A PUBLICATION OF THE SOAVE AUTOMOTIVE GROUP | FALL 2022 | VOLUME 6 | ISSUE 3
ARCHITECTURE | AUTOMOTIVE | FOOD | FASHION | NONPROFIT | KC ORIGINALS | DESIGN | ROAD TRIPS
The automobile’s future is electric. And, Mercedes-Benz leads the charge. The new EQC is the first vehicle produced under the product and technology brand “EQ.” It is also the first in what will be a growing family of all-electric vehicles bearing the Three-Pointed Star. With an uncompromising blend of comfort, performance, design, intelligence and technology, the EQC blazes a new path for electric driving, and for Mercedes-Benz. Go to MBUSA.com to build your own all-electric Mercedes-Benz.
9400 West 65th St | Merriam, KS | 913.677.3300 | aristocratmotors.com
13851 Madison Avenue | Kansas City, MO | 816.943.7000 | mbofkc.com Members of the Soave Automotive Group
by MARION BATTAGLIA
Our Region and Our Town. With the announcement of the 2026 World Cup selection, I was reminded there is so much to be proud of in Kansas City. Our downtown and riverfront have been transformed already with the T-Mobile Center, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, the streetcar, Crossroads District, 18th and Vine. We have seen the vision for the new Kansas City Current women’s soccer stadium, and I look forward to what might transpire on the Chief’s and Royal’s Stadiums. The real springboard for this focus, which crossed state lines, was the restoration and reopening of Union Station. A building whose history tied the coasts together by rail, now sits as the gathering place for the city. Whether it is Championship parades for the World Series or Super Bowl, holiday celebrations with the Kansas City Symphony and fireworks, or family weddings, it is our joint success story. The region has world-class hospitals, universities, and junior colleges. Our symphony is vibrant and flourishing; we have one of the oldest Chamber Music Series in the country; our ballet is alive and growing; and the Lyric Opera, Folly Jazz Series, and the Negro Leagues Museum are community institutions. The Nelson Atkins, the Kemper, and the Nerman Museums of Art are all recognized nationally and internationally for the quality of their collections and exhibitions. I look forward to seeing you at the many venues mentioned but also at the numerous charity galas, the Plaza Art Fair, and other events that occur every fall. This is a vibrant and amazing city, and we are proud to be a small part of it.
Marion Battaglia, President
2 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | FALL 2022
CROWN CENTER, LE V EL 3 • 816. 274. 3222
by ROBERT HELLWEG
Our History and Our Future.
SOAVE AUTOMOTIVE GROUP MARION BATTAGLIA President KEVIN KILLILEA Vice President ANGIE LEWITZKE Controller CHUCK DAVIS Service and Parts Director ROBERT HELLWEG Marketing Director SCOTT SWENSON General Manager Factory Relations LARRY MILLER Inventory Director
Today Kansas City has a constant denominator running through it, from the cover to the interview at the back: Kansas City and the surrounding region are front and center. It’s in the title, and it’s a region and a city that we are proud of and proud to lend our support. Earlier this year, the Kansas City Museum opened to the public. Its opening followed 13 years of renovations and focused on Corinthian Hall, the main building on the property. It is where you can learn about the family who built the house, the R. A. Longs, and their role in the city. As you move to the upper floors of the museum, you will see the history of the city and the region. As Kansas Citians, this history is so important to our collective DNA, so that we can teach our children both the good and the difficult events that have left imprints in our history, allowing us to move forward. The museum is the backdrop for our cover and fashion section, presented in detail by Anne Kniggendorf. The museum continues its growth and will soon have its conservatory restored, as well as the Longs’ riding stable. Kansas City continues to grow, and so does our history. On the other hand, if you are planning to get away, to escape the city, Patrick Mulvihill and Anna Petrow take us to Vail, Colorado, a popular destination for many Midwesterners in all seasons of the year. Patrick makes Vail so inviting that it makes an east coast fan, like me, want to experience the seasons in the Rockies. If you can’t get away but want to experience the northeast coast, you are invited to Earl’s Premier. This new fresh seafood restaurant is like having the back bay transported to Brookside. Emily and Stewart Lane give you a preview of everything from the oysters to the classic American fare. The last highlight is Joel Nichols’ interview with Kansas City’s “sultan of storms,” and the guiding light of kindness for rescue animals in our community, Gary Lezak. Gary is retiring after 23 years, and Joel gives you a look at the man, a trailblazer and true Kansas City advocate. I hope you enjoy the issue and please continue to stay safe.
4 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | FALL 2022
LINDSEY BENEFIELD Internet Manager FERNANDO RICCI
Finance & Insurance Director
GEOFF BEDINE General Manager Mercedes-Benz of Kansas City DAVID HUGHES General Manager Aristocrat Lee's Summit KRIS NIELSEN General Manager Aristocrat Motors Topeka NEW VEHICLE SALES MANAGERS DAVID ANDREWS Aristocrat Mercedes-Benz KIRK WILLMS Mercedes-Benz of Kansas City CHUCK OBRIEN Porsche Kansas City,
Maserati | Alfa Romeo of Kansas City JOE SIRNA Jaguar-Land Rover PRE-OWNED MANAGERS JK CORNELIUS Aristocrat Motors ROSS STRADA Mercedes-Benz Kansas City MIKE REID Aristocrat Motors Topeka DAVID FISER Aristocrat Lee's Summit SERVICE MANAGERS CHARLES FRIEDMAN Aristocrat Mercedes-Benz |
Maserati | Alfa Romeo Porsche Kansas City KEVIN SMELL Jaguar-Land Rover of Merriam ISAAC NICHOLS Aristocrat Motors Topeka JOHN DOOLITTLE Mercedes-Benz of Kansas City RODNEY PARKER
PARTS MANAGERS BILL WELLS Aristocrat Motors DAVID BARNES Mercedes-Benz of Kansas City RICK WITT KIP NASH
Jaguar-Land Rover of Merriam Aristocrat Motors Topeka
Editor | 913.677.7414 KATHRYN CREEL Creative Director MARCI LINN Copyeditor ALLYSON ELLIS Sales Director | 913.634.3838 AMANI SKALACKI Fashion Editor ALISON BARNES MARTIN Fashion Photographer TODAY KANSAS CITY is a quarterly publication by Soave Automotive Group – home of Aristocrat Motors, MercedesBenz of Kansas City, BMW of Topeka, and VW of Topeka. Address: 9400 W 65th St, Merriam, KS 66203, 913.677.3300, aristocratmotors.com. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without prior written permission of the publisher.
Exceptional Service, Powerful Network Trent has spent significant time carefully cultivating an impressive network of resources, and it’s his job to use that to his client’s advantage. His extensive resources allow him to scour off-market properties for the perfect home or to ensure his clients receive maximum exposure by using a comprehensive marketing strategy customized to the individual’s needs. Trent Gallagher is a driven and passionate real estate professional working for the #1 office in the city, right in the heart of Leawood. Trent is known for his resultsdriven approach and personable, caring demeanor. • Complementary Staging • Free Deep-Cleaning Prior to Listing • Custom Marketing Plan Recent sale
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Founding Partner 913.439.7846 firstname.lastname@example.org Trent Gallagher is a licensed real estate affiliated with Compass Realty Group, a licensed real estate broker and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, condition, sale, or withdrawal without notice. Photos may be virtually staged or digitally enhanced and may not reflect actual property conditions. Compass Realty Group offices 913.382.6711 | 816.280.2773.
Features 8 ARCHITECTURE
Road Map to Renovations. by Kim Peters
Sail Away in Brookside. by Emily & Stewart Lane
Porsche's 2022 Macan S. by Tom Strongman
29 FASHION Fall Fashion.
photos by Alison Barnes Martin styling by Amani Skalacki
38 INTERIOR DESIGN
Sustainable by Design. by Patricia O'Dell
KC Dad Day Hosted by Jack and Jill of America. by Matt Lancaster
48 ROAD TRIPS
The Mountains Are Calling. by Patrick Mulvihill
Are You a Good Friend? And Are You a Good Friend to Yourself? by Dr. Linda Moore
60 KC ORIGINALS
Everything to Everyone. by Anne Kniggendorf
Gary Lezak: Weather is Only Part of the Story. by Joel Nichols
72 EVENT CALENDAR 2022 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT53 6 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | FALL 2022
FALL 2022 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | 7
words by KIM PETERS
Road Map to Renovation. A renovation can feel daunting. You might know how you want your space to look, but the reality of navigating a complex, months- or years- long process feels decidedly less glamorous than any TV show makes it seem. So where do you begin? And how do you ensure a successful project when your time, energy, and money are on the line? ESTABLISH YOUR GOALS Every project needs clear goals. When consensus is built before you begin a renovation, it becomes easier to navigate challenges related to priorities, aesthetics, and budget. Think through what you want to accomplish with your space and write those goals down. Perhaps it’s as fluid as how you want the space to feel – warm, welcoming, and hospitable – or maybe it’s directly related to the functionality of a room. Either way, identifying your goals will give you a true north as you move forward. If you need help establishing these goals, start by examining your current space. Whether it’s a mud room renovation or an entire first-floor remodel, jot down notes on functionality issues and problem areas. Have your kitchen counters inadvertently become the drop zone for mail, shoes, and backpacks? Has your dining room table become a makeshift work station? Taking inventory of these problem areas will give you clarity. CONSIDER EXECUTION + PRIORITIZE With goals in hand, it’s now important to think through how you want a project to be executed – whether that’s all at once or phased over time. While the idea of renovating an entire home in one fell swoop seems ideal, there are budget and practical constraints that make this approach unrealistic for some. You will also want to identify which projects you feel capable of taking on yourself and those you want to outsource to trusted professionals.
8 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | FALL 2022
If you choose to phase your renovation, prioritize the updates that will have the most immediate impact on your daily life and bring you the most joy. If you love preparing meals, your kitchen might come first. If your family has a beloved weekly movie night tradition, a media room may be the priority. If you adore fashion but are cramming clothes into an undersized closet, a dressing room could top the list. The priorities you settle on need to reflect your values. CONSIDER THE COST Once you have an idea of your priorities, cost comes into play. Many of our clients do their research on the projects they would like to complete and find general estimates for project costs online or via television shows. These numbers don’t always align with expectations for finish, quality, and custom solutions. Ask professionals for estimates on the spaces that are most important to you. It might be worth it to you to put more money into a certain area of your home because it supports your ultimate project goals. Getting a detailed estimated budget prior to beginning design work helps ensure you are committing to a renovation that is realistic and decidedly less stressful. PICK THE RIGHT PARTNER Depending on the scope of the project, you will likely need to either hire a full-service firm or find several different partners to bring your vision to life, including everyone from architects and interior designers to specialty contractors and furniture vendors. Navigating working with these different project partners is not for the faint of heart. Engaging a design-build team early will help establish scope and phasing with your budget in mind, ultimately providing value and immeasurable efficiencies.
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When advising friends, family, clients, or colleagues on hiring partners, I encourage them to prioritize working with individuals who: • Listen, understand, and value their goals and vision. • Will take care of the project and home as if it were their own. • Are reputable. • Are referred by others in the industry. • Are established in the industry for several years. • Have completed similar projects. • Have deep knowledge of products, materials, and options. • Bring relationships with other vendors, consultants, and partners. General contractors must have great working relationships with vetted, quality tradesmen. PRIORITIZE SERVICE AND MAKE THEM FEEL VALUED. Spend time interviewing potential partners. Don’t be afraid to ask for references or to see past project work. Ask contacts in the design and construction industry about the individuals you are considering hiring. The people you hire are the most critical component to ensuring your renovation goes smoothly. A SMOOTH DELIVERY Even with the right partner(s) on board, there is still endless coordination, communication, and decisions involved in any renovation. A dedicated project manager can make all the difference. Project managers serve as your day-to-day contact, funneling information to you and advocating on your behalf. They also add value by: Creating a clear scope of work. A project manager will help piece together the details and be able to present this information to subcontractors in a way that makes the project easier to bid and execute. This has a direct impact on ensuring a quality end project and a smooth construction process. Bidding and cost estimating. They advocate to ensure project costs are within budget, communicate changes along the way, and ensure there is transparency.
10 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | FALL 2022
ARCHITECTURE Scheduling, coordination, and communication. There could be more than a dozen vendors, craftsman, and trades on one project. The sequencing and efficiency of trades is vital to the project’s ultimate success. The project manager can problem solve as challenges arise and liaise between trades and the client to navigate ever-changing circumstances. Protect the design. Your initial goals and priorities should be evident in the design solution. The project manager’s role is to keep his/her eyes on that vision and protect the integrity of the design as it is built. This is one of the primary benefits of having a design-build firm, because the design and construction teams are under one roof. Advocate for the client. A project manager ensures contractors are delivering high-quality work, reviewing progress, and maintaining a standard that ensures the best craftsmanship at a competitive price in the most timely manner. Keep the project moving. Every project has hiccups, whether a backordered fixture or renovation discoveries. A project manager should bring the client solutions – not a problem. Managing the details. Finally, a good project manager ensures the details come together seamlessly to uphold the design intent. As a project wraps up, the project manager works with the client to develop a punch-list, following through until every last detail is complete. Renovations don’t have to be dreaded – and you don’t have to put up with chaos to reach the end result you’ve dreamed of. With clear goals, the right partners and a skilled project manager, the process itself can be something that brings you joy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR An architectural engineer by trade, Kim Peters is a construction project manager who brings a wealth of experience to id|bp’s construction services. Her analytical skills, positivity, and attention to detail play a critical role in bringing designs to life.
12 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | FALL 2022
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At Earl's Premier, oysters are shipped in from the East and West coasts and have been harvested 24-48 hours before being served.
FOOD words by EMILY & STEWART LANE | photos by ANNA PETROW
Sail Away in Brookside. Emily Lane: Tucked away at the intersection of 59th and Holmes is a neighborhood dream come true. Earl’s Premier is the sort of place you’d love to have down the street from your house – it’s welcoming, cozy, a bit eclectic, and boasts an expertly curated food and drink menu featuring some of the freshest oysters you can get in the Midwest. Todd Schulte and Cory Dannehl, the seasoned culinary minds behind this new Brookside addition, ensure that the oysters served are harvested 24 to 48 hours prior, and your tastebuds will know the difference. Stewart Lane: The staff at Earl’s Premier has created a vibe of familiarity that is often missing when launching a new restaurant. From the iced trays of the raw bar with handwritten oyster tags, to the warm, weathered dark woods of the bar, Earl’s Premier feels like it has been an East Brookside staple for generations. Our server, Megan, effortlessly walked us through the menu with incredible knowledge and passion for each dish, speaking freely and candidly as if we were old friends. We gushed over the oyster selection, deciding not to leave a bivalve behind, and ordered a pair of each offering. Plump, briny, and incredibly fresh, the oysters were served with a little bottle of homemade white mignonette sauce to complete the tray. We paired them with my new favorite drink, the house special Frozen Gin & Tonic, made with J. Rieger & Co. Midwestern Dry Gin. It’s almost too easy to imbibe. EL: The signature cocktail menu at Earl’s Premier isn’t long but includes classics like their versions of an Old Fashioned and Martini, as well as more unique options including a Rosehip Spritz and a couple clever rum- and tequila-based drinks. They also have nonalcoholic drinks, an assortment of beers, and a lovely selection of wines. And with the charming bar, featuring Americana décor, books on seafood, and paintings in weathered bronze frames, it’s only apropos to have this classic drink menu. Again, I think of how often I would make my way down the street if only I lived in the neighborhood. This would be one of those spots where eating dinner at the bar is probably more fun than a table (although the long banquette with cozy kitchen-adjacent tables is a delight, as well). Additionally, there is a large patio if dining al fresco is more your style. SL: Tuesday through Saturday, Earl’s Premier showcases a special meal each evening. We attended on Wednesday, which is steak night featuring a grilled hanger steak with a chimichurri sauce, simple green salad, and house-made French fries. Hanger steak, one of my favorite cuts, exploded in popularity in recent years and for good reason. This is one of the most-tender cuts on the animal, excluding the tenderloin, which still packs incredible flavor. Our steak was perfectly cooked, had an incredible char crust, and was finished with a complex
FALL 2022 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | 15
Fried shrimp or oysters are the centerpiece of the traditional New Orleans style Po' Boy.
sauce of fresh herbs, shallots, and olive oil. I can’t let a Po’ Boy get past me, and Earl’s Premier was ready to deliver. Crispy fried shrimp (or you can select oysters) are nestled in a classic soft roll with all the traditional fixin’s of lettuce, tomato, herbed mayonnaise, and house-made pickles. The house fries are proudly served with “cold Heinz ketchup” and I couldn’t think of a better companion. EL: The menu also includes other maritime mainstays: shrimp cocktail, clam chowder, and mussels, as well as classic favorites including a cheeseburger and the Earl’s Premier chicken, which per my cousin is the best chicken she’s ever had. Other nightly specials include Tacos & Tequila on Tuesday, Fish & Chips on Thursday, Cioppino on Friday, and Shrimp Boil Saturday Nights. The menu also indicates a Rosé Sunday Brunch is coming soon. Sign me up for that! For dessert, we enjoyed the Atlantic Beach Pie which had the most satisfying combination of citrus, creaminess, and salt, as well as the house-made soft-serve ice cream, which you can enjoy with either rainbow sprinkles or olive oil & maldon salt. If ice cream is your thing, like it is mine, get it both ways.
16 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | FALL 2022
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SL: As the food service industry continues to evolve and leave behind its sordid past, Earl’s Premier stands proud as a leader in that charge. The food service world of Kansas City is exceedingly small and tightknit. Reputations, both good and bad, follow chefs, owners, and servers around the city. We talked with Megan about the environment at Earl’s Premier and how this team worked hard to create a heathy environment of mutual respect across all positions. This vibe comes from more than its interior design, menu, or social outreach. This feeling of belonging comes from people who care about their craft, their customers, and the wellbeing of each other. We will happily return to support this team and leave satiated and smiling. Earl’s Premier, located in Brookside at 651 E. 59th Street in Kansas City, MO, is open Tuesday through Saturday for lunch and dinner. Reservations are highly recommended, and can be made at earlspremier.com.
SL: The Spanish Octopus was a must try for me. Octopus can be very difficult to work with, but in the right hands, incredible flavors can be created. The Blu Hwy chefs did not disappoint. Crispy outside skin with tender, juicy meat laid on a bed of mashed English peas, crunchy sweet hazelnuts, spicy Fresno chilies, and a simple lemon vinaigrette were crafted with knowledgeable hands. The English peas were the perfect textural and flavor complement to the bold octopus, chilies, and tart vinaigrette. EL: So whatever plans your summer holds, we hope you add a visit to Blu Hwy to your list, and take a journey through their menu without leaving the city limits. Blu Hwy, located in the South Plaza area at 5070 Main Street in Kansas City, is open Monday through Friday for lunch, happy hour, and dinner, and Saturday and Sunday for brunch, happy hour, and dinner. More information and reservations can be found at BluHwy.com. Warm woods, worn leather, and textured fabrics span the bar, dining room, and outdoor patio at Blu Hwy.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS Emily and Stewart Lane are Kansas City natives who have an affection for hospitality. Stewart, a former executive chef, makes his career with in business SMG and development loves to cook andfor friends lovesfamily, and to cook and forEmily friends is and a marketing family; Emily communications is a communications managerstrategist with an arts withbackground. an arts background. Along with their Along daughters, with their Evie daughters, and Catharine, Evie and they Catharine, live a lifethey filled live with a life food, filled culture, with food,creativity. and culture, and creativity.
18 || TODAY 20 TODAY KANSAS KANSAS CITY CITY || FALL SUMMER 20222022
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AUTOMOTIVE words and photos by TOM STRONGMAN
PORSCHE’S 2022 MACAN S
More Power, a Revised Interior, and Sleeker Styling.
22 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | FALL 2022
FALL 2022 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | 23
AUTOMOTIVE Porsche’s Macan midsize SUV is more like a four-door sports sedan than a mudslinging utility vehicle, and that is the main reason for its popularity. It’s among the best handling utility vehicles on the market, and that is probably why more than 137,000 have been sold since the introduction in 2014. The Macan illustrates why midsize crossover-utility vehicles, as a class, keep growing in popularity and, in some cases, are pushing sedans out of the market. They ride and drive like a car, have an upright seating position, and deliver cargo versatility. What they cede to bigger SUVs (greater towing capacity and rugged off-road capability) is essentially moot because most buyers rarely do either. As you can see, upgrading a popular model can be a challenging task: How do you enhance the styling and add mechanical improvements without impinging on what made the vehicle such a good seller? That skill set fits Porsche perfectly because it is legendary for developing its 911, first introduced as a 1964 model, through numerous iterations while maintaining a profile that is immediately recognizable even today. Model changes come when they’re needed and not before, and that philosophy also applies to the Macan. There are three models from which to choose: Macan, Macan S, and Macan GTS. Pricing starts at $54,900 for the base Macan, $65,400 for the Macan S and $79,900 for the Macan GTS. A slightly sportier Macan T will be arriving later. The model driven here had a base price of $65,400. Options included a non-metallic light-gray paint called Chalk, the interior leather package, heated steering wheel, 21inch wheels, adaptive cruise control, heated and cooled front seats, Bose surround-sound stereo, panoramic sunroof, and LED headlights. The sticker price was $80,290. Fuel economy is rated at 17 mpg in the city and 23 on the highway. As an owner of the 2015 model, I can attest that the Macan excels in gobbling up miles of highway with ease. It is quiet, powerful, and has enough room for two people, a dog, and
all the relevant paraphernalia for a two-week vacation. We have driven our Macan nearly 98,000 miles with a minimum of issues other than brakes, tires, and oil changes. In that light, consider the 2022 Macan. While the overall profile of this compact SUV hasn’t changed, there have been numerous styling and mechanical enhancements. The front fascia gets integrated cooling air intakes and body color trim around the grille. Around back, the black diffuser has been stretched upwards and given a 3D textured surface like the one used in the side blades. LED headlights and standard sport design exterior mirrors complete the visual upgrade. There are seven wheel designs with sizes ranging from 19 to 21 inches. The base Macan has a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder that delivers 261 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. It accelerated to 60 miles per hour in 5.8 seconds and has a top speed of 144 mph. While this engine has the least horsepower, it delivers its maximum torque as low as 1,800 rpm, so off-the-line throttle response is surprisingly crisp. This powertrain functions perfectly for most city driving. The S has the 2.9-liter, twin-turbo V-6 from the outgoing GTS, and it produces 375 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. It hits 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and has a top speed of 160 mph. Of course, more power is always appealing and the new engine in the S delivers strong acceleration yet feels plenty docile in everyday driving. The GTS has 434 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. It hits 60 mph in 4.1 seconds and has a top speed of 169 mph. All Macans have a 7-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. The PDK transmission tends to shift into high gear quickly under light load to help fuel economy. I often chose the Sport transmission setting for crisper shifting around town. One of the most notable changes is a new center console that uses haptic touch signs instead of buttons, as before. The shorter gear lever no longer can be used to manually shift the transmission. Manual shifts are done with levers on the steering wheel. A 10.9-inch
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fine-tune the aerodynamics and arrive at a chassis that has a curb weight of just over 3,300 pounds. The carbon-fiber chassis makes of underbody aerodyfull-HD touchscreen in the center of use the instrument panel offers namics that as help keep the topforofcontrolling the car sleek sensua large map well as screens audioand selections. al with rounded contours that echo The nose Leather stitching in Chalk, Papaya, andclassic Blue isdesign. optional. contains a grille that is recognizably Maserati complete with The 2022 Macan models come standard with Lane Departure the Trident Warning as emblem. well as front and rear Park Assist with a rear-view Upward-opening doors pivot forward to so the camera. Beyond this, “butterfly” it can be optioned with several driver assisdriver and passenger can getself-steering into the cabin a minimum tance systems. These include Parkwith Assist, adaptive of interference. TheKeep cabinAssist, is understated, and driver focused. cruise control, Lane and the blind-spot monitoring The are simple, with few sharp corners and Laneinterior Changeshapes Assist function. the upholstery and interior materialswith are black to prevent rePorsche’s adaptive air suspension comfort, sport, and flections the steep windscreen. Plus, black lends sport pluson settings is nowsloping standard on the Macan S, and the ride a feeling of understated elegance. There are two LCD screens quality is much more compliant. Wheel choices range from 19 to in instrument panel, one in front of the driver for gauges 21 the inches. and one inoffers the center above the console. Maserati emphasizPorsche optional 14.2-inch, six-piston brakes with a spees “everything is laid out just like theThe cockpit of a racing cialthat PCSB coating that reduces brake dust. carbon-ceramic
car, with functionality and visibility paramount.” The central tunnel is clad with carbon fiber and only carries the switches that are necessary. brakes are no longer available. Maserati collaborated on thetraits design and creOne of theand newSabelt Macan’s more endearing is handling, ation MC20 A than composite structural shell, whichof is the more like aseats. sedan a crossover vehicle. It equipped feels balwith power adjustments and system, represents esanced in corners because thelumbar all-wheel-drive system is the biased sence therear MC20 project: sportiveness at to a high quality and towardofthe wheels. Power is distributed the front wheels performance when weatherlevel. and road conditions dictate. Theride MC20’s Sonus audio embodies thebut translation of The is firm with faber the standard suspension, the adapits “handmade that how brands tivename, air suspension, nowsound” standard onillustrates the Macan S, both has comfort, desire to pair innovative technologies and skillful craftsmansport, and sport plus settings that deliver a much-improved ship. ride. Body roll in corners is moderate, and the car feels perfectly Committing the MC20 planted at highway speeds.to production is a bold statement from how itself, both today model, and in but the An Maserati all-electricabout Macan is it in sees the works as a 2024 future whenand an official all-electric version willhave be available. foravailability specifications not been That released. ward vision is necessary for significantly a company more that has such a long Porsche expects it to have range than the and storied Taycan’s 227history. miles.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR / PHOTOGRAPHER Tom Strongman has a degree in photojournalism from the University of Missouri and was formerly the director of photography and then the automotive editor of The Kansas City Star. Tom, a member of the Missouri Press Association Photojournalism Hall of Fame, has written about and photographed cars for more than three decades.
26 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | SUMMER FALL 20222022
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Sustainable by Design.
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David Dowell, one of two partners at the Kansas City architecture firm, El Dorado, remembers hearing the term, “sustainable design,” in the early 1990s when he was pursuing his master’s degree at the University of California, Berkley, in the College of Environmental Design. “There were amazing people there who were leaders in the early articulation of what we now call sustainable design. Sim Van der Ryn was top of the list. Gail Brager, and Chris Benton were focused on thermal comfort and building performance.” Dowell was in good company at a critical time in his career. Van der Ryn is a pioneer in ecological design who focuses on not only on the impact of materials and systems on their environment, but also how structures themselves impact people and their physical and psychological well-being. At Berkley, Dowell was also exposed to revolutionary ideas around sustainability and the evolution of the concepts of the impact of inclusion and social justice. He found these ideas engaging and exciting, but not necessarily essential. However, early in his career, he and his partner Josh Shelton worked under Bob Berkebile, founder emerita at BNIM. Berkebile has devoted much of his career and personal commitment to environmental concerns and social equity. “I didn’t work much with Bob,” Dowell says, “But I did work at his old drafting table, so I think I absorbed some his teaching through my hands.” Recently, El Dorado was recognized as the best small firm in the Midwest by The Architect’s Newspaper. The firm has been a lead partner in major redevelopment projects in established neighborhoods in Kansas City, including the Crossroads Hotel and the Kansas City Art Institute campus. Dowell believes Berkebile’s teachings influenced Ed Dorado’s sense of sustainability, which is deeply rooted in the firm’s ideas about craft, knowing where materials come from, how to work with them, and appreciating the people who do the work. He is aware that “sustainability” is a broad term that means different things to different people. He and his associates spend a lot of time talking with clients at the beginning of a project – whether it is residential or commercial – to understand the priorities, goals, and constraints. “I’m not anti-technology, far from it, but every approach to sustainability is, by definition, concerned with the health and well-being of people. We now know that means being concerned with the interlinked network of relationships between people, animals, plants, and time. “In the end, sustainability is about how much a project takes or gives. The more a project gives back, which can be defined in a broad way, the more sustainable it is.” El Dorado works on projects that are new construction and renovations. Dowell and his colleagues think that both types of projects have the opportunity to be sustainable. FALL 2022 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | 39
INTERIOR DESIGN “I think I was experimenting on myself, which is better than experimenting with clients,” she says. “But in the last few years, I’ve changed out the rug to something simpler and replaced the pillows with ones that have texture rather than color.” She says the change has delivered a new sense of calm in the room. “Maybe, in my case, with raising children and working all day, what I want to come home to is something that’s relaxing, welcoming, and peaceful.” In addition to the calming effect, Schmidt thinks neutral backgrounds provide a lot of flexibility, as well. “We have a client whose whole house is neutral, but she has a very colorful art collection and accessories that she changes in different seasons. A neutral background allows her to add personality on a whim without a big commitment. I’d rather the artwork and other textures attract attention rather than the palette of the room itself,” Schmidt says. While the neutrals of decades past might have led homeowners to forbid red wine in the living room, Schmidt notes that today’s textiles offer wearability even in rooms that withstand a lot of use and traffic. “When it comes to lighter-colored materials, we use a lot of natural materials like wool, which repels and cleans very well. When my children were young, we had a light-colored wool sofa, and I had it cleaned once and never had an issue. It just repelled stains.” Schmidt also appreciates the evolution of outdoor fabrics their minds and discussions when they are considerThey recognize “environmental responsibility” means differentthatforefront have a of soft hand. ing sustainability. One, how to intelligently utilizeofresources that things to different people, but he believes most of his clients want “They’re not the plastic-y, scratchy material the past,” free – such as wind, solar angles, seasonality, and the therto do the right thing. Often, the firm’s focus as they move forwardsheare notes. mass of the Earth. Second, the firm it introduces ecologically is how to make a significant impact toward sustainability. Ifmal there is any “bling” in Schmidt’s rooms usually appears in oriented architects in the process from the beginning. “If the project is new, we consider site selection, size, andlight fixtureslandscape or the texture of tile. “Buildings are part ecosystems and endure more beneficialorientation. If it’s an existing structure, we try to honor the “Someone might not of think of tile around a fireplace that is ly when designed with that in mind.” energy that went into the making the home or building in theneutral and matte as ‘bling,’, but it has a nice, chiseled stone David Dowell has been studio consultant first place and then honoring it and keeping it going for an-face to it. You may notice the a simplicity of a room,for butthe theKansas artState Department of as Architecture the the fifth-year other generation.” work, lightUniversity fixtures, accents – such the pillowsfor – and obstudents in the architectural design + make studio since 2011. Increasingly, the architects at El Dorado have two things in thejects on the tables add a lot of interest.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Patricia O’Dell started the lifestyle blog “Mrs. Blandings” in 2007. Her curiosity led her to write about designers, artists, business owners, and industry leaders. She’s been published in Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, Chicago Tribune, Flower magazine, Kansas City Spaces, and The Kansas City Star, as well as archdigest.com and elledecor.com.
48 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | SUMMER 2022
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KC Dad Day Hosted by Jack and Jill of America. On June 11, food trucks, luxury cars, and over 50 participants gathered around the Lake Olathe Marina. But this was no ordinary day of fun in the sun. These men met to enjoy food, music, yard games and cigars, and swap stories of their experiences with fatherhood. Dia Wall, anchor and reporter for KSHB and associate of the Johnson County chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., was thrilled about the success of the organization’s first KC Dad Day, sponsored by companies including Blue KC and Charlie Hustle. “We’ve been very blessed by those that saw the spirit in what we do,” Wall says, “and I just want to say thank you to everyone that supported us.” Jack and Jill is a national organization that represents more than 40,000 family members and has worked on promoting
healthy families and communities for more than 80 years. The organization rallies around families of color and develops programming for children (and families) centered on five core values: cultural awareness, educational development, health, civic engagement, and social/recreational development. “The struggle was trying to find other families of color in the middle class,” Wall explains, speaking of the organization’s founding eight decades ago. “And even now in 2022, we’re still trying to create community.” The chronic stress and strife associated with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has not been kind to community development initiatives. But even before the shutdown, Wall saw a need to bring families together for the benefit of their children. “We operate in these silos, and then we step out and say ‘Oh wow! My community needs a little bit more sparkle,’” she says.
FALL 2022 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | 43
Dia and other area moms have banded together to bring that sparkle to area families. In an effort to “raise kids who are informed, civically minded, and engaged in the community around them,” teens associated with the Johnson County chapter of Jack and Jill have participated in competitions and speech-writing, raised money to address teen mental health, engaged in leadership development education, participated in community service, and learned from (and been inspired by) others in their community. “We amplify our resources when we band together,” Wall says. Her organization has amplified their reach to more than 200 families by partnering with The Family Conservancy – a local organization that focuses on whole family support and education – in part because of a group Wall identified as needing support – dads. “There are a lot of organizations for moms,” she says. Jack and Jill itself was started by mothers and maintains executive leadership and membership by and for moms. Through partnering with The Family Conservancy – which provides whole family support, parenting classes, and programming around fatherhood – Wall says that the local chapter has begun the work of reaching out to “fathers who didn’t grow up with their own dads,” and lack role models for successful fatherhood. “You need both,” she says. And so KC Dad Day was born. At the first event, over 50 local fathers – largely dads of color, in keeping with the organization’s mission – came together to network, learn from each
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other, establish bonds, and celebrate. Organizations, such as Aristocrat Motors, La Cultura Cigar & Social, Blue Note, and Riverset volunteered time and resources so that attendees could bond over food, music, and bourbon tasting. Though dads (and their kids) look different and lead different lives, for Dia Wall and Jack and Jill, it’s about building a community families can be proud of. “We wanted to bring us all together for those things that do make us the same,” she says. Though tickets cost $50, Jack and Jill facilitated nominations for deserving dads, bringing in fathers who benefit themselves and others in the program even if they didn’t have the ability to pay. Looking to the future, Wall is hopeful about increasing the scope and reach of the organization’s work toward building community and support for BIPOC (black, indigenous, and people of color) families and children.
“We want to see people coming out to our events, to our fundraisers, and getting engaged,” she says. “We want to pull in more like-minded families. We want to build long-standing partnerships with other organizations like The Family Conservancy, and even start setting up play-dates with our kids. Next year’s KC Dad Day is already planned for June 11, 2023, and promises to bring in even more families. As most parents can attest to, it truly takes a village to raise a child. Through Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Dia Wall and many other moms – and dads – are working to build that village right here in Kansas City. Visit jackandjillinc.org to learn more about or support the organization, and visit kcdadday.com for details about next year’s event.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Though originally from a small town outside of Kansas City, Kansas, Matt Lancaster lives in Lawrence with his wife, son, dog, and cats, where he works as a program director for the University of Kansas School of Business.
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ROAD TRIPS words by PATRICK MULVIHILL | photos by ANNA PETROW
The Mountains Are Calling. There’s something about driving through the Rocky Mountains – windows down, John Denver blasting and crisp mountain air streaming through the car – that’s good for the soul. Settling down in Vail, Colorado, for a much-need vacation? That’s just the icing on the cake. For the most adventurous jetsetters who want to trade in a plane ticket for a pitstop or two in rural Kansas, a road trip to Vail might just be what you need. As famed naturalist and preservationist, John Muir once said, “The mountains are calling and I must go.” But in order to go, you first have to get there. Admittedly, the first nine hours of the trip might be a bit excruciating – no one has ever described the drive through Kansas and Eastern Colorado as exciting – but the entire prolonged straightaway that is The Sunflower State’s stretch of I-70 will be well worth the final 100 miles as you ascend from Denver into the mountains. The final portion of your drive will take you along some of the most spectacularly hair-raising stretches of road in the entire United States, including a trek through the Eisenhower Tunnel, the highest point of the entire Interstate Highway System. From there, it’s more or less downhill (speaking literally, of course) to get to Vail. Three pieces of advice from someone who has made the drive several times in recent years? Leave at the crack of dawn (or earlier), queue up a couple podcasts (or a book on tape), and pack a couple of good snacks. I promise, you’ll be 8,150 feet above sea level before you know it. STAY After the road trip, you’ll need some rest, so make sure you’ve got your accommodations settled. For arguably the best stay in the greater Vail area, check out the Four Seasons Resort and Residences. Most of the rooms, suites, and private residences come equipped with working fireplaces, plus balconies or terraces with views across the mountains and Vail Village so you can get a healthy dose of mountain air whenever the mood strikes. Pound-for-pound, the Four Season’s amenities cannot be beat. To start, the heated pool is open year-round, and the two additional hot tubs will help you cool down and warm up after any long hikes up the mountain. The hotel’s spa & wellness center and fitness center also have something for everyone. Most importantly, the Four Seasons is dog friendly, meaning you’ll have a trusted companion for your road trip and any ensuing adventures. The dining options at the Four Seasons can go head-to-head with the best restaurants and eateries throughout all of Vail, too. Grab a morning pick-me-up at Bean & Gone or check out The Remedy Bar for happy hour
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ROAD TRIPS (or a life-changing hot chocolate). For an incredible dinner, snag your reservation for some show-stopping steak and seafood options at Flame Restaurant. The steakhouse offers fresh and aged cuts, complete with an angus beef chart on the menu showcasing where each selection comes from on the cow. Even the poolside food and cocktail menus are worth the trip alone, if getting out of your lounger seems like too much effort. We won’t judge you. PLAY Of course, Vail has so much more to offer than accommodations. While ski season doesn’t officially begin until mid-November, that doesn’t mean the mountains are closed for business this fall. The greater Vail Valley is home to some of the most beautiful hiking found within half a day’s drive of Kansas City, so it’s best not to miss the chance to take in the views. Booth Falls (4.2 miles) and Strawberry Lane (2.7 miles) are both easy to get to and provide moderate challenges. Vail’s neighboring towns have plenty more trails options for beginner and intermediate hikers, including the Beaver Lake Trail in Beaver Creek (6.3 miles) and Lionshead Rock Trail in Minturn (6.0 miles). Of course, you don’t have to hike up a mountain to take in the sights and sounds Vail has to offer. Vail boasts more than 15 miles of paved paths, including the Gore Creek Path, a breathtaking 1.8-mile point-to-point route great for walking, running, and biking. DINE AND DRINK There’s no shortage of eateries and watering holes throughout Vail Village and the adjacent Lionshead Village, where you can truly find something for everyone. Arguably the most picturesque establishment in Vail Village, Pepi’s Restaurant and Bar (and the accompanying Hotel Gasthof Gramshammer), is an authentic Alpine lodge and Bier hall that first opened its doors in late 1964, two years after Vail Ski Resort was founded (and two years before Vail was even incorporated). You can’t miss Pepi’s’ iconic yellow facade and its accompanying billowing flowerboxes. Stop by for lunch, dinner, or even après hike for an assortment of schnitzels, bratwurst, and other European specialties – paired with a beer, of course. For the full experience, try to snag a spot in the sun on its southern-facing deck. For an elevated yet dog-friendly atmosphere, consider Mountain Standard, where you’ll find a vibrant and inspired menu – and a cocktail and wine selection to match. Sweet Basil is always worthy of a visit, but be sure to snag your reservation early: this award-winning restaurant has an excellent selection of small bites and entrees alike, which have brought back repeat customers since they first opened their doors in 1977. If you’re simply looking to wet your beak, Vail has plenty to offer. For wine lovers, Root & Flower is a must-visit, with 50 by-the-glass pours ranging from vintage Old World vinos to new-age natural wines. Beer snobs can take refuge at Vail Brewing Co. – either at their tasting room in Vail Village or their original brewery in Eagle-Vail,
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just a quick drive west from Vail Village. Finally, The George, Bridge Street Bar, Garfinkels, Bart & Yeti’s, and Shakedown Bar are all the varying degrees of divey in a mountain town way for those looking to step away for a casual pint. SHOP After your belly is full and your thirst has been quenched, legs still sore from your morning hike, Vail is a prime spot for shopping. Lionshead and Vail Village are built for walking, giving you plenty of room to spread out as you make your way through the shopping districts. Before anything, you’ll need to blend in by standing out in your new cowboy hat and boots (or maybe just a tasteful scarf for the less adventurous). Kemo Sabe is a high-end Western-wear store, with an extensive collection of leather goods and jewelry that even the most hardened cityslicker can pull off. It’s worth popping your head in, if only for the tannery aromas. After that, let your instincts take over and you can’t go
wrong. From fashionable yet ski-forward shops like Burton and Gorsuch to stylish outdoor gear from Christy Sports, Patagonia, Lululemon, or Pepi Sports, everyone can easily find a new fit for the next day’s adventures. There’s plenty of higher-end shopping throughout the villages, including Perch and Nina McLemore, as well as menswear options at Axel’s, Grey Salt, or Luca Bruno. Finally, Sundays are perhaps the busiest (and most exciting) day to be in Vail Village, with their seasonal farmers’ market and art show, bringing dozens of food vendors, makers, crafters, and artists to town to showcase their trades. Up to 150 booths, tents, stalls, and love musicians sprawl throughout the village, bringing the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells of Colorado to visitors looking to experience all that The Centennial State has to offer. It’s no secret that Vail is one of the most popular and iconic ski resorts in the country, if not the entire world. The hotels, shops, bars, and restaurants have their doors open, and the mountains are calling. Luckily for us, we’re just 700 miles – less than half a day’s drive – from taking it all in.
ABOUT THE WRITER & PHOTOGRAPHER Anna Petrow and Patrick Mulvihill call Kansas City home, but they have been known to find themselves off the beaten path. Born and raised in Kansas City, Anna is a culinary and lifestyle photographer with a knack for letting her camera lens guide her travels. Patrick is a writer, an enthusiastic travel companion, and a proud St. Louis native who uses each new trip as an excuse to eat five meals a day.
52 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | FALL 2022
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HEALTH by DR. LINDA MOORE
Are You a Good Friend? And Are You a Good Friend to Yourself?
FALL 2022 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | 55
Thoughtful reflection on our history is easier when you identify progressive timeframes.
The last two years (and counting) have made this a particularly serious and important question. While it’s always relevant to explore our self care – the ways we do and do not attend to all our personal needs in a thoughtful and caring manner – the pandemic has delivered the most intense test of our ability to focus and take genuinely good care of ourselves. And I’ve found as I explore this issue with friends, family, colleagues, and clients, some have passed the test of self care with flying colors, while some have failed – and some have failed miserably. If you’re open to an inventory, grab pen and paper and reflect on these bottom-line questions about self care. While it’s sometimes easier to reflect on your favorite device, the pen and paper approach truly accesses more of your thoughts, feelings, and recollections. • If and when I’m taking genuinely good care of myself, what are the specific things I know I need to do? • Has my self care been daily? Or just once in a while? • Have I failed in any particular way? In any specific important self care, like regular doctor visits? • Have I been sick or sad – depressed or anxious – and responded with necessary self care steps? • Have I been able to ask for help – for attention, a good conversation, a needed appointment with a professional? • Are there things I know I needed to do/ask for but delayed or neglected? And perhaps simply felt stuck in neutral? • Did I do things for others that I neglected to do for myself? • Did I find it hard to ask for help or attention or time I genuinely needed? • Is it still hard to identify what I need and to then to find a way to ask for what I need? • Do I offer things to others that I know I also need? These are intended as starter questions, and if they are hard, it’s good to see what gets in the way of identifying needs, finding resources, reaching out, and being assured that “I am being a good friend to myself.” Many of us simply, basically, were never taught or learned how to put ourselves first, when necessary. The key to good self care/being a friend to ourselves – or not – has a root system in the way we grow up. Reflecting on our history means thinking back on what was modeled in your household. Was it easy to ask for what you needed? Did adults regularly check on how you felt,
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spiritualtravels.info retreatfinder.com prayereleven.org timbercreekretreat.org Imagine time away where reflection is the primary objective – with a journal and pen close by for recording thoughts and feelings. Writing with pen on paper creates a valuable connection to the brain. However, if you feel better with a laptop, goneeded? for it. Did you see adults take good care of themwhat you For aand simple start, a first Do step if believe you’ve never tried meditaselves of one another? you you learned healthy tion,care? is simple breathing exercises. The most simple, and you self might try it now, just asonan experiment, is the following exerThoughtful reflection our history is easier when you identify cise: Breathe in to the count of four, yourrange breath the progressive timeframes. Reflecting on hold the age of to 1 to 5 count of seven trigger and release slowly toathe count ofofeight … can sometimes simplevery visual recall, basic flash imagrelease throughfrom pursed like 15 preparing whistle. Repeat es. Age ranges 10 tolips, 15 and to 20 aretotimeframes often thiseasier four times. Thenand do itthose again. And take a minute to payand atfar to access where formed basic beliefs tention tostay howwith youus feel. attitudes into adulthood, unless we specifically focus range from simple breathing exercisonMeditation changes wetechniques might want to make. esThe like goal this to repetition of a mantra (a word or phrase) to is silent to identify and correct old messages that negate listening to reinforce guided instructions for deep relaxation andlearned resting self care or the truly good, healthy things you thedo. mind. to To what end? When thereflection, mind is ifallowed truly quiet You can expand on this it feels to productive, by down … especially applied after detail long term, reflecting on each when timeframe in more and persistent answering stress … feelings and thoughts emerge that areoftruly a few more questions: 1) What was the best part 1 to helpful 5 years to each contemplate where we’ve been,part? where old, of 10of tous 15,as ofwe 15 to 20? 2) What was the hardest 3) we are now,I change and where we want to venture forward today What would if I could? 4) What do I cherish and keep? and in the future. If you already do good things for yourself, affirm your ability to do so – to have learned good self care practices. And if you see
We can, as individuals and as a community, be thoughtful and helpful to all those around us as we emerge from the challenges of the last twoplus years. You may confirm doing exactly what you are doing is great; and you may reflect on new things, options for going forward, or something right in between. It’s simply finding your own renewed sense of direction. And if you discover all you need is to stare at the mountains, or woods and restpermission somewhere examples of water, being hard on yourself, give yourself to other than comfort of your home, own it. Meditation can begin to selfthe correct. simply affirm are onintense the right path. Or,the it can open crisis hearts, In times of we pressure, demands, external of minds,we’ve eyes,been to something new, slightlysurfaces. new, or In dramatically what through, old behavior psychology different. retreating, allows whatever surface. terms, it’s Meditation, sometimes referred to as “regression.” Wetocan, under Meditation helps with healing. Far too many adult have beexstress, feel like also we are 5 or 10 or 15 years old, making perienced loss and during this difficult time and both emohavior hardtragic to access then practice. tional and physical healing is needed. Understanding Historical reflections are sometimes, hopefully, the bestwhat way youunderstand think, feel, our want, and need important determine to behavior andisour decisionstowhen we’ve what been changes a are both desirable and possible. The more reflect, through specifically challenging, and often in ayou prolonged meditate, and write think and feel, thefriends more and depressing time. about And if what you oryou family members and clarity you’ll achieve. challenge to make these two diffiand colleagues have The faced illness , is loss, and the accompanycultstruggles, years have a positive outcome and where possible. ing it can be fatiguing andwhen debilitating to the point of My personal easy getaway making good decisions difficult.is Timber Creek, a quite elegant retreat center line an hour Kansas The website, The bottom is selfdrive care from … always myCity. recommendation, timbercreekretreat.org, has informationand for perhaps options across the even if the message feels challenging, repetitive. country. wish is for you good care be of yourself, recogWe can, My as individuals andto astake a community, thoughtful and nizing the past two years us have been a challenge we are helpful to all those around as we emerge from thethat challenges stillthe trying accurately of last to two-plus years.evaluate. Reach out to one another as we work hard to be back on track … healthy in body, mind, and spirit.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dr. Linda Moore has been in practice in the Kansas City area for over 25 years and is a published author on personal and family issues.
58 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | FALL 66 SUMMER 20222022
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KC ORIGINALS words by ANNE KNIGGENDORF | photos by CHASE CASTOR
Everything to Everyone. Every generation of Kansas Citian cherishes a slightly different memory of the Kansas City Museum, says Denise Morrison, director of collections and curatorial affairs. She’s been with the museum for 34 years – longer than any other employee. For instance, Gen Xers may remember climbing through the museum’s igloo or on a covered wagon. Older generations sidled up to a stuffed buffalo. But the igloo has been gone since 1985, and the buffalo went into storage during a decade-long collection deaccession that began in the mid-1990s. Even though exhibitions tend to both stick around the museum for years and stick in the heads of visitors for longer, the institution’s mission has evolved a lot. Through each change, the museum has always wanted to be Kansas City’s museum – everything to everyone. But it wasn’t
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until recently that it’s truly begun to reflect the entire community. At its opening in spring 1940, and for decades beyond that, the focus was on various veins of science, anthropology, and natural history. Kansas City “didn’t have a children’s museum for a long, long time. So, an emphasis on that kind of early learning and play was part of what we did, because there was no one else doing it,” Morrison says. In the 1960s, hunting and displaying big game fell out of favor as a practice that could fairly be categorized as “conservation” work, though science remained a focus until the early 2000s, around when much of that work was shifted under the umbrella of the newly formed Science City. Being a natural history museum, a science museum, and an
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historic mansion was just too much for the limited space and resources available. Morrison says, “A lot of people don’t remember that the museum created Science City, just because it’s been at Union Station for so long and it’s now run by Union Station, Kansas City. I get that a lot.” Since 1988 when Morrison began at the museum, she’s technically worked for the Kansas City Museum Association; Union Station, Kansas City; the city of Kansas City, Missouri; and now the Kansas City Museum Foundation. She has a valuable institutional memory of the organization. “We always said we were everybody’s museum, but we really didn’t reflect everybody,” Morrison’s says. Now, that really is the aim, through something called restorative practices. “Restorative practices means that we’re working with the community and not for the community. So, working with them to tell their story, tell their narrative, collecting objects,” says Paul Gutiérrez, the museum’s director of visitor experience and public programming.
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Nearly seven years ago, around the time the $22 million restoration began, the museum started working with residents from the surrounding neighborhoods, asking for feedback from the public, and hiring historians and educators to build new content. They wanted the culture and people to drive what happens with exhibitions and programming. Gutiérrez says the third floor brings the past, present, and future together. A small theater now shows documentaries, and exhibitions are up in a neighborhood gallery that the museum and the University of Missouri-Kansas City Center for Neighborhoods partnered to create. One idea in the neighborhood space is that people can come and record their stories, Gutiérrez says. It’s like leaving a deposit. They record messages about growing up in the area or choosing to move there. He describes the gallery as being made up of individuals who aren’t frequently highlighted. “Because people know the Kauffmans and the Blochs and the Kempers and all of them,” he says. “But this guy really brings it closer to home where individuals like us are making a difference in Kansas City.”
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botanicals in about 100 combinations before they found a recipe. That’s part of getting at the “whole truth” of the city. What they does includemuseum juniper –tofor pur“It’s our civiclanded duty toon have a history telllegal the truth poses –our but also white cardamom, lemon about history, not topeppercorn, blame or shame individuals. Forzest, excoriander, mostly floor, strikingly, persimmon. ample, on and, the second we talk about J. C. Nichols.” “We hadwas an aenormous persimmonand treeresidential on our property,” Nichols major commercial real esMeg developer says aboutaher childhood home near Hermann, Missouri. tate century ago. Gutiérrez says that while some says they wanted to bring in elements from their farm of She his achievements are highlighted, so are his contributions and heritage and even experimented with cornhusks and to the city’s ongoing geographic segregation. other things that grew all around them. are more traditional In addition to this type of exhibition “Persimmon just remember really came out long-ago with something that we ones that people from visits. Morrison loved and have good memories around. Grandma used to
make persimmon jelly,” Meg says. Moving forward, the Evanses plan to add another agricultural says a homemade turn-of-the-century motorcycle is on diselement their business: growing their own agave. purplay thattohasn’t been out since the 1980s, as wellThey’ve as a mirror chased 40the acres in Arizona and will plant this coming December, ball from historic El Torreon Ballroom. though, Jeff says, it’ll of becollections,” nearly seven years before they’ll able “We’ve got a lot Morrison says. Butbemuch to harvest and distilldoesn’t their crop. of what’s archived “reflect this diverse element. You Meg is to be aofsingle-estate “Evhave tosays findthe thegoal universality some things,manufacturer. then you have to ery part ofto thethese process of being single estate important. So, reach out diverse communities andissay, ‘We would singletoestate to bottle, it is allto onyour us.” heritage, love havemeans those from itemsdirt that are unique If it takes off,reflect theirs your will be the first large-scale agave farm in but also that Kansas City-ness or your Americanthe United States, which sounds not only like great bragging ness that we all share.’” rights for Mean Mule, but for Kansas City.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Anne Kniggendorf is a staff writer/editor at the Kansas City Public Library. She's the author writer forfor various local of Secret Kansas City and Kansas City Scavenger, and a is freelance a freelance writer various local and national publications. Visit her website: annekniggendorf.com.
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INTERVIEW by JOEL NICHOLS
Gary Lezak: Weather is Only Part of the Story. In December, the television landscape of Kansas City will change dramatically. KSHB 41 Chief Meteorologist Gary Lezak is retiring after 30 years. Has your enthusiasm for weather always been there? From the time I was 5 years old, growing up in California, I was fascinated by weather. I’d get excited, yelling, “Dad! Dad! Quick! Come look outside!” My Dad looked and said, “That’s a cloud.” In Los Angeles, you didn’t have clouds all the time. You might go a month without a cloud. That’s probably why I get excited to this day. When I was 10, I’d be in my bedroom creating weather games. I’d draw weather maps, and then sit there saying, ”Goooood evening! Here’s your forecast.” I know I can be a goofball, but I was born to be a weatherman. When you retire from TV, you’ll be putting all that energy into your discovery that is changing how we forecast weather. I was working in Oklahoma City in 1987. We got a foot of snow in December. A few weeks later we got another foot of snow. Oklahoma City averages eight inches of snow a year. We had 24 inches of snow in two storms! I noticed that the weather pattern that produced the second storm looked very similar to the one that produced the first. I developed my hypothesis that this wasn’t a coincidence. The pattern sets up in cycles; then it repeats over and over again until the next fall when a new pattern sets up. It’s called the LRC, Lezak’s Recurring Cycle. It will save lives and help businesses around the world. That’s what I believe my legacy will be. It’s been my dream for 35 years. You arrive in KC in 1992. Land at KSHB in 1999. That year also had you, literally, facing your own mortality. I went rollerblading for the first time. I rolled five feet, fell, and broke my wrist. When I was getting my
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cast on, What role I asked does the American doctor, “What’s Jazz Museum this thingplay in my in left arm?” keeping this because I had important a little growth music alive? there. It was extra-skeletal osteogenic This is a sarcoma hybrid institution. or “out-of-the-bone” We’ve got the museum bone cancer. element Back for daily visitors then, six adults to come a year in and gotlearn it. So,about it was the rare history; and,but according we also have to thea 25 working doctors jazz analyzing club in the it, Blue as aggressive Room, and aswe’ve cancers gotget. the IGem was Theater immediately acrossexcited the street. about Weit.shepherd them into an experience where they can really see and feel the effects of being in a live environment. We’re talking about cancer, and you’re excited about it? been atpeople the intersection education, of II’ve wasalways excited to tell this story. of Forarts 23 years now I’ve nonprofit andpeople. of culture. I live this matrix. It really been ablebusiness, to inspire They caninsurvive. Possibly be allows me workdeclared hard andme play hard after at the15same time. I love cured. My to doctor cured years. It taught what do and, know, ourhave staffisloves me toI live in theyou now. All we now.what we all do. It’s a work of passion.
You started here as theofpandemic You’re the patron saint area animal was really taking hold.Weather That must have shelters. How did “The Dog” presented special challenges right from happen? the start. My parents were getting divorced in There was to andecide opportunity even during 1982, trying who was going to the our pandemic. It makes meyou think of can the get Sheltie, Jamie. I said guys seasons. argue all We you need want, the but winter Jamie’sbecause coming there to arecollege things happening beneath the back with me. When I startsoil.my Things being seeded that will ed career in 1985, Jamie was myburst first when thedog. spring comes. think that hapweather Then, I gotI Windy. In OklapenedCity, withI’dthe pandemic. a homa talk about theThere crazy was things lot of do, opportunity to grow, incubate. she’d like the time I cametohome, and In fact, we opened up our the TV remote control wasJazz in 35Incubator pieces. I for the musician community, whichthem had brought in the pieces and showed a tough timeRemote in the pandemic, a space on the air. control companies for them tome come in, play, learn, and contacted saying I should come byget for resources. a free replacement. In Kansas City, Windy was on every week. Next, came Breezy It has and Stormy. been aNow, quarter it’s Sunny of century and Rainbow. since Ithe love American all dogs. Jazz But I really Museum loveopened my dogs! its doors. I know you have so much planned starting theof“In The Yard” In 2017 you sharedwith a part your life celebration the weekend before you hadn’t before: Andy, now yourthe loving August 29th birthday of Charlie partner of nearly 25 years. You’ve Parker. said, Then,the in September, a beautiful new “He’s one who makes me whole.” exhibit 25 years 18th and Vine. you are If you honoring worked with me, itatwasn’t some bigBut, breaking news alwaysGary looking forward, the next 25. viewer might not story: Lezak is gay!to But the average It’s known. important for us to continue to anchor the neighborhave I wanted reach people just finding out and hood. Our community depends on that. was a vision that figuring out they’re gay. You hold it asThis a secret for a year was started 25 years agolike butI it’s got to grow or two, or three or five, did.got In to mygrow. high It’s school, I knew in a way authentic I think it’s really wononly onethat’s other person and whogenuine. was gay. It helped toa know opportunity. Iderful wasn’t alone. People to come here and really understand the roots It’s not need easy but let your families learn about it. They may of thisatown. the soil. What’s the cases, sidewalks. Apprehave hard What’s time atinfirst. I believe in in most they’re not ciate the authentic that contributed to going to stop lovingand you.genuine And, youculture have to love yourself. The much of history. Eighteenth andofVine. Theyourself. Amerisecret is Kansas to be City genuine. Don’t be afraid being can Jazz Museum. It’s the heartbeat of the city. That’s what I’ve always done.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Joel Nichols has been interviewing fascinating people from Kansas City and around the nation for 35 years. Today, he does freelance work for a number of area organizations, as well as emcee events in our town. Please, visit Joel Nichols Communications, online.
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Symphonie Fantastique, Brahms and Mendelssohn, Kansas City Symphony Chorus
THE LYRIC OPERA Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, unless noted 11.05–13 La Traviata 12.02–11 Amahl and the Night Visitors THE KANSAS CITY SYMPHONY All Performances at Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts 09.16–18 Copland’s Third Symphony, with Saint-Saens Third Violin Concerto 09.23–25 Broadway’s Leading Men, Heartland Men’s Chorus 10.01 Violent Femmes with the Kansas City Symphony 10.07–09 Strauss’ Alpine Symphony 10.28–30 Symphonie Fantastique, Brahms and Mendelssohn, Kansas City Symphony Chorus 11.12 Rufus Wainwright with the Kansas City Symphony 11.18–20 Kenny G with the Kansas City Symphony 11.25–27 Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8, with Prokofiev’s Second Piano Concerto 12.02 The Doo Wop Project Christmas 12.09–11 Handel’s Messiah, Kansas City Symphony Chorus 12.15–18 Christmas Festival, Kansas City Symphony Chorus T-MOBILE CENTER 09.13 Panic at the Disco 09.29 Keith Urban 10.07 Karol G 10.29 Christian Nodal 11.05 Gloria Trevi 11.11 Katt Williams 11.13 Carrie Underwood 11.18 Reba McEntire 11.21–22 Hall of Fame Classic Basketball Tournament 11.26 For King + Country 12.10–11 Jurassic World Live Tour 12.17 Nebraska vs. Kansas State Basketball ARVEST BANK THEATER AT THE MIDLAND 09.14 Why Don’t We, The Good Times Only Tour 09.23 The Gaslight Anthem, Tigers Jaw 09.25 Los Tigres del Norte 09.29 Giveon, Jenevieve, RIMON 10.05 Big Wild, The Efferusphere Tour
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Kenny G with the Kansas City Symphony
10.08 10.09 10.11 10.12 10.14 10.16 10.18 10.19 10.22 10.26 10.27 11.08 11.11 11.14 11.16 11.17 11.18 12.04 12.05
Brincos Dieras Kelsea Ballerini Goose, Dripfield Fall Tour Phoenix Death Cab for Cutie, Asphalt Meadows Tour FKJ, 2022 Tour Marcus Mumford In This Moment, Nothing More, Sleep Token, Cherry Bombs Highly Suspect Celebrating Billy Joel: 50 Years of Billy The Price is Right Live Rumours: A Fleetwood Mac Tribute Daniel Howell Brian Culbertson Slander Tauren Wells Puscifer Disney Princess: The Concert The Piano Guys
KANSAS CITY BALLET 10.14–23 Giselle Kansas City Repertory Theatre 09.06–25 The Twelfth Night 11.18–12.24 A Christmas Carol: Dickens FRIENDS OF CHAMBER MUSIC KANSAS CITY 09.30 Verona Quartet 10.07 Europa Galante 10.29 Vox Luminis: Sacro Monteverdi 11.06 Terrence Wilson 11.11 Ulysess Quartet: Lift Every Voice 12.02 Tallis Scholars: Hymns to the Virgin KANSAS CITY CHIEFS AT ARROWHEAD STADIUM 10.10 Las Vegas Raiders (Monday-Night Game) 10.16 Buffalo Bills 11.06 Tennessee Titans 11.13 Jacksonville Jaguars 11.27 Los Angles Rams