Day Trip to Westport

A new car takes some getting used to.  There’s no clutch, for one.  Really weird at stop lights not having to shift gears manually.  The driver’s side window rolls down.  People might actually hear me singing at the top of my lungs when waiting for the light to change.  The driver’s side door opens from the inside!  No more reaching through the rear window to unlatch the door from the outside.  The new car has a tape deck.  And me with no tapes, just a new-fangled iPod which has come in handy ever since the CD player stopped working in the old car.

I learned to drive a stick shift by driving through miles and miles of Kansas country roads around my parents’ house as a teenager while listening to “Rock You Like a Hurricane” and Pearl Jam too loud.  To this day, I think the best way of getting used to a new car (even if it is an automatic) is to drive it somewhere.  So I put together a playlist of some of my favorite songs, hit the highway with ABBA’s “Super Trouper” blaring, and took a day trip to Westport.


Westport is probably my favorite area in Kansas City.  In part, because of murals like these:

IMG_1304PBR Rex: this guy reminds me of several people I know who frequent The Replay.

Beautiful areas like this:

IMG_1302I’m sure even PBR Rex would have to pause and admire this staircase before heading down to Buzzard Beach or Kelly’s.

Pennsylvania St.:

IMG_1305If PBR Rex had taken the time to walk up those steps, he would have found himself on this street.  And, if I had more money on me, I might have taken him to Korma Sutra for some fantastic Indian food and bought him a cigar at Fidel’s afterward.

Joe’s Pizza:

IMG_1296You might say it’s just pizza, but no.  This is a slice of Westport.  I’m sure PBR Rex has had more than a few slices while drinking at Kelly’s:



The history:

IMG_1307There are historic markers like this all over Westport, which get more interesting after a few beers.  Just ask PBR Rex.  He knows.

Broadway Cafe:

IMG_1297While PBR Rex is probably boozing it up at McCoy’s, I’m having a coffee.  Somehow, it’s just not a trip to Westport without having a cup here, sitting on one of the chairs out front, and watching the cars and people go by.

Murray’s Ice Creams and Cookies:

IMG_1300I can’t speak for PBR Rex, but, really, if I hated ice cream altogether, Murray’s would outright change my mind.

The Westport Coffeehouse.  Less conversation and more people on computers than at The Broadway Cafe, but they have a theatre, and there’s this on one of the outside corners:

IMG_1313I think PBR Rex must have gone into The Beaumont for some shots and a show.  But I’m sure I’ll meet up with him again; there’s not enough time to see a film at The Tivoli today.  For now, a glass of iced tea sounds better than a beer on a humid afternoon, and I’ve still got half the playlist to listen to on the 45-minute drive back to Lawrence.

The new car may still take some getting used to.