Our July 24 story "Power & Light vs. Westport," in which reporters Crystal K. Wiebe and Jen Chen spent one Saturday night reporting from their respective entertainment districts, provoked a spirited discussion among readers at pitch.com. This week, we've decided to devote our entire letters page to the comments at pitch.com.
"What were your final tabs for the night?" — John
Editor's note: Crystal K. Wiebe's tab for her evening at the Power & Light District was about $90, including $28 in cover charges. In Westport, Jen Chen spent about $45.
"Great idea. Enjoyed it a lot. I think this town needs more social critiqueing."— Milos
"It appears to me that the P&L District is not representing Kansas City's progressive and open-minded people. All that money spent on this great city seems wasted to me now. I honestly was excited about this new area and was hoping it would bring the city into this era. Lines, expensive cheap beer, cover charges, only two kinds of music, dress codes? Who are we trying to keep out? Who do we need protection from — the cowboys?"
"P&L can be a bit pretentious at times, I agree. But KC needs this kind of stuff. I have lived downtown for over a decade. It used to be a ghost town after 6 p.m. — a completely dead urban core. No restaurants open late. Kansas City was only 'a city' from 9 to 5 Monday through Friday. Now some big money has come in to bring some life. Thank god....
I cannot stand all these JoCo morons invading my city any more than any other downtown resident. But it's a necessary evil to get energy (and money) flowing back into the urban core again so KC can continue its development." — J
"There is a simple decision to make between these two areas. If you would rather go to a brewery you can find in any town, go to P&L. If you would rather go to a brewery that's from here, Westport. You could go down the line of businesses at the cookie-cutter P&L. If you are the type who wants the same f-ing place in every single town, go to P&L. If you want conformity and mediocrity, go to P&L. If you want something original and only in Kansas City, then our tax dollars have been wasted."— Not a Fan
"I think it's nice and proper that Pitch writers try to give P&L an even shake, but the more I think about it, the less I like it. It's not just that it's soulless and dull and feels less like KC than anything else in KC does. It's that P&L actually hurts the business of places that are from here and that reflect here." — Gus
"I have a problem with the fact that 80 percent of the construction costs for the Power & Light District were paid with tax subsidies. That's my money you're making money with!" — Dave
"For being so 'progressive' and 'open-minded,' the Westport loyalists don't have much tolerance for the P&L and its patrons. Can't say as I'm surprised, as the self-proclaimed champions of 'tolerance' typically display anything but when it comes to an opposing viewpoint. Personally, I like the contrast between the two districts. One is trendy, expensive and intense, while the other is cheap and chilled. Why not enjoy both, depending on your mood?" — Who Cares?
"I'm still undecided on if I really like the Power & Light District. I'm still a loyal Westport patron, but the downtown area in the last few years, with a huge help from the Power & Light District, has turned from a shell of an urban core to a living, breathing city center. I was at a friend's loft not far from the Power & Light/Sprint Center area and I saw, on a Sunday, people walking their dogs, couples walking, bike riders and friends meeting up for a bite to eat. It was the first time I've noticed a change from the old downtown to the new one. It was amazing. Sooo ... is Power & Light good? You might not like to go there on a Friday or Saturday night, but it's been the catalyst for more projects that are continuing to inject live into a once lifeless downtown." — Tim
"I like the fact that the P&L District has brought patrons downtown — but unfortunately, it has caused some casualties. We have lost Tanners on Broadway, Paddy O'Quigley's and now The Studio. It's too bad that the local business aren't being supported like the P&L. Westport will survive — always has, always will. It may be more 'shop' oriented vs. nightlife, but that would be a welcome mix."— Robert Log
"I tried P&L for the first time this past weekend. First, it's cool-looking. Very new, very hip. I liked it as soon as I got there. Parking is horrible. On Friday night at 10, we had to park down by Totally Nude Temptations and walk over the highway. People coming after us must have parked at the Liberty Memorial, I don't know.
It was hot. It was hot in the common area, and it was hot in the bars. It was really hot while standing in line. Here's a secret, though, that I thought of while standing in line: You can enter the bars through the common area or through the front doors along the street. While we waited 45 minutes in line at PBR before bailing, we walked directly in from the street with no wait at all. For the remainder of the night, we didn't attempt to enter any bar from the interior entrances.
The crowd was a mixed bag. The women were mostly stripper-hot. Lots of fake boobies hanging out all over the place, lots of hair, lots of hairspray. The guys were generally of the frat-boy sort, lots of plucked eyebrows among the men.... There was no way in the world you could pick a chick up in that place unless she just loved the way you looked — and since my eyebrows aren't plucked, I felt underprepared.— RJ
"Like many others, I like how P&L has brought life back to the downtown area....But being a young, black college student born and raised in the nitty-gritty of Kansas City (that rhymes!), I'm not really satisfied with the nightlife options that cater to my crowd.
In your description of both areas, you mentioned the various bars crowded with cowboy-hat-wearing tobacco chewers, spiked-hair rockers and blond babes. References were made to repeated songs that I've never heard of. You probably assume that I'm a fan of hip-hop, R&B and any other forms of music associated with African-Americans and ... you're absolutely correct! So, I'm disappointed that there are no real places in P&L and Westport where I can complain of tall, New Era-cap-and-white-T-wearing 'gangstas' and the sounds of 'A Milli' or 'I Put On.'
My friends and I can either endure the sounds of Toby Keith and party at a place that looks like a pigsty, or call it dinner and a movie on a Friday night.
I think you all did a wonderful job on the article. I just wish that there were more options for me to choose from."
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