Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Kansas City

Went on a little road-trip last weekend to Kansas City, to catch a soccer game. It was the first time I'd been to Kansas City, and I was pleasantly surprised at how nice of a city it is. We managed to get into town around lunchtime on Saturday, and our first stop was the Country Club Plaza. The Plaza is an interesting place, lots of neat old buildings and fountains everywhere.
Giralda Tower

Then it was off to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, which is just a few blocks away.
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

The museum is the place where there are giant badminton shuttlecocks laying around in the sculpture garden in front of the main building. I wished that we had thought to bring along a badminton racket to use in some pictures. Then I thought that we should all pose next to the birdies and act like we were holding giant rackets that could then be photoshopped in later. I forgot about that when we got there, but on our way out we passed people posing with pictures holding badminton rackets.

And this is the view looking back out to the sculpture garden from the front of the museum...
Looking out...

The museum was interesting on the inside as well. This is the skylight of the main lobby:

The museum has a good selection of art there - a few Monets, a Carvaggio, Rembrandt, and a Van Gogh. And hey, they even had some photography there.

I was interested in seeing what photography they had, and was a little disappointed to see that it was stuck way in a back corner. But it was in a newer addition to the museum, which had some cool architecture too.

We were running low on time, since we still had to check into our hotel, so we didn't see everything there. It is a really cool art museum, and free too!
Just thinking...

On our way back to the car we stopped by the huge fountain outside of the Plaza, which was cool but the light wasn't that great for pictures...
J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain

J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain

J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain

Nichols Fountain

We went to our hotel, which was across the stateline in Kansas. Luckily the hotel was right next to the stadium where we would see the game. I was excited about this because it was my first time to see a soccer game outside of Dallas. I only wish that the stadium there was better. The Kansas City Wizards are temporarily playing in a minor-league baseball stadium while they are awaiting the construction of their very own soccer stadium. The baseball stadium seemed nice, it was just badly laid out for a soccer pitch. This was our view, with a conveniently placed light pole.
Community America Ballpark

I didn't bring in my zoom lens since we were sitting so far from the field, so the pictures of the game aren't all that great.
Before the game...


We were sitting next to the Inferno, the supporter's group for FC Dallas. They spent most of the game singing, chanting, drumming and yelling. This proved to be a bit much for the people sitting around us. When the Inferno would start yelling, a few people would plug their ears and give disaproving glares. After a few minutes they started some heckling. The yells from the Dallas fans grew a bit louder when Dallas midfielder Andre Rocha scored a goal from 40 yards out in the 7th minute. Here is the Inferno celebrating:
And I was asked if the above shot could be used on the front page of 3rd Degree, a FC Dallas fan website.

Now the increased noise seemed to push those around us past the breaking point. After the Dallas goal, the Inferno chanted "We can't hear you anymore!" to the Wizards supporter's group. In response, someone behind us yelled out "we wish we couldn't hear you!" Perhaps the best moment came right after the Inferno yelled out something that had just a small bit of profanity in it. There was a family by us with a kid who was probably 10 or so. I overheard him say softly, "watch your language....douchebags," which was hilarious in that the kid would say that after being so offended by a few stray curse words.

A few pre-teen girls decided to counter the chants of the Inferno by standing next to us and yelling back at them. Which proved to be extremely annoying, and by halftime I was ready to move. We decided to move to a grassy area which was located behind one of the goals. We had a bit better view (no lightpoles in the way), and I wished that I had my zoom lens with me.
2nd half

But we did get a view of a pretty sweet sunset -
Sunset over Community America Ballpark


The game would end in a 1-1 draw. FC Dallas went down a man after a red card, and the Wizards managed to sneak a goal in during stoppage time. It was a sad way for the game to end. I was glad that they didn't lose the game, since we had driven all the way to see it.

To make up for the draw, we decided to grab a late dinner at a BBQ place near the stadium. It may have been the several beers I had finished off before and during the game, but it was good. I had been looking forward to trying some Kansas City BBQ for the weeks leading up to the game.

On Sunday morning we didn't have much time to sight-see since we had the long drive back to Arkansas looming over us. But we made one last stop at the National World War I museum, which has a tower that you can go into that provides some great views of the Kansas City skyline.
Liberty Memorial Tower

The 217 foot-tall tower was erected in 1926. You can pay just $4 to go into the tower, so they don't really shaft you on the price. The view from the skyline there is awesome. It ranks up there with the view of Chicago from the Hancock Tower as some of the best places to see a city skyline.
Liberty Tower

And the view:
Kansas City

Kansas City

Kansas City

On the elevator ride to the top, the guide told us that he saw a praying mantis on the top of the tower. We tried to spot it up there, I hoped it was sitting on the edge (so there could be a picture of it where it looked like it was attacking downtown Kansas City). We ended up seeing it on the ground, seeming like it was trying to figure out how to get out of there.
Praying Mantis on top of Kansas City

The Liberty Tower was a cool place, I'd like to go back up there at night to get some twilight shots of the skyline.
Liberty Tower

But, alas, it was time to head home. We were tempted to make a pit-stop at this town in Missouri:


Belinda said...

Brian--WOW! You should be getting email from the city of KC about using these fabulous photos. Just WOW. City of Cincinatti asked to use my lame pic of the flying pig in the airport there, so these should be in high demand, once seen. I love the perspectives that you catch.

Cormackphotos said...

Thanks Belinda!