Dispatches from June 20, 2013
9 AM: We have no transportation this morning, so we take our time with our scrambled eggs and fresh fruit.
Noon: Set off on foot into the vast strip mall wilderness of suburban Kansas. It’s so flat and massive that you can see stores ages before you actually reach them. In the summer humidity, everything feels syrupy. Root beer floats made with frozen custard prove wonderfully refreshing.
3 PM: In a surprisingly un-air conditioned cinema, watching The Great Gatsby. Director Baz Luhrmann’s signature style – opulent, dreamlike, frenzied – suited the story quite well. I especially liked the soundtrack, a synthesis of jazz hall tunes and thumping hip hop that translated the Roar of the Twenties to a modern audience. And the costumes were simply divine. But I found this Jay Gatsby more of a creepy, unstable man child than I remember from the book, and I don’t know whose fault that is.
6 PM: Headed to Arthur Bryant’s. The ambience is the absolute other end of the spectrum of Kansas City barbecue from Jack Stack, but the food was just as superb. We hollered our orders through counter windows into a steam-filled cave with stalagmites of meat towering on every available surface. The cave spat out melmac plates piled with smoky ribs, mouthwatering pulled pork, white bread, baked beans, pickles, and fries. We slathered our meat with Arthur Bryant’s three house sauces – all of which tended toward the vinegary side, and delightfully so – and dug in with fingers and teeth. Exquisite.
9 PM: Typing up a blog post while Arthur watches the Spurs once more face the Heat, and once more meet with defeat.