Sunday, August 24, 2008

Urban Blight Tour.........The land of Cake and Steak.

Blight is all in the eye of the beholder. One mans blight is another's flight. Today's Urban Blight Tour takes us not in to the heart of darkness, but the land of blandness. There are no meth addled trailer park creatures, or thugged up gangstas to worry about where we are going. The biggest threat isn't a car jacking or stray bullet, the enemy here is a same sameness that is more frightening than anything I encounter in Midtown. Today my intrepid reader, we explore the Johnson County Subdivision, and all that comes with it. Now before some of my more thin skinned readers , who hail from JoCo, get their Tommy Hilfiger's in a bunch, let me say this. If you chuckled at the posts I have done on any number of my urban brethren, then turn about is fair play, it's your turn now.

Much of JoCo I actually like. The old sections of Prairie Village, Fairway, etc., are nice, however, 99 percent of the subdivisions developed in the last 10 or 15 years in JoCo make me want to dig my eyes out with a spoon. Listen, I have to drive around in these neighborhoods all day, 6 or 7 hours of tan, gray, and olive houses, all looking exactly like the one before it. I get Khaki Blind. By the way I just invented that term, I think. Khaki Blind is much the same as Snow Blind, but instead of being blinded by the whiteness of nothing but snow, I am blinded by the nothingness of subdued earth tones and mini vans.

People who live in these subdivisions fancy themselves different from the Boyz in da Hood, but they have more in common than they think. Lets take a look at the striking similarities. Inner city gangs mark their turf with graffiti. JoCo subdivision dwellers mark theirs with signs like , Deer run, or Cedar Ridge. While Gang Bangers wear colors to signify their set, JoCo subdivision dwellers put those little oval shaped white stickers in the rear window of the SUV, the initials of their subdivision in black. Outsiders are given the stink eye when rollin through the hood, outsiders are given the stink eye when driving through a JoCo subdivision. In the hood, gang sets are divided by streets, in JoCo subdivisions, streets don't go through from one to the other, again division by street. Gangstas favor SUV,s , BMW's, Lexus, and Mercedes, so do JoCo subdivision dwellers . The list goes on, but I wont. While the chance of getting shot, robbed, jacked , or cut down in a drive by are slim in JoCo, there are other perils one must avoid and be on the look out for at all times. There is the self important douche bag , sipping a latte, talking in to his blue tooth and looking in the mirror at his new caps, while driving 50 in a 35 down Shawnee mission parkway. There is a danger of becoming hopelessly lost if you aren't familiar with the area you are in. You cant use landmarks in JoCo. You cant tell someone to turn right at the Bed Bath and Beyond, there's one every 6 blocks. How many sheets and towels do you people need?

We all like to think we are different from one group of people or another, in the end we all share more in common than we like to let on. Since I cant bare the thought of another day of snapping pictures of tan McMansions, my next urban blight post will be focused on my beloved Midtown. After that I am going to take you to an area to see some rural blight, the likes of which, you have never witnessed. Now I'm out of here, spending a Sunday in JoCo has left me hankering for a few therapeutic bong hits and a quick game of walk the dogs while avoiding the wino's, bums, and hookers. Man it's good to be home!
MM's note**** I got some pictures mixed up from another post I'm working on and inadvertently posted it here. A reader on crime scene Kansas City caught it. So thanks to Tim for pointing it out, and the error has been corrected****


  1. there are some nice looking houses around Halbrook an South of 135th, some of them have square footage of a small village.


  3. Plenty of Gangsta's & Meth heads in JOCO.
    I keep trying to tell people, get out & drive around, northern OP, western Shawnee. Looks pretty, just like driving down 350 in Raytown or Noland in Indy.

    Thanks for spending on the gas & taking the time to write.

  4. We are currently seeking to get NOJOCO out of our unionn

  5. We are building a fence in far western JoCo. Gonna spray paint it chartreuse.

  6. Subdivisions scare me. I'm not sure how people tell their house from their neighbors' houses.

    I live in Midtown, and I have one of those little stickers on my car. Gotta represent living in the urban core.

  7. Jealous fuck.

  8. Had to come back and see this again.

    Funny stuff!