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 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.


The developer that did such a wonderful job on my new condo building (insert sarcasm), which I've dubbed the building where everything gets done twice (see blog post), has been approved by the city commission to start a new project on The Plaza at 46th & Jefferson.
"...a nine-story, 214-unit senior apartment building and a 12-story, 216-room hotel. The 46 Summit project is planned for the southwest corner of 46th and Jefferson streets."
Currently, there are some of those U-G-L-Y brick, rectangular apartment buildings on that site... maybe if the current residents in those apartments wait it out, they will be able to purchase a unit in my building (there are still 40 of 42 available). :)

Before you think just any cutesy grandma will be getting her mitts on some Plaza real estate, the article alludes to the projected rent prices:
"The rents will be premier as well. According to a report by city staff, a one-bedroom independent living unit would be $4,100 per month and $6,990 for a three-bedroom. Assisted-living units would be $4,475 per month for a one-bedroom and $6,000 for a two-bedroom, meals included. A memory care studio would cost $5,000 per month, meals included."
Good gravy!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

What the Plaza needs...

I was out with the FOXy News ladies again last night droppin' spare change on $1.75 PBR draws (or whatever they cost) at Tom's. The ladies were slurping back chocolate martinis... so you know this conversation was a good one.

What does the Plaza need?

My answer, a Beverages & More and a small grocery store... I hate to say it, but like a Dean & Deluca or a Trader Joe's. I realize the problem with these places is that you need an accessible parking lot so that it's easy to get from store to carro. I hate to say it because the chain stores are never my favorite... would totally prefer a bunch of local restaurants.

Of course, I'd also like a Santana's 24 Hour Burrito (only to be found in San Diego).

Instead, rumor has it that we are getting a Forever21 and an upscale Target. RETCH.

Ooooooo, what would be totally sweet is a consignment store for all the local ETSY purveyors!

UPDATE (10/31): Brookstone is now open. It took the place of Sharper Image. Is there really a difference?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Make Words, Not Bricks

It's not on the Plaza, but I wrote about a couple of KC idiots that dropped a few bricks into Obama's KC HQ labeled "False Hope" and "Means Social War."

Rumor has it that as they slithered from the scene, people heard uncontrollable grunting and were amazed when they used the sewer system as a getaway path.

Velvet ropes and pick up lines...

I'm so thrilled Bob asked me to contribute to his Plaza blog. I've been wanting to vent to someone about this KC Star article in Sunday's paper.

This "soothing" and "upscale" hot spot on the Plaza is the only place I've ever been in Kansas City where a man felt it was appropriate to ask me to dance with him and then less than two minutes later, ask "baby are you going to go home with me or what?" Um, excuse me? That's not even a pick-up line, it's something you'd say to a hooker.

My biggest problem with Blonde is that it tries too hard to be hip and trendy. Hip and trendy works in some parts of the country, but it rarely works in the midwest. We like comfortable places here. We like a place where we can grab a beer or a nice glass of wine, and sit and talk to our friends, and we also like places where we can dance until closing time. But we don't like the 750 dollar bottles of champagne and the pretentious red velvet rope and the line outside the bar (that is sometimes made up of Blonde employees, making it look like there's a line to get in.)

If you like Blonde, good for you. But I'll be next door at P Otts, sitting at one of their big round wooden tables, sharing stories and laughing with good friends. And yeah, we just might be laughing at the people standing in line at Blonde.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pizza Hut @ 39th & Main Sucks A$$

  • Order time: 6:11 P.M.
  • Estimated delivery time: 6:47 P.M.
  • Actual delivery time: As yet to be delivered, currently 11:42 P.M.
  1. First call to manager at 7:15 P.M. resulted in her saying that she didn't know what was going on.
  2. Second call to manager at 7:45 P.M. explained that the driver got a disconnected number when he tried to call me. We discovered that he dialed the local area code instead of my actual cell area code. Manager promised to get another pie on the way to me.
  3. Third call to manager at 8:15 P.M said that her driver was walking out the door to deliver.
  4. Fourth call to manager at 8:45 P.M. said that she didn't know where her driver was at, but that he hadn't returned yet. I said I would give him 5 more minutes. She said that she "would fix it" whatever that meant.
  5. Fifth call to manager at 9:00 to tell them to forget about it because I'd hardly eaten anything all day and I had to go out and get something to eat. Male that answered the phone asked me (again) for my address and phone number and said aloud, "Y'all can't treat my people like this!" He promised to put a pie in the oven for me immediately and deliver it himself at no charge. He also said that he would call me when he got here. I never heard from him again and I stopped calling.
I decided to make dinner out of 3 beers and a couple of packages of Ritz snack mix. Screw off Pizza Hut on 39th & Main, KCMO. You will never get another call from me again.

If you have local pizzerias that deliver to recommend, I'd love to hear about them.

Construction Worse Than Where I Live

That's saying something... but, as crappy as it is for the West-side Plaza folks, I don't mind hearing that there is a construction project in the neighborhood more fucked up than the one I live in.

BTW, I still don't have a fireplace, a stove nor is there any mail being delivered here. The intercom system goes to a disconnected number recording when you try to dial me and the garage door access keypad isn't working again. Oh, and the elevator is open on the 3rd floor and stuck going halfway down. Fortunately, none of the emergency lights or smoke detectors are beeping on my floor, they sure make a racket on the others.

BUT I FINALLY HAVE THE INTERNET after the installation engineers determined that my main line was mislabeled as the number of a unit that is a floor below me and at the opposite end of the building.

Getting All Mavericky and Stuff in KC!

Boy, if I didn't have a refrigerator repairperson scheduled to show up at my crib that morning, I'd surely go check this out largely to see the difference between political thought in MO vs. what I experienced working on a national campaign last year in DC.

From the KC library site:

On Thursday, October 30, at 11 a.m. Kansas City Star Political Columnist and host of KCUR talk show host, Steve Kraske, broadcasts live from the Kansas City Public Library’s Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St. with a distinguished group of political pundits.

The show, Up-to-Date with Steve Kraske, will delve into the upcoming presidential election with The Star’s Dave Helling, University of Kansas political scientist Burdett Loomis, and KMBC-TV political correspondent Micheal Mahoney. The trio will provide in-depth analysis and predictions of the issues and candidates appearing on the November 4 ballot in Kansas and Missouri, including this year’s historic presidential election, as well as the Missouri governor’s race, the U.S. senate battle between incumbent Pat Roberts and Democrat Jim Slattery, and congressional contests between Sam Graves and Kay Barnes, Emmanuel Cleaver and Jacob Turk, Dennis Moore and Nick Jordan.

More info & RSVP, click here.

If someone goes, can you live, micro-blog it via Twitter? Wait, does anyone in KC live, micro-blog via Twitter other than those I already know about?

KC Metro Kicks the Crap Out of Connecticut!

In size, that is, and we all know that BIGGER is definitely BETTER, right?

In a guest commentary on by Christopher C. Leinberger, he states, "With the most freeway lane miles per capita in the country, you have spread out so that the metro area is 20 percent larger than the state of Connecticut."

"BOOYAA!" I say.

I dunno about y'all, but I've been to Stamford, CT (see pictures), and I've never seen a place like that in KC. I'm not knockin' KC, just bloggin.'

Mr. Leinberger's commentary is an article in support of the light rail initiative. And, we all know how I feel about that.

Credit: Photo models (W. Novak, D. Foster). All you Kansans that can, vote for Miss Novak's Pop, Joe Novak - Candidate for Kansas House of Representatives - District 39.

Party On, Dude

Hearne Christopher, Jr., of the KC Star, reports, "For the most part Kansas City Police statistics appear to indicate that all three -- Westport, the Country ClubPlaza and the Power & Light District -- are places where comparative peace of mind can be attained while partying like a rock star."

MOST CRIME 5/1/08-9/30/08

  1. Westport (284 crimes)
  2. Plaza (197 crimes)
  3. Power & Light (157 crimes)
He continues, "Numero Uno on all three districts crime hit parade: stealing."

BigBadBob commentary: Damn that Summit Street... it's killing us here on the Plaza... I think I see glass on that street from a car window every weekend! He did not report on the percentage of these crimes that were committed by Chiefs running back Larry Johnson.

ZAP! Moon Units Coming to the Plaza!

Well, this is a nice house-warming gift... after all my years in Cali and a quick stint in DC, where you'd constantly see production vehicles filming parts of movies, seems that there will be a movie filmed on the Country Club Plaza! Action!

Director Brent Huff has apparently always wanted to film a movie in Kansas City. The production, tabbed "Last Will," will be shot at the Levy and Craig law firm, Elmwood Cemetery, the Country Club Plaza and the West Bottoms in Independence.

The movie, based on a true story, stars Tatum O’Neal, James Brolin, Tom Berenger (HOLY SHIT, IT'S VIPER!), Patrick Muldoon and Moon Unit Zappa.

I'll let y'all know if I happen past the set. Brent, feel free to contact me if you want someone to micro-blog the shoot!

Was Larry Johnson Really Charged?

I'm not talkin' 'bout these charges:
"The victim says she had respectfully declined Johnson when he offered to buy her a drink the week before and on Oct. 10, spit in her face and told her he would kill her boyfriend, according to court documents. The municipal citation states Johnson’s bodyguards then tackled the victim before she was escorted from the club. The club manager then asked Johnson to leave, and the Chiefs running back then tried to spit on the victim three more times, the citation alleges. Johnson faces another charge of simple assault stemming from an incident in Feb. 24, 2008."
  • I want to know if LJ got charged for the $750 bottle of champagne that he was drinking.
  • I want to know if the $750 champagne was the composition of the spittle x 4 that he attempted to direct in the victim's face.
  • I want to know how much of the $750 bottle of champagne was left in the bottle.
  • I want to know if the bottle and viles of spittle can now be found on eBay.
If not, then that's how Club Blonde can get paid, yo. 'Cause I know how we all gots to get ours.

BTW, if they have a mailing list, let me know when the "Say No to Spittle Night" occurs.

BTWx2, spitting? Isn't that what babies do? I guess LJ is still wearing the diapers, eh Mr. Vermeil.

BTWx3, hey LJ, I actually do brand monitoring online in blogs & forums... drop me an email if you can use my services for some reputation management.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Blonde Actually a Night Spa?

I don't know what the hell Kent Babb of the Star is talking about and which falsehood he is trying to get us to believe more in regard to Larry Johnson's recent activity in Blonde:

1. That The Plaza's "Blonde" nightclub is a place where "the lights are dim and the music is calming." Riiiiiiiiight! Mr. Babb, have you ever been to Blonde? Skip Blonde and visit their neighbor, Fred P. Otts, where you can listen to the bass rattling the walls, since they are shared with the calming influence of Blonde's intense decibels, without paying a high price for cocktails. In fact, you can enter Otts' meditation room to really feel the vibration of house bass through the walls letting it become one with your soul... just don't forget to wash your hands on the way out.

2. That we should feel pity for Larry Johnson and his self-admitted need to "grow up and face his weaknesses." Poor LJ and his $750 bottle of champagne. I really can't believe that any white woman would say no to him... the bartenders in Blonde say that they all love him. Of course, any woman that is trying so hard to find Babb's "warm and peaceful" environment in KC, such as that claimed to be present in Blonde (that still cracks me up), is likely to also be in search of The Bling. In that case, LJ can have 'em.

If I'm looking for warm and peaceful, I'll be reading Kerouac's "Good Blonde" over a hot cup of tea at the Plaza's Barnes & Noble. Good women can find me there.

Plaza Pix

Cool shot taken by Darmesh at the recent Plaza Art Fair... visit Darmesh's DB Fotography blog.

Hungry Zombies on the Plaza

I missed the Zombie Walk on The Plaza, but I heard from friends that it was a good time.

I'm a fan of Harvesters, so check 'em out and donate some brains.

Best Steak in KC?

Where is the best steak in KC?

"The Pitch" claims that it's at the Plaza III... which looks like it's stuck in the decor of a 70's steakhouse (Steak & Ale anyone?). I guess that's cool if you like that kind of thing.

Of course, there are several that would disagree on Yelp.

Personally, I'm not a steak guy at all. But KC is know for steak and BBQ, so it's a conversation to be had.

WaterFire, Flame out or Water-logged?

The heralded as "spectacular" WaterFire event that took place on the Plaza last weekend was far from spectacular.

Let's see, it would have been spectacular if I was with a beautiful woman, a bottle of wine and a couple of blankets to stay warm while we played a little kissy-face in public... that would have been spectacular and would have done well to offset the opera singers braying over the loudspeaker.

I'm not an opponent of opera, I just think it's place is in an opera house.

On the other hand, it was nice to consume beverages on the streets of The Plaza, a la The French Quarter or Vegas. Instead, it was a small crowd of people all thinking the same thing, "Waterfire? Those are just small campfires. Who's ready for another beer?"

Where was the fire-dancing? Next year, channel some Hawaiian Luau talent!

An interesting opinion about the environmental aspects of WaterFire can be found on the Kansas Meadowlark blog. I giggled about burning leaves in the backyard if they are arranged in artistic formation. Nice one!

PHOTOS from WaterFire on Flickr can be seen by clicking here.

KC Blightrail

Let's see... I'm new in town and Mayor Funky wants me to support a new mass transit system. I'm all for mass transit having lived in San Diego (Trolley) and DC (The Metro), but where does the light rail go that I might want to visit?
  • The stadiums? NO!
  • The airport? NO!
  • Boulevard Brewery? Um... I'm not sure... probably NO!
  • Booty call locations? NO!
  • Family Members? NO!
The P&L (Power & Light or Profit & Loss?)? YES! So, if I felt like going somewhere to fight for a drink, yell to carry a conversation and hang out with clueless young twenty year olds (not to mention putting more dough in corporate national brands instead of local proprietors), then I'd not have to worry about parking and driving under the influence. I could take the lightrail! WOOT!

Of course, it probably shuts down at like midnight, so I'd be taking a taxi home anyhow. I think I'll stick to my new favorite Plaza haunts.

The Plaza's Newest Resident

Hello all! I moved (finally) onto Plaza grounds on Wednesday, October 15th. I've loved every minute that I've been here, so far!

I'm a writer and a blogger, so I figured I'd start this Plaza Buzz blog to talk a bit about what's going on and what's happened on Kansas City's Country Club Plaza.

I hope that you enjoy it!