Food is not the only thing great about Kansas City; there’s pretty good shopping, too. My family would describe me as a power shopper, and I guess I can’t disagree with that. Actually, I’m a power window shopper because I don’t buy very much, certainly not compared to how much I look. But, I’d rather shop at local favorites or shops that I can’t find in the local mall. We did a little of both in KC.
Country Club Plaza is a high-end shopping Mecca. Lots of clothes, lots of gift shops, lots of restaurants, lots of famous brand names. Ann Taylor, Betsey Johnson, Athropologie, Coach, Tiffany’s, Enzo Angiolini (I admit to drooling on the windows while looking at the shoes).
One great shop was The Better Cheddar. As you can imagine, there were a lot of different cheeses, and we bought a smoked applewood cheddar. This was a gourmet shop with more Balsamic Vinegars and olive oils than you ever thought existed. Plus amazing choices of chocolates. Ya gotta love a place with that many chocolates to choose from.
We also went to Diebel’s Sportsmen’s Gallery—a man’s shopping experience. You know what I’m talking about: chess sets, pipes, cigars, bar stuff, golf stuff. It was really very nice and it smelled wonderful in there. Al bought a few cigars to give to some of his co-worker and at least one for him to enjoy. There was a time he was really into cigars but not any more. But every now and then, he still likes to have one. He doesn’t have many vices, so what’s a cigar every now and then.
Another popular shopping area is Westport. It’s the Plaza’s artsy, laid-back sister. No high end shops, or at least no big name high-end shops. There are many bars and restaurants, but the best shop in the area is Pryde’s Old Westport store. OMG I was in heaven. It’s a kitchen and housewares store! I could have stayed there all day and still not seen everything. Plus it smells incredible in there because there is a pie shop downstairs. A pie shop! What a great idea. This was by far my favorite store. Have I mentioned my tableware fetish? I would have a different set of dishes for every type of meal. And I especially go all weak-in-the-knees for teapots, cups and saucers. Plus that amazing wall full of toys, I mean tools—tools. My hubby did good. He didn’t start complaining about his back giving out until I had seen most of the store.
Then we went to a store we could both enjoy—a used books store. Bloomsday Books was opened by Tom Shawver who gave up his law career to follow his dreams of owning this bookstore. It’s in the ritzy, old neighborhood of Brookside and next to a French bistro and coffeehouse, Aixois. Ulysses is Shawver’s favorite book, so he named his store after the main character, Leopold Bloom, and on June 16, they hold a continuous reading of the novel. We really liked this store. It was small but well lit and had lots of comfy chairs and nooks to sit and read a good book. The book I bought, The Practice of Reading by Denis Donoghue, was a great entertainment for Al, “You bought a book about reading?” He thought that was hilarious. Well, it is about reading, about close reading and literary criticism, an old-fashioned idea in this age of contemporary, deconstructive criticism. Yes, I am this big of a nerd. Hopefully, my friend R will come see us at Christmas so I’ll have someone on my side and someone who’s as big a geek as I am.
So, that’s pretty much our trip to Kansas City. I’ll leave you with this little scene in The Better Cheddar.
Al held up a tea for me from a new line of The Republic of Tea:
If you can’t read it, it’s called Get A Grip, Herb Tea for PMS/Menopause.
Hubby: Look at this!
Me: And you’re point is?
Hubby: I’m just sayin’ (says while laughing and ducking out of arm’s reach)