Kansas City: Little help?

I’m choking on childhood nostalgia, KCitians.

Does ANYBODY remember the mechanized dolls in the display windows at Harzfeld’s at Christmastime? And if you do, do you have a decent picture or, better yet, a line on where I can get one of those dolls or six?

There is a Harzfeld’s page and a Harzfeld’s blog, both created by historians with a book in the works, but neither has a search feature, and as far as I can tell, this is the only mention of the dolls:

A couple years ago a Dresden Doll (right), said to be from Harzfeld’s, was sold at a Kansas City area auction. This was a mechanical doll that may have been part of a Christmas window display.

(I want want want one of these dolls, even if I have to build one. I’m good at DIY! Promise!)

As an aside, I remember these chairs:

But a trip to the Harzfeld’s blog yielded something fabulous: Elle Decor featured an article on Kansas City (worth the read, even for non-Kansas Citians), and the picture gallery features the usual suspects, but gorgeous as always.

However, the ugly-ass addition to the Nelson-Atkins was extolled briefly:

“The marriage of the original neoclassical building and the stunning addition by architect Steven Holl . . . ”

I will not be happy until somebody takes a wrecking ball to that abomination. I would PAY MONEY to attend its destruction.

Kansas City: The Shuttlecocks

The New York Times reports that Coosje van Bruggen, the wife portion of the husband-and-wife sculpture team who designed them, died of breast cancer at age 66 (hat tip: Pitch).

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Okay, I’ll admit I didn’t like them at first, but they’ve grown on me. But! Don’t think the construction trailer Bloch Addition will grow on me in a similar fashion.

Godspeed, Artist.

(OH HO!!!! What’s this? Now 24 hours after I wrote the above post and slotted it for publication):

So Tony reports that the Star reports that the Nelson-Atkins is laying off 20-25 people because their endowment income is down (well, shit, everybody’s investments are down—wanna look at our 401(k) stats? I thought not).

No, really. It’s not that the endowment is down. For Pete’s sake, the thing got built during the effing Depression (well, like everything else in Kansas City). Your problem is your light bill, which you knew back in October, if not before. So gallery CEO Marc Wilson says to the Star, he says,

“These figures are impacted by museum attendance,” Wilson said. “The public is not responding to the expanded museum the way past indicators suggest.”

Gee, ya think?

SOLUTION! Tear it down. Then you could create jobs and your attendance would go back up again. After all, the people who love and adore the construction trailer Bloch Addition don’t actually live here.

Oh, and donate the materials to Habitat for Humanity. I love those people.

Kansas City: Randomidity 1

My stats say that consistently the most viewed spot on this site is the Kansas City picture gallery. I don’t know why, but I’m glad because you know what? We have some nice stuff here. It’s the cozy kind of romantic where you snuggle up with your honey in front of a fire feeling.

UMKC (University of Missouri-Kansas City) is an urban commuter school in the University of Missouri (known for the journalism school) system with the one in St. Louis and Rolla (School of Mines). UMKC has a law school, an MBA school, a pharmacy school, a dental school, and a medical school. But it doesn’t look urban or commuter once you start going from building to building. I think people forget that once you get off Rockhill Road and start walking, it’s a very pretty (and more importantly!) compact campus. (Uh, but could you plant more flowers, please? BYU spoilt me on the flowers thing.)

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Platte County is, weirdly, the same shape and size as Chouteau County in The Proviso and it’s in the same spot, too! I don’t know how the hell that happened.


Although it’s not exactly the same demographic, it has Parkville, which is just too cute. If you’re coming into Parkville via 3rd Street from the north going toward the Missouri River, it kind of reminds me of a microscopic Estes Park, Colorado. Or at least, the Estes Park I remember from my childhood. Without the mountain part. If you’re coming into Parkville via 9 Highway from the east, it kind of reminds me of Hannibal, Missouri. Only with a smaller river. There’s a walking path in English Landing Park right along the river.

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And about that Chouteau (pr. SHOW-toe) County thing. If it’s not an English or Irish word around here, it’s Shawnee or French. There’s a reason for that. Anyway, half of the northland (i.e., north of the Missouri River) is Chouteau this and Chouteau that and Chouteau something-else. When I was looking for a name for my not-so-fictional fictional county, I looked it up and there was NO Chouteau County in Missouri. Surely, this must have been an oversight, thought I, but yay for me. Something uniquely Kansas City that hadn’t been done.



Kansas City: Chiefs 10-26

This is what I want to know: Why is Peterson getting WORSE at his job as time goes on? Isn’t he supposed to get BETTER at it? I mean, that’s how age and experience work, right? Right?

And you know what? I’m not even gonna touch Herm Edwards with a 10-foot punt. I want a Schottenheimer clone. Yeah, we never got the brass ring, but damn, at least we got close a few times.

Then I had to go rub salt in my wound and read Whitlock’s column this morning, which asks the question: “Why did the Chiefs go away from what was working?” Well. If they could answer that, we’d have a winning team, right? Or at least a mid-’90s team. And then this:

There was only one way to ruin Sunday’s game, and Edwards and Gailey found it.

For you non-Kansas City readers: We’re all about the football. I’m not sure who these “Royals” people are that get talked about every so often.

Kansas City: Comfort food

Yeah, I’m on a KC kick lately. This post is prompted by the search phrase “kielbasa kansas city.” Heh. Do I know where to point you.

Peter May House of KielbasaPeter May’s House of Kielbasa, on the east side, just west of I-435, a few blocks south
of the Truman Road Viaduct. (In the Sheffield neighborhood—click the pic.)

Peter May’s House of Kielbasa
1654 Bristol Avenue
Kansas City, MO 64126
(816) 231-9850

I pimped a bunch of businesses in The Proviso, amongst them:

Peter May’s, Tasso’s Greek restaurant, Strawberry Hill povitica, Bryant’s, and Planter’s. (Mind, this does not mean I don’t like Gates, because I do, but I had to cut the scene in Gates, ’cause, damn, this book is huge.)

So. Peter May has precious little web presence. I’ve suggested they get a website and set up mail order because they are genius, but alas. Go there. Have much gastronomical orgasming.