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.