When I got into the bus, I was relieved that there were only a few people on board. I looked around and found a seat towards the back. From that view point of the back corner of the bus, I could see everyone. There was a mother and her child, gripping her toy as if someone would take it from her. To my left I saw an older man with a hat, just staring out of the window. I wondered how long he had been there. Behind my row was the man who had been at the same stop as me. As we waited the five minutes for the bus, he had picked up a shirt left on the bench at the bus stop. Someone had left it and he easily picked it up and put it on. As I watched, I was astounded that he could wear it without question and hesitation, but also guilty for watching.
From the bus stop at 54th and Troost, I could hear the city traffic and the life of the neighborhood. It was an older neighborhood, mostly made of run down shops and old houses that were rented by students to the west, and minority families to the east. This neighborhood, like many around it are a result of uneven growth in the Kansas City area. As neighborhoods such as The Plaza, Mission Hills and Roeland Park flourish, the neighborhoods like Westport and east of Troost have begun to decline in value and in population. These neighborhoods are rich with history but on the edge of losing it.
Although Westport is an obvious sign of gentrification, some aspects have survived through its history. Such as Jacob A. Loose Park. This public, urban park was the site of the Battle of Westport in 1864; where the Confederates battled the Union in order to gain access to the portal to the west, the Santa Fe Trail. Loose Park is not a battle ground today, but a sanctuary for the public. There are tennis courts and restrooms, fountains and a rose garden. Trees dot the park, mostly covered with rolling hills and grass. In which dogs run and our UMKC cross country team repeats the mile loop of trail and sidewalk. When there, we encounter bicyclists and joggers, traveling along at their own pace. There can be so many people there, but the ambience is peaceful and quiet. Which is similar to the atmosphere of City Hall.
City Hall was a mixture of business and wonder. Being the main point of government, city hall usually stood for business and wonder. The dimly lit main hall was spacious and majestic. There were many patterns incorporated into the beige and brown coloring of the walls and floor. The Kansas City emblem was shown in the walkway for all who went in to see. The people who went in were diverse in almost every way. There were different ethnicities, accents, goals, and attire. In the general services office, I found an African American woman waiting for a massage from an older Asian woman who had set up a chair. The clerk was Caucasian with a nice blouse and high heels. The office itself was neutral and generalized. There were pamphlets on self help, investing, volunteering, and much more.
The Plaza also had a variety of things to offer. Along with the shopping and restaurants, there are many fountains and cultural/architectural buildings. The international