12:54 PM, Aug 7, 2005
A Rare Weekend
page and the pictures
pages have been rewritten in perl, which makes them much faster to load, and easier for me to maintain. Enjoy the speed, and expect more improvements in the coming weeks.
I stayed in Kansas City this weekend, and it was wonderful. I have been out of town every weekend since late June, so it was very nice to have an entire weekend with nothing planned.
On Friday evening, I walked over to the Brick for trivia, and ran into Nathan. We lost, but as always, it was still fun. From there, I walked over to Jilly's, and got in touch with Cole on the way. I was late enough in getting to Jilly's that they were charging cover to come in, so I called Cole, and we decided to head over to Grinder's. On the way, we walked through a section of streets that had been completely blocked off to automobile traffic, for First Friday. It was a beautiful evening, and there were thousands of people out, but Cole and I only stopped at the portopotties, before continuing the walk over to Grinder's.
We arrived, and were shocked to see a large crowd, so far east of the bulk of the festivities of First friday. It took ten minutes to get a bartender's attention, so once we got a drink, we headed to the expansive sculpture garden in the back, and saw that there were even more people there. Josh told me about a party in the UMKC area that night, so, put off a bit by the crowds at First Friday, I gave Josh a call. He said that he was at a party near 55th and Troost, and that we were welcome to join him.
Cole and I drained our beers and headed east, toward Troost. Pretty quickly, the liveliness and population gave way to a rather frightening-looking neighborhood, devoid of houses, but instead, full of closed industrial shops and derelict buildings. What was more unnerving was the complete lack of people. Even passing cars became rare. Getting nervous, we reached the very dark corner of 18th and Troost, and huddled inside the bus stop, waiting for the southbound 25 to show up. I even called Carl to see if he would look up the hours of the 25, to make sure it was still running. Midway through the call, however, we saw the bus coming toward us, and we both gave a small heave of appreciation. I thanked Carl, hung up, and jumped on the bus.
I was out of cash, so Cole offered to cover the bus fare for both of us, coming to a grand total of $2. We hopped on the bus, Cole first, and he made to push the one-dollar-bills into the motorized currency feeder thing, and the bus driver stopped him.
"What? So what do you want us to do?"
And so we contentedly found ourselves, twelve minutes later, springing off the bus at 55th and Troost, having caught a free ride. As soon as we were off the bus, I called Josh again, and he told us that he had misinformed us about the address, that we had overshot the target location by four or five blocks, and that he would just come and pick us up, even though we were only about a half mile away. Two or three minutes later, we were walking from Josh's parked car to the house.
It turns out that the owner of the house gives tours at Boulevard, on Saturdays, and because of this, had a free keg of wheat beer in the basement keggerator. Josh, Cole and I made ourselves comfortable, and watched the partygoers slowly disperse, until we were alone in the house with some guy named Tim, and Sarah, the lady of the house. We busied ourselves for the last hour we were there, singing Abba songs as Sarah played them on the piano.
We topped off the evening with a 2AM trip to Pancho's, where I shouted words of haste and encouragement to people that took a long time to order.
I woke up slightly hung over on Saturday morning, and got in touch with Jeff, a prospective roommate from St. Louis, about coming and seeing the apartment. He came at about 1PM, and I gave him a good look around, before announcing that I was headed over to the Peanut for lunch, and inviting him along. He accepted, and we walked down to 9th, and met Cole there. We enjoyed some of the Peanut's famous BLT sandwiches, and were then joined by Josh, who was taking a nap after having to work that morning.
The four of us shuffled down to the River Market, to attend the KC Brewfest. 75th, River Market, Boulevard, Schlafly, McCoy's, Pony Express, and the Power Plant all had booths set up, and we got right to it. The sun was merciless. Almost everyone in attendance was huddled under the few trees the park had, when they weren't standing in the ever-lengthening lines to refill their beers. After about an hour, each of us had filled our souvenir plastic cups five or six times, with the most recent fillup involving a 25-minute wait in a 150-foot long line. Most of the people in attendance were now waiting in line to fill their cups.
I suggested we take off for a while, and come back in about two hours, to see if the lines settled down. All four of us agreed, and headed up to the Cup and Saucer for $2 Boulevard pints, to find that the bar was closed for remodeling. So, we headed down to Harry's Country Club to find that the tap selection had been dramatically scaled back from 15-20 taps, down to about 9. But, they still had Bully Porter, so I was happy. While there, we saw a lot of people walk past our table, wearing the same orange wristbands we had on, indicating that they had been to the brewfest. I stopped one group, and asked them if they left because of the lines. They told me that the lines were ridiculous, and then, with two and half hours left in the timespan of the event, the beer ran out. Apparently, they were expecting 400 people, and over 1000 showed up. Hopefully, this will teach them a lesson for next year.
Josh took his leave from us there, and we went from there to Minsky's for some pizza and more beer. Just a bit exhausted, Cole, Jeff, and I called it a day after that. We all went our seperate ways, with me hurrying home to use the bathroom, work on some perl, and go to bed early.
Today, I'm working on some more perl, and enjoying some quiet lazy time. I turn 27 tomorrow, and I leave for Texas on the day after that, for a week. I shall make the most of this quiet day.