Monday, June 8, 2015

IN THE WEST BOTTOMS

On Friday, Mom went to a part of town called the West Bottoms.  In this area there are many old brick warehouses that were built in the 1800s.  In the warehouses, people used to make things such as nuts and bolts or harnesses and wagons.  There were also stockyards in the West Bottoms, and lots of trains came and went, full of cattle.


The reason this area is called the "bottoms" is that the Kansas River flows into the Missouri River  there, and the low land near a river is called bottomland.  The problem with bottomland is that if the river floods, the bottoms are where the flood waters go.  There have been several really major floods in Kansas City over the years, and eventually people got smart enough to build the main part of town up high on a bluff.


But anyway, all those old warehouses are still sitting around, and because they weren't being used for businesses any longer, some people thought they should be used for other things, like for example antique shops and haunted houses.  So now there is a huge event on the First Friday Weekend of every month, and lots of people go to the West Bottoms to shop and buy their lunch from food trucks. And that's what Mom did on Friday.

Oh, and in case you are wondering, there are also some East Bottoms, but I don't exactly know what is there.


Friday morning there was a big rainstorm, so a lot of places were muddy and had big puddles.  Like, for example, this parking lot.


Most of the warehouses are 4 or 5 stories tall.  They are made of bricks, and they do not have air-conditioning.  However, the windows can be opened and there were lots of fans running.


There are alleyways between the buildings.  There are also lots of train tracks embedded in the streets, but the trains do not go there anymore.  They just use the regular tracks nearby.


Several buildings still have not been made into antique malls or anything else, but maybe they will be someday.


Anyway, a few of the things Mom found inside the antique shops include this John Deere tractor wheel.  There were two of them, so if you bought them both, you would have a pair.


Or you could buy a pair of wheels for a Model A Ford.  The tires seem a little bald, but I'm not sure where you could get newer ones.  Maybe on eBay.  You can buy anything on eBay!


Here's a painting of some cows.


And here's a pillow.


The car Mom learned to drive in, which was a '64 Ford Fairlane, had door handles exactly like this one.  There were probably lots of cars with handles like this.  Back in the old days, people didn't have any imagination, so they just used the handles to open their car doors.  Now we know the handles can be used in artsy-craftsy ways like this.


Mom thought this sign was funny because she has never liked peas, or at least not cooked ones.


If you have a chicken cage that you don't need for chickens, you can use it as a coffee table.  Of course, if you set a cup of coffee on this table, it might tip over and spill.  But I guess no one thought of that.




Now, here is the coolest thing Mom found on Friday.  It's an old type of hat that a guard would wear.


But not just any guard wore this type of hat.  Guards at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, where Mom used to work, wore these hats.  We know this because the Duane Hanson Museum Guard statue at the Nelson is wearing a uniform like Nelson security officers wore in the old days.  The hat is part of the uniform.  Mom feels extremely grateful that she did not have to wear a hat like this while she was working at the gallery!


When Mom was leaving the West Bottoms, she saw a car painted to look like a Texas Longhorn.  I think this is really the most perfect kind of car to drive in an area that used to full of stockyards!









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