Middle of the Map Fest: Day 2

First things first: Beer!

  We beelined downtown as soon as we woke up, with only a brief stop at a speciality Kaldi's. This place makes only latte's, even tea lattes. Z and mine's favorite go-to morning drink is a dirty (that means espresso injection) chai tea latte. This place has an Earl Grey Latte that taste like Picard's bald spot (i.e. silky smooth and herbal and hot).

  I digress, we were on our way to the Boulevard Brewery. At 10 a.m., there was a long line winding its way up the hill from the main door of the Brewery. Usually, the free tour tickets are first come first serve, and usually they are out of tickets for all the tours by 11 a.m. Tickets in hand we headed over to the Steamship Arabia Museum.

  The Steamship Arabia is one of many steamships that wrecked in the Missouri River. Its goods were lost, but all of its passengers (except a burrow) were saved. The wreckage was later found and excavated by a band of hobbyists that developed and supported the museum. Even the museum admits it is the Wal-Mart of museums. The exhibit consists of part of the ship's hull and all of the products that were on board at the time...all of the products. I am extremely cynical of this place: it is well put together, informative; however, it is all junk. Nothing is exemplarary or artistic. It's as if someone ordered the whole stock of a Sears catalouge, arranged it in a display and called it a museum. Also this:

  Back to the Brewery: This is a popular place that lives up to the hype. The tour is interesting past the introductory video tour of the original, the brewmasters are charismatic (our guide discussed how beer is mainly the poo of micro-organisms). The free tour included two beers from the tasting room and the main tasting room, crowded as it was, offered a wide range of Boulevard's production line. My new favorite is the Tank 7. We sampled beer and enjoyed a capitalizing food cart's bratwurst.

  Feeling responsibly sober, we sought out some famous Kansas City BBQ: David Arturo's. It's a hole in the wall that has been around forever, there are famous people's pictures and signatures all over the wall. Hard to read the menu at the top of the wall, the employees had better things to do, but the food was pretty good BBQ.

We made our way back to the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum for a second round of fine art. Where I found an ossuary that was quite frustrating (label marked the figures carved into the ossuary as the muses and Apollo, could not find Apollo, I suspect the label was wrong). There were many exhibits that stood out to me (e.g. Stone and Mist: Chines Landscape Photography by Michael CherneyWorld War I and the Rise of Modernism; and Ancestors, Ritual, and the Tomb: The Ancient Chinses Art Galleries). I was enthralled with every room, especially the Seated Guanyin Bodhisattva in the reproduced temple section. We stayed there until closing. The curation in this place is well thought out and appealing to a wide range of groups.

  To round out our day, we strolled through the Plaza shopping center. Unfortuanatly, it was prom night for many schools in Kansas City and the kids these days find strolling around in tuxedos and ball gowns at the mall the thing to do. As the sun set and the stores began to hate anyone that looked under the drinking age, our feet began to drag and we relunctly returned to the car to head home.