A Tale of Two States: Kansas City Locals Tell All

Zillow asked locals 15 questions to get the scoop on life in the metro.

Originally published by Tali Wee on Zillow Blog.

Spanning the Kansas-Missouri border, the Kansas City metro boasts an extremely loyal fan-base for jazz, barbecue, sports and more. Whether it be the opening game for the KC Royals or a stroll through the city’s endless fountains, KC locals take pride in their city. How do residents differentiate state lines though? It looks and feels like one city, but exists in two states. Some locals live in one state while working in the other. If you’re relocating to KC, should you find a home in Kansas or Missouri? Does it matter?

To get a feel for life in Kansas City, we asked locals to share their insights.

1. What is Kansas City’s best kept secret?

Loose Park in spring. Photo Source: Kate Taylor of Cooke and Kate

Loose Park in spring. Photo Source: Kate Taylor of Cooke and Kate

The City Market. I’ve met people who’ve lived in Kansas City their entire lives and have never visited the City Market. On the weekends the Farmers Market is open and you’ll find fresh herbs and spices as well as fresh fruits and veggies for cheap. Plus, beautiful flowers and meat vendors. There are street performers, a variety of cultured restaurants and foods to try. — Ericka Chatman of ErickaSaves

The parks for sure! There are so many beautiful parks that often get overlooked. Loose Park is an excellent place to throw a party or get married in the rose gardens. — Cyndi Wright of MrsWrightWrites

The West Bottoms! I absolutely love going just west of 12th Street Bridge on First Friday weekends to hunt for treasures. Antiques, repurposed furniture, home decor … you name it! — Meg Evans of Life of Meg

2. Best place to get the KC barbecue experience?

This is highly-contested issue here in KC, because everyone has their favorite place! Right now, though, at least for me, it’s two-way tie between Q39 and Joe’s Kansas City (but only the Gas Station location counts). — Sarah Hicks of StyleB8sics

There are many places you can (and should!) experience authentic KC barbecue. Arthur Bryant’s, founded in the early 1920s, is legendary in Kansas City. Their location at 18th and Brooklyn, near the 18th and Vine Jazz District, is one of the places President Obama dined when he last visited Kansas City. Expect to wait in line, and know that your experience will be more pleasant if you know what you want to order when you get to the front of the line. Gates Bar-B-Q has also been a part of KC barbecue history for decades. They are famous for their shouted greeting, “Hi! May I help you?” which you’ll hear as soon as you enter one of their many locations. Joe’s Kansas City, formerly known as Oklahoma Joe’s, was on Anthony Bourdain’s list of “5 places to eat before you die.” The original is in a gas station, and the line is almost always around the building. — Leanne Breiby of Grow Your Giving

3. Which is the better stadium for catching a game, Arrowhead or Kauffman stadium?

Arrowhead Stadium. Photo Source: Leanne Breiby of Grow Your Giving

Arrowhead Stadium. Photo Source: Leanne Breiby of Grow Your Giving

Why choose — they sit directly next to one another! As one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL, Arrowhead is where to be on Sundays during football season. But nothing beats afternoon games at the K for a great family-friendly experience. We love cheering on our American League Champion KC Royals; there’s no bad seat in the house. — Natasha Burgert of KC Kids Doc

Both offer super fun (and loud!) atmospheres, but there’s nothing quite like a ball game at the K. — Ashley White of Le Stylo Rouge

4. Where can you find the best live jazz music?

Green Lady Lounge is my favorite! It’s a relatively new bar with an impressively authentic jazz age vibe. — Kate Taylor of Cooke and Kate

The best place to find live jazz music is the 18th and Vine District. If you really love music and stay up late, you can jam all night until the morning at the Mutual Musicians Foundation. — Ericka Chatman of ErickaSaves

5. Where does your allegiance fall, KU Jayhawks or Missouri Tigers?

I’m a Jayhawk through and through. Rock chalk! I grew up on the Missouri side, however, so I have plenty of Tiger friends. — Ashley White of Le Stylo Rouge

I am a Missouri girl, without a doubt. “Go Tigers!” — Sarah Ruhlman of Sarah Scoop

6. What essentials must you bring for a true tailgating experience?

Tailgating before a KC Royal’s game. Photo Source: Cyndi Wright of MrsWrightWrites

Tailgating before a KC Royal’s game. Photo Source: Cyndi Wright of MrsWrightWrites

Sunscreen, your red or blue shirt (depending on which stadium you choose) and bottomless Bloody Marys for those daytime games. — Kim Wallace of KimberlyLoc.com

Tailgating is an art form in KC. The best tailgates start early in the morning with a full breakfast buffet, settle into pre-game with lawn games in the lot and finish with plenty of KC strips on the grill and ice-cold beer. Be sure to bring plenty of extra chairs for the friends that show up, and park next to one of the many trucks with a big flat screen TV. — Natasha Burgert of KC Kids Doc

7. Is Country Club Plaza or Legends Outlets the best place to shop?

Country Club Plaza. Photo Source: Kate Taylor of Cooke and Kate

Country Club Plaza. Photo Source: Kate Taylor of Cooke and Kate

Legends is best for family outings as it’s more kid-friendly, and prices are more affordable. Plaza is better for date nights or a girls’ day out on the town. Their shops are much more upscale. — Cyndi Wright of MrsWrightWrites

Country Club Plaza: you can sightsee while shopping! We have tons of pretty fountains and photo opps! — Enza Ketcham of Enza’s Bargains

8. Where are the top areas to see KC’s renowned art and architecture?

Artwork outside of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Photo Source: Leanne Breiby of Grow Your Giving

Artwork outside of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Photo Source: Leanne Breiby of Grow Your Giving

The Nelson Atkins is a world-class museum that is free to the public! It’s my favorite place to take visitors when they come to Kansas City. From there, I would drive by the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, home of the Kansas City symphony. It’s a beautiful, modern building designed by architect Moshe Safdie. — Kate Taylor of Cooke and Kate

The sculpture garden at the Nelson-Atkins is wonderful, as is the breathtaking art inside. There are always fantastic exhibits stopping through. Don’t forget to check out the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. But, the best spot is the local art on display in the galleries at the Crossroads Arts District every first Friday of the month. There’s also a variety of cool street art throughout that district and downtown. As you’re perusing the Crossroads District, look for the KC Star Walk (with stars devoted to Walt Disney and Jean Harlow, who have ties to the city) and admire the stunning curves of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. — Kim Wallace of KimberlyLoc.com

9. Where are KC’s best attractions for kids and families?

Worlds of Fun. Photo Source: Kate Taylor of Cooke and Kate

Worlds of Fun. Photo Source: Kate Taylor of Cooke and Kate

LEGOLAND Discovery Center, Sea Life and the Kansas City Zoo are very popular. Both Worlds of Fun and Schlitterbahn Waterpark are fun for amusement parks. We love going out to Starlight Theater to catch a show, to the dog park inside of Shawnee Mission Park, or drive out to one of the local farms/orchards to pick seasonal fruit (blueberries in the summer!). — Meg Evans of Life of Meg 

10. Any tips for prospective homebuyers?

Don’t force anything. If it doesn’t work out, it’s because you will find something that is a better fit for you. I love the older homes and condos that have been updated in the Kansas City area. You still get that updated feel with the authentic touches like wood floors. — Sarah Ruhlman of Sarah Scoop

Stay on the Missouri side for the best bang for your buck. Small communities are the way to go! Best schooling, resources and activities for the kids (and restaurants). — Cyndi Wright of MrsWrightWrites

11. Where can you get the most real estate value for your money, Kansas or Missouri?

I think Missouri has incredible deals and unique neighborhoods. But we are sticking to the Kansas side in order to live in a great school district, which you pay a premium for in Johnson County. — Meg Evans of Life of Meg

Missouri. Everything’s higher in Kansas. Gas, tobacco, property tax. … — Cyndi Wright of MrsWrightWrites

12. Where is the best suburb to raise a family?

Overland Park, Kansas, is beautiful and easily accessible to KC. There are trails and parks as well as every retail spot you can imagine. The schools are great and the food scene is thriving. — Kim Wallace of KimberlyLoc.com

I am a huge fan of the Kansas City North area! — Enza Ketcham of Enza’s Bargains

13. What is the most popular neighborhood for 20-somethings?

Westport Cafe. Photo Source: Kate Taylor of Cooke and Kate

Westport Cafe. Photo Source: Kate Taylor of Cooke and Kate

Plaza is my favorite. Also, Westport, Crossroads, River Market and Power and Light area are all fun places. — Sarah Ruhlman of Sarah Scoop

Lofts downtown or around Westport. Close to all the action, and on the trail for buses, bikes and walking to and from the local universities. — Cyndi Wright of MrsWrightWrites

14. Do you have any tips for finding an affordable rental?

Negotiate! Landlords will often work with you if you know how and when to ask. — Ashley White of Le Stylo Rouge

Don’t be afraid to ask friends, neighbors or strangers where they’ve found affordable rentals. Referrals or drive-bys are always the way I found my most affordable spots. Kansas Citians are nice and most of the time will be happy to offer recommendations. — Leanne Breiby of Grow Your Giving

15. Why do you love living in Kansas City?

Besides being affordable and family-friendly, I value the traditions and the history that keep people investing in KC. The city is an active and dynamic place with emerging arts and technology, but holds a comfortable Midwestern feel. It’s truly a hidden gem, and I am proud to call KC home. — Natasha Burgert of KC Kids Doc

Kansas City has the big city feel with the small town vibe. The people are nice, the food is great and the community is supportive. — Sarah Ruhlman of Sarah Scoop

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2015 Spring Parade of Homes

See what’s up and coming in home design!

Parade of Homes

The Columbia Home Builders Association’s Parade of Homes is a biannual event that offers an opportunity to tour new homes over 2 days to get a look at what is new in home design. Homes are entered into the parade by area builders who choose to offer free access to the public to see new products and designs.

Free Event – April 25th and 26th, 2015 1pm-5pm Both Days!

The 2015 Columbia Parade of Homes is a free home show featuring the latest trends and styles in home construction.
Stop in at any of our featured homes between 1:00pm and 5:00pm on either Saturday or Sunday and see what’s new in home trends!

The Parade of Homes has amazing custom homes. View a listing and map view of the properties in the Parade of Homes here on their website.
Builder-Sponsors
HBA-Slide

Columbia’s True/False Film Fest

Have you ever been to Columbia’s annual True/False Film Fest? This year it will take place on the weekend of March 5-8. The films are screened at various locations in downtown Columbia.

Each year T/F adopts a theme and the 2015 theme is: The Long Now. This will be an artistic exploration into the concept of time.

Passes can be purchased now, and the rush for online ticket reservations begin in mid-February. There is a difference between a pass and a ticket, and you can read on those differences here. Although buying a pass is the best way to experience all that the fest has to offer, you can also just buy individual tickets. All passes and tickets must be picked up at the box office at 1020 E Broadway, in the Imago Gallery and Cultural Center.

Check out the film line-up and schedule!

On top of seeing tons of fantastic documentaries, there are other aspects of the fest, including screenings, receptions, music and the True Life Run.

Proceeds from the True Life Run are donated to T/F’s philanthropic effort, the True Life Fund.

The True Life Fund spotlights one film each year and raises funds to support and honor those who appear in the film. This year’s True Life Fund film is Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Look of Silence, which explores the Indonesian Genocide that took place during 1965 and 1966. The perpetrators of Indonesia’s anti-communist mass killings are still part of the power structure in Indonesia, and their crimes are currently excused or even celebrated.

Adi Rukun in The Look of Silence. Source: truefalse.org

Adi Rukun in The Look of Silence. Source: truefalse.org

Funds will support The Look of Silence‘s subject Adi Rukun and his family relocate in order to avoid the repercussions for speaking out against these atrocities.

Can’t afford the price of a pass? Sign up to volunteer, and you will receive volunteer pass and an official volunteer t-shirt. Your pass grants you admission to films via the Q at all festival venues. You’ll also be admitted to the volunteers-only party during the fest.

All information can be found at the T/F website!

8 New Year’s Eve Events in Columbia, MO

Looking to go out on New Year’s Eve? Here we’ve gathered 8 local events to ring in the New Year.

1. Columbia Eve Fest

Photo by Notley Hawkins. Source: columbiaevefest.com

This is a family-friendly event already covered in a previous blog post.

Ring in New Year’s Eve with a Block Party on 9th street between Elm and Locust in The District, downtown Columbia where culture is celebrated and community is created! Eve Fest is an alcohol-free, celebration of the New Year with music, art, ritual, and festivity.

This one starts at 7 pm.

See more information on their website here.

2. Decadence: A New Year’s Eve and Grand Re-Opening Celebration at the Blue Note

Decadence

New Year’s Eve is an opportunity to celebrate the passing of time and the promise of the future. In that spirit, we’re throwing a RAGING New Years dance party celebrating 100 years of dance music, the promise of music still to come and better yet: a freshly remodeled Blue Note! This is Columbia’s BIGGEST New Years Dance Party.

One of Columbia’s most beloved DJs, Jen HA, will take you on a journey from the early sounds of hot jazz and swing all the way through the decades to today’s hottest dance anthems….and she’ll do it in chronological order, all set to incredible video footage from each musical era on our MASSIVE movie screen. You’ll dance to everything from Louis Armstrong to Elvis and the Beatles to Sam Cooke to the Temptations and James Brown to the Bee Gees to Michael Jackson, Prince, Madonna, Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, LMFAO, Biggie, Britney, Lady Gaga, OutKast, Katy Perry, Psy, Deadmau5 and soooo much more! All complete with a CHAMPAGNE TOAST AT MIDNIGHT!

We present to you our schedule of musical mayhem…

7:00PM–> 1900s-1920s
7:30–> 1930s-1950s
8:30–> 1960s
9:30–> 1970s
10:30–> 1980s & 1990s
11:30–> 2000s & 2010s

Get ready to ring in the New Year like never before, Columbia. This is DECADANCE.

Buy your tickets here!

3. Mojo’s Presents a New Year’s Celebration

Mojos

Almost time to ring in the New Year! We’ll be doing it the right way with some rowdy rock ‘n roll. And join us in celebrating the end of an era, as Mojo’s transforms into Rose Music Hall at midnight.

Get your tickets to party here!

4. New Year’s Eve at Paint the Town

Source: Paint the Town

Source: Paint the Town

Paint, party and ring in the New Year with great snacks, a glass of champagne at midnight, and a fun painting with glitter! The fun starts at 9:30 pm.

Prices:

12×16 $40
14×18 $45
16×20 $50
18×24 $55

Reserve your seats here!

5. Back to the Future for NYE at Roxy’s

Roxy's

Enjoy the epic photo booth, 3D interactive video and light show, $10 Bottles of champagne, and the best music from 1955 to 2015. We’ll have loads of surprises and great bar specials. Come ring in the new year with us! $8 General Admission Advance Ticket, $10 At the door, $60 Table Reservations (seats 4), YOU MUST DRESS TO IMPRESS (dress code will be in full effect) We always sell out fast so get your tickets TODAY!

See Roxy’s website to buy a ticket or their Facebook event page.

6. A Very Decadent New Years at The Bridge

Decadent Nation

With Decadent Nation and Made in Waves!

Decadent Nation will also have some of their favorite guest musicians filling out the lineup! Violinist virtuoso Molly Healey will be tearing up her fiddle as well as Decadent Nation’s good friend and former member Jaeson Day! Scott McCullough, the hottest harmonica player in Missouri, will be wailing as well! Expect an epic jam like no other to ring in the New Year!

Doors at 8 pm!

See The Bridge’s website and Decadent Nation’s Facebook event page.

7. NYE With Casey Brett & The Cowboy Killers at Nash Vegas

Nash Vegas

Enjoy country music? How about with a moonshine toast at midnight? Only $5 cover.

Check out the event and RSVP here!

8. Eric Lee Beddingfield at Snorty Horse Saloon 

Snorty Horse Saloon

Here’s another event for country music lovers! Come see Nashville artist Eric Lee Beddingfield. $15

See this event on their Facebook page or check out Eric Lee Beddingfield!

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Whatever you do, have a fantastic and safe New Year’s Eve!

Columbia Eve Fest

How do fireworks with your countdown to midnight sound? Check out the upcoming 9th street New Year’s block party!

Photo by Notley Hawkins. Source: columbiaevefest.com

You can celebrate New Year’s Eve in the District (downtown Columbia) on 9th St, in the closed off block between Elm and Locust! Eve Fest is an alcohol-free celebration of the New Year with music, art, ritual, and festivity. The party starts at 7 pm! Show up earlier, and a 5K Run/Walk kicks off at 4:00 pm in front of Cyclextreme. Doors to the Venues open at 6:30 pm (Missouri Theatre, Columbia Art League, Missouri United Methodist Church, Shakespeare’s Parking Lot and the 9th Street Stage). The entertainment begins at 7 pm.

Admission buttons are now on sale. They are available at all Gerbe’s Grocers, the ARC and downtown Parks & Rec.

Buy your buttons early and enter your name in a drawing for a Bristol Acoustic Guitar!
$6 early purchase, $8 at the door
Children 6 and under FREE!

This year’s theme is “Light the Magic,” and the entertainment includes:

  • Miss Jubilee & The Humdingers! Hot Jazz, Swing, Rhythm & Blues and R’n’R spanning the 1920′s-1950′s. Fronted by a high energy female vocalist and backed up by a swingin’ horn fueled rhythm section, Miss Jubilee is a favorite among Swing Dancers and fans of all ages who enjoy uplifting and energetic music!”
  • Keith Jozsef – Master Illusionist …“consider nothing impossible” A master of sleight of hand and grand illusion. Keith Jozef will ignite our Eve Fest theme  “Light the Magic” with perplexing enigma, mystery and wonder!
  • Tom Andes and Sutu Forte Duel –  “Blind Tom” and “Blind Boone” Narrator-Bill Clark Sutu Forte and Tom Andes will reenact the historic duel between “Blind Tom” and “Blind Boone.” Sutu and Tom will bring this duel to the Historic Missouri Theatre stage!
  • Babaloo!-A one-man musical, comedy act for kids! Babaloo is high energy, over-the-top FUN. With Singing and Stomping, Singing and Shouting, Music, Magic and Mayhem. And laughing….lots of laughing!
  • Not to mention food trucks in the Shakespeare’s Parking Lot!

Check out the photos from last year:

Photo by Notley Hawkins. Source: columbiaevefest.com

Photo by Notley Hawkins. Source: columbiaevefest.com

Photo by Notley Hawkins. Source: columbiaevefest.com

Visit columbiaevefest.com for more information.

Also check out our post 8 New Year’s Eve Events in Columbia, MO!