The Pitch‘s Best of Kansas City 2016: Postcards From the Middle

Every year, in The Pitch’s Best of Kansas City issue, we compile your votes for the people, tastes, sounds, sights, businesses and entities you love in this town, and every year we also scout our own favorites in those and other categories. And you know what? The shocks on both sides of that ledger tend to be minimal. We Kansas Citians stay true to our loves, time after time.

Still, you readers unhesitatingly tell us what we missed or got wrong — some of you more politely than others.

Often these differences come from lapses owed to habit or haste. Occasionally our opinion and yours are subject to irreversible polarity. Honestly, this part of the cycle isn’t our favorite. But it’s always instructive. We always learn again that naming your favorite burnt ends isn’t empty partisanship. It’s love.

Barbecue, by the way, is illustrative of our communal heart. Y’all basically agree with one another this year on meat matters, and we’re obliged to nod along with our mouths full and our bibs dripping red. We are not holding out on you. We have no secrets here. We have not found a treehouse in Blue Springs occupied by five spice-fingered elves and a championship-grade smoker. We would tell you, really we would. 

So this 2016 Best of Kansas City issue is centered on how you see the metro. We’re emphasizing our poll winners as never before. It’s always a long list, spread among some half-dozen sections, and this year we’ve set out to do more photographic showing than small-type telling. After all, the views are pretty good right now. Between the streetcar and a World Series afterglow that even a brokedown Royals September failed to dim, we’ve had a memorable, souvenir-worthy 12 months since the last time we did this. Why argue?

Of course, we still have a lot to say about the people, tastes, sounds, sights, businesses and entities that we at Pitch HQ love, the stuff we try to tell you about all year. If we were in charge of the postcard factory, beautiful photos of Betty Rae’s ice cream would be crisscrossing the mailways (with a postage stamp picturing the Kauffman Center on each one). If we ran a T-shirt press and the airport gift shops, people would be flying back to Ohio wearing the Unicorn Theatre logo. And so on. 

We don’t stamp refrigerator magnets or fashion beer koozies, though, and we’re not stuffing a time capsule. We polled you, and we polled ourselves, and what you see in the pages that follow is an imperfectly cut cross-section of our shared good year. Feel the love for a minute before we look ahead to next year.

Cover photographer: Chris Mullins

Models: Dwayne Snipes and Kelly Castor

Photo taken at the Exchange at Lead Bank (bookings, contact; props provided by the Bunker, Raygun KC, and Westside Storey

Categories: News