Where Is Everyone?

This past weekend, my boyfriend and I went to two other states besides Illinois. We went to Missouri and Kansas. More compactly put, we went to Kansas City. It was a great time and a very successful road trip. We left early on Friday morning for our nine-hour trip that ended up being more like 10.

Making Movies.

We were originally there due to a show by Making Movies, an awesome, bilingual Kansas City band that has a whole lotta spice and flavor. While we were in Kansas City we took a little tour (besides getting lost) and found ourselves in different parts with different feels. The Uptown Theater where the band performed was located in the “hipster” part of town. Very chill and relaxed with shopping centers and those independent hipster stores. You know what I mean. The venue inside the Uptown was called the Conspiracy Room. It was nice with kind of an Egyptian theme.

They brought in a great crowd and put on an awesome show like always. They’ll be in town this Sunday, March 21 and you better believe I’ll be there hanging out with them.

Before that, we went to La Fonda El Taquito, where Juan Carlos, the Making Movies percussionist, works and is also son of the owner. The food was awesome. I had Mexican chili.  Awww yeah. After the show, we went out to party at La Moda Mansion in a not so great part of town. The place was cool though, loungy, with a stripper pole and all.

The Thinker

Before we left Kansas City, we ended up finding the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art where they also have a sculpture garden. In the garden we found the world-renowned “Thinker.” That was exciting. There were also three giant birdies laid out across the premises. It looked like there was a giant playing badminton who just left his birdies out in the backyard. Inside, the museum was concise. It had small rooms for people to walk around in, check out the era and get out. It wasn’t overwhelming and it was FREE. Nothing beats free.

Giant Birdie.

So Sunday we drove to St. Louis and Monday went to the St. Louis Arch. It’s the main attraction. But before we went there, we got lost (again) in the ghetto of St. Louis. Buildings were boarded up and there wasn’t really life anywhere to be found. We kept asking, “Where is everyone?” Very curious, indeed.

We found people– tourists– at the Arch. We went underground into the arch and checked out the Museum of Westward Expansion which was depressing. The fist segment of the museum shows just how the Euro-Americans came in and took the land away from the Native Americans. For real. It talked about deceit and implementation of certain traditions and just how much deceit there was in the “treaties” the Europeans forced upon the Natives. In one section, a large moving William Clark (it reminded me of Chuck E. Cheese) says that they agreed upon a location for the Natives and locations that would be for the colonists.

It was actually pretty sickening to see the history. It’s there; there was no one there to hide it, but how many people are actually learning from it? I don’ t know, but somewhere in the text that was all over the walls and on platforms, there was a question that stated something along the lines of living together in harmony; having minorities keep their culture and live harmoniously with the rest of the country. Uhhh… HELLO! We’re right here doing it every single day. Something else stated that the Euro-Americans pushed assimilation and pressed it upon the natives. Yeah, they’re still doing that, discreetly but it’s still happening. It made me want to say something like, ‘Who died and gave you the divine right to take over what wasn’t yours?’ It left a weird feeling in my tummy not just because it happened but because in discreet ways, it continues to happen today.

It also made me think of the role that the Spanish played in the United States. Ponce De Leon arrived in Florida long before the colonists and yes, we know that they killed off the indigenous of Mexico, but what about the United States? How was it that they lived along the coasts of California, when Mexico was part of the present-day United States and we never hear anything about the Spanish and the Native Americans of North America? I’ll be doing the research, just you wait and see.

Either way, we got to wander about St. Louis a little more. It was so empty, it reminded us of a zombie movie, where everything looks like it did when things were normal, except now everything is run by zombies. Store fronts were closed, downtown buildings were out of commission and it was nothing like the hustle and bustle of the Chicago downtown area. I always imagined St. Louis to be a little more action-filled. It was boring. Hard town, no joke.

After a day at the Arch we finally made it back home to Chicago at Midnight on Tuesday morning. It was a great ride and I can’t wait to do it again.

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