Do you agree with this list of KC all-star attractions?
The Kansas City Star
Enjoy challenges and love Kansas City? Then complete this sentence: The No. 1, top-of-the list, all-star attraction in Kansas City is ….
That’s simple. It’s the venerable — and immensely walkable and enjoyable — Country Club Plaza.
No, wait. It’s our new stunning icon, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.
Actually, it’s not just one thing, it’s the dozens of new and old, big and small, renowned fountains all around town.
Hmmm, maybe this isn’t as easy as it looks.
That’s actually a good thing.
With thousands of visitors streaming in to attend the 2012 Major League Baseball All-Star Game and accompanying events, Kansas Citians have been talking and reading a lot about this area’s points of civic pride. Which got us to thinking, what are the city’s all-star, major league and still minor league features?
Kansas Citians aren’t known for being braggarts, but this point deserves highlighting: Over the last decade or so, this city and metropolitan area have made tremendous strides in improving the quality of our attractions.
Drawing up definitive lists is tricky, of course, and we’re not out to offend. But you’ve already seen a few of our nominations for local all-star attractions.
The world-class Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art belongs, too, especially after its more than $200 million enhancement of recent years.
So does the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial.
Kansas City also has a ton of major Llague attractions — many of which we’re sure would make the all-star ballots of many readers.
One of the new kids on the block is Livestrong Sporting Park, the ultra-hip home of professional soccer in Kansas City, Kan.
In fact, this area’s major sporting facilities are among the finest in the country, thanks largely to voters who saw the wisdom of upgrading Kauffman and Arrowhead stadiums and building Sprint Center downtown.
The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is in the spotlight now, but it deserves more attention year round (as does the accompanying American Jazz Museum).
History buffs don’t go begging here. They can look all around the superbly renovated Union Station or stop by the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. The River Market features the amazingly preserved remains of the Steamboat Arabia.
Kansas Citians are finding more to do outdoors, too — even when it’s hot. The Kansas City Zoo looks better than it has for a long time, near the updated Starlight Theatre. And it seems more people every year are enjoying the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead in Overland Park.
Oh, yes, we could go on and on with Kansas Speedway, and the new Legoland and aquarium at Crown Center, along with touting the historical importance of the American Royal.
But the inevitable looms. Kansas City also has some minor league … well, they aren’t attractions, so we’ll just call them things we aren’t so proud of and hope to change.
Take the long stretch of the riverfront in Kansas City, which remains forlorn.
Modern mass transit isn’t a strength of this city. In fact, it doesn’t exist: no streetcars, no light rail, no commuter rail.
And the too many miles of pockmarked roads, exploding water lines and overflowing sewers will be fixed one day. At least that’s what elected officials say spending a few billion dollars will accomplish.
The 2012 All-Star Game has helped open the eyes of many Kansas Citians to the wonderful attractions all around them — and to some of the challenges we still have to work on before the game comes back this way again.