Tag Archives: Kansas City

America’s Next Playwright

I spent a while working on this profile of Nathan Louis Jackson, a playwright who happens to be from my hometown, Kansas City. But more importantly, dude is good:

Jackson sat between his wife and several friends at the final performance of “Broke-ology,” watching the audience laugh at jokes he had written, then joining them in a standing ovation. An older white gentleman walked over and shook Jackson’s hand, thanking him. Another audience member reached from two rows away and offered a package of Kleenex. He took it and turned to his right and left, handing out tissues. His neighbors were in tears.

You can read the whole thing here. If you’re in KC, Broke-ology opens at the Rep on Friday. If you’re in NYC, he’s got a new play opening at Lincoln Center next season. If you’re anywhere else, he’ll be there soon.

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Calvin Trillin on Midwestern Values

Big Think is on a roll lately. First, Gay Talese. Now, Calvin Trillin. He pours some cold water on those journalists who think their work makes a difference:

I would settle for maybe giving somebody a smile on the Madison Avenue bus after a hard day.

Sounds about right. Also, the native Kansas Citian expounds, well, on Midwestern values.

Out of darkness

Come stories, apparently. The editors of The Morning News recall their experiences during the 2003 blackout in the Northeast:

Upon my roommate’s safe return from work—she walked from Midtown to Park Slope, Brooklyn—we proceeded to meet and drink with the entire neighborhood before retiring to the roof of our building to finish the wine, the beer, and, oh hell why not, the whisky, too. New York City had thrown a rager while the folks were out of town. Roommate passed out on the roof and I headed back to my 100-degree room with, well, let’s just say someone I liked better with the lights off.

During an ice storm that knocked out power to my house in Kansas City for 10 days, we made good use of the family sleds and played exactly one game of Masterpiece – a board game far too amenable to cheating for my competitive family – before boiling tempers forced my parents to put it away. Finally, we caved, buying a generator so we could watch the Super Bowl.

Songs of the city

Next American City has a song for your city. For pure blunt representation and overt advertisement, I’ll Fats talkin’ about all the pretty ladies in my hometown any day. The Beatles did a decent job too. Though I’d certainly love a mention from Johnny Cash, or have Elliott Smith come off a suicidal ledge (temporarily, RIP) to walk into the sun in my city.

Of course, New York City is tough to beat.

I didn’t know this yesterday

Driving across country, squeezed into 4 minutes of still photographs, looks like this.

(Check out downtown Kansas City, just before the 3 minute mark).

Empty desks in Kansas City

Sigh. Wistful for the good old days.

The World’s Strangest Building

Your random enjoyable photo series of the day: The World’s 15 Strangest Buildings.

One correction: the Kansas City Public Library at No. 6 is actually the parking garage across the street. Stranger.

Update: Thanks to justinmoss for making the change.