Friday, March 9, 2012

Kansas City Design Week -- part 4: nonlinearity

FIRST OF ALL (and here is the nonlinearity): I want you to go to the first post I wrote on KCDW for This Big City blog and read it. It is about branding! Graphic texture! Go read it.

Also, I wanted to note (in case I didn't before) that it's thanks the Kansas City Development Council and Hotel Phillips (who apparently donated a bunch of rooms for various speakers/attendees of KCDW) that I was able to go on this trip at all. I am appreciative.

Now, on to discussing my fourth and final day at KCDW! Ironically, though this was an incredibly packed day (two events and driving home), I didn't end up taking too many pictures. 

In the morning/lunchtime I attended the "Design Psychology" event at Johnson County Community College. Guess what! JCCC is in Overland Park, which is waaaaaay south and west of downtown Kansas City, and also in KANSAS. I wanted to stop at Union Station before going, because if you Google "Kansas City" the first ten pictures or so are all Union Station. (I exaggerate, but you get my point.) It's also a cool point of reference, given that the last time my mom remembers driving by it, it was derelict and unused, but now they've renovated it and cleaned it up so it is both the actual Amtrak station and has a number of little shops and restaurants. It was pretty empty when I was there, but maybe mid-day on a Tuesday isn't its most bustling time. I love railroad stations. Except for North Station in Boston. I do not love that station. 

Entrance to Union Station, built in 1914, when there were twelve railroads going through KC.
See, to me, this ceiling pattern just screams "We're on the verge of Art Deco but we're not quite ready to make the leap." But maybe that's just the paint job.
While I sketched this it looked like there were a number of ladies speed-walking around the (rather cavernous) waiting room/plaza area.  Hey, just so long as it's getting used by people who enjoy it.

Union Station exterior. . . couldn't get far enough back to give a satisfactory dead-on photo.
Anyway. Overland Park. I did not drive on the interstate to Overland Park; I drove on a variety of boulevards and cross-streets to Overland Park. I was half an hour late and very, very bitter about the whole concept of suburbs by the time I trotted into the lecture hall. I'll be writing more about my thoughts on that later; what you need to know now that is that when I drove back to downtown I decided to take I-35 AND I SURVIVED.

Then I had coffee with one of the organizers/sponsors of KCDW (which was nice, even though I had to race back to my street parking with quarters and to make absolute positive sure that I hadn't popped my tire when I ran it up on the curb a little. I was getting a touch neurotic about . . . everything. . . by this time.)

The last event was "The Future of the City," held in the AIA Kansas City headquarters. They provided us with tomato-cream pasta (!) and prime rib sandwiches with sweet mustard sauce (!!) for dinner. I am still attempting to turn my back on my pop-guzzling ways of yore, so I refrained from the complimentary soft drinks. (Not that it's relevant, but I have been in a state of markedly decreased pop consumption since February 1! Go me.)

Again, I will be writing more on this event. I am somewhat amused by how firmly I avoided urbanism at MIT, only to become fascinated by it promptly upon graduation. 

Looking down McGee Street at 5 PM on a Tuesday in March. Nice day. Actually the weather was nice the whole time but for some vicious winds.
In conclusion, I drove home, starting at 8 PM, getting out of the city at about 8:30, pulling over to take a rest in Hamburg, Iowa at 10:30, and finally arriving home just before midnight. It was not the most fun drive ever -- I was extremely tired, I saw plenty of gross evidence that deer had been leaping into the highway recently, and my night vision is not so great. Still, I survived, I'm home, now I'm writing about it.

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