 10 p.m. and bar service available. The buffet costs $25 plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are required; call 816-753-3565. [Courtesy Lauren Chapin, KC Star]

Watch 80 miles of lights flip on while gaining 80 pounds. WOOT!

Sorry, I'm in touch with my childish side today. Turkey mole tacos actually sound damn delicious!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hasta la BYE-BYE Mr. Brady!

From KansasCity.com: Barry Brady is retiring at Highwoods Properties and relinquishing management of the Country Club Plaza, the shopping and entertainment district that he has run for 13 years.

“It’s my decision,” Brady said Tuesday. “Highwoods has been a good company. I’m 62 and I’m going to take some time off.”

To whomever may replace Mr. Brady,
  1. Could we please stop the commercialization of the Plaza with national brands?
  2. We don't want a Forever21 or an upscale Target. We would love, however, a Dean&Deluca or a Trader Joe's.
  3. Don't go the route of the P&L... keep some local flavor like the Classic Cup and other beloved KC eateries!
  4. Can we, seriously, turn 46th Street in a promenade, a la 3rd Street in Santa Monica? We may be able to avoid the near-death experience when walking the streets from those who have no intention of stopping at crosswalks and those that punch it coming out of parking garages.
And that's all I have to say about that... for now.

PlazaBUZZ Resident Bob

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Yeah Babeeee, Dickie V. Book Signing!

On Sunday, November 23rd, Dick Vitale will be inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame at the Sprint Center in Kansas City.

Yeah babeeeeee! He tossed up the rock and nailed that trifecta!

On Tuesday, November 25th (12p-130p), Dickie V. will be signing copies of his latest book, Dick Vitale’s Fabulous 50 Players & Moments in College Basketball, at the Barnes & Noble on the Plaza.

How's that for a Diaper Dandy!?!?!

Is this the Quiet Before the Storm?

Not much news to report on The Plaza the past few days... this must be the quiet before the madness that ensues once the light switch gets flipped.

[Photo courtesy of ericbowers photostream]

Meanwhile, there are so many fantastic photos when you search for "country club plaza" in the flickr photostream that you really should go take a look.

I've already created the search query for you. Click here!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Pix from Prop8 Protest Rally

My head is still BUZZing from the all-nighter last night... but I did make it over to the rally to snap two pix before I had to seek coffee.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Oooo That Smell in Brio

What's the deal with the smell inside Brio?

I can't quite place it... somewhere between yakkity-yak and stinky drawers... I have no idea how you come to mix two such things, but it shore ain't pleasant.

I've been in Brio a few times and in each visit it was basically dead (10-12 bodies) and it's usually the last place we visit before the last place we visit (JJ's). Or, is it the other way around? By that time of the night, I can't remember much.

Therefore, I always give Brio a bad rap because it never seems like there is much going on. However, needing a conversation with someone that can talk about such deep things as ether, metaphysics, world order and broken heels (okay, I admit @tessk , we didn't talk about any of that stuff except the last one, but I know we can and do), I pegged Brio as the perfect place to grab a glass of wine, plop on the couch and enjoy conversation in front of the fireplace.

Alas. Brio was busy! Curses!

To avoid the smell, I buried my beak in a glass of Chianti, stayed bundled on the heated patio and tended to the good conversation. At least I didn't see any ladies that I'd previously dated on this visit to Brio.

PlazaBUZZ Events Calendar

As far as I can tell, Google Calendar doesn't yet have a widget for Blogger... when they do, it will make it easier to keep you informed about events. For now, I've added a Plaza Events section on the right hand column of the blog. I hope this adds to your PlazaBUZZ experience!


A Border War is Coming

It's getting closer to that time, boys and girls, when MU and KU put on the gloves and git bizy.

In this Border War, however, we like to kick it off with a party... lots of parties, in fact.

M&I Bank will be holding a pep rally (OH MI GOSH!) on Thursday, November 20, from 2-7pm at their Country Club Plaza branch located at 800 W. 47th Street.

M&I Bank will be collecting food and money on behalf of the University of Kansas Jayhawks and University of Missouri Tigers. Attendees are encouraged to come and support their teams and donate to Harvesters to determine which school can collect the most donations.

Attendees can enter to win prizes and enjoy snacks, refreshments and games, compliments of M&I Bank, as Kevin Kietzman with Sports Radio 810 WHB broadcasts "Between the Lines" live from the M&I Bank parking lot.

What does it mean when a bank throws a pep rally? Hmmmmm.

Segs in the City

Anyone been on one of these things yet?

I haven't, but I've seen them in cities around the country. Often they are mounted by officers of the law.

But, here's a little twist on getting to ride one... take a walking riding tour.

SegwayExperience gives several tours around KC: the urban core, the Plaza and the Zoo. A Country Club Plaza hour tour is $50. You will learn about the fountains, sculptures and architecture of our famed neighborhood.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

In Search of Wine

I'm in search of a place to go (walk) when I just want one glass of wine and some possible conversation (Okay, and some eye candy). So far, my search hasn't been that pleasant.
  1. Houston's: In two visits to Houston's I had wine that was way too young once and they didn't even have the bottle (with friends) that I selected the second time.
  2. M&S Grill: Although they went out of their way to let me taste a few bottles (they even opened one for me), I wasn't impressed with their selection. There also isn't much of a crowd there on a week night. I think they are too far off the beaten path.

The sun is out, let's warm hearts...

I came across this wonderful article about a Plaza resident who suffered a terrible accident and how the community rallied to help her out. Although she's leaving the Plaza (and we're sorry to see her go), she goes with our best wishes!
"A motorcycle accident the day before her 26th birthday in July left Catherine “Kiki” Beggs a quadriplegic. And although she has made tremendous progress at a rehabilitation hospital in Denver, it was clear she couldn’t return to her apartment on the Country Club Plaza. And living in her mother’s home would have been difficult at best without extensive modifications."
The community kicked in to remodel her mother's home. Big props go out to: Acme Floors Co., PODS, Daltile, Crown Millwork, Kinney’s Plumbing, Wallboard Specialties, B.A. Barnes Electric, Warren Supply and "scores" of volunteers.

Read Grace Hobsen's article from the KC Star by clicking here.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Plaza's Newest Tenant: Swanson Midgley

This will probably be the least read blog post of any PlazaBUZZ post ever, BUT...


SW has leased 12,000 square feet in the Plaza West Building.

Swanson Midgley has provided professional legal services to its clients for over 120 years. Swanson Midgley attorneys are entrepreneurial and goal-directed, and seek to achieve our clients’ objectives by providing quality legal services in the most efficient manner.

At least we know the lawyers are making bank in this economy, eh?

At least (x2) Highwoods didn't drop a Target on us... oh wait, that's still coming.

Did they forget the "Construction Zone?"

I don't mean anything by this, but Noble Investment Group has a really sour acronym (NIG). However, they are dumping $9,000,000 (yes, that's six zeros) into the Marriott Country Club Plaza.

Didn't this place just get renovated? Oh well, more dust and orange cones for us Plaza residents, eh?

The $9 million renovation will include the creation of the Marriott Great Room which is designed to provide "intimate social zones" (aka, a Great place to hang out if you can't get into Club Blonde).

Speaking of one of these "zones," the "Welcome Zone" is apparently going to be transformed into a "new approach to local information." This must mean that they are going to give Plaza Jerry a real job... perhaps paying him with all the cheeseburgers he can eat.

These construction PR people really need a lashing. I almost think they double-time to do political work for they string a lot of words together without saying anything.

Sorry, back to the "zones." The "Individual Zone" will be a great place for you butt-sniffers to scout out your next target. The "Social Zone"is the place for business travelers to sit at intimate tables for two (aka, out-of-towners engaged in marital affairs). The "Business Zone" will have all things needed to plan your conquest of the world.

In case you have a problem with any of this, "vibrant colors and rich hues will merge throughout the building" to make you feel like you are a character who has been taking Huxley's Soma for your entire lifetime.

Finally, I've never really known a Marriott to be an "urban landmark," but this is sure your chance to experience it. No wait... let them renovate it first. I love it when we renovate our "landmarks." No wonder so many Americans always look lost.

Protest of Proposition 8, Sat @ 1230pm

I'll leave my personal feelings about this Proposition that was passed in California to myself. As a good BUZZ reporter I'm here to let you know that a protest rally is planned for this Saturday, November 15 at 12:30pm. Organizers will be meeting at the J.C. Nichols Fountain (which is between J.C. Nichols & Main on 47th).

Proposition 8 was a California State ballot proposition that amended the state Constitution to restrict the definition of marriage to a union between a man and a woman. It overturned a recent California Supreme Court decision that had recognized same-sex marriage in California as a fundamental right.

It passed 52.3% to 47.7% with most supporters claiming that they were trying to "protect" marriage. This PlazaBUZZ reporter wonders how many that voted were actually divorced... maybe they are the ones that should be protected from marriage?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Rain & Driving

I love rain unless I have to leave the cozy confines of the PlazaBUZZ HQ... kinda like I have to do now. Fortunately, there are both beer and family members at the destination. Okay, that's what I needed to write... I can go now.

Back on the P-BUZZ beat tomorrow.

Harold's Closing Shop

Harold's Stores Inc. has filed Chapter 11. The company has 41 stores in 19 states, including one on the Country Club Plaza and one in Town Center Plaza.

They are having a closing sale with clothing 30 percent off, shoes and accessories 40 percent off and some jewelry 50 percent off.

336-40 West 47th Street
KCMO 64112

M-W&F, 10a-7p
Thurs, 10a-9p
Sat, 10a-6p
Sun, 12p-5p

I've never been in a Harold's, but I did clean up at the Function Junction closing sale last week to get all that white china that I'd use for that dinner party that I'll never throw.

Chopping Blonde

The PlazaBUZZ never misses an opportunity to cut on Blonde. Although we didn't report this one, a fellow KC Blogger at one of our favorite reads, State of the Line, does a fine job of calling out the falsities of the obviously deceptive marketing scheme that Blonde is using to attract new patrons.

Oh and, by the way, we've a new spicy rag in town, ENVY. Move over INK. I fully expect to see Courtney Cox in character as Lucy Spiller from TV's crass and overly-materialistic (aka, crap) "Dirt" walking the streets of the Country Club Plaza, wind oddly and eternally in her face so that her raven-colored locks flow from her pretty little head.

From ENVY:
"Conveniently located in the trendy and eloquent Country Club Plaza, BLONDE is a mix of award-winning artist and interior designer Jeff Low and Los Angeles based Lucid Entertainment’s creation of a warm, alluring and sophisticated ultra-lounge."
And this where it gets good... our SOTLers are fellow grammar snobs (although I hope they leave my own errors alone):
"Where to start? With the description of an inanimate object as well-spoken? With the bizarre wording that implies Jeff Low was used as construction material? With the comical and nonsensical term “ultra-lounge”? Better to just ignore it, I think."
Awesome. Running out to nab my ENVY now. Maybe I'll stop by Club Blonde... at 10am I'm sure it's warm and peaceful.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Near Emergency @ Kona Grill Last Night

While I was sitting at the bar at Kona Grill last night imbibing on a Sam's Winter Ale, someone on the other side of the bar dropped to the floor. Patron's began yelling for someone to call 911, which I thought was strange since pretty much everyone yelling probably had a cell phone on them.

The person who passed out came back to consciousness and nothing more actually happened... thank goodness. In fact, I don't think 911 ever got called.

When it happened, I asked my friend if he was certified in First Aid and CPR. I was certified all through college, but I haven't been since. He said the same, that his certification had lapsed, as well.

Still, I'd take the chance to save someone's life though the Good Samaritan's Law wouldn't apply to me. I'd rather try and fail than do nothing at all.

I was surprised at how many people just sat there and did nothing. No one ran to assist. Everyone was googly-eyed just waiting to see what would happen. They always teach you in First Aid training that people always assume that someone else is going to call 911, so you should go ahead and do it. If you duplicate a call, then at least you know it's being handled.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

GreasySkillet Lauds Winstead's, I Beg 2 Differ

The GreasySkillet blog touts Winstead's and Town Topic as the best burgers in town, but I do not concur.

It's not quite on the Plaza, but we can walk to the Westport Flea Market... their burger is the absolutely bomb-diggity. From their site:
"The Flea Market has a storied history: Infamous serial killer Bob Berdella had a booth in the flea market part of the building. The place nearly closed a few years ago,until Joe Zwillenberg stepped in to buy it, rescuing it from developers who wanted to demolish the building and build a Hooters."
Now that makes you want to eat meat, doesn't it?

10oz of juicy goodness can be had at the Flea Market in conjunction with curly fries as "springy as a piggy tail" and 23 brews on tap... well, you can't go wrong, you can just go fat.

See you there NEXT WEEK!

Topeka Symphony Orchestra @ Halls Tonight

Get your symphony on at Halls tonight when the Topeka Symphony Orchestra comes into town to raise the roof and raise some funds.

10% of all purchases at Hall's will go to benefit the Symphony. They will be playing from 6pm to 830pm.

I'll be out on The Plaza tonight, so I'll likely stop by and get all culturey and stuff. Of course, then head over to Club Blonde to see if LJ is there.

UPDATE: I dare say it's a good thing that we don't have a ton of readers yet because I failed to do my homework. Halls was doing a benefit, but the Symphony was not playing... oopsy daisy.

Panhandling is Banned on The Plaza?

Yeah right. Apparently panhandling is banned on Kansas City's Country Club Plaza, yet every time I go out I pretty much run into the "Down Payment on a Cheeseburger?" Guy, the elderly African American gentlemen on crutches and the guy that just shakes his Styrofoam cup full of change at you.

What kind of a ban is that?

Lawrence is seeking the same ban... good luck with the results there, Kansas.
"There is precedent for banning panhandling from prominent shopping districts, according to research conducted by the city’s legal staff. Kansas City, Mo., has banned panhandling in the Country Club Plaza area."
However... it is always nice to see those Kansans trying to be like us Missourians.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

TessK on Election Day

Our own PlazaBUZZer TessK talks about her experience on Election Day from the Plaza Precinct Phuk Up to the fantastic party at the Midland.

Don't forget... "CityBall" Premiere Tonight!

I didn't make the premiere since I wasn't feeling that well... so sorry!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Hope Hangover

I skipped writing about the Plaza Precinct voting issues yesterday... I figure y'all know about it plenty. But, TessK was actually there when it happened... maybe she'll write about it later.

I, on the other hand, have a Hope Hangover.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Asleep on the Border (War)

Although chock fulla great one-liners, "Border War" kinda put me to sleep during it's last half hour. The first two-thirds of the documentary, however, were quite entertaining. I'm hoping that they edit it a bit more for television when it is broadcast on Thanksgiving.

The "Border War" is the calamity that went on before the beginning of the Civil War. Well, you really could say that the Civil War started here. Kansas dudes (Jayhawkers) burned Osceola, MO. Kansas dudes kidnapped the Missouri dudes' (Bushwackers) wives and daughters who then died in a building collapse. Missouri dudes burned Lawrence, KS. Kansas dudes declared 4 Missouri counties as "No Man's Land" and killed livestock and burned homes. It's pretty ugly history.

The "Border War" still manifests itself in the rivalry between the universities of Kansas and Missouri. If ever one felt right to use the word "hate," which is a word I utterly despise, this is the region where it almost feels justified. MU & KU have been playing football against each other for more than a century, second only to length of the Wisconsin/Minnesota match up. In fact, MU & KU can't even agree on the record between them, but that is another story.

"It's not a rivalry, they are enemies."

Great one-liners from the documentary:
  • In Poland they tell Missouri jokes.
  • Korea had the 38th parallel, we've got the State Line.
  • I hear the MO government is voting to make the Jayhawk the state game bird.
  • We had to move the MU/KU games out of Kansas City because everyone ended up in jail.
  • It's nice to see the football teams playing well again. For years they've been like 6 year olds flogging each other.
  • The Jayhawks wears boots, perfect for kicking a Tiger.
  • Jayhawks are a bunch of thieves, you can look it up in the dictionary.
I loved the time that the documentary spent on Coach Don Fambrough. He is a character that I wasn't previously familiar with and he's hilarious. He says that he's amazed that he's still alive because his doctor is a Missouri alum. Fortunately, he did his med work at KU Med. :)

Finally, the Truman Forum at the Plaza Library is an awesome venue and I should make it back on Thursday night for the premiere of "City Ball."

Monday, November 3, 2008

"Border War" Premiere Tonight

PlazaBUZZ just found out that the movie "Border War" will premiere at the Plaza Library tonight. We all know what the KU/MU Border War is all about.

The Missouri-Kansas football series is the second-most-played rivalry in college football history. The teams first matched up in football on October 31, 1891. Missouri leads the all-time series 54-53-9. There have been 9 ties in the 116 games played.

The real border war hatred, if you want to go back that far, stems from the argument about who was going to be the big bully on the block and convince everyone else to be a part of the Confederacy or the Union. Missouri was a split state, but Quantrill crossed into Kansas and burnt Lawrence down (he also attempted to ravage the Union stronghold in Columbia, btw). The Red Leggers (aka, Jayhawks) returned the favor by destroying farms in Missouri along the border frontier. Good times, eh?

Catch the premiere tonight at the Plaza Library branch round 'bout 630pm.

The REAL BUZZ Over the Plaza

Are these the guys that are buzzing around the Plaza at night? And here I thought it was just the medical helicopters!

All kidding aside, I saw the PlazaFlights video on YouTube today (embedded below) and it looks something to check out! Maybe we can get them to post some video of the flight to show us how cool it really is?

Or maybe, just maybe, they can take a PlazaBUZZ blogger up into the skies and we can micro-blog the entire experience on Twitter.

For $85 you can tool around in a Cessna at night and see some great sites.

Flights can be scheduled with KCPlazaFlights.com or PlazaFlights.com.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Blonde & a Transformer

Chillin' on the terrace on a warm fall night,
Rappin' with my man when the sky filled bright.
"What the hell was that?" I said aloud,
But the night had returned to its cool, dark shroud.
I asked, "Dude, didn't you see that huge, bright flash?"
"No, but those sirens are sure in a mad dash."
And away they were to the calamitous scene,
We saw the engines pass with their spotless glean.
I texted Tess, fer sure, 'cause she's a newshound.
But it was hours before she said what she'd found.
"A transformer blew in a car wreck,
Surely that's the flash you saw from your deck."
So there we had it, without further to wonder,
An unfortunate driver the cause of the blunder.
Our minds at ease, we jumped in the car,
Time for live music in the local dive bar.
Nothing but gum-chewing ladies in here,
We left to find someplace else to drink beer.
When suddenly we got a text from a friend,
"Come to the club, your woes we will mend."
What club do you think, well the one they call Blonde,
Which isn't one that we necessarily find fond.
A recent article by the Star's Kent Babb,
Was nothing but ridiculous, inflated flab.
"Blonde is nothing but peaceful and warm,"
When ear-numbing bass is typically the norm.
But have a few drinks, we did with a smile.
The eye-candy there could line up for a mile.
When finally we left, we stopped for a cap,
Positive tomorrow would demand a quick nap.

Kinda like Frogger

A local Plaza resident wants the speed limit on the Plaza, namely 47th which is currently set at 35mph, to be reduced to 20mph. Now that I'm a fellow Plaza resident, I've seen how careful you must be when dipping your toe into the river of flowing machinery.

I met a friend for lunch yesterday and we were nearly hit twice walking from CPK to my condo. The first one was a car flying out of a parking garage and the second was another driver trying to slip through the crosswalk without stopping.

I've never understood why pedestrians assume that cars will see them in a crosswalk. It's your life, better take care of it. Motorists realize that pedestrians have the right of way in a crosswalk in many of the places that I have lived. But here, I can stand in the middle of the street and watch car after car blow past without regard for the crosswalk.

Each one gets the evil eye as they pass by. Perhaps I should give them a little bit more.

Alas, the Public Works "traffic engineering staff" assessed the concern and gave our local resident the middle finger.

"If the speed limit were too low, many motorists might ignore it. That means that a road can have motorists traveling at widely varying speeds — those abiding by the new limit and those going at a higher rate — and that creates more problems than it solves."

Such as?

PlazaBUZZ suggests that Plaza residents return the favor and give the middle finger to any motorist that fails to recognize pedestrians trying to cross the street.

Ideally, I'd love to see the Plaza become more like the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, CA.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Downtown KC/P&L Fad

I'm tellin' you... Off the record, on the QT, and very hush-hush... the P&L is a passing fad unless they do something to make it local. Why?
  • Too many people have to drive there and DRIVE HOME.
  • Finding a good place to park during an event sucks.
  • All of the establishments are pretty much national chains.
  • You can't carry a conversation in those places, too loud.
The P&L will be a great place to hang before an event at the Sprint Center aside from having to fight to get a drink at a bar. But aside from events, people will begin to see that it's too much hassle to make that road trip.

If I want a national chain, then I can choose Zona Rosa if I'm a northlander or Towne Center on the KS side. Why make the trek downtown?

This KC Biz Journal article tries to convince you otherwise, read it.

Warning to those that determine the businesses on the Plaza... keep it local, you idiots.

Spiegel's "CityBall" to premiere 11/6

I saw this on KansasCity.com earlier today and it sounds pretty cool:
Metro Sports producer Stephen Spiegel tracked several Interscholastic League kids during the 2007-2008 school year. Now, Spiegel is ready to unveil his documentary entitled “CityBall,” which will premiere next Thursday free to the public at the Plaza Library at 6:30 p.m. and air for the masses on Time Warner Cable Metro Sports at 7 p.m. Nov. 12.
I've added it to my calendar... will I see you there?

Zagat Gives Props to Our Local Grub

Zagat has released their Top Restaurants and some of local Plaza joints have made the list:
  • The Plaza III and Jack Stack made top honors. I haven't been to the Jack Stack on the Plaza yet, but my family was raised on the beans that come out of the formerly Smoke Stack location in Martin City.
  • Also noted by Zagat: McCormick & Schmick (uh, not really local) and Starker's (another place that I've yet to visit).
  • They also mentioned JJ's and I wanted to make one remark about this establishment... ok, maybe two remarks...
  1. First of all, I didn't even know they had food there. Blame that on being so darn intoxicated each time I visit or being wide-eyed, ogling all the visible vino behind the bar.
  2. Last time I was there, a woman walked up to me and said, "Were you here for New Year's Eve?" She totally caught me off guard, so my response was a simple, "No." She was cute--reminded me of someone--but that was the extent of our conversation.
So, KC Peeps, forget about the economy and go EAT!

BTW, why didn't P. Ott's make the list? Tessamalu and I will have to take our posse there to investigate.