10 Things Only People From Kansas City, MO UnderstandThe pure delight of eating burnt ends, air raid sirens and knowing what "going to the boats" actually means.
1. Burnt Ends Are Barbecue Gold And You Want Them In Your Mouth At All Times
Source: Flickr user majkowskaKansas City is famous for its barbecue, but a lesser known dish that Kansas City has given to the world is known as "burnt ends," AKA barbecue gold. These flavorful pieces of meat are cut from the fatty point end of the brisket and then cooked longer, seasoned and re-smoked. This renders the fat into a smoky, crunchy charred layer known as "the bark." The thicker and chewier the bark, the better.
2. The KU Jayhawks vs. Missouri Tigers Rivalry Is About So Much More Than College Sports
Source: Flickr user komunewsThis rivalry has a long history that goes back further than the actual sports teams themselves. It stems from the guerrilla war between pro slavery Missouri and abolitionist Kansas when whole cities were burned to the ground. Even the school mascots--the Tigers and the Jayhawks--existed before the actual teams as the names for the militias on each side of the border. The rivalry has been dormant since Missouri left the Big 12 Conference, but there has been talk of reincarnating the rivalry in other ways.
3. You Get Mad When People Think You Live In A Different State
Source: Flickr user HjorthefotoIf you have friends who don't live in KC, you have to explain to them--in detail--how Kansas City is actually two cities that border each other in two states. Still, they have a hard time remembering exactly which state you live in: "You live in one of the states that has a Kansas City, right?" When you fly into town, the flight attendant sometimes announces that you have landed in Kansas, and you want to speak up and say, "NO! This is Missouri! Kansas City, Missouri. Get it right!"
4. "Going To The Boats" Has Nothing To Do With Actually Getting On A Boat
Source: Flickr user Lisa Brewster"The boats" are what residents call the casinos surrounding the city. The idea was to have boats that would cruise on the Missouri River so people could gamble. The casinos cleverly discovered a loophole that would allow them to build the casino on land, as long as they had a portion of the casino touching a body of water. The result is that there are casinos that resemble a riverboat that are near-ish to the river--complete with double smokestacks and paddle wheels. Who knows what Mark Twain would think.
5. You Don't Freak Out When The Air Raid Sirens Start Blaring
Source: Flickr user jondoeforty1Ever see that TV movie from the 80s called The Day After where Kansas City and nearby Lawrence, KS were destroyed in a nuclear war? The cold war may be over but the air raid sirens are still in use in case of twisters. The city tests them on a regular basis, and all of the sirens wail for a full minute, sometimes longer. This may be unsettling to newcomers, but since everyone is going about business as usual, it's really no big deal.
6. You Will Be Forever Loyal To The Kansas City Royals
Source: Flickr user keithallisonKansas City loves their Royals, even though the team hasn't been so hot in over 20 years. The rest of Missouri tends to go for the St. Louis Cardinals, who have been the more successful team, but the Royals do have a glorious past to be proud of. People in Kansas City are optimistic though, and as they grill burgers on the day of the first game of the season, there is the hope that this will be the one where things finally turn around.
7. Thanksgiving Means Going To The Plaza For The AMAZING Christmas Lights
Source: Flickr user seatbelt67A Kansas City tradition since the late 20s, the Country Club Plaza Lighting Ceremony is where you want to be on Thanksgiving night. The Plaza, with its Spanish architecture and millions of Christmas lights, draws thousands of people each year. If you can't make it to the ceremony itself, you can still catch it on TV.
8. Massive Shuttlecocks Are No Big Deal To You
Source: Flickr user tensafefrogsLove them or hate them, these whimsically giant shuttlecocks on the front lawn of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art have become an icon for Kansas City. Kansas Citians love to take silly photos with them, and it is a favorite picnic spot. These shuttlecocks are giant reminders that people in Kansas City love art of all kinds, from the classics to the quirkiest pop art. There are galleries popping up all the time and people in Kansas City go to them in droves.
9. You Work In Kansas And Drink In Missouri
Source: Flickr user elasticsoulPeople on the Missouri side have it easy when it comes to buying liquor. You can go into any grocery store and there might be an end cap of vodka in the produce section. The Kansas side is another animal altogether. With strict liquor laws, happy hour wasn't even legal until 2012! All of the best nightlife spots -Westport, The Plaza, Downtown, and Waldo are within a mile or two of the Kansas Border, so it is no surprise that these places are full of Kansans taking advantage of Missouri's lax liquor laws, and unwinding after their workdays in the office parks of Johnson County.