3:39 PM, Aug 5, 2006
A Night and a Bit
Chris and I decided over IM to meet in the Volker/W 39th area last night, so I started looking at bus routes. I should have looked harder. I just assumed
that the 39th Street bus offered frequent service all the way west to KU Med, just a hair on the evil side of the state line. Without really thinking it through, I ran over to my bus stop at 13th and Wyandotte and caught the next southbound that came by. My bus stop is "named" by the Metro, "CONVENTION CENTER," due to its proximity to Bartle Hall, Municipal Auditorium(or Arena, or whatever it's called), and most importantly, a whole bunch of hotels.
As such, there were a lot of out-of-towners out and about that evening, including a small aimless herd at the bus stop. It occurred to me that they might be going down to the Crossroads for First Friday. And who could blame them? The weather was sensational, comfortably in the high seventies. Whenever I hang out in that area, I tend to kind of step outside myself and see KC from the point of view of an outsider that's never seen any of it before.
I took a moment as I rode the bus south through the south side of the Loop, through the Crossroads, past Union Station, and through Crown Center, and remarked at how beautiful Kansas City has become. I felt a pinching of civic pride and a hint of a goofy smile.
I got off the bus at 39th and crossed Main and 39th to get to the westbound stop for the 39. About five or ten minutes later, the dilapidated bus clunked to a stop in front of me. I hopped onboard and swiped my transfer. The bus rolled four blocks, and turned left on Broadway. Apparently, the bus wasn't going to KU Med at all, but to the Plaza. I got off, and walked the remaining mile with the sun in my eyes.
I arrived at Gilhouly's about forty-five minutes after I left home, and found Chris almost done with either his first or second beer. There were no worries, though, as an uncrowded bar is a lovely place to pass the remainder of the daylight while awaiting a friend. Jeff joined us about forty minutes later, and helped us enjoy watching the drunken forty-somethings all around us. We agreed to meet back up somewhere downtown, later that night.
I got a call from Terra while I was there. She said that all the cool kids were going to Harry's Bar and Tables in the epicenter of Westport, so Chris and I hurried there to find that nobody in the group had arrived yet. After a while, Brad, Terra, and Holly arrived, and we got down to business. Nathan unexpectedly joined us at Harry's. We all agreed after a short time that Harry's wasn't exactly pleasant, or more importantly, cheap. With this in mind, we hurried over to Dave's Stagecoach. Dave's was a sardine can. That is, if sardine cans are filled with smoke and neighborhood toughs. This didn't bother us, of course, but we wanted to sit, so we reconfigured our plans for Harling's instead.
I got a pitcher of Pale Ale when we walked in, and everybody else proceeded to get their own drinks, so I was left with an entire pitcher. That was the beginning of the end. Nathan said good-night from there, and the rest of us left for McCoy's within about an hour. We walked in the door, and some DJ was spinning crowd-pleasing songs. Terra and Holly wasted no time, and started moving and shaking like they had the shivers or something.
Amanda, Brad, and I sat and watched them, but on occasion, either Brad or I would jump out of our seats, and drop some dance moves until we couldn't breathe anymore. For me, this is about forty seconds. At about 2:30, someone spilled an entire mixed drink on my crotch, so I decided it was time to head home.
With a severe hatred for taxicabs, I walked the three and a half miles back home, and made myself proud keeping up the same brisk pace for the whole way, including the three-quarter mile nasty hill between Southwest Boulevard and Truman. When I walked in my front door at about 3:15, I noticed that there wasn't a stitch of clothing on me that wasn't completely soaked, so I showered copiously and hung up the wets.
Heidi rang my bell at 8:30, lost somewhere in Kansas City, asking for directions, but ignoring any I gave her. I woke up in earnest just before noon, and enjoyed the air conditioning of a lovely but mercilessly hot saturday pseudo-morning.
I went over to Heidi's new place at 10th and Wyandotte, a beautiful corner apartment in Library Lofts, to help her move in. Once again, I got completely soaked in my own sweat. I am now enjoying a root beer, and putting off showering and shaving for a bit. I'll stop stalling now.