It's not about the view at the top - it's about pressing the buttons.
“When I moved here I had received a job offer and I did not anticipate staying. Even though I came from a very small town in Nebraska, I had always loved cities and was fascinated by them. I had thought that I would go to Chicago or New York. Kansas City did not have a reputation at the time. When I moved here I realized it had all of the hallmarks of a great city. It had these amazing guts, these historical streetcar corridors and neighborhoods that were so interesting. Amazing stories, amazing challenges and I just saw it going places. I saw it has a place that I could be involved in. So, I said that I am either going to be here and involved or I’m going to leave. I’m still here and I got involved.
It’s funny because when I moved to the River Market, my family came to visit back in 2005. I had bought a condo. It was one of the first condo projects down there. I stretched to do that. I was pretty young and it wasn’t cheap. It was a risk. The neighborhood wasn’t what it is today. My parents came down to visit. This thing, this little shoebox you could afford here, costs more than our house in that small town in Nebraska. At that point Second Street was still a dirt road out my window. It had a railroad track running down it. We walked around the neighborhood, it was mostly empty. There was a severed head of a dog, presumably that someone had barbequed the rest of the dog or had done something to it, from the Town of Kansas Bridge. You could see it down below. It was just lying there. My mom spotted it and she just said “you’re crazy” and I’m getting out of here. But now she's one of the biggest KC advocates I know, telling all of her friends in our hometown to come visit!
The transformation is amazing. I equate it to being like a five-year old getting on the elevator. It's not about the view at the top, it's about pressing the buttons. But in Kansas City, we're enjoying the view at the same time, seeing progress happen. You experience the progress and get to see a city that's more compelling, livable, diverse and interesting every year. It’s like a movie unfolding in front of you that you get to be a part of. I love this city and I’m glad I’m here.”