Friday, June 29, 2012

In Raytown, Craigslist ads become obscure art (Update)

The art of the Craigslist ad in Raytown.

Posted By on Fri, Jun 29, 2012 at 2:07 PM

This is not your average coffee table.
  • This is not your average coffee table.

Update: Two more Things of Steven were posted over the weekend: a Super Nintendo with games and an invisible pony and a "1:1 Scale Replica of IKEA 'Expedit' Shelving Unit." And the scribe behind Things of Steven sent me an email early Saturday morning. He fulfilled my request that he write a sales pitch for a waterbed. Enjoy.

"'That's one damn dead waterbed,' she sighed listlessly, regretfully, earnestly, terribly. Her lips were slow but her heart was thumping so fast, like a million tiny pigeons stuck between the carburetor and the hood of a racecar screaming through space heading straight into the sun, a sun composed of ten thousand suns all bigger than itself, all crammed into one and they can NOT stay in there, just like the tears that for so long had fallen inside her, filling her with tears, so that whenever she would move her hand across the desk, or whenever she would turn her head (that voice again?), she could feel the tears in her arms, her neck, making her movements heavy, fluid, slow, like a waterbed."

Original post: For a change, the most intriguing posts on the Kansas City Craigslist site aren't in the "missed connections" or on a personals page. No, a Raytown resident trying unload a crappy bookcase and a coffee table has turned the "For sale/wanted" page the most interesting and the strangest.

The two posts - which are more than 500 words each - are titled "THINGS OF STEVEN - Coffee Table of Prosperity - $10" and "THINGS OF STEVEN - Mildly Depressed Bookcase - $20." And they are worth reading. The intro for the coffee table post is a 175-word sentence that begins:

"I, your humble yet illustrious reporter, lifelong servant to the will of the public, champion of the people, awarded 'Best Pecs' by Boy Frenzy magazine five times from 2002-2009, emissary of goodwill, and of course, loyal confidante of Steven - a gentleman who, I am sure, needs no introduction, whose distinction is without peer, of whose benevolence the cup of humanity runneth over..."

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  • The art of the Craigslist ad in Raytown.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Kansas City's parking salvation could be just one app away

Posted By on Tue, Jun 26, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Kansas City drivers looking for a parking space swing through downtown like uncertain dance partners, interrupting the flow of traffic and just hoping to not careen into something that leaves a mark. Hope, and parking advice, could come from 'Where Da Spot' a hypothetical application created by Sporting Innovations for the Hack the Midwest conference that needs a champion and a developer [h/t Kansas City IT Professionals].

The team from Sporting built a demo version in 24 hours that used the city of Kansas City's application programming interface, which included a list of public and garage parking spaces downtown. Where Da Spot is intended to provide users with a listing of available spaces, the ability to pay for those spaces using Dwolla, a reminder for when you'd need to feed the meter or move your car, and directions back to where you parked in case you've forgotten.

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Monday, June 4, 2012

Alamo Drafthouse will be taking over the Main Street movie theater

The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is coming to KC.

Posted By on Mon, Jun 4, 2012 at 9:13 AM

Movie buffs should be fired up about the Alamo Drafthouse coming to KC.
  • A Wife Loved Like the Church
  • Movie buffs should be fired up about the Alamo Drafthouse coming to KC.
It didn't take long for Mainstreet Theater to find a new date. Only a week after AMC Entertainment Inc. announced that it would be ending its relationship with Cordish Co., the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has revealed that it will be taking over the movie theater at 1400 Main [h/t Lost in Reviews].

The Austin-based movie chain is in the midst of a massive expansion with theaters planned in Houston; Dallas; Washington, D.C.; New York City; and San Francisco. The quirky theater made national news last year for kicking a moviegoer out for texting in the theater. When she left a voice-mail tirade about how she was treated, their mock-PSA response went viral. The Alamo Drafthouse has had a strict no-talking policy since it opened in 1997.

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  • The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is coming to KC.

Monday, May 21, 2012

AMC purchased by Chinese company for $2.6 billion

Posted By on Mon, May 21, 2012 at 12:30 PM

AMC will continue to be locally based.
  • AMC will continue to be locally based.
First AMC announced that it was leaving downtown Kansas City, where it had been headquartered since 1920, and now its ownership has left the country. The Kansas City Business Journal reports that Dalian Wanda Group Co. Ltd., a privately held Chinese company, announced that it had snapped up AMC and its 346 multiplex theaters and 5,034 screens on Sunday night.

AMC is in the process of building a new headquarters in Leawood, and Wanda said the company will be based there. The Los Angeles Times reports that the purchase price was $2.6 billion. Adding Wanda's 730 screens in 86 multiplexes in China to AMC's theaters makes it the largest theater operator in the world.

According to the statement released by the companies, Wanda will invest $500 million "over time to fund AMC's strategic and operating initiatives."

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Chinese theater owners said to be interested in purchasing AMC

Posted By on Tue, May 8, 2012 at 2:27 PM

AMC is apparently on the block.
  • Marshall Matlock
  • AMC is apparently on the block.
Wanda Group, the Chinese equivalent of AMC Entertainment, is believed to be in talks to acquire the chain of North American theaters headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri. The New York Times reports that negotiations became serious when AMC apparently decided to forgo an initial public offering at the end of April. AMC has been owned by a consortium of investors and private equity firms (JP Morgan and Bain Capital among them) since 2004. The Times estimates that the company would currently be worth in the neighborhood of $1.5 billion.

AMC announced last September that it would move its headquarters from downtown Kansas City to Leawood in the spring of 2013.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Zaarly grows by $14 million in funding and Meg Whitman

Posted By on Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Bo Fishback has reasons to smile.
When The Pitch wrote about locally founded e-commerce startup Zaarly in September, the Kansas City office was positively buzzing with good vibes and excitement. The peppy, relentlessly optimistic staff told us that Zaarly, which allows users to post requests for anything (a sandwich delivered, somebody to mow a law, etc.) to a website, which other users then fulfill for a set price, could be the next big Web company and social experiment.

CEO Bo Fishback, who used to work for Kauffman Labs, wasted no time in lining up money and celebrity backers. In two days, he and his business partners had accumulated $1 million and the support of Ashton Kutcher, tech blogger Michael Arrington, and the investment fund started by Groupon's founders.

At the time, Fishback admitted that all startups are a gamble. He compared his young business with eBay, noting that while only a small percentage of people use the online auction site, it facilitated $100 billion in transactions last year. "But we have a shot of being bigger than that [eBay], actually. We also have a shot at being out of business in a year." It looks like things are leaning toward the former. The company announced today that it had banked an additional $14.1 million in funding from a handful of investors.

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

AMC Entertainment will leave downtown for Leawood

AMC Entertainment is leaving dowtown.

Posted By on Thu, Sep 15, 2011 at 7:36 AM

AMC Entertainment is the latest business to answer the call of the Kansas program that offers a big pile of money to companies that relocate there, usually from Kansas City, Missouri.

AMC will receive a tax rebate of more than $40 million to leave downtown and build a new headquarters in Leawood. The company is taking advantage of an economic development program that richly rewards employers who set up shop in Kansas. Dozens of Missouri companies have reached for the cash.

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  • AMC Entertainment is leaving dowtown.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Is this what Google Fiber will be like in KC?

Posted By on Wed, Aug 24, 2011 at 6:00 AM

Unified Government Mayor/CEO Joe Reardon smiles like a man whose Netflix is never gonig to stall.
  • Wyandotte County
  • Unified Government Mayor/CEO Joe Reardon smiles like a man whose Netflix is never going to stall.

Monday's Wall Street Journal story touting Kansas City as one of the nation's new tech hubs has already earned a grumpy counterpoint from The Kansas City Star. The reality check was fair, but if you want to hold on a little longer to that warm, fuzzy feeling of being acknowledged by the East Coast, here's some good news: That Google Fiber super-double-crazy-fast thing is totally going to kick ass. Says who? The West Coast.

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Friday, July 15, 2011

The Kansas City Chiefs are the 27th most valuable team in the world, Forbes says

Posted By on Fri, Jul 15, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Updates to Arrowhead boosted the Chiefs' value.
  • Updates to Arrowhead boosted the Chiefs' value.

Rich peoples' magazine Forbes, which seemingly puts out a sports-related list every three or four months, has released a list of the world's 50 most valuable teams. And the Kansas City Chiefs came in at No. 27. According to the magazine, the Chiefs are worth $965 million, just ahead of the New Orleans Saints.

Surprisingly, the magazine calculates that the Chiefs are only $10

million less valuable than FC Barcelona, a world-famous soccer club. The description for how the Chiefs achieved such a high ranking is rather brief: "Arrowhead Stadium opened in 1972, but had a $375 million renovation completed last year that boosted stadium revenues for the Chiefs." Simple enough.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Marketing firm Global Prairie finds new digs, partially disappears from tax rolls

Posted By on Tue, May 31, 2011 at 7:05 AM


A Kansas City marketing company has moved four blocks, and the city will become a little poorer as a result.

Global Prairie has changed addresses in the Crossroads District. The company recently left its location at 1619 Walnut for the Vitagraph Film Exchange Building, at 17th Street and Wyandotte. Though its zip code remains the same, half of Global Prairie's workforce will fall off the city's tax rolls because of an agreement with philanthropist Shirley Helzberg, who restored the Vitagraph Building.

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