Kansas City

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I was in Kansas City this week, but not for the reason you’d think – because unfortunately I didn’t get to go to the men’s Big 12 Basketball Tournament at the Sprint Center. I traveled there on Tuesday for an evening Iowa State alumni club event at The Roasterie coffee headquarters (1204 W. 27th St.) just south of downtown Kansas City.

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About 100 Iowa State grads and friends came to the event to socialize and to hear Jim Heemstra and me talk about our VISIONS Across America experience. It was a fun evening.

Afterwards, we stayed in the Country Club Plaza area and ate a late dinner at The Melting Pot. A bubbling pot of cheese fondue and a glass of wine was a relaxing way to end the day.

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The next morning, before heading back to Ames, Jim and I ate breakfast at Harvey’s at Union Station. The open-air restaurant sits in the center of the Grand Hall of the old train station. The food was actually really good, and the location is a huge bonus.

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I was hoping to take some pictures of Union Station’s grand architecture, but unfortunately this was the day of a middle-school science fair, so there were a gazillion kids and tables and science projects everywhere. (My favorite project: “Roses are Red, Ours are Dead.”)

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Science fair chaos notwithstanding, this is one gorgeously renovated old building (seen above from the nearby Liberty Memorial). Built in 1914, the train station welcomed a million travelers during World War II. After closing in the 1980s, the station sat empty and was nearly torn town. Thankfully, it was renovated starting in 1996 and it’s absolutely wonderful.

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Besides Harvey’s, there’s another restaurant – Pierpont’s – plus Science City, a movie theater, and exhibition space. And you can still ride the train – Union Station is also an Amtrak stop.

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