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jazz art

Friends, Monday was a big day because I got to cross not one, but two items off my KC Resolution List.

I wrote about our trip to Lawrence over a month ago, and it was a lovely time.  I opted to omit a slight snag we encountered because I didn’t want to mar the holiday spirit I was trying to convey with this inconvenience. So here’s the story.

When we decided to check out Massachusetts Avenue we parked our car in a free two-hour parking lot. After the two hours transpired we went back and moved our car to another spot in the same lot.  Due to the positioning of this spot it was easier for Jurgen to back into the spot rather than turn around and park head first. Well apparently Lawrence has some silly and unnecessary law where this is illegal.  What?!? So when we returned from our lunch and shopping, where we willingly put revenue back into the city mind you, sitting on our windshield was a ticket for fifty five bucks. Bah Humbug indeed.

I decided to contest this ticket because we are not residents of Lawrence or even the state of Kansas for that matter. How were we ever to know of such a law when there aren’t ample signs? Plus this is a stupid law created by silly people who don’t understand that backing into a parking space is a harmless act.

To contest this ticket I had to be on the steps on the Municiple Court at 8am to be added to the days docket.  This meant I had to rise at the ungodly hour of 5am to have time to shower, dress in something court appropriate, and make the almost hour trek to Lawrence by 8am.

When I arrived to the not so faire city, my first order of duty was to revisit the lot to see if there was any sort of signage warning against back-end parking. Well, there was, BUT it was very small, it was facing the street, not the lot.  I think I have a valid case.

I stop at Wheatfields for some sustenance and order an egg sandwich on a housemaid cibatta roll with a side of milk.

ciabatta roll


Like the good, law abiding, punctual citizen that I am, I arrive at the tiny courthouse ten minutes to eight.


I join the motley crew of other offenders in the small courtroom, and by eight thirty we all rise to greet the judge who is a middle-aged balding man with glasses.  He immediately strikes me as smug.

I am the second person called to the stand where I clearly state my case

-I am not from Lawrence. I am in town working on a theatrical production with my husband. 

-We visited Lawrence to find a Christmas tree and check out the city

-We backed into our spot because we would not have any way to ever know of such a law seeing as we aren’t from here and it’s very clear we are outsiders from our Illinois plates and our Chicago city sticker. 

-I acknowledge there is a sign but it’s quite small and it’s on the outside of the lot, not inside the lot and it’s facing the street. It’s easily missed. 

-If you are going to ticket people for such a an offense you should have more signs. 

Well my instincts about this judge were right, we wore that black robe with such smugness it seeped through his pores and shone under the harsh fluorescent lighting.  He said to me “I don’t think you argument is very defensible seeing as there is a sign in front of the lot but since you are a first time visitor to our city I will lower your fine to twenty-five dollars. Can you pay it today?

Lady Justice you can be so fickle sometimes!

My plan was to go in, take on the justice system and win. Well this wasn’t a win, but it wasn’t a total loss. So what do we call that…a tie? A scratch? Oh I know what I will call it….ANNOYING!

I did make the security guard laugh though. For what it’s worth. I bet if he had the power he would have acquitted me.

After coming home and taking a much-needed nap the initial plan was to have dinner at The American Restaurant (#3)  however after taking a closer look at their menu we decided to skip it. The reason being is that its set up like a tasting menu but over half of the items listed cost extra. After a morning of annoyance I found this to be exceptionally…for lack of a better word…annoying. So I took to Yelp to search for the highest rated spots in the city.  We decided on The Rieger Hotel Grill and Exchange which received a very respectable 4.5 stars.

forks and knives

Our dining experience at The Rieger was remarkably underwhelming.  Our server was pretty absent, and lacked any sort of passion for the food she was describing. We both were brought the wrong drinks. I ordered the pork soup (which was essentially french onion soup with pork instead on onion) and since I haven’t consumed a single KC strip steak since I have been in KC, it seemed only fitting.  Jürg ordered a seafood stew and rabbit and dumplings as his entrée.  Perhaps the reason our server showed such a lack of passion is because that is exactly what is coming out of the kitchen at The Rieger.  Nothing was terrible…no that’s not true the potato gratin which came with my steak tasted like potatoes you would be served in a convention hall. Outside of that monstrosity was everything edible? Sure. Was anything made with any sort of soul? Not at all.

soup bowl


rieger interior

Thankfully Kansas City has a jazz district full of soul.

We went to The Blue Room which is free on Monday nights (and after overpaying for convention grade potatoes saving a few bucks was necessary) and is located inside the American Jazz Museum.

jazz photos

Our server? A delight. The vibe? Super laid back. The people? It clearly draws a crowd of folks who love music. I went for a Markers with some water on the side. No muss no fuss as I like to say. Jürg ordered the Blue Room Pale Ale which is made by Boulevard Brewing specifically for the legendary jazz club.  We sat at a pair of bar stools overlooking the stage and bobbed our heads (a few times I even let loose and shimmied my shoulders…I’m crazy!) to the music. I know little about Jazz, but there is nothing like live music my friends.


jazz combo

We had such a nice time and I hope to be able to get out to hear some more jazz before we leave (in ten days!). But I can’t make any promises. I still have several items to cross off my list.