The Plaza was the first shopping mall and the first city plaza in America. You are never out of earshot of a fountain and never out of sight of a fabulous mosaic mural. Today, it is several square blocks of Spanish Revival buildings housing restaurants, boutiques and world class fashion salons. Christmas starts in Kansas City when the Christmas lights go on in the Plaza, before a standing-room-only crowd, on Thanksgiving night.
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is in the center of one or the most fascinating areas in America. The museum is world class and faces an expansive area, leading to the Volker Memorial Fountain. The area is bounded by the Plaza and the Kansas City music conservatory. The area is full of artists and musicians. At any time of day you can hear someone practicing clarinet or cello scales. It is reminiscent of Greenwich Village in the 1950s. The Jewel Ball, a blend of debutantes and bohemians considered the most elaborate social event in Kansas City, is held at the museum.
The Jazz District
You can no longer stand on the corner of 12th Street and Vine, because 12th Street is no longer there. But Vine is, and so is the district that made 12th and Vine famous. At 18th and Vine is the American Jazz Museum. Within easy walking distance is Arthur Bryant's original barbecue restaurant and a new and upscale soul-food restaurant called the Peach Tree. There are also dozens of jazz clubs. Some of them were open when Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker, Count Basie, and Louis Armstrong played here. For any jazz lover, this area just off Paseo Boulevard near downtown Kansas City, is an enchanted land where legends once played.
Article Written By Carlos Mano
Carlos Mano lives in Maryland and started writing full time in 2002. He has been published in the "Journal of the New York Academy of Sciences," "NASA Tech Briefs" and in various computer journals. He has a bachelor's degree in mathematics and a master's degree in computer science, both from the University of Kansas.