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Kansas City, Missouri
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View of Kansas City from the top of Liberty Memorial. Union Station is in the foreground, with the rest of KC's skyline in the background.
Kansas City is a large, major midwestern city on the border of Missouri and Kansas. It is the largest city in Missouri with a population around 450,000 people and more than 2 million in its metropolitan area (2005 estimate).

Understand
Kansas City is a great city that tends to hide itself from tourists. Having reportedly more boulevards than Paris and more fountains than any other city in the world except for Rome, it can be a beautiful city, too. It is also unique, in that it is split down the middle by the state line of Kansas and Missouri.
The suburbs are largely south of the central city, though the area north of the Missouri River (known locally as the Northland) is beginning to experience growth similar to the south. Numbering of east/west streets begins at the Missouri River with the east/west division occurring at Main Street. Westport is around 40th Street, the Plaza at 47th Street, Brookside at 55th, and Waldo beginning around Gregory (71st Street).

Downtown
Downtown Kansas City is generally defined as the areas including the River Market, the central business district (the "Loop"), the Crossroads Arts District, Crown Center and Union Station. http://www.downtownkc.org
After years of neglect and decay in the 1980s and 1990s, downtown Kansas City is making a comeback. Many once-abandoned buildings in downtown have been (or are being) rebuilt into high-dollar condominiums and loft apartments. The demand for residences downtown is quite high. In 2007, the Sprint Center sports arena will be completed, bringing a modern sports venue to the downtown core. The Power and Light District, an $850 million development adjacent to the Sprint Center, is currently under construction and will be opening in 2007 or 2008. The P&L District will comprise 5 high rise residential and office towers, with many clubs, bars, restaurants, and shops on the lower floors. Bartle Hall Convention Center is also undergoing extensive improvements, with the addition of a 250,000 square foot ballroom that is being built over I-670. If that isn't enough, there is also going to be a new performing arts center south of the convention center area. Overall, about $4.5 billion is currently being invested in downtown Kansas City, MO.
The "Downtown Council" operates security and cleaning/maintenance crews, who keep downtown's streets clean, and serve as a security presence. Downtown is one of the safest areas of the city, day and night.
Traveling north to south, the River Market is the first neighborhood one encounters, south of the banks of the Missouri River. A burgeoning urban neighborhood, the River Market houses many shops, restaurants, bars, and a very active farmers' market that convenes every Saturday, even in winter.
The expressways form a loop around the central business district (CBD). Crossing the north segment of the loop takes you from the River Market to the CBD. This is where Kansas City's famed skyline reaches its greatest heights, further accentuated by its position on top of a sizable hill. The CBD has the principal concentration of white-collar employment in the metro area. H&R Block are constructing a new world headquarters here, and around this, the city is building a new entertainment district, complete with shops, restaurants, bars, and a new arena. The estimated completion date is late 2007.
From here, crossing the south segment of the loop will bring a visitor into the Crossroads Arts District, which is a regional center for art, culture, and nightlife. The vibrant art community in the Crossroads hosts First Friday, on the first Friday of every month.
When a visitor crosses Pershing, they reach Union Station and Crown Center, which houses shops, restaurants, and offices, including the world headquarters of Hallmark. The nearby Liberty Memorial is the world's first World War I memorial and has spectacular views from the top. Just south of Crown Center is Union Hill, another revitalized area offering some of the best skyline views in the city.

South of Downtown
A visitor enters Midtown when they cross 31st Street. A largely residential area, Midtown is the largest single named neighborhood in the city, and actually includes a number of smaller neighborhoods, like Hyde Park, Sheraton Estates, Ivanhoe, Coleman Highlands, Roanoke, Volker, Westport, Southmoreland, Valentine, North Plaza, and many others.
Just south of Midtown is the Country Club Plaza, known locally as "the Plaza", one of the finest outdoor shopping centers in the US, modeled after Seville, Spain. Farther south is the Waldo/Brookside area marked by more bars and a wonderful pre-war neighborhood. Further south, the city gives way to suburban development, which continues for about ten to fifteen miles, before giving way to rural farmland and pastures.

Get in
By plane
Kansas City International (MCI), serves the Kansas City area and is located in the Northland. The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority offers hourly service to and from the airport on the #129 bus, called the I-29 Express, on weekdays, from 5AM to 7PM. The fare is $1.25 since February 1st, 2006. KCI Shuttle offers a shuttle service between the airport and downtown hotels.

By train
Amtrak serves Kansas City via the recently renovated and cavernous Union Station, located at Main and Pershing. Kansas City serves as a major stop on the Southwest Chief, which provides service between Chicago and Los Angeles. Barring delays, eastbound trains depart at 7:45AM and westbound trains depart at 10:55PM.

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