"Whew. We really ARE just at two roads crossing. When you said you wanted me to see what was ‘at the Crossroads’ I thought you two were gonna tell me it was time to think about putting me and Al in a home. I like the idea of a 24-hour craft room and an on-site nail salon, but that’s about it. Besides, they wouldn’t let us take Muffy.”
Our plan was sparked after seeing a recent article in Ink Magazine about the Crossroads District. It’s well known for its lively First Friday scene that centers around galleries, restaurants, and other businesses of note in a small area of downtown KC. Inspired, we decided to grab Lou and go on a field trip.
Always in search of local coffee to start any trip, we headed to YJ’s Snack Bar at 18th and Wyandotte, right in the heart of the district. While we waited for coffee and looked over the day’s menu, Lou was mostly interested in finding a restroom so she could “powder her nose.” After a seemingly long time Lou emerged from the restroom, which is plastered with a plethora of playbills.
"Hmmm, I actually recognized a couple of those shows they had posted in there. Remind me to tell you about a concert I went to in upstate New York. It was really muddy and just out in some farmer’s field. The music was good but I can’t seem to remember a lot of the details. And it lasted for days.
"So, you say this is an Arts District, eh? Did I ever tell you girls about the time I dated an artist from Soho? He could draw a mean caricature. Here, let me show you the one he did of me. I look exactly like Jane Fonda! I keep it with me in case I need some ID."
Coffee in hand we headed out to see some of the sites. “What is this space ship thing on this building? It looks like something right out of ‘Lost in Space.’ That was a pretty good show, you know. That John Robinson, what a cutie-patootie!” We explained that the rocket was a replica of TWA’s Moonliner Ride in Disneyland and boy, did that open another can of worms.
"Disneyland! DISNEYLAND?! You’ve been to Disneyland, but I’ll be lucky to get you to take me to the State Fair. How will I know who won Best in Show in the Teacup Pig Division if you don’t take me to the State Fair?" Calm down Lou. We’ve got a plan for that as well.
"You know, girls, that artist I dated, he really appreciated my press-on fingernail sculptures and string art. He said my work was ‘groovy.’ He’s the one who took me to that concert in New York. I wonder what ever happened to him… Wait! That’s him!" Lou pointed to the figure on the alley wall. "He looks older, but I’d recognize that forehead anywhere!"
We continued on our walk, with Lou chattering away. As we came upon the shop of internationally acclaimed fashion designer Peggy Noland, Lou froze in her tracks.
She peeked in the shop and actually began jumping and clapping. This was a first. When we joined in the peeking we saw the source of her joy. Giant fingernail sculptures. “I LOVE the Crossroads!” she yelled.
Barely a block into the trip and Lou had already started begging to head home. While we are used to her impatience, this time was different.
'I'm gonna need you girls to take me back home. I have some materials to gather so that I can get my project set up before Jeopardy starts. I have an idea for some new art work. We better go cause we need to hit a couple places on the way back.”
There was no holding her back. We knew we were in for stops at all the Wal-Marts from here to Topeka in order to get enough fake fingernails for her to finish her masterpiece.
"I’m going to call it ‘Lady Liberty Gets A Manicure.’"
Pleased with her burst of inspiration we couldn’t help but brainstorm the potential placards that were sure to accompany her upcoming show in the Crossroads. “Bring me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe the intoxicating smell of nail polish… “
Ok, Lou, we better get rolling. There are supplies to gather, and maybe a 24-hour craft room calling your name.