The Harbinger Online

Staffer Reviews Local “Hipster” Hot Spots

Dubbed one of America’s top cities for Hipsters by Travel and Leisure Magazine and ranked 24th out of the 29 top places to visit this year by refinery29.com, Kansas City, is becoming more and more of a “Hipster” town each year. Join the Harbinger as we review some of the best places for some good ole’ indie fun.Arizona Trading Company

Walking past Arizona Trading Company (ATC)  where Central Street meets Westport Road, it’s hard to tell whether it’s a consignment clothing store or a dismantled mannequin shop. These plastic, armless figures with teased hair and blacked out teeth line the windows, masking the somewhat softer atmosphere that lies inside.

The great thing about ATC is that it’s a consignment shop, meaning you can buy, sell and trade your clothes.
Yes, ATC is quite the little shop of treasures. You can find items from a vintage suede vest to $40 True Religion jeans. It’s a great place to get some bang for your buck with quality used clothes, and hipster or not, who doesn’t love that?

It’s a Beautiful Day

More hippie than hipster, this music and clothing store off the corner of Broadway and 39th St. provides a nice glimpse back to a time where peace signs were the norm and everything was “righteous, man.” With rasta and tye dye covering almost every inch of the tiny, dimly lit shop, it’s hard to keep the tune of “Three Little Birds” out of your head.

Walking around the store the sweet smell of patchouli fills your lungs and there are racks of band t-shirts arranged alphabetically. From AC/DC to ZZ Top, they’ve got it all. And don’t forget the extensive collection of records, tapes and CDs in the back where you can almost always find an album to match one of those shirts.

Bunker

At the very heart of Westport is The Bunker. Somewhat of a spin-off of Urban Outfitters, but with more accessories and less clothing.
If you ever happen to stop in, you have to check out the shoes. With everything from TOMS to light pink stilettos, it’s a collection like nobody else has and can easily please any customer.
Besides the shoes, they also have quite the collection of accessories. After all, they are the authorized dealer of brands such as Nixon accessories and Herschel Supply Co. Backpacks. Bunker supplies its customers with so many diverse products that you could walk out with a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses one day and a pair of yellow corduroy pants the next.The Living Room

Theater in Kansas City is great what with companies like the Coterie and the Kansas City Repertory Theater, but if you’re looking for an edgier experience, make your way down to the Crossroads and visit the Living Room. Right off of 18th on McGee sits this quaint little production house.

They also provide a homey feel by seating the audience in couches and lounge chairs, making them  feel as if they were at home in their own living room.

Another aspect they emphasize is audience involvement in the shows which may include the actors squirting fake blood on the first row. But the gooey red stains on your clothes won’t be the only thing that stays with you from the show. The performances are shows like no other, ensuring a unique, memorable experience for all.

 

The Nelson Atkins

Some may say the Nelson Atkins is an art museum, but to a hipster, it’s Kansas City’s most glorious collection of Instagram-worthy items.

With so many different rooms to explore and new exhibits coming to town all the time, you are bound to find something new every time you visit. You could spend an entire day there and even stop in to the café to grab a bite to eat.

But you don’t have to go to the Nelson just to look at art. The huge front lawn provides a nice look over the plaza area, which goes perfectly with a sunset on a summer night. The neoclassic building itself is gorgeous, so give it a go and don’t forget your camera!

Loose Park

Loose Park, which sits on the corner of 51st St. and Wornall Rd., is the 75-acre beauty of Kansas City, our very own Central Park, if you will.

Loose is a place you find yourself when you have nothing else to do. A lunchtime picnic can easily turn into a whole afternoon of ultimate frisbee. And with loads of free space to run around, you never have to worry about another group interrupting your game.

Lying on a blanket in the shade of a tall maple tree could be all you need to relax, at Loose. And without the traffic and noise of a place like New York City, our little, big park is the perfect addition to Kansas City.

Broadway Cafe

Just down the street it’s named after lies Broadway Cafe. However, contrary to its name, there isn’t anything musical or theatrical about this little coffee house.

Now if you aren’t a coffee drinker, like me, I highly recommend the Chai Tea. Iced or regular, it sure beats the heck out of anything Starbucks could whip up. Plus, it comes with that brown and white design in the foam that you see all over Instagram. No wonder hipsters love this place.

Before you head out the front door, make sure to check out the information boards. They’re on either side of the door and are overflowing with flyers, ads and business cards. You never know when you might need that Tae Kwon Do lesson.

Tea Drops

Down the back alley to the right of Broadway Cafe on Pennsylvania Ave. lies a little shop called Tea Drops. The high ceilings and bright green walls invite you in and provide a cheerful environment. But besides the gluten free pastries on display up front, Tea Drops sells one thing and one thing only: tea. And one thing they specialize in is bubble tea.
Bubble tea has become the craze in drinks lately with carts opening up all over malls and street corners. The ‘bubbles’ in bubble tea are boba, small, black balls of tapioca, are served in a sweet tea and sucked up through a large straw. So pick one up before the crazed become crazy, and there is no more boba in Kansas City.Hi-Hat

If you take a drive down State Line, right past 50th Terrace you’ll come across a small, brick shack — think Snow White’s cottage. This little hut is Hi-Hat.
Walking in the door you find truth behind the saying “three’s a crowd.” For a non-coffee drinker such as myself, ordering was a whole new experience. With no idea what to ask for, I stuck with a simple, “Can I get a coffee?”

It worked. They never knew for a second that I had no idea what I was talking about. And after pouring in a good third cup of cream in, it wasn’t half bad. So I sped off to school with a warm cup of joe and a new developed taste for caffeine.

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