Category Archives: Local love

A tale of three cities; or, how I work

Confession: There are few things I love more than getting a glimpse into someone’s home and/or work space. Not in a creepy, voyeuristic way, mind you. That’s why I read so many home design and shelter blogs (one of the reasons, any way!)

So I thought I’d share a glimpse of my late-night workspace. The lovely lavender candle I have burning is courtesy of Urban Dwellings Design. If you haven’t been to this amazing home interior boutique in the River Market, what the heck are you waiting for? I’ll be going back for more candles, some jewelry and, coming soon, new Jonathan Adler items just in time for the holidays!

You might also notice my Paris snow globe, which has already made its blog debut. And my latest acquisition is a nifty desk organizer that’s also an homage to the NYC skyline. I picked it up at CB2 during my trip to New York last week (more on that soon!) and am in. love. So now, as I type into the wee hours, I can stare at things that remind me of my three favorite cities: New York, Paris, and, out my window, a lovely view of downtown Kansas City. That’s the sort of trifecta that makes this city girl smile.

Manifesto: Delicious cocktails and enviable ambiance

Manifesto Kansas CityI’m a little embarrassed to confess to you that, until last night, I hadn’t yet been to Manifesto.

I know, I know … shameful, right? I can’t say what took me so long to head to this modern-day speakeasy, especially when my husband pointed out yesterday that I “talk about the place once or twice a month!”

After a busy Saturday spent running errands (and napping — duh!), the hubs and I joined the lovely Louise LeMans and her dapper husband, David, for cocktails in a belated celebration of L’s birthday.

If you haven’t yet been to Manifesto, I suggest you go — immediately! The cozy, dimly lit bar beckons from beneath The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange (an equally fabulous place at which to start your evening with happy hour or an unforgettable dinner.) Manifesto is an intimate enclave that begs for an evening of long conversations punctuated by the most deliciously inventive cocktails.

After an informative tour of the cocktail menu led by our adorable waitress, Candy, I also solicited suggestions from Louise. I contemplated the Stay Wet, Winter in Bueno Aires or Jessie A.’s favorite, Beautiful Red Bell. After some internal debate, I opted for Anyone For Tennis?, a delightfully refreshing Pimms concoction topped with strawberry, cucumber and mint. Actually, I had three. Yes – they’re THAT good!

If an evening at Manifesto is in your near future, I suggest texting ahead to make reservations: 816.536.1325. Seating is limited, so having a reservation will ensure your party can be accommodated.

Once you’re there, sit back, relax and let the glamour of old Kansas City wash over you as you imbibe. And when you leave, prepare for a lasting craving that will persist until your next visit. I’m already dreaming of another Anyone For Tennis? and maybe, just maybe, I’ll try something new, too. Cheers!

A letter to Detroit

Dear Detroit:

Congratulations on your depiction in Chrysler’s ongoing series of commercials that highlight the longtime contributions of the Motor City. Heck, the debut ad during the Super Bowl even made me tear up! And on another note? Best use of an Eminem song EVER.

But I’ve got a little problem with your most current ad in which your fair city is identified as the Paris of the Midwest. See, here in Kansas City, we’ve long been called the Paris of the Plains thanks to our abundance of scenic boulevards, our hundreds of fountains and a rich jazz history that permeates the core of Kansas City’s roots.

Now, don’t worry. I’m not one to step on a soapbox without doing a little research first. And I see that your booming industries in the 1920s prompted publicists to coin your European-inspired moniker. It’s a connection that makes perfect sense when tied to your recent ad campaign that strives to portray Detroit not as a desolate, struggling, industrial wasteland, but instead as a city that again teeters on the brink of massive change and inspiring redevelopment.

For now, I’ll refrain from making snarky comments when the aforementioned commercial airs. Because I also live in a city that’s been fighting to overcome decades of damage and isolation. And I can appreciate an all-consuming sense of regional pride that was likely poured into this advertising campaign.

Paris, je t’aime. And Detroit? You’re not so bad yourself.

Photo: Flickr.com/mk_b

Saturday in the City

One of my favorite things about living in the River Market is being a short walk away from the City Market. On Saturday I began my weekly tradition of stocking up on produce, bread, spices, flowers and whatever else catches my fancy–or appetite!

Combine that with one of my other favorite things, taking photos with the Instagram app for iPhone, and you’ve got the makings of a great day.


There are no words for how much I love this city. What a gorgeous skyline!

Imagine my delight when I stumbled across my favorite flower, the incredibly fragrant lilac! I told the cheerful vendor that I thought it was way too early for lilac blooms, but he said the recent warm weather had encouraged their growth. These will be on my must-purchase list until they’re out of season!

Other than that, R. and I attended an amazing wedding on Saturday night (congratulations C&J!) and spent the weekend planning–and implementing–our Great Loft Reorganization of 2011. It’s going to be a lot of work, but the results will be worth it — and we’ll have an excuse to throw a party!

Hope you had a great weekend, too – isn’t springtime in Kansas City the best?!

City Style: Retro Vixen

At the end of a fantastically busy week, I decided a little dose of retail therapy was in order. A must-stop on my list? The adorable Retro Vixen boutique on 39th Street.

Have you been? It’s amazing. Retro Vixen’s gorgeous owner, Melissa Evans, has created a boutique that caters to the pin-up and vintage lifestyle. Sky-high heels, curve-hugging dresses, sassy lingerie — you’ll find it all at Retro Vixen, plus accessories, including whimsical shoe clips from the talented Louise LeMans.

I’m waiting for some apparel and wedges to arrive next week, but in the meantime, I couldn’t leave empty-handed. My purchases are below — and yes, that’s a HAIR DRYER necklace. Appropriate, no? I’m just a little hair-obsessed.

Head down to Retro Vixen and inject some vintage glamour in your spring wardrobe ASAP! Be sure to check out all of the fabulous creations from Monkey Wrench Clothing, too. Isn’t retail therapy the greatest?

New year, new hair

To know me is to understand that I’m kinda really obsessed with my hair. Example? I have a photo folder on my desktop entitled “Katy’s Hair Evolution.” I love to try new styles and color — the bolder, the better.

Earlier today I headed to Belle Epoque for the big post-wedding chop. What better way to start 2011 than with a new ‘do, complete with subtle highlights in my favorite power color: purple!

It’s gonna be a good year.

Satisfy your sweet (and savory) tooth at Nica’s Cafe

Let me introduce you to a little slice of heaven called Nica’s Cafe.

The cozy, character-filled bistro seems a little out-of-place in Strip Mall Central (otherwise known as the intersection of 143rd and Metcalf in Overland Park.)

It only seems appropriate that Nica’s is planning to relocate to the Crossroads District (which means you only have a couple of weeks to dine at the current location before a brief hiatus.)

Described as a restaurant “where tradition meets fusion,” Nica’s Cafe offers a deceptively complex menu filled with flavorful, filling fare that puts an inventive spin on classic dishes.

Luckily, I was with a Nica’s regular (the lovely Dana) during my first experience, so she deftly guided me through the menu. I opted for the pan-fried lasagna noodles. The edges are crisped by a delicate bath in seasoned oil, and then topped with your choice of ingredient combinations. I chose sweet Thai (chicken breast, shiitake mushrooms, caramelized onions) topped with a subtly sweetened red sauce and freshly grated cheese.

Other flavor combos include Italian, spicy Cajun, veg-head, margarita and the Caribbean, and you can choose from several entrees (crepe, bruschette pizza, gourmet salad or an open-face Sicilian style sandwich) with which to accompany your flavor. If you’re a breakfast lover, have no fear – Nica’s also serves up beignets, pancakes and breakfast sandwiches.

The best part of the meal? Free dessert (pictured above.) We were treated to an espresso topped with an indulgent dollop of whipped cream, accompanied by a chocolate chip-coated cannoli. As we enjoyed the unexpected treat, Dana filled me in that she hasn’t yet been to Nica’s without receiving some sort of unexpected dessert or snack.

Head south while you can! Nica’s plans to open the new location in mid-March, and I’ll be counting down the minutes. If you’ll excuse me, I have an inexplicable craving for pan-fried lasagna noodles . . .

P.S. Apologies for the blurry photo quality. Apparently I was too excited by the cannoli to take a decent picture.