Monday, December 22, 2014

With No Love for St. Louis, Huffington Post Names Kansas City "Coolest" City in America

Posted By on Mon, Dec 22, 2014 at 8:00 AM

click to enlarge Lookin' good, Kansas City. But are you really America's "coolest" city? - L ALLEN BREWER VIA FLICKR
  • L Allen Brewer via Flickr
  • Lookin' good, Kansas City. But are you really America's "coolest" city?

Sorry, St. Louis, but you're just not as "it" or "hip" as your across-the-state counterpart, Kansas City.

That's according to a Huffington Post lifestyles blog post about the new up-and-coming cities for young people. Kansas City (the Missouri side, not the Kansas side) takes the top title.

What makes Kansas City so totally in right now? After "much map-scouring and a sprinkle of savvy" from author Carly Ledbetter, Kansas City was named No. 1 thanks to its jazz scene, BBQ and food, historical sites, affordability and "nice" residents.

"Kansas City is THE place to be," Ledbetter writes. (Emphasis hers.) "Get to the Green Lady Lounge for some jazz, eat awesome BBQ at Q39, and don't forget to check out the historic City Market. The food is amazing, nearly everything is affordable, and the people are nice."

Being a launching pad for the resurgence of the modern civil rights movement does not seem to be one of Huffington Post's criteria. Toasted raviolis, neither.

See also: St. Louis Rules, Kansas City Drools: A Response to the Kansas City Star

After reading Ledbetter's explanation of why Kansas City is THE place to be, Daily RFT had to wonder if she'd even considered St. Louis -- an affordable, historic city with a thriving culinary scene and strong ties to the birth of jazz in America.

Thanks to the city's location between New Orleans and Chicago, St. Louis' strong ragtime scene influenced (and was heavily influenced by) jazz artists migrating up and down the Mississippi River. Gaslight Square was a jazz hot-spot in the 1950s and 60s, and St. Louis' most famous jazz musicians include Miles Davis, George Hudson (who moved to St. Louis from Kansas City), Willie Akins and Charles Creath.

"Jazz history is St. Louis history, uniquely ours and something we should wear on our sleeves and on our backs, as we do the Cardinals," Craig Kaminer, publisher of Sophisticated Living Magazine, recently wrote in a letter after the Harold and Dorothy Steward Center for Jazz in Grand Center opened.

Now, when it comes to BBQ, there's no doubt Kansas City has its own unique and impressive take. Slow-smoked meat covered in spicy-sweet sauce? Yes, please.

St. Louis doesn't have as definitive of a barbeque "style" as Kansas City -- "St. Louis-style ribs" refer to how the slab is cut, now how it's cooked -- so diners here embrace the best in all styles of BBQ, whether its dry-rubbed or basted, with sweet sauce or hot.

And if it's affordable, fresh midwestern markets you're into, Soulard Farmer's Market is a must.

Clearly, Huffington Post's three-line explanation of must-see Kansas City could easily be changed for St. Louis. Here's our edit:

"St. Louis is THE place to be. (Emphasis ours.) Get to BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups (or Jazz at the Bistro, or 1860 Saloon) for some jazz, eat awesome BBQ at Pappy's Smokehouse (or Hendricks BBQ, or Bogart's Smokehouse) and don't forget to check out the historic Soulard Farmer's Market. The food is amazing, nearly everything is affordable, and the people are nice."

There, Huffington Post. We fixed it for you.

HuffPo's other suggestions for top "it" cities? Richmond, Charlotte, San Diego and Minneapolis.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at

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