Glazer: Scribe Gives Kansas City Passing, Improving Grade

Well, the summer has just about come and gone…

Our city is now one year older, but is it getting better? Are we on the right track? I see many good things happening. Sure, there are still issues and problems, there always will be. But are we moving towards overall improvement?

According to the Kansas City Star our retail business jumped way up these past few months. School starting is a big help. Even Legends, which has had problems like most shopping districts with too many restaurants, is way up in retail sales. In part by adding new stores like Charming Charlies.

The Plaza seems busier than it was in late spring and early summer and a couple of the newer restaurants like Gram and Dun have taken off. It’s much busier now than when I was down there late this spring.

Westport is the big winner with five new restaurants in just over four months and two new bar concepts. It’s weekend crowds have nearly doubled with no major violence.

South Johnson County is also on the upswing, with a new country night spot at 119th and Metcalf called Kanza Hall (alongside a smaller Fuel). And the nearby former Raoul’s is set to become Milieu later this fall.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like our going out crowds citywide are where they need to be, but it is clearly getting better.

We just had too many options for not enough folks.

So many of the slower places have closed, giving the new ones a shot to shine.

And hopefully they will.

Our sports team’s attendance is very good also.

Sporting KC sells out almost every game. The Royals are up 3,000 fans per game with a bad team and the Chiefs look to be the new darling of Kansas City.

KU football will have a rebirth with new coach, Charlie Weis and KU basketball is a lock to sell out in Lawrence and Sprint. And most people can’t wait to see how MU’s attendance will jump with them joining the SEC. It’s likely to go way up in both football and basketball.

Even KCMO schools are said to have improved. Okay, they’re still a major issue, but finally are getting better.

Kansas City leaders have been quiet, but at least none have been arrested lately or made fools of in the media.

So all in all, it’s been a decent year.

Arrowhead, The Chiefs and maybe another warm fall/winter could make things even brighter as we end 2012. Maybe the economy will nudge up a bit.

So here’s to brighter days ahead!

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25 Responses to Glazer: Scribe Gives Kansas City Passing, Improving Grade

  1. Lance the Intern says:

    “Our city” was officially incorporated March 28, 1853. So it was “one year older” 5 months ago.

    Dude — you can’t even get history correct, and it’s right there ….

  2. the dude says:

    Too bad the schools, sewers and water service in KCMO suck donkey nuts, but hey! We have the perpetually tax funded white power district and a toy train that goes 2 miles and 13 people voted for!
    Yipee!

  3. Hot Carl says:

    Whew, I feel better already! I don’t what I would have done without Glazer’s astute analysis of the city.

    “It’s okay, folks, all the wrongs in KC have been righted! Didn’t you hear? There’s a Charming Charlies now at the Legends!”

  4. Rick Nichols says:

    Suffice it to say that much work remains to be done before Kansas City residents can gleefully sing “Everything’s Up to Date in Kansas City” and know they’re not lying through their teeth in the process. As the earlier commenter noted, the schools and sewers continue to be in less than ideal shape, plus the city lacks a world-class mass transit system and the threat of murder and robbery lurks just around the corner in many parts of town. And, of course, where are the jobs? FreightQuote moves from one side of the state line to the other and all of a sudden we’ve got “progress” when, in fact, the taxpayers invariably end up picking up most of the tab for these meaningless maneuvers.

  5. Orphan of the Road says:

    It all reminds me of the day Reading, PA got a Hooters.

    Is the Legends still facing bankruptcy? http://www.kctv5.com/story/18628455/us-bank-suing-legends-outlets

    This blog reminds me of the snail riding on the back of a turtle, throwing it’s arms in the air and squeeling, Weeeeeeeeeee…

  6. Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

    The Royals attendance being up by 3k per game is purely because of the All Star game. KU football will have a rebirth? Are you sure about that? Even if it does, KU fans only give half a shit. And Fat Charlie will be off to more greener pastures as soon as he gets the chance. MU sports have NOTHING to do with how the KC Metro is doing as a whole. Columbia MO is 107 miles to the east.

  7. Rick Nichols says:

    If I might be allowed to elaborate on my thoughts in this essay, I will. I submitted the following “As I See It” to The Star back on July 14, just four days after the All-Star Game, in the hope that it would be used soon thereafter, but with a full month now having passed and having heard nothing from them, I figure it’s not going to be used. Disappointing, yes, but life moves on.

    Rediscovering “The Kansas City Spirit”

    A Tale of Two Cities?

    Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who gave us “Kansas City,” also gave us “Love Potion No. 9.” Truth be told, I’d sure like to get my hands on some of that stuff right now if for no other reason than to help me fall in love with Kansas City all over again. The one I knew in the late ’50s, ’60s and well into the ’70s. The one that was still riding the wave set in motion by the boom in construction that followed the end of World War II. The one that had even overcome a devastating flood.
    It was the belief that Kansas City would somehow find a way to bounce back from the ’51 flood that prompted Hallmark’s Joyce Hall to commission Norman Rockwell and John Atherton to produce “The Kansas City Spirit,” an iconic painting capturing the mood of a Midwestern city that saw itself as very much on the move and headed in the right direction, flood or no flood. This Missouri “cowtown” was going places! Just like that airplane to the left of “our hero” in Rockwell and Atherton’s inspirational creation. But that was more than half a century ago. A lot of water under the bridge.
    These days Kansas City struggles mightily to regain its “mojo” at a time when everything is seemingly up to date in Oklahoma City and Omaha, Denver and Dallas, Sioux Falls and St. Louis, but not here. And yet the city recently hosted the All-Star Game, its first in 39 years, giving Mayor Sly James and company a golden opportunity to bring any number of attractions to the attention of a nationwide audience even if the announcers were too busy chowing down on BBQ and listening to country music to notice. It’s a start. One step forward instead of two steps back.
    Now should Kansas City just happen to be looking for a good role model to emulate as it sets its sights on far higher ground, it need look no further than 150 miles straight south to Joplin. There “the Joplin spirit,” praised repeatedly by President Obama, Governor Jay Nixon and many others, is alive and well, an essential component of the ongoing effort to rebuild a large portion of the community in the wake of last year’s deadly tornado. I know because I’ve been there. I’ve seen it in the faces of folks who took it on the chin that Sunday and aren’t about to give up on the historic mining town they proudly call home.
    Is every Joplinite on board with “the plan,” such as it is at this time? Of course not. But at least most of the residents appear to have eagerly embraced the challenge at hand and there’s certainly something to be said for that. “We’ll show you,” they tell the rest of the world. “We’re coming back and we’ll be better than ever!” And that’s “the Joplin spirit.”
    It was that same spirit of determination that enabled Kansas City to rapidly reconstruct Convention Hall for the 1900 Democratic National Convention after a fire destroyed the original structure. And it was the driving force behind the pretty fountains, grand boulevards, stately public schools, stylish outdoor theater, and double-deck baseball stadium I fell madly in love with as a boy. Still more progress (e.g., developing a world-class mass transit system) is entirely possible, but persistent apathy must be replaced by perpetual energy applied in pursuit of a common goal. In short, the need to succeed must ultimately prevail!

    • the dude says:

      “The Joplin Spirit” somehow burnt down the same mosque twice, so much for “The Joplin Spirt”.

      • Chuck says:

        Apparently, not everyone is thrilled with the “Religion of Peace” in Joplin. This from Debbie Schlussel—

        Don’t Rebuild Joplin Schools w/ Islamic Blood Money (From UAE Ruler Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan

        Is it really in America’s best interests for our public schools to accept millions of dollars from a Muslim nation that helps Iran build its nukes? Absolutely not. Strings are attached. It’s a frightening development. And in the case of the Joplin, Missouri public schools, it’s the case of a school district selling its soul for a “longer-term partnership” for Muslim “cultural understanding and awareness.” Alhamdillullah [praise allah].

        The damage caused by the tornado in Joplin, Missouri is tragic. But it’s also tragic that Joplin High School will accept at least $1 million ($500,000 plus another $500,000 in matching funds) from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The many mainstream media press reports bill the donation as merely a donation for laptops. But that’s not the whole story. I dug deeper and found that it’s the start of what is billed as a “longer-term partnership” between the UAE and Joplin schools. According to a nauseating press release from the Joplin Schools,

        JPS [Joplin Public Schools] and the UAE Embassy anticipate this grant as the start of a longer-term partnership between the two organizations. JPS and the Embassy hope to work together to develop programming that will deepen cultural understating [sic]and awareness between the US and the UAE.

        What kind of Islamic propaganda will be involved in the “longer-term partnership?” As I’ve noted before, the UAE has a track record in the hate speech business, funding anti-American, anti-Semitic, and Holocaust-denying speeches and books around the world, including those pushing the claim that Jews, the Mossad, Israel, and the CIA were behind 9/11. And that’s in addition to the fact that the UAE gladly allowed its shores to be used as a shipping point for Iranian nuclear components.

        It’s kind of ironic, though, that the UAE will lecture the kids of Joplin’s schools about “cultural understanding” when the UAE, itself, does something that neither the U.S. nor Israel would ever have the guts to do: expelling and deporting its Shi’ite Muslim population because, like all Shi’ites–including here in America–they are in bed with Hezbollah and Iran.

        Will the new Apple Notebooks the UAE is paying for also come with Muslim propaganda software installed? And is the UAE supplying Joplin High with pro-Muslim, anti-Western, anti-Israel textbooks? Bet on it.

        What will the United Arab Emirates get in return for the million dollars in this “cultural understanding and awareness?” Will it send students to the UAE on “educational trips” to be brainwashed about Islam? Will the UAE get the chance to bring anti-American, anti-Israel, and pan-Muslim speakers to Joplin High? The negative possibilities–and likelihoods–here are endless and disturbing. And they are certain. the language in the press release is clear.

        We know that the United Arab Emirates is anti-Semitic and anti-Israel, practicing travel apartheid in refusing to allow Jews with Israeli passports or Israeli stamps in their passports entry. The Emirates also boycott all products made in Israel and refuse to allow them into the country.

        And then there is the Zayed Center, named for the late President of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al-Nahyan. The Zayed Center paid for the speaking tours and books of anti-American, anti-Semitic, and Holocaust-denying speakers. Will that kind of trash find its way to Joplin High? Count on it.

        A million dollars doesn’t come free. It very clearly–expressly–has strings attached. And the United Arab Emirates can pay for all the propaganda money can buy.

        Can’t wait for burka prom and “We Hate Israel Day” at Al-Joplin High. Anyone up for “The Holocaust Never Happened” school play?

        What the heck kind of a country is this, in which we cannot afford to bail out our own high schools and put them in a situation where they must sell out to Islamic propaganda efforts in order to survive and continue? What kind of people are the sell-outs of Joplin? I’ll tell you what kind. . . .

        The Joplin school district officials are dhimmi whores for jihad. Period.

        • Orphan of the Road says:

          When religion and government join together, it is almost always a death sentence for the people.

          Whether Islam or Christianity.

    • Chuck says:

      Hope your right Rick.

    • Andrew says:

      I moved here from Joplin (my hometown) a year and a half ago. My family name is very well-known there for all the right reasons. My grandfather and my father loved the place and owned several businesses and properties throughout the city (my dad still does; granddad is gone now). But Rick, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Joplin is a shithole, and it was a shithole long before the tornado came and ate a big piece of the middle. I don’t know why anyone under 40 with any skills or education would ever live there. Oh, wait–most of the people there are ignorant, unskilled, uneducated, religious (but I repeat myself), and Republican (oh, there I go again). And that’s not even mentioning the meth! Independence, MO has got NOTHING on Joplin when it comes to meth. Seems like every time I talk to an old friend there, they’re telling me about yet another former classmate who has fallen in to that poison. And why not? What else does anyone have to look forward to if they are unfortunate enough to live in such a place? Joplin is the kind of place that sucks you in and makes you believe that you could never go anywhere else because it would be worse anyhow. I’ve seen it over and over. There are some wasted talents there, and there are a few progressive people raging against the tide of that place and trying to bring change. I was one of them for a while, before I gave up on the place and moved here, mere weeks before the tornado hit.

      In Joplin, there are no opportunities–political, professional, social–for skilled, educated people. Those few progressives who are fighting the tide and trying to live on low salaries? They might stick it out for a while. They might even die there. But they won’t change a thing, and that’s why I left.

      There are nice folks there, but almost all of the nice good Joplinites are ignorant and religious and anti-progress and anti-education….I could go on and on. The mosque burning is just business as usual there. People there also hate or distrust blacks, gays and lesbians, Latinos, most ethnic foods, Democrats, downtown loft dwellers, and anyone involved in higher education, in addition to anyone with an accent or tattoos or piercings, anyone who doesn’t go to a Christian church, anyone who doesn’t hunt and/or eat meat, anyone who grows tomatoes in the backyard, anyone who drives a hybrid, couples who live together out of wedlock, etc., etc., etc. Basically, anyone who deviates from the social norms from the 1950s. They aren’t going to change because they don’t want to change. If you want to hear some really crazy shit, try to get a Joplin resident started on the immoral downtown lofts (really just very nice apartments in neat old buildings that were sitting empty before someone fixed them up, but a fairly large faction of the people there seem to think that this is the work of the devil and that only weird druggies live there or something…the lack of logic makes it difficult to follow that argument). I didn’t even realize how backwards and how odd and unusual Joplin and Joplinites were until a few years ago. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel this country and the world, but even so, I assumed that maybe all smaller cities and small-city people were just like that…oh no. No, there’s no place else like Joplin, and the people there are something else. I’m fortunate to be here in KC, making good money (over 150% of what I was making in Joplin, doing the same kind of work, and it barely costs more to live here) and I’ve made new friends who don’t constantly vote against their own economic best interests because of “god,” gays, and guns.

      Sure, some Joplinites talked a good game about not letting the tornado get them down. What the hell else would you expect anyone to do or say? Most of them are dirt poor and/or dependent on meth or alcohol. They don’t know anything else. They might as well stay there because none of them could make it here or anywhere else. But the honest ones will tell you that there’s no pride in a mining town that has been in an economic decline since the 1920s. The honest few will admit that it’s a shithole and that they’d give anything to get out. The really honest ones will lament the fact that the university there, which used to be a real point of pride, has been driven into the ground now, too. Despite the fact that many received state and federal aid–most Joplinites still think government is too big and are against other kinds of aid in response to other disasters–and despite Obama’s two very inspiring visits there, many still refer to him as a Kenyan-born Muslim who is doing his best to turn the US into Russia. So…yeah.

      Sorry for the rant, but it is both hilarious and offensive that you would hold Joplin or its people up as an example for KC. That is so backwards and so wrong and so clueless.

  8. Craig Glazer says:

    Well glad you all agree we are on the right track, Lance you kill me boy…. I just mentioned a few things to give the atmosphere not the whole nine yards, sorry…. as for Legends, it has been taken over by a Dallas Group…their retail is up 20% and they are doing more of it and less restaurants… the city is ‘biz’ friendly and giving breaks to new apartments, hotels and housing all now BEING built, good news, some will open this fall plus CERNER will complete in a few months so they are also on the move..HEY GUYS IT WAS A MODERN DAY DEPRESSION OK….for four years, still not over…so calm down…it will take some more time to fix… KC is slowly moving forward…I did say slowly… but things are a tad bit better RIGHT?

    • Orphan of the Road says:

      Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick I suppose.

      A few fewer homicides in KCMO, a little better. Fewer in spite of the politicians and business people who prefer giving the rich money rather than maintain their infrastructure.

      New stores opening, a little better. In spite of the fact they will sell the same thing someone down the block is selling.

      New stores on the Plaza. Better for the out-of-town owners, not so much for the Norma Desmond of KC shopping centers.

      KU football, returns to the mediocrity it has held for over 100-years.

      If that which does not kill you makes you stronger, then KC must be Superman.

      • Chuck says:

        I am ok with Nietzsche running the show Orphan, very few folks are voting anyway, and a guy in office who thought Bismark was a liberal, would be a breath of fresh air during those pesky, now less occasional mini riots.

        This from Michael Kleen on our boyee–

        “The State was a temple in which the masses worshipped themselves. In exchange for catering to their needs and flattering their egos, the masses placed their collective will under the auspices of the State where they flourished like never before in history. For both Nietzsche and Ortega, that arrangement was Janus-faced, because although the masses grew in ever-increasing numbers—high art, music, education, and individualism in general suffered. European culture began to decay. Violence and militarism (especially of the uniform variety) became the order of the day.”

        Nietzsche was more than just a little prescient.

        By the way, Nietzsche has the Chiefs winning 10.

  9. Lance the Intern says:

    It’s sloppy writing, Glazer. That’s all — and I got nothing better to do than call you out on it.

  10. Craig Glazer says:

    Well pal, for some reason people that read kcconfidential have always enjoyed my articles…they get the most attention, as well as most of Hearnes, but hey you are entitled to not like me, think I suck, whatever…. understand I am a busy boy, I focus on content, idea and the big picture… so yeah sometimes the articles are simple in tone but large in value or even importance… or maybe just entertaining…. so there you go… as a matter of fact you almost never if ever have anything nice to say about me or my articles so its a repeat from you Lance..over and over….at least I change up the game…you try it sometime.

  11. Craig Glazer says:

    TWO shmo’s always a treat, Lance and not so super baby davey…loser and bigger loser…you two should find Cliffy and get a pad together….don’t worry you will all three be alone, nobody knows you guys or wants too…. plenty of pizza for the three shnooks…

    • Lance the Intern says:

      Name calling? How juvenile. Especially from someone who refers to a place of residence as a pad . As for “nobody knowing” me, well, I don’t know how to put this but I’m kind of a big deal. People know me.

  12. mike says:

    @Glazer
    I’ve seen you mention on here and in other articles how well Westport is doing. Have you ever thought about going back in that area?