My Mom and her boyfriend were here this weekend. We picked them up and the airport and went for breakfast to IHOP. Immediately my Mom noticed how slow paced the life is here compared to Chicago. We did a lot of touring around KC downtown, the Liberty Memorial, The Plaza, The Zona Rosa, The Casinos… it was a weekend getaway for them that went too fast.
Growing up in Cali, Colombia, I was used to living in a big city where the pace of life was faster than a rural area but not quite a huge metropolis like Chicago. Living my high school and college years in Chicago made me learn about being stuck in rush hour traffic for hours and sitting on a car just listening to the radio. It also taught me that people don’t have any “time to waste” and can be always on the run.
Then I lived in Midland, Michigan for 3 years and the life pace there was somewhere between turtle and snail. Even though I tried to make the best of it, there was not much to do unless you loved the outdoors. When someone goes to visit there, the tour of the city lasted all of 10 minutes and you would have seen pretty much everything. The biggest man made structure was probably the mall. Even when going to Detroit, it was depressing to see how much of the city is just run down.
Kansas City is not as big as Chicago, but it has all of the convenience. Great food, great art, great places to go. When wanting to go to a Casino, even thought I don’t like gambling, there are 4 all less than 30 minutes away. When wanting some great food, there are ethnic restaurants Indian, Thai, Italian, Japanese, Middle Eastern, Korean, Hawaiian, Mexican all inside of a 10 mile radius. Make that 30 miles and you can find pretty much any kind of food you want.
The comedy club here is not attached to an arcade/bar/club/laser tag place. The comedians we have seen here have been great. There are 100 movie screens less than 20 minutes away. And if shopping is your thing, we have a mall about 10 minutes away and every single other store you can think of less than 20 minutes from here.
As far as Colombian products, even the local store has some of the basic stuff like Milo (Chocolate), Maizena (Corn flour) and I can get better produce here than I did back in Chicago, at least good plantains and yuca are sold in the local neighborhood store. Panera has awesome bread and even the local walmart has killer bagels.
I love Chicago, but the pace of life there is just a little too hectic for me, I love slow place but not quite country living. I think in Kansas City I have found the happy middle ground that I was looking for. We are not sure if we will live here forever, moving back to Colombia some day is still an option, but for now I think we are going to call Kansas City our home for quite some time.