The new owners of KC crown jewel the Country Club Plaza have to be cringing…
That in the wake of a front page story in today’s Kansas City Star about “urban hipsters” who’ve been laying down dance party grooves and open mic concerts on a Plaza courtyard near Helzberg Diamonds and the Apple store.
Just what the upscale shopping Mecca needed.
So now, after more than 15 years of doing everything humanly possible to uh, discourage black kids from hanging out on the Plaza, some dancing dudes with car battery-powered speakers “blaring” Michael Jackson music have settled in on one of the shopping center’s highest profile corners.
“Welcome! That is not Michael Jackson, that is Christian Robinson from the Battery Tour,” says the man behind the keyboard, an urban hipster in red and black, his fedora tipped casually to one side,” the Star story reads. “He shoots a megawatt smile to a group of starry-eyed teenagers who scream their approval. ‘My name is AY, and this is my tour.’ ”
Nothing like a high profile Plaza courtyard packed with screaming teens to set the mood for affluent shoppers.
“Someone’s down there almost every day,” says frequent Plaza flyer Kyle Yoder of Overland Park.“Normally it’s later in the day – around 4 p.m. – and then at night until the 9 p.m. curfew for people under 18.
“You can hear it at the Cheesecake Factory. They’re usually break dancers and aspiring rappers. One guy tried to sell me a mixtape for like five dollars.”
How loud is it?
“It’s loud,” Yoder says. “So loud that when you drive past it vibrates your car windows. Like if you’re in Helzberg trying to buy an engagement ring or something you can hear it in there.”
Which brings us to the noise ordinance portion of the story.
“We have not gotten any noise complaints about them at all,” says Kansas City Health Department public information officer Denesha Snell. “Nor have we gotten any complaints about the three young people playing Metallica on the Plaza either.”
Were someone to complain, “Then we would go and investigate if they were in violation and it was too loud.”
“They’re setting up on the street with power and the Plaza’s letting them do it?” adds a head shaking area businessman. “Oh, boy. I can’t help but laugh about it, but if they were doing that in Westport I’d be going crazy.”
The Plaza has a long history of running off “urban youth.”
Via curfews, shows of force with police and private security, flood lights, cops on horses – you name it.
Anybody remember a handful of years back when the Plaza booted McDonald’s to keep the urban kiddos from congregating? Continue reading