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What Are You Doing On This Side Of The State Line In Kansas City?

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Alyson Raletz
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KCUR

As KCUR looks at how the Kansas-Missouri border divides the Kansas City metropolitan area, we wanted to talk to locals about their daily experiences with State Line Road.

We spent some time on both sides this month, asking people: What are you doing on this side of the state line?

From shopping to jobs to restaurants, here’s what we heard back:

Trell West lives in Kansas City, Kan. We caught up to him while he was walking to work at Dick’s Sporting Goods at Ward Parkway Center in Kansas City, Mo.

“I cross (the state line) every day. I live right on the state line, so I cross it to get to the bus stop in Missouri to get here. It’s all one big city to me,” West says.

Danny Albright has lived in Overland Park, Kan., for 25 years. We spoke to him while he was checking the mail at his employer, Absolute Interior in Overland Park. 

“I look at KC as a metropolitan area," Albright says. “I refuse to take the Johnson County phone books ... The people who deliver them, I say ‘take ‘em back.’ I don’t care about Johnson County. I live in Kansas City.” 

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Credit Alyson Raletz / KCUR
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KCUR
Joe Nucci lives in Lenexa, Kan., but diner food takes him to Missouri regularly.

Joe Nucci  lives in Lenexa, Kan. We ran into him during lunch at The Woodsweather Cafe, a diner on the Missouri side of State Line Road in Kansas City's West Bottoms. 

“I don't think of Missouri versus Kansas,” Nucci says. “I have a marketing company and the thing is, (the border war between Missouri and Kansas) it is all a state of mind. Kansas City is  great because it's two states, and lots of different types of people in different areas.”

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Credit Alyson Raletz / KCUR
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KCUR
Upgrading her iPhone meant crossing the state line, from Kansas to Missouri, this month for Harolyn O'Brien.

Harolyn O’Brien lives on the Kansas side of the state line, but we ran into her while she was waiting for a store to open at Ward Parkway Center in Kansas City, Mo.

“I live fairly close to Ward Parkway so I come back and forth (a lot),” O'Brien says.

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Credit Alyson Raletz / KCUR
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KCUR
D.J. Lee made the trek from Blue Springs, Mo., to Kansas City, Kan., for take-out barbecue.

D.J. Lee was picking up some barbecue at Oklahoma Joe's Bar-B-Que in Kansas City, Kan., when we talked to him about the state line. He's from Blue Springs, Mo., but crosses for matters of the stomach.

“I think its pretty cool that there's a state line, I mean two different states on two different sides of the street. (It's a) pretty cool tourist fact. You know, seems unbelievable that you could have across the street be a different state.”

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Credit Alyson Raletz / KCUR
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KCUR
Kansas native Robin Rice plans to stick with the Show-Me-State as an adult.

Robin Rice also had crossed the state line for an afternoon at Oklahoma Joe's. Rice, who lives in Missouri, was raised in Kansas. She says she has no plans to live in Kansas again.

“I'm a yellow-dog Democrat and I have a lot of heartburn with the conservative politics of Kansas today.”

This look at the Missouri-Kansas state line is part of KCUR's months-long examination of how geographic borders affect our daily lives in Kansas City. KCUR will go Beyond Our Borders  and spark a community conversation through social outreach and innovative journalism.

We will share the history of these lines, how the borders affect the current Kansas City experience and what’s being done to bridge or dissolve them. Be a source for Beyond Our Borders: Share your perspective and experiences on the state line with KCUR

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