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THE NEIGHBORHOOD THAT ARTS BUILT, ONCE-VACANT WAREHOUSES HAVE MADE WAY FOR A BOHEMIAN NEIGHBORHOOD THAT YOU NEVER WOULD EXPECT IN THIS PART OF THE COUNTRY.
Art is everywhere you look. The party in the streets? That’s First Fridays, one of the nation’s largest free art crawls, featuring more than 70 shops and galleries that stay open late in the 20-block area. Those soaring arches in the sky? Meet the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, the pièce de résistance and the city’s sleek new address for theater, music and dance. Live music is well represented too, thanks to top-notch local venues like Green Lady Lounge, Crossroads at Grinders and The Tank Room.
WHERE TO SHOP
Artisanal finds range from handmade letterpress stationery to Asian antiques to home furnishings and everything in between. Explore Webster House, a 19th-century schoolhouse turned antique emporium, or get lost in Architectural Salvage, a set designer’s paradise that is filled to the brim with antiques and oddities. Cocktail fiends enjoy Cellar Rat for its 800 wines and premium spirits as well as free weekly tastings and hands-on classes.
WHAT TO EAT
Restaurant choices in the Crossroads make up an eclectic gallery all their own. History is served at delightfully reimagined venues like Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue and and Grünauer. Or sample what’s cooking from celebrity chefs Lidia Bastianich (of Lidia’s Kansas City) and Michael Smith (of Michael Smith Restaurant and Extra Virgin). For farm-to-table fare, as well as some of the city’s most popular Mexican and Latin American restaurants, venture to the adjacent Westside area and 17th & Summit neighborhood.
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