18th & Vine

Jazz, bebop, blues and booze abounded in this swingin’ Jazz district, offering music ‘til the wee hours and one hell of a good time. Still a hot spot for music and home of the Mutual Musicians Foundation, 18th & Vine produced legends like Charlie Parker – and orchestrated the invention of Kansas City Jazz.

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39th Street

39th Street has always attracted the alt-life folks who love to support local and create a solid community while having a damn good time. Thomas Hart Benton painted from a studio in the neighborhood. Folks such as Robert Plant, Steve Buscemi, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Robert Altman and William S. Burroughs frequented the neighborhoods eclectic joints in the past.

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Columbus Park

Kansas City’s “Little Italy” – so nicknamed for its predominantly Sicilian population’s influx throughout the late 1800s and 1900s. Once associated with local mafia names like Johnny Lazia, the area is evolving into an artist’s dream location. You know you’re in Columbus Park when you see the red, white and green fire hydrants, a tribute to its original settlers.

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Crossroads

We all know that Western Auto sign, tall and proud, rooted right smack dab in the heart of the Crossroads Arts District. The Western Auto store first opened in 1909. The neighborhood, once a freight and industrial borough, now flourishes as an arts mecca with dozens of galleries occupying historic buildings, and the beautiful Kauffman Performing Arts Center.

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Crown Center

‘Tis impossible to mention Crown Center without alluding to the famous Hall family and its namesake retail store and massive Hallmark Cards Corporation. When Donald Hall acquired the company reigns in the 1960s, he directed an overhaul of the area. These days, Crown Center is a fun-stuffs destination, housing anything from an ice-skating terrace to LEGOLAND.

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Downtown

From the seedy red light district around 13th and 14th streets in the 1920s to the skyline boom in the 1930s when Tom Pendergast and his Ready-Made Concrete Company kept us afloat during the Depression, to the $850 million creation of the Power & Light District, Kansas City’s downtown continues to reinvent itself.

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East Bottoms

An historically industrial district, the trend continues today, peppered with a few homes and adventurous business owners. This area, located between the Missouri and the bluffs, was home to Kansas City’s largest beer-producer of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Heim Brewery, and subsequently, the Heim brothers’ Electric Park amusement park, the first in the city.

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Midtown

"The KCPT (formerly KCTV) tower, [which stands in Midtown] at 125 E. 31st Street," according to a 1996 Kansas City Star article, "is taller than the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The KC tower stands 1,067 feet; the Parisian tower is 1,024 feet tall." It's a district comprised by many small, eclectic neighborhoods ranging from Southmoreland to Hyde Park and even down to Martini Corner.

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Northeast

Preceded only by Quality Hill, the Historic Northeast is one of Kansas City's first developed suburbs, and is home to the city’s largest concentration of pre-1900 Victorian homes. Home also to the Kansas City Museum, originally built by Robert A. Long as a residence for his family. This mansion was the first million-dollar home in Kansas City.

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Plaza

The enchanting Country Club Plaza, better known by Kansas Citians simply as “the Plaza,” features Spanish architecture, fountains galore and any retail store or restaurant a consumer could desire. Designed as the very first shopping haven to accommodate automobiles, history resounds in this time-transcending destination.

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Quality Hill

Ahh, Quality Hill, Kansas City's bourgeois suburb of the 1850s. New Englanders built the first mansion-like homes here in KCMO with large, luxurious lawns on Quality Hill. Most of the lawns were large enough for the homeowners’ cows to graze. The residents of Quality Hill became known as the snobby “Quality Hillers.”

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River Market

Kansas City cut its teeth on the banks of the Missouri River in the  present-day River Market. In its golden days, the River Market was a prosperous river community full of risk takers and visionaries set on hurling themselves into prosperity. It’s not so different today. And we are born of this neighborhood, which makes us tough folks.

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Troost

The Troost Avenue we know today served first as a canoe trail for the Osage Nation. The lands were sold to the United States in 1808. A large portion would become the esteemed Porter Plantation in the mid-19th century. The Porter family dissolved the plantation and the grounds incorporated into “Millionaires’ Row,” home, then, to some of K.C.'s most successful people.

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Waldo

Little did Dr. David Waldo know that when he bought his farm in 1841, it would ultimately expand into an entire lil’ bustling city of its own. Always prideful – and rightfully so – Waldo’s initial emphasis on a tight-knit suburban community within a big Kansas City carries on, with a present population of 13,000 people and hundreds of locally owned businesses.

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West Bottoms

From stockyards and meat-packing plants to a destination antique-and-unique shopping experience, the West Bottoms has always kept herself busy. Those old, creaky grain elevators now carry hordes of local and far-traveling shoppers to vintage heavens. Oh- the American Royal? That’s here, too. And an endless supply of historic sites for the urban explorer.

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Westport

Once the last stop for brave pioneers before heading out West, the town was also the site of the bloodiest Civil War battle west of the Mississippi in 1864. You can find the oldest building in Kansas City, Kelly’s Westport Inn – a pre-Civil War era grocery-store-turned bar dating back to 1850. Nowadays, the neighborhood is Kansas City’s best stop for debauchery.

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Westside

Kansas City's original suburb, first settled in the mid-1800s. Thanks to the West Bottoms packinghouses, folks migrated from Ireland and Sweden, and Latin American countries, and made their homes up on the hill--only a short walk to work at the stockyards. Diversity lives on in Westside businesses and residents.

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