Sly James' election-night watch party at the American Jazz Museum at 18th and Vine was the most entertaining political event in decades. It had everything: jazz musicians, rappers, free
food, dapper volunteers and supporters, an ice sculpture that doubled as a shrimp platter, and
freeloaders in droves.
Guests were firmly encouraged to don name tags at the entrance to the museum. The logic behind the mandate quickly revealed itself. Name tags are Awkward Moment Repellent! No more panicky seconds spent racking your brain for that nice lady's name as she descends upon you faster than your $3-domestic-beer-soaked synapses can fire.
Coleman performed his Sly
James rap, which put a fresh spin on what can oftentimes be boring,
boilerplate campaigning. Especially when the candidates are being so nice.
Another big plus: free food. Folks weren't too shy to park themselves by the spread and go to town on fruit, cheese, crackers, cocktail shrimp, lil' barbecue sandwiches, and chicken wings.
Oh, did I mention shrimp?
ManagerTroy Schulte was spotted in the crowd. (It's not
hard, since he's like 6 feet 5.) Presumably, he stopped by to
extend his congratulations to our new mayor, 'cause he's no fool.
Last night, 18th and Vine was alive. The burly shoulders of firefighters stretched the seams of suit jackets, lawyers shelled out at the cash bar, politicians' kids preened, and activists and campaign workers fantasized about City Hall paychecks. And this reporter did her best to hide her pleasure at the thought that suddenly, Kansas City feels like a town with some promise.