first fridays


first fridays


classic sign


Castelvetrano Olives

Food. An innocuous word. Four letters and one syllable. The word sounds a little funny. Say it slowly. It’s not grandiose or evocative like other short words like “seek,” or “fear.” It is four letters but cannot be profane. It’s not even as connotative as the word that describes its subset: meat. And yet….one can associate rapturous things to its blandness. Like a shiny, salt-crusted, bright green olive, marinated in luxurious, first press oil and infused with fragrant herbs that provide a complex counterplay to the firm, tangy interior one tastes when it is slowly chewed. It seems almost a shame to spit out the hard seed inside when teeth and tongue encounter it.

And then think about a plate of fresh, grilled sardines. Redolent with a meaty sweetness that is tempered by the faintly briny taste of sea and char from the fire upon which it was seared. Place one on a crisp, homemade saltine and feel the mixture of textures, meaty and crunchy; then chase it with a quick bite from a brightly flavored, dill-infused, pickle spear.

Images can be powerful complements to words and memories even with a thing routinely described as lifelessly as with the label “food.”

Crossroads Sojourn


On an unseasonably cool Wednesday in the middle of summer, we decided to explore the neighborhood. Heading west from 17th and Washington Street, we climbed the hill toward The Westside Local, a new, stylish restaurant filled with oddly shaped tables that are fashioned from salvaged wood. It had opened a few weeks earlier and since had become a favorite. Though we were tempted to stop and visit with Troy and Kim, we passed it by this time.

Lill’s is a quaint place located on the side of a hill on 17th Street and unlike many other days when we had walked by, it happened to be open. We opened the iron gate, went up some narrow stairs that led to the front door and walked into coolness. With a bar and register shoehorned into what was once the foyer of a pleasant house and narrow tables in what perhaps used to be a living room, the restaurant is a refreshing oasis of serenity seemingly designed to help you while away an afternoon drinking icy and well-mixed sangrias.

The temperatures in the Crossroads were a cause for celebration because the norm for deep summer in Kansas City is a sweltering 95 degrees. We weren’t the only ones who felt that way, as we passed an ebullient couple crossing the street for lunch. Despite the breeze we were still pleased to see the red and white snow cone sign on the corner of 17th and Summit. We were disappointed, however that they were only sold on Saturdays; and their lure was not enough to spur us to return on the weekend for them.

For the past year, nights in the Power & Light district in the downtown area have been brightened considerably by thousands of neon lights adorning new buildings that give the area its name. Of particular note is the ultramodern AMC Mainstreet theater, originally built in the 1920’s and named the Mainstreet Missouri. On the outside it is a reminder of visits to theaters in years past, while inside, it is a plush, high-tech wonder of digital projection that has quickly become a local favorite.

AMC Mainstreet Theater

AMC Mainstreet Theater