Sunday, August 21, 2011

Restoration Saturday

Last Saturday, we had breakfast at a favorite spot in Northtown, an always-busy little spot called First Watch. They are admiringly consistent with good, fresh food and fast, attentive service. They have an impressive portion of the menu dedicated to all things healthy, but I tend to return to their Burrito Vera Cruz, a filling and tasty morning meal of chorizo sausage, scrambled eggs, green chilies, onions and cheeses in a whole wheat tortilla and topped with spicy Vera Cruz sauce. First Watch is located in a charming downtown area of North Kansas City; alive with shoppers and moviegoers across the street at Screenland Armour; where we would visit later.
First, though, we motored to a mecca for all thing motoring; the Kansas City Corvette Association’s Car Show in Independence. Lest you think I’ve gone gearhead, rest assured that my auto knowledge remains limited to driving to the local auto shop. Keith’s dad Ken has restored some seriously impressive cars; some of which you’ve seen on this blog, including the 1931 Model A in the lobby of the Elms. He and his brother-in-law Tom spent the last year restoring a 1957 Corvette and it’s a beauty. The car drew admirers from all over. The Corvette won the Merchant’s Choice award. I may not know much about cars, but even to the untrained eye; that Corvette is a stunner.
Independence Square itself is quite lovingly restored, with loads of charm to spare. Beautiful historic buildings house many diverse businesses; some vintage throwbacks to a bygone era, others exciting new prospects with a bright future. Independence’s claim to fame is as the birthplace of Harry S. Truman and tributes to the President abound on the Square. His stately statue stands at the front of City Hall and a store called Wild About Harry, featuring loads of items dedicated to everything Trumanesque. We stopped in Clinton’s, where Truman had his first paying job. We enjoyed a classic soda shop phosphate root beer. Big ups also to the cool kitchen store called Gilbert Whitney and the intriguing padlock collection on the wrought iron gates in front of CafĂ© Verona. Apparently, in Italy, it is customary for two lovers to put their initials on a padlock and lock it onto railings and then throw away the key in order for their love to last. Ah, amore. The Square is also known as the launching place where thousands of pioneers and emigrants embarked on to the Oregon, California and Santa Fe trails.
Later, we returned to Northtown to use our Groupon at Screenland Armour. I have great affection for the Screenland theaters; a local theater chain themed to all things cinematic and frequently featuring fabulous film events around town. We have attended a couple of entertaining Screenland Slams at the Crown Center location; including Carrie and Showgirls. We also experienced our first film premiere at the Crossroads Art District location. There, we watched Fling for the first time, sipping signature Flingtinis and watching the film with the cast in the comfort of those famous, luxurious red leather recliners. On Saturday, we loaded up on popcorn and sat in that beautifully restored historic theater; admiring the sleek gold figure that seemed to host the screening of The Help that we watched. Yes, we joined a healthy group of filmgoers; all of us lining up to get our chick flick on. We dug the Southern-fried filmed version of the best-selling book; particularly the fierce lead performances by Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer.
Our day was abundant with restored beauty: the stately historic buildings of Independence Square, the stunning Screenland Armour theater and that cherry ’57 Corvette of Ken’s. Our day turned into Restoration Saturday.


Anonymous said...

The Jackson Co. jail in Independence is the site we did some ghost investigating and a moving chair freaked me out! Screenland Armour looks really amazing.- Ronnie

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