As mentioned in this post, this week I'm writing about Things for which I am Thankful*. Today's installment of thankful thoughts centers around things related to my hometown, Kansas City.
- Kansas City BBQ - My personal favorite is Hayward's at 119th & Antioch, though I have been known to partake of Zarda's, Gate's, and Jackstack. I love that BBQ is so readily available all over the city, all with slightly different flavors, yet all still very Kansas City.
- The people - people are, for the most part, just generally nice here. I've lived in several other cities, all in the Midwest, and visited other parts of the country, but like the people here best.
- The Social Media scene - Kansas City boasts a savvy community active in social media. We have our own chapter of the Social Media Club, and hosted a Chicks Who Click conference earlier this year. Various locally-based ad/marketing agencies specialize in social media tools, and are creating exciting, innovative projects (see VML and Sullivan Higdon & Sink, among others). You can check out some of these movers and shakers on my Twitter/Kansas City list.
- I-435 can get you just about anywhere - while I realize this isn't exactly true, it's generally true for me. I spend hours each week on I-435 during my 23-minute commute, but am grateful I don't have to take back roads to get into the "city" (which are actually suburbs).I can get just about anywhere I need to in about 20 minutes.
- The Crafty scene - while we have seen a painful decline in scrapbooking stores in KC, other crafty retailers seem to be doing well, and offer interesting, inspirational projects and classes. I particularly like Harper's Fabrics in downtown Overland Park, and Urban Arts + Crafts in North KC. And The Studio on the Plaza offers great knitting classes in a cozy, welcoming atmosphere. And don't think scrapbooking is entirely off the map here - The Scrapbook Page in Shawnee is top-notch, offering an impressive class schedule and customer service which makes them stand out from the 'box' stores. I am also grateful I have two unique groups of women to do crafty things with. My group of scrapbooking friends has been meeting quasi-monthly for nearly 10 years now, and comprises my closest friends. Discussion topics 'round the cropping table are wide and varied, providing a sounding board I don't have anywhere else. I'm a relative newcomer to my knitting group (I think it's been a year), but I've come to count on our meetings for knitty-yarny goodness and inspiration.
- Fall - While it's not Door County, Wisconsin, or the Ozarks, Fall is pretty here. The leaves change color beautifully, and the snap in the air is quite tolerable. Just chilly enough to make you put on something comfy and cozy that you probably wanted to put on anyway.
- Education - while some school districts in the metro area aren't what you might call 'stellar', mine is. We've been very pleased with the education our children have received/are receiving, and the encouragement they've received from multiple teachers. I've been really impressed with the Gifted/Advanced Studies and Debate programs specifically, and look forward to future experiences with the Band program. I also like that Kansas City offers a variety of options for post-secondary education. There are multiple community colleges, as well as public and private universities, and regents centers for other universities. UMKC hosts a "Communiversity" that offers community education classes, led by members of the community. Kansas City is a city that appears to value learning, and I like being a part of that.
- My family is here - My husband and I both grew up here, and both sets of parents still live in the area. My kids have grown up with their grandparents as an intimate part of their lives. Our parents are built-in babysitters and unconditional cheerleaders, and we are indeed blessed to have them so close at hand. I realize not everyone has that luxury, and I am grateful for it.